Departure: Sacramento to Milan

A pretty typical travel day with no curve balls thrown. Grateful for that. And I’m always amazed once we get to that first destination – in this case a Hilton hotel in Milan – how long the day actually is. It hit me when I realized I was wearing the same clothes I wore to work yesterday – yesterday, can that be right? – morning. Seems like a Long Time Ago.

I had a lot to try to pack into my last day before vacation so went in about 7:15am. Dan had the day off and he managed plumber and handyman visits who were doing stuff in the downstairs unit. I left work about 3:30pm. I didn’t get everything done and had resigned myself the day or two before that it would actually be less stressful to take my work laptop with me and do some work while I’m here. That breaks a cardinal rule of mine but there really wasn’t a way around it this time. Too much going on at work and that’s a whole other story.

We had rented a car the night before to drive to San Francisco one way. We left about 4pm; got to the airport a little before 6:30pm. Not horrible for that particular drive. Our plane left on time at 8:20pm.

So the really good deal on seats I mentioned in the initial post was essentially business class, round trip for both of us, for just a little more than we’ve paid for one round trip economy in the past. I will admit, made for a pretty comfortable 10 hour flight over.

Dan actually sat behind me, but on the way back, he’ll sit across from me, so with the privacy screen down we’ll be essentially facing each other.

 Not a bad way to fly. I’m about to watch “The Gift”, a slow-burn thriller starring Jason Bateman. The trailer made it look like it would be pretty predictable, but I picked it anyway, and it wasn’t really. It was slow but has some twists and a nice good-vs-evil-is-really-gray sort of theme. I enjoyed it.

We had guessed things wouldn’t be very crowded today and we were right. Heathrow customs and security was a breeze. We had time for Dan to take a shower in the lounge, and grab a quick bite for lunch before we made our connection to Milan. That flight was just 1.5 hours, we landed about 7:30pm local time. Milan is an hour later than London (9 hour total time different from home).

The Milan airport – Malpensa – is about 30 miles outside the city center. It took a little over an hour probably to get to our hotel, but all pretty easy to navigate. How did people travel before Google Maps?

The first leg was a train ride that, as you can see from the photo above, wasn’t crowded at all. Then we connected to a subway and took that the rest of the way. That was a little more crowded but it kept getting thinner the closer we got to the hotel because we’re north of downtown. Some regular folks going home, lots of well dressed (and heavily perfumed!) people going out for New Years Eve.

We, on the other hand, are not. We got to our room about 9pm and started settling in. It’s approaching 11pm now. Dan’s working and I may do some myself, or just see if I can sleep and do it in the morning. We’ve both only slept about 4 hours in the last 36 or so. (That’s on purpose – part of the manage jet lag strategy…)

With tomorrow being New Year’s Day, there won’t be much open here, and that’s OK with us. We’ll head to the city center (“centro storico” here in Italy: historical center) and see what there is to see. We’re looking forward to a relaxing day.

Happy New Year everybody!

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