Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

The Holbert’s Three Rules of Travel

Posted by mandyhuckins on April 1, 2008

My whole life, I have heard my parents quote their famous three rules of travel:

1.) It always takes longer and is more complicated than you planned.

2.) It always, always costs more than you budgeted. 

3.) You must stop and eat (and/or use the bathroom) every two hours whether you need to or not.

Over the years, these three “rules” have proven themselves time and again.  Usually, the worst that happens is that you have amusing anecdotes you can share over cocktails with your friends.  For example, “one time, our flight was cancelled, we were re-routed through England and had to take a train, a ferry, and a broken down old horse cart to get back home!” (almost a true story)  But, sometimes these rules really gang up against you and they just aren’t amusing anymore. 

I am currently in the throws of planning how to ship my horse from Germany to Montgomery, Alabama and I am about to pull my hair out! 

Complicated? – you bet! She has to get from Germany to Amsterdam in a trailer, then she will fly on a cargo plane from Amsterdam to New York.  After three days in quarantine, she will need to be driven (in a private trailer) from New York to North Carolina for her quarantine.  After 15 -20 days, she can then be driven to her new home in Montgomery. 

Expensive? –  oh yeah!  It is going to cost me more to ship her than it did for me to buy her.  For the prices some people have quoted me, I feel that I might have to ride her from New York to Alabama!   I find myself wondering, “how long would it take a horse to swim the Atlantic Ocean?  Would she be in danger of being eaten by sharks?” 

I am not quite sure how rule #3 will come into play yet, but I have no fear – I am sure it will.

 A good friend of mine has a funny story about bringing their dog to Germany.  When they arrived at the airport and placed the dog in her carrier on the scale, they discovered that it was just over the weight limit that would push them into the next price category.  Anticipating the trauma the dog would have to endure, they had given her an extra special breakfast that morning.  The thought occurred to them, “that extra can of Alpo could end up costing us $500!”  So, my friend ran the dog up and down the airport trying to get the poor dog to … um … rid herself of the goods, while her husband threw all of the extra blankets they had piled into the carrier into the trash can.  Anyway, they re-weighed and everything was fine.  (Someone may or may not have slipped a finger under the lip of the carrier to “lighten” it a little more – I can’t really remember all of the details.)  Too bad I couldn’t make my suitcase “poop” out some pounds the time I went a little crazy shopping while visiting Mytle Beach and I had to pay an extra $25 at the airport.

So, I guess my point is, you should never attempt to bring a horse home as a souvenir from Europe and you should always visit the restroom before traveling.   Oh, and Mom and Dad, you were right again! 

For those of you who might be wondering why I am going through with it anyway…



4 Responses to “The Holbert’s Three Rules of Travel”

  1. Melissa said

    Oh, yes! I continue to honor those rules today; especially the third (just ask my fiance).

    My favorite recent example of upholding the rules is when you and I were traveling this past December from Chicago to New York (for your fabulous 30th birthday!) and our flight kept getting canceled or pushed back again and again. We would walk to another part of the airport to check the departures (as there are about a million flights from O’Hare to New York), scheme about which to try for, and then see a Cinnabon, or Starbucks, or Chili’s, or something else yummy, and have to stop off and buy something for a snack. All rules accounted for!

    Seriously, Dancer is stunningly beautiful, and what other readers may not know first hand is how darn sweet she is! It will absolutely be worth it when it’s all over.


  2. Cindy Holbert said

    It’s very satisfying to know that at least some of the things you’ve tried to teach your children over the years have stood the test of time…

    Just think how many good stories you’ll have to tell after this adventure is over!!

  3. Lori Ennis said

    Okay, friend…it’s been 22 days! Where’s more?

  4. Jennifer said

    Wow! Seems like quite an ordeal, Mandy. How’s that coming along? When are you moving to Alabama?

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