Anchorage to New Zealand – Travel Days

Thursday night/Friday morning we woke the kids up for our flight at 1:30am. We’re big believers in letting the kids get whatever sleep they can at home before a late flight. They will still sleep on the plane.

The flight that started this adventure was a $400 from Seattle to Auckland. So he then found us a cheap ticket on Jet Blue from Anchorage to Seattle. But to make the flight times work we arrived in Seattle at 5am but didn’t leave till 5pm. The lesson we’ve learned is it’s best to book a hotel for the night before we get in. Then we show up at 5am and ask for a late check out. This way we’re not stuck waiting till noon to check in. Since this has worked for us in the past we stuck with this method. Don’t be tempted to go explore the city and see the sights. It’s worth the hotel cost to eat real food, and grab a few hours of sleep.

We ate the free breakfast offered by the hotel and then headed up to our room. The kids of course had slept on the flight. Neither Ty or I had though, so we were pretty wiped. We ended up letting the iPad babysit the kids for a few while we got some sleep. Best parents ever! šŸ˜¬

After our nap we went to the hotel pool to let the kids burn some energy. One of the things R insisted on bringing was this cheep mermaid tail. Also L loves the GoPro we got.

We ate lunch in the hotel restaurant before packing up and heading back to the airport. We actually check our bags in for this flight. They were all small enough for carry on but it’s nice not schlepping them through the airports. Planning for this trip we knew we would be renting an RV and it wouldn’t have huge luggage storage. So we used two duffles, and a roller bag that folds down. We also brought an empty duffle just in case.

Got though security quickly and went to the kids play area. However, we didn’t stay long due to another child pooping on the floor. šŸ˜¬ So we went to the lounge for a quick bit. Grabbed some snacks and drinks then went to our gate. Our flight was supposed to leave just after 5pm. However, due to weather in San Francisco we were delayed. The kids were starting to crash so I asked L if he wanted to nap in the carrier. Never expecting a yes, that’s exactly what he said! He went up on my back and 5 minutes into our walk, he was out! R soon fell asleep in Ty’s lap.

Thankfully we had a 2.5 hour layover in San Francisco so the eventual delay of 1 hour wasn’t a big deal. I carried L on the plane asleep and he slept the whole way there.

I’m always so thankful for the kind travelers who don’t mind a passed out kiddo pressing on them.

We got off the plane in San Francisco and pretty much just walked onto our plan for Auckland. We flew Air New Zealand and Ty had found out they offer a sky couch. The three seats on the side of the plane, the footrest comes up level to make a ‘bed’. The kids loved it! It was perfect for 2 people but when I tried to squeeze on next to them it was too tight.

So I pretty much just sat upright for the next 12.5 hours. But the movies were good. The food and drinks were all included. So that was all nice. The kids slept for at least 8 hours which is amazing! They came off the flight feeling great. We landed about 5am on Sunday.

Customs took quite a long time. But that was fine since the RV rental company doesn’t open till 8am. We took a shuttle from the airport to the rental shop and initially the company seemed great. We were super excited to get it, and get on the road!

We headed south to Waitomo, about a 2.5 hour drive. R of course threw up on the way. She’s got a self imposed sensitive tummy. But what’s funny is she pukes and rallies. We never even stopped driving. I gave her a fresh bag. L may have complained about the smell once but we kept on rolling. šŸ˜† We knew this might be an issue, so we brought their big boosters, so she could look out the window. We also brought ginger gum, and anti nausea bands. We’d rather she not actually throw up. We stopped by the grocery store and then checked out the Otorohanga Kiwi House.

It was a nice place to learn a bit about the kiwi bird. They’re super weird! We stretched our legs for a bit and then went to a quiet little campsite.

The owners converted a train car, an airplane, and a large ship into cabins you can stay in. He also built a Hobbit house you can rent.

I’ll wrap up here, continuing the saga later.

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