You may have read yesterday’s post and thought ‘oooh man. Here we go with another unhappy Navy wife’. Let me just say, that could not be further from the truth. Everyone has bad days, right? But, when I started this blog, I promised that I was going to be REAL with you all about my life. Right now, I’m not interested in giving the “5 Ball-Buster Tips to Get Through Any Military Move!!”. Shoot, I have no tips for anyone right now, except to wake up the next day and move a little further - which is what I’m doing.
Yes, I get a little insecure letting you know most of my thoughts regarding this, and I’m sure there are some of you who are going to say, “you know, you don’t have to share EVERYTHING!”. Believe me, the amount of thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis about this - not even a therapist has time for it all, in one session. So, I give little snippets of mind-play that is by no means sugar coated for you. I have little time in my life to make myself seem more pleasing to the outside world - take me as I am ;)
WHAT GOT ME SO UPSET, THIS WEEK:
(Before you read this, I suggest you click here for yesterday’s post…)
When we took orders to Bahrain, we did all of the research about our animals arriving and were 100% confident that they would be welcomed into the country. As any location you meet, you have the worry that you won’t find a home to rent with two animals - but, their breed was not going to be an issue for our orders. Yes, we knew paperwork was going to be harder - so, that is not our problem.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a solution to a problem that we couldn’t handle, because the plans are made and everything is set. But after talking to Delta last week, we were not under the impression that we would have to find another path in getting to Bahrain.
Tiki (our Golden Retriever) is an ESA, so getting him on a flight was not going to be hard, and our cat fits under the seat. We called Delta, they said everything was great, looked into our KLM flights, and even that looked good. So, I called our PCS coordinator and let him know that our chosen flights were a go - to which he said that he would message us that day and have confirmation numbers for our flight.
Five days went by (including a weekend) and we hadn’t heard anything. Tuesday, Will decided to call him to check-in on progress and the coordinator’s response was that he couldn’t complete the flight booking. He had two families that week whose pets were turned away by Delta, and he said that we needed to make one last call to ensure KLM was on-board with our animals coming along.
Low and behold, he was right. The agent that I had spoken to in the days prior obviously didn’t look hard enough for me, and we were left with a big NOPE! The issue was that KLM only allows one animal TOTAL on a flight.
Okay! American Airlines - let’s see how this works.
Will was placed on hold for an hour and I called British Airways, since they would be two of three connecting flights.
Now, my anxiety was already starting to rise pretty high at this point, but MAN! There was something about their British accents that made me calm down immediately. It was the most pleasant conversation I’ve ever had. So much so that when they told me that they would not allow cats under seats, I was more or less telling them “not a problem! You have a wonderful day, deary!!” . Then, I hung up and thought……………. ‘shit! We have nothing, now.’
My dad had visited two weeks ago, and randomly came to us and said if there was anything we needed for the animals to please tell him and he would be happy to watch them for as long as we requested. We thought it was so sweet of him, but were not worried about that possibility. Suddenly, I found myself on the phone with my dad (after a tearful phone call to my best friend saying “i don’t what the f**k to do!!”) crying and saying, “it’s the cat that’s the issue…can you please take him for a few months?”.
If you don’t know Will and I, we are almost 30 years old and are still seriously questioning if we’d rather a Tesla or children when we come back to the States. We’re under the impression, now, that we probably shouldn’t have kids if we are having conversations like that. BUT, our animals…completely different story. We will go to the ends of the earth to make sure they are with us. So much so, Will almost had to become a geo-bachelor and I move back to Washington when we had soft orders to Japan (they didn’t want animals where we were going). So yea, we’d spend three years apart than let our babies be apart from one of us.
During my phone call with my dad, Will comes running up the stairs while on the phone with our coordinator saying, “Hold on one second! Let me ask my wife”. He puts the phone down and says to me, “He has a way to get both animals to us on a military flight…but, I will have to leave, alone, more than a week and a half earlier than you because that is the only flight they will allow pets.” Knowing the pet allotment date was far after his check-in date, I said, “OH MY GOD! DO IT!”.
And then, panic ensued.
What did I just agree to?!
