Monday, February 15, 2010

New Zealand 2010: Before the Trip

Written in the terminal at LAX, about 4:00 pm Wednesday, February 10

Several months ago, my mother asked me to accompany her on her next overseas trip, to New Zealand.  (She had previously taken me and her mother to Ireland in February 2008.)  I said yes, of course!  She was willing to take my boyfriend as well — he’s big into tiki,  so he would have really loved the trip — but he decided he couldn't go due to ex-wife and teenage son issues.

We slotted out our schedule to spend the first weekend in Auckland (the largest city, on the north end of the North Island), then weekdays in Rotorua in the center of the North Island, the second weekend in Wellington (the capitol, on the south end of the North Island), and then catch a sea ferry to the South Island and Christchurch.  I would return from Christchurch and she would spend a few more days on the South Island.  (I didn’t want to take more than that amount of time away from work and eating up vacation.)

Via a buddy on the gay cruise site Recon, I got in contact with a guy who does travel arrangements for numerous hotels throughout New Zealand, with the company EasyStay New Zealand.  He helped me make arrangements for our hotels in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, while Mom dealt with Rotorua and the airfare from Los Angeles.  We will be flying V Australia (one of Richard Branson’s Virgin properties) to Sydney (almost 14 hours), a layover there, and then another 3 hours to Auckland.  Add in my 2 hour flight to LAX and 5 hours there before leaving for Sydney and you have a very, very long trip.

One of my Christmas presents (via an Amazon gift card) is a DVD player for my Aspire One netbook.  It will allow me to watch movies without needing to bring along the additional DVD player.  That much less weight to tote around!

A couple weeks after we made the air travel plans, the company I work for started work to spin-off the division I’m in into its own company.  Naturally, the official announcement of that came the day before I leave, so I’m apt to miss out on some of the details while I’m gone.  I’ll have some net access while I’m gone to keep up with things, I hope.  (It also means adventures in vacation time, since I’m actually going in a hole a little for this trip due to a mix-up they made after the Ireland trip and only fixed in December, 18+ months later, which removed 7 days of vacation time from my account.  Crap!)

Updated on March 3, 2010
Links added.

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