As one might expect, the final two weeks before our departure from the U.S. were a blur.

We’d booked and paid for Thor’s flight which created the backstop for everything else we were doing.

We had our visas in hand.

We had a buyer for our motorhome but were waiting for the dealership to cut us a check.

We’d pared down our belongings to a tiny fraction of the things we’d once owned.

Now it was time to put all the pieces together and head to Europe.

It all sounded straightforward enough, but like so many other parts of this process, things quickly became very stressful and very expensive.

Not that we can point the finger at any one particular member of our family for these moments of stress and outlandish costs:

Certainly not.

Thor’s process

In order to import a domestic animal into Portugal, the animal must have an up-to-date rabies shot and a European-compliant microchip. When we were on the East Coast last Spring, we took Thor to our D.C. vet and asked her to take care of both these things.

That was the easy part.

The hard part is that, within the ten days prior to your flight, you must take your dog to a “USDA-certified” veterinarian who must certify that your pet is healthy, and verify that he or she has been properly chipped and vaccinated. The USDA certified vet must then upload certain paperwork to the USDA system, after which a USDA staff member prints it out, signs it, adds a magic stamp, and mails it back to you. You must then carry this magically stamped paperwork with you on your flight and, upon arrival in Lisbon, hand it to the vet who works at the airport.

As you can imagine, this 10 day turnaround causes an immense amount of stress, especially because the 10 days includes weekends, but the USDA is only open on weekdays (and we had even less time because of Labor Day.)

There are about a million ways for it to go wrong, and if you don’t have the paperwork in order when you land, you and your dog are gonna be turned right back around and sent home.

In order to reduce the likelihood of a screw-up, many people flying from the northeast opt to use The ARK at JFK Airport to handle the certification process.

The ARK is a private company that handles all kinds of animal import and export and they know what they’re doing. They seem to have a direct line to USDA and are able to address issues quickly.

Given how much money we’d already invested in Thor’s transport, we quickly decided to go with the pros.

Unfortunately, because we were staying at my dad’s house 2.5 hours away, we needed to drive down to New York the night before the appointment and stay in a hotel.

(Yes, I carry a lint roller.)

Even more unfortunately, after spending all that time in the car, and all that money on a New York hotel room, the appointment was a total joke – the vet literally didn’t touch Thor.

His assistant scanned Thor’s chip, the vet, sitting at his desk, commented that Thor was a good looking dog (which is true), he signed the papers sitting in front of him, and then said, “you’re all set.”

No physical exam, no temp check, no look at the gums, no listen to the heartbeat, nothing…

While walking us back to the front desk, the assistant told us he would upload the documents to the USDA site and we should be able to pick up the finalized paperwork a couple days later.

Then they handed us a bill for $600.

Six. Hundred. Dollars.

Me.

It’s such a racket.

Between the costs of the vet, the hotel, and driving down to NY and back, it cost a fortune – all to have a third party say our regular vet had done her job correctly.

Absurd.

Luckily, on the positive side of our bruised and battered budget, the following day, we took our CRV to Carmax where we sold it for a couple hundred dollars less than we bought it for 3 years prior (thank you, supply chain issues.)

Inasmuch as dealing with the RV dealership was a nightmare, dealing with Carmax was a breeze. We were in and out, check in hand, in about an hour.

On Friday, September 9, we packed up our rental,

and drove toward New York once more, this time stopping at the RV dealership to harangue them about our missing money, before continuing on to stop at ARK to pick up the fancy paperwork

If you ever wondered what a six hundred dollar stamp looks like, here ya go…

before heading to our ultimate destination – the small, surprisingly cute town of Morristown, from which Kevin and Thor’s flight would take off on Monday. We checked into yet another hotel and spent a relatively low key weekend in town.

On Monday, I watched Kevin and Thor’s tiny plane take off, before returning our rental car and walking back to our hotel.

Morristown Airport

Then, I thought their plane crashed.

An Anxious Night

I was occasionally checking in on their flight via FlightAware when I noticed their plane had gone off the planned course.*

Hmmmmm. Weird.

But I figured it was just the pilot routing around bad weather.

I started poking around the app and noticed there was a screen that showed all the flight’s data. Numerous tidbits of information put out by the plane were captured in these tables and graphs. And it all updated every couple seconds.

But then I noticed the information stopped updating.

And as I sat there watching, the screen kept refreshing, but there was no new data coming in.

