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Published: September 22nd 2015
Woke up on time but it took a while for the girls to get started. Departed the house at 6:15am for a 9:05am flight and hoped a) we'd packed everything; b) the Tulla was clear; c) queues for NZ were smaller than those for SE Asia on the first Saturday of the school holidays and; d) all of the above.
Generally speaking, our wishes were granted. We only discovered we'd forgotten things once we needed them (Dayna's pjs and her black jeans, non-crusty toothpaste and tissues ...) and the automated check-in process was almost problem free. Yes, our first hurdle presented itself at the code sharing partner of Virgin - Air NZ. Dean, thinking it would be 'full service', didn't 'purchase' luggage. Condensing our bags, lightening our wallets, a little reshuffling and presto! We turned to walk into immigration and luckily some nice man pointed out that we'd forgotten our little blue suitcase. Hurdle 2 cleared.
Our memories were once again tested as we left the X-ray machines. Departure cards. Why, in this age of technology, do we have to endure this palava? The few benches provided are surrounded by travellers scrambling to use the one remaining pen still chained to
a desk. I couldn't believe that I was carrying one pen, let alone two, but we delighted in our good fortune. Unlike the lady in front of us who decided to take her blank card to the counter in the hope of using a pen there. If you've seen the 'Soup Nazi' episode of Seinfeld, you've seen the response she got - 'No pen for you'. No, the Border Force lady was unimpressed. Promptly sent back to the land of penless benches, her quest was in vain. Without looking back, we scuttled off, clutching our precious writing devices. Who's laughing at the luddite now?
As our flight was being called, Dean decided it was an opportune time to purchase a packet of Twisties. The 'final call' announcement had me slightly worried - were we going to miss our flight for a snack of dubious nutritional quality? Of course not. But those little orange morsels had us questioning that purchase once we landed in Christchurch.
Despite the luggage debacle, and Dean declaring his future boycott of the airline (reminiscent of the great Foxtel boycott of 2001, the Commonwealth Bank standoff of 2002 and the Optus cancellation of 2010), the flight was
smooth and we arrived in good spirits.
Airports can be wonderful and full of hope and joy or they can suck the life out of you. Unfortunately the Christchurch experience fell into the latter category. An hour and a half after landing, we finally emerged. It would have been worth it if the filming of an episode of 'Border Security' was the cause of our hold up. But no, just three staff versus four plane loads of people.
Collecting the hire car was relatively painless, although the snow chain video didn't fill me with confidence. But the short drive to 'Pak N Save' (a bit like the old Tuckerbag) lifted our spirits somewhat and we zipped around the aisles to pick up some essentials.
(Who put Marmite bagel crisps in the trolley?)
The journey to Lake Tekapo was easy and we eventually found ourselves comfortably ensconced in a magnificent abode. The little snow flurry outside provided a gorgeous backdrop to a delicious meal of Japanese takeaway. A wonderful way to start the holiday.
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