Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday (Milan to SFO)...

A restless night. "Pillowmania" couldn't overcome "ineffective air conditioning-mania." Nevertheless, a very nice breakfast (including eggs, bacon, pain du chocolate, and the requisite cappuccino) took the edge off an early start. Took the warm Malpensa airport shuttle bus directly across from the hotel at Milano Centrale--a 50-minute ride seemingly to Switzerland :) Hugged Sherie goodbye--she is heading home to LA thru JFK on Alitalia and American. Check-in at Lufthansa and the security check point went smoothly. Gate A7. First leg is LH3883 to Frankfurt. Seats 8D/8E. Flew over the hazy Italian, Swiss, and German Alps. (We think we flew over Lake Geneva.) Circled Frankfurt and looked down upon tiny hamlets. Waved hi to Jeff's sister Julie and nephew Keegan (aka, Gunter) who live in nearby Mainz...we think. (Unfortunately, this vacation itinerary was Southern Europe, so we did not make it to Germany for a proper visit, and Julie is on some sort of field training for several weeks.) Landed in FRA, which was alive with World Cup Fever. (Turns out that we watched Germany beat Costa Rica yesterday 4-2 in the Piazza del Duomo in Milano.) Got free face paint to wear our national colors. Wound through an endless string of passport check points. Flight UA901. Discovered that "waitlisted" is United's way of saying "You're really sweet, but I like you as a friend." Sooooo found our seats in Economy Plus (Row 42, Seats H/J/K). Chris was able to switch with man seated between us so we could all sit together. Snickered when the flight attendant said 'duty'. Spent our final euros on wine. A few movies played, but on a 747 only a privilaged few at the front of the cabin can see the faintly lit screens. iPod to the rescue...Don and Mike save the day again. The North Atlantic was hidden by the clouds. Chris pulled out the pharmacy and supplied us with vitamins to survive the contagions on the flight. As Greenland approached, the clouds cleared and chunky ice appeared on the ocean below, followed by the spectacular mountains and snowfields and frozen lakes of Greenland itself. Lunch was traditional economy fare: salad, chicken with a creamy sauce, veggies (UGH...broccoli), and rice. Desert was yummy strawberry ice cream like you get in grade school...including a little spoon. Clouds over most of Canada. Entered the US over Washington state, over the Puget Sound. The clouds seemed to break up at the border, revealing the green, snow-tipped Cascade Mountains. The German meal for the flight arrived in the form of a snack over Oregon: a turkey and cheese sandwich with Mittelscharfer Senf (mild mustard), red paprika-flavored Chio chips, and a KitKat Chunky. Landed uneventfully at SFO. Luggage pick-up. Customs check-point. Foggy and 60 degrees. Home :)

1 comment:

Sherie Jane said...

Can't believe we're home! I left my amazingly bargained bag in Milan. Have already e-mailed Starhotels and they said there wasn't anything left behind. Oh so sad... Hope the kitties aren't mad like my doggie is. Oh and missed my connection at JFK because Delta boarded us over 40 minutes late for no seemingly important reason and then sat on the runway for another hour and a half. Made the later flight home. I know Family Home Evening is cancelled but I hope you eat something nice and full of protein after weeks of pizza and pasta. OH and I think I did hurt my ankle as I've not walked at ALL and it's worse than it was in Venezia... Nice...