Blog Posts by Poppin' Smoke

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and you’re probably thinking about where to shop. Before you buy everything at the major retailers, check out these businesses owned and operated by members of the military community. You can find thoughtful gifts and great deals, all while supporting veterans and military families. These companies offer a wide range of products, but in keeping with the spirit of Poppin’ Smoke, I’ve highlighted a few gift ideas for travelers. Even if you don’t buy anything from these retailers, please take the time to read their incredible stories and spread the w... read more

You can fly Space-A on the Patriot Express to Greece, Germany, Japan, and many other places around the world! Have you ever heard reference to the “Patriot Express” or the “rotator” and wondered what it was? It’s one of many possible aircraft you may take when flying military Space-A, and some seasoned Space-A travelers would argue that there’s no better way to travel! The Patriot Express (PE) is a commercial charter flight contracted by the Department of Defense to transport passengers on official military duty and their families. As with other Space-A flights, extra seats on the PE may be a... read more

The coastal city of Cadiz is a short ferry ride from Rota. Started as a trading post by the Phoenicians as early as 1100 B.C., Cadiz claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe. Are you thinking about moving overseas post-retirement? Here’s the inspiration you need to consider southern Spain! In the latest profile of our Expat Military Retiree Series , Tony Guyette, a Navy retiree, tells us what he loves about living in Rota, Spain. He has embraced the slower-paced lifestyle that comes with Spanish culture, and he has plenty of great advice for military retirees who ... read more

7 Things You Need to Know About Flying Space-A to Rota, Spain Sunshine, beautiful beaches, delicious food, and convenient access to cities all over southern Spain – that’s what you get when flying into Naval Station Rota. It’s one of the easiest U.S. bases in Europe to reach from the continental U.S., and it should definitely be on your list if you’d like to take advantage of Space-A for leisure travel. To help you plan your trip, here are seven things to know about flying Space-A to Rota. If you are new to Space-A flying, read this Quickstart Guide to Space-A Flights first to get a basic und... read more

If you want to fly Space-A to the United Kingdom, Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall is your best bet. The base is located about 80 miles northeast of London, making it an equally great starting point for a relaxing tour of the English countryside or a busy week exploring the sites of London. RAF Mildenhall is also a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe. With three international airports and the Eurostar train within a few hours’ drive, RAF Mildenhall is the perfect place to start your European vacation. Ready to plan your trip? Here’s what you need to know! If you are new to Space-A flying... read more