So, to recap: their plane had gone off course and then all the data stopped.

I kept watching it, closed out the app, restarted it, watched it some more… but there was no incoming data.

I tried my best to not overreact, but I had an overwhelming sense of dread.

I started clicking around the rest of the app and noticed another page that showed what appeared to be summary data of the flight:

This page seemed to be updating, although it looked like the planned duration of the flight was an hour less than it was supposed to be, the plane was traveling much slower than expected, and it seemed, to me at least, to be flying at an extremely high altitude.

But at least it showed something.

It was a huge relief, but where was this data coming from? And if there was data for this page, why wasn’t there data for the more detailed pages? And why did this information look so inconsistent with what was expected? What the hell was going on?

More importantly, how do you figure any of this out when you’re sitting by yourself in a hotel room in New Jersey at midnight?

Fortunately, RV life brought us some great friends and it occurred to me that one of those friends might be able to help. We only met Melanie and Cameron once several years ago, but have stayed in touch, and it occurred to me that Cameron had recently obtained his private pilot’s license. I reached out to Melanie and shared with her what was going on. Cameron took a look at the info and quickly explained that these flight tracking apps are notoriously unreliable. He looked at the data that did exist and said that, while he couldn’t explain exactly what had happened, he didn’t see any major cause for concern. They then told me about the time this exact thing happened while Cameron was doing one of his solo test flights.

It helped a lot, and it helped that, as Melanie and I were texting, the one page with data continued to update.

As you can probably gather, their plane did not crash. Indeed, as I continued to check (I wasn’t sleeping much anyway!), the flight data suddenly began again and everything was normal.

By the time I checked the next morning, the big gap in data was glossed over and they were safely on the ground.

Later, I asked Kevin if anything weird had happened on the flight – bad weather, turbulence, pilots running around the cabin looking for the plane’s manual…anything???

Nope! He and Thor snuggled up and took a nap and he had no idea anything was amiss.

I swear, when we die, I want my gravestone to say: “She worried…” and Kevin’s to say “…so he didn’t have to!”

Newark

I’d asked the folks at the front desk of our hotel what my options were for transport to the airport and the attendant handed me the card of a local taxi driver. She said other customers had used him and he was good.

When he arrived, I noticed his taxi was pretty dirty, and there wasn’t enough room in the trunk for my bags. It was piled high with a spare tire, tools, and various other stuff. Not exactly the professional service I’d expect from a branded cab service, but whatever. How bad could it be?

LOL.

As we were heading out, he told me how he was driving on his toy tire because he’d blown his regular tire earlier that day (hence the tire in the trunk). He complained that his passenger at the time had tried to help him fix it, but caused more damage, so now he had to bring the car into a mechanic.

As we drove down the highway, suddenly we heard a loud bang, prompting my new friend, Eric, to launch into a 5 minute string of F Bombs.

He had now blown the toy tire.

He pulled over to the side of the interstate, exited the car, walked around it, and paced back and forth, all while yelling and swearing.

After several minutes of this, he apparently remembered I was sitting in the backseat, came over, opened the back door, took a deep breath and said: “It’s all good. You’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be totally fine.”

Followed by more F-bomb fueled pacing.

A few seconds later, he came over and said he would call me an Uber to get me to the airport. I said that sounded good.

Having, at this point, surmised that I was on my own when it came to maintaining my safety, I exited the cab and walked up the hill on the side of the highway.

Eric “having a moment” and trying to collect himself.

As I was standing there contemplating how I had, once again, ended up standing next to a highway as traffic zipped by, he came over and said, “the Uber was messing around, so I’m working on getting another driver. It’ll probably be about 20 minutes.”

The Uber was “messing around?”

What?!

OK…

A couple minutes later, between his calls to various mechanics and tow truck drivers, he came back again.

“OK, my girlfriend is gonna come pick you up.”

“Your GIRLFRIEND??”

“Yeah, she lives right off the exit and she’ll be here in a few minutes. I promise it’ll be fine.”

So, as I’m sitting on the side of this New Jersey highway looking at my broken down taxi with my melting down taxi driver telling me his girlfriend (who he’d previously mentioned did not speak a word of English) could pick me up, I had a dilemma: On the one hand, I was pretty sure getting in a car with a stranger, in Newark of all places, was a bad idea.

But, on the other hand, this would eventually make a great story for the blog and I kinda needed to see it through. (Seriously – this thing doesn’t write itself. I need material.)

