I have to say we are very impressed with Air New Zealand. Sure the whole gate/boarding at LAX was different, but from our first interaction, while obtaining our boarding passes and checking our bags, to our on board crew, we were treated with the upmost respect and politeness.
The flowers in Aitutaki where just as beautiful as those on Rarotonga 🙂
I mentioned in a blog at the beginning of our trip that our seats where changed to middle seats when I did the on-line check-in. When we checked in at the airport the friendly agent changed us back to a window/middle seat and upgraded us. We were upgraded to Economy Skycouch seats, which turned out to be pretty darn nice. There are three seats, all of which are wider, recline, and have footrests. The foot rests pull out and can be raised to the same level as the seats, and the armrests between the seats can be raised. We were provided with a mattress pad, pillows, and blankets and there is enough room for two people to lie across the seats and sleep … I know it sounds strange but it really was comfortable (and of course the third seat is left empty otherwise you might have to sleep with a stranger 🙂 ) When we booked our trip seven months ago we tried to get seats in Business Class (first class was way to expensive!) but they were already booked, so we were pretty happy to be upgraded to the Economy Skycouch seats and we think they were just as good as Business class.
Once we were up in the air we were provided with a great meal. Hubby and I chose chicken pasta with a bun, crackers and cheese, a salad, and a cheesecake desert … and it came with free wine! I had two glasses of Prosecco and hubby had two glasses of white wine. We followed dinner up with decaf coffee and then settled down for the night.
Breakfast was served a few hours before landing in Rarotonga and Los Angeles. We had cheese omelets, fruit, yogurt, and a mimosa.
On arrival back at LAX we went through the same routine in reverse … I still don’t get the arriving on the tarmac and being bused in, but it went much faster on our return than on our departure!
Of course our luggage was the last to come off the plane, and yes I truly mean the last piece of luggage! This was very strange because we were the second people to check into our flight and drop off our luggage in Rarotonga and the couple who were first, the ones from Calgary, Alberta who we had dinner with before we all checked in, got their luggage as soon as we arrived at LAX … there is no rhyme or reason as to how luggage comes off a plane!
By noon we had cleared customs, pick up our truck from the parkade, and headed out into the Los Angeles traffic. We thought, being a weekend, the traffic would be light but we were wrong … so very wrong! We had stop and go traffic until we cleared San Diego, California 😦
As we were passing through Oceanside, California and we were treated to views of some Naval exercises.
Shortly after we passed Oceanside, California we turned onto I-8 and we finally finished the last little bit of I-8 that we have never done before.
Bumper to bumper traffic 😦
We arrived home at 7:30 p.m. and we were both ready for bed! We brought in our luggage, dumped it in the living room and went to bed … that is a really a big deal for me not to unpack and clean up before I go to bed, but we were both exhausted and needed to sleep!
I noticed a big difference when you go away for a vacation and you live in a house and when you go on a vacation and you live in an RV in an RV Park. When you live in a house your neighbours may miss you but probably not, but when you come back to an RV park after an absence everyone misses you! We hadn’t been back for a day and people were asking how our trip was and welcoming us back. Yes the life of a full time RVer is truly gratifying and so different than living in a sticks and bricks house 🙂
Now that we are back home I won’t post everyday but I will post whenever something interesting happens in our lives. Thank you for following along on our travels 🙂
Until next time …