The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

the 1 less traveled by

A move to Nicaragua

Browsing Tag:

Living in Nicaragua

Rigley and Tasha in the airline purchased crates.

Moving to Nicaragua With Dogs

2 Large Dogs, Will Travel

Getting the dogs to Nicaragua was a task. Probably more our fault than anything.  We made several mistakes which ended up costing us time and money, but at least we made the rabies vaccine appointment on time!

1. Booked our flight to Nicaragua to arrive during the weekend.  – Dogs are not shipped via United Airlines PetSafe program on the weekend.

When I was looking at the flight options and deciding when and from which airport it was best to depart from, I noticed that all the flights out of San Diego arrived into Managua at 9:30pm.  I had read conflicting information about whether customs was open after 5pm, so I didn’t want the dogs and us arriving that late.  I also thought we had so much baggage, etc that I’d rather hassle with it in the light of day. Flights out of Los Angeles had a red eye option arriving at about 12:30pm.  Los Angeles was more of a drive, but I didn’t feel like we had another option.

I finally booked our tickets and then right away called the PetSafe department to book the dogs on the same flight.  I was told right away that dogs aren’t transported on the weekends and that they could fly out the next Monday morning departing at 8:30am, arriving in Managua at…9:30pm!!! Having already booked non refundable tickets for the family, I went ahead and booked the dogs.
2. Not understand the importance of the check-in time frame. – Must be 3 hours before flight (unless military), but for an early morning flight, no more than 3 hours

Kharron’s brother, Kevin, graciously agreed to take the dogs for the couple days after we left and get them to the airport 3 hours prior to their flight. Yikes, that’s early! It was set, problem solved. We boarded our plane on a red eye at 12:30 Saturday morning with a plan to spend a couple nights in Managua until the dogs came in, then go to stay at a friend’s surf camp until we could move into our home in San Juan del Sur.

We woke up Monday morning excited that we would be seeing our pooches that night.  Kharron and his brother were texting that Kevin was on his way to the airport with his dad, Baylee, and everything was going as planned. Things turned bad quickly.  Once Kevin found the cargo area it quickly became clear that he had missed the 30 minute window between when the cargo department opened at 5am and 3 hours before the flight. Dogs were not going to fly that day.
3. Book dogs on their own flight arriving at night. – Managua will not allow animals to arrive after 5pm unaccompanied by a passenger.

Kevin had to make a new reservation for the following morning.  The dogs were going to need to spend the night in Houston (more money) so that they could be on the first flight out of Houston on Wednesday morning and arrive in Managua during the daytime.
4. Send someone who doesn’t own a credit card to drop off the dogs at the airport. – United only takes credit cards, no cash allowed.

We decided to go to the surf camp anyway and Kharron could drive the 1 and a half hours back to Managua to pick them up on Wednesday. Again, Tuesday morning we were excited to get the process underway.  Kevin was on his way to the airport and targeted to arrive within the allotted window. Kharron was giving me the play-by-play as I chased Azalea around paradise.  Kevin and dad arrived on time…dogs are out of the truck…they are getting checked in…paperwork is missing…wait, no it isn’t…  It was tense! My interpretation to the story is when Kevin pulled out the wad of cash we had wired him to pay with the ticketing office then told him they only took credit cards.  NO!!!

Let’s do this again.  Dogs are booked for Thursday morning flight, staying in Houston, arriving on Friday.  We were quickly approaching the 10 day expiration date of the Certificate of Health the vet filled out and USDA stamped.  This was going to get really messy and expensive if we didn’t manage to work this out by no later than a Friday arrival.
5. Didn’t pay enough attention to recent changes in crate regulations. – I couldn’t even tell you the rules. Allow yourself enough time to buy another one if needed.

Dogs on the dolly in the incorrect crates

We called in for back up.  My friend Kelly recently became a stay at home mom.  She’s fierce, smart, gorgeous, and owns a credit card…she was just the person for the job! We wake up Wednesday morning now with a feeling of doom.  Again, Kharron on his phone now with Kelly. Kharron’s dad again there for support. Everything is going good. We are texted the above picture.  Dogs were on the dolly!  They must be in, all is clear… wait, no, there’s a problem. Rigley’s crate is too small and Tasha’s doesn’t have the correct bolts holding it together.  They are given one new crate and BayLee goes to another airline and is able to buy another crate.

Finally, dogs are cleared and the crowd goes wild!

I get this email a couple hours later and the stress pours out of me like frozen margaritas from a blender.

Email Alert
United Cargo email alert.



Get Me Out of Managua!

For the first 3 days we stayed in Managua, listening to the advice of a friend who was already living in Nica.  We landed on a Saturday and our dogs weren’t scheduled to come in until Monday night.  Our friend Joe reserved us a spot at Don Quijote Hotel for only $60 a night and was going to show us around the city for the next couple days.  The hotel was in a convenient location, was very clean and included breakfast and delicious coffee in the morning.

Managua is like an infectious disease that slowly creeps up on you.  The first day you notice its busy and a little dirty, but you’re okay with it.  The next day the scenery seems a little apocalyptic and you can’t believe how crazy the drivers are.  By the third day you just want to get all your errands done quickly and get out before the inevitable accident in a rotunda, or traffic ticket.

Managua is a necessary evil when living in Nicaragua. There are things harder to find outside of Managua and everything is cheaper there.  The best supermarket, La Colonia is located in Managua (also in Granada and Leon), the best veterinarians, hospitals, and stores.  Mechanics seem to take trips to Managua many times a week for parts.

On our last day we ran around going to get a copy of our car key made since the one the car came with was about to snap. We also went to Western Union to wire money, went to SENSA – the big hardware store owned by Ace, Kid’s Plaza looking for a twin size plastic sheet (Azalea was having some bed wetting issues), ate lunch, and managed to buy our way out of two traffic tickets which are called “multas” – translated to “fines”.

Finally we were off to paradise – Surf Tours Nicaragua, in Miramar where my friend manages.