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Air New Zealand Review

Wonderful, as far as I’m concerned. There are several factors to this. In my adult life, I’ve used Air New Zealand twice to New Zealand, and both times it has been fantastic. 12-hour flights aren’t easy, but Air New Zealand definitely makes it easier. I’m surprised at the fortitude and endurance the flight attendants have for the whole entirety of the flight. Let’s go over the reasons why Air New Zealand rocks.

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

1. 75 movie choices. Yes, seventy-five. Usually you have to pay for even one movie, but here you get 75! They range from Despicable Me 2 to Whale Rider to 2 Guns. My goal is to usually watch one or two movies before attempting a sleep and then finishing with one when I wake up. Chris unfortunately watches like four our five and doesn’t get sleep. Go team.

2. Meals of decent to good quality. I know this doesn’t exactly sound like a compliment, but it is! Usually airplane food is blargh! But Air New Zealand does it well. I never had a stomach ache and everything tasted good, especially breakfast! Oh and both are free.

3. An epic safety video. I mean epic. It was completely Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-ed out! Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits galore! Even Peter Jackson made an appearance! It was such a good surprise. We were laughing the whole time. One of the few times I actually pay attention to airplane safety features. Last time I rode Air New Zealand it was Richard Simmons, which was of course hilarious.

4. No baggage fees. Yep. I couldn’t believe this one either. We did have to pay them going from America, but not back! It was so nice! Especially refreshing after Frontier now charges for carry-on items! Can you say rip-off!

5. Wonderful attendants. How would you feel serving a bunch of annoying Americans for 12 hours stuck in a small space high up in the sky? I would definitely not be cheery and helpful as all the Kiwi attendants were. They show that they care about the service you’re getting and want to help you best they can. Like the Kiwi people, they are friendly, laid back, and good-humored.

6. Wellington AirportI know this doesn’t necessarily count, but still. Check out the post. It’s awesome.

7. Free New Zealand wine. I can’t tell you how upset I was when I realized the wine was free and I didn’t take it! I couldn’t help but laugh when they were carrying the leftover bottles in the morning, saying “Wine, anyone?” Plus, New Zealand wine is among the best I’ve had. Before I didn’t like white wine, now I do! Yeah if this isn’t a perk of an airline, I don’t know what is.

DCIM100GOPRO

Those are just a few reasons why Air New Zealand knocks it out of the park. And yet another reason to visit New Zealand. If you’re going to fly to New Zealand, choose your Kiwi airline and you won’t regret it. It’s the best way to spend those 12 hours locked in an aircraft. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

The Coolest Airport in the Southern Hemisphere

Wellington, New Zealand, of course! No really, it is absolutely awesome. And that’s mostly because of Weta Workshop (which you will see in a later post), which created most of the props, weaponry and armor, and lots of the digital effects in Lord of the RingsAvatar, the Hobbit and more. They are truly amazing. More on them later. Tolkien fans will love this airport. I think the shock factor is a big part of this airport’s coolness. You just don’t expect what you’re going to walk into. And my family did a great job not saying anything (shocker there).

So when you get past checking and get into the terminal, you are first blasted with three huge eagles with Gandalf atop one of them hanging from the ceiling. I was totally amazed. I mean these are huge props, huge. We estimate 20 feet in each direction. Yeah it was literally awesome. Side note: recent earthquake in New Zealand (as in 2 nights ago) actually knocked one of the giant eagles to the ground! Nobody was hurt but…woah.

photo 2 (19)

And then you walk by more shops and restaurants, and then…boom. Gollum comes reaching in from the ceiling. And I don’t mean Andy Serkis-sized Gollum. I mean freaking huge–42-feet kind of huge! It’s Gollum’s head and arms reaching in for a fish, with bubbles about too! It’s really hard to describe how amazing it is. You have to see it in person to really feel the impact. Especially for Tolkien fans.

HE'S GONNA EAT ME

HE’S GONNA EAT ME

The rest of the airport is definitely unique too. All the shops are Kiwi-focused from Haka shirts to Kiwi poo to Merino wool everywhere! If you leave your shopping to the last minute, this is a perfect spot for you! Food options are also excellent, better than the average as far as airports go. Keep an eye out for awesome statues like dwarves and sheep. In addition, as far as security goes, it’s a breeze. Don’t even have to take your shoes off! Take that, America! Just kidding…kind of. Anyhow, if you’re looking for yet another reason to head to New Zealand, do not miss out on the Wellington Airport. 

One of a few there...

One of a few there…

photo 1 (18)

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  • Question of the Day: What is your favorite airport?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading...always

Nymeria kneading…always

Nerd Movie Marathon: Lord of the Rings

Every Sunday, we try to see two movies at discounted rates before we have to work in the afternoon. However, we’ve now seen 28 movies in theaters this year, and even though we skipped Sunday (because some of the movies we wanted to see weren’t playing and mainly because I have been very sick) because we saw a triple on Saturday!

Epic marathon

In preparation for the Hobbit, theaters were showing a marathon of all the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It clocked in at a whopping 13 hours and 27 minutes of movie watching. There were intermissions of 30 and 40 minutes in between each movie, but we wish they were shorter so we could keep watching. And we wanted more when it was over.

There were probably less than 100 people in the theater that holds 500 and the employees were saying how it was an underwhelming turnout. Basically, in terms of reviews, these are some of my favorite movies of all time. They’re all basically tens if you ask me. I have my favorite parts in each so I won’t rank them. And now we can’t wait for the Hobbit, which we have tickets for Thursday night at midnight with the family.

Hobbit poster

We got a free lanyard with a keychain, and even treated ourselves to snacks. We brought some goodies that we went to the car to eat, but we bought Skittles, Buncha Crunch (went so fast), and a large large root beer. And we renewed our AMC Stubs card, finally.

Fellowship: So happy, with beautiful landscapes and an upbeat soundtrack. Gimli in Moria.

Towers: So quotable, incredible action and big sound.

Return: The beacon is lit, Into the West incredible wrap up.

We love these movies so much which makes us so excited for the Hobbit. It was a pretty epic marathon, and we left with sore upper backs, but it was worth it. Everyone clapping, cheering, and laughing together. Everyone is so connected to these films The Shire made us want to go to New Zealand so badly. Soon! Much love to Tolkien for creating such an amazing world.