I have made it home in one piece and not too tired. I started my journey with a Starbucks chai tea latte at Melbourne Airport after exchanging most of my currency. May I just say that Air New Zealand has awesome planes? I have suffered this Pacific journey on United's old stock for too long. I was able to enjoy more seat and leg room in economy and the self-entertainment options that your own screen the seat headrest allows.
Our plane was delayed for an hour in Auckland as they had to deal with "engineering difficulties," aka they couldn't get the engines to start. However, they did the equivalent of using jumper cables to get things going and away we went! The plane was surprisingly empty and I managed to get a row to myself. It wasn't the most comfortable way to lay down, but at least I got some sleep. I also enjoyed two movies on the flight "Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten" and New Zealand film Rain.
It was a comedy of errors once we landed in San Francisco. First, since we were late they had given away our gate so we had to wait for them to find us another one. Then they couldn't get the jetway to connect to the plane, so that was another 5+ minutes delay in getting off the plane. I did breeze through customs, grabbed my luggage and headed out to the Airporter, which came quickly. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic along 19th Avenue, but it cleared once we hit the Golden Gate Bridge.
It's amazing how quickly I have adjusted to being back home- doesn't feel like it's been 10 months since my last visit. There will be lots to do for the wedding, but I also plan to find time to catch up with people.