Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Psychic Travel Log, Volume I

By the time you read this, it will be the 8th of July. I will have already been experiencing the 8th of July for longer than you have, unless you are reading this in Europe, because that’s where I am. At least, I hope I am. I’d better not still be in Portland at the airport!

You see, our family is on an amazing vacation to Italy, Austria, and Germany right now (hopefully), but I am writing this before we left. I was very skeptical of my ability to complete this column while on vacation with my family, since I’ll be traveling with my wife, my mother-in-law, and all three of our boys. I’m not even sure what I was thinking when I signed on for this trip, actually, but I have to assume I will be splitting my time between telling my children not to touch the five hundred-year-old piece of artwork and telling them to go to the bar and order me another Peroni. A bigger one this time.

Also, I’m not sure if Europe has the internet or Wi-Fi yet, so I wanted to be safe.

So, in lieu of three weeks of reruns or nothing at all, I thought I would write our European vacation travel log ahead of time. I have traveled extensively with my wife and her mom, and I have lived and traveled with our three boys all of their lives, so I am already pretty sure how things are going to go.

Psychic Travel Log, Volume I – Milan

We started our trip at the Sacramento International Airport. Like many things in Sacramento, it’s a smaller, duller, less awesome version of a regular city’s airport. It recently got the “international” status by finally offering a flight to Canada. Actually, it’s really a flight into Seattle with an optional bus ride to the border, but apparently that counts.

When we checked in, the gate agent said, “You’re going to Milan?”
“From here?” she asked, with a puzzled look on her face.
“Wow. Neat. And you’re flying with the kids?” she asked, watching Son Number Three climb into one of the giant potted plants by the end of the counter.
“Good luck with that, sir.”

Five minutes into the flight from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon we realized that is was a colossal mistake to bring three children on an airplane with only three adults to chaperone them. The first flight was only an hour and a half, but we were already exhausted from playing man-to-man defense with no subs. What were we thinking? We sat stunned in the Portland airport dreading the next flight from Portland to Frankfurt. The flight would be approximately two hundred hours long. There was no way we could do that with the kids. We searched frantically near the shops and restaurants for someone to buy our children. No takers.

Reluctantly, we all boarded the aircraft. We gave up trying to control the children somewhere over Newfoundland. When we landed in Frankfurt, there was a tense fifteen-minute period when we could not find Son Number Three, but eventually one of the flight attendants located him in an overhead storage compartment in the galley. We were asked never to fly Lufthansa again.

The local time in Germany was listed as 2:00 P.M. on July 8th, but it was really 3:52 A.M. on the 12th of August on our bodies. Completely numb at this point, the short flight from Frankfurt to Milan was a breeze. That was largely due to the fact that we put the kids on a later connecting flight. Most of them made it into Milan on time.

While in Europe, we were not staying in any hotels - only Airbnb apartment and house rentals. This is because European hotels are designed to hold and average of 0.5 guests per room at a cost of approximately nine thousand euros for each half guest, with a surcharge of two million euros for every half guest after one and a half.

Safely at our final destination, we set about figuring out how to get ourselves and our considerable amount of luggage to our first apartment rental in downtown Milan.

Why are all the signs in a foreign language?

See you soon,


Copyright © 2015 Marc Schmatjen

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