This is a story of the day two parents, a 3 year old girl, a 6 month old boy, an 11 year old dog, and a 7 month old puppy moved 1,800 miles from Kansas City to Vancouver. It’s a long story that I love to tell because it is so unbelievable. But all of it is 100% true.
When we planned our move we decided to fly out of Denver so that the dogs only had to be on one flight. Matt drove both dogs to Denver and I flew to Denver with the 2 kids.
The fun began when I exited the terminal with the kids in Denver. Charlie decided at that moment that she was going to try to ruin my life. Out of nowhere she started running away from me. I chased after her with Thomas strapped to me. The more I yelled for her to stop, the faster she ran. Charlie then proceeded to run towards the security line and was just a few feet away from the TSA agent when she finally stopped. Not only did that not go over well with TSA, there were approximately 1,000 people in the Denver airport that witnessed my amazing parenting skills. There is a 100% chance that I’m on YouTube somewhere.
After that fun experience I drove the kids to Winter Park to meet Matt and the dogs for a quick weekend vacation before our Monday flight. We went hiking, saw family, and had a really great weekend.
On Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed my phone to see what time it was. I saw a text message from the nanny we had hired in Vancouver. She texted me that she was sorry but she missed her family and was moving back to Mexico in 2 weeks. Perfect. No childcare, no problem. I of course didn’t go back to sleep after that.
The next morning we left early to head to the airport. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:00am and we needed to be at the United pet cargo area by 8:00am. You would think that my daughter almost getting me arrested and finding out we no longer have childcare would be enough to handle. Nope! The man upstairs thought we could handle more.
When we made it to Denver we couldn’t find the United cargo area to save our lives. We finally arrived at the building around 8:15am and thankfully they didn’t turn us away despite us being 15 minutes late. The agent asked us to take a seat until our name was called. And by “seat” she meant the one chair available and the dirty floor. So we waited. 30 minutes goes by. Then we waited some more. Another 30 minutes goes by. Meanwhile Charlie was running in and out of the automatic doors to stay entertained while Matt and I nervously kept an eye on the time.
Finally at 9:30 they called our name and asked us to put our puppy Chief in his travel kennel. Right away the agent said that the kennel we had just purchased from Petsmart was not on United’s approved kennel list due to safety concerns. United knows more about dogs than Petsmart, I didn’t know that. Next thing you know we were buying a $400 United kennel that we would never use again. I didn’t even care by that point, Chief was set and I could start attending to my kids who were probably licking the floor by that point.
Now it was Kodas turn to get checked in. Matt guided our 11 year old fluffy bear into his kennel and he plopped down in the crate with no fuss. The agent then said “please make him stand up because I don’t think the kennel is big enough”. Koda weighed 110 pounds and was a senior dog with failing legs. I can’t remember what I said to the agent but it was definitely something my kids shouldn’t have heard. After a few tries we got him to stand up. The agent then said “He is too tall for that kennel”. Ummm what?!? He was in the largest kennel they carry at pet stores and he can barely stand so the height doesn’t matter. Apparently if dogs stand up and their hair barely touches the top of the kennel it’s too small. United: PETA’s favorite commercial airlines. Once again we swiped our credit card to purchase a United Kennel that we will never use again. Koda’s new abode cost us another $500. #blessed
Now that both dogs were checked in we asked the agent if we would still be able to make our 11:00 flight. That’s when she said something that I will never forget.
“Ma’am your dog doesn’t fit on the plane.”
Um, excuse me? She explained to us that the new kennel they just made us purchase doesn’t fit on a 737 plane so Koda has to connect thru San Francisco and will not land until 11:00pm. And since we needed to land around the same time as Koda, they rescheduled Matt, Charlie, Thomas, Chief, and I on a direct flight that didn’t leave Denver until 7:00pm. I’m pretty sure that’s when Charlie learned the F-word.
After I was done sulking in my misery we started to plan what we were going to do in Denver for 8 hours. We decided to get a hotel room for the day so everyone could relax and Charlie could go swimming. Throughout this whole ordeal Matt was getting emails and calls for work because his bank was going thru a huge merger. Based on how our day was going, it didn’t surprise me when he got a call telling him there was a significant issue with the cash transaction for the merger. After a long day at the hotel with Matt putting out fires at work, we got them in a stroller and left the hotel to head to the airport.
When we got to the airport we had 2 carseats, 1 stroller, 6 suitcases, and a toddler that was doing that really fun thing where she goes stiff and refuses to move. Everything was a fog after that until we got Chick Fil A and boarded the plane. We saw that we had the entire row to ourselves and it was like we hit the lottery. The dogs were all good, we were all good, life was all good. Until take-off.
Thomas was 6 months old and definitely earned the MVP award for the day. But only until 7:00pm. We were taxiing about to take off so I started feeding him his bottle. At the exact moment the wheels came off the ground Thomas threw up his bottle all over me. I’m not talking a spit-up, I was completely covered from head to toe. My body froze. Thomas had never thrown up on me the entire 6 months he’s been on this planet and he chose this moment to shower me in regurgitated Similac formula. I looked over at Matt and his face was a look of horror and shock. He didn’t know how to help so he asked “did you bring a change of clothes for yourself?” NO I didn’t bring a change of clothes for myself! What adult packs a change of clothes for themselves in the diaper bag? I had no choice but to spend the next 3 hours 30,000 feet in the air covered in throw up.
You might be asking “can their day get any worse?” Yes. Yes it can.
When we landed in Vancouver it was 11pm. We made our way thru customs and the customs agent asked us if everything on the customs form was correct. That’s when Matt let out a long sigh and said “we forgot to check the box that we brought live animals with us”. Son of a ——-!!! We literally were so tired we forgot we had Chief and Koda waiting for us in the Cargo area. The customs agent of course thought we were terrorists and made us go to a special office to be lectured for 30 minutes about how to not act like terrorists. This picture of Thomas is all of us in that immigration office.
The day couldn’t end without one more “are you freaking kidding me??” moment. We got to our rental house around 12:30am. I had ordered groceries to be delivered but the delivery time was 3:00pm since we were supposed to be home by then. They left the groceries on our porch with the refrigerated items in a cooler. Sometime between 3:00pm and 12:30am an army of raccoons (or very possibly a bear) ate all of the non-refrigerated items. I was more pissed about the food scraps scattered across the lawn than I was about them eating the food. So we cleaned it up and all fell asleep on rented furniture.
The next morning I had my first official day and it started with a meeting at 7:00am. “Hi nice to meet you, I am a freaking disaster”.
When I got home from work I walked in and saw this. Chief and the 2 kids playing with a priceless view. I would do it all again, but next time we are driving the dogs.
In next week’s post I will share what happened after this. Spoiler alert: the moving company didn’t arrive with our stuff for 34 days.