Posts Tagged ‘airport’

Erica Goes to Pulkovo

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

More than two weeks ago, Alex asked me if I would accompany him to the airport when he signed off. Of course I said absolutely!! We didn’t really think it would be too difficult, the port agent was taking him so I could just hop in the van and hopefully the agent could just bring me back. This week we found out it was a little more complicated. The agent would not be able to bring me back to the ship. Not to worry, being a planner, I googled my way from the airport (Pulkovo) back to the ship. Remember how I told you that everything in Russia is in Russian? It’s still true and my Russian has not gotten any better. Our staff admin asked me on our way out today, if I was going to catch a cab back to the ship. My answer? Absolutely not. A taxi to the ship would be over 1000 rubles, I would take the bus and metro!! She looked at me like I suddenly grew a second head and wished me luck.

We had a lovely ride to the airport, chatting and sharing memories from our favorite days in port. The traffic was awful, making me a wee but concerned about getting back to work on time. After (finally) finding Alexey’s gate and checking his luggage, he walked me back out to the bus station. For the record, the St.Petersburg airport is confusing.

Our conversation on the way to the bus sounded something like this:
Alexey: ‘ok, tell me again exactly how you’re getting home’
Erica: ‘I’m taking bus #39 to Moskovskaya then taking the metro to Nevskiy Prospekt then changing trains and taking the new train to Primorskaya then the #158 bus to the ship’ (see, I know where I’m going!)
A: ‘ok but don’t change trains, just get off the metro at Nevsky, then go up to the street and from there you’ll see your favorite bookstore (that’s right, I have a favorite St.Petersburg bookstore, I’m a geek) then just walk to the crew shuttle, you’ve done that walk a million times, (I’ve done it 8 times) you’ll be fine.
E: ‘eeeeeekk ok, you think that’s better?’
A: ‘yes, don’t worry, you’ll be fine, you’ve taken the metro with me tons of times (twice), you know what you’re doing.’
E: ‘ok. Ya. You’re right, ill be fine’
A: ‘Just be careful you get on the train going the right direction or you’re screwed’.
E: ‘oh no’

I felt like a kid going to school for the first time, we got to the stop just as the bus arrived, said our goodbyes. Alex checked if I had enough rubles to get on the bus so I wouldn’t get left on the street somewhere. Armed with 85 rubles (which, for the record, is like 3 dollars), a metro token, a map (in Russian), my intrepid adventurer’s spirit, and having been taught how to say all the names of where I needed to go in Russian, I hopped on the bus and tried to look local.

You know how sometimes all the planning in the world can’t save you? This wasn’t one of those times. I caught my bus, and my train and walked to St.Issac’s square without an issue. The lady who takes your money on the bus clearly noticed I’m not Russian, and made sure I got off at my metro stop. Following the commuters from there got me right to my metro station. A big thank you to Russia for building a bookstore so amazing that I can never lose it. I was nervous for sure, as a traveller, not being able to speak the language is one of the most stressful things. But I was well prepared and I’ve been to the city enough times now that I know my way around once I get back downtown. In fact, I’m really happy I went, it’s a great feeling when you do something that makes you nervous and it goes well. Now if this crew shuttle bus will ever leave, I’ll even make it to work on time!!



On the road again

In customs, Florida, flying, travel, traveling on August 28, 2012 at 6:56 am

Well here I am, in the Sea-Tac airport, gate B. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent at least 20 hours in this particular terminal, it always seems to be the one I fly out of. I’m so very excited to be off on a new adventure, I can’t even explain it. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to all my friends in Victoria but I’ll be home soon enough and I’m just so beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that almost every time I travel, I have a super amazing time in the airport/customs, and feel the need to go on and on about it. Well this is another one of those times, so if you don’t want to hear how much fun I just had in customs, maybe go ahead and skip to the bottom. You were warned!
I got on the Clipper in Victoria, which is pretty much my favorite way to get into the US, I love the boat and the smell of the ocean and also seem to find really cheap flights from Seattle to Orlando. So the boat was a little bit late docking (9:50 instead of 9:30) and my flight was leaving at 11:30. Customs was a breeze, I showed them my letter of employment from Carnival and he wished me good luck and off I went So I skipped the light rail, which is usually one of my favorite parts of Seattle, and caught a cab once I got through customs. I told my cab driver that I was scared I was going to miss my plane, and he totally rose to the occasion, he made the 30 minute drive to Sea-Tac in 15 minutes. No joke!! So I arrived and rushed to the United desk, checked myself in, and prepared to pay for my overweight luggage (whoops!!). The United attendant came over to take my money, looks at me, and says “That’s a lot of money ($25 for the bag, $100 for the overweight fee), why don’t you just put some things in your carry-on.” So I began to pull random things out of one suitcase and stuff them in my carry-on. I must have looked pretty tragic because after about 40 seconds of watching me struggle with my luggage (I was rushing, worried about missing my flight), he finally just said, “Don’t worry about it, just give me that bag.” So I thanked him profusely and gave him my bag. But I didn’t get a luggage tag because I was supposed to be paying for the luggage so he calls his supervisor over to get my a bag tag and tells me quietly “Don’t tell her it’s over weight, just tell her you messed up checking in.” Which of course I did. So one bag tag later, I saved $100 thanks to my new friend and I scampered off to security. At security I learned something new, apparently not only can you not have liquids/gels over 3 ounces, but you can’t have more than a quart of them. Which I did. (whoops!) So I had to get bag checked and pull out all my random eye creams and whatnot. I chatted with the fellow checking my bags and after moving around my things a bit, he let me keep most of them, I threw out some random samples of moisturizer or something and with his well wishes, off I went again. Upon arrival at B5, I discovered my flight was delayed and so full that they were asking for people to check some carry-on luggage! So not only did I make my flight, I have time to blog AND I get to check my carry-on for free!!! BEST FLIGHT EVER!!!! And that brings us to right now! I’m sitting in the B5 terminal next to a power outlet waiting for my plane to arrive, soaking up all the free wi-fi that Sea-Tac has to offer, happy as a clam. I just love flying, I always have so much fun. I think partly it’s because I’m such a happy traveler that it’s hard to not get caught up in how excited I am to be going places, and then it makes people want to help me out. Getting ready to board my plane! I’m so very excited to be in Orlando in the morning!!! More updates soon!!