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Buon Giorno, Milano!

sunny 68 °F

On Sunday, we set out for Milan. Before our flight, though, we had to get to the Newark airport, which is about 4 hours from our house. We left at 10 AM to give ourselves plenty of cushion to make it for our 6:30 PM flight. Even though it's a long drive, it definitely beat our last trans-Atlantic trips, where our airport was nearby, but connections in Philly meant waking up at 4:30 AM Arizona time to catch an early flight. This time we were well-rested and our daughter even napped for an hour in the car. Bonus!

We made it through check-in and security with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, Newark doesn't have a play area, so we entertained ourselves with walks for to buy snacks, coloring, and watching some of the new children's programs I had bought for the iPad.

The flight itself was fine except for food and sleep. Ironically, the beef cannelloni served on the plane were terrible. I thought that United would have done better on a route to Italy. At least it has made all the food afterwards seem even better!

As for sleep, I had my hopes up. We ha talked to my daughter about how everyone was going to sleep on the plane, and she seemed to get the idea, but it did not work out in practice. When the lights went out on the plane, we did an abbreviated bedtime routine and encouraged her to sleep. The poor girl could not get comfortable, and she squirmed constantly. That also meant that she was constantly bumping against me and/or my husband, often while she had her head or feet in my lap. I couldn't doze off for more than a couple of minutes. I felt like I was in the fifth circle of hell. Plan B was to have her fall asleep watching TV, which is what she did on the flight to Germany 2 years ago. That didn't work, either, but at least I slept a little. Finally, I came up with the idea that she had to close her eyes until Daddy's timer went off. She was asleep in less than 5 minutes and stayed asleep till we landed. If only I had thought of that a few hours earlier! At least she and I snuck in some more z's on the bus from the airport to central Milan. Here is our final sleep tally (plane and bus):
Daughter: 2.5 hours
Me: about 2 hours
Husband: none

My husband had this idea to follow Rick Steves' advice on beating jet lag, but I was skeptical about it because it meant not napping during the first day. Rick Steves had never let us down before, though, so we thought we'd try it. After getting settled, we visited Castell Sforzesco...


and the kiddie area of Parco Sempione. My daughter wasn't impressed with her first real castle, but she had a great time on the playground and miniature train.


The weather was great, so we enjoyed being outdoors after being cooped up in a plane. I think it also helped us with our jet lag strategy. My husband and I each took a brief catnap, but that was it. All of us turned in before 9 PM and felt much better the next morning. Maybe Rick Steves is right on this one, though I think it helps to go into his plan well-rested.

We had more great weather today, so we picnicked in the Public Garden and then checked out the Galleria, the world's first modern mall, and one of the places where Catherine and Lt. Henry eat in "A Farewell to Arms." It was very pretty!


We then visited the Duomo, Milan's main (and huge) cathedral.
We also stopped for gelato, but it was melting too fast for me to take a picture!

We'll be in Milan till tomorrow afternoon, when we leave for Trento. Thanks for reading!

Posted by amikulski 09:06 Archived in Italy Tagged children italy airplane

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