This is an area to discuss things I've done with my husband over the years to strengthen our relationship as well as observations I've witnessed that might serve to help others.
To say that moving to another country is stressful is the biggest understatement I could make right now. I really have no idea how to put all my emotions over the past weeks into words. It really is something you have to experience to truly get a feeling for what we've gone through.
Let me paint my picture here: the kids and I got over to Auckland. But not as we originally planned. We left Denver to fly to Houston and, after a 90 minute layover, grab an overnight flight to Auckland (roughly 15 hours). We started off late from Denver (because of hail AND a tornado) and showed up in Houston 10 minutes after our planned departure time. The ever-so-helpful people with United didn't call ahead (even after my request as well as another passenger's request to do so) to the airline to ensure they didn't leave without us. So, we got stranded in Houston overnight. I REALLY don't enjoy Houston. We'll just leave it at that.
We ended up getting flights to San Francisco the next day that connected to another flight to Auckland. The United service rep couldn't guarantee that me and my children would be seated together and didn't even make the effort to try. She simply told us to call the next day and see if they could figure something out. Oh, and they didn't give us any help with overnight accommodations (because it was the weather's fault, not the airlines). Grrr.... Luckily, I have amazing in-laws and they helped us find a hotel nearby and took care of that headache for us. (Thank you!!!!)
The next day, we got to the airport early and talked to a United rep. They told me tough luck on sitting next to my children. Luckily, the people on our flight moved around to make it work. However, I called Air New Zealand to check on our tickets with them to Auckland at the same time--not only had they identified that we were not seated together and "corrected that issue", but they also upgraded us into a seating section known as a "Skycouch". (Google it--there are videos discussing it. It was amazing) ON TOP OF THAT, they refunded the excess fees they had previously charged us when we had to change our flights. There is a reason they receive outstanding customer service rankings time and again--fly them if you have the chance, they are amazing!!! I've signed up for their frequent flyer program myself.
We had 8 full sized checked bags that we lugged through security and customs once we reached Auckland--and after 2 hours in customs, I come out with my children to see.......my husband in a head wrap, crying just outside security. I've never felt more helpless in my life.
Turns out, he had a head-on accident on his new electric scooter with a cyclist going twice as fast as him. He ended up getting a massive gash just above his left eye resulting in 10 external and 3 internal stitches. After taking the dressing off, I was highly amazed at the abilities of the ED doctor to stitch up the gash. Let's just say, it wasn't a great first impression of New Zealand for me.