Sunday, December 18, 2011

Italy 1

Our journey to Italy went relatively smoothly. We spent Thursday packing while Elise was in school. Pam picked Elise up at about 1:30 pm and we headed to Vancouver, dropped off our van and took a taxi to the airport. We checked in early, hung out at the gate for a couple of hours and boarded the plane on time. We walked through first class and looked on with envy at the sleeper seats (they looked like small fold-out couches) - they'd make the flight far more bearable. Elise was indifferent to this luxury and was extremely excited about the journey, far more so than Pam or I, it seemed.

Elise on the gangway toward our Europe-bound flight. Note the "princess" carry-on luggage and the "love" tracksuit.

In her seat. She was very excited about this trip, and it shows.

We arrived in London, waited in endless line-ups, then found a place to rest. The new terminal (Terminal 5) had some large, leather sofas and we all lay down and promptly fell asleep. Good thing Pam woke up because we almost missed our connecting flight! No kidding. By the time we got to the gate, they were almost boarding. Close call...

We landed in Nice a couple hours later, picked up our rental car and immediately started driving in the wrong direction toward Marseilles. The decreasing exit numbers clued us in and we turned around, with difficulty. Not a good start. We then found a large grocery store and rushed around buying breakfast and lunch staples as they were about to close. We snacked in the car while we drove to Albenga along a highway with the most tunnels I've ever driven. Elise and I stopped counting at 28, there were just too many. The drive was surreal as the night was clear and we could see all the city lights down by the Mediterranean, but had no impression of the landscape. We made it to our apartment without any more wrong turns and were immediately relieved - the house was beautiful. We unpacked, curled up in our beds and all fell into a deep, long sleep.

Two weeks wont' be much time, but we are looking forward to starting our climbing and explorations. We pray for decent weather.


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