As I sit here in Houston on day 2 of our trip to Paris, I think of all that has gotten us to this place. Let this story be a lesson to all of you who travel.
Monday morning was like any other day just better. I got the kids up, fed them and the dogs and hung out with my husband as we packed last minute things for our trip. Everything was perfect!! We even somehow managed to get the flight I love that lets us sleep and arrive in my favorite city at 8am.
We pack up the car and head to the airport. Things were going well I even found some help with the bags as soon as we parked. Just when the excitement of having a pre flight meal and cocktail set in, my knowledge would change forever. The attendant behind the counter informed me that my daughter could not go because her passport expires in a month and a half and it has to be valid for at least three and sometimes six months for international travel. I begged and pleaded for some other option but the only one that existed was to rebook my flight to the following day and get an expidited passport for her.
I rushed out off the airport and had my husband head to the passport office while we rushed to have a photo taken only to find that we needed all of the documents I have neatly stashed in a folder in my desk drawer. So day one was officially a wash! To the house we go!
Day Two we rise at 5am to be first at the passport office by 7:30am. We arrive and I pay and park. We go in only to find a whole building of people that were there by 6am. In addition to that we were walk ins. The next bit of great news we get is that they don’t even begin handing passports out before 2:30 and our flight left at 3:45. GREAT! I was frantic! My husband was out of town and only my friend Myya knew about the drama that led to us still being in Houston. So Myya and I came up with an amazing plan that would cut it close, but get us on that plane!
- We will get the passport made
- We would take her the form to pick up the passport
- Then we would head to the airport and check bags
- She would pick the passport up and drop it to us
- We would get Mila all checked in and then we would head through security and board the plane
- up up and away Paris here we come
Well had that worked I would be writing this from Paris this morning instead I am waiting for that same 3:45 flight today. Everything was going well until we walked out of the passport office to take the pick up documents to Myya. I walked out to find a boot on my car. Yep, I ran out of time in the passport office and even first offenses get you the boot. I called the people and just shelled out the $128 to get the boots removed (all while in tears). We headed to Myya, dropped the documents then headed to the airport. Myya headed to the passport office only to be told to sit and wait and there was no chance of getting it before 2:30. As I began to check the bags the clerk informed me she couldn’t because Mila’s passport would be needed so she directed me to sit and wait. I was really in tears now and Myya was still waiting. The likelihood of this flight was dim. I then feel a tap on my shoulder and they informed me that the flight was closing and we could rebook. The tears could not have gotten any bigger.
I went and rebooked with one last hope left. Air France and Delta are co-chairs so maybe Delta would help me out and get me on their next flight. WRONG! They let me know my best bet would be to wait for my flight the next day OR pay $2,000/ticket to change it…..and not even first class. I was officially out of gas! My day was a wash. I gathered my kids with Mila’s newly minted passport in hand and took that walk, with our luggage, back to the great parking space we got right by the elevator. All was not lost because after all it was national tequila day so I could just go drink my sorrows away. I should be happy, I consumed no calories all day other than my coffee plus the strolling back and forward, up and down ramps while pushing about 100lbs of luggage I was ready to pound 2-3 margaritas with no guilt. Well, the reality was I was to exhausted to drive home and my honey was out of town on business so he wouldn’t be back until about 10pm so drinking was not an option. I had no one to drive me to our fave margarita establishment nor did I have the energy to break out the margaritaville machine to make some (oh and I guess that drinking alone thing I should care about lol).
I decided to call the hubby and let him know, all bets were off. The kids ate junk food for dinner (Burger King) and I got a bad habit favorite, Popeyes 3 wings, mashed potatoes and a big ole strawberry Fanta! We ate in the car, arrived home, I got in the shower let the kids finish off the sugar cookies we baked after the first disappointment of not making our flight and I laid on the couch watching The Young and The Restless.
So now two days into our trip we are waiting to make that trek again to the airport to catch that plane and hopefully have that preflight meal and cocktail. I hope all of the trouble is behind us and we can share with our littles the joys of Paris we have come to know. The moral of the story is…..When you notice your passport is expiring in one year or less, have it renewed immediately. Had I known this I would be in Paris right now.
Happy Travels from Lisa’s Lane