Tuesday, November 4

48 hours, Oh no, I mean 72 hours in Italy!!

I'm safely back from Venezia, Italy but it wasn't a good weekend. So here is the weekend in a semi quick review:
Friday I felt like I had a cold coming on & was in one of those "I don't like anyone or anything" moods brought, but as I walked out of the office on Friday evening my coworkers told me to relax & try to have fun (famous last words, ah?)
Walked up Gower Street to the Euston Square tube station, took the circle line to Liverpool Street station, picked up my Standstead Express ticket, got on the first train, half way to the airport I started to feel better, got to the airport, got some Euros, met MC, checked in, through security, to gate, on time, no worries. (note: I'd never met MC, but a mutual friend introduced us via email and she really wanted to travel together so I gave it a whirl since I enjoyed travelling with the mutual friend) MC & I start to chat about this & that and things seemed okay, but I realise she's probably one of those people if I'd met her ahead of time I'd probably realised I'd not wanna travel with her.
The plane takes off & they warn us it's going to be a rough road for basically the whole 2 hours - you know me, I'm not thrilled but remember to breath & try to keep occupied with reading my guide book of Venice. Come to find out MC's even more scared to fly than me - not good if I'm the one offering the comfort (LOL) but to be honest the bumps where not that bad & I was really fine as long as I was occupied.
Side note one example of why we're never going to be bosom buddies, she said, "oh I never have turbulence on planes" to which I asked, "how often do you fly?" "This is my 4th plane ride" How in the world can you make a comment like you NEVER get turbulence when your on your 4th plane ride?!?!?!?!?! Now really come on! Also just cause you live in London doesn't make you a world traveller . . . so you've gone to & from the UK to the US once & travelled with work to Denmark - yet she bashes other Americans for not having a passport or seeing the world. ALSO & probably even more disturbing to me is she likes Sarah Palin & she voted for McCain - I should have left her at the airport at that point!! I'm just kidding it was just that she spent a lot of time telling me how great Sarah Palin is & I was nice about it but clearly stated that I wasn't a fan & didn't really wanna be lectured in a way where I felt she was trying to bring me over to her side - I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin, but I know people are & that's the wonderful thing about America we have the right to have our own opinion - I'm not going to try to convince you to not like her so don't try to convince me to like her. I understand people like her & McCain & I respect people's opinions - I know lots of people who like them & that's great that we have the right in the US to have opinions about our politicians, just don't try to shove it down my throat, you never once heard me lecturing anyone about how great Obama is, so why do you feel the need to lecture me, cause it's too late, I've already voted!!
Okay back to my weekend . . . We land in Treviso, get the last bus to Venice, arrive in Venice in the fog & rain - MC hands me the paper with the reservation on it & is of NO help at all in finding where we need to go, not that I need her to help but she's complaining about how cold, dark & wet it is (as if I have control over these issues).
I find our hotel thanks to the Lonely Planet guide, we get into bed around midnight. I ask what time she wants to get up to start exploring, thinking I'd like to be out the door around 8am as we're only here 24 hours. She wants to wake up at 9am . . . I decided as it's late that's a good idea to get a good nights sleep so I go with it. I neglected to realise when you wake up at 9am, shower, do your hair, put on your make up, get dressed etc that you won't be ready till 11am. Trying to remain calm & not be totally rude & ditch her as she has admitted she's super shy & afraid to travel on her own (aka don't leave me in this room alone) I try to respect that knowing I was not always as independent as I am today, but making mental notes to check credentials of future travel partners before flying to foreign countries!!
Out of the hotel, off to get our boat bus ticket, HUGE queue, but weather is rather sunny & warm. High tide so we're walking on the special board walks which I think is cool & makes me feel like I'm really in Venice - others complain about the slowness of the process & the annoyance of having to wait (HELLO, we're on holiday take a chill pill lady!)
Got the passes, I find the way to the number one boat which takes you to almost every stop along the grand canal - I make the executive decision as I have the guide book & the sense of direction that I'm now going to run this show (not rudely, just not going to waste time anymore). An hour later we're at the far end of Venice, so we get off & slowly start to walk back taking in the scenery. We stop for lunch & a glass of wine, which by the way was horrible!
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around exploring the Murano glass & the beautiful carnival masks. I took us on one of the walks in the book so I was able to see the famous sights.
That night we eat on the grand canal at this horrid place where the gnocchi tasted like dog food. Back to the hotel by 9pm, asleep by 10pm & I was up early, but she was not - getting frustrated I woke her up & told her of my plans for the day, she jumped into the shower & attempted to be ready quickly (note quickly is not in her vocab at this hour in the morning).
Got a boat out to Murano island to see the glass blowing, a glass museum & some more beautiful necklaces! Good day all in all but I noticed the weather was getting rather rainy & foggy. At the airport 3 hours before its suppose to depart in fear the bus would be delayed in traffic - noticed immediately that all flights leaving "soon" where delayed due to weather & I tell MC I have a gut feeling we're not getting out of here tonight, and I also tell her I KNOW my gut & it's 99.62% right. We get a bite to eat whilst waiting to check in. Then suddenly there is lots of commotion & I look to see all flights for the night are cancelled due to weather. She starts to whine about how she has to work the next day (as if I don't!?!?!?) We stand in the huge queue for 3 hours (6 flights cancelled & only 2 help desks open). During which time the news travels back to us that the next flight out of here to London is on the 3rd . . . half hour later, 4th . . . etc by time we reach the desk at 11.45pm there next flight is on Friday the 7th unless we want to fly from another airport. Our only choice is to fly at 10.45pm the next day from Torino - I say okay having no clue where it is or how we get there.
During this time I've made friends with a mother & her 2 daughters (age 30 & 28) from Australia. They're in the same boat as we are so I offer to find a hotel & ask MC to get us a taxi for 5 (the Aussies are besides themselves with no phone, no internet & no clue what's going on and not really experienced travellers either) I call & reserve 2 rooms, get the 3 Aussies & head outside where MC stands without a cab. What's going on I ask her - "oh there was a cab but he can't take 5 people so I let him go" . . . this is now past midnight & it's not like Treviso is a busy town, not sure when a taxi will come back for us, why did she not ask him to call another one, I don't know, well I do but I'm trying not to bitch about her too much. I go inside, call for 2 taxis to the hotel, they arrive, we get to hotel, get our rooms, asleep by 1am.
Wake up call at 6am, someone is not happy about how early it is, she explains she doesn't wake up till 7.30am cause she doesn't have to be to work till 9am - I explain we need to get a train which we haven't yet booked so I'm sorry but get your arse outta bed or I will leave you here.
Breakfast at the hotel, I get directions & bus passes for everyone, play follow the leader to the bus (can you guess who the leader is?) Get on the bus, go to train station, I get 5 tickets from Treviso to Torino (via Mestra and Milano). Get on the train to Mestra, 1 hour wait for next train to Milano, 2 hour trip to Milano, 1 hour wait for next train to Torino, 2 hour train there. Attempt to find the bus to airport, but nobody speaks English. I come up with idea to go to a hotel & ask them. Yet again it's follow the leader to the hotel where I ask for directions, I book 5 bus tickets and then announce I'm hungry & lets get some food as the bus to the airport is only 45 minutes & we've got 4.5 hours till check in begins & I'm guessing the airport isn't a Chicago O'Hare where we could entertain ourselves.
Only problem at this point is that it's 4pm and where in the world do you get food . . . let me fill you in, just in case you couldn't figure it out on your own, you don't! We wondered around & finally found a place which at 5.30 would have a "happy hour buffet" so we sat there & ordered a glass of wine for 8 Euros which included all you can eat at this FABULOUS buffet of fresh antipasto and pasta with fresh tomatoes - YUM! The wine here was actually good, course I have no clue what it was since I don't speak Italian for anything and just asked to try the house red. From there I lead everyone to the bus stop, we boarded the bus all rather cranky & knackered at this point, ride for 1 hour out to the airport, wait for check in to start, check in, go to get an ice cream, watch the sign warn that the plane will be 1 hour late, wait around for more time!
Finally board, MC runs & pushes to the front, I let her go and calmly board like a normal human being, end up not being able to find her in the crowds of people so I don't have to sit with her (blessing in disguise), plane finally leaves at 11.30, we arrive in London 2 hours later, go through passport control, (MC at this point has bolted yet again without saying goodbye or even sending a text message, pushing & shoving - being that obnoxious American I'm always complaining about in public places so from here on out we don't see her).
The Aussies & I find out we've missed the last train into London so we have to get a bus which doesn't go anywhere near where we want it to, we arrive at Marble Arch at 2am, I help them find a night bus going in their direction & I wait for a night bus in my direction for 26 minutes (not that I was counting just trying to keep myself awake) and then ride bus home arriving safely around 3am!
All I can say is I will think twice before travelling with strangers, especially mutual friend introductions - I think random internet meeting is safer, right Momma Itafari?!?!?!?!
I think I sorta like Venice, the canals are cool, the glass is amazing, but have such a sour taste in my mouth from being with MC that I'm not sure I can recommend the city at this moment in time. Oh & one other thing, I forgot my camera and you know how much I LOVE to take photos!

