Our last day in this Kiwiland started very early. The earliest of all the 10 days we were there. If you have been following my posts from, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8 & Day 9, you would remember that our final night in NZ we were at a friend's place in Hamilton.
From Hamilton, we had to drive to Auckland & catch our flight back home. The flight was at noon & the distance from Hamilton to Auckland took us about 2 hours. By right, we need not have to start early. However, due to our limited shopping time the day before, we did not manage to complete purchasing souvenirs for family & friends. We planned to get some in Auckland & in order to do so, an early start should help a little to beat Auckland infamous morning traffic.
I set the alarm at 4am local time (11pm in KL), showered & HB followed suit. Next, I slowly woke the 2 elder girls first after that Balqis & finally Nadeen. All did not give me any problem. Perhaps after 10 days, they had adjusted well as travelers ;-D
My friend, Zu took the trouble waking up so early in the morning to prepare breakfast for us... Seriously Zu, I'm so touched with your warmth. She even deep fried some fries for the girls to eat in the Britz.
We left at 6am but..... after about 15 minutes drive I realised that I left the attire which I planned to put on in the flight inside a paper bag at Zu's. Much to HB's annoyance, I made him turn. I sprinted about 30m to Zu's as it was quite a hassle for the bulky Britz to get inside the narrow road to her place (Zu, sorry to disturb you again at such early morning...)
Back in the Britz & playing deaf to whatever HB had to say (bet you've been there & done that! :-D), we continued our journey to Auckland.
As the sun was rising, we witnessed this rare scenery of shallow fog or according to HB's meteorology expertise - radiation fog.
June & I finally met. I briefed her (via phones) our location as I knew the mall she was waiting for us was nearby. Our meeting place was actually in the Champions outlet along Custom Street.
The moment we met, we started talking non-stop. Good thing June realised this cafe nearby.
We spent only for like 20 minutes with June & off to the Britz again. Next stop was to dispose the dumping before handing over the Britz. With the help of the GPS, we found the nearest dumping area close to the airport.
The airport was due south of Auckland city. Finding the way back to the highway was not a hassle & it was indeed a relief seeing the aircraft logo signage . We were really running out of time. It was no problem at all reaching the airport but little did we know the chaos awaited us...
Once at the airport only did we realise that we really were not sure where exactly to hand over the Britz. Online, when I made the booking for the Britz, I opted the venue to return the caravan at the airport in Auckland. Obviously an airport is a very huge area. We chose to ask the airport staff & as I expected, the venue was not at the airport but near the airport. That was not good at all... The time was 2 hours before departure time!!
I checked my yellow envelope which I kept all documents & there clearly printed, the address of where exactly we should have headed. Nothing near the terminal but approximately 8km away!! No choice, HB had to leave all 5 of us at the terminal with all our luggage & made a move with the Britz to the given address (the GPS helped of course...).
Once we entered the airport premise, I heard...
"Mama... I need to go to the toilet!".
Bear in mind that with our luggage I was not only with one airport trolley cart but two! Another thing with wheels under my responsibility was Nadeen's stroller. I couldn't possibly transport everything & everyone into the restroom, could I ?
Somebody had to play guard outside & fortunately the restroom was right in front of the check-in counters - an open area. A mom had to do what a mom had to do... The elder girls were in charged outside & I took the younger two in. Next, the elder two in & the younger two outside with me.
Done, we made a move with the luggage to the check-in counters. I have to share this with you... I sure made quite an impression to other passengers waiting in line. With 2 trolley carts, a toddler in my arm ( folded the stroller for check-in) & 3 children in tow, it could be either a joke or an amazement!
At that moment, I was sure some of the other passengers really thought I was traveling alone with my 4 girls. Hehehe! After the smooth check-in (was quite concerned over any excess luggage weight) I started to worry about HB. He was nowhere to be seen. I couldn't call him as my phone roaming failed to activate (was still using the old phone). Then I saw a public phone & it accepted a CC.
I failed to do so. Reading the instruction on how to make the call was one thing. Keeping a track on my 3 girls who were helping me to babysit their youngest sister was another. I changed to 3 different public phones because Nadeen refused to stay still. After my 3rd attempt I gave up. She was rather too fast for her sisters to cope with. A short while after that HB appeared. My knight in shining Oakley... I can't explain to you the relief!!
At last it was really time for us to bid farewell to this beautiful country. Indeed, it was a great experience for us & especially to the girls. We would make an appoint to come again. When? Only time will tell...
In the aircraft seat with my head rested on the headrest & a glass of juice in my hand, what I wanted most at that time was my own bed at home. The journey back to KL in broad daylight I knew would not be an easy task.
Some people were blessed to enjoy the in flight entertainment & food at ease.
After feeding, I entertained her with her toys. Even played a couple of cartoon movies from the in flight media. I really ran out of ideas & my fatigue body was no fun at all to her energetic mood. She managed to slide down from my lap. An attempt to be free.
We arrived safely in KL after 8pm. No problem at all with the customs. They normally do a random check. Seeing my sleepy girls & a fagged mom running after a toddler who refused her stroller, they simply let us passed.
What was so obvious the instance we stepped out of the airport building was the heat. Though how much we love our country, we simply prefered the cool temperature in NZ ;-D.
To my readers, thank you for the patience. At last this travelogue is at an end. 10 posts in 4 months is not to be proud of. Thanks again for your time.
To HB & my girls, hopefully we can cherish our moments together in NZ from these postings. This journal is the best I could do to make it vivid in our minds. If I were given the chance to do this all over again, I without doubts would choose each one of you for companies. Love you!! Mmmmuaaaaah!!!
ps- I have been trying to upload a video but failed. Anyway, I will keep on trying =)