Friday, July 19, 2019

The Long Journey Home to Camarillo, California

Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

Before we start talking about today's plane trip home to California, it must be duly noted that today was . . .

 . . . our 48th Wedding Anniversary!

What better way to celebrate our special day than to fly to a great vacation spot like California.

Where has the time and hair gone?

We were both anxious to start our trek and were up at 5:00 a.m. in order to take care of any last second issues before being picked up by Skorpions Defensive End Nicola "Baffo" Ruggiero and his beautiful wife Vanessa for the drive to Milano's Malpensa Airport for the first of our two flights today.

Baffo and Vanessa are both wonderful people who are expecting their first child, a boy, in August.

To make our pickup a bit easier, we arranged to have them meet us just around the corner from the Villa scorpion II at our . . .

. . . closest bar

Located just 50 meters from our Villa's front gate, it was just a much easier place to be picked up by them at 7:00 a.m., as it provided much more room without blocking traffic on our main road Via Virgilio.

It also allowed me one last chance for a cappuccino and brioche for a mere 2.30 Euros. Laurie opted to watch the luggage and wait for her morning sustenance until we got to the airport.

The view from Laurie's
guard post of the backside
of the Villa Skorpion II's
complex erected in 1430 A.D.

There have been several improvements and renovations to the original building over the centuries.

We bid the soon-to-be three Ruggiero family members a fond farewell and a big GRAZIE for the 45 minute drive to the airport.

The journey was in full swing!

Before getting into this line
we had to do our usual official
weighing of the luggage on one
of Malpensa's scales

We were concerned about exceeding the 23 kilo limit on each of our stored luggage bags and the 8 kilo limit on each of our pieces of carry-on baggage.

After our unofficial weigh-in showed that we were in need of only rearranging a few items in each of the four pieces of luggage plus doing a little creative pocket stuffing to meet Lufthansa Airlines luggage specifications.

We just hoped that they would not weigh our two backpacks.

They didn't and they even offered to check in one of our two carry-ons at no cost in order to create more overhead space on our flights.

We sailed through Security easily which surprised us given that we are at the heighth of the busy Summer vacation season.

Snickers for sale in
Malpensa's Duty Free store

Italian M&Ms Luigi and Guido
with a moonstruck Laurie

 Malpensa has a Starbucks

Death before dishonor!

We did both have one more cappuccino and brioche at an Italian bar in Malpensa instead. It was both delicious and much cheaper than Starbucks.

Our first flight from
Milano to Munich was on time
and would last only an hour

Thank goodness for our German airline's efficiency as we only had an all too short 65 minutes in Germany to make our connection with our second Lufthansa flight to our final destination.

We hoped that our bags would make the flight with us too.

Interesting airport sight as we
sped to our next flight gate


We boarded the huge Airbus and had been assigned separate seats. Laurie was in the main cabin as we entered the plane while I was told to go to the back of the plane and the "go up the stars."

I had never been asked to do this before as far as I can recall.

I was in seat 99G which had no seats behind me and allowed me room to fully recline without fear.

The 12 hour flight was a good one overall and finally, at 3:00 p.m. California time, we landed.

So, just 19 hours after awakening in the Villa Skorpion II, we arrived literally half way around the globe.

Now to start the
process of entering . . .

. . . the USA

The highly efficient customs process in LAX's Tom Bradley Terminal passed us through to our luggage carousel where all three of our bags awaited us!

Our son Michael was waiting for us. We loaded our bags into his car and we were off to Camarillo and Casa Contreras via the Pacific Coast Highway route but were a bit hungry.

Venice Beach's Baby Blues Bar-B-Q
is a favorite dining spot of ours

We were not disappointed in the least

After unloading our bags and having a good chat with Michael, we had one problem to deal with.

Neither one of our two cars would start, thank goodness that we are AAA Premier Card holders.

My car needed a new battery while Laurie's just needed a jump.

We were told that we needed to drive Laurie's car for about 30 minutes in order to completely charge her weakened battery.

We drove up to Ventura and back in order to be sure that her car would start in the morning.

We discussed our long standing EuroBall tradition of dining at the Camarillo Cronies Sports Grille upon returning to America.

Traditions must be observed

We ate lightly, sharing a club sandwich and fries.

It's good to be home!

1 comment:

David said...

Since I go to Starbucks a lot in the US (and occasionally overseas if they have iced tea, which is almost impossible to find elsewhere), I welcome the sight of a Starbucks at any foreign airport. I use it as an opportunity to get rid of my last foreign currency before boarding by adding it to my card balance.

Otherwise, yeah, stay away when in Italy.