We were up and about pretty early – 6am didn’t sound too bad, til I realised that it was 4am Sydney time. Auckland knew it was early, the sun didn’t show any sign of coming up til at least 7.
Since we found out upon checking-in at the hotel that there was complimentary breakfast, it seemed only fitting to go check it out. That’s when we discovered it was only one complimentary breakfast … so, well played hotel, well played, you got us. The hotel room was great, service has been great, so maybe we had pretty big expectations about the breakfast… and even though one of them was free I don’t really think it was good value. And coffee maybe rated a 4 our of 10 on the Scottboy Coffee Scale (you should totally trademark that Scott!). The view was nice, that seemed to be the one thing they couldn’t overcook and dry out. Ah well, at least now we know!
After that I took a moment to try out my fancy new zoom lens. Sure enough, it does indeed zoom. Phew.
I took a wander around the Britomart area of Auckland – pretty brisk weather at 8 degrees but OK as long as you kept moving.
But it was soon time to try and forget about breakfast and move on to our one and only non-plane-related event in Auckland. Of course, it’s a return visit to Baristacats, the Auckland Cat Cafe. Yes, I am a crazy cat lady and I am not ashamed! 🙂 A good time was had by all – Perry made a number of new friends, and I managed to annoy plenty of cats with my camera. Just like last time, an hour at the cafe was over before we knew it.
And … that was it for our big Auckland holiday – time to hit the airport! There’s a SkyBus stop right outside the hotel so that made things nice and easy. No dramas during checkin, all went smoothly, and we ended up with about two hours to kill in the small-but-perfectly-formed Qantas lounge. They had a fridge full of little ice creams so that means I’d forgive them for just about anything. The other food on offer was much better than breakfast, too. Before long we wandered over to the awaiting plane (an Airbus A330-200) and got ourselves seated in the really-quite-lovely seats. Generously proportioned (just like us!) , sophisticated (well, kinda like us?) and rather elegant (well, ok let’s stop with the analogies. Regardless, it was a nice place to spend a couple of hours.
Champagne upon boarding was nice once again, and cabin crew were friendly (one chap in particular was very friendly toward Perry … had to keep an eye on him haha).
Even though this was a flight home, it’s technically the first leg of our flight to San Francisco, so it was kind weird. Less weird was a tasty sandwich served at lunch, but sorry Qantas, LATAM air did a better sandwich yesterday. But Qantas gave me ice-cream, so maybe this particular competition has to end in a tie. Things got pretty bumpy at some stages – only one little kid screamed, so not the most turbulent flight I’ve been on. It was enough that the captain felt the need to reassure us all that the plane was quite safe, however! Glad I’m not a nervous flyer, else I don’t know how reassuring that really would have been.
When not being tossed around in the air like one of the cat toys we’d seen earlier in the day, I took the change to watch the movie “Run Fat Boy Run” – a comedy starting Simon Pegg. Very good, but as I’m sitting here at the kitchen table and not rushing around outdoors preparing for a marathon, I guess you couldn’t exactly call it inspirational. There was also time to watch an episode of ‘Nailed it!’, kinda like Masterchef for normal people who can’t bake to save their lives. That, probably, was more inspirational. Plus it was all about cake.
We touched down in Sydney at 4:27pm, and we’re out of the airport exactly twenty minutes later. And that’s because I spent a few minutes trying to decide what to buy at the duty free (the winner: Aperol – come back in summer for Aperol Spritz!). It was the quickest transfer through the airport ever. (Only having hand luggage really helped). Even the taxi rank was completely devoid of people. Great for us, but it sure didn’t help the mood of our taxi driver who had been waiting a few hours for a fare, only to find he only has a very sort trip to go on. It sure reminded me while I usually get an Uber if I need to get driven anywhere, that’s for sure.
We arrived home to a ridiculously pleased-to-see-us cat, which was lovely, even though she was being more than ably looked after in our absence by Perry’s niece, who we’re very grateful to have house-and-cat-minding for us for some of our time away.
After that, it was time to finalise the packing, sit back and relax for this 20 hour layover in Sydney. But then .. bing bong goes the phone. It’s Qantas, with an important message. The kind of important message that can sink the heart of even the most enthusiastic holidaymaker.
“We had change your flight”…
Uh-oh! Drama! What happened? What a great cliffhanger! Stay tuned ’til tomorrow’s next exciting instalment!
Nah I couldn’t do that to you. At first the change seems to be … no change at all. All the details seemed just as they were. But Perry, being the clever one, phoned Qantas to double check and they confirmed that yes there was indeed a change. Ultimately it was nothing too earth-shattering, just that we’d be taking off four hours later than originally scheduled. Could be worse, but of course that means we lose four hours of July 4 at the San Francisco end. But we’re still due to get there around lunchtime, so can’t grumble at that. So, in the very likely event I can’t be bothered writing a blog entry about “well, umm, still in Sydney, now it’s time to go to the airport”, the next entry should be from San Francisco itself. Woo! (But that’ll be like 30-something hours from now).
Hang in there, see you stateside!
PS: It’s probably obvious but I usually don’t go back and read through all this stuff and edit my mistakes – so sorry if you find a bunch of errors.