14.09.2014 - 16.09.2014 24 °C
We were woken on Sunday morning at 5.30am by our beeping alarm. Time to get up and get ready for the taxi that was due at 8.00am to take us to the airport.
Breakfast, showers, final packing and we were ready which was fortunate as the taxi arrived early. Off we set, 45 minutes later we were at Rome airport. We checked in, went through the departure process and then waited for our boarding call at 11.55am.
The flight from Rome to Singapore was good. The meals were good, the movies had been updated since our trip over which pleased the girls and we all managed to get a little sleep. We arrived in Singapore at 6.00am the following day to 24 degrees. Straight off the plane and into our transit room for 11 hours for some much needed sleep. We slept for about 5 hours then headed out into the airport terminal to find something to eat. After "lunch" we looked around the terminal for some last minute duty free shopping and the girls had a leg massage.
We boarded the Singapore plane for Christchurch at 7.45pm all quite excited as we were getting closer to home. Again, the flight was good, great meals, inflight entertainment and we all managed a little sleep.
9.00am on Tuesday we landed in Christchurch,cleared immigration and went to collect our luggage before heading to customs. Three of our four bags we on the turnstile but one was missing. A bag the same as Mackenzie's was on the turnstile but when Mackenzie took it off she realised it wasn't hers. The same bag, same coloured ribbons on the handle but not Mackenzie's! A baggage claim noticed Mackenzie's perplexed look and came over to help out. She checked out the back of the turnstile and said there weren't any other bags like that to come through. She took the name off the case and paged the owner over the airport intercom. No response. She told us to wait a minute and she would see if she could find the lady. Five minutes later she returned with Mackenzie's bag - the lady was just about to get into a taxi when she found her. We were all relieved and thankful that it happened in Christchurch and not overseas somewhere.
Following that we headed to customs which was fine then we had to have our bags x-rayed - a new experience for us. All passengers off the flight clear immigration, customs then have to pass their bags through the x-ray before exiting the airport. Great to know that we have such good security.
We had a three hour wait in Christchurch before our flight back to Invercargill. A text to Jan and a phone call to Mum to let them both know we were home in New Zealand safely then we headed to get a cup of tea and wait.
The time passed fairly quickly and we were on our way home. Fantastic to arrive in Invercargill and be greeted by Mum and Jan. Three of Mackenzie's friends were also there to greet her - fantastic surprise and such a nice thing to do (Thank you to Simone's Grandmother for taking girls out there).
Back home to Gimblett Street, a quick bite of lunch with Mum and Jan (all ready for us with heaps of baking too!) then out to pick up Sam the pup from the kennels. He looked well cared for and was pleased to get home too I think.
We had a wonder trip filled with new and exciting things, met some wonderful people -we have all learnt so much.
We all had input into our trip on what we would like to do and see but Peter organised it all - such a huge job. Thanks Pete for all your work - it was a trip of a life time and has given us all such wonderful memories as a family. What an awesome experience for the girls - something they will always remember.
It sounds a bit cliche but there is truly nothing quite as good as home. Familiar surroundings, fresh air, a backyard, speaking a language that everyone understands, great food and last but not least family and friends. A lot things we tend to take for granted.