The Big Move

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We’ve been talking about it for so very long and have taken our time over the process of moving, it feels so good to finally be here in Auckland, NZ.

Prior To Leaving

Before we left, we visited Kane’s parents in Orkney for a few days.  It was nice to see them and Kane enjoyed being home for a few days.  Leaving was a little strange because although we all know it won’t be our last visit to Orkney it will the last for a while and we have become more regular with our visits over recent years (mostly due to having such a good car).

We then had a nice visit with Kane’s Grandparents, who made us feel guilty for leaving it to the last minute.

After we arrived back at my parents house we had a very short time to finish anything outstanding and then we sold our beloved car.

On the Saturday we had nice visit from our friend Craig followed by a fancy dress hallowe’en party at my sister Jacqueline’s house.

The next day we were frantically finishing packing our stuff before we went out for a big family dinner at the local pub.

We still had some packing to do after the dinner too and we had to make some tough choices about what goes and what stays.  We had phoned to find out about the excess baggage charges as we were only allowed 1 bag each of 23kgs and any extra on our Edinburgh to London flight would be £9 per kilo plus £10 per bag!  Additionally Air NZ would charge us £35 per extra bag.  We had 4 bags between us and had grudgingly accepted that we would have to pay lots of money to take these things so we spent some time trying to weigh up if each item was worth the money.

After we finished packing we enjoyed some champagne with my family before heading to bed for an early night.

Day of Leaving – Monday

We were up early-ish to finish up packing and to check we had everything we intended to have.  My nephew Sandy had come to give us a hand and to see us off (although I think he just forgot to adjust his clock for daylight savings and that’s why he was early!)

My sister Elizabeth, my BIL Jim and my niece Hollie then came to say goodbye to us at the house before we jumped into the car and headed for the airport.

At the airport I said goodbye to my parents and to Sandy and Hollie and it was a bit weird again because I knew I would see them via the computer and talk to them all the time and we would all visit when we could.

After they left, we got checked in and surprisingly we weren’t charged for excess baggage!  I even queried this (how honest am I?) and was assured we were allowed 2 bags each.  I’m not so stupid as to question it any further so we were very happy with that! Probably could have taken more stuff.

Then Kane’s sister Alison and her husband Ross arrived at the airport and we had a drink and a chat with them before we went through the final security checks and on to our gate.

Flight 1

Edinburgh > London flight was good and uneventful.  I think I dosed for a little while and was disappointed that they didn’t feed me.  We arrived a little earlier than expected in London and got ourselves to the next gate for our Air New Zealand flight to Auckland via Los Angeles.

Flight 2

London > Los Angeles was a very good flight and I tried to set myself to New Zealand time by trying to stay awake as much as I could during this flight.  I had the middle seat so Kane could have the window whilst it was daylight.  I watched plenty of movies!  We got given a snack of some vege crisps and I got an L&P and then a little later we got a nice meal and I had some white wine with my meal.

Someone near us, and I think it was the man I was sitting next to, kept farting every 20 minutes or so and it was disgustingly smelly.  I nearly choked once.  I started putting my nose and mouth under my jumper after a while.  I really hoped he was leaving us in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles In Transit

I have a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles.  They always seem to do their best to scare the crap out of me but this time it was really nice and easy.  We got our passports stamped and grabbed a packet of crisps and some juice and got the free wifi password and updated facebook :)

Flight 3

Unfortunately the phantom farter had returned aboard, however it did get less as the flight went on.  I had swapped seats with Kane so I could get comfier to have a sleep and after I finished watching my movie and had some more food, I had a nice long sleep.  I woke up a couple of times convinced that I had missed a meal but Kane assured me that I hadn’t missed any meals.  I was so glad to get my breakfast because I was so hungry but at the same time I was worried that this would start off the phantom farter again.

Arrival Day – Wednesday

We arrived a bit earlier that scheduled into Auckland we got our bags and headed through customs and bio-security.  I was disappointed that there wasn’t any Border Control camera crews about.

We got through and then we bought ourselves 3 mobile phone sim cards and top ups.  One each for Kane and I’s mobile phones and one for our mobile broadband dongle.  That was really easy to set up and we did that over some hash browns from McDonalds at the airport.  We then saw who I think was the rowing team do a haka at the airport before we grabbed a taxi to our B+B.

We checked into our B+B and had a cuppa and chat with our host Bryan before we headed out to get the keys to our rental house. 

We were a little disappointed with our rental place initially because it didn’t have any carpets down just some vinyl in the kitchen and bathroom, the power wasn’t working and the front and back doors weren’t opening and closing properly.  We did the inspection and our landlord said he would get the power sorted for us and get the doors fixed.

We then headed out to find the shopping centre where our bank is and on the way we were asked by a nice old lady to help her sort out her washing line.  She had a super friendly cat called possum.  We chatted with her for a while and then headed to the shopping centre.

We went to the bank to get our accounts sorted but the personal banking person wasn’t there so we made an appointment for the following day and we checked out the other shops that were in.  We then went to the library to use their free wifi and then checked out some other shops at the retail park across from the shopping centre before heading back to our b+b totally knackered.

Day 2 – Thursday

This was a very productive day.  We had breakfast at our b+b and chatted to the German couple that were staying there also.  Then we headed out to get a bus to Parnell to pick up our rental car.  The google maps app on my ipod touch is great, it told me which bus to get on and when it was due, everything!  We got to the car rental place picked up our little car and then I drove us back to the b+b.  We then got our cases and checked out and headed to the new house.  We were very pleased to find we had power and that the doors had been fixed and after faffing about with the water we found out how to get us some nice hot water too.

We headed back out to the shops and again checked the prices of everything we wanted to buy.  Farmers had a one day half price sale on so we bought a whole dinner set.  We got our appointment at the bank and got that all sorted out and I was amazed that they could give us bank cards right there and then that we could use in the shops!

Naturally we then went to the shops and bought lots of stuff!  We got an air bed, pots, cooking utensils and some groceries and then we went back home and sorted all this stuff out.  We then had dinner quite late, about 8.30pm and then we crashed out for the night.

Day 3 – Friday

We phoned our parents in the morning and then we set about getting more furniture.  We tried Target and the Salvation Army shop but we couldn’t see anything we really liked.  We then went to Noel Leamings and Dick Smiths to look at TVs and we bought a new TV from Dick Smiths and I was cheeky and asked for a free DVD player and I got one!!

We bought a fridge freezer and a washing machine from Noel Leamings and I asked for a free vacuum cleaner, but I wasn’t so successful that time.  We did get 3 pairs of socks for free though :)

We also got ourselves some chairs at Farmers that were on special, buy one get one free so were were able to relax in the evening and watch the Mentalist on DVD.

Day 4 – Saturday

After some initial set up hiccups, I had a very successful skype video call with the pickle party this morning.  And since then I’ve just bee lazing about.  There are road closures today because of the rugby match that’s being held at Eden Park and because we fall in the zone, we have 2 free tickets!  So we’re going to that soon.  It will be cool to go into the new stand that they’ve been working on.

What’s Next

I’m going to chill out this weekend and then on Monday start the job search.  I’ll let you know how I get on!

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