It’s great to be staying at a motel that has free fast Internet. It’s like what New Zealand was three years ago. But I guess you’d expect it in San Francisco.

Backing up to yesterday, the security in Auckland was interesting. All passengers going to the U.S. were instructed to immediately clear customs (yes you check out as well) and basic security. You then had to dump any liquids you had collected in the secure area and proceed to the U.S.-bound second level of security. Men and women were separated for pat downs, and then directed with their carry on luggage for a thorough pocket-by-pocket inspection. Timmy II was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get the full pat down. He did get a tummy rub at the carryon baggage inspection.

Our flight was pretty uneventful, despite our worst fears when two screaming babies arrived in the waiting area. A group of 10 people stared towards the screaming and you could see the look in their eyes … please oh please don’t be sitting near me. It led to a conversation about if we all chipped in $10 maybe we could get them upgraded to first class. Almost a bit of revenge on those that can afford while we struggle in econo class.

It’s surprising just how fast a 13 hour flight can go by when you eat, watch a movie then get some shut eye. I had a sore neck and throat and actually slept better because I couldn’t toss and turn.

The Millwood Inn and Suites is a decent airport motel, and for $95 you really can’t beat the price. It’s about a 20-minute walk to the BART station, and costs $8.50 each return to get downtown. We got off at Embarcadero, then walked down to the Blue Mermaid Chowder House just past Fisherman’s Wharf for some popcorn shrimp and a bowl of chowder each. It comes with a loaf of pre-cut (well, except for the bottom) sourdough bread. We washed it down with a Sam Adams.

The rain started as we got to Fisherman’s Wharf, and NosyNeighbour picked up another small cheap umbrella to keep himself a bit drier. We took the F streetcar back to the BART and since the rain had cleared up when we got back to Millbrae, we walked back to the motel.

I’m still trying to keep awake so I’ve been uploading more pics and videos. Check the Queenstown pics on Flickr for the last day adventures.

Here are some videos from earlier in the trip:

Along 90 Mile Beach:

Huka Falls, on the drive between Hamilton and Wellington:

Falls on the drive between Pancake Rocks and Hanmer Springs

Winnie playing the piano at Mitre Peak Lodge

Milford Sound adventure:

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