Neither cabin crew strikes nor volcanic ash kept us from arriving in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Wednesday night after a fairly uneventful, though veerrry long, day of travel. Our bags were packed-yes, just a small backpack and a carry-on for each of us-and off we went!
We left San Diego at 11:50 am, but not before I got the news that I won the Burke Administrator of the Year Award at USD! I was thrilled! It is the highest honor in my division, and even though I missed the announcement, it felt amazing to be recognized for what was really an outstanding year for me professionally. With that great news, I skipped right onto the plane for what I now knew was **officially** a well-deserved vacation.
The plan was to fly from San Diego to Chicago, Chicago to Heathrow, Heathrow to Milan, then take a train from Milan to Lausanne. We did try to pull an Amazing Race move while at the Heathrow Airport and hop a flight into Geneva instead of Milan to save us a train trip, but unfortunately all the flights to Geneva were full. Instead, off to Milan we went and got our first glimpse of the Swiss countryside when we hopped the train to Lausanne. Not really knowing which was up or down, if it was night or day, if we were sleeping or awake, we had a pleasant conversation with two missionaries from San Francisco and finally managed to drag our limbs and luggage up to the front door of Mark and V’s place in Switzerland.
I was so excited to see my friend V, that I didn’t have any trouble staying up to chat until almost 11 pm before we finally fell into our comfy Swiss bed.
It was by far, the longest day(s). In the end, we departed San Diego at 11:50 am on Tuesday, May 25 and arrived in Lausanne, Switzerland at 8:40 pm on Wednesday, May 26. Total travel time was almost exactly 24 hours (note lesson learned below!).
Savvy Traveler Moment of the Day: Thanks to my research, even barely functioning, I recognized the bright yellow ticket validation machines tucked near the entrance to the train platform in the Milan station and “kerchunked” our tickets. This validated our tickets and saved us from a hefty fine that Italian officials are notorious for sticking tourists with when they don’t validate their tickets.
Lesson Learned of the Day: Four legs and three connections=too many; three legs and two connections=possible; two legs and one connection=preferable.