You have to be pretty stupid or insane to sell everything, to pack up your dogs, leave your beautiful townhome in Newport Beach California behind, and move to Europe for close to two years while you wait for a property in Costa Rica to be built. Even more insanely credible is that you're not even there to supervise the construction. We guess the Travel Hogz are exactly a little bit of both. Living a fair and comfortable lifestyle in Newport Beach, California, the next thing you know, they were venturing onto the other side of the world for almost 2 years. While also working from home, on the U.S. time zone, and staying up until 2am Euro time. "We hated it." A true statement from the Hogz. Can't argue with that! However, the perks were avid touring multiple cities, experiencing divers cultural norms, visiting museums, sight seeing, having staycays in neighboring cities & countries and goofing around all day until time to go to work at 6pm European time....9am Los Angeles time. You can't put a price on this kind of these kinds of perks. Although fun and invigorating, the Hogz were starting to get a little burned out. Their house that was being built in Costa Rica was no where near the completion date of December 2019 which started construction March 2018. The plan was to tour Europe for a year then go to Costa Rica from Europe to live. WHAT? Geeze!
They arrived into Valencia, Spain airport September 2019 with a ton of luggage with barely only room left in the Get Transfer van for a 2 year old child. The race to the Airbnb in order to arrive before the dogs were to be delivered by WOOF Airlines was on. They made it and in less than an hour later, the dogs arrived.
Ahhhhh Valencia! Valencia, California??? No... Valencia, Spain. By now you should know that the Hogz headed to the Southeastern portion where the Turia River Mediterranean Sea join together in holy matrimony. Valencia, the city of Arts and Sciences. The city of amazing beauty! Once you arrive, you get a sense of how vast and marvelous this it really is. AND...unless you are fluent in Spanish, be prepared to feel like a foreigner because unlike every other country the Travel Hogz lived in, Valencia doesn't care to spend time speaking English. Travel Hogz Tip # 90 download Google Translator or a good translating app!
They ate dinner at a very nice hotel on the beach and indulged possibly a little too much and waddled back to their Airbnb with tummies full and overly satisfied.
The next day there was a short expedition a couple of blocks away from the Airbnb which neighbored a windy, beautiful, sandy beach! SANDY! Yes ladies & gents ...there was sand on the beach! Most places they visited in Europe were rocky beaches! So the fact that there was sand was a very nice sight! The airbnb was in the vicinity near the beach, but NO view. Just close enough to get a peekaboo view.
Across from their humble abode were small restaurants, junk shops that sold all kinds of trinkets like beach toys, clothes and what nots. The dogs seemed to have acclimated fairly quickly, They would walk the apartment lined narrow streets for bathroom breaks and fresh air. Cute airbnb for about a week until…..IT happened.
One fine morning as the dogs were taking their walk, Hog 2 noticed the neighboring mom & pop shop was preparing for opening. The employees were moving empty crates into the streetsand she noticed them oddly jumping up and down stomping the ground and laughing. The closer she approached, she noticed baby cockroaches scattering everywhere. EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK She muttered and went the opposite direction. “Oh no”, She thought, “Those things could probably end up in our Airbnb!!!" She was right! It was about to go down! ..... Life for the Hogz hit a downward spiral from then on!
Things were great for about a week and a half at the lovely Airbnb, the Hogz would get up, shower, either walk to the beach, Uber to downtown, or even e-biked for a bit. One night after returning from an outing, Hogz 2 was grooming ever so happily in the bano of the airbnb. Showered, shampood and shined, she opened a drawer to reach in for her hair brush and BOOOOOOOOO! The biggest, ugliest nastiest COCKROACH leaps from the drawer with fangs, a bandana and a knife ready to kill! Well, not really, but that’s how she felt & the noise she swore it made. She screamed from the top of her lungs as she fled the bathroom in a frenzy. KILL IT! KILL IT! KILL IT! Hog 1 was already relaxing in bed and calmly raised up in slow motion and mummered, “HM?…. what?” “A BIG ROACH! KILL IT! KILL IT!” She continued to scream. Hog 1 still in slow motion sat bewildered in bed …. “Huh?” He mustered again. “A COCKROACH! IT JUMPED OUT OF THE DRAWER! KILL IT.” Hog 2 was frantic. Hog 1 reluctantly rolled from bed, stood up and said, “ I don’t want to have to be the one to kill it!” Needless to say the damsel in distress was both of them!
Hog 1 slowly walked into the bathroom looking for it and swears it was gone. Hog 2 disagreed and rattled the drawer and contents. AAAA BOOOOOGGITY BO! Out jumps the cochroach, Hog 1 tried to electracute it with an electric pest racket, FAIL! The bug jumped onto the floor and tried to push them both aside to escape the bathroom! Hog 2 lost all composure and ran to the living room couch! Hog 1 steadily swatted at the jurassic bug with the racket! No luck, then he finally stepped on it! EewwI! Bug goo was everywhere! "Uh Oh.....you've done it now!" Hog 2 belts out. Knowing that scent of a dead bug carried to other bugs. The Hogz cleaned it up and in fear and discomfort then went to bed.
The next morning, it was a bit rainy. Hog 2 was thinking maybe she should look for an umbrella. She remembered the host saying they could use one in the closet in the livingroom. She opened the closet BOOOO A BOOOOGIDY BOO! ANOTHER CUCARACHA leaped out of the closet!
