|The Long road home!
Well I'm sitting typing this last journal from the comfort of my own home. Wow. It felt amazing to be walking in our door again. I thought someone had renovated our home it looks so flash. Oh that's right. We did. :) It's so huge! Hadn't really thought it was so huge until now.
But I am skipping to the end. Like all the book cheats, (sometimes me, but don't tell anyone) that read the last few pages before they begin - just to check that the ending is going to be oK before they bother with those 300 pages......
So, the flight. I think this was our quickest flight of the entire journey. It only took 9hours and 35mins! There was a strong tail wind that blew us home southward across the Pacific, much quicker than anticipated which meant we were landing in Auckland at 7.30 instead of 8.10. It was a good flight, a few little moments of turbulence but nothing spectacular. We loved the touch screens, the decent screens and the great choice of entertainment. So much so, that none of us slept much. We did try, but maybe that 14hour sleep we'd had in Tokyo (grrrrrrr) had taken all sleep away from us. Or maybe it was just being entertained so well with great movies. Whatever it was the trip went fast, the food was great (apart from the cheese - or that's what they called it anyway) and before we knew it we were landing.
We were quite nervous about the NZ customs thing. This was the first country we'd had to fill out such a detailed and complicated entry form about what we were bringing into the country. We really only had chocolate to declare, but weren't sure whether the souvenir swords we bought at Chillon Castle were considered weapons or just souvenirs and whether our shoes were clean enough after having walked in the bush in Switzerland. etc etc. Thankfully we hadn't bought any honey cos that was a definite no no - so we read on the signs. No, we didnt have any fresh fruit or cellophaned mushrooms (!!!) or other dangerous substances.... But there was no need to worry. We got through the check fine, and even got to walk in the green aisle, instead of the x-ray one. And we could've brought in 2kg of cheese as long as it's securely wrapped. Drat. Really should have brought some cheese in.
After that it was check in our luggage for the last leg to Blenheim and make our way out into the Auckland winter day (it was beautifully sunny by now) to the domestic terminal. Although it wasn't as cold as we thought it would be it was still a little chilly for Johanna and I who hadnt changed into our winter clothes. Alex was loving the fresh air after having sweated away several pounds in Tokyo.
Our wonderful friend from Auckland, Ewen, (minus Anne - sorry to miss you Anne) met us in the domestic terminal and we shared a cuppa, muffin (also a donut or two.... shhhh) and lots of laughs about some of the different aspects of our trip.
Now with our hearts set towards home we made our way to our gate where we discovered that our plane was delayed for about an hour. Oh well, nothing to do but just sit there and wait. With great joy we entered the plane when they called us finally to board, only to find that one lady and her baby had boarded another plane and they were having to wait for her to come and join us to go to Blenheim.
After some time we were finally on our way! Better late than never. But Toby says '"better never late".
It was a lovely flight down, seeing the coast - very cloudy, which looks gorgeous from above of course - and flying over the sounds which looked so beautiful. Finally into Blenheim airport where all our family, bar Samara who was working, were waiting for us with open arms. Oh then the tears flowed. My son had taken time off work to come and welcome us and I was deeply touched. So lovely to see our parents and dear Chris who has done so much for us while we've been away. You should've seen the house - he had it sparkling clean. Looked brand new!
We all called in on Samara who we found out had been patiently waiting watching the skies for our return. Shouldn't we be like that with the Lord - watching and waiting for HIs return! Big emotional hugs, photos and sharing a lovely afternoon tea that she made us.... coffees and hot chocolates and cakes all round made and served by Samara. What a blessing. And what a homecoming.