Fortunately, when the girlfriend showed up, Eric decided to come along with us, so all three of us took a completely silent ride to the airport.

It was so awkward.

But… I made it to the terminal, managed to get our giant duffel bags onto a cart, checked everything in, and found my ride:

Hopefully the pilots of this impressive contraption will be slightly more level headed and professional than good ole Eric.

My flight was smooth and featured a beautiful sunrise and spectacular cloud formations… Hell, there was even a tiny rainbow.

Even better, once I got to Lisbon, I sailed through immigration, baggage, and customs before jumping in a Portuguese taxi to begin a whole new chapter in Europe!

________________________________________________________________________________________

*If you’re an eagle eyed reader wondering why the screencaps show PSM as the originating airport, it’s because they were doing some sort of construction project on the runway at Morristown and the pilot couldn’t fully fuel up for a transatlantic flight with a shortened runway, so he flew to Portsmouth first, fueled up, then headed across the ocean.

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50 COMMENTS

  1. Omg!! I totally remember tracking Kevin’s flight abs texting you that night. As you know, all things aviation freak the heck out of me so I’m always nervous when it comes to flying. But I didn’t want to stress or freak you out. That was awful! But luckily it all worked out in the end. Lol. The taxi breaking down was another great text conversation. I at least had your last “coordinates” if it went really south!! You are right, it makes for a great story!!

    • It’s all fine to look back on now, but yeah, that was not a fun evening. I’ll be happy to never experience that sinking feeling again. Ugh…

      And yeah, the side of the road conversation… I can’t remember what you said, but it was clear you did not think my decision to jump in the girlfriend’s car was the best idea. LOL.

  2. As a natural cynic I was not one bit surprised that all this proved to be so annoying, but in all honesty I laughed until I cried when reading this to Ken. I am so pleased that you were able to obtain valuable blog fodder from all this. AITA? Also, we have a natural worrier in our family, and it’s not me, so I can enjoy the story without truly feeling your pain. I get the “so she didn’t have to” headstone. Hooray! Anyway, glad to hear that Carmax is just as convenient as we remember, and weird off-brand taxi services are just as unpredictable as we remember. And most of all, glad that everyone ended up safely in Portugal despite all the obstacles.

    • LOL.. Yeah, we’ve definitely run through the gamut of good/bad, high/low, easy/difficult with this move. For every one part that falls in place seemingly effortlessly, there’s some other part that has been a complete debacle. Anyone who says this stuff is easy is full of it. But yes, we are all here, safe and sound, and we are all enjoying our new life. Most importantly, I’ve got enough ridiculous stories to keep this blog going for a while. 🙂

    • I know – It is completely ridiculous, completely unnecessary, and they don’t even put on a show to try to make it seem worthwhile. You just gotta jump through the hoops and suck it up. Very, very irritating.

  3. Okay, well, with three current dogs in my life, you have fully convinced me NOT to talk with my husband about moving to Europe! Clearly, I’d have some kind of serious breakdown getting through this mirage of details and unplanned money for things like The Ark. It’s much more fun to read about YOUR life then to try it out for real in MY life. Besides, you write so well and I totally love it when more posts come along. Happy days to you …and Kevin …and Thor especially! CindyP

    • LOL… I really don’t mean for my life to be a cautionary tale, but sometimes that’s just how it is. LOL. Honestly, the dog has been the most complicated and expensive and stressful part of this whole thing. If it were just me and Kevin, this all would have been easier. But Thor is Thor and we’re crazy dog people, so we voluntarily complicated the whole process. I imagine you would do the same. In the end though, as stressful and negative as some of these recent posts have seemed, we regret nothing. Lisbon is living up to our expectations and we’re very happy. So, I might yet convince you to join the crazy train!!

    • Sometimes I really wish my old friends could be here with me during these crazy moments. I can hear the laughter from an ocean away. I miss all of you!!

  4. That taxi story!! I’m still laughing!! And that photo of “Eric trying to collect himself,” 😂😂😂. What a long, stressful, expensive journey it was to get yourselves moved to Portugal. I’m so glad the three of you made it safely, because there were many critical moments when someone less resilient would have just given up. (I mean, you could have just rented an apartment in Newark, right?) You might be the designated worrier in the family, but you also have the gift of finding humor in the most stressful situations. Thanks for the good laugh this morning!

