Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day Nine/Ten - A Skinny Slice of Paradise and a HUGE Hunk of Flying

We missed out on our gourmet breakfast at our B&B because we had to make that 3.5 hour drive back to the Auckland airport.  We were a little nervous about what our penalty would be for our little car mishap.  Upon arriving at the car rental shop I elected Birch to do all the talking and let the woman know about the car.  Oh yeah, I should back track...we normally never add the rental car insurance but my parents had advised us that it is trickier than you think to do everything backwards in the car.  So last minute we added the car insurance.  So...when Birch told the woman about the little fender bender she was like, "No problem, just fill out this little paper and you're good to go."  Like NO PENALTY AT ALL!  We thought for sure we were going to have to pay a deductible or something.  I think I might be a believer in car rental insurance now.  Such a blessing!

Our flight from Auckland arrived in the Nadi airport around 4 pm Sunday afternoon.  My parent's came back from Ba and picked us up so we could enjoy our last six hour layover together.  We went back to Denarau Island and decided to stake out the Sheraton Resort.
Soaking up our last Fijian sun rays
Last sunset...not to be forgotten
Sunday was the longest day of my life...literally.  With the international dateline we endured two Sundays with about a total of 42 hours of travel time.  We went through international customs three times (not fun), four flights (one being an all-nighter) and a whole lot of airport time.  We got home about midnight Sunday (our second Sunday) and found the kids all sleeping peacefully.

As you can tell from the amount of writing (and the amount of posts) it would be hard to summarize our trip in just a few words or pictures.  Some of our favorite times were those experienced the first two days while we were at my parent's stomping ground.  We LOVED the bula spirit we felt everywhere!  Soaking up the sunshine and spending so many days together with my parents will always be special memories.  I'm so thankful Birch and I were able to see so many of God's creations and be reminded of his love for all his children.

To close I would like to share a tender mercy that we experienced after returning home:

As you all know last week when we got home from Fiji and I tried to download all the video's we took during our trip I found them no where to be found on the sd card.  I was asked to format the card -- which I knew would ruin any chance of retrieving the movies.  We had watched the movies throughout the trip and KNEW they were on the sd card.  All we could think of was that the last 40 hours of our trip were spent going in and out of scans through three different countries and perhaps even though TSA says that the scans do not effect the cards that it actually did.  I felt just sick about it and was so sad.  After doing some research online I found a program that promised a chance for retrieving the lost videos.  By this time our computer didn't even recognize the sd card and I was at loss with what to do.

Saturday morning I gave the sd card and camera to a good friend who is great with computers.  This morning at church he told me that he spent basically all of Saturday (and into the night) trying all sorts of programs and various operating systems.  Around 3 am this morning a 12 hour scan finished on the sd card and again it was giving an error message.  Then this morning his computer crashed and as he rebooted it he did so by an accident with the sd card still in the computer.  When his computer came back on it recognized a few of the pictures that we had taken with the video camera.  He said that he said a little silent prayer -- "come on, help the Dittos out."  He tried putting the card back and forth into the computer 3 or 4 times and then all of a sudden all 71 videos popped up.

Talk about a huge TENDER MERCY!!!  He brought me a DVD with all of the videos on it today at church.  I've spent the afternoon rejoicing and reminiscing!!!!  I am grateful for a good friend (and a smart one at that) that didn't give up and for the Lord that saw fit to return these videos to us!

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