Beating the summer heat

Berlin, like much of Europe, has been seeing record high temperatures this summer, with midday temps getting as high as 38C (100.4F).

While that may seem normal for my friends back in the southern United States, it is extremely hot for northern Europe. The highs for July and August usually average around 23 to 26C (which is the mid to high 80s F). Also keep in mind that most buildings here are not air conditioned.

Open or closed? What’s your preference?
Photo by Leah Kelley on
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We all get to Berlin

And only our luggage got lost

In the end, the third flight was the charm.

After confirming – then de-confirming them on a flight to Amsterdam – KLM accepted our dogs on a flight that would leave Atlanta on Friday two hours after ours.

These plans held and we all took off over the Atlantic on our multi-route journey to re-unite in Berlin.

The dogs flew from Atlanta to Schipol in Amsterdam, while the kids and I flew into Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

It didn’t hit us until we saw the lines in the terminal in Paris. We picked the absolute worst time to move to Europe.

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Ground dog day, part 2

KLM saves the day

So there we were: My husband in Berlin, myself in Atlanta. Our two kids were in a hotel with my mom, the dogs in crates at our house, and I was running around getting last-minute items in boxes, going to the house closing, selling our car, cleaning up after the movers left, and hoping that we would be able to leave on Friday as scheduled.

Rosie, our amazing travel coordinator at Starwood Animal Transport, managed to pull through a miracle and book the dogs on another cargo flight, that Thursday night, on KLM. The dogs would fly into Amsterdam, not Frankfurt. But we could still fly on Friday as planned.

My husband re-scheduled his time off from work, then booked a train ticket to Amsterdam. Frankfurt is a six-hour drive from Berlin, but Amsterdam is over seven and a half hours.

Driving the dogs in one day from Frankfurt would have been difficult but doable, but seven-to-eight hours one way, crossing a border, and then coming back the same distance in 24 hours? Too much. Plus, dogs are allowed on almost all trains in both the Netherlands and Germany.

Ironically, we had originally considered flying at the same time as the dogs and taking the ICE train from Frankfurt. But the prospect of juggling luggage, plus scared dogs, plus exhausted humans was daunting.

If only we had known ..

Continue reading “Ground dog day, part 2”