02 October 2015

2015 ITALY 3 - And Away We Go

Picked up the new iPhone 6 on Monday (it is a beaut in gold-tone), so that was our alarm today. It went off at 07:15, but we were already awake and rarin' to go. Mike showered and then made coffee and bagels with cream cheese while I showered. Finished packing, straightening, and did last cuddles with Bella. She definitely knew something was up. More lovey than usual.

It was hard to leave our baby-cat, but at 09:00 sharp the car motor started and off we went on the 118-mile, 2-hour drive to Dearborn, MI. We each had two bags--a small but stuffed carry-on size to be checked and another actual carry-on with tech stuff and reading material. It was 48F degrees, sunny and crisp. A few trees had just barely started to transform into their fall colors.

In Dearborn we met our long time friends Lynn and Sandy, who are traveling with us. We chatted a bit and then headed to a new (for us) restaurant, La Pita Mediterranean. It was mostly middle eastern cuisine. Mike and I got the veggie combos. It was all very good, but way too much food. Thinking back we really did not know what we were in for. We left feeling a little guilty about the leftovers, but no way to keep them til our return. Anyway, it was tasty, healthy and filling, and a good base to start the trip.
Lynn had arranged for a private taxi with Bruce, the cab driver. He was running a little late but got us to the airport on time. It was smooth sailing through airport security--maybe the easiest ever, no lines, no issues.

We left on Delta 132 to Amsterdam on time at 16:08. The aircraft was an AB330. Mike and I were seated in Economy Plus, meaning a little extra leg room. The trip was a little bumpy, but not too bad. Mike had Bonines on hand for queasiness. We had a window seat and one next to it, so a great view even though the flight was mostly over water. We watched a colorful sun set zip past our window.

Years ago on international flights you got a hot towel to refresh you at the beginning and end of the flight. You still get them, but not quite the same. Back then they were called oshibori towels (a lot more exotic sounding) and were scented with Germany's "4711" cologne. No more, but still refreshing.

Meals (dinner and small breakfast) were generous, but typical airline "cuisine." I won't bother to write details because not much to talk about. Flight crew was pleasant (always nice when you get someone without a chip on their shoulder).

Here are some stats at the halfway point.
On board entertainment these days is abundant. There must have been 20 movies to choose from on my own personal monitor. Plus TV shows, games, and music. I started off with "Pitch Perfect 2," but not nearly as entertaining as the first and on the raunchy side. So soon moved on to "Aloha," with favorites Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone--a bit of a love story with a little tech mystery mixed in. Then needed something really light, so watched "Paul Blart, Mall Cop 2." It was mindless but cute at a moment when I was not really paying attention.

Time flew by and so did we. Due to high tailwinds we arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport about 20 minutes early at 05:35 the next morning. There was an efficient immigration check and we headed to our next gate.

An aside--don't know why this is coming out in two fonts. On my work page it all is in Verdana, but when published it shows several fonts intermixed. I have spent too much time trying to fix. The content is all there, so we will all just have to live with it, even as picky as I am.

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