I love being able to get on a plane and go somewhere. Maybe because I didn't board my first plane until I was in my early 20's I have never lost the feeling that flying is a bit of a novelty, a bit of a decadent treat, no matter how many flights I take. It doesn't matter that the flight is all of an hour, or that it is back to my hometown. I love all of it - the airport, the takeoff (my favourite bit) and trundling my trolley around purposefully with that smug feeling of "I'm going somewhere!".
We did have a minor hiccup on the way back to Auckland this time. The flight my daughter and I were on was fully booked and for some bizarre reason we hadn't been assigned priority when it came to sitting together. I know people can choose their own seats but I have always assumed that a child and their parent would automatically be prioritised to sit together. But apparently not, as our seats came out four rows apart, and I was unable to change it on the automated check in as the flight was so full.
Upon realising this, my daughter immediately started crying, and I swung into purposeful mummy mode and trotted up to the Air New Zealand counter and very nicely asked the lady there if she could shuffle some other people around so we could sit together. She took one look at my daughter's distressed little face, and said, "Of course! We have to have you sitting next to mum!" Then she pressed some buttons and was also unable to reassign our seats, so she took our boarding passes up to the boarding gate, where they were able to move some other people around so we got to sit together. So thank you Air New Zealand, and especially to the lovely lady who helped us out. Four rows doesn't sound like much to an adult, but it would be a LOT to a six year old surrounded by strangers and completely unable to see mum over the high seats.
Speaking of trips away, I caught up with cesca on my trip down south, and after a couple of coffees we concocted the idea to take a road trip up to the Bay of Islands one school holidays with our kids and Tiki and her kids and rent a bach somewhere and drink lots of wine. (Minor detail: Tiki doesn't actually know anything about this idea yet, she was volunteered to take part without her knowledge).
I have a few other plans for trips soon as well. Moving to the North Island has brought out the adventurer in me again. I love the South Island and think it is spectacular, but I know it so well that going somewhere there for a weekend or week away wasn't really much of an adventure when I lived there. In contrast, the North Island is a bit like an almost unread book to me - I know the first chapters – Auckland and Wellington – and that is about it, so I'm looking forward to finding out more. It's so cool that if I drive out of the city for half an hour I'll be somewhere completely unfamiliar to me.
Barring a lotto win, big overseas trips are likely to be off the agenda for a few more years anyway but it doesn't matter – it's a lot of fun to explore our own country and a lot less expensive. Although I have been telling my daughter since she was two that when she gets old enough I'll take her to Antarctica. I definitely want to do that trip while it is still there to go to.