Jiver simmered down once we got off the plane in Newark. Ok, I thought, we’re almost halfway there. Our bags were checked all the way to Porto so, now we could check in for the flight and relax. The check in agent looked over our dog papers and issued us boarding passes. No problem! As we waited to get through security a fire alarm started going off and it was LOUD! Jiver did not like it at all! He started to growl and was threatening to start barking when, after about ten minutes it finally stopped. False alarm, thank God. We made it through security without incident and went to find our gate. We had about three hours to kill and we found a Vino Volo near our gate. Perfect! We stopped to have a drink and a nosh. Vino Volo is a great concept that serves good healthyish food and good wines to go with them. A great place to hang out at the airport, a dreadful place to work. Yes, I worked for Vino Volo at DIA in Denver for about a year. It’s ok if you are willing to cook food, serve wine, bus tables, and wash dishes by yourself for up to 40-50 people at a time. Right!
Jiver sacked out by the table and after some food and drink we made our way to the gate hoping that this plane ride would be better than the first. I had overheard a gate agent say that the plane was not full and that there were about 40 empty seats. That should help. We got on the plane and the row in front of us was almost empty so, we agreed that after takeoff Joe would move up to that row and we would let Jiver have the seat next to me. He whined and panted for the first 45 minutes but, once we were at cruising altitude, we put his blanket on the seat and he sat there through the flight. Finally, he was ok. We figured that he did not like the vibrations of the plane when he had to stay on the floor.
It is amazing how different the attitudes are between US and Euro airlines. Everyone is so uptight and stressed out on the US flights and so much more relaxed on the European flights. The TAP Portugal flight crew was great. They loved Jiver and were fine with him sitting next to me. Also, the food is so much better on the Euro flights. Oh, and no charge for wine either. We had a delicious baked cod in cream sauce with spinach with mashed potatoes and a nice white wine to accompany it. We weren’t even there yet and already I preferred my new country of choice to my country of origin!
When the plane started its descent, Jiver got nervous again. This time, he only whined and panted for about the last half hour. Whew! We made it to the ground and arrived in Porto. Now, we just had to get through customs, passport and vet check.
I took Jiver to find a doggie rest area but couldn’t find one. There was an area with some planters, and he christened the Porto airport right there. After cleaning up after him, I found the veterinary office. The doctor was waiting for us there and it only took about ten minutes for her to sign off on us bringing Jiver into Portugal. Now customs. We presented our box of spirits and wine from Colorado and they opened it. The officer examined our stash and asked, to drink with friends? And, I said yes! He said, ok and we were off. It took about 30 minutes to get into the country, through customs and have Jiver checked in by the vet. Portugal, what a country! It might have something to do with the fact that we arrived at 5:30am. There was a cab driver waiting outside arrivals and he transported us to our Airbnb. After a year of planning and waiting, we finally arrived in Porto! Ha-le-freakin’-lu-jah!
We should get a prize for all we’ve been through! Oh yeah, being here IS the prize! 😉