Skipping November 9th, aka The Traveling There.
It took three days to get to New Zealand. We flew out of LA the night of the eighth, boarding a 10 hour flight which landed in Fiji. There we had a 12 hour layover layover which we passed being driven around the back roads by our taxi driver and searching for coffee.I never thought I would be in Fiji, and it was much like Mexico in a lot of ways, which gave me a strange sense of familiarity on this little island in the middle of the Pacific. The dreamlike feeling of our long flight, time change (we skipped over November 9th entirely) and island sojourn was intensified by the fact that the pilot had announced that Trump had won the presidency shortly after we took off, a fact which none of us could really believe.
After our 12 hours we're up we boarded another flight from Fiji to Auckland, arriving late at night the airport to find that they had FREE showers. The three of us went into those showers tired and bedraggled and emerged changed men, gleaming and happy. Once clean, we all found a quiet bit of airport floor, rolled out out thermarests, and got our first actual sleep in 30 hours.
We woke at 4 AM and blearily made our way to our last flight and then there we were in Christchurch and we picked up the defender and gulped down some coffee and eggs and just like that, we were off.