Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

DEN -> JFK -> MXP -> Ispra

We're in Italy! Trying desperately to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime.

I am attending a workshop at the EU Joint Research Center in Ispra on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, then we'll head over to Vicenza to visit my friend Aaron O. from middle school.

The trip here was pretty uneventful. Denver to JFK on Delta, couple hour layover, and then JFK to Milano Malpensa on Alitalia. Left the house around 8 am on Saturday morning (thanks to Bob & Douglas for giving us a ride to the airport), landed in Italy around 10 am on Sunday morning. Which... is a very long day of travel. Got enough sleep on the airplane to feel like it was the next day, but not enough to really be rested and we are both so, so tired right now.

I watched Moana on the first leg, which was a pretty good way to while away a good chunk of it. I had intentions of doing some work coding on that flight, but of course the white noise and cramped space of the airplane kept me from getting anything productive done. The nice lady at the Alitalia desk in New York was able to reseat us next to each other in an aisle-window pair of seats near the rear of the aircraft, instead of two window seats in adjacent rows. So that was nice.

On arrival, we took a taxi to get from the airport to Ispra. It was pretty pricey, but I will get reimbursed and it was a lot more bearable than the 2.5 hour train ride would have been in our post-travel condition. It was slightly sketchy - more of a rideshare than a proper taxi - but it was a fixed price for the destination, so when the police closed down the main route and we got detoured all over the place through slow and heavy traffic, it was fine. And hey, we got a bit of a free scenic tour out of it. (I realized also that having GPS for the driver and in your phone so you can verify that you're going to the right place makes that kind of situation a lot less stressful.)

We checked into our hotel around noon and took showers to clean off the travel skunge, hooray! Then we went for a walk to look for someplace to get lunch. (And to be outside walking around in sunshine to fend off jetlag.) Saw a lot of very pretty Lago Maggiore (which I realized is literally "Major Lake" after hearing the name spoken aloud by an Italian). Saw a lot of pretty small Italian town. Saw a lot of closed businesses. Finally got lunch at around 3 after walking to a place about a mile away. Which, again, was fine. It's an adventure, we were feeling kinda hungry but not starving since our body clocks are totally out of sync, and it served the purpose of keeping us active in daylight. And the pizza was very good.

We came back to the hotel -- which is right on the lakeshore, by the by -- and wandered a bit more. Stuck our feet in the water, which was bracing and pleasant. Appreciated the scenery. Now attempting to stay awake until dark. Ish. We have, of course, already slagged an outlet splitter that turned out to be surge-protected for 110 volts by plugging it into a 220 outlet. All the fancy tech we have with us is happy to be plugged into whatever voltage, it's one of the most primitive components that turned out to be vulnerable. And it was only after it happened that I recalled this happening last time, too. Hooray for jetlag...

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