Thursday, September 16, 2010

December 9th, 2004: London back to Italy

Now for our return to my folks home in Italy with more adventures in store. No photos this time around. (Original journal in regular text, comments italicized below.)

Thurs - 12/9/04
  • woke @3:45 a.m. & went back to sleep until 4:15 a.m. Cleaned up & got ready to catch shuttle to airport for Italy. Hope there will be breakfast after missing dinner yesterday... my growling stomach woke me up while sleeping. (But it was the best night of sleep yet!)
  • we went outside & caught the shuttle at 5:30 am sharp, then drove straight to airport
  • at airport, we checked in & I went to the store to buy the London double-decker bus for kids.
    Oh yes, that's right. I didn't actually purchase it the first time I saw it in the store. Got it this time around instead - less to carry in luggage while touring London/Paris.
  • went through security, then walked quickly to our terminal where they began boarding
  • "first-come, first-serve" seats, but we got a row of 3 open seats.
    Never had that experience before - no assigned seats on an airplane? How bizarre.
  • Mom & I were REALLY hungry, so Mom broke out her chocolate bar that we shared pieces of together
  • after take-off, the attendants sold food & I used my last 5£ from London ATM to buy a blueberry muffin & coffee
  • mid-flight I purchased a Ryanair airplane set for son
    ... and later he thought I just bought him a toy plane with a boy's name on it. No, that's an actual airline, bud!
  • we landed with a "bump"... Mom didn't enjoy that!
    She hates to fly, and the bumpy landing didn't make her experience any better.
  • on way out of airport in Italy, we met Ginger (our ride - a friend of Air Force friends)
    Air Force peeps are always around to help, rain or shine.
  • Mom & I hit the "toilette" and were surprised to find SEATS!
    Italian bathrooms are not known for being all modern like that.
  • went back to my folks house
  • took a 20 min nap, ate quick sandwich lunch & began re-packing
  • @1:30 we went to the local mall to "re-charge" phone cards
  • Dad charged the phone cards while Mom & I did some window/browsing
  • I found the Hello Kitty equivalent in an Italian store - since they wouldn't take credit card, M bought a few of the "Mitty" items for daughter's xmas present from her
    With all of the toy planes & trains I bought for the youngest, it was nice to find something for his sister.
  • stopped by another no-seat, no-toilet paper (in just one stall) and no-soap bathroom. (YUCK.)
    Why? Is it that hard to upgrade Italian bathrooms from middle ages to 21st century?
  • Dad returned and we were able to call back to the States from mall - it was great to finally reach them even though they were leaving for school (not much time) It's been SO LONG!
  • we left mall and went out to Padengni Castle near their house
    Not sure if link is to the right castle, but it looks very close.
  • returned to the house so Mom could change shoes (cobble stones)
  • back out to Sirmione for shopping (stationery)
    I could've spent days in Sirmione - so nice and resort-like by Lake Garda.
  • restaurants not open til 6:30 pm :(
    What is up with these late-eating Italians?
  • at 5:45 pm we drove toward their house again to find an open restaurant, then decided to cook pasta at home
    Nothing like home cooking in Italy when restaurants open too late for us Americans.
  • Mom & I cooked Italian penne w/meat sauce & it was awesome! :)
  • shower/hair/pack more - bedtime! (get up at 5:15 am tomorrow)
Next: Returning home from Italy.

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