It wasn't easy finding another place to stay. The host was very understanding when the Hogz left and she was nice enough to contact Airbnb to cancel for them and have their potential 3 month payment refunded. Travel Hogz Tip #81 if you rent an Airbnb and you cancel for whatever reason after arriving, you will still be charged the amount of days you are supposed to stay. Always contact the host first and if they are a good host, they will cancel so that you won't be charged and you will be refunded. Only for a reason as good as what the Travel Hogz experiencing.
The Hogz scoured Valencia looking for more Airbnb's which where all booked or didn't allow dogs. The hotels were the same until they found. They even tried to rent apartments with short term rentals but unfortunately the shortest term was for 6 months. Aside from that, they voiced their concerns and everyone told them that Valencia was the city of la Cucarachas!
What to do, what to do? Finally, they found a hotel that was pet friend, however a nightly fee for 2 canines was a top the nightly rate. A hefty expense which they were not happy about. They asked about cockroaches and were assured by management, "Not at THIS hotel!" This was a great hotel and turns out it's where the soccer teams came to stay while in town for a game, but apparently no bugs of any kind were welcomed. With that being said, they hired 2 Ubers to take each of them, their luggage, and the dogs to the hotel. Why 2 Ubers? No Uber suvs' were available and it was cheaper than spending it on a get transfer for such a short drive.
Exhausted, with seemed to be ailing pups (one had to go to the bathroom 6 times a day), the other also starting to pee alot and needed to go out often, they started to feel horrible. Expensive hotel, they couldn't venture out to other cities because of the dogs, they wanted to go to Portugal but who would watch the dogs. Just a damper all the way around.
Within a day they made a decision. Send the dogs back to L.A. since Costa Rica was on the slow boat of building their new home. They decided to stay in the hotel for a couple of weeks once the dogs left so they could enjoy Spain a little before returning home. It had only been 3 weeks since they arrived and they were feeling the fatigue.
Woof Air arranged for the dogs to be picked up again and paperwork handled and they were flown back to L.A. to Hog 2's mother & daughter to take care of until they returned to pick them up. It was sad but a relief. It was clear it was time to stop the adventures. They thought about going to Portugal then but they had to stay at the hotel because their flight was out of Valencia to go back to the O.C. Cali. Why go to Portugal, pay and still pay an arm and a leg where the hotel they were staying? All of their belongings where there. Spoiler Alert! It didn't make sense to do that. That was the plan if they were staying at an airbnb, but the roaches put a damper on those plans. Since the dogs where gone they were able to remove them from the charges at the hotel and could stay gone all day without rushing back to take them for their walks.
They enjoyed walking to downtown, rented e-scooters from a neighboring e-scooter shop and toured the city even more. Valencia was a gorgeous city which offered tons of things to see and do!
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
The City of Arts & Sciences
If you got to València, visiting the City of Arts and Sciences is a must. The architecture of the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, have become icons in the city. It is a scientific and cultural experience that you should enjoy. These monuments cover close to 1.5 miles of the former riverbed of the River Turia. There is the Hemisfèric, the Science Museum and the Oceanogràfic, where you will need to purchase tickets for and you can buy them separately or combined for the buildings that you would most like to visit. The Hogz visited the Oceanografic which was much like a zoo for oceanic life. Beautiful place. It's Europe's biggest aquarium. With seven different marine environments, almost 45,000 specimens of 500 different species can be seen, such as dolphins, belugas, walruses, sea lions, seals, penguins and sharks. They also attended the dolphin show that repeats daily! Reserve at least half a day for the trip.
Other places the Hogz ventured to were the military museum, which was free but still leave a donation, the Bio Parc which was nothing short of amazing and the Falles animation museum. All are highly recommended. They also did a city tour bus call Hop on Hop off on the red bus which seemed to be haunting them all through Europe. Come to find out, it's all one company worldwide and well worth it! Why didn't they do this in every country? DUH?
They walked to a neighboring cafe that served excellent coffee and breakfast before heading downtown where you can see amazing architecture and where you can even try L'agua De Valencia; a refreshing cocktail! Hog 2 even enjoyed a little shopping.
Landmarks such as the Valencia Cathedral are older buildings that were built in 1262 help the city keeps its historical essence. The main entrance and extit to downtown still holds a massive fortress entrance. Valencia is a city of it's own.
After 2 weeks the rain was unbearable and in some nearby locations, there were massive floods. Though it didn't really affect the Hogz the downtown area was affected. It was time. Time return home, but where?
A trip to the airport was relief to a degree. They had mapped out apartments while in Europe, in Newport beach, Laguna, Irvine, Newport Coast and a variety of neighboring cities. Since they THOUGHT they were going to be in Spain until the end of December, they had reserved an Airbnb in Newport Beach over looking the water for Christmas for a month, but they couldn't use it not to mention is was paid in full until December. The 1 month was supposed to be the actual date of coming to America, and would have given them time to find an apartment. The cockroaches and moving to the high priced hotel spoiled that! It was still September. Decisions, decisions, decisions. When will it end. The apartment search would start the same day they land back in the states. They picked 10 to start with. A Travel Hogz's work is never done.
Off they go, and feeling comfort when landing in the good old US of A! Or so they thought!