We fly to Venice on Ryanair. I guess it is a small european company that flies all over the place out there. They were very strict as to how much we were allowed to check in and bring onto the plane. It was a full flight. Then there is an hour of a time change, so that just made you feel weird altogether. But the flight was only 2 hours long. We get to Venice, tried to figure out how to get from the airport to the island? Well we followed the long lines...and paid 9 euros for a roundtrip ticket on a bus. It was a full bus too. After traveling for an hour and a half on a bus to the island, we had to find our hotel. Well that was a little bit of a challenge, considering we didn't speak Italian. I took the confirmation page and just showed the address to people trying to see where we needed to go...there is a water taxi, its just like the bus, but because there was no land, just water...it stopped at every few blocks. I finally got an answer as to where to get off to find our hotel. We stayed at Sant' elena hotel. It was a beautiful hotel. I was soooo hungry. After we drop off our stuff, we are on our way to find food. Well the only trouble is...there is a lot of walking and I was pretty much pushing myself to walk. We found a really nice Italian restaurant that had a view of the water...the sun was setting, it was beautiful. We had dinner, which was really good, by the way. We start walking back to the hotel, but then decide we should just take the general water taxi back because that's a far walk for all of us. As we ride on the water taxi back, almost at our stop, I wasn't feeling so well. I don't remember what happened next, but I found myself at the hotel with my mother [literally] screaming at me "wake up, Melissa!" My daughter had called my neurologist in the US and spoke with him personally. Apparently, they were instructed to admit me into the local hospital [whereever that may be?]. I tell them both that I am okay and it is not necessary. Later, my neurologist asks me, why didn't your mom call instead of your twelve year old daughter? I told him because my mom didn't know what to do in an emergency and my daughter is so mature, that she knew exactly what to do. The next morning...we didn't really have much time...we made our way to Murano island. The two things I wanted to do in Venice was ride on a gondola and see Murano island and buy glass [yes, I am a retard], but hey, I don't really want to drag my body all over the place. I got to do at least one - go to Murano Island and buy glass, it was beautiful.
Next, our crazy way back to the airport and whatever else that happens next. We get to the main area where our bus had dropped us off...well...apparently, there isn't a bus because of some reason...people were waiting all over the place, we were all from different countries and none of us could understand each other. Finally, I just asked the taxi how much it would cost to get us to the airport by 2:45. I was told it was about 75 euros, which equates to 100 usd. We take the taxi to make our flight. We check in, stand in a LONG line and wait. Wait and wait again, finally boarding the plane and making it back to Stansted [London]. We take a bus from Stansted to Heathrow [which was really late because of traffic]. We sit outside waiting for the bus, it suddenly became very cold. So cold, that I finally had to go indoors because my Raynaud's was just painful. Finally a bus comes, but it isn't our bus, but we take it anyway because our bus is just stuck in traffic. It takes us to Heathrow, but the main terminal, we need terminal 4, which is 30 or 40 minutes away. The bus drivers had to change, anxiously waiting, we finally get one & he drops us off. We get to the ticket counter....lots of people for some reason. They print off our boarding passes and our luggage stickers. As she notes that I need wheelchair assistance, she tears up my tickets in front of my face and tells me that she has given up my seats. What??? Apparently, there was a fire in Waterloo and they have canceled the Eurostar [which is the other alternative to get from London to Paris], so everyone [I mean everyone] was diverted to the airport. All on British Airways or Air France. We were flying British Airways. I went over to the customer service desk and complained...it was the last flight out, and why the hell did she have to do that? I would've limped my ass to the gate. The lady at the British Airways "customer service" desk told me that I needed to make a claim with "customer relations". I looked at her with a bewildered look, where am I? She had to clarify it again that this is "customer service" not "customer relations". I call my travel insurance, trying to book a hotel close to the airport because [apparently] all flights are over booked and if you want to try to get on the first flight out of London you have to be at the terminal at 5:00 a.m. We called ALL hotels, expensive to cheap, but it couldn't be more than five miles away or else it was just useless. They were all fully booked. My luck, right? We end up sleeping @ the airport, with many others. We were able to get on the first flight, but they were offering cash 175 euros if you would wait for the next flight which is an hour later that same day, we said "hell NO". Yes, it is good money, about $250 per person, but we were tired, aggrivated & just wanted to get out of there.