Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Trip Home - Part 1

Our last day in California was spent doing some last minute shopping, including our "duty free" alcohol purchases, which included full Californian sales tax but still worked out as a better deal than buying at the airport, which you appear to be able to do only once you have already checked your bags in, making it a little difficult, thanks to the current restrictions on carrying Liquids, Aerosols and Gels in hand luggage.

The hallways of the departure area at San Francisco International Airport

We also picked up a couple of new bags to fit all the stuff we've bought over the last 5 weeks, including another four pairs of shoes I bought yesterday. I'd picked up a new pair of Nike runners the day after we landed, and they've served me so well in the last 5 weeks that I went and bought another pair exactly the same. I also found another pair slightly cheaper that I liked just as much, and ended up with 2 pairs of brand new Nike runners for less than the cost of a single pair back home. The Nike purchases were on top of another shoe purchase, that of two pairs of Converse All Star Hi Tops for a grand total of US$33 at the Converse Factory Outlet store, making it a total of three new pairs of Converse shoes I'd bought for myself on the trip.

This Maori inspired archway greets visitors to Auckland International Airport

Once we'd finished shopping, we headed back to David and Nicoles place to worry about packing. I'd decided that I would be happier having an extra bag that we had to pay for, than having to leave stuff behind or repack bags at the airport, both of which we'd ended up doing last year. As a result, we went from having three bags on the flight over, to having six bags on the return flight. Thankfully, Darrell hadn't bought as much stuff as we had, and he was able to check in one of our bags for us, so we were only out of pocket US$100 for the final bag.

This is the plane that flew us from San Francisco to Auckland

We left San Francisco International around 9pm local time on Saturday night, and it's now almost 9am local time in New Zealand, and we've been here since around 4:30am, although thanks to the international date line, it's now Monday morning. We'll landing in Perth around 7pm tonight, and both Kate and I are back at work tomorrow, so we're hoping to get as much sleep as possible on the way home. Fortunately, we had a pretty good flight from San Francisco, and both of us managed to get plenty of sleep. We're also camped on some comfortable seats at the airport and planning on stretching out for a few hours here.

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