When are they coming to pick up the couch? Are we dropping off our donations tomorrow? What are we doing about the leftover food we have? Will my luggage be overweight? Do I have enough luggage? Do I have too much luggage?
These and many more were our only thoughts every waking minute for WEEKS as we prepared to move to Poland. There was so much to do that sometimes we didn’t even have time to sit down together for breakfast or dinner. We had no lives and boy, was it stressful. Thankfully, that is all over now and we can finally enjoy doing the things we love – but crossing the finish line and arriving in Poland didn’t happen without overcoming a few obstacles first.
The Day of our Flight
The day of our flight was by far the most stressful. We still had to clean the house, get rid of a lot more junk than we thought we still had, and make our way to the airport with Fry and Molly at 3:00 PM.
That morning, I posted two listings on Craigslist that read “FREE – LOT OF HOUSEHOLD ITEMS” and “FREE – LOT OF UNOPENED FOOD” and put our free stuff on our back patio. Within minutes my phone was ringing off the hook! I was getting so many calls and text messages that my calls kept dropping. Many of the calls were from people seemingly in real need of the things we were giving away. One call was from a woman who lived in an old run-down trailer and she just wanted to do anything possible to make it look better. Her story was heart-breaking so I saved her a few simple things she requested. Another call was from a man who came with his family (kids and everything) from 20+ miles away to pick up our food and personal belongings. They loaded up with almost everything we had and thanked us in the end. It was a very fulfilling experience and we were happy it all went to people that would put it all to good use.
After everything was gone we returned to cleaning. We made multiple trips by foot that day to the garbage dump in our apartment complex. Don’t worry, we had Florida’s 90 degree heat in our face to make those trips as sweaty and exhausting as possible.
At around 9:00 or 10:00 AM I received a phone call that gave us the biggest obstacle during this entire journey. We had a reservation for a private van to pick us up and take us to the airport that day. Prior to making this reservation the week before, I confirmed with the shuttle service that they can accommodate us and our two dogs. Now they were calling us to tell us that they can’t fit our luggage and our two dogs… did I mention that this was on the day of our flight? Click the play button below to listen to the voicemail yourself 🙂
As you can probably imagine, when I heard this I became infuriated and worried that we would not make it to the airport. After all, it was only a few hours before we had to be there. I called them back and tried to maintain my composure but you could still hear the irritation in my voice. After asking to speak to a supervisor, who initially insisted that I needed to pay double for another vehicle, THANKFULLY they arranged for a larger van to pick us up, presumably since this was an error on their part. We were very relieved at this point and continued with cleaning and packing.
When our driver arrived we still had about 8 bags of trash and miscellaneous items to throw out. Luckily, the driver was happy to help us drive it in his vehicle to the dumpster in our complex so that we could leave before hitting rush hour traffic. He asked me if I was keeping my foldable dolly truck to which I replied no and happily gave it to him.
At the Airport and Arriving in Wrocław
When we arrived at Orlando International Airport a luggage handler helped us with two large luggage carts containing the dogs and, well, our luggage of course. When we entered we were immediately greeted by about six Lufthansa and airport staff members who were excited to meet our dogs and invited us to the check-in counter immediately. We literally felt like celebrities except our dogs were the actual celebrities (womp, womp).
Lufthansa staff was simply amazing and they even kept the dogs busy while we provided paperwork at the counter. They wanted to know all about Fray and Molly, especially the pet handler who was in charge of being with them until they boarded the aircraft. He paid special attention to them and we happily gave him a tip to show our appreciation.
Afterwards, we headed for our gate where we would board our 9 hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany before we switched airplanes and landed in Wroclaw an hour later.
ALERT: LOW QUALITY MOBILE PHONE PICTURES
We were very happy to see Fry and Molly alive and well when we arrived in Poland and they as well were equally as happy to see us 🙂 We put them through to customs which was a breeze as all they did was check their paperwork and scan Fry for his microchip to verify it matched their documents. They didn’t scan Molly which was no surprise as I read sometimes customs in Europe won’t even check any paperwork at all! Nevertheless, if you’re thinking about taking the risk with your pets I would not recommend it… get your paperwork 😉 Last thing you want is to pay hundreds of dollars a day for 30 days because your pet has to be quarantined or, even worse, turned away.
At the airport lobby our driver was waiting for us with a sign that read my name. We packed up his van (to the top!) and made our way to our new apartment where our real estate agent was waiting for us to sign the lease. It was the first time we had ever seen our new apartment in person and I must say we were very impressed. Our real estate agent did an amazing job and by far exceeded our expectations.
Now we wake up and our lives are finally back to normal. We can actually sit down for breakfast and coffee in the morning, enjoy our weekends in Rynek (the main market square in Wroclaw), and explore this beautiful city that is filled with so much history and culture. In addition, we can get back to posting blog articles as we finally got our internet installed this week.
Coming up next: we have so much content to post including beautiful pictures of Wrocław and hilarious things that have occurred as we get accustomed to life in Poland and getting things done without knowing the language. Stay tuned 😉