Happy people, walking arm in arm, obviously having just enjoyed a rousing game of ring toss with equally happy fellow travelers, now on their way now to a comfy chair and a cool drink...
|Getting there is half the fun!|
Getting There - CGY
There should be a sunrise picture on getaway day, right? Of course, so here it is:
|"Sunrise" on getaway day|
|A route even we could figure out|
|...and then to Red Lodge|
|Bison burger in Red Lodge|
|My tent porter service home for the week|
|Bill is an expert at finding afternoon shade|
|The CGY camp in Red Lodge|
Getting There - Piedmont
Then there was the trip to Italy. This should be easy: hop on a plane in La Crosse, change in Chicago and New York on day one then get through the airport in Milan and onto a train to Alessandria. It would be just like the trip to Red Lodge, except for the fact that the airlines would be involved. Still, I could see no way that this could go badly ...
Well, there was terrible weather at JFK on getaway day. And a mechanical problem that would delay the flight from La Crosse long enough to guarantee a missed connection in Chicago. OK, so yes, there were a few ways for the trip to go badly and I had already run into two of them.
But it turns out that everything worked out well, something I really could not see coming. First let me offer up kudos for the American Airlines staff at the La Crosse airport. They handled the delay well and before getting on the plane I was rebooked to go through Chicago and London, connecting to Milan, now through Linate airport, not Malpensa. The fact that I was indifferent to the airport gave me more options and that helped. And it turned out that Linate provided an easier connection to the central train station in Milan.
Also, while waiting in Chicago, I saw that my original flight to JFK had been delayed - "I could have made it," I thought; but I didn't try (recall the observation about the weather at JFK). A bit later the flight was cancelled. So once in a blue moon, a mechanical problem on your first flight of the day can be the best thing that happens on the trip.
|Rainy day at O'Hare but it was worse at JFK|
|Terminal 5 at Heathrow|
An upscale shopping center with a few planes in the parking lot
|Easy to see how these two could get lost in the shuffle!|
(The staff at LSE did change the tags to ORD-LHR-LIN)
|Milan Central Station|
Another upscale shopping center, this one with trains in the parking lot
In spite of the issues, I was again reminded that it is a great privilege to be able to travel and see the wonders of this place in which we live. And as always, the pain of problems fades while memories of the journeys will always bring a smile to my face.
I pause here to consider the question I know is on your lips, "Where was Bill through all of this?" Well, he decided to personally and rather dramatically illustrate the point that this trip could have been worse. More about this later. For now, let's just leave it at "The Piedmont tour was underway ..."