So hopefully everyone’s finally figured out the irony of the title of this trip report, in that I didn’t really ever make an effort to see or do anything particularly Middle Earth-ish on this trip. Next time, I guess. But anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed everything thus far. This part has been a joy to write, because everything was simply fantastic. Thanks for your patience and your wonderful comments. The Plan As a quick review (explained more thoroughly in the preview for this trip report), I built this trip around First Class availability on the Qantas A380 for the long-haul between Sydney and Los Angeles. The cost was 72,500 AAdvantage miles and a relatively small amount of fees (American doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on Qantas flights). In order to maximize the value of the ticket, I booked my return flight starting in Christchurch with a one-night layover in Sydney, followed by the long flight back to the City of Angels, then onward back to Dallas for a whopping 3 days rest until I left again for a work trip. Getting out of Christchurch I had a restless night of sleep after being followed and passed slowly by the same SUV full of guys yelling at me while walking down a mostly unlit street in a so-so area of Christchurch. I’m a big and relatively strong guy, and it takes a lot to make me feel threatened, but this was full-on fight/flight feelings. I always joke about my two-step process for… read more
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