The journey is beginning at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Other than the typically long security lines, yes I do it the old fashioned way, OIA is a very manageable airport. I particularly enjoy the convenience of ‘roof top’ parking, a quick trip up to the 11th floor Helicopter Pad to take in the panoramic view of Central Florida, and the short trip down to the check-in counter. All bags in tow! Due to a connection at JFK, I refuse to pay $100 for a second bag, I will be at my one-bag limit (50#’s) with one carry-on and one personal item (camera bag).
Let me back up just a bit. One of the most important aspects of travelling is Planning. Oh so much that I won’t go in to details. The basics are nailing down the most affordable airfare to match the dates, rental van reservations, villa reservations, coordinating food and hiring a chef, excursion plans-the main event, arranging transportation to the airports, having passport, tickets, drivers licenses, etc. etc. etc.
Arrived at #MCO and had a very pleasant check-in. The help at the kiosk was friendly and not robotic, what a refreshing way to complete that process. I won’t give the airline (D) as not to appear as a promoted blog. My Chauffeur was oustanding, BWM. I’m settled in now and writing, posting and texting while lounging in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency OIA #Hyatt. The sound of children, a fountain, relaxing music, the hustle of rush hour is relaxing to me, go figure for a guy whose only medication is the #Ocean. I have a few hours to relax, think and take it all in. Italy is so wonderful, isn’t it?
The next stop will be JFK in New York City. I hope to get a great window shot of some landmark. I may not have a chance to post as my layover is only 75 minutes. The first day will be go go go and writing and posting will not likely happen! Please be patient.
Arrival was on time in Milan, Malpense……after a few issues and a horendous wait at Avis we finally got under way. Heading straight for Lake Garda and a nice spot for lunch, to learn the lay of the town and to grocery shop for our villa. Perfect pasta; Spaghetti, Algio, Olio n Peperoncini and a perfectly chilled Frost Birra from the north #Dolomiti region. Tourist abound, locals strolling along the lakefront, cyclists cruising by at a cantor pace and, boaters everywhere. Saturday brought out Italians from all over to the limited ‘beachfront’. The afternoon became a photo adventure to capture the beauty and serenity all around me.
Check-in to the Villa at 4PM. Maria, the owner, gave us a tour and reviewed protocols and operational procedures. Her ‘Welcome’ book of potential destinations was vast and accurate. A 3.5 story villa with 7 bedrooms, equipped with full kitchen including a dishwasher, clothes washer (drying on a line like our USA old days), TV and a pool. What a beautiful view of 245 degrees panoramic! Our villa faced west, the view across the Lake Garda and the mountains was spectacular. The furniture in the living room needs an upgrade and the internet & WIFI speed/connection was very bad (at least for multiple users-photographers, emailer’s and bloggers).
What a beautiful, relaxing ending to my first day.
Due to a total back up on the road from our Villa (just north of Garda) we performed a U-Turn and headed north to find another destination on Lake Garda. We stumbled across a lovely one in Malcesine and we were lucky. We chose to eat lunch here then depart on the ferry for a trip across Lake Garda to Limone.
Day Three: The Dolomites
This trip was 100% vacation! Therefore, I did not have enought time to write. Contributing factor; Lousy internet connections and speeds in my villas! If you want to catch up on photographs, go to my Google+ page – Scott M, Instagram – @restrantek
Key Destinations: Lake Garda: Dolomites, Venice, Balogna, Milan, Vergamo???. Lake Como: Rest and Relaxation- not a waste! We will plan that week while in Lake Garda.