Camp Bow Wow…

ETA: I no longer recommend Camp Bow Wow.

Zane and Arran had their “test” at Camp Bow Wow in San Antonio yesterday.  This test involves a three hour trial, where staffers determine whether or not the dog will be suitable for “camp”.  Indeed, the dogs are referred to as “campers” and come home with a little certificate that shows they passed the test.  Zane and Arran are pretty easygoing dogs and they’ve been boarded a few times.  They did fine at Camp Bow Wow and are all set to stay there while we attempt our hop.

Hopefully, we’ll have good luck and get to go somewhere interesting.  But when Bill and I travel, interesting things usually happen.  The last time we took a hop, we ran into a flash mob in Luxembourg, as well as a high school band from Munich.  A drunk man was trying hard to “conduct” as the band played in the gazebo in Luxembourg City.  The funny thing is, we went to Luxembourg in 2009 and never expected to ever go back there.  We went back in 2012 just by chance.

We also went to Salzburg, Austria and got caught in the rain… and delighted a local restaurant owner when we stopped in for lunch and came back later to get out of the rain.  We passed the time by drinking lots of Austrian beer.

Anyway, I do feel better about leaving the dogs now.  When we lived in North Carolina, we had a great place for the dogs and I knew they took great care of them.  I think Camp Bow Wow, while a touch on the corporate side, has good folks working there.  The dogs obviously had a blast there yesterday and were pretty much knocked out for the night.

Knowing they are taken care of makes it easier to have a good time on our trip.

I still don’t know where we’ll go.  I have a feeling we’ll start our trip in Germany, though it’s still possible we’ll go to the Azores at least for a couple of days.  I’d be delighted if we ended up in Spain or Italy… though I am still a little Italy-ed out.  Half the fun and excitement of this upcoming trip is the prospect of where we might go.  For all I know, we could end up going to the West Coast or even Hawaii.

Here’s a word on Space A…  A couple of years ago, I joined Dirk Pepperd’s Web site for Space A.  It was free until very recently, when Pepperd moved his site to a new location.  Free memberships are still possible, though for either $29.95 or $39.95 for a year, you can get enhanced access to the site and you can use it as often as you need or want to.  If you have a free membership, you don’t get full access and are limited to a certain time limit per month.  I got a premium subscription because I think the site is worth it.  It’s full of very useful information and time and money saving tips.  Of course, it’s only for people who can use Space A travel.

Anyway, as the time draws nearer, I will post more… hard to believe I could be recovering from jet lag in a week.  Here’s hoping something interesting happens.

military hops, Space A

Tentative travel plans…

So Bill and I are seriously planning to take a trip somewhere… anywhere the military takes us, really.  We have a date on Saturday to take the dogs to a local “doggie camp”, where they will be “interviewed” and will hopefully pass the test so we’ll have a place to put them when we leave town sometime around the 10th.

We’ll either get a “hop” from Lackland Air Force base somewhere or we’ll take a commercial flight to Baltimore or Charleston, South Carolina and pick up a hop in one of those cities.  My money is on going to BWI, which has a dedicated terminal for military folks.  Last time we did this was in May 2012 and we ended up having a blast.  Taking a military hop is a crap shoot, though, because you never know if they’ll go off according to plan.  But then that’s part of the fun of the whole thing.  Last time we “hopped”, it cost about $40 round trip for transportation to and from Germany.

I have a feeling we’ll go to Germany again, even though we could also go to The Azores.  If we go to Germany, we may do another Blind Booking with Germanwings, which is a cheap airline in Germany.  We have done three blind bookings thus far and they have landed us in Barcelona, London, and Munich respectively.  Basically, you pay a cheap fare and end up going wherever they have tickets.  It’s a fun way to see Europe.  Last night, I was researching Manchester, England and trying to determine what we’d do on the off chance we ended up there.  That’s just one of many cities, though… We could go to Milan, Vienna, Salzburg, Lisbon, Zurich… the list goes on and on.

Or we could just go to Germany and stay there… or go to France by train.  It’s truly travel by the seat of your pants.

I worry that the weather will really suck during our trip, but I’m also really eager to get out of Texas for awhile.  And I know that soon we will not have as much liberal travel ability as we have right now.  We could wait and do this travel in a few months, when Bill is on “terminal leave”, but I think we will be more focused on getting Bill employed at that point and making sure we can pay our bills in the interim.

There’s a great military hop forum that recently switched to a new place.  It’s also gone from being a free site to a pay site.  I paid $39.95 for a “premium” membership last night.  I think it’s worth it.  The flight schedules are posted there as are trip reports and other handy tips.

My parents did a lot of military hops when they were younger and more mobile.  I’m guessing those days are over now for them… but Bill and I will enjoy them for as long as we can.