SO IT BEGINS

(All journey posts are taken out of my personal journal [revised a bit], and will [at times] read in present time, when I wrote them)

Bilbo and I are sitting in the waiting area… waiting to board the plane to LA!!! I awoke this morn, packed the rest of my stuff, said my goodbyes to family & pets, then my sister drove me to the airport!

SQUEEE! INTERNALLY FREAKING OUT. Actually I don’t know if it’s even quite fully hit me yet. I arrived at the airport, saidΒ namarië to my sister, went through security, got my NZD (probably not the best idea to do currency exchange AT the airport…oops!) As I was waiting at my gate, I realized I hadn’t eaten yet, so I went and got a subway, and now I’m back. It’s almost boarding time!! NOW I AM ON THE PLANE! Haha! Waited for liftoff, got some Coke, read The Hobbit, & listened to music. AHH! Then I saw MOUNTAINS! And I’m not sure if I ever have before… so this was exciting! “MOUNTAINS, GANDALF!” (psh… I was excited about seeing these mountains, and I hadn’t even left the US yet! XD) Well, then I landed in LAX. Ugh, landing & exiting the plane ALWAYS takes FOREVER when you have to pee so bad… πŸ˜„ But finally I was in the airport, and walked ALLLLLL the way around from Terminal 5 to 2. Finally, I spotted Air New Zealand! I went inside, and already saw Hobbit things. πŸ˜„

Checked in, security, gate, then went to the bathroom to wash my hands, and all of a sudden some girl runs RIGHT in: “SARAAAHHHHH!!!” *HUG* XD!! Me: “HEY, wait, who are you??” πŸ˜„ It was ELVISH πŸ˜€ (one of my travel companions, and who I’m seated next to in the plane!) Apparently her & Arwen were looking for me, spotted me, then I ran off… and that explains her running into the bathroom and attacking me. πŸ˜„ AHHHH, it was SO awesome to meet these people!! Then we went to find Cheese (another of our Company.) We all talked of arriving, flights, people we have yet to meet, then decided to get food. Elvish & I shared a panini, and we all just chatted. After an hour or so, we went off to look for the fifth & final member of who would be on our flight: Jen! Almost immediately, we found her sitting at the gate, of course reading LOTR! We all sat on the floor, zoned out, Tolkien trivia’d each other, talked, and just relaxed until around 10 — TIME TO BOARD to NEW ZEALAND! πŸ˜€

Of course, I quoted: “If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been…” (http://youtu.be/4fCc4UOrmu8)

THIS PLANE WAS SO BIG. I LOVE Air New Zealand! The flight attendants are honestly so nice, and their accents just make it even more enjoyable! πŸ˜‰ JUST boarding the plane, we’re already having SO much fun!! Elvish & I found our seats in the middle, then discovered the Hobbit plane magazine, and messed around on the mini-screens on the seats, then we actually HAD to watch the AirNZ safety video — not by choice, for once! πŸ˜„ After that, Elvish & I started watching The Fellowship of the Ring. When I say watching, I only mean watching, without sound, quoting the entire thing word for word. This was seriously the greatest thing. Sharing a plane to NZ, watching FOTR, with another of my kind. We underSTAND!!! πŸ˜„ Hahaha, so awesome. Then ’twas dinner time.

About half way through FOTR, we stopped quoting as much, and sort of slept, or tried. Around 6AM-ish (Central time), I started The Two Towers, and tried sleeping more. Then around 9:30AM (Central), we both awoke for real, started The Return of the King, and got breakfast! Elvish ordered an L+P, a “World Famous in New Zealand” lemon drink, which she ended up loving & getting throughout the entire trip! OMG — in ROTK, right as Denethor says, “Noo! You will not take my son from me!” Elvish was looking out a window at the bright sunshine when someone closed the shade (ie., “you took my SUN from me…”) Probably a had-to-be-there to find it funny kind of thing, but it was hilarious. I just realized that last night was the 21st, and now it’s the morning of the 23rd. The 22nd (which was Thanksgiving) lasted for about 2 hours in the middle of the night for us! Haha!

Soon we began the descending! Counted down the kilometers and degrees by the seatΒ screens, got glimpses of NEW ZEALAND, finished ROTK RIGHT as we were landing (so, we learned the LOTR trilogy lasts theΒ exact time it takes to fly from LAX to Auckland!) We became very impatient & waited to depart the lovely plane of oh-so kind kiwi flight attendants… to Auckland International!!

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