Brisbane – Auckland – San Franciso
My boyfriend (now Husband!) and I had been planning our incredible 10-day adventure for six or so months and we were so excited it was finally here. We had an amazing Christmas with my family, in 35+degree heat, absolutely sweating bullets – so were really looking forward to a cooler time in San Francisco!
26 & 27 December, 2014
My blog posts are seriously delayed, but I feel like the mania of life is now sorting itself out and I am excited to get my travel posts up to date! We have some pretty amazing holiday plans in the works for the next 12 months, so in anticipation of those, I thought it might be nice to look at our last trips :).
We had our flight on Boxing Day at around 4pm, so plenty of time to get our bags packed and get to the airport and have a couple of celebratory drinks. We had both worked so hard that year and my Husband worked two out of three weekends, so we had not spent too much time together.
We flew Air New Zealand, because they are one of my favourite airlines, our first leg was just to Auckland, where we would spend the night and then head off to San Francisco the next night. We were both excited for our trip, once we were through customs the reality of our trip set-in.
We had a room upgrade once we were in Auckland, thanks to my Husband’s Accor membership, so that was a nice start and we could see Sky Tower from our room. The next day we went on the hunt for breakfast and went up Sky Tower, Auckland had beautiful weather and it was nice to spend the day there. We then packed up and headed to Auckland airport.
We had purchased the 3 hour lounge passes for the Emperor Lounge. It does not matter what class you are flying, anyone is welcome. I have used it a few times, they even have showers available, WiFi, food and booze. A nice way to relax before your flight! I would highly recommend it, I think it offers excellent value and gets you out of the mania of the general airport waiting areas.
We had managed to score two seats together on the plane, so no strangers near us. We got on the plane and loaded up our menu’s of what we were going to watch on the flight, I generally don’t sleep that well on planes as I find it hard to get comfortable. I am 5″9, my Husband is 6″2 and we are not small people, so 14 hour flights are horrifying. It turns out I didn’t have to worry, because I slept on my Husband for 9 hours of the flight! I had always flown solo or with my girlfriend, so that level of comfort is not the same, whereas your partner does not mind if you lay your legs on them (well, he didn’t verbalise it if he did mind).
Seeing the beautiful early morning sunrise over the San Francisco coast on Boxing Day (repeat for us Southern Hemisphere’rs!) was so exciting! The line off of the plane through to customs was insane! I have never seen so many people in an airport, but it was Christmas season, it must have taken close to three hours to get out of the airport. I love San Fran, I just feel happy there and have always had positive experiences in this airport.
First thing is first, coffee!!!!!!! Coffee and then the train into the city. We had booked to stay at Hotel Diva at Union Square – we had booked it for a great price, we stayed for three nights. Hotel Diva was centrally located, affordable and clean. It was only once we checked in I became suspicious. To be honest the entire chain of events was hilarious as we were both delirious from our travels. To start with, when we checked in the artwork in the hotel was, um, risque?
All of which was hilarious, I thought the hotel was amazing but maybe it was a sex-hotel and I hadn’t worked that out? The jury is still out ;). I would recommend the hotel it was fun, young, really well located and clean. There is also a Starbucks directly beneath it and Union Square is only a 5 minute walk.
I was pretty excited to be able to see the beautiful big Christmas tree in Union Square, I LOVE Christmas and I had always wanted to see Christmas in the States – we couldn’t quite make it for Christmas day but in the days afterwards, it still felt pretty special.
Our journey had absolutely shattered us, so we went on the hunt for food and ate at a little diner just up the road, black coffee, cheese sticks, wings, you name it. If it was bad for us and warm in any way, we were eating it.
The reality of our long-awaited holiday had kicked in! It was quickly getting dark and we were exhausted so aside from some snacks and checking out Union Square – we grabbed a bag of junk food and headed back to our room for much awaited sleep in a bed!
We had the next day to explore SanFran on our own timeline and could not be any more excited about it!
Our holiday was finally here! We had worked out that perhaps our packing of clothing was completely wrong – given it was 7 degrees. We immediately started laughing because we knew our next stop was New York which was definitely going to be colder!
I couldn’t wait to explore this gorgeous city, especially with my boyfriend at such a magical time of the year! Was sleep even possible with this much excitement? Turns out yes, and apparently I snored my head off!
Thanks for reading –SanFran post TBC!