The planning, the anticipation, the excitement, the trip! It’s finally here! Traveling abroad is still such a thrill! And we’re on our way! (I’m Italian American – I’m passionate – I use a lot of exclamation points.)
Our day starts at Portland International Airport. The smart-a– at the check-in who says oh I see your bags are going to Manilla. Would they eventually be making it to Milan? Since in prior trips, my bags have taken off on their own before I was just a little concerned that I would be living in my traveling outfit for the entire trip. I inquired again and the counter agent realized he mistook MAN for Manilla instead of Manchester.
Next when you show up at the gate you don’t want to hear – “we don’t have seats for you.” What? Another check-in, hiccup. Uh Oh. Well, not much we can do other than hope they find seats for us so we can get onto the next leg of our trip.
As luck would have it, they found us seats 29 E & F. In case you are not familiar with where those seats are located on this Alaska plane, let me tell you they are the v-e-r-y last seats on the plane. Well, at least we got a seat. The flight was extremely bumpy, so the one and only glass of water they poured us landed mostly in my lap and on the floor. If they would have handed out napkins I could have sucked some of the water out of it.
On the positive side, they offered free movies. However, I would have gotten seasick trying to watch one with the turbulence we were experiencing. Vegas here we come!
From Las Vegas to Manchester England we took a Condor flight. The plane we were on had changed since I originally booked it and our premium booking was actually first-class in this plane layout so it was quite a nice flight over the “pond”. Not the lay down bed seats, but definitely premium seating.
When we landed in Manchester we had an amusing experience. We go through security and they put us in a holding area to wait for other passengers who are going on to Italy. So here come the Italians! Ten of them. And they enter this holding area – but wait – one of them is detained because he has a knife in his bag. There is a lot of explaining going on, none of which anyone understands because the gate security doesn’t understand the man’s Italian and the Italian man doesn’t understand the gate security man’s English. It was humorous to watch, except that I really needed to visit the ladies room and couldn’t leave this holding area.
So finally security escorts the bunch of us through the airport, tags us into another area, and we’re following at a quick pace not wanting to lose sight of the security person or the Italians, lest we are left behind. So as we are passing bathrooms I’m almost crying/laughing because I have to use one soooo badly. It’s almost something out of a Monte Python movie – you know the scene – “walk like this”. Anyway, we get to a certain point in the airport and the security person disappears. Just disappears. You don’t let 10 Italians and two Americans loose in a UK airport without instructions – what were they thinking? The Italians are mystified, we are mystified – all just standing at the duty-free area wondering what to do.
A few minutes later we wander around and find a reader board that shows our flight to Milan and realize there is no gate displayed yet so we just continue to follow the Italians. We know they don’t know where they are going, but we figure there are 10 of them and we have a better chance in a crowd, right???
Three countries in one day, well, technically two days with the time zone changes, and two slightly weary travelers arrive at their destination. Antimo is at Milan airport to meet us – all is good!
First stop is the mercato! We pick up some food and wine for a few meals at the villa during our stay.
Villa in Como. It’s quite modern inside.
We walked into town to a local pizzeria and picked up a couple of pizzas for dinner. I don’t know what I like more, the cute pizza maker or the pizza oven. 🙂
Antimo is serving dinner tonight with a smile!
Dinner on the veranda in the courtyard surrounding the villa. We discovered that almost all the rooms have a balcony, including the bathroom!
Time to call it a night! Either I’m not standing up straight or the table tilted. Buona Notte!