Tick tock, tick tock…

by Renae

The countdown clock is ticking to Wednesday, the day my son and I leave for Auckland, New Zealand!

All gear and new stuff has arrived:

1. Eagle Creek travel pillows from BackCountry.com (purple for me, slate blue for my son)

2. Coolmax travel blanket from BaseGear.com (one boring color but roomy!)

3. Baggallini ticket organizer/wallet from Amazon.com (black so as not to stand out)

4. Panasonic portable waterpik from Amazon.com (can’t live without my waterpik!)

5. Skooba skin laptop sleeve from CSN Stores (in the lovely shade of plum you see here)

6. Blackberry Storm from Verizon (love the phone, but ticked at Verizon, a story for another post)

Not to mention various other goods and sundries that I either bought or already had: books for reading on the plane, earphones for my Creative Zen mp3 player, sleep mask, earplugs, mini-toiletries to use before disembarking in New Zealand so as not to offend (toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, wipes, etc.).All of this stuff plus my camera will go into a carry-on backpack. I will also carry on my laptop in its very thin sleeve—the thin sleeve means it counts as a “small personal item” in lieu of my purse.I’ll actually pack my traveling purse in a checked bag. For the trip, I’ll carry my passport, license, boarding passes and money goods close to my chest, under my vest, in my new super thin Baggallini travel wallet.

We actually leave Tuesday, after the kids get out of school.After we pick them up, we’ll all drive over to Charlotte (two hours away) where I’ve reserved a hotel room for the night.Then, after a family dinner, hubby and kids will drop me and Matthew off at the hotel.We’ll catch a free hotel shuttle to the airport in the morning in plenty of time for our 9:45 am flight to Los Angeles.

We’ll arrive in LA around 3:30 EST, 12:30 PST.And we’ll have to hang out at the airport until 10:30 pm EST, 7:30 pm PST, when our Air New Zealand flight takes wing over the Pacific!If we’re able to check our bags in LA shortly after we arrive, then we may venture out of the airport—maybe head over to the famed “In-n-Out Burger” nearby.Maybe we’ll get a hotel room for the day.Or, maybe we’ll just hang out at the airport.My son has his Nintendo DS.I have my Blackberry and laptop.

Anyway, I think I’m more nervous now than excited.The HUGENESS of this trip is starting to hit me.I’ll miss my husband and kids terribly.But … I’m going DOWN UNDER!Auckland, New Zealand!Where it’s summertime! I’ll touch my toes in the Tasman Sea and experience the roaring surf of a black sand beach … and try mutton and fall in love with the accent … and see what their commercials are like … and their newspaper ads … and their radio stations … and their people and culture and land!How exciting!I hope this is just the first of many, many adventures!

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