    • Maybe that’s the key: my options were to keep going, in spite of all the negative signs, or just give up and live in Newark for the rest of my life.

      See? When you put it like that, there’s really no choice. You may have to run, walk, or even crawl to the airport, but you gotta find a way to get the hell out of Jersey.

      🙂

    • At least 3 times a week, I turn to Thor and say “Do you realize how good you have it? Ya know most dogs don’t get this rock star treatment. You realize that, right?

      He just stares at me, picks up his toy, and walks away.

      So yes, we do really love him, even if he is an unappreciative punk at times. 🙂

  5. Yeah- 2 cats × $600 plus. Annnddd they are cats so flying with them would be less than easy. Might be staying here a while longer. Glad you got it all worked out and I’m loving your pictures of Lisbon!

    • Honestly, it might be less for cats. First, the fees might be less. We always pay more because we have a large dog. Second, since you could fly them onboard a commercial flight with you, you wouldn’t have the same incentive to go to a place like the Ark. Worst case, if your paperwork didn’t come through, you could just rebook onto a different flight. Because we had booked this crazy charter flight (because we didn’t want to ship him cargo), we had zero room for error on the paperwork side of things. I know when we asked our regular vet in DC how much they charge for this same process, it was like $350 or something. We really paid a premium because we were dealing with the charter flight. Soooo? Don’t despair! It might not be as bad as it seems.

  6. You guys have jumped through hoops to keep Thor with you and get him across the ocean. I applaud that! So many people give up their pets so easily and yet you pay $600 for a damn stamp. 😉 Love it. That must.of been quite the site seeing you sitting on the hill beside the interstate waiting for the taxi driver to get a grip.

    • Yeah, we probably take it to a bit of an extreme, but he was always part of the package and if we couldn’t get him over here safely and happily, we just knew we couldn’t go. I don’t begrudge people who make different decisions. Sometimes it’s in the animal’s best interest to be re-homed for one reason or another, but for us, in this situation, leaving him was not an option. Doesn’t mean we won’t whine about it, though!!! 🙂

  7. So sorry about your stress about the flight. Sometimes all this technology we enjoy these days makes things worse. But luckily you had someone to assuage your fears.

    The whole taxi incident sounds like something that would happen in a developing country. At least he made an effort to get you to the airport and not leave you stranded- even if it wasn’t the idea circumstances. Going with the flow and seeing the worse circumstances as an adventure is key to traveling I think.

    I’m impressed that you were able to organize everything for this trip. There seems like so much to be aware of and the time table seems so short.

    Ugh! $600 for a signature. Thor is such a lucky dog!

    • I agree 100% that technology can cause as many problems as it solves. It’s the reason doctors hate it when you google your symptoms. Next thing they know, you’re standing in their office telling them you’re dying of a rare disease you read about on Google. LOL.

      We have absolutely learned that going with the flow, seeing things as an adventure, and not taking anything too seriously are keys to making this work. If you can’t adjust your expectations and maintain a sense of humor when doing something like this, you are gonna have a very hard time.

  8. I need several drinks after just reading this!! How in the world you two pulled this off, without going crazy, is amazing. Be careful out there.

    • LOL… thanks. Sometimes I marvel at this whole thing, but then I realize thousands of other people have done it and will continue to do it – some with much more complicated situations than us (young kids, older parents, job complications, etc). And some of the roadblocks and difficulties others have come up against along the way put anything we’ve dealt with to shame. I guess it really is all relative. Whatever the case may be, I’m glad it’s in the rearview mirror now. 🙂

  9. Laura, love the way you describe your high anxiety. Understated, but truthful and poignant. Carmen and I share the same dynamic where she does all the ‘worrying’ and I do and the ‘fixing.’ After 47 years of marriage, it works for us. With all that you three have gone through just to relocate to a foreign country 😉 it amazing me you haven’t given up. But you have persevered and made it happen. Maybe a little bit more expensive than planned, but you did it. I am not sure if your adventure discourages us to try something similar or encourages us to find our own adventure across the pond. Wow! what a story. Keep ’em coming! 🤪. Jim

    • Thanks, Jim. I have no doubt, at all, that if you wanted to do something like this, you would sale right through. If you can plan and execute a multi-month trip through the wilds of Alaska in an Airstream, moving yourselves across the pond should be a piece of cake. The key for us, and my guess for you too, is to divide and conquer the various tasks that need to get done. Fortunately for us, (and for most good marriages, I think), the things Kevin doesn’t want to deal with or isn’t good at, I am happy to deal with and vice versa. So we can split the workload and just act as a check and a sounding board for one another. It’s also necessary that both partners are 100% onboard with the plan, because if one starts wavering, or one wasn’t as interested in the first place, it can easily fall apart. Like I said, I have no doubt you guys could do something like this, and wouldn’t the AS look dashing parked in front of the Arc de Triomphe??? 🙂

  10. Fantastic piece! Thank you for taking us along on this crazy, stressful, yet entertaining journey. I wish you, Kevin, and Thor all the best as you start this new adventure!