Wait, what about the house?!
What about the animals!?
“HOLD ON!”, I said.
Then, the tears….and my sweet husband saying, “it all will be okay, but we have to make a decision now. They have the flights.” I nodded yes, went back into the room, practically burned a hole in the carpet from pacing, and ended on the stairs with a panic attack saying, “I don’t know if I can do this.”
Now, you may think that is over-dramatic…but, let me tell you a little as to what I am looking forward to.
It is absolutely impossible for Will to fly with me - again, he has to check in two weeks before me and the flight that I have is the ONLY flight that month that will allow animals.
So, our home will be completely empty for a few weeks with me on a blow up mattress and two animals, while Will checks in to his new job.
The day I leave will look like this….
- We (the animals and I) will leave our house at 8 am to bring our vehicle to my mother-in-law’s home, which is two and a half hours away from where we live.
- She will bring me to the airport, where I will need to put the cat in-cargo (NOT excited about this, but it’s only an hour and a half flight) and get Tiki with me through TSA.
- Catch a flight to the East Coast.
- From the East Coast’s airport, I will need to shuttle us to the Navy Base and fly out that night to Western Europe.
- From Western Europe, I go to Southern Europe
- From Southern Europe, I go to Southeast Europe
- From Southeast Europe, I fly home to the Middle East
*Total travel time is 35-40 hours from the time we leave my doorstep, and there is NO promise that our layovers will be fast. We are going to be on military time, so each stop can be between 30 mins to 6 hours.
Oh, and … no outlets on the flights. Just saying*
I have never flown internationally, I have insane anxiety, and my cat has this urinary problem where he has to be on special food to make sure he doesn’t get clogged (yes, TMI…he pees A LOT). And all I can think about is how sad I am that I can’t let either of them drink as much as they’d like because they need to last eight hour flights without letting themselves go.
So that is the end of that story and there is no going back - it is all happening. I spared you from the fact that between 10 am-2 pm we had a new plan that was being thrown our way, every 30 mins. We talked to so many different airline agents, were told we couldn’t book our military flight without official passports (thanks Navy Admin for telling us that a tourist passport would be fine and now those gov. issued passports will take 4-6 weeks to get here, when they could have been here MONTHS AGO if you told us the right information!!), then were told by the base passport people that there was practically no way that they would work with us to expedite these documents (except today they said we could, but needed to have an endorsement from the CO. Would’ve been GREAT to know that when you were telling us no, two days ago.), I called my dad back and said there was no way we could do a military flight and we were going back to plan B which was to get my cat to Washington, chose flights to go home for the week of Christmas, made more plans and decided which month I would go back and that I might as well Euro-trip it and depart from London, got excited about my trip to London, decided that I would advertise in Washington for photos to make up for the $2k to get my cat back with me (I wouldn’t tell my clients this was the reason, but damn…why not? That’s a LOT of travel money…might as well work it!), THENNNNN called our coordinator back to tell him there was an issue with passports and that we were going to just bring one animal with us (for now) - just to have him say, “wait, so you guys want to go Delta? I have you booked on the military flight we spoke about.
WHAT!?!?! Hold on….you mean we spent two hours on base, talking to people we would rather not, just to find out I was booked this WHOLE TIME?! Granted, we were incredibly happy to hear this and thanked him over and over. I wish I could kiss this man for the work he’s done on our behalf (on the cheek..come on guys).
So yes, we are here. Tuesday was absolutely insane and I am REALLY freaked out about this upcoming trip. It’s like the universe said, “Wait! You’ve never flown internationally?!” and decided to snort a ton of cocaine and make the most INSANE travel plan. Like I said yesterday, plan G!
But, my babies will be with me and I am capable…. blah blah blah. IT WILL BE FINE…I’m just not happy about getting there like this, at all.
Positive - ANY travel from this point on will be incredibly simple. lol!
I fully plan on two big Benadryl and sleeping for ten or more hours the night before I have to start this journey. In the mean time, I am over here like Bilbo Baggins telling the Navy to stop blunting the knives of my own sanity.
At least this great adventure will be content for you to read, later?