I'm not quite sure which way is up yet, and it feels absolutely freezing, but we're here.
Petra flew very well. She slept for most of the long flight from Vancouver to Auckland. She didn't like the bassinet they gave us, preferring to sleep against our chests, which made for some stiff parental arms and shoulders. Travis and I got enough sleep even so, arriving in Auckland in a mostly functional state.
The flight from Auckland to Christchurch was filled with Japanese tourists on some kind of tour. As they passed Petra each of them paused to talk to her and touch her hands – it was like we'd formed an impromptu receiving line. And one woman spoke to me very earnestly in Japanese (a language I know nothing about). She was so earnest that I thought I'd left something behind and rushed back to check, but I think she was trying to impress on me how lovely Petra is.
Petra slept from Christchurch to Dunedin, so she arrived in better condition than Travis and me. We were beginning to fade badly by then. As we stood up to leave the plane, I made eye-contact with the woman in front of me. We stared at each other for a bit and then I said, "I know you." She knew me too but wasn't sure how. We worked out though that her ex-husband used to work with me at the university and was friends with one of my ex-boyfriends. We'd been casual friends – we had some dinners together, I babysat their toddlers (who are now teenagers) a couple of times, that sort of thing. And we hadn't seen each other for more than a decade, but there we were on the same plane. Dunedin, it's a small place.
We arrived into a party. Six people in three cars turned up to collect us from the airport and drive us and our enormous pile of luggage into town. Then we went to my visit my cousin and his little girl (who's two weeks older than Petra) – who just happened to be in town for the week. We hung out in a room full of people for a while. Petra has gotten very outgoing all of a sudden (A developmental phase maybe?) and worked the crowd even though she didn't know anyone. Travis and I weren't quite so lively – we don't have Petra's stamina.