So I might have mentioned something about blogging everyday while I was gone. And that might have been a bit ambitious. The wifi in the hotels we stayed at was sketchy at best, and I had a very difficult time uploading photos. I started this blog post on the train from Milan to Rome, so I didn’t edit it again to put it in past tense. The rest of the posts about my trip will follow shortly. As soon as I write them. Haha!
These are ALL iPhone photos, because it was just so handy and I didn’t want to spend my trip lugging my camera around. I just wanted to be on vacation.
Our trip starts on September 11th. I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I am a nervous flier. Booking me on a plane ticket on 9/11 doesn’t make me scared really, but it does give me the heebie jeebies a bit. Dave, whom I wish I had a cute nickname for like other bloggers do, doesn’t care about things like heebie jeebies though, he just cares about the days he can get off work. But who is to say who is right?
(While writing this last bit I realized that Dave does in fact have a nickname, but I’m not sure he wants me using it on the blog considering he doesn’t like me using it in real life. He is called Pockets. He is called this because I am always carrying an incredible amount of crap and he strolls around with his hands in his pockets. All. The. Time. In fact, just this morning I was walking through Milano Central Station with a suitcase, my camera bag, my purse and his laptop bag while he strolled around like he was on VACATION or something, and I was his Sherpa. I actually think people think I am the nanny when we go places because I have dark hair unlike the rest of my light haired family. And on account of me carrying all the crap.)
So we are flying Air Canada, which I hear has a lovely first class section for international flights. I say I hear because I have never flown international, therefore not first class either. I’ve done business class within North America, and it’s nice with all the leg rom and free booze, but I’m not getting the value there, kwim. However, on an international flight, first class is the shiznit. I kid you not, I was so absolutely delighted by everything that I couldn’t stop clapping my hands together, then texting Pockets. I should mention that he gave me his first class ticket (as he was flying for business) and sat in coach.
The conversation went as follows:
Me: Where are you?
Dave: 5 rows back, same side as you.
Me: I just went back and didn’t see you.
Me: My seatbelt has a pillow. (It turns out it was actually an airbag)
Dave: Mine just has a latch.
Me: Yes, but your seat comes with a crying baby!
Dave: At no extra cost!
Me: There’s a bottle of water at my seat!
Me: I got toothpaste!
Me: There’s a menu!
Me: I miss you.
Me: I’m getting champagne!
Me: Did you turn off your phone?
You get the picture. I was irritating ,hahaha!
My most favorite part of first class was the blanket, socks and reclining seat. As soon as we were in the air, I was playing around with the controls, finding the right balance of having my legs up, back reclining but still being able to see the tv.
The flight attendant came around and I had champagne. and then I had another. And then one more. The next thing you know, I am drooling on my own shoulder as Sex and the City 2 plays on, unwatched.
Honestly, I didn’t actually sleep well. It was a 9.5 hour flight from Calgary to Frankfurt and apart from getting drunk and half-watching a movie, I’m not sure what I did. We left Calgary at 6pm local time, and they dimmed the cabin lights around 9pm. I reclined my seat into a bed (it’s pretty darn cool) tried to sleep around 10pm, and the next thing I know it’s 1am and they have turned on ALL the lights and are forcing me to eat sausages for breakfast. It’s extremely disconcerting, and I’m pretty sure I was a grumpy pig for the last couple of hours of the flight.
Once we landed in Frankfurt, things weren’t quite as cushy. It’s kind of a big airport, with lots of German written everywhere, lol. And not so much English. Luckily German is oftentimes like a very hapi and kute version of English that it’s not too hard to figure things out.
We got lost and just made our connector in time, which was Luftansa. I will still in first class, but it was back like doing a trip in North America – just a bit more room and free drinks. Which I didn’t have because it was now like 4:30am to me. I still giggle about the lovely German flight attendant suggesting in such a happy way that I have some white zinfandel.
Landing in Milan was such a happy relief! It was incredibly weird though, ALL of the baggage carousels had Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers on them. In Milan. One of the fashion capitals of the world. So it was in a happy daze that we wandered out and found a cab to take us to our hotel. Once we were going, the meter kept going up and up and up. We actually flew into Milpensa airport, which is outside Milan. And a 90 euro cab ride. Hahahahaha! I didn’t book it, so I am free to laugh at Pocket’s misfortune. Maybe I need to start calling him Deep Pockets.
Milan was absolutely amazing. It was pretty much exactly like I imagined – amazing designer shops everywhere you turned. Cobblestone streets and fashionable people make it such a cool place. We only stayed a day and a half, but we were able to visit the Duomo while we were there, we had some amazing gelato at Grom (our favorite gelato place in all of Italy), had some risotto (a Milanese specialty) and visited some incredible shops. I had a “pretty woman” moment in Valentino, where they kept bringing me bags to try on. I was in heaven!
We spent a lot of time at street cafes doing some serious people-watching. In fact, it was our favorite pastime! Another favorite pastime was finding the best Bellini in Italy. They taste so much differently there – here it’s usually a slurpee-type thing, in Italy it’s peach puree or juice mixed with champagne. Um, best drink ever! Also, when you sit down to have drinks, they always bring you fun little appetizers. Sometimes it’s just peanuts or potato chips, but other times it’s bruschetta or meatballs or veggies or olives. For FREE! I definitely think that this is something North America should adopt.
We got a sweet deal on a suite at the Hotel Baglioni, and it was a gorgeous room. We loved the hotel, great restaurants, an even more awesome lounge. Delicious wine and cappuccino. Speaking of cappuccinos, did you know that it’s pretty much frowned upon to order a cappuccino or cafe latte after 12pm in Italy? They are “breakfast” drinks. Espresso is the drink for later in the day, and I tried one but it tasted like soy sauce. So every time I wanted a cappuccino, I snuck off to the McCafe. Don’t judge me.
More on the trip, including Rome and Florence, to come soon!