Thursday, April 22
A mosquito bothered our sleep some. Wake up call is 3:30, we check out at 4:30 and walk back along the canal to the left and cross a bridge. To the left is the bus lot. At 4:40 an orange Airporto bus is there (early?) and as we walk up to it, it pulled away. What?!
About 5:05 a blue bus with “Marco Polo” airport in lights zoomed past us.
What is happening? We knew the orange one went about every 40 minutes.
What we didn’t know was the blue one is the one the hotel told us about but failed to tell us where to stand. They wait on the other side of the lot out of our sight. We needed to continue walking around to the left to see it. It goes directly to the airport. The orange bus is a commuter bus that stops 4-5 times on the way.
Now I’m getting nervous. A couple from Buffalo NY, in Venice on vacation, walked up. They had made a couple dry runs to the airport (why didn’t we think of that?) They assure us we have time. He knew where to stand-by the poles with the correct #. If you are not inside the painted line when the bus leaves it doesn’t wait. Mr. NY says you have to sometimes hurry onto the bus.
It is still dark and we are grateful for their presence.
We hurry into the airport at 5:15 for a 7:05 flight. Delta desk was empty. What? Oh, they put us on KLM. Where’s KLM? There is a long line at check in and long line at security. After standing in line for a while I said let’s do self check in. So we got our boarding pass and ran to security. I had a brain freeze because of the time and I’m panicking, and here we are standing in line with our luggage. This was the most stupid thing I did on the whole trip. I KNEW you had to check your bags. What was I thinking? I was thinking we need to get on that plane or her mother will never forgive me.
We are running back to the KLM desk and are the last in line behind 2 others. It is 6:30 now. The agent asks, “Final destination?”
“Cleveland,” I say.
“I only show you booked through Amsterdam.”
Aubrey thinks I am going to jump over the counter. I started talking fast, said all week I had been calling, showed her what I had written down.
She is talking to another agent-another minute. She is calling someone-2 more minutes. Finally she prints out a new boarding pass. The board above now reads “Flight Closed”. We are the last ones to fill the flight and there are no stand bys. (Evidently several people had this problem. One guy said he was the 1st one at the airport this a.m. and the last one on board.)
The agent leans over the counter to check the security line when I question if we still have time. She assures us we can make it.
We run back to security and wait again. I’m wondering if it is polite to say our flight is in 15 minutes and may we go to the front of the line? At least here we don’t remove shoes. And security went quickly.
We are running out of security as they are paging “passengers Judy xxxxx and Aubrey xxxxx please report to concourse 5 for boarding.” We run out and see 1-4 and 6-12. “Where is 5”, we yell as we spin around. An agent starts flailing her arms in the direction we should go. There is a banner or something obscuring the concourse #. There it is. We run and they page again.
The doors seemingly close behind us as we find our seats. MADE IT!!
What we learned for travel in Europe specifically Venice
- In Europe ATMs take debit cards not credit cards
- Hotels and Table Cloth restaurants take credit cards
- In Venice the Alilaguna, public transportation, only takes Euros
- Water taxis take credit cards
- Cafes, gelato bars and waterbus take Euros
- Buy the 3 day anytime pass for hop-on hop-off convenience on the waterbus/18E
- The airport or military base have the best rate of exchange for dollars
- The exchange rate is 1 Euro to 1.44 US, but it can change daily
- Trains and buses run ON TIME
- Make a test run to the airport especially if you have an early morning flight
- There are many Carlton’s in Venice. Ours was Carlton on the Grand Canal. Jodi had trouble finding us-she only knew Carlton
- When using the internet, just buy the 24hr/12E rather than 1hr/5E
- At internet cafes you don’t need to wait in line if you have your own computer