Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Days 1 and 2 Leaving Houston, Arriving in Trieste

The plane to the bus to the bus to the bus to the plane to the bus to the train.

We started out a bit behind, when I looked at the clock it said it was 11:30 and we needed to leave at 12. Neither of us had taken a shower yet. So scramble time occurred. I did get the floors all mopped for the moggies to destroy them again. I forgot we were flying Air France and we would not be standing in the long Continental lines to check bags. However, we made up for it in the ridiculously slow security line. The one in the Continental terminal moves. There was hardly anyone there and it took forever. Ellen got the full body scan and Bill went straight through.

By then we were dead since we had been up since 4:30 when the moggies decided it was time to get up. We wanted Jamba Juice and it is at the end of Terminal E and we were in Terminal D. So I left Bill with the bags and walked to the end of the earth to get Bill Razmatazz and me Mango. They were great! I dropped them off and went back (not too far) for soft pretzels.

Then we load up the plane and that is when our luck ended. We were in less than cattle class. I didn't know Air France has 2 economy classes. We should have paid the difference for the other one. We had no leg room, I am 5'3" and I was cramped. Bill at 6'1" was dying. We were so uncomfortable that we could not sleep, but the food was good. Someone told me the food was bad on Air France the week before we left. She said she couldn't eat it. We had great food. We ordered the pasta and also had a corn and bean salad, roll, chocolate cake with raspberries. For breakfast we had a chocolate chip muffine, yogurt, fruit cocktail and orange juice.

The movies were great. You picked what you wanted, when you wanted to watch them. And you did not have to pay like Continental.

We landed 30 minutes early and our luck ran out. We were at the back of the plane so it took forever to get out. Then the bus to the terminal was full, they put us on a van, and waited forever while talking to an older couple. We finally said we had to go. We will never ever ever ever fly through Charles de Gaulle again. We asked a guy if we could walk to the other terminal and he said it was faster to take the bus. We wait for 15 minutes for the bus. 3 ladies waiting for the bus were also on our flight to Milan. Then we drive for miles to finally get to the other terminal. Then we have to go through immigration! We tell the guy we have 15 minutes till our flight and he says we will make it. Does not take us to the front of the line. It takes us 20 minutes to get through it. but we do get our passports stamped. We then run only to discover we have to go through security again!! They scan your boarding pass and the guy tells us we have missed our flight. Great. Of course Bill sails through and they make me take everything out of my backpack. And then pat me down.

We arrive at gate 25 A to rebook. They tell us that all flights to Milan are cancelled until 6 PM. We found out later there was a bomb found. The 3 ladies get the last 3 seats. So they tell us we have to fly Air Italia at 7:30, but the computer is taking a long time. Of course Bill is pouting because it means we miss our train to Trieste, and will have to cancel the hotel and the bird guide for the next day. The agent tells me to come back in 30 minutes to get boarding passes. Bill is still pouting and I'm coming up with options and he is Mr. Doomsday. So I go back and ask if we can fly into Venice, no luck. Flights are booked.

Meanwhile I see someone that is in the movies but I still can't figure out who he is. I thought he was on 100 Centre Street and then in some movies, but can't find him. IMDB failed me. So I go back and be Ms Persistent. I tell her we have to cancel our hotel, our guide, etc. And suddenly she asks me if it's ok if we fly into the other Milan airport. DUH, yes. So she books us on a 1 PM flight, 5 1/2 hours before the other ladies.

I go shopping. I find this cute store:

We had fantastic macarons and I found cute presents for Becky, Dariel and Kimmie. At first I wouldn't buy them since we really hadn't started vacation, but I went back and got them. Glad I did because I never found anything else I liked. Bill loved the macarons. He said they didn't look like much but tasted great.

We think again that nothing else can go wrong. We are oh so wrong. We go to the gate that is right across from where we were sitting. They put us on ANOTHER BUS. And we get to the plane, they leave us STANDING on the bus for 45 minutes. Evidently there was a mechanical problem. The French and Italians got very irate and were screaming at the bus driver. Finally they load us on the plane. We don't have seats together and I end up with a lady from Africa and her baby. I was very afraid, but the baby slept the whole trip!! She was very nice and spoke only Italian and Spanish. So I could communicate a little in Spanish. I did get some sleep and so did Bill.

We arrive at Milan Malpensa and get our tickets for the bus to the train station, Milano Centrale. It takes an hour and we get a lovely tour of Milan. Then we arrive at the train station. We wander around for an hour trying to find where to get our Eurail passes validated. The documentation said there was a kiosk. It lied. We finally find the right place after asking, get sent to the wrong place, finally get in the right line, get a guy that does not speak English. He sends us to the next person who was very helpful. She tells us the train leaves in 5 minutes. We ask if we can make it, she says yes. We run, up the escalator, pass up people to the other escalator. We ask someone where our car is, we get on, and are not even seated when the train takes off. We were on the train 20 seconds when it took off.

Our seats are fabulous! Bill has never ridden a train before, but loved it. In college I didn't have first class tickets. This is a big difference. We are so comfortable, we have electric plugs. The food cart comes by and brings us food. There is plenty of leg room and we are not yelling at each other about the driving!! Bill napped some.

We get to Trieste and the hotel is 2 blocks away from the train station. We each have one small rolly bag and one backpack so it's a breeze walking the two blocks. We stash our bags in our room which is quite large and nice. We walk down the street and get a fabulous pizza.

Back in the room we email Paul, the guide telling him we are there, we email Jo to tell her we are in Italy. We tell her we are never flying through Charles de Gaulle again. Jo says "lest I remind you, you have to return through Paris." Bill says no, we are going through Japan, it will be faster.

We slept great.

1 comment:

hudsondebb said...

Mmmmmmm Macarons! I want some!