You start to realize how small the island truly is when you recognize other tourists whilst people watching at the airport. Perhaps they sat across from you at an island night show, or you struck up a conversation watching the dancers perform a free show at the market. Another reminder of how aviation has shrunk the world is the glimpse of a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. Initially I was not happy to find I had a window seat, as I prefer to be able to get up as often as I want without disturbing other, but I decided it might be worth it for the view o the island as we took off. Oddly enough I have Polynesian music on my device (from my early love of the movie “The Legend of Johnny Lingo"), so the sounds of ‘Te Vaka’ in my ears I left my little slice of South Pacific Paradise. After Rarotonga disappeared the layers and patterns of the clouds, back-dropped by the deep blue ocean, were completely mesmerizing and ever changing. The island music certainly set the mood and I can’t think of a better way to leave such a lovely part of the world.
My flight arrived early into Auckland and since I’m an IHG Credit Card holder my room at the Holiday Inn was free and I even got upgraded to a suite! Dropping my bags in the room I quickly headed down the road to the store to pick up some of the special flavors of ‘Tim Tams’. When I’d found out about these flavors my brother had asked me to send him some. Once I found out how much it would cost to mail them I told him to just wait and I’d bring them home. Luckily for him the store was only five minutes down the road because I don’t like wandering around large cities in the dark. Back in my room I succumbed to the pull of technology and connected to the free hotel wifi. While it’s nice to be without a connection, sometimes the backlog when you return makes me wonder if it is worth being unplugged. My current state (i.e. Alive & Well) was relayed to various parties, an email about my potential position at work was responded to, and photos were uploaded. Everything else was ignored...if you’re going to unplug you might was well make the re-plugging process slow, just in case there are unknown dangers ;)