We flew out of Auckland 7:30pm 17th Nov - business class luckily (thanks Waikato DHB). We got to use their cool new sleeper chairs that during normal use are a chair plus ottoman, but fold-down to a roughly 6ft bed. Its a bit cramped but muuuuuch better than sitting up for 12hrs in economy. Even the food was good. So was the wine :-)
Logan had one fever on this flight but it wasn't a bad one and panadol sorted it. Logan managed to get a few hours sleep. I got less but that was still more than I expected. Great, friendly service by the AirNZ staff.
We got to San Fransisco at 11am local time (8am NZ). The next flight was at 12:51 so we thought we had lots of time but by the time we cleared customs, picked up our luggage, and made our way to our next gate we were only waiting 10mins - time for a coffee and a croissant.
Next flight to Washington DC, flying United, was a bit more cramped. We were in business class so there was enough leg-room for Logan. He dozed a bit but no real sleep. Food not so good, but great scenery, and an unexpected bonus - more on that from Logan.
Finally into Dulles International airport at 8:30pm local time (3pm NZ). That's one seriously big airport we had to get onto a subway train to get to customs/baggage claim. Spent ages at customs. Picked up our bag and then waited and waited for the wheelchair to arrive at the Oversize area. I eventually went to find some official to help. Of course as soon as he arrived so did the chair.
Next step find our ride. Or not. There was supposed to be someone waiting with our name on a sign but we waited and waited. We walked/wheeled up and down the exit area (200m long!) for an hour. The information booths were closed. I could not get my phone to dial out. We were just about to get a taxi when we saw the driver walking by us.
So now it's 10:30pm. 45 min drive to the National Institute of Health with a Redskins fan for a taxi-driver. Admission, examination, blood extraction. It's now 2:00am (almost exactly 24hrs now). I rang Tracy to tell her we had arrived OK. She had some interesting news - more on that later. Finally we get a lift to the Childrens Inn which is less than 100m away and into a room for a bit of sleep.
Back up again at 6:30am to get back to NIH for a 7:30am appointment. More poking and prodding. Back to our room for a snooze, back to NIH to the cafeteria for some lunch, then back to our room for some more rest.
Hiya guys, Logan here. As dad has said, we had a loooong plane ride, business class Air New Zealand was great, comfy chairs, good food (but not really to my liking, but still good), and great service. Unfortunatley I can't really say the same for united, it nearly turned out to be a rather strenuous, boring and uncomfortable, but it wasn't quite as boring as I had expected. For who happened to be sitting directly behind me but Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe, most noteably known for his show "Dirty Jobs".
We landed, and since everything so far had been successful and easy, of course we couldn't find our driver, and what do you do, when you've landed in a forien country, no transport and basically no idea where we are going? Nothing, for what could you do, so we walked up and down that long room, just walking/rolling. eventually we found our driver, we were so relieved, altough we couldn't agree on whether or not he had been standing there waiting for us when we had checked the exit he was waiting by several times. But he was nice, we talked about sport and several other things as we rocketed down the motor-way in our van. finally at 11 o'clock local time, i'm tired and looking foward to bed, but noooooo, they needed to take my vitals, talk to me, take bloods which are not fun when you're having trouble keeping your eyes open. And what should happen when they try to take bloods the first time, it doesn't draw any, here this nurse is wiggling this needle around in my arm, trying to strike the vein and i'm not allowed to move my arm at all.
Eventually we reached the childrens inn, which is lovely might I add. As you enter, a giant pillar with a fireplace at it's base grabs your attention, really the whole thing is simply too hard to explain. But the part I was looking foward to was our bedroom, which we reach for a lovely 4 and a half hours sleep. And that is where I will finish my part of the tale, for today has been fairly uneventful.