Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

A Rough Goodbye to Paris

Posted on May 24, 2011 in Europe |

Bye, Paris! Merci!

Our last day was a little hectic. Carter wanted a glass figurine on I’le de – I’le de something. Not the big island, the smaller one. Things got funky that day – Sherry got backwards and I got annoyed. I got us back to Jardin d’ Acclamacion (yes, again) and the kids got to jump on giant outdoor trampolines, go zip-lining and ride a bunch of fun kid rides. But today was the day that time was too short and we had to high-tail it back to the apartment. Somewhere along the way Carter got motion sick and we had to jump off the Metro.

We walked for fresh air while Sherry went to the apartment and we got delayed when we didn’t find her and visa-versa. A quick glass of wine and snacks for the kids and we were off to the train station for the overnight train to Milan.

Oh dear.

When we got to the station, I knew something was wrong. I just knew we were in the wrong place. I ran around to confirm , and sure enough, the overnight TVG to Milan was at a different train station across town — and, it was leaving in 35 minutes.

I grabbed my backpack and the kids and ran.

I wouldn’t have cared. Miss a train? So what. But we had non-refundable tickets at 400 euro. The kids kept up and we ran for a cab. He told us it was unlikely to make the train in traffic. Maybe I should have picked the Metro to transfer us. But the bags and the kids…. it was tricky. They can’t do a lot of stairs with their backpacks.

With six minutes to go, we were literally running through the train station, racing for the train. We made it. Sort of.

The tickets I had were reservations, not tickets and the office was at the other end of the terminal. I dropped my bags and ran again. I could feel people looking at me and I got scolded at the ticket office. A hot guy was screaming at me, “Your train. IS. LEEE-VEE-ING.” Again, for the umpteenth time today, I ran.

The family cheered as I jumped on the train. “Go Team Fein!” We were on our way.

I wish I could say things got easier. Sherry was exhausted. Carter and I were motion sick and Ava frustrated with us whackos. The dinner reservation lady came around and we booked inner — as she walked away, she said. “Cash Only.” We had 15 euro — that’s it. Four people, twelve hours and no food.

Eventually we talked them into taking my secret $100 bill that my mom had given me and they changed it for euro — just enough for a sandwich, chips and two plates of plain pasta. Ugh. It didn’t matter, I was so motion sick that I couldn’t stand up. Carter too. We lied in our cots and told stories in the dark because the lights and movement made us want to throw up.

Ripped sheets, yucky toilets, loud, bumpy train. We arrived today in Milan at 5:20 a.m. ready for bed.