Thursday, 24 December 2015

Up, up and away

The day we left New Zealand for good, 30th October 2015, finally arrived. It was warm, but very overcast and the sky looked ominously dark and brooding. I had taken Little Boy to our small local airport a few times over the few months before we left, to get him used to the noise of the planes and just experience the environment so it wasn't too much for him on the day. He loved looking at the helicopter which was sitting right next to the airport lounge. 

Big Girl joined me in taking photos of our plane landing....

This was Little Boy's first experience of being in a plane and I wasn't sure what to expect. He was a star! He had a lollipop to suck whilst we were taking off, and was quite happy looking out of the window at the world below. It was a great flight to start him off, as it's only a forty minute flight to Auckland. The Bay of Islands is only a small airport, so they don't have big planes. This one was about 28 seats, and was comfy and not too loud, a great introduction to flying for a little person. 

I think the photo below shows the Rainbows End theme park in Auckland, as that's a roller coaster at the end of the rainbow! (Well okay, not quite at the end, to the right and up a bit ;-)  )

I was so glad I bought a Trunki for Little Boy, as there were quite a few long walks at the different airports, which aren't ideal when you factor in time differences and a very tired two year old. You do have to make sure they hold on though, as he let go once when we stopped, and as I walked off again he disappeared backwards and hit his head on the floor. No damage done, but I did feel a bad mummy :-)

There were lots of firsts for him - first airplane ride, first ride in an elevator, first ride up an escalator, and also first ride on one of those moving walkways. He took it all in his stride. Just like his big sister did when she was little. I guess they are both made for travelling!

The lounge at Auckland airport was excellent, and they had a designated lounge for kids. Little Boy made himself at home in front of the tv.....

Whilst Big Girl helped herself to some food. We were lucky enough to fly business class (more affordable when you are only flying one way!) so it was all included in the price. She kept coming over to me and whispering' "Can I really have what I want? Is it all free?"! 
 There was a kids' chill out area upstairs, with some humongous beanbags arranged around a tv. Unfortunately no sooner had we settled down to tuck into our food, we were called to board our plane. 
Yet again Little Boy proved his laid back nature by falling asleep before we had even taken off! No little man spreading out on your lap trying to sleep, he had the luxury of his own bed, and he made the most of it. In fact he slept so soundly he missed all of the food on the twelve hour flight, and woke up just in time for breakfast before we landed! 
Air New Zealand is a great airline, and business class with them is a wonderful experience. They make you feel special, and nothing is too much to ask. I would thoroughly recommend them. 

The same can't be said for our second flight, which was with Air Canada. The lounge was basic, and we had several hours wait there. The flight felt like they were trying to provide a business class experience, but not doing a very good job of it. I won't list all my moans about it here, but let's just say I wouldnt fly with them again even if it was free :-(  
Shame, as it's not like we can afford to fly business class all the time. We treated ourselves when we left for NZ, and likewise on the way home. Unless we win the lottery any future holidays will be back to basics. 

We couldn't believe it when we arrived in London Heathrow and it was so warm - in October! We'd packed jumpers and coats to wear when we got off the plane, and I walked out of the airport in a vest top! What's going on with the world?
An hour and half drive in a taxi saw us finally arrive at our destination - we were staying with my mum in the Cotswolds until we found a place of our own. This is what welcomed us when we got there - a homemade welcome home banner!

Home at last - well sort of. Now all that's needed is a house of our own, jobs, cars, school.....
Oh well, one step at a time, Rome wasn't built in a day!



  1. So good to hear from you Claire! I have popped in a few times to see if there was any news. I am glad to know that you arrived safe and sound and I assume that by now your "stuff" has too. I hope that 2016 will be a really good year for you! Happy New Year! xx

    1. Happy New Year to you too Amy! You are so on top of your blog, regularly posting and keeping it interesting - I read all of them and then it makes me feel so bad how terrible I am at maintaining mine!
      We have some of our belongings, but are still waiting for another 34 boxes which came separately (we couldn't quite fit it all in a twenty foot container). It's been like a second Xmas unpacking all our goodies! Xx

  2. It is amazing how different your experiences with different airlines were but am so glad your little boy took it all in his stride. Hopefully now you are beginning to feel settled in the UK and have had a lovely Christmas. Happy New Year and I look forward to herring more of your settling in adventures soon. xx

    1. Thanks Jan, and Happy New Year to you too! I'm glad you've stuck with me, as I've been so busy with the move I've been rather slack on the blogging front. One of my New Years resolutions is to try to keep on top of my blog. I have lots to say, I just never get around to saying it! Xx

  3. Hi Claire..can you pop to my blog and leave your name and address for me plz