Nothing like catching an international flight at the crack of dawn with little sleep and a raging hangover. Oh, and did I mention a whole cadre of screeching children (they really are screeching.....I just checked with the flight attendant to make sure it was not just me). As I type this on the Palm Pilot, Joel is sprawled out in seats 11 A, B and C with his headphones on napping. The pilot did fly us over Mt. Cook, Fox Glacier and a lake that I cannot remember the name of as sort of an extra added excursion. Quite nice.
We arrived in Christchurch in order to change planes to Queenstown around 2:15. It honestly took an hour to clear customs and passport control. I was quite surprised at how long it took but we did manage to make our connecting flight to Queenstown and visit the Air New Zealand Lounge for some tasty morsels and fine New Zealand Chardonnay to boot.
The flight into Queenstown was not all that enjoyable [for me anyway]. Two word best describe my experience and they would be "prop" and "plane". We also managed to bank at about 90 degrees when we came in for a landing. Mind you, I did not really see that as I was too busy clutching my arm rests for dear life. Apparently there was some fly over stuff and sightseeing too but I was too terrified to open my eyes for a good portion of the slightly bumpy flight. No one has to worry about visiting us in Queenstown if we move to New Zealand..........
We got to our accommodations around 6:00 and discovered that we had been upgraded to an amazing 2 Bedroom 2 Bath giant apartment that was all of 3 months old. Huge balcony with outrageous lake views, amazing kitchen, two drawer dishwasher, two flat screen TVs, washer and dryer, water pressure.........the list goes on and on. This is definitely a "$3500 a month unfurnished in an OK part of SF" kind of place. I am not sure the pictures do it justice but we tried. I think the pictures of the view from the balcony are pretty good.
Queenstown is a cute little town that is comprised mainly of tour shops, cafes, sports stores and tour shops. Oh, did I mention the tour shops. The weather is great, although apparently unusually warm for this time of year. We went to the grocery store to get breakfast stuff, sat on our balcony to water the lake and sunset and had some dinner in town.