DODGING THE TRAVEL BULLET
Kathy and I have just arrived in Scotland for a Spring Holiday. I have been a best man, gone on two awesome mountain bike rides and visited some of my very best friends on the Planet, who just happen to live over here. I won’t name them all but lets just say a good crowd showed up for today’s Bank Holiday ride.
That is not the point of this Blog though. It was getting here that I want to talk about. I travel frequently, in fact I have two valid passports, Canadian and USA. I want to make sure you know I am not bragging just stating a simple fact. Kathy does not travel frequently, the last time she left the country was 5 years ago, another trip to Scotland. I, the travel expert, who has two passports should be in charge of making everything is ready. I am the one who wanted to go in May, Kathy was great in agreeing to come along at at time that is really busy for her. I arranged the flights, the hotel everything. I did most of this last July. We have been planning this for awhile. On the Tuesday evening before our departure on Wednesday evening Kathy got out our passports. She was gathering thing together so we could leave at a decent hour. She looked at her passport and screamed. It was expired, by two years. Don’t ask me why I had never checked, I just didn’t. Don’t ask why she didn’t check, she didn’t think of it.
So what to do? Well in this modern world, after we had both got over the inicial shock we went to google. Emergency Passport renewal. What did we find out. One there is a passport office in Seattle. A litte side note here. I got our tickets with miles and the only ticket I could get went through Seattle with a 5 hour layover. Two we could make an appointment to see a passport officer 24 hours a day. HOPE. We made Kathy’s appointment for 9am. Three we had to get Kathy another ticket to Seattle because her orignal ticket was to Scotland and without a passport she couldn’t check into that flight. The only flight available left an hour earlier. Sweet another hour in Seattle.
It didn’t say anywhere they could issue a passport in an hour, we couldn’t call to find out it any of this was possible. So we were just going to show up and hope.
We arrived at the United Desk in Portland and asked for help, no self check in for us. The ladies were super nice. They changed my ticket to the earlier time for no charge so I could be with Kathy in Seattle. They checked our luggage all the way to Scotland under my name so we wouldn’t have to drag Kathy’s suitcase to the Passport office.
We caught the light rail from SeaTac to downtown Seattle about three blocks from the Passport office. We got to the Passport Office 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Went through security and got to the room with all the Passport agents. We turned in Kathy’s paperwork and waited for her appointment. We were listening to the gentleman in front of us. The passport agent told him to come back the next day to pick up his passport, not what we wanted to hear.
Now it was Kathy’s turn. The nice agent asked Kathy how her morning was going. Kathy replied, I am very nervous. How come? Well because I don’t have a valid passport and my flight is at 2 this afternoon. The agent takes all of Kathy’s paper, peruses through them and finally Kathy say, I can’t stand it can you get me a new passport. She smiles and says, sure it will ready at 10 am, “Watch us work”. RELIEF”
Back to the airport and off to Scotland. Were we living right, was there divine intervention or just dumb luck. I don’t really know, all I know is we are here having a great time. We dodged the travel bullet.