May 18, 2011
Italy Day 20: Back home
And alas, our final day of the trip had arrived. In the style of the trip, we got up suuuuppper early this morning! We were up at 5am and took a quick taxi to the Florence airport. At the airport we had a really awesome super fresh croissant, and a coffee. The checkin was fast and we had a quick flight to Paris. Once we got to CDG it took a while to get to the other terminal with all of our stuff but it was ok as we had a nice long stopover. As it turns out our stopover was about 2 hours too long, but better to have more time than less of course! We got to our IcelandAir gate at CDG and they weren't going to open for 2 hrs so we found a Brioche Doree and got a bunch of awesome pastries. The Tartlette Framboise was so good that we ordered another one!
Then we left Paris for Reykjavik, that was a pretty quick flight too and once we got there we B-lined straight for the "Inspired by Iceland" store to buy a stack of salt licorice for Dad because he loved the one we brought to Paris for him. I stocked up on some Skyr and smoked salmon too for the flight home. We sat near our gate and immigration check as Mom, Norm and Dad were all flying back to Toronto and I was flying to Seattle from Reykjavik. We'd organized the flights such that we could take most of them together but then would part ways in Iceland. So that was sad that we were going different directions but we had a nice chat about how fun the trip was and how much of a success it was. Awesome times.
We then took off to our gates and I went to the Seattle one. In line I met some people who noticed my Rango shirt and it turns out the guy's name was Mike too and he works at some animation studio in Vancouver! So that was cool and we chatted a bunch. I flew back to Seattle and it was nice and quick at the airport, lots of friendly people and the nice lady at the checkin counter re-checked my bags for me all the way through to SFO so I didn't need to carry them around with me.
I was so super tired in Seattle but happy to be almost home. I had a big bagel sandwich and a coffee and had lots of internet and 3G signal again! Wahoo! I chatted with Alex on the phone a bit and then got the plane back to SFO. I grabbed my bag once we got off the plane at SFO and jumped right into a cab and straight home. Sleep!!!!!! Whew, that was 26 hours in transit, 4 airports, and 5 flights!!! It was a long way to get back but I slept well and pushed myself into getting back into the right time zone as quickly as possible.
What an amazing trip. When we started planning this a year or two ago I remember us saying that not many families would even be interested in traveling together, let alone all the way to Europe for several weeks. I'm sure lots of families can hardly stand being together for Thanksgiving Dinner with the typical amounts of constant arguing. :) I think we did exceptionally well and really knocked it outta the park on this trip. It was such an enjoyable time and everyone got to do and see things that they liked, and I think we balanced and re-calculated the plans as needed all along the way. What an excellent trip. The only question now is, where are we going next?! :)
-Mike Jutan :)