I Stayed At A Strangers House.... (and it was a good thing)

April 17, 2017

A couple of times a year I travel to Christchurch as part of my wholesale selling season, which is basically travelling the country selling the collection to boutique stores. For the Christchurch leg of my trip I normally just do it a quick day trip.

Fashion Outfit Pic for Travel
My outfit for the day in Christchurch - I am SO glad I wore sneakers!

I hop on an early flight down and then get on a late flight back. I rent a car and travel around to different appointments with stores and hunt out new stores that I haven't seen before. It is a pretty hectic day but it is always fun.


It was the Wednesday when all of the fog hit Wellington and I wasn’t sure if I would manage to fly out since it was the morning. Lucky for me my flight was still on and we were in the air within no time and arrived only 10 minutes late. I was pretty stoked to have made it out so easily and felt like it was a pretty good sign for the day. Throughout the day I heard that the airport had closed and most flights were cancelled.

Lunch at the Shopping Mall
I always love eating at new places during my travels, these dumplings were delicious!

Things in Christchurch carried on as normal and I just kept checking up on my flight and kept getting told it was all on. So after my appointments I headed to return the hire car and was running a bit late (probably because I kept stopping to check if my flight was cancelled)

Kiwi designer Exploring Christchurch
Chilling out for 2 minutes before racing to the airport

I returned back to Apex Car Rental and they kindly checked on my flight, which still wasn't cancelled. However nearly every other flight was. It was not looking good. Apex very kindly agreed to hold on to the car and not book it in so that if my flight was cancelled at least I could come back and have a car til the morning.


So, I rushed to the airport and made it perfectly on time to see the flight get cancelled.




You know, I've been on this flight so many times but I have never seen an entire flight standing in line. It really is a lot of people. It took 2 hours to get to the front!!! There was a lovely lady I had met on the morning flight who I saw and asked what the counter had said to her and she had been booked on to the same flight the next day and been told they would not provide accomodation.

Cancelled Flight in Christchurch
This was only about a third of the people standing in line and that doesn't include the people who came after or before this pic!

Not quite what I was hoping for. An entire extra day. A day which I did NOT pack for.


Standing in line I met several people who were all really lovely. Turns out that having a cancelled flight really brings people together. I chatted to this lovely old guy, Arthur and his wife Nancy, they were heading to Wellington to help out their daughter.


Then I met their other daughter Diane who told her parents to go sit down as she would wait inline for them. So we chatted and eventually she asked if I had somewhere to stay. I told her that I was going to look for a hotel once I knew which flight I would be on. She then very kindly offered for me to stay at her place.


I would normally never stay at a strangers house but somehow the words yes came out of my mouth. She said that she didn't know me but that I seem to be a really nice person. After I said yes part of me was thinking that this was a little crazy and that maybe I should find a way to get out of it.

Stylish Dog
How cute is their dog??

We carried on talking as we waited in the line and by the time we got to the front she was no longer a stranger. I had her name and address which I texted to my husband to keep him updated. I felt good about staying with them but I didn't want to be stupid and naive either. Terrible stuff can happen.... I was pretty certain it wasn't going to but I had to safeguard myself anyway.


At the front of the line I then get told that the first flight they can get me on is Friday night. SERIOUSLY?? 2 whole nights and 3 days extra. I was not at all prepared for this, I didn't pack for any nights at all but then got told it would be one. As I was talking to the lady and said 'fine, just book it' she then told me that actually now that flight was booked and it was going to be Saturday morning. Well I am not proud to say it but I burst into tears. I just could not help it.


We then went back to Apex Car Rental and worked out that I could drive back the next day and it wouldn’t actually cost me that much, because it is a rental car it doesn’t cost to take it on the ferry, I’d just have to pay for my own ticket. So I jumped at the opportunity. It meant spending a couple of hundred dollars in car rental, ferry ticket and petrol but it would mean getting home the next day so it would be worth it.


It also meant getting up at 5am! The normal road to Picton is still closed due to the earthquake so it is an extra long way to get there.

early morning travel
It's really foggy at 5am! I had to stop for a pic of the town Amberley since I have a sister by the same name

I didn't sleep very well, as you can imagine, I was a little stressed and anxious that I would sleep through my alarm. HA! Sleep! I guess my body figured 'hey, we don't want to sleep through the alarm so how about we hardly sleep at all? Yea, that's a great idea'

Fashion Designer waiting for the ferry
A waiting for the ferry selfie - Not looking too bad under the circumstances and lack of makeup

It is quite a long drive to Picton but I got up on time and missed all the traffic so I actually had enough time to very quickly swing by Nelson. This was my first time in Nelson and it was far too brief. Basically enough time to get there, check out a couple of stores I had been watching online, say Hi, take a pretty picture and then get my butt to Picton. Where I then got to wait in the line for an hour before boarding, since I had a car.

On the Ferry in Cook Strait
Beautiful day on the ferry, the wind even makes for a fun picture - my dress flying up on the other hand was not so great. I didn't stay on deck for very long!

The ferry ride was quite nice, I sat in one of the observation decks enjoying hot chips and a hot chocolate. Apparently I like everything hot. As I sat just chilling out I ended up talking to a couple of other passengers. A guy and a girl who had to cut their trip short thanks to him breaking a leg. Not quite the way anyone wants to finish a trip so it was a nice reminder that although I was delayed I wasn't injured.

Desiree New Season Mirror Selfie
Sneak Peek! Wearing a new season sample because I didn't pack any clothes

Getting home that evening was amazing. I was so happy to see my family, even the dog was really excited when I walked through the door. Normally before I go away for a couple of days I say a big goodbye to all the family and I call the kids before bedtime etc but this time was different. I hadn't even seen anyone before I left that morning, I didn't say any goodbyes or anything. I had thought I was going to be home by dinner.

xx Désirée

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