We've settled back into a busy schedule in a chilly, rainy Columbus, our hearts glad to be with friends again. When we're not forcing them to watch the unedited 8mm video footage, our spare time is spent editing the 1,500+ images and 45+ minutes of movie, occasionally stopping to reminisce when one of us asks "Remember that meal?" And so, without further ado, the first installment of our Italian adventure: Our journey begins in the very early morning, Columbus, Ohio, with a pot of coffee appropriately percolated in our "Made in Italy" coffee carafe . Two car rides, one flight and two layovers later, we found ourselves comfortably settling into our seats (I was already 3 levels into my Tetris game), when the pilot announced that our plane had a large dent, presumably from another plane and we needed to de-board and re-board a new plane. Three hours and one lost passenger later, we're back on the original plane (which did a number on my anxious husband's drugged nerves), and made our way from NYC to London. Having missed our original connection from London to Milan, we happily welcomed the opportunity to spend our new 6 hour layover with the Queen. (She ended up being very busy but we kept ourselves occupied, nonetheless.) We raced through immigration (where our excitement to spend only 4 hours in the city was met with a bit of skepticism), pulled some extra layers out of our bag for the 40 degree weather we hadn't packed for and hopped on the metro toward the city's center. What does one do if only given four hours in a marvelous metropolis such as London? Find your location on a map and then follow your husband's handy compass' direction south to the River Thames -- feel free to swing through Hyde Park and by the Parliament Square on your way -- Big Ben, the London Eye and Westminster Abbey all await you. Don't be afraid to wander through back alleys for you never know when you might stumble upon culinary greatness. We enjoyed the most delicious sun-dried tomato, prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich with a glass of pinot grigio at a quaint slow-food cafe nestled on Lexington Avenue, Fernandez & Wells. We took a seat alongside locals on lunch break at a narrow butcher-block counter top, just feet from friendly staff as they prepare any one of their fresh meat, cheese and bread plates.

London was fabulous and we were so thrilled to add a city/country to our itinerary, even if it was for only a short visit. Though we missed our reservations to see the Last Supper in Milan, the spontaneous chilly afternoon adventure was well worth it.

Photos of London

Photos of London

Photos of London

Photos of London

Photos of London