Tuesday, December 15, 2009

E Ticket to Italy

We are here! Ahhh, Bella Italia!

Lufthansa does it again!

It has been nearly two years since we have seen our daughter, Laura and her family. We have saved our money and longed for the day to be with them again. It is hard to be apart, especially when our little grandsons are growing so quickly. The only time the 7,000 miles between us is even remotely appealing is when we get to go and visit them in Italy. But it would not matter where they were, we would be just as thrilled to be making this trip to see them. And a whole lot of hugging and snuggling and chatting will have to be done before we can focus on the joys of another vacation in Italy! We are so happy that Jim's mom is coming with us. This means so much to Jim and I am thrilled he can have this experience with her. In a perfect world both sets of our parents would be with us and all the siblings and cousins too. We are big on family around here and love spending time together more than anything else in the whole wide world. So it's Christmas time and family time and we are so excited! Come along and enjoy the sights and sounds of Buon Natale in the old country!

We arrived via my brother, Steve, at SFO without a hitch. I was so grateful to finally get there after the weeks of preparation and saying to myself that last day, "Surely that is the last thing I have to do," when yet another thing would pop into my head.

When we arrived at the Luftansa desk, we were informed our flight had been delayed as a passenger on the flight coming into San Francisco had become seriously ill and they had to stop the plane in Canada. They were expecting only an hour and half delay, but that only gave us 25 minutes to connect to our flight in Munich to go on to Naples. Our situation was not unique as there were over 200 passengers making other connections on the flight. Fortunately once airborne we had just a normal, cramped in a tiny space, flight. For the most part it was smooth sailing and for that we were all thankful!

Getting through security in SFO was a hassle as Jim's mom, Gloria, set off the red lights with her hip replacement. SFO was child's play compared to Germany. When you fly out of Munich you know there is no possibility of a hijacking! It is comforting, in an invasive kind of way. However, that delayed us considerably and long story short we missed our plane to Naples.

After rushing like crazy and Jim running ahead he saw the flughaffen (flight bus to our plane) pulling away from the curb! When we reached the Luftansa rerouting desk we were able to use their phone just in time to call Laura and the boys, just as they were getting into their car to come and get us. We were all so disappointed to know that we had to wait until the next day to see each other. I felt badly for the boys!

After all the rescheduling we were instructed to go to the baggage areas and follow the signs to the Hotel buses. 45 minutes later we finally found it. In the process of wandering all over we discovered this great place in the airport that was an outdoor covered ice rink and Christmas Market.

Jim and Mom at the outdoor rink in the Munich airport
It was very cold and festive and beautiful. The Germans really do Christmas well. We wanted to stay a bit but felt we should push on to the unknown and unmarked place where we were to be picked up.

The Christmas Tree in the Lobby of the Sheraton

Luftansa set us up in a beautiful 5 star Sheraton Hotel, with shuttle service to and from the airport, two beautiful rooms, and two fantastic meals. Once we got over not being able to see the family that night we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed this serendipity luxury experience. The Germans are wonderful cooks or so has been our experience the two times we have stayed overnight there.

Their food is very hearty and tasty and different in a good way from American food. We enjoyed some beef stroganoff and lots of wonderful things we had never tried before for our late dinner that night. Jim and I had a wonderful night's sleep but Gloria fell asleep, and woke up and thought her watch said 5:00 am but it was really 11:25 pm so she got all dressed and waited for us to knock on her door to get up. Poor Grandma, she was exhausted and good-natured about the whole thing the next morning. So many adventures and we were not even to our destination until nearly noon the next day!


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bon Bon,
Didn't see a post but it means you made it to Italy safe and sound.
Good to know that! Don't know if you wrote something or not, but if you did it is not showing up.
All that showed up was some links to older posts.
Hope you are all having the time of your life!
My Dee was just over for din din
and did my hair, so I'll look nice
for Christmas! Just in case you haven't had time to check out the blogs. We are doing much better,
still some coughing, but feeling
way way better! thanks for your prayers hon,
merry Christmas
Love ya, Nellie

Caroline Craven said...

For some reason my computer is not letting me veiw you blog today. I'm sure it is something wonderful about all the fun you are having in Italy with Laura and her family. I miss reading it. I'll have to catch up with you next time.