We spent the day traveling to Oregon today.
We woke up at 3am, showered and hit the road by 3:30. Malpensa airport is about an hour from our house. We dropped off the rental car and checked in. We have three three large suitcases filled with books, gifts and wine. Two of the suitcases have small suitcases stuffed inside them. We have quite a bit of shopping to do, so we wanted plenty of room to bring things back to Italy.
Our flight to Amsterdam went smoothly. I think we slept for most of it. Once in Amsterdam we had to go through passport control and cross the airport for our next flight. At the gate we had to go through another security screening. This was the strictest security I have ever had to go through.
First of we had to be interviewed about our belongings, our destination and other general questions. Then we went through the x-ray machine, followed by a pat down. Everyone was patted down. They also chose every third bag or so to inspect. My bag was chosen, not at random, but because they spotted something. While all the other 'random' inspections were quick and easy, my guy pulled out each and every item until he found what he was looking for. Brandon had placed one of those little sand timers that you use for board games, in my bag. Apparently it looked suspicious.
Our flight to Portland was pretty routine. Brandon slept a bit. Katrina slept a bit. I dozed off now and then, but mostly watched the movies.
We landed in Portland shortly after noon. Our flight was about 10 1/2 hours. After going through passport and customs, we picked up our rental car and headed south to Corvallis, stopping along the way for a few tacos at Taco Bell. Isn't that just fantastic! Our first meal back in the US was Taco Bell!
Katrina had to stop at work to do load a program upgrade onto her laptop. Brandon and I drove over to Kmart to do a little shopping. I wanted to pickup a few things that were on my shopping list: socks, underwear, shorts, etc. We also drove over to Trumps to pickup the 2010 Walthers catalog so that I can dream and plan my new model train layout.
We finally arrived at the Noel's house around 5pm. It was fantastic to finally arrive and see our friends. We spent the evening hanging out. Katey made us a great taco dinner. We somehow managed to stay awake until after 9pm, which would have been about 5am in Italy.
It was a long day, but we arrived safely and are looking forward to a nice week with friends here in Corvallis.