About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Flying Home - 13 Hours

We woke up at 3am so that we could be at the airport by 4am.  After loading all of our luggage back into the mini van, we headed to Malpensa.  We had a plan to make check in easier.  We would drive to the departure terminal doors.  Brandon would grab two luggage carts.  I unloaded the van.  Katrina returned the van to Hertz and met us at the check in area.  Brandon and I managed to fit all of our luggage on two carts.  I dragged my bike box behind.

We were the first in line for check in, our plan.  The woman checking us in was very kind and patient.  We did have a little scare when she said that Stevie's health records needed to be in English - they were only in Italian.  She checked her manual and seemed to decided that this was only for dogs in the cargo hold (We would later discover that it was for all pets, but it all worked out).

We checked our bags and paid the extra baggage fees and overweight fees and the cat fee and bike fee= lots of euro.  That's what happens when you move from Italy.

Passing through security also went very smoothly.  Katrina had to take Stevie out of his travel bag and carry him through the x-ray machine, but they did just fine.

Once through security, we had time to grab a bite to eat before boarding the plane.  One perk of traveling with a cat is that you get to board early.

Our flight to Amsterdam went smoothly.  I slept most of the way.  Stevie slept as well.

The most stressful part of our trip was the connection in Amsterdam.  He had a little over an hour to deplane, walk to another terminal, go through immigration, arrive at the gate and go through security (international flights from Amsterdam have security at the gates, which is kind of nice).

Security went well and we boarded the plane.  Our connection made us one of the last people on the plane, but we did fine.

By the way, I don't understand all the controversy about full body scans.  We had to go through these scanners in Amsterdam.   You walk in, stand for 10 seconds, then walk out.  I could see the screen and all it had was a basic body outline with some basic colors for body heat.  No details or body parts.  What's the big deal?  Why are people so upset by them?

Our flight to Portland went about as smoothly as a 10 hour flight can go.  Brandon played games on the personal screens in the headrests.  He also napped off and on.  I watched 3 movies and an episode of Big Bang Theory.  Katrina watched a couple movies, napped and read.

We touched down in Portland OR around 11:30am.  It took awhile to exit the plane, go through immigration, then collect our luggage.  We found all but two items:  one suitcase (of course, this is the one we packed with clothes and toiletries for our 4 night hotel stay) and my bike box were missing!  After making a claim, in which they told us they knew the missing items were on a Seattle flight, we headed out to the rental car area.

Our luggage, minus one large suitcase and a bike box.

We have a mini van for three weeks.  American mini vans are so much bigger.  We finally left Portland airport about two or more hours later.

When we arrived in Corvallis, we picked up our key and headed to Petco for a cat box and food.  We dropped Stevie and our luggage off at the house, then headed to the dinner.

Qdoba, oh how we have missed you.  Love their chicken nachos.  Brandon loves the tacos and Katrina loves the burritos.

This evening we relaxed in the room, reading and watching TV.  Katrina fell asleep first, then Brandon.  I stayed up for awhile catching up with my laptop.  

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