All about the lead up to leaving from Auckland:
Final packing has been a blur of cardboard, bits of paper and random stuff on the floor (e.g. popcorn kernels!), cleaning, and trying to pack stuff in suitcases and play 'guess the weight'. Jane was surprised when she came over on Sunday and lent us her scales - we weren't panicking. Mostly I think this was because we have been packing pretty solidly for the last week or so, and we had a (Brendan's) Mummy to take boxes away as we generated them and help with other assorted things. Very much appreciated.
Pictures of the now spotless study and bedroom will be posted when we get our own computers back, hopefully by the end of this week.
We couldn't fit all the people and all 4 large bags which had accumulated during the final two days into one car, so Geoff kindly offered to take his car as well. Ida and Jonny went with him, and took our camera. Dangerous. The first part of the trip was punctuated by Ida dangling an expensive camera out of the window and taking photos of our horrified faces looking back at her. And ignoring our texts to "be careful!"
Then we overtook them. I watched Ida's face behind us. It was on. A car race to the airport. Phone cameras and digital cameras alike were brandished like weapons of war. Both sides pulled ahead, then gained and lost, gained and lost - it was so close. Who would win? But suddenly, oh no! Geoff's speed dropped and he was lost behind a cafe tractor and a Subaru Legacy. He couldn't regain his momentum. At the critical moment he was tailgated by a van, then passed by a motorbike. The Mummy won with a clear victory lap around the airport car park.
We've booked aisle seats for the flight to San Fran, still hoping to get a free window seat (but still unsure if it will happen)...
Waiting in the airport. And waiting. Suddenly we looked around - where was Geoff? Not too far away: he had assumed the cricket-watching stance classic to all men. Several others joined him, registering similar reactions as the game progressed. Finally, a whole line of men were watching the screen gods... and swiftly dispersed. Only Geoff was left, in the front of the line, still watching the cricket.
Then, again: where was Geoff? A quick glance at the cricket area indicated he wasn't there. He reappeared from out of nowhere and thrust something into each of our arms, gruffly -"Here". It was a girly magazine for me and a computer magazine for Brendan, his gift for us to read on the flight. The girl at the counter apparently thought he was buying it as porn, because the girly one was hidden under the other.
"This is the last call for passengers for flight NZXXX... "we were being called! We grabbed our stuff and rushed to the security checkpoint, hurriedly shoved our jackets and bags into the little trays and into the x-ray machine and tried to grab as many people as possible to hug while the security people looked on disapprovingly.