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 Pexels.com
Continue reading “Beating the summer heat”

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”

Ground dog day, part 1

You know what they say about the best laid plans

Spoiler alert: This saga has a happy ending. I am writing this sitting in our apartment in Berlin, both dogs safely snoozing on the floor next to me.

When we first knew we were moving to Berlin, we prioritized making a transit plan for our two dogs – Abe, a Brittany/Blue Heeler mix and Pinky, part Rat Terrier/part anxiety in motion.

On our only other international move, we flew three cats to Seoul – one in the cabin with us and two in the hold as excess baggage. Our experience then convinced us that this would be way too stressful for the pups. Many airlines no longer accept animals as baggage on international flights, anyway. So, despite the additional cost, we budgeted to hire an animal transport company to book them on a live animal cargo flight.

Continue reading “Ground dog day, part 1”