By 6 a.m.  I’d already had my first ever airport shower at the Auckland airport. I’d planned the packing so that our quick-dry towels were on top, and my sandals and convertible pants were in my carryon. NosyNeighbour hadn’t planned it quite as well so now he’s itching to get checked into our room so that he can change.

It took me a while to figure out the system for the airport shower. The airport flurist is the  key keeper and lends it out with a $20 deposit. You can rent a towel for $5, but we brought our own. The down side is there’s no hairdryer and it’s a super humid day today so it took a while for my hair to finally dry.

Arriving at SFO yesterday (actually two days ago) was interesting. The Air New Zealand computer system was down in Auckland and the line wasn’t moving. You know you’re getting old when inline you end up talking to the elderly Brits ahead of you instead of the young kiwis returning from a California ski trip.

Security was a bit of a joke. The low-paid screener didn’t even check our boarding passes to let us into the line and couldn’t figure out how to set up the pole s traps to form the queue. There was no secondary screening at all either. This on the same day as elevated threats in London.

We heard several screaming babies in the line up but they didn’t keep us awake on the flight. Instead, it was the loud old American woman behind us.  She kept laughting really loud and talked all night. Each time she got up she tackled the backs of our chairs waking us up.

Our seatmate Susan, was an American from Berkley, originally from Pittsburgh (this meant she understood hockey!).  She was meeting up with three friends to hike and drink beer and wine, mostly in the South Island. I did give her the blog address, so who knows, she could be reading this now! We shared some o f our past experiences about places to go. Hopefully she’ll enjoy them as much as we did.

I did take some meal photos this time, which I’ll post later. The f light had a bit of turbulence but not enough to spill drinks during the meal. This is the first long haul flight that we’ve both not had books to read, deciding to rely  instead on the inflight system. Even with the new and improved system, I didn’t see much on the TV shows section that appealed to me so I watched two movies: The Invention o f Lying and Juno. Both were okay, but nothing spectacular.

A girl from Ottawa (now living in New Zealand) was ahead of us in the secondary customs line. We needed to have our hiking boots checked, but all was good.

To keep ourselves awake today, we’ve already dropped by The Warehouse (New Zealand’s version of Giant Tiger) to pick up a cooler bag (forgot ours at home) at the gel ice packs to go in it. From there we went back to Dick Smiths (New Zealand’s version of Radio Shack) to pick up an adaptor plug for the computer.

We then dropped of this  shopping at the hotel (room still not ready) and walked up to take the free shuttle to DressMart outlet stores. We browsed around and picked up some merino mink possum socks and gloves, a rugby jersey and  another merino t-shirt for me.

Now we sit surfing in an Internet cafe, waiting for our room. Maybe we should have been like a lot of people on the flight and paid for an extra day to be guaranteed early check in. Naw …. NosyNeighbour is too cheap!

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