The adventure began at Auckland airport. After driving up from Hamilton, our family friends the Lauders took me from their place - which is basically just up the road from the airport, they'd also been babysitting mum & dad's vehicle for the week and would be picking them up shortly after dropping me off.
I checked in with no drama, which was a relief after last years debacle, had some breakfast and then went through security.
This entry will probably have you, like I have done, questioning the state of my mental health. I then gave my sister a call in the interim. I'm not sure if it was the stress I'd been under the past week or so, the medication I'm on to get rid of my cough, the relief, the realisation that it was finally happening after buying the ticket in February, and having a desire to come back since 2011, or actually the soon to arrive next generation of the family - but every time I went to say something about the baby I'd well up and not be able to talk.
After I got off the phone with Suzanne I saw mum had tried calling - they had got in from Vanuatu, so I had a quick talk with her also, before hopping on the plane.
The flight to Singapore was good - up until the last minute before the plane was about to start taxiing , it was looking like I'd lucked 3 seats to myself, but it was not to be - an attractive German woman took one of the seats. On average it looked liked there was generally 2 people to 3 seats. I made conversation with the German woman and found out she was from Berlin, was old enough to have lived pre-wall, and lived in the former East Berlin. It was at this point that I realised my fascination with how shit it was then probably wasn't the most sensitive conversation, and therefore drew it to a close with a slightly awkward putting on the headphones and seeing what movies were available.
The flight was basically in Sunlight the whole way, so I made no attempt to sleep, although I may've dropped off for a bit because one of the movies I don't remember the lead up to the end. I watched the secret life of Walter Mitty, and Anchorman 2.
They fed us dinner about an hour before we got to Singapore.
Singapore was alright - the butterfly gardens I walked the best part of a terminal to see weren't worth it - I assume because it was dark they were all hiding. I then went and had a shower and subsequently had a small bite to eat again so I could take my medication. By this stage I was quite ready to sleep, so looked forward to hopping back on the plane. Unfortunately this plane was packed full.
Now I don't usually say this, but about an hour in they fed us dinner (again) and I was already at capacity. I slept for a decent while, and once I woke up I watched American Hustle and X-Men: First Class. They then gave us breakfast, and I was still at capacity so to speak, so I wolfed it down and made sure I was the first in line for the toilet before the post-food rush.
On arrival at Frankfurt customs was simple, getting to the train station was not, it just seemed to take forever. Anyhow, I found it and the counter which was open and got myself a ticket into the central station, where my hotel was across the road from.
Because at this stage it was still only 8:30am I had to kill some time, so I went about having a look and trying to get a SIM card. Unfortunately that wasn't successful as any plan would only work in Germany, and I wasn't intending to stay in Germany. I made it back to my hotel about 1pm and went upstairs and crashed out, I think I woke about midnight but forced myself to sleep through until about 6am for breakfast.
Breakfast was a delight to the eyes - sausage galore, cheese, eggs mushrooms etc as well as healthy options. My eyes admittedly were bigger than my appetite, which I put down to not being well and jetlagged.
Basically I spent the day trying to formulate a plan of attack, but it got a bit much for me, so I went and booked another night (a third night) to relieve some of the pressure. Once I had done that I virtually went back upstairs and fell asleep. I awoke at about midnight, and decided that I needed to see a bit of Frankfurt so forced myself up and out and walked around the nightlife. To be honest it was a bit lame - basically I figured I couldn't have alcohol because I'm on antibiotics.
I went back to bed and got up for breakfast again. This time I went prepared with a little lunchbox in my pocket to try and nab the odd morsel for later, but I wasn't overly brave and only came away with one Swiss roll thing which is like a deep fried cheese stick.
I went across to the train station with the intention of sorting it out once and for all. Between us I got basically the information I needed, but it felt like information overload, so I took it away back to my hotel room.
When I got back to my hotel room I felt like I was freaking out, so I had a pray and also gave myself a pep-talk and then went about framing and going over what the train lady had given me to make it make sense. In the end I was happy with it, and went and bought a ticket and made reservations for the next day. Unfortunately by this stage it was also quite late in the day, so I didn't really have time to go sightseeing, especially after I had organised my accommodation for the next few nights.
I made a half-arsed effort at finding some dinner - some bier sticks from a supermarket, an ice cream and a cheese bun. Admittedly still not huge on the appetite scale. After a walk around again I went back to my room and slept.