Groan. A 2.40 am flight. Can you imagine anything worse, that too in December in Delhi? The day itself was quite relaxed since the packing was all done. We three even went down to the park as usual for our 2 hours of play (for the kids) and yak-yak (for me!). I got the kids back home earlier than usual and we finished the bath-dinner routine in record time. By 8 pm, they were in bed and asleep. I managed to get an hour of shuteye myself before it was time to leave. The kids were woken up, given a glass of warm milk each, dressed in their woolies, and off we went. They were wide-awake by the time we reached the airport and spent the next couple of hours happily playing in the children's area at T3 while the parents groggily looked on :) We boarded our Cathay flight to Hong Kong on time and an hour later, I was in the bathroom spilling my guts out courtesy a McDonalds smoothie that I had consumed at Delhi airport. By the time we deplaned at HK, I was shaken up but otherwise in good shape. We roamed the airport for a couple of hours and ate breakfast (pizza!) before settling in for the 2nd long leg to Auckland (10.5 hours).
The kids are generally very good on flights, even long ones. I suppose they aren't very hyper because even when they were toddlers we never had to run behind them in the aircraft aisle, or calm their crying or anything like that. Now that they are older, it's so much easier. Cathay, Singapore Airlines and Emirates rock when travelling with kids. The staff is friendly (ok I found the Cathay staff to be somewhat uppity with us Indians frankly), they hand out lots of goodies and the movie selection is pretty awesome. A&Y also sleep quite a bit when flying which makes it so much easier. Before we knew it, we were in Auckland, and greeting our friend who had come to pick us up.
We reached our friend's place and Y must have been pretty tired because she crashed in the car. We decided not to wake her up for a few hours. I think Ads would have slept if given the chance but we didn't want him to succumb to jet lag so we kept him awake until it was time to head to the zoo. A few hours of animal viewing later, we reached home, fixed an early dinner and allowed the kids to crash while we adults stayed up and chatted.
Day 2 - we headed out by 10 am on a day trip to the Waitakere ranges and Muriwai. We finished with a picnic lunch at a Pohutukawa glade. The Pohutukawa is a native NZ tree, much beloved of the country's inhabitants. It comes into bloom with bright red flowers in December and is also known as the NZ Christmas tree.
Here are some pics. First view of Piha beach and Lion Rock.
Ads writing his name in the sand.
This is the pohutukawa tree.
Some tree-climbing in the glade.
The gannet colony. It was very interesting - read more about it here. Each of the gannets was sitting on it's baby chick.