On July 1, 2005, Mary and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Our wonderful children, Ron and Linda and their spouses, outdid themselves by presenting us with a tour of Europe.
We like to travel. We've been doing a lot of traveling with a camping trailer on our own North American Continent. While traveling overseas was in our long-range plans, it was routinely deferred. We've enjoyed basing our travels in campgrounds, always taking our dog along. Appy enjoys traveling.
The big question immediately surfaced: On our trip to Europe, what could we do with Appy? Visions of Appy on her leash on the plane in the economy cabin, or in a crate in the luggage compartment flitted through my mind.
Linda and Aaron and their boys, Kennan and Micah, assured us they would take care of Appy.
This was a significant part of our anniversary gift. And we knew that this could work for Appy. Kennan and Micah were already among Appy's favorites. The only thing left was for Appy to develop a little tolerance for Candy, their dog, and to strike a truce with Nimbus, their cat. With only a little effort, this was accomplished.
Trip preparations went into high gear. Five thick travel guidebooks were bestowed on us for reference and study. Recommendations of what to see came from our family of seasoned travelers. We purchased maps, surfed the web, applied for passports, obtained an international driving permit and planned our itinerary. Packing began two weeks ahead of time to make sure no item was forgotten and to make sure we could live out of our "carry-ons." Even the hiker's compass proved it's worth when driving on roads that were disorienting. After verifying all hotel reservations, airline reservations and the rental car booking we were ready to go.