Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Zealand - Day 10 & the Journey Home

I come to realise that it is already June & I still have one last post on my recent travel to the Land of the Long White Cloud - NZ.

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.

We reached Auckland after a 2 hours smooth ride along the highway & were welcomed by her infamous morning traffic. Well, it seemed that we failed in our attempt to beat the traffic.

Despite the many cars, everyone obeyed the rules. This "One Vehicle Per Green" is to avoid a bottleneck traffic.

Soon we saw the Sky Tower.

The Sky Tower at 328m is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand.

Auckland Harbour Bridge

In the Britz, Wardah, Balqis & Nadeen took a nap except for my light sleeper Yasmin. Balqis was aware that we were leaving for home. At one point she didn't want to go back. Had fallen in love with NZ. She woke up when we reached Auckland & the minute she saw the view outside the view window, she asked me, "Macam mana Malaysia cantik macam New Zealand?" Oh no!! Hahahaha!!.... I better start with my Hujan Emas Di Negeri Orang, Hujan Batu Di Negeri Sendiri discussion with her =)

I was to meet up with another friend in Auckland. We planned to meet at half past 8 but I was half an hour late. The traffic was one thing, finding a parking space for the Britz was another.

HB, first time ever paying a parking space using his CC.

The plan was to meet at a shopping mall. Wanted to grab something to eat before our next meal which obviously would be in the plane. But based on the time, we were running late. We headed straight to the souvenir store we went to on the first day in Auckland & purchased what I had earlier jotted down. Did that in record time & HB suggested for my friend to come over to the store as we were skipping the earlier plan.

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.

It was our first meet. June like me is an SAHP - Stay At Home Parents. We are members of Malaysia SAHP yahoo group. A remarkable group of parents (mostly the moms) discussing any topic under the sun especially about parenting. I know some of you do read my blog & seriously, being a member of this group & knowing that I am not doing this alone is a big blessing. Thanks ladies :-D

The moment we met, we started talking non-stop. Good thing June realised this cafe nearby.

June with her adorable son, Matthew. Notice he had a pistol on the table? No! You don't want to mess with him. Mommy's private bodyguard... ;-D

June, the next time you fly home, we've got to continue our chat. It was really a rush that day right?

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!".

"Me too...!"

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!

Align CenterWhilst their mom in front of the counter with the tickets & passports, the 3 girls were babysitting Nadeen.

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!!

Yasmin & Wardah at the duty free.

Whilst waiting to board our plane (we were not that late after all...) I found this room. Glad that I managed to sit down & enjoy each sip of my hot tea.

They were occupied & HB helped to monitor. Nadeen & Balqis kept changing toys to play with.

Yasmin found a magazine, seated at a corner & didn't even notice the flash of my cam.

Hey! Check this out... Wardah was reading... ! Or was it simply a pose? ;-D

Not long after that, Nadeen did her business. Oh well...! Off to the restroom again. Good that she did it there. It would be very tedious to clean her up in the confined aircraft toilet.

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.

.... and the choice of music was a lullaby.

Unlike a mom like me, especially to a toddler who was fast asleep during take off. I managed to have my meal though. A quick one, just in case she woke up. My intention to take a nap did not work as planned. She woke up...

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.

She saw that her papa was sound asleep...

Yippee! Nobody to stop her except for her mama whom she hardly listened to.

Calling her accomplice...

Not other than Kakak Balqis.

Pressing this...

Unbuckling that...

And even sneaked into the galley!

Her accomplice was smart enough not to join. Instead, helped to babysit her

This unopened mineral water bottle helped distracting her & it was that toy she ended up playing with Balqis.

Obviously, it was not for long but I managed to put her to sleep again. I didn't have the heart to wake HB up. He did ask me to do so, so that we could take turn babysitting. I knew he must be exhausted himself with the driving & all. This time around Nadeen was quite a challenge to handle in compared to our previous travels. She was not in the walking stage before. Based from my observation, the next time if we have the chance to travel again, I need to get one of those child safety straps for her.

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.

Our last transportation home, the airport taxi.

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!!!

The End.

ps- I have been trying to upload a video but failed. Anyway, I will keep on trying =)


leen said...

