Africa for two months I wasn't exactly looking forward to another day of travel and long haul flights. However, how could I say no when my parents asked if I would come home for the holidays (and that they would pay for my airline ticket)? I began my journey on Air New Zealand with a Melbourne to Auckland flight. Since last year they have installed self check-in for international flights which meant I wasn't standing in a line for an hour and got through fairly quickly. Unfortunately the flight was delayed for around 45 minutes due to the knock-on effects of an earlier power outage to the control tower in Melbourne.
As we arrived in Auckland I learned that there would be a 3+ hour delay to the Auckland to San Francisco flight due to mechanical issues with our original plane, which they were replacing. This isn't what you really want to hear when you are about to embark on a 12 hour flight. In any case, I killed time in Auckland airport and Air New Zealand did give us food vouchers, so at least I didn't go hungry. We finally left Auckland at 10:45 pm and made up a half an hour in the air. I entertained myself on both flights with my usual eclectic choices in movies to watch: "We're The Millers," "The Way Way Back," "The Internship," "Frances Ha" and "Mr. Pip."
On arrival at SFO I zipped through customs, but then there was an issue at baggage claim with a door that jammed and it took nearly an hour for my luggage to come out. I really felt for the people who had connecting flights as a bunch had already been rescheduled due to our delay leaving Auckland. I was expecting bumper to bumper traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge all the way up the 101 considering how the day was going, but thankfully I made it into Marin with little issue. It's nice to be back home to see family and friends and celebrate the holidays (especially as I wasn't expecting to be home for Christmas this year).