I finally arrived home at about 9.30 pm on Thursday (the plane was delayed for nearly an hour taking off from Sydney airport). I came home via Christchurch where I spent three days with my mother, brother, sister-in-law and their three children, hence the delay. Friday I spent washing clothes (ie doing laundry), unpacking, talking to my family and showing them photos of my trip. Yesterday I attended an 80th birthday party for my father-in-law four and a half hours’ drive from home. Today I’m taking things easy in preparation for returning to work tomorrow. It’s currently 17.6 degrees C (about 64 F) outside – it was around 30 C (86 F) when I left Houston. My feet are cold!
A number of good reasons for attending SBL International in Auckland next year:
- The airport security for New Zealand domestic flights is more laid back – didn’t have to take my shoes or my jacket off, or have my carry-on liquids and gels in little bottles in a ziplock bag. Even for the international flights they let you keep your shoes on unless you set the metal detectors off (I didn’t).
- New Zealand has some spectacular scenery – what I saw from the air was a series of very flat river valleys surrounded by steep, jagged volcanic/glacial mountains. This photo shows Christchurch in the background from a place called Sign of the Kiwi
- New Zealand is small and not very crowded and the people are very friendly. Unfortunately for North Americans and Europeans, they drive on the other side of the road, but there isn’t much traffic.
- The exchange rate with most major currencies is very favourable
Note: If you’re thinking of flying to New Zealand, I would highly recommend Air New Zealand as a carrier. Nice food, a surprising amount of leg room and a generally comfortable flight with helpful, friendly cabin crew. And, no, they didn’t pay me anything to say this. 🙂