The hour finally arrived for us to head to Italy for our preview trip. It almost didn't seem real.
We left Corvallis and headed north to Portland on Saturday morning 3/21. Our first flight would take us to Franfurt Germany on Luftansa. What a great airline. We flew on an A330, our route taking us northeast over Canada and Iceland, then down over Ireland arriving in Germany after 9 1/2 hours of flying. Katrina and Brandon slept a bit. I didn't sleep much at all. It was great having monitors in the headrests to keep our attention diverted from the long flight. I watched a couple of movies, several TV shows and occasionally checked on the flight status. Brandon was thrilled to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Katrina also enjoyed a couple of movies. We enjoyed occasional snacks, drinks and hot towels regularly throughout the flight.
After touching down in Frankfurt, we had to clear customs. Brandon and I recieved our first stamps in our passports. Brandon was excited because the customs agent let him stamp his own passport.
Our second flight lasted only 55 minutes, from Frankfurt to Milano. Katrina slept the entire time while Brandon and I marveled in the sight of the Alps. Wow, what a majestic mountain range. I can't wait to explore them in the next two years.
We arrived in Milano around noon local time. 10 1/2 hours of total flying time. Not too bad. Our goal for the rest of the day was to stay awake until bedtime. We checked into the hotel and hung out for awhile. After realizing how tired we were getting, we decided that sitting around was not a good option. We headed out in search of IKEA. All I can say is, thank goodness for our GPS purchase several months ago. There are two IKEA's in Milano. One is located closer to the north side of the city, the one we will most likely shop at. The second one is located farther south. We chose this one because it was located closer to Gianluigi's house, one of the ST engineers that Katrina will be working with. We were to meet Gianluigi and his wife for pizza later in the evening. We found IKEA. It was crazy busy, but not a lot of stores are open on Sundays, so I guess that was to be expected.
Later in the evening we enjoyed out first Italian meal. We joined Gianluigi and his wife ???? at a pizzaria. I had my first Italian pizza - the Margherita. This is a comm0n and popular pizza. Basically its primodora (sauce) and cheese. The pizzas here are made with very thin crust. They are huge. Typically you order your own pizza. Its larger than a dinner plate and looks like a lot of food, but because of the thin crust, you can eat most of it all by yourself. Katrina had a pizza as well. Brandon had pasta withe sauce and parmagiana. He was in heaven since pasta is one of his favorite meals.
We made it to bedtime. Our travel day and and first partial day in Italy was a success.