The epic vacation finally comes to an end. I barely slept the night before we left. Went to bed around midnight but I needed to wake up at 3 AM. I ended up getting up at 2:45 AM. I just don’t sleep well when I know I need to be up early.
We woke the kids at 3:30 AM. We had them sleep in the clothes they would be wearing the night before. Jonas was very good about waking up, Rachel refused. Eventually we got her up.
Then I tried to request an Uber. Turns out bars close at 4 AM in Auckland so I had trouble doing that. Luckily there was a taxi stand less than a block from our rental so David hailed a cab.
We arrived at the airport and checked in ok but we could not check our luggage in until 5 AM. We ended up going into the Premium Check in so we could get our luggage checked in earlier.
Then we headed towards the flight. We were split up for this flight. The boys were in coach for this flight and the ladies were in business class. Rachel and I went to the lounge for Air New Zealand and we were very excited to see that they had a gluten free toaster and gluten free bread. We both had some real toast. It was awesome.
Our first flight was great (for Rachel and I). I resisted falling asleep. We had two courses with our breakfast. The service though took a while….due to the early flight I would have preferred to nap a little but this turned out to be good that I did not nap. Rachel took a good 1.5 hour nap though.
The flight landed and then we headed to our next flight, Sydney to San Francisco. We went to the Singapore Airlines lounge. At that lounge Rachel found some food to eat. This was good as when we were already boarded on our United flight we learned that they did not have our requests for the gluten free meals. This is not the news you want to hear on a 14 hour flight….thankfully we had a cooler full of food we could eat.
The crew was very friendly on this flight and they apologized for not having our meals. I did enjoy two glasses of champagne and a glass of red wine. I started watching the Land of Z (or whatever it was called) and ended up not finishing it. Then I decided to try to sleep. I was hoping I could sleep on East Coast hours. I was thrilled when I woke up and there was only 45 minutes left of the flight. Rachel slept a little but not much. Jonas slept for over 5 hours, I am told.
We went through customs and immigration and then headed to the United Arrivals lounge to take showers. The arrival’s lounge showers are awesome. We all left feeling refreshed. By the time we finished it was time to head to the gate.
We boarded the plane and for once the kids agreed to sit next to each other! So for one flight David and I could pretend we were on a vacation by ourselves. For this flight we were in “first class”. I must say that domestic first class is so different than international business class…the seats are no where as big and the service seems sub par. On our particular flight there were also no personal entertainment systems so you had to use your own device for that. It just doesn’t feel the same…..
This flight went smoothly. We were flying from the west coast to the east coast around the same time as the eclipse so I was wondering what it would be like. Turns out there was nothing to see. I think had we left two hours earlier we would have seen things.
Our flight landed slightly early and then we went to pick up our bags and take a taxi home. Five minutes after we got home Rachel and I left to go pick up our dog. We got home from that around 8:30 PM. Around the time we got home our groceries were delivered. We then started to unpack. I may have also started weeding our front which got a little overgrown when we were gone.
Some of the family went to bed earlier than others. I actually went to bed at a normal bed time. I was not sure when I would go to bed as I actually slept a lot on the plane. I was actually really excited to go to bed and get back into our normal routine. I was very excited to head back to work the next morning.
In summary – all of our flights back were fine and we had no delays. We were all excited to get home from our trip. We had a wonderful vacation and spent a lot of time together as a family, and it was great taking a break from our day-to-day lives at home.
Also – as a side note Jonas ended up having six breakfasts this day:
1. Auckland airport
2. Flight from AKL to SYD
3. Lounge in SYD
4. Flight from SYD to SFO
5. Flight from SFO to IAD
6. Waffles for dinner at home (as that is what we had in the freezer)