Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We sadly had to leave Paris and had a train that left at 6:25am to go to Amsterdam. Why would we book something that early? Because it was the cheapest ticket and wouldn't waste a day traveling (at least that was the idea).

The plan was to get up at 5am to give us plenty of time to make the train. Here is how it actually went down:

5:00am: Get up and get in the shower.

5:25am: I finish getting dressed and throw my clothes in my backpack. This is when we start to realize we were on a tight schedule.

5:26am: Rain comes pouring down like someone turned on a faucet. We stood at the door for a good 3 minutes just saying "Really?!" over and over again.

5:29am: We put on our rain jackets and head out into the downpour. Ever tried sprinting through a torrential downpour with a 30lb backpack on your back? It is actually something more like a waddle.

5:45am: Make it to the Metro station and we and everything we own is absolutely soaked. My shoes and socks are squishing out water as I take each step. We find a sympathetic man at the station to help us buy tickets and run to our subway train

5:46am: Discover that we just missed the subway train and next one won't be for another 7 minutes

5:58am: Get off at the international train station, Gare du Nord and run up a broken escalator to get to the ticket office.

6:00am: Find a ticket machine and think we are home clear. Turns out the ticket machine does not recognize the reservation number. This is about the time I am almost in meltdown mode.

6:08am: Run to the train and flag down the train director. He looks through an electronic handheld device that had the manifest and cannot find our names on it. I am beyond mad at this point. I am soaking wet, shivering, and am holding an email confirmation for our tickets that we paid in full that is apparently worthless now.... and the train is leaving. The director suggests going to buy new tickets for €100 (yeah, the keyboards here have the euro sign... pretty sweet €€€€).

6:15am: Run (waddle) our way to the ticket office and wait in line behind 4 American girls who are practically yelling at the ticket agent about their Eurail passes and not having tickets. Apparently we are not the only ones having problems.

6:20am: I am the next one in line to get tickets and Ryan takes off to go find the train director to tell him we will be making the train. I get up to the next representative and she managed to find our reservation and print the tickets in under 2 minutes. She must have sensed the despiration.

6:22am: I am tearing throught the train station (waddling) like a banshee with tickets in hand, wildly waving them. Meet up with Ryan only to find that they had just closed the board ramp for the train. We plead with the woman who just put the barrier up and it went something like this: "Si vou plais! Si vou plais!" and she let us go under the barrier.

6:24am: We make it to the door where the train director is. The same 4 American girls are there yelling at the train director because he wont let them on board. The train is 15 seconds from departing and he won't let them on. Ryan runs right up to the front of that group of people and then just jumps on the train. I follow seconds behind. The American girls go ballistic. "WHAT! how do they get to go on? Thats so unfair! What the...." and then the train director shut the door and told us we got lucky.

I really don't know how we made that train but we did. Unreal.