Chicago Brussels

When you are flying five miles above the Atlantic ocean, it's hard not to be amazed by a few facts:
  • The ingenuity of man, and his amazing flying machines
  • The ability of ones mind to forget the fact that there is only a thin veneer of cushion and metal between you and 5 miles of air, then 1-2 miles of ocean water
  • Your forethought in taking the window seat, so you don't have to get up every 30min when nature calls for the wife

The other fact is that you are cursing the people at Tylenol, for their PM variant is not working, and instead of sleeping, the above three thoughts continue to run through your head, keeping you awake. But sleep does come sporadically.

We purchased these tickets the day before we set our wedding date. The best price was flying out on Sunday, Sept 26th, so we thought to ourselves, "What would be a good day to get married?".

It would be a bit weird to get married after the honeymoon, so we figured we'd go with the stale old convention of marriage before honeymoon (boring, I know), and we picked Sept 25th. Yeah, we setup the honeymoon before the wedding.  But I think we were more stressed out about how to rent a car in Milan, than our wedding ceremony.  But the ceremony itself was fun, and a tad on the informal side. Curious as to how it went? Click Here. Be warned, though. It gets a little sappy.

Our plane landed in Brussels, Belgium, where we had an hour layover.

Brussels Milan

What is there to say about an hour layover in an airport terminal, after little sleep for the last 7 hours, other than.....zzzzzzzz.  Oh!  sorry about that.

The best sleep of the "night" I think was on the hour flight from Brussels to Milan.  I actually felt pretty decent after that trip.  We also got a decent breakfast, but we weren't that hungry, so Lin-Wei snagged the two pastries and put them in her bag. 

Milan Verona

We arrived at Milan's new international airport, Malpensa, around lunch time.  To me, "Malpensa" sounds like "bad thought" in Spanish, and I'm going to come right out and say it isn't far off the mark. Our guide book agreed, calling it one of the worst airports in Europe. Nothing, of course, beats Frankfurt, Germany's airport, but Milan is trying very hard to compete.  This airport is about 20 miles from the city, with no public trains going to / from Milan.  That didn't bother us, though, because we were renting a car for the next part of our journey. 

They have a pretty large area where all the rental car companies are located, but of course ours was around the corner, in a little
nook.  We actually couldn't find it for about 10min, and I was starting to freak out.  But we located it finally, filled out some paper work, and the guy guided us to the car park.  When he pointed out our car, it was hard for me to keep a straight face.  Here was a blue vehicle, that looked like and American SUV, except reduced in all dimensions by about 50%.  Since we were Americans we must want the biggest car they have, but to call this car big is an insult to all things medium.  The European version of the SUV, I guess.

It was a two-hour drive from Milan to Verona, or first destination, and we got on the road just fine.  They said Italian drivers were pretty aggressive, and it is harder to drive there, but after living in Chicago for 8 years, I think I'm probably ready to drive through the downtown area of some Turkish metropolis.  But after a while, tiredness started to creep in, as well as hunger.  We still hadn't eaten since our light breakfast, but Lin-Wei came up big time, and produced the pastries from the plane.  God bless those Belgians.  That really hit the spot, gave me my second wind, and we made it to the outskirts of Verona.
It was a nice wedding if I do say so myself.
It was very difficult to stay awake and keep the driver awake. The snack I took was very delicious, I wish I know where I can get some. Of course, everything tastes good when you have not eaten in over 10 hrs. But even after eating that, I was still very hungry. Iím just glad it was enough nutrients to help Al get to Verona safely.
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