Planes, Trains and Automobiles


This is the second chapter of our Adventures in Amsterdam. It feels necessary to point out that Corey might not call this part of our trip an ‘adventure’ as he actually has a job that he had to return to, but I, on the other hand, was quite content with spending a couple of extra days with him in The Netherlands (insert big cheesy grin).

While we lounged at Schipol airport, we were feeling pretty smart about our early morning trip out to the windmill park.  Then, an hour before the flight, we learned that there was simply too much fog to land in London on Sunday night! This launched an hour long trek through the airport, visiting numerous gates and informational booths in an effort to find out how we’d get out of Amsterdam in time for Corey to get to work on Monday.

No such luck. British Airways provided a voucher for one night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel complete with free meals. Over a pasta dinner, we did make friends with a couple from Boston who had just relocated to London in February so comparing notes with them was a really fun way to spend the evening at an airport hotel.

So what do we do with another half day in Amsterdam? We eat the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, train back to Amsterdam Central station, and rent bikes for three hours to ride around the canals! All weekend, Corey wanted to get on a bike to really take in the culture of Amsterdam. I wasn’t ready to be a part said culture, as I knew I’d create some sort of accident with my lack of experience on two wheels in another country.  So having Monday to bike around, with much less bike and foot traffic, was just perfect! We biked along the water, then back and forth on the main canals, and finally to Vondel Park, their version of Central Park.

After such a great day “stuck” in Amsterdam, we learn our flight was cancelled again! This time, we knew exactly where to find the British Airways customer service counter.  Corey’s persuasive talking points got us on the only flight that was actually departing for London (score!) – and we were definitely those people running to catch the plane. High fives for a smooth take off, and we even got to sit next to one another because someone switched seats. Perfect.

Except, wait for it……..when we got closer to City Airport, the pilot informed us that he would attempt to land, but if unable, we would be on our way back to Amsterdam!?! Corey swears that as he watched the plane descend he could see Hyde Park through the fog which is why the plane was immediately thrust back into the sky to return to Schipol. Hyde Park is no where near where we wanted to land.

Here’s were it gets real.

  • One, now we can’t land in Amsterdam. They’ve got too much traffic with other flights also returning from their scheduled destinations.
  • Two, we’re re-routed to the Rotterdam Hague Airport. There are no British Airways employees at the Rotterdam airport to give us any information about the next steps.
  • Three, we are put on a bus back to Schipol airport to wait in line again at the BA customer service counter (about 40 minutes away).
  • Four, Corey and I tag team and run to the two different BA counters in the airport. Insert next scene….

Tamiko (sprints to a closing BA ticket counter): “I know you’re about to leave for the evening, and that there are no flights out tonight, so can you just let me know what hotel you are sending people to at this time?”

BA Attendant: “I’m actually not sure why they sent you back here. There are no flights out, there are no local airport hotels here either, and so we’re sending people to The Hague Hotel.”

Tamiko: “The Hague Hotel as in the ROTTERDAM Hague hotel?!”

BA Attendant: “Yes, that’s where we’re supposed to send folks who need a hotel. You have to catch a train there on your own. It’s only about 15 minutes away.”

Tamiko: “The train? We just came from there on a bus! Can’t we just bus back?”

BA Attendant: “Unfortunately, we don’t charter buses from this airport.”

Tamiko: “Wow. Thanks. And, just a heads up: I think you should leave out the back door, or a window, or a trap door, and completely avoid the area over there (pointing to the other BA counter) because if that entire line of people hears what you just told me, there is going to be complete insanity in this airport.”

Yes, you read that correctly. The people who just bused to Amsterdam were being told to find their own way back to Rotterdam!?!? At this point, Corey is done. He has to get back for work. He can’t wait in any more lines. He can’t play 20 questions or our rhyming game any more. Something needs to be done.

Here’s what happens next:

He ain’t playin! And we got Eurostar tickets for the very next day.

Again, I’m still in ‘adventure mode’ so being on the Eurostar makes me giddy. Of course, first we have to get to Belgium to even catch the Eurostar, but traveling through the Belgian and French countryside, collecting more friends while commiserating about canceled flights, and enjoying a few rounds of beer in the buffet car…..fog feels like my friend at this point.  🙂

Whew….Planes, trains, and automobiles, for sure. Corey continues to shake his head in disbelief as I read this post aloud to him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s