Trains, Planes and Automobiles...
Months of research paid off handsomely producing an almost flawless holiday for me and friend Maritza.

The flights
I was able to cash in United points for a first class ticket between Los Angeles and Zurich. Fortunately for me, there was a last-minute aircraft change for flights LA-DC-LA from 757s to 777s with United’s One Suites: press a button and voila, the seat becomes a bed! Oh yes, life is good.

I’m completely paranoid about getting to my destination to find my belongings having a holiday elsewhere, so I travel overseas with just carry-on. I bought a new suitcase for this trip—a five-pound, 18” hardside. I met a woman in Varenna using the same one, purchased at Steinmart for $49—hers in Florida, and mine in California. A self-imposed requirement is that I may not open the extension until it is time to return to the States to allow room for purchases.

About us
As our priorities differ, selecting locations in which to base requires extra care. I like to explore and take photographs. Maritza likes to rest and shop. Compromise, of course, came into play. Maritza did a little more…I did a little less. She got to experience more…I occasionally stopped to smell the roses.  It worked out quite well.

Friday, May 5
We arrived at LAX early for our morning flight as one never knows what obstacles will be placed in one’s path on our efficient LA freeways. We relaxed and had breakfast in the first class lounge. I slept through the flight between LA and DC. The aircraft for the flight between DC and Zurich was a 767—not as comfy as the One Suite, but hey, the price was right. The six-course meal was nice and, along with a movie, occupied a lot of time. Menu: crab and mango timbale with spicy mango cream; mushroom and brie soup; seasonal greens with hot pan-seared lemongrass shrimp; glazed chicken with red currant sauce, steamed asparagus, and wild mushroom stuffing; a cart with imported cheeses and strawberries; and an ice cream sundae that I skipped—even I have my limits. An hour before arriving in Zurich they served a deli plate and sliced fruit. I’m not even there yet and already I’m gaining weight.

Enough of the preliminaries--on to the photographs!
Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland
The Doors of Lucerne