1. Introduction & Milan

This is the story of our fantastic honeymoon: a trip to Italy, France and Spain.  We had a wonderful time seeing incredible places, meeting new friends, and eating tons and tons of really good food.  (And drinking copious amounts of delicious wine.)  We returned exhausted with some skinned knees and some minor intestinal distress, but very happy nonetheless!

After some "interesting" problems with getting the right tickets at the right time for the right place (including a frantic flight-day trip downtown to the Air France office to pick up correct tickets), we packed up the car and headed for Virginia.  We had dinner with John and Betsy and then they drove us to Dulles Airport.

We were on our way to Milan!

Seven hours later, we were still on our way to Milan.

Finally, after a infuriating stop at the maze known as Paris's Charles DeGaulle airport, we arrived at Milan's Malpensa airport.  Again, we found that nobody wanted to stamp our passport.  Not only that, in Milan, nobody even seemed to care if we entered the country.  One bored guard briefly scanned our luggage tags then waved us into Italy.

We had planned to take a train into the city and then walk to the hotel, but as we stood in the terminal, a look of befuddlement on our faces as we scanned a city map, we were approached by a man claiming to be an airport employee.  We asked him what the best way to get to our hotel was.

"Since you asked, I have to say, my car!"  This sharp operator gave us a nice ride to our hotel door in his BMW.  The mildly exhorbitant fee was well worth it since we were almost asleep in his back seat as we got to the hotel.

We checked in and immediately became unconscious in our room.

At dinner that evening, we met our tour guide Maresa and the rest of the people with whom we would be touring Italy, including Dan and Sonja Dascanio, another newlywed couple.

Maresa explained some of the rules of the road to us and told us she would take good care of us like our mamma.  She recommended that we turn in early because we'd get an early start to Venice in the morning.  We like Maresa a lot.  Chris took to saying "Andiamos" ("Let's go!") just like Mamma.

Next: Verona and Venice

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