I circled the “T” for true on the last part of my test, didn’t double check it nor did I care whether it was right or wrong, I then grabbed my bag handed it to my teacher and ran out of that classroom! Midterms were over!!!! Let fall break begin..haha little did I know what was about to happen.
Wait, before I tell you the adventures to Amsterdam, you have to know a couple events that occurred before we even let. So the day before we found out about the transportation strike occurring in Italy on October 18th 2013. Like really? Any other strike and or any other day but that day would have been nice considering October 18th 2013 was the day we were leaving for our fall break. So we had to think fast and do anything we could to try and defeat the strike. We quickly decided to stay a night in Pisa, Italy (where our plane was taking off). This way we didn’t have to worry about the buses or trains not being able to take us from Florence to Pisa in the morning. The only thing we now had to worry about was whether the plane would take off or not. We thought maybe since we booked an early flight it wouldn’t be affected. We even called the airport to ask if the flight would be cancelled and they had told us that as of right now no it wouldn’t.
So after all of my friends tests were handed in we all headed to the train station to catch the bus to Pisa! We got on the bus and as everyone sat down I’m pacing up and down the bus isle “WHERE IS BRI BRI! She scares the shit out of me” I’m calling her and calling her until she finally answers and I was like, “thank god, where are you? Get here right now.” I hear her feet banging against the streets and she says to me, out of breath, “don’t worry I’ll be there in 5 minutes.” I told her “it’s okay I’ll make the bus driver wait.” When she gets to the station she calls me asking me where the bus is I’m telling her in panic “across from Mcdonald’s in the front of the station” and were both in panic yelling at each other “no this way, no this way.” I ask the bus driver if I can go get my friend and he says no were leaving right now either get off the bus and don’t come back or stay on and leave now. Dang that was harsh …..He starts pulling away immediately and I was like “uhhhh Bri we’re literally leaving right now.” Tears of terror came out of Bri, it felt like the world was over. But for only a second because I quickly remembered that you can change the time of your ticket for free so she went to the info desk and caught the next bus.
So when the gang and I minus Bri got to Pisa October 17th we thought we had gotten a hostel that was in the airport, it ended up being a 20 minute walk away. When we got there the guy was frantically running around as if he wasn’t expecting us. He comes out and says “uh hold on I should probably clean the beds.” We all looked at each other in confusion; scare, whatever our feelings were we were unsure what was about to happen. There was another group of girls who he took in first and then he said come with me, to me and the guys. So we follow him another 15 minute walk to a random place that to this day I don’t know where we ended up staying, but hey it was a bed I guess. As we were walking there luckily we spotted Bri in a taxi. She came along and as we got into the place we were staying we literally breathed in an entire pack of cigarettes, gross. The guy then said that three of us could stay on one bed and he would bring an extra cot for another person and then one would have to stay in a room with random people. We went out got some drinks and pizza and then tried to find the leaning tower of Pisa, failed at that, went back to the hostel and me, Bri, and Chaney (my boyfriend) all slept in the top bunk together and Josh lost the fight and had to sleep with the random old men in the other room, poor Joshy. We were surprised how well we actually ended up sleeping. Hey, way to start the trip off with a funny story! It could only get better from here, Right?
So the next morning we wake up at 6Am to get to the airport because our flight was taking off at 8Am. Destination one was Amsterdam! We were beyond excited and could not wait to get there. But don’t forget it was October 18th 2013, the day of the transportation strike. So 8Am came around and our flight was delayed a half hour, not bad, then it was delayed 20 more minutes, okay, okay that’s okay. Then 15 more than an hour more and then all of a sudden it was 11:20 and the lady announced on the intercom that our flight was cancelled! WHAT, NOW WHAT?! Our entire trip could be ruined if we don’t get there. We had a festival to get to in Amsterdam, from Amsterdam we had a bus to Paris, and from Paris we had a flight to Barcelona, we booked all our hostels all of which said no refund and all of that would go to waste if we didn’t get to Amsterdam within the next 12 hours. That is exactly why we were getting there some way somehow.
^^^^^^waiting, waiting, and more waiting^^^^^^
Without thinking we went straight to the Ryanair (the company we used for our flights) line in hopes of getting another plane to Amsterdam. We waited in that long and stinky line for an hour everyone’s bodies touching each other, sweating our asses off, tears coming through all of our eyes at different times, complaining and fighting you name it, we were miserable. Brianna says “Hey guys, were in this together” and at that point that was so comforting to hear and so true. We had to keep a positive outlook! Long story and long exhausting day short, with a little bit of team work and Nate’s initiative to get us the tickets we ended up booking a free flight to Paris. We planned to take a train from Paris to Amsterdam and we would be there by 10 in the morning and still be able to make it to the Amsterdam festival. Yayy we were finally back on track and things were looking up again!
^^^^^^The Amsterdam music festival kept us motivated^^^^^^
A couple of celebratory bottles of wines later we get on the plane to Paris. Once we arrive in Paris were all ready to book our train, but then we come to find out that were actually an hour away from Paris and that we’d have to take a bus there and from Paris there are no trains at this time. We quickly think to rent a car and drive it to Amsterdam and drop it off at the same company in Amsterdam. We find out they only have stick shift and Chaney was the only one who knew how to drive stick, so with a little hesitation and anxiety kicking in he says he will do it with lots of espresso and us cheering him on. We all put our hands in together and did a group cheer, “1,2,3 DON’T DIE!” The boys try to figure out the car situation while the girls try to see if there are any other flights just in case. We both found out that we can’t take the car out of France and there is no flight to Amsterdam or anywhere close to Amsterdam. WOW, everything was in circles for me, we were stranded in a foreign country, we have limited amounts of money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Amsterdam even though we absolutely had to get there. Then Ali’s phone rings, its Nate. He proposes a plan that the car company said we could get a 1000£ taxi that will bring us right to our hostel. Between 7 of us that would be 150£ each. At this point we all were ecstatic about this idea and with no hesitation we said get the taxi. We ran over got the taxi and were finally on our way to Amsterdam!
^^^^^^only documentation of us in the taxi^^^^^^
^^^^^^and it came toooooo 1,073€^^^^^^
5 hours later we arrived in Amsterdam at 3AM. It was beautiful! We all had crooked smiles on our faces with relief and exhaustion. Brianna and Ali went to one hostel and Nate, Chaney, Josh, Bri, and I go to another. When we get to our hostel, “The White Tulip” we receive the news that they gave our beds away, after all it was 3Am. However, they still allowed us to stay there Josh and Nate on the ground Chaney, Bri, and I on the window sill. Instead of going straight to bed or window sill, we went out into the Red Light District. Why end the night now? Our other friend Matt who didn’t get affected by the strike was still up and had some goodies to share with us. We went to a bar, yes they were still open, it’s Amsterdam duh. We got the most delicious glass of Heineken, chilled, and began laughing hysterically in a delirious state and in disbelieve of what had just happened. It was almost as if we had woken up because it was all over! We made it thoughhhhhhhhhhh! Some way, Somehow!
^^^^^^All in it together^^^^^^
And this was just the Beginning!