    • Thank you so much for your good wishes! I’m glad to hear people are still interested in following along with our adventures. It adds a fun new dimension to all the teeth gnashing and stress. 🙂

    • I just went looking to see what happened and it turns out your comments were tossed in the spam folder because you used a bad word!

      Turns out, I am allowed to say sh*% in my posts, but you cannot say it in my comments section. If you do, WordPress throws you in the bin with the pornography peddlers, Cialis sellers, and bitcoin bros. I guess when you re-wrote the comment without using your potty mouth, WordPress approved.

      Valuable lessons!!!

  11. Bureaucracy is great! Amirite??

    As I was reading the recounting of your Fretful Night, I was thinking, “Turn off the app. Turn off the app now. Turn it off NOW. OFF. NOW! Laura, TURN OFF THE EMEFFING APP!!!!!!!” Thank God we already knew how that turned out.

    Come on, fess up, you took that picture of the guy by that taxi while you were still FTing, and then did the, “Let’s make up a narrative around this photo” thing, didn’t you? The truth is stranger, and a helluva lot more funny, ain’t it? OMG, the girlfriend part is where I lost it.

    • I knew the right answer was to turn off the app, but there was no going back at that point. It’s like googling your medical condition. Don’t do it. but if you do, clear your calendar because you’re gonna be here for a while. Freaking out.

      I just wish the makers of the app would post a little notice that explains to people that their app is garbage and will routinely mess up. Wouldn’t that be nice? Save the people some money on their future psychotherapy needs? Gah…

      And yes, you would think the whole taxi thing was fiction, but I honestly cannot make stuff like this up. That’s why I’m always taking pictures, because no one would believe me otherwise. 🙂

  12. Halfway through reading this post, I felt like I needed a glass of bourbon. So stressful! But then I got to Eric’s girlfriend driving you to the airport and laughed my ass off. You are hilarious and I was so relieved to hear you all got to Lisbon okay. Now I’m good without the bourbon. Wishing you wonderful (and easier) times abroad! I’m eager to hear about the next phase of your adventures.

  13. Of all the things one might expect to be glitchy, a flight awareness app wouldn’t be on top of my list! Every post you have written about the new adventure should be required reading for anyone planning an overseas move. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The taxi adventure was over the top – the “toy tire” OMG, really!?!?!?!
    Glad everything had a happy ending and hope Lisbon is everything you hoped for and more!

    • I know, it seems like this has been a nightmare, but I guess it should be expected when taking on an international move. Hell, moves across town can be stressful. The thing is, I don’t know of anyone here who didn’t face some hiccup or setback along the way. There are just a lot of moving parts and a lot of things that can go wrong. Hopefully, sharing the realities will help some people manage their expectations and prepare for the unexpected.

  14. Wow, wow, wow. I think you have enough stories for this blog, regardless, but the taxi one made for a suspenseful twist! Crazy life we lead, right? This story, of course, reminded me of that time we took a cab in Cartagena towards our fifth Airbnb and the tire blew. Not as tightly scheduled with an airport as a destination (those days I’m even more stressed than others and I’m sure you were too), but still… a taxi blowing a tire. I guess it happens in the States as well.

    So, funny thing, when I started reading your post (I had to do it in two takes), I kept seeing similarities to my last blog and was hoping you’d read it and think the same. Lo and behold, your comment to that post came in during that time. Haha.

    Are we four crazy or what? Of course, I had to nod my head at your ten-day deadline for the international health certificate and how the USDA had to approve. Luckily for us, they could do this electronically and we didn’t have to return to the USDA-approved vet we visited with Maya to pick up the paperwork. And, as in your case, this special vet didn’t even touch Maya! He just said she looked healthy.