Ahh...Ja, finally you made it! I must say that I'm so looking forward for your next travelogue. It was really informative plus entertaining too (keep me occupied while I'm here, I even shared with the nurses hehehe.)

So I guess I'll be reading about your next passion soon? (wink..wink...) Hahaha.

jabishah said...

Hi leen,

Hope you are feeling better now. Nasi Goreng USA tu shld do the trick ;-)

Next travelogue shld be real soon. Might go somewhere nx week. Cuti2 Malaysia.

My latest passion? Soon.. Very soon.. Hahaha!

Sakinah said...


Finally you made it! Congratulations on your hard work for the past few months to keep all of us entertained, informed and made us want to visit NZ.

I'm serious about my earlier suggestion to you. Hope you would consider and make it like a pocket book for easier reference.

I look forward to reading other travelogues of yours in the near future. FYI, my colleagues are also now reading your blog. You got many secret readers.

Happy travelling again. For me and family, we are travelling up north for 5 days next week.

Desert Rose said...

Salam Kak Ja dear,

Baby u so comey, kalau jumpa I mesti i gomol he he.

I know what u mean, tabikk spring to u 10 kali. Last monday me hubby took a flight to Kampung n saw this mom pushing a stroller , her small baby was in it, beside her was her 4-5 year old son n 9-10 year old daughter. Without her husband (we saw him sending them off at d gate) and my hubby keep on perli I rasa nak tonyoh je muka dia. He said if it were me, tak akan terjadi la ....i will never take that kind of risk. I kagum tul ngan akak tuh. Kalau I pitam la ngan anak2 yg terlebih gula dan sentiasa membuat gerakan2 yg tak perlu.

NewAY, when ur kids grew up, they will appreciate the story u write about them, surely.

Take care kak.

tireless mom said...

Hi Ja

Sedihnya the post on NZ holiday is over. I have very much enjoyed them. Lovely pictures and what a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next one, cuti cuti Malaysia pun tak pelah.

a&a'smom said...

Clap, Clap, Clap!! Yeah truly enjoyed ur write up. Adorable Balqis needs a small curtain to cover the pintu in her mouth. Hehehe, I too remembered when my boys had the same prob & Abilash had to wait almost a whole year for the front 2 teeth to sprout.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Jabishah, you and gang really clocking up air milage.
Your kids should be very good in Geography now too, ha ha.
Saya ada adek in Auckland. Have not seen her 12 years. Have never been there too, maybe satu hari.
Love your pics here and your little girl grown big too.
Best regards, Lee.

Oldstock said...

Salam Ja,

I have always loved reading your travel stories.

I've said it before but I'll say it again, you have my utmost respect for being able to handle 4 girls in such cool fashion. Great job there.

So the next trip, pegi mana pulak?

jabishah said...

Hi Sakinah,

Readers like you do motivate me to share more of my experience.Thank you.

I do realise that my silent readers increase when I started with my NZ travelogue.

How was the trip up north? Must be splendid!

jabishah said...

Hi there Desert Rose,

Hahaha... you really are funny. The word 'tonyoh muka' really made my day.

Tx for your kind words. I am not a risk taker myself but I have to compliment myself on my planned strategies. It becomes easier when the elder girls are bigger.

Then when I was traveling alone with a baby, I made sure I packed several toys. Old toys which I had hidden for a while. They would get distracted easily. Adalah lagi byk tips. Kena betul2 buat buku ni... hehehe!

jabishah said...

Hi Kak Yatt,

Cuti2 Malaysia updated. Don't worry 2 hari je. But knowing me, I can't do it briefly. Takde kick! Layan je lah... hehehe!

But geramlah the vid can't upload. I did something with Photostory.

jabishah said...

Hi Uncle,

Waaa... your siblings are all over the world. I'd love to travel up to your place. Niagara Falls will surely make my day!!

Nadeen is at her 18th month. Time flies!

jabishah said...

Hi Oldstock,

Yes, have to compliment on the girls. They are easy to travel with. I'm very much firm with them & they know the do's & the don'ts pretty well.

Just got back from Melaka. Blog updated.