10 December 2014–Arrival in Auckland

After a 13+ hour flight from SFO, we arrived in Auckland on Wednesday just after 5:00 AM local time (body time, it was 8:00+ am, Tuesday, December 9 – crossing the international dateline accounted for the “loss” of a day; we will gain it back upon our return, when we depart here at 7:30 pm and arrive SFO 11:00 am same day, over 8 hours before we left—I guess you could call that a form a time travel…LOL).

Due to a last-minute offer from Air New Zealand, we were able to upgrade our seats to Premium Economy for a fraction of what those seats cost. As it turned out, that was one of the better air travel decisions we have ever made! The seats were above and beyond any first class seats we have walked through on any domestic flights we’ve taken. And the service, though called “economy” was first-class all the way. We’re spoiled!

We gathered our luggage and got through customs surprisingly quickly, apparently another perk of traveling “premium.” Our prepaid transportation person greeted us and dropped us at our rented studio in the Heritage Towers around 7:30 am. It’s a very nice hotel in the CBD (Central Business District) with amenities that include two pools and two fitness centers (one of each on the rooftop) as well as tennis courts and a restaurant.

The unit was small but well-appointed; however, we were dismayed to learn that the it did not include wi-fi, and that it would be quite expensive to buy some service. So, for the next ten days my postings will be limited to time spent in cafes and to the limitations thereof. I will make every effort to write interesting posts with lots of pictures. Thanks for your patience….


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