    Our certificate – from in Texas – was luckily less than yours ($270, including the certificate, vet, shots, and one other procedure. We shopped around ahead of time. You gotta love the South sometimes. :)), but we didn’t get that fancy imprinted stamp.

    • Yep, there are a lot of similarities between us recently. All kinds of craziness involved in an international move… Who knew, though, that the common thread would be a taxi with a flat tire? LOL.

      That’s interesting that you were able to get Maya’s certificate for just $270. When we had Thor vaccinated and chipped at our DC vet, we asked them how much they would charge for the certificate (they are also USDA-certified) and I’m pretty sure they quoted like $330 or $350. So, you definitely did well. I wonder if it had something to do with us needing the wet signed hard copy. That was a Portugal specific thing and maybe it creates more work for the vet’s office. I dunno. Either way, it’s an insane amount of money that just seems completely unnecessary.

  15. Wow– I feel like there should be some kind of award for people who can successfully navigate all that goes into moving overseas! So glad it all worked out and you are now able to enjoy Portugal. Of course, Thor is totally worth all that trouble though …. just look at that cute face!
    I can relate on the worrying thing, although my headstone would read “She worried for everyone and every situation all the time.” I’m working on trying to do better at that, but part of me was already saying “Don’t get in that taxi!” as I was reading about your adventure. We too had great success with CarMax when selling my husband’s car.

    • Thanks, Robin. I think the reward is finally getting to where we’d planned to go all this time and having it live up to expectations. Well, that and the cheap wine. 🙂 It’s definitely quite an undertaking, but we have no regrets.

      I hear you on the worrying thing. It’s hard not to take everything to heart, but you just can’t – it’ll wear you down in no time. It’s funny that you immediately had concerns about the taxi. I did too. Even our initial text conversation seemed a bit odd, but the front desk people at this hotel had been super nice and it’s a relatively small community, so I figured it was a safe bet. Shoulda listened to my gut… Live and learn.

  16. OMG! your travel tales are really full of fun challenges! Seriously you should write/make a book of your big move to Lisbon. It will be on the NY Best Sellers list for sure, seriously!
    If I was on your shoes, I had given up already or worst divorce my husband for all the s… things occurring one after the other.
    But at least, now you are enjoying/exploring your new city which I hope has lived up to your imaginations.

    • LOL. I think after spending 24/7/365 together in a tiny shoebox on wheels for six years, we can put up with a lot of stress and not take it out on each other. That works out well because we definitely had some challenges with this whole thing. I know you and Steve have been through plenty of the same in your years on the road and navigating whatever life has thrown your way. It’s all part of the adventure, for sure. Hell, we wouldn’t want to be bored, would we?? 🙂

  17. I totally commiserate with you on the worrying part. Scott just floats through life, while I’l always stressing about the what ifs. So much going on there with your move though. Did you keep a spread sheet or something to tackle all of the todos on your progress towards a new life in Lisbon? I’m happy you made it and look forward to hearing about your new life. Go Thor!

    • Interestingly enough, with both our move into the RV and our move to Europe, we started making spreadsheets and OneNote but then quickly abandoned them. We’re just not good at that stuff. We’ll keep random to-do lists for various parts of the process, but there’s no single document that captures everything. Instead, we tend to divide and conquer. I do my parts, Kevin does his parts, and we do a bunch of it together. Somehow it all gets done.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more about your cruise!

  18. Looking at all those adorable photos of sweet Thor makes all the fuss and $$ so worth it. So glad all did eventually workout. You are so brave! That taxi story is crazy. I would have been freaking out totally. You definitely have stories to tell.

  19. Oh my gosh! I’m glad you and Kevin are in good spirits. The whole process seems like a nightmare. Not one that I’d want to go through. Hell, we are just trying to get authorization to fly our drone in mainland Portugal & Madeira when we come in March/April. Cannot for the life of me figure out the process. I’m about ready to give up. As a side note, stay tuned for my posts on our cruises from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, with a stop in the Falkland Islands where we saw sooooo many penguins and of course, our cruise to Antarctica. Our Antarctica cruise in December got moved to January after Viking’s Polaris ship was struck by a Rogue wave while crossing the Drake Passage the week prior to our scheduled cruise. The ship was damaged and unfortunately, a lady was killed. Very tragic. So, we just returned a week ago and my focus has been on planning the Portugal trip. Just got that done. We will be in Lison 4/6 & 4/7. Hopefully, we can meet up.

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