The man shook his father’s hand and said a brief but warm goodbye. It was a mild Sunday evening at Auckland International Airport and as he walked across the concourse into the terminal he was glad to have arrived the requisite three hours before departure, allowing for a stress-free check-in and plenty of time to clear security. His upper lip felt light and free after the moustache trim he’d had earlier in the day and it felt like a good omen for the journey ahead.
It had been a good day for packing. Cutting down to only one jumper and two sets of trousers had allowed an easy fit for his ten days’ worth of socks, briefs, and t-shirts. He couldn’t remember the last time he had needed to refer to his packing list; he just packed by instinct now.
As he neared the Air NZ check-in counter the man waved and shot off a sheepish grin at his awaiting friends.
“Hey Ben,” said Tristan.
“Hey,” he replied.
Welcome back to Breakfast and Travel Updates for a thrilling third tour. Be ready for the narrative to unintentionally switch from breathtaking frontline journalism, to third person prose, to video blogging, just when you least expect it.
We flew out of Auckland at 9.45 pm on the evening of Sunday 5th May. We were on Air NZ flight NZ2, aboard a 777-300 bound for Heathrow via Los Angeles. The first leg went smoothly and I watched ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘The Notebook’ before sleeping for most of the remainder of the flight.
Bradley Cooper and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in ‘A Star Is Born’.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in “The Notebook”.
For breakfast I opted for the harder to spell but healthier option of muesli, with a side of fruit and yoghurt.
We arrived in LA after our first twelve hour leg and spent the next hour in the queue for border control. Unfortunately we hit a slight snag at the border where we discovered that we couldn’t use our working visas for transiting. And since we hadn’t applied for transit visas we were sat in a back room for half an hour watching the Avengers 2 and waiting to see if they would let us through. Lucky for us the US border control officers were merciful and we made our next flight with a few minutes to spare.
On the second leg Tristan and I watched ‘Assassin’s Creed’, and I watched ‘First Man’s and ‘Toy Story 3’.
Michael Fassbender in ‘Assassin’s Creed’. A triumph.
For breakfast I had “an omelette with a side of potatoes and tomato”.
We arrived at Heathrow around midday on Monday 6th May and had a lovely experience passing through Terminal 2|The Queen’s Terminal.
📸 Tristan Deck
Beth of the day goes to Tristan for drinking a pretty rough vodka Martini really quickly right before our flight.
Prank of the day goes to Ben for putting everyone’s complimentary headphones into Tristan’s seatback storage without him noticing for the whole flight.
Huge congratulations to Tristan and Ben!