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At 04 November, 2008 12:55, Blogger mary o said...

OMG, what a 72(!) hours. I'll have to read it again to see exactly how many buses and trains and taxis you rode. Slightly distatrous; but it seems that you took in what you wanted and kept your cool!

I hope you get a good, long sleep soon.

Love, Mommio

At 04 November, 2008 17:28, Anonymous dad said...

well, quite an adventure....but i am sure it did not seem it at the time. you did great managing the situation....as usual...love dad

At 06 November, 2008 00:21, Blogger Vicky Trabosh said...

I think we should go back to Rwanda. Seems to be a much easier adventure for you. And I KNOW your traveling mate was not so much trouble! LOL. And guess what my word verification is to post this?? CHANA - looks a lot like cyane! Mama Itafari

At 07 November, 2008 00:07, Blogger BRAINCHEESE said...

I don't know how you kept from hurling on the initial plane ride...and not from the turbulence either! Geez...Sara Palin?!? I'd have had to parachute out the plane...LOL

Linda D. in Seattle

At 13 November, 2008 13:02, Blogger Sara said...

Mary O:
yes it was a LONG 72 hours to say the least!

it was fun just not as much as I was sorta hoping - but such is life!

Sister Itafari:
I AGREE, when you wanna go?

If I'd had one I mighta tried!


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