Europa 2017 - The Epilogue!

How could any adventure be complete without a trip to...

Wait for it....


Loyal readers know one of us LOVES an IKEA store no matter which of their 389 worldwide locations happens to be nearby.

I'll give you a hint who this is: It's Natalie.

Yep, we made a trip to the Frankfurt IKEA, conveniently located on the A5 just 17 minutes from the Frankfurt Airport. Other than the presence of Germans, this IKEA was identical to each of the other 388 IKEAs. And look! We could have bought an advent calendar for €12.95! In October! We didn't!

With endless movies to watch inflight, gazing out the window is a seemingly forgotten pastime. I occasionally broke with etiquette by sliding my window shade up to see what was happening outside. Shown above, Greenland passing by at 500 miles an hour. The temperature outside was -53°, but inside the window was hot to the touch from solar radiation. What a difference an inch makes.

Our approach into the Bay Area took us by the catastrophic fires and, after clearing customs, we learned our flight home was cancelled; smaller planes were not landing at the airport due to smoke. We were rebooked for flights the next morning. With hotels across the entire area sold out, the San Francisco airport became our home for the night. Hmmm... what to do? How about dinner? Yes! I had a good burger and two beers, and Natalie enjoyed fish and chips and a glass of wine. "L'addition s'il vous plaît!" Including tip? $90.00. It really didn't matter anymore. 

Wandering around the airport we came upon an exhibit of the work of model builder Edward Chavez. This was super weird because Edward was my uncle.

Thirteen of Edward's models were on display. Here, the Curtiss Condor AT-32-B. Some of his models have been displayed at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C.

Around 1:00 a.m. the music in the San Francisco airport became oddly soothing. The shops were closed. TSA had gone home for the evening. And there were cushiony bench things... By day, they're occupied by everyone putting their shoes back on after comparing sock styles at security. By night, they become heavenly beds for airport dwellers... like us... and these two who insisted on spooning in public. Hey! Get a room!... Oh! Wait... You can't...

I'd give the San Francisco airport a thumbs-up hotel review on if it weren't for the crazy loud announcement, repeated at frequent intervals, reminding everyone sleeping to also watch their bags at all times. It was literally impossible to comply with this request. There was another announcement about a cafe in a corner of the airport, far, far away (and on the other side of the security gate) that stays open until 4:00 a.m. Oddly enough, coffee wasn't interesting to people trying to sleep.

Lonely tracks at the Wengen train station above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland.

The photo album work is underway. Until then...

Ciao! ~ Todd