Well, we made it after over 28 hours of traveling. We left home at 9:30 AM on March 16 and arrived in Auckland at 8:00 AM March 18 NZ time. That is actually 2:00 PM March 17 Central time.
The flights went well, all of the connections worked and our luggage showed up in Auckland after checking it in at the Omaha airport. Probably the only glitch, was lack of a boarding pass for the flight from LA to NZ. Turns out we were fully checked in, but for some reason they couldn't print a boarding pass in Omaha. Unfortunately we had to leave the secure area in Los Angeles to get them right away.
We were on a Quntas flight and they did their normal excellent job of makeing us comfortable. I think the seats in economy class are better that what is normally available most US flights. And we got pillows and blankets, two meals, snacks, luggage was no additional cost. Some of that was beause of the length of the flight and some of that was because it was Quantas.
Arrival in Auckland went smooth. Immegration and customs folks were friendly and efficentn and our transportation was at the airport to take us to the hotel.
So today, we worked hard at staying awake until 8:00 PM. It wasn't easy and we did allow ourselves a one hour nap this afternoon. But we rode a bus around to all of the key places. It was a local bus, but it allows you to get on and off when you want. So we say a lot of interesting places. We did stop at the zoo to see a Kiwi (it may be our only chance as they are nocternal). The zoo area is basically kept dark so you can see them in action (they use red lighting). I tried to take a picture, but it isn't very good because of the red lighting and the very low light level. I think my exposures were on the order of 6 or more seconds.
Auckland has an observation tower in the center of downtown. Late this afternoon we walked over and went to the top. A very nice view of the city, and all of its harbors and close in islands.
No pictures with this update, but I'll try to add some on my next update.
Meanwhile, your comments are appreciated.