We could check in 12 pieces of baggage on Air New Zealand, however it would have been impossible to carry everything we have: a twin stroller, two babies, 2 large suitcases, one diaper bag, two backpacks and two GoCribs. We usually pack really light but with the boys and the fact that we have to travel and live off limited stuff till our container arrives in Palmerston North it is impossible to pack less than what we have even though it sounds like a lot but we needed to live in two places with temperatures ranges from 10 to 35 degrees celcius. In Shanghai and Hong Kong we had help hauling all this stuff but once we get in Auckland we would be on our own. I had a lot of difficulties finding a company that forward our luggage from Auckland to Palmerston North. Most shipping companies deal with commercial order, or international shipping. Due to security reasons, they also do not pick up anything from the airport, it has to be picked up from a hotel or residence. Finally I was lucky enough to get in touch with Novotel right at the airport and they would hold the luggage for pickup.
The flight from Hong Kong to Auckland was good. We were not too happy when we first got on the plane that the flight attendants insisted that we had to use the baby seat belt instead of the carrier – our boys do not like those seat belts and they did scream. And the CARES restraint system could only be used on economy seats. Thankfully it was a red-eye flight so the rest of the trip they slept pretty well. I am glad the seats were completely flat so Michael and I were able to cosleep with the boys and it was comfortable for me to lie down and breastfeed them that way. They did wake up a few times mostly due to the turbulence. I have to say it was the most comfortable long distance flight we’ve had and neither of us felt tired when we got in Auckland.
It was a cloudy day when we got in, our hotel Auckland Takapuna Oaks is in Bayswater, just a ferry ride from Auckland CBD. The hotel is brand new and very modern, really felt like home with a washer/dryer and two bedrooms. The living room was really big so the boys were happy to play in there too. When we arrived, they had two high chairs in the room for us already. It also has drawer dishwasher and a lovely huge balcony! We could walk down the pier and see the skyline of Auckland city, which was magnificent. I filmed the sunset one evening with time lapse it was great.
We didn’t do much other than visiting the supermarket and the organic shop in Takapuna, we also tried a Korean restaurant which was very authentic. It was a good rest stop from a long journey on the plane and to get to know how things work in New Zealand. Lin actually had a pretty bad stomach flu the second night we got in Auckland. At first I was really concerned, thinking that he ate something like a small toy but he continued to throw up violently especially after I fed him milk or water. In the middle of the night, we called the hospital, and was connected to the nurse hotline, they asked many questions about the symptoms and told us it was most likely a stomach virus and we didn’t need to bring him in but just let it run its course. We were told not to feed him anything until at least one hour has passed after his last vomit. And break milk only plus it’s the best thing he could have and plenty of rest. The next day he was getting much better. At that point, boys had been sick since August 11th, they passed colds to each other and then it was the stomach flu, Michael and I felt really stressed out, the reality really kicked in that we are now on our own and we really can’t afford being sick.