Dario turned five months old on our day of departure. New Zealand was in the first stage of a biblical flood. We were due to depart at 5:45pm but knowing a little bit about cancelled flights out of Kerikeri we made a call at lunch time to try and get on an earlier flight. If the earlier flight was cancelled we would be able to make our connecting flight by hopping on a four hour bus ride. We would not have this option if the later flight was cancelled.
The bus ride went pretty smoothly but this extra four hours of travel probably broke us all towards the end. When we got to the international terminal we unloaded 12 pieces of luggage and set about checking in. Some sweet talking was required here as I did not have my usual Seaman luggage allowance. It was towards the end we realised we were missing the lucky 13th piece of luggage. Dario’s suitcase. Knowing the bus had to drop passengers off at the Domestic terminal I offered to run after the bus.
Personally I find running a positively futile and unrewarding pass time. Have you ever seen a runner smiling? Given my recent river injury, running to the terminal was probably the best and worst thing I could have done. After almost dying from a heart attack I made it to the terminal and located the bus, only to find it empty. The nice people at Air New Zealand had our bag inside. Sweating and swearing I calmly dragged the bag back to the international terminal and we completed checking in. Travel tip one. When travelling with over 80 kilos of luggage and a family have a luggage muster list which you can count up to before leaving any luggage assembly point. Include the baby in this list and your partner.
Marvelling at the speed and efficiency of New Zealand security screening I managed to leave my Traktor S8 and passports with security. So many plastic trays we filled. We discovered quite a cool parent lounge which is off towards the Airline lounges on the same floor as security. It has private rooms and a small rubberised pen for toddler containment. After a nappy change(not my own) we recovered the Traktor and passports and we were soon on what was the longest flight in the world(last year). Auckland to Dubai.
Dario had a bit of trouble during take off. The A380 accelerated a bit faster than our Citroen and we started rising a lot faster than his jolly jumper. He was soon crying and it took a while for him to settle into a sleep. He did sleep for his usual amount which turned out to be his last proper sleep of the whole 41 hour journey. I slept as I always do on planes, Anna not so much. Upon arising for breakfast service I realised that my bout of running had rendered my flight swollen feet practically useless. Travel Tip two. Avoid running at all costs on the day of departure.
Discussing infant flights with a few colleagues it sounds like Flight attendants are very well trained in placating and making a fuss of babies. We can vouch for this. Dario made many friends on board planes.
Upon reaching Dubai we were soon struck with the gravity of the trip we had undertaken. The best way to deal with gravity was to put Dario in a complementary push chair.