Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 1 - The Longest Day

After a couple of crazy days of packing and making sure we had everything we need, we are finally on our way.  Reservations on the Villages Airport van must have been light for our departure time. Instead of a taxi to the central bus depot like last trip, a small van picked us up, along with 2 other ladies, and proceeded directly to the airport.  Check-in with Virgin America was pretty smooth. Regent booked us in first class, so we got to board the plane first.
 I don't think we would choose this airline again.  First, there was no space under the seats in front of us to place anything, so everything had to go overhead.  That made it hard to get to anything we needed during the 5 hr flight.   The electronic controls for my seat wouldn't work and my seat wouldn't recline. The flight attendant had to adjust it manually.  The recorded voice on the safety announcement sounded bored and could have put us to sleep. The flight attendants also lacked enthusiasm, and, although they were nice enough when serving us, were unavailable most of the flight.  The tray tables did not extend far enough, so it barely fit in front of me and Ray couldn't lower it at all.  The dinner they offered was very strange.  Ray passed it up, but I gave it a try and regretted it.  At least the seats were comfortable.  There were entertainment screens available if we wanted to pull them out, but we both listened to our own audio instead.
It was a good thing Ray looked up which terminal Air New Zealand uses at Los Angeles before we left,  because when we got off the first flight, there were no signs and no departure board. We had to go out through baggage claim and find our way to the next terminal.  Once we found it, we had to check in again with Air New Zealand to get boarding passes for the next leg.   Then we had to go through security again.   We weren't expecting that.
We are now waiting in the lounge for the flight from LAX to Auckland. It has been almost 12 hours since we left home and we have about a 13 hour flight ahead of us. I hope we can get some sleep on this one. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Details Complete

The final details for this trip have been finalized.  We have our passports back, complete with visas.  All travel arrangements are in place and confirmed.  The neighbors and our families have been given our schedule and will be watching the house.  Community Watch will also be checking on our house, so we should be well covered.  We've each made an assessment of items we need for the duration of the trip that we may not be able to purchase on board or at the ports we will be visiting, and have purchased our supplies.  Now all that is left is to pack and wait for the Villages Transportation to pick us up on Saturday and we'll be on our way.