Fast forward now to Monday morning, the shuttle ride from Boulogne-Billancourt (where our apartment was located), that was so convenient, and we made it to the airport by 6am. Check in was not an issue. Most of had our own carry-on luggage and a backpack. Since we had over 2 hours of wait time before our flight, we found ourselves sleeping right next to our gate.An hour prior to our flight, an announcement was made asking for volunteers to check in our luggage for free. We decided to do it, all 8 of us. Once we got to the desk, we were told that each of our 2nd item (backpack or purse) will cost us $55 Euros. WHAAAATTTT???? That’s 8 x $55 Euros -> $440 Euros!!! The desk agent said that only 1 baggage is allowed per person. Anything extra is $55 Euros each. We left the desk upset. We tried to empty our backpacks and squeezed them in our luggage. For my family, from 4 backpacks, we ended up with 2 backpacks as a carry-on, therefore, we ended up paying $110 Euros. It was a tough pill to swallow, but what could we do at that point.
Our plan to do a quick roundtrip was halted by the enormous crowd. When we headed back to the train station to catch the 5:17pm train, it was evident that it was packed with passengers and there was no way we’d squeeze in our party in to that train. Our next choice was to get on the 5:47pm train. We walked over to that train. The doors weren’t opened yet. But right outside each car, there must’ve have 50-60 people waiting outside. Once the door opened up, a few of us found seats, while some of us sat on the steps, while others stood. We were packed like sardines. I sat with Nancy and Madison in a 2-seater area, and found ways to uncomfortably squeeze myself in there. You gotta do what you gotta do. Weariness grew over us, signs that we’ve been vacationing for awhile now. The hourlong ride remained pack until the last 3 stops before making it back to Milan.
We finally got to Milan’s Cadorna station by 7pm and with one more subway ride, Gemma and Geri took us back to Pizza Sprontini, the same pizza place we’ve all been talking about during our entire trip. Em and Nancy went to a local grocery to shop for Italian goodies/chocolates. The rest of us stayed and ate our pizza. Again, it was delicious. Maybe it was even better than the first time. I’m so glad that we ate here since we were already familiar with the food. The cheese! Oh that cheese. It was all about the cheese.
Grazie Gemma, Geri, and Sophia
After dinner, we walked to the nearest tram to head back to our hotel. This was the final time that we’d be with Gemma and family. They live not far from Pizza Sprontini. Since we are now “Milan experts”, we told them there was no need to take us our hotel anymore. They still gave us clear directions how to go get our hotel. But it was time to say goodbye, or so long, or see you later. Thank you, Gemma, Geri, and Sophia – for being part of our European vacation. You made our Milan visit worthwhile, and thank you for accommodating all our crazy requests. We hope to see you again in the future, whether it’s on a return trip to Italy, or whenever you visit the US. God bless!!!
Shop, shop, shop!
After breakfast, instead of heading back to the room to pack, Nancy was on a mission. Two weeks ago, she stopped by at the Louis Vuitton store near the Duomo (inside Galeria V. Emanuel). She had her eyes set on a few items. She decided not to get them then, and also avoided shopping at the other Louis Vuitton stores in Florence, Venice, and Paris. Why? If she did, we’d be carrying those purchases with us during the entire trip. The challenge: we had less than 2 hours to shop. The store opened at 10am and we were there by 10:15am. The sales lady found out we were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary so she came out with a couple of champagne flutes to help toast our anniversary (well, I think it was more about getting us in the mood to shop). By 10:30am, that LV store was already bustling with customers. Fortunately, we found one dedicated sales associate who helped us over the next hour. It was a treat to see Nancy pick out her selection of different purses and wallets. While she did that, I just kept myself busy by roaming around the store and watched other people go about their purchases.
Nancy finished shopping for her LV goodies by 11:20, and after a lengthy transaction using our passport info etc, we made our way back to Boscolo Milano by 11:45am. We weren’t fully packed yet. The next 20 minutes were dedicated to packing the rest of our items for our flight back to the US. We accomplished that and met and Em/Ben and family downstairs, and we all took a cab and headed to Cadorna train station and caught the train back to Malpensa Airport.
Our flight back to New York with Emirates Airline was delayed for about an hour. It was no big deal. We were just glad that we made it to the airport safely, took care of credits with the Milan customs, and so for nearly 2 hours, we hung around the airport, ate our last Italian meal and relaxed. Our European vacation has come to an end. It was definitely jam packed with unforgettable memories. When I write my final entry for my European blog, I will have a section dedicated to our takeaway….so stay tuned. In the meantime, thanks for reading. The next entry is our 1 day back in NYC.