May 26, 2014 Happy Anniversary Babe

May 26th 2014
We got off the plane in Milan this morning at 9:00 Milano time. Happy Anniversary Babe. We were the first to board last night but the last to disembark today, fine by us less crowds. Quinn was in charge of debs wheelchair and did a great job. I carried Deb onto and off the plane, figured it would be easier than getting an aisle chair. We had to go all the way through first class this time and 1) next time try to get first class “nice”, recliners, bigger screens, way more room. and 2) Deb gets heavy going that far. They brought a elevator truck to get us from the other side of the plane and drove us to what looked like a back dock. We get to see more places than most other people, sometimes thats good, sometimes no. This time was cool. Alesondro (Alex) took us through the back of the airport, through where they stamp your passport and helped us get our luggage. Then he brought us to the train station there and turned us loose on Milan, Thank you for the grammar lessons, Alex, you were very patient and accomodating.
We figured out the train setup pretty quickly and knew our train left tomorrow from Garabaldi station, and our hotel was across the street from the station. What we didn’t know was that the Hotel Demo is across from Milano Centrale station not Garabaldi. Not a big deal for the able bodied, short fifteen minute walk, or 5 minute cab ride, or take the bus or tube. We’re Krebs’, we work for our vacations.
1) We figured out which station was ours but when the doors opened, there was a drop off to get off the train, doors only stay open about 60 seconds so couldn’t get off at our station. Remember we hadn’t realized our hotel was at Centrale not Garabaldi.
2) Went on to Centrale, no way off there either, but a kind gentleman went for us to find a porter, I think porter maybe engineer. Either way shortly a guy in a uniform came back to us and said “Stay on the train, as it goes back to Malpensa there will be a way off in Garabaldi” at least that is what it turned out he said. He could have been calling us crazy Americans for all I know, but he did get us to Garabaldi. That’s where the fun really began.
3) Saw a SNCF train ticket office and stopped to see if we could get tickets for Deb and I for in the morning at 06:00. Went in and saw the first African American we had seen in Italy AND he spoke pretty good English, but then most people here know much more of my language than I know of theirs. No problem getting a ticket for us if you have the money. Somebody once told us “Take half as much clothes and twice as much money when you go on a trip” 167.00 Euros for K & D, that was with Deb only being 45 E. The boys paid less but we got theirs way earlier, still not too bad. Little problem he says. May not be anyone to help off the train in Paris, No problem, we have ramp we got this. Little problem he says, no ticket for wheelchair on train from Paris to Bayonne at 17:00. No problem another train maybe. Yes one leaves at 14:00 with room, great. Little problem he says, only one hour to get from Gare de Lyon to Gare Montparnesse, where our train leaves from. Not enough time. Must stay the night in Paris. Uh Oh, that is not what we planned, Paris is expensive but can’t get another train to Bayonne until 28th, we’ll make it work.
4) The ticket takers at SNCF called for an accessible cab for us, will be outside in 9 minutes, grab our stuff and head out, Deb can’t get in cab. Quinn goes back in and talks with them about options. After about 2-3 hours special cab comes and takes us to Hotel Demo. (see other post about Hotel Demo).

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