Leaving New Zealand to come back home is never easy, but it has to be done and I've done it so many times I seem to handle it easier every time. It seemed like a long day waiting till it was time to leave and we set out in two cars with my Niece Nateele with her two children and Jan in one vehicle and brother Malcolm and me in my rental. We stopped first in Albany and then in Onehunga as Nateele looked for children's clothes. Then Mal & I delivered my rental back and met up with Jan at the airport who had my bags. As we were a bit later than I had wanted I had a good 40 - 50 minute wait in the line up to get to the ticket counter. By that time Nateele and the kids had seen the airplanes and they were already to go, so we said our final goodbyes and I went through the screening process. This time as I left the scanner behind I saw this lady standing there (seemingly doing nothing) and I though OhOh, and I was right. "step over here please mam". Ran the scanner over me and then ran a small cloth over my bags looking for explosives. this all took 5 - 10 minutes, so finally I was able to go on, get something to eat and sit down. It took forever for them to put up the gate we were going to be at, when finally it appeared there were alot of us going down.
Finally, into the plane, where I discovered to my delight I had an empty seat beside me. Something I had mentally requested. Just makes it easier. Also I was happy to have only a 12 1/2 hour flight rather than 14 hours. Again I watched a number of movies, slept through a few and cried and cried watching Hatchi. If you have not seen this movie with Richard Gere about a dog (real story about a dog named Hatchi in Japan) please see it. Especially if you want a good cry. Funny thing was Bridget had emailed me earlier telling me she had sat and cried through this movie about a dog, and I did not totally 'get' the name of it, but thought as tears are streaming down my face (thank goodness the man on the other side of the empty seat was sleeping) this must be the movie. It was when I checked with her. Remember Hatchi.
Arriving, going through customs etc, seemed easy a gentleman had picked up the big bag for me and put it on the baggage cart and as per discussed I phoned Bridget and she came and picked me up. She picked up the big bag and put it in the back of her van where it was kept until we went back to the airport the next day (more about this bag in a minute).
We arrived at Rob's and Melanie had made us a delightful supper while she went off to play hockey. But before she left we had the gifts to give out, plus the candies, plus stories. I was getting really tired by then and Rob said to Bridget "take Mum home, shes falling asleep on her feet". So back to Vancouver, up the stairs to the apartment and about 1 hour later I was in bed sleeping.
I woke up for a wee while around 3.30, but then went back and slept some more. We went out for breakfast adjusting to the slightly cooler air and then back to do the month and year end bookkeeping Bridget wanted me to do. Managed to get it done.
We had a couple of things to do before the airport, change money back into Canadian and then we decided to go back to the airport and have lunch there, and this when the fun began. As I was loading the big bag onto a cart. (Being creative we had created a parking space near the elevators with a baggage cart right there). I said to Bridget "this is not my bag". Now, I have leopard skin looking bags, which I deliberately bought so they would stand out. Looking at the tag it was not mine. Horror of horrors. I had the wrong bag. So into the airport and find out where to go, and the man says "oh is it a leopard one" .... "yes says me". So 40 minutes to walk to where we had to go, wait and then go in and swap the bag -- thank goodness they had mine and I was ready to go back to the domestic terminal and get my ticket for my flight back to Penticton. No lunch. Bridget had to go, and I needed to get through scanners etc. My lunch became a bottle of water (good) a chocolate bar (no so good). Soon though I was on the plane with all my bags and flying home.
Flying into Penticton, after the green of NZ, I could see the brown hills with snow on the top. My friend Carol was there and we packed her car with my bags and she did the short drive to my place, where I noticed all the daffodils flowering. Nice welcome home.
I did nothing last night. Just sat watched TV and slept. Awoke early, watched more TV then got up and caught up with emails, laundry and went and shopped for some basics. Then I was tired - jet lag works like that - so had another sleep.
Now I'm caught up, most stuff is put away, emails all answered (hopefully) and getting ready to do more tomorrow. Everyday will be easier (I know the routine). Three weeks of being in the warmth of my family, feeling accepted, loved and especially having the title of "Aunty Norma" and now back to the reality - paying bills, making appointments and soon getting ready to leave again for my trip to Alberta. It is nice to be back home though, and will begin saving up so I can once again do the trip over the Pacific Ocean to visit 'the family'.
Thanks for following my trip.
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