Tuesday, May 19, 2009

passport, please

We've decided on a summer vacation, finally. Yellowstone got postponed for a better economy, but we're going to visit Sister MD and family in Pittsburgh and then spend some time around Niagara Falls.

Yikes! Our passports are way out of date! (Isn't that depressing? I'd like to think of myself as a world traveler, but my passport was issued when I was in college.) Since they're way out of date, we have to spend an extra $25 to get them in person instead of through the mail. Spend extra for your extra inconvenience, please. I was able to print out all the forms at home, and I had them all filled out. I even had a semi-recent photo to use. All I needed was the time to go to a post office to do it all. Ha.

Bug had a birthday party today, held at a bouncy, jumpy place about half an hour away. Seemed practical to drop him off and deal with the passport at a nearby Post Office. Here was my day:

10:00 drop Bug at Jumpy Place, leaving contact info with parents

10:10 arrive at P.O., ask about passports. told to "Wait over here."

10:12 (ooh, how quick!) Passport Lady calls me forward. "You need an appointment." {mistake #1} I ask if I can get one right then. Both her 10:15 and 10:30 time slots are filled; I can have 10:45. Hmm. Wait at Jumpy Place or P.O.? I choose P.O. just in case they can get me in sooner. Didn't think to bring a book, by the way. {mistake #2}

10:15 Her appointment doesn't show. She sells stamps. I sit.

10:30 Her appointment doesn't show. She sells stamps. I sit.

10:45 I am called for my appointment. Just on time, wow!
I spread out all my forms, my old passport, my photos and drivers license as if I had a winning poker hand. (Royal Flush, thank you very much!) "Your name has changed." Yes, I was married. "You need an original marriage certificate." I have a drivers license also issued by the state, in my married name.... "You need an original marriage certificate."

11:00 I watch kids bounce, then watch them eat pizza and cake. I've had enough of both of those recently, so I passed even though I was hungry. {mistake #3}

12:30 arrive home. Leave Bug in car {mistake #4}, grab safety deposit box key and a banana. Used the bathroom. {not mistake!}

12:31 Back in car. Bug: "I'm thirsty." No anything in car. {mistake #5}

1:00 Bank. Remembered to get cash before getting into my Pirate Secret Treasure Chest for marriage certificate. (Bug usually likes this place, but it has no drinking fountain.)

1:15 at our local P.O. Whoo Hoo, no appointments needed! But the people in front of me are here for a passport too. I brought the birthday party goodie bag in, as well as three markers, one notebook and one book. Bug doesn't want any of it. He's thirsty. The P.O. has no drinking fountain. He's whiny.

1:45 My turn! Again, I spread out all my lovely, completed documents, photos and identification, including the marriage certificate. Passport Lady Two looks at them. "You don't need the marriage certificate. Your drivers license has the same name." Would you take it anyway? Just in case? She does, but rolls her eyes at Post Office Lady next to her.

2:00 Finished! Time to pick up Pook from school. Swing by home for the emergency water break first.

2:25 Home. Eat lunch.

Now, anyone want to chime in on this? Two Passport Ladies claim (actually, they swear up and down) that the kids need passports to go to Canada. The website for the State Department says they need only birth certificates. (I'd add a link, but then you'd just read what I read, and that wouldn't really be another point of view, would it?)

1 comment:

  1. Alas, I wish I knew about the passport thing. I know that the boarder guards definitely look at all of our passports whenever we cross. We have passports for the girls and ourselves and we travel through Canada when we go to Michigan to visit my family.

    That's really secondary to my actual point, which is COME SEE ME! I live in Rochester, which is not all that far from Niagara Falls (about 2-3 hours). Please, please, please, please? Pretty please? :)