Fandango’s Provocative Question #184

Fandango is our host and his question this week is simply:

What was the best vacation you ever took and why?
This has to be my trip to NZ in 2010.

We had been toying with the idea of me going to see Bro for well over a year but there was always something to put me off, the most important one being cost. We were looking at several thousands of pounds and as we were struggling to make ends meet on our income, it seemed selfish to go.
However, in February 2010 my BIL died. He was only 9 months older than me and it was the catalyst to put the wheels in motion for my trip as it made me realise you never know what’s around the corner, and if you put things off too long, it’ll soon be too late.

Bro was thrilled when he realised I wasn’t joking about coming over and it was agreed I could stay for two months.
I was entitled to a pensioners discount from the bank and this meant that I could travel First Class for the same price as Economy Plus. It was to be a one off trip of a lifetime, so we went for it, dipping into the lump sum payment I got when I took my retirement package from the bank in 2006, which so far we hadn’t had to touch.

Hubby and our friends could not believe I was not excited. I was, but not overly so as it was new territory, a long trip on my own to a place I’d never been and no chance of having a trial run first, so I guess I was more anxious than excited.
A friend had Maggie while Hubby drove me to Heathrow and I disappeared into the First Class lounge to wait.

It was a wonderful experience. I had a proper bed, pillow and duvet, my own entertainment console so that I could watch videos, play games or follow the flight’s course (as Hubby was doing at home apparently), plus gourmet food served on proper crockery with proper cutlery and linen napkins. There was a stop in Hong Kong to refuel so passengers had to disembark and again I had access to the First Class lounge which included the use of a shower and provided a buffet.
The flight out took over 23 hours and Bro was waiting for me at Auckland airport. I was so glad to see him!

The next two months were a flurry of mini treks as my SIL ensured I saw a lot of her beautiful country and experienced some of their traditions, stays with her sister in another part of the country, a visit to a friend in Napier on the coach, a seven day mini trek on the Overlander, ferry and train taking in Wellington, Picton, Kai Kora and Christchurch. I had a Whale Watch trip whilst in Kai Kora and walked the 5 kilometers from the Whaleway Station (I kid you not!) to the hostel which resulted in the biggest and sorest blisters I have had in my life. By wearing two pairs of socks and leaving them alone they were actually OK.

That was also the time the earthquakes hit and Hubby was on the phone to Bro asking him to put me on the next plane home as he didn’t want me pancaked over there! Bro lives on North Island so it was a long way away from the quakes,  though when I visited Christchurch, it was a bit unnerving when I was in the shower and felt movement beneath my feet. What to do? Run out covered in bubbles, a blush and a towel, or finish quickly and get dressed. Nothing came of it, but shortly after I returned to the UK in October, the big one hit and the hostel I was staying in was badly damaged. I contacted the head office and was assured that everyone was OK and thanking me for my concern.

The return flight was again via Hong Kong and the trip took 25 hours due to the time differentials.

Would I go back? You bet. If things had been different, Hubby and I would have emigrated there, but we had no qualifications, our age was against us and we didn’t have enough money. Now it’s doubtful either of us could cope with such a long journey, but I have my memories, my journal and about 2000 photographs on chips and CDs up in the roof.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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7 Responses to Fandango’s Provocative Question #184

  1. Fandango says:

    Thanks for sharing the story of your memorable trip, Di. What great memories you have from it.

  2. Nope, Not Pam says:

    New Zealand is beautiful, I’d like to go back 😊

  3. murisopsis says:

    I’d love to visit there! I think my favorite vacation was with the boys to Disney World when they were about 9 & 10 years old… We had so much fun as a family!

  4. Carol anne says:

    what a trip Di! I’m so glad you got to go! It sounds fab! ❤

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