It’s been a long day and we are gathered at the gate in LAX waiting for our 10pm departure for Auckland and then Christchurch, New Zealand. We met at 9am this morning in Baltimore and although traveling 14 hours already, we really begin our adventure abroad tonight with our 12 hour flight to Auckland! The Griffiths twins just challenged the Morris/Somers cousins to a card game and they were quickly joined by other student teams! Others are knitting, chatting and making that last cheap call home. Miranda is under her blanket in her stroller and once we board that plane, I suspect several of those ragged stuffed critters hanging off backpacks of the big girls will come out as we settle in for the night. Rumor has it Claire even stuffed her favorite – an old one-eyed worn green dinosaur – that made this very same trip in 1999 in her bag!!! Signing off for tonight and our next post will come from Middle Earth! Happy New Year!