Greetings from Auckland, New Zealand. We had a very nice flight on Air New Zealand last night. Our reservations we in Business class, but it sure looked like first class to me. Unlike the previous flight, Air NZ made the safety announcement fun. They are capitalizing on the Middle Earth films made in their country by showing a plane full of hobbits, elves, dwarfs, orcs, etc. in the video. I love the Kiwi sense of humor. The video even has Gollum crawling around the aircraft aisle.
The seats in our section all converted into flat beds, so we even managed to get some sleep. A few years go, we were on a flight from Sidney to Vancouver on Air Canada and had seats that fully reclined for sleeping, but those were not very comfortable. This was different. When I was ready to go to sleep, a flight attendant folded my seat forward to make a flat surface that reached to a foot rest. He then unfolded a hin mattress, pulled out 2 pillows and a blanket, and turned the seat into a nice bed. It was even long enough to stretch out in. For the first time, I was actually able to fall asleep for a few hours on a plane.
We both skipped dinner since it was 10pm L.A. time and we ate something earlier. I indulged in a cheese & cracker plate and a glass of port, along with a movie, before going to sleep. They served a nice breakfast before landing this morning, even if mine was delayed. I think something went wrong in the galley because one other woman and I didn't get our breakfasts until everyone else was done. The attendants were very apologetic and did keep refilling my coffee.
Since we crossed the International Date Line early this morning, we lost Sunday. We boarded the flight 10pm Saturday night and got to Auckland 8am Monday morning, even though it was just a 13 hr flight. We'll get the day back on our flight home.
Regent made all our flight arrangements and got us here a day too early. They will pick us up tomorrow for transfer to a hotel near the port, but for tonight we are on our own. I booked us into the Novotel at the airport because it looked close on the map. We were pleasantly surprised to find we were able to walk out of baggage claim, cross the street on a pedestrian walkway and enter the hotel. It doesn't get more convenient than this.
Ray didn't sleep as well as I did last night. He remembered the bed/seats on Air Canada and didn't let them make up his bed like I did. He regrets that, but since we have no plans today, he's taking a nap on a real bed in our hotel room now. When he wakes up we'll go get some dinner in the hotel restaurant.