International Airports… Enough Said…

So on December 22, 2012 I finally arrived in Europe! Not at my original destination of Milan as planned, but in Paris, France.

To remind you of what just happened (if you don’t recall, or didn’t read my last post), I was bumped from my flight to Milan, and luckily got a last minute seat from Newark to Paris. I was able to purchase a flight from Paris to Milan and change the time of my flight from Milan to Catania. Phew!

What I didn’t mention was that I was thankfully smart enough to take a screen shot of the confirmation on my phone. This helped so that when I got to Paris, all I had to do was keep flashing the screen shot with the name of the airlines on it. This was used instead of them speaking to me (which they weren’t inclined to do since I’m American and speak English). They just kept pointing me in the direction I needed to go. Another important note is that not all the terminals had Wi-Fi, which is why thankfully I had that screen shot. Because it had been 8+ hours when in a panic I booked that flight, and I would’ve never remembered the name of the airlines.

I finally did make it to my terminal and sat down to catch my breath. I thankfully (again) had a three hour layover in Paris. I only say thankfully because it took an hour with my inability to communicate and read their signs to get to my gate. At this point I finally had a chance to use Wi-Fi and let everyone know I’d made it safely to Paris. Facebook is so great!

The time came to board my flight on EasyJet! They were great! No hiccups, no delays, and a drink and snack for my 1 hour flight. They were also very inexpensive. So I would highly recommend them if you’re looking for an inexpensive flight within Europe. They have a mobile app and everything. Don’t forget to take that screen shot of your confirmation in case no one speaks the language and all you can get is a pointed finger!

I’ve arrived in Milan… Finally! I made it easily to my next gate only to find out that they have different rules about bags. 3 flights into this trip and the lady tells me at the counter that I can’t have both a purse and a carry on. I have to admit that after twenty plus hours of flying with the same two items, I looked at her as if she had two heads. I had no clue how I was going to put what was actually my camera bag into my carry-on.

What I ended up doing was pretty ridiculous. I actually had to put on multiple layers of clothing and hang my camera from my neck. I was so hot at this point and just plain angry. She finally let me through security and gave me my boarding pass. After that I went to a bathroom and put everything back to the way it was and they let me board the plane just fine. Insanity I tell you. It’s like they’re just trying to prove a point or something. Just so you all know in this case who not to fly with (unless you’re a guy with only one bag) the name of the airlines was Air One. I did check and this is the only airlines there that has this rule.

With no time to even check in on Facebook (which I realized later was not a good thing) I boarded the plane to Catania to FINALLY meet up with Luis. I couldn’t wait. Finally the trip of a lifetime was about to begin. Because other than my brief visit to New York with Maria and David, it had been shall we say “challenging”.

I finally arrived on December 23, 2012 in Catania at around 8:00 pm. But yeah you guessed it (or you didn’t), I had no way to tell Luis that. So I started trying to find Wi-Fi again to no avail. Long story short, he eventually found me.

I did it! After Twenty-six plus hours and 4 flights I made it to Catania! I checked in on Facebook to let the family back home know. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to know that at this point the only form of transportation I was using till it was time to head back to the states would be trains, cars, and boats!

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the trip… Italy…

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