Friday, December 31, 2010
We kicked off the adventure the night before by heading to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate that we were officially on vacation for the next five days. We then went home and packed our bags since we had to be at the airport at 6:15 AM. We got there, strolled up to the counter and that is when the adventure began.
We have three little lapdogs and Brett’s baby, Bree, had chewed on the edges of his passport. As a wife, I believe I had mentioned that he should get a new one, but here we were at the airport with his raggedy passport. Granted, we traveled with it last year and they said since the seal on the passport was not damaged it was fine. Well, things change.
The lady at the counter informed my husband he could not go. They could no longer send passengers with a “torn or tattered” passport to Mexico. They had sent some and they fined the airline and deported the passengers back to their home country! At that moment I had a mixture of anger and frustration that was bubbling to the surface as my vacation, a.k.a. quality time with my husband was being tampered with by rules and regulations. Now what?
They informed us that there is now a passport office in the Earl Cabell Federal building in Dallas. They gave us the phone number since you had to have an appointment along with the address. Now instead of sitting at our gate we were driving over to downtown Dallas. Let’s just say it was a quiet car ride on my part and many “baby, I’m sorry’s” on Brett’s part.
We got an 8:30 appointment and the recording said he would need to bring two photos of himself. Hmmm. Didn’t pack that for our trip. Luckily, when you walk in to the building there is a sign that says “passport photos” with an arrow to the left. The deli in the building also does photos-genius! We head up to the 11th floor and see about getting him a new passport. We didn’t know if they would be able to do it in a day, a few hours or what the options might be.
After some paperwork and explanation of “my dog ate my passport” they told Brett he would have a new one within 45 minutes to an hour. Hooray! Oh ya, and it would cost $190. I then got on the phone with the airline to see about getting us on another flight. When I finally got a real person on the phone she told me we could hop on the 11:45 flight. Great! But wait, there are some additional charges. The difference in what we had already paid and what we would need to pay was roughly $1000. I nearly choked. I thought well, we are staying home. I asked Brett if he had it to pay (and I am sure I had a look of fury in my eyes) and he said “yes honey, here is my card.” I found out later that he had been saving to buy me a nice Christmas gift and so Merry Christmas we are going to Mexico!
As soon as he got his crisp, non-chewed passport in hand we hit the road at 10 AM for DFW airport. Luckily there was no traffic and we got checked in, through security and on the plane. My life is nothing if not an adventure with this man, but hey I do love the guy!
Makala Pollard is a Sr Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources and a stepmom to two boys who is sure to keep her family's passports out of the dogs' reach these days.