So the adventure has begun! We subjected ourselves to a weird combination of excitement and sleep deprivation. With all the recent issues in New Zealand with the Aviation Fuel Crisis, we had some serious doubts we could get on our scheduled flight from Palmerston North to Auckland let alone our flight from Auckland to Los Angeles then on to London. However after working for much of the day we prepared for the journey with a final shower and meal then off to the airport courtesy of our taxi driver Anthony McGrath (Who secretly could not wait for us to leave so he could have the run of the place unhindered for 3 whole weeks). An Early check in at Palmerston North then off to the lounge for a Wine pre-boarding.
The flight was uneventful and On Time! We decided to walk across to the international terminal. At 8 minutes we reckon we would have beat the bus. Through security and into the International Lounge for a Bottle of Water and cup of tea for Jeanette and a Bourbon and Coke for me. Again an on time boarding to Air New Zealand NZ2 to our upgraded Premium Economy Seats.
11 Hours and several movies later and we arrived in Los Angeles. 3:00pm US Pacific Time: And the the fun (NOT) began. Even though we had a 2 hour transit before continuing on to London, we had to first go through US Customs. This involves a slow zig zag along with a few thousand others to use one of their machines for automated processing. We eventually got to a machine and processed the questionnaire, gave them our fingerprints and allowed them to take a digital photo, only to be rejected by the system and having to line up again (Another massive zig zag line) for manual processing. We arrived at the front of this line 1 hour 20 minutes after we arrived in the customs hall. This time we were manually processed which included being fingerprinted again and photographed again and for our trouble we got a stamp in our passport then let through! Almost an hour in a line with no questions, no issues. At least we were through. So into TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal we go. We had wanted to have a shower in the lounge but there was now no time. We had to return to our plane for boarding to London. Easy… No! Another massive line to go through customs screening for Exit. Shoes Off. Belts Off. Jackets and Jerseys Off. Only three items in each tray. Jeanette goes through the full body scan machine first and of course sets this off because of her titanium / cobalt knee joint. Result – She had to be manually rescanned with a hand scanner. Then she must have really looked suspicious and had to be subjected to a very invassive body search (Outside the Clothes) but every body part verified for contraband! Meanwhile I flew through the body scan and started assembling our trays back together to find one of our bags was missing. To The side Jeanette was now being swabbed for various drug tests. I located our carry on bag off to the side waiting for a physical search. Jeanette is given the all clear and we had to stand by while all our carry on was searched. We knew there were no issues with anything we had but it is a little stressful when your flight is boarding already. Finally all ready and having to race via the lounge (For Chilled Water) to our gate where we took our seats for the Los Angeles to London Leg.bit of food for me (Nothing for Jeanette with her intolerances and allergies) and a wee bit of rest and we arrived safely on time in London. It was such a contrast between the bedlam and chaos of Customs in USA to the cool, calm and super efficient entrance to the UK. It took Jeanette longer to goto the Bathroom than it took to clear customs. a 10 Minute wait for our luggage and we were released into general population where my brother Rick was waiting. 20 Degree temperatures, and a short elevator ride to the Citroen C6 executive limo
for the drive north to Cambourne where Rick and Dianne (The Domestic Godess) live.
Settled in with a quick Unpack as we are only here for a couple of days. Bacon & Eggs for Lunch and a wonderful shower to freshen up after the journey. A huge 500 metre walk to the supermarket for some essentials for the weekend.
Sea Bass and a wee wine for dinner before we head off to the land of Nod!. Until Tomorrow….
Such an adventure! Glad you made it in one piece. Say hi to Rick and Diane for me.
Glad you enjoyed the body search sis😜 Bloody ducky knee will get ya every time. Have fun oh and happy Birthday to Rick from me hope you all have a fab time ❌