We last left off here.
After a longer day than expected at the office, The Three Amigos headed to drop our vehicle at SmartParkJFK. I have never parked at or around JFK because the prices are ridiculous. Thankfully, however, a blog I follow mentioned an Amazon Local deal that was too good to pass up. The rate was $7/day (and I figured that insurance would cover the inevitable damage caused by a NYC garage that was that cheap…just kidding). Drop-off was seamless and we were quickly ushered onto a van and to our terminal.
I was so thankful that the Alitalia and Lufthansa counters were next to each other, let alone in the same terminal. I hadn’t researched this before and thought I would have to run all over the airport to send my parents on their way. What I didn’t love was that JFK doesn’t allow bags to be checked more than 3:55 minutes before departure. We arrived at 4PM and had to wait to check bags on my parents’ 8:25PM Alitalia flight. Fail. Didn’t they know they were cutting in on precious lounge time?!?
We finally got checked, ticketed, scanned and patted (after various mix-ups with TSA agents who just kept assuming I had to be on an economy ticket) and made our way to the Senator Lounge (Lufthansa/Star Alliance). I planned to spend a bit of time there before taking my parents to their own Michaelangelo Lounge (AZ) and getting on my much earlier flight. This was made possible by a friendly lounge attendant. Had she not let my parents in, we would have gone straight to the AZ lounge, which I think I could have gotten into with my Amex Platinum. YMMV.
The First Class section of the Senator Lounge was nice enough, if not a bit cramped. Bar service was not friendly, but the spread fell somewhere between edible and tasty.
Boarding was called for my flight and I knew I had to get my parents settled into the AZ lounge. We walked right past it and into the Air France Lounge, where after a 5 minute wait we finally got directions to the correct spot. Once my parents knew where to go, they escorted me to my flight, where I happened to be one of the last people to board.
I took my seat (2K) and was immediately offered a hot towel and a pre-departure beverage. I choose the Pommery Cuvée Louise and continued to drink that for nearly the entire duration of the dinner hour. The friendly attendants passed out wine lists and food menus and, after what seemed like forever, we were off.
Dinner began with caviar service and appetizers. I chose a simply dressed salad as my appetizer as I was still in #operationthicknotfat and was saving my calories for champagne.
For dinner, I chose the butter-poached lobster. I should have known better. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely was not good. Pretty tough and a bit fishier than it should have been. A saving grace, the accompanying root vegetables were fantastic. I switched wine at this point to try Lufthansa’s wine program “Off the Beaten Path” or “Track” or something…I can’t remember. Basically, Lufthansa has sourced surprising, under the radar wines for its guests to sample. The red associated with that program was amazing. I cannot wait until my return flight to recall what that wine was called. I truly hope they serve it again, it was so special.
Eschewing the cheese course (damn you, Heather), I ordered a molten chocolate cake with ice cream. It was lovely and rich and I ate about half. Again saving calories.
After dinner, I flipped on the TV and watched Red 2. I remember reading an article months ago panning the sequel, but I figured I would give it a spin. I loved it and definitely need to see Red 1, which received better reviews. I started watching Pacific Rim, on the recommendation of a very special, but obviously not particularly critical person and fell asleep just trying to not to vomit.
I didn’t wake until just before landing and after deplaning made my way to the First Class lounge in Munich. I wasn’t sure if they would kick me to the curb as I was flying coach intra-Europe, but they welcomed me with open arms, stamped my passport and showed me to the Lounge/Restaurant. You could order off the menu, but I simply selected a glass of champagne and a few items from the buffet.
Pretty soon it was time to head out to my connecting flight and Lufthansa provided a chauffeured Mercedes to get my there. Yeh. Wow. I climbed the rickety steps of the small plane and took my seat in economy. Major change. Flight wasn’t full so I spread out across two seats and slept the entire way to Milan.
Now here comes the part I was dreading. I did not know how I was going to find my parents. We were slated to arrive within minutes of each other, but we wouldn’t have cell service and I was wholly unfamiliar with Malpensa. Thankfully, the terminal was tiny and I simply walked for 5 minutes or so and saw my Dad’s crimson hat.
We located the train station and purchased our tickets for €11 each. I had debated taking a cab for ~€100, but the train ended up being a very easy situation even with cumbersome luggage. We hopped off at Cadorna station and took at €10 taxi straight to our hotel (total of €43/a savings of nearly €60), the Park Hyatt Milan. That’s where the relaxing began…
Do you take airport cabs or do you usually rough it like we did?
Buongiorno di Italia!