At the airport I was reminded why I did not want to take United initially.
There were three dogs that had to be checked in. My two and another one. When they picked up the other dog they took one of mine as well even though she didn’t have the ticket on her kennel yet.
Yes, they carried her off without a ticket, I stood at the counter and once I turned around one of my dogs was gone. So two other guys ran off to find her Thankfully they managed to get her ticket on the kennel and she was boarded.
Another thing that ticked me off was that we did not receive the white and blue form on the flight. They never handed it out and when I went through immigration I had to run around to find the blue and white slips. At one point we were (some other travellors and me) so angry that we called one of the immigration officers over to let them know that we did not recieve the slips and they made United staff walk around handing out slips.
However, it would have been way easier if we could have filled them out on the plane.
Getting through immigration itself was an adventure. It took me three hours to get through and the only thing I could think about was the dogs.
After I got my passport back and the OK to go and pick up my stuff I immediately called for help. There was no way I could carry four suitcases and two dogs myself. Two packers helped me around and going through Customs was the easiest part of all.
They led me outside to a green yard where I let the dogs pee and poop. We then went to the AVIS bus and loaded the baggage. I tipped them with 20 Dollars each. I thought it was well worth it, especially since they helped out a lot. I wouldn’t have known where to go and they lead the way.
At AVIS itself people were very friendly and helpfull as well. They did everything to get me a rental. Funny thing is that they chose the USEUR Drivers license over the international license because the USEUR license is a Government license.
I wanted to pay with the debit card and they had to do a credit check. Since I just got to the US I don’t have any credit at all and the check failed. Since I didn’t have a cellphone either they let me use their phone to call my bank so I could get some money transfered to the credit card.
By the time I drove off the AVIS Lot it was already 1900. I stopped in Pensylvania. I was so tired that I had to get off the Interstate. I walked into a Daily Inn and luckily they are pet friendly. I had to pay a ten dollar pet fee.
I took the dogs, left the luggage in the car, went straight to the room to feed the dogs. After that I fell on the bed and slept through to the early morning.
Since I had the dogs I didn’t need a clock or a call to wake me up. Next to the hotel was a huge yard and I let the dogs run on there. At that point I did not care about a leash law. We were in the middle of nowhere and I doubt anyone cared. They had to run and thats what they did.
I went back inside, had a coffee, checked out and hit the road.
We stopped three times before we got to Watertown and arrived “at home”.
It’s been 7 days since I left Germany.
It’s snowing like crazy and our neighbor had to plow us out. I prepared for this and got dozens of winterboots but they don’t help much since the snow reaches to the hips and I literally sink in and get soaking wet from it.
The dogs love it though. They roam and chase each other through the snow and have tons of fun. The cat that got abandoned by the previous tenants, which we adopted stays in the house. It’s funny, she’s standing in front of the door and wants out. She makes one step into the snow, looks at you like she wanted to say “Naaaah… changed my mind…” and walks right back in.