I know that blogging is pretty much dead. And that’s fine. But every once in a while, I feel the need to tell a funny (at least, it’s funny now) story.
Last week, the kids and I flew to Hawaii for our long awaited trip. It was their Christmas present and I was proud of myself for 1) keeping it a secret from them for as long as I did and 2) scoring sweet airfare on a seat sale.
Anyway. We were all really excited to leave, and in a fit of organization, everyone was packed and ready the night before we flew, even though our flight wasn’t till 6pm the following day.
I got up early to meet Jen for a run before anyone woke up. It was snowing heavily and I decided to check in for the flight over coffee.
Me, check. Kid 1, check, Kid 2, check. Kid 3? Denied.
WTF? I was barely awake and the message on the screen didn’t register. Until it did: passport expired.
How did I miss this? No matter, I did.
I immediately call Jay in a complete panic (though I’m not sure why, it’s not like he could magically make her passport valid).
He calms me for a second, reassuring me that she can travel on her Nexus.
Except, not saved.
Her Nexus is with him. In Las Vegas.
Kick everyone out of bed, c’mon kids, the holiday starts at the passport office!
Fast forward a frantic jostling, throwing whatever in the van, who needs showers, who cares, let’s go! We arrive at the office at 9:30. The man at the door assures me that all will be well, yes ma’am, just go get the photo taken and we’ll be ready for you.
Except. Not ready.
All of Service Canada’s computers are down nationwide and there is literally not one thing they can do to help.
(There are tears, at this point. Actually, there were tears earlier, too).
I’m told to go to the airport and beg.
I, wouldn’t you know, am not above begging. Off we go.
At the airport, I head straight to the Nexus office, hoping that they can help in any way. The lady at the desk is exceptionally friendly, offering hope.
Except. There is no hope.
Government shutdown in the USA means there are no American agents to help.
Off we go to the check in desk to commence begging.
Meanwhile, after 47 phone calls, Jay is at a FedEx desk overnighting the precious nexus card.
At the check in, I get precisely nowhere. And not only do I get nowhere, I discover that those magical tickets I was so proud of? Well, those suckers are non-refundable and non-changeable.
Cue more tears. I’m frustrated and I just can’t help it. Anja’s not exactly thrilled, either. Had it been just me, whatever. But the children.
Are pretty damned resilient and good natured, actually.
At this point, the guilt mingled with the feeling of utter stupidity is making me literally nauseous. It doesn’t matter how many times I get told that this happens every day, all over the airport! It’s not the end of the world! It’s not a big deal! I feel like a big ol’ failure.
The ladies at the counter are so lovely and kind, but can do little more than take my credit card and rebook us on new tickets for the next night.
We group hug (me and the kids, not me and the ticket ladies). The kids sweetly go get me a coffee (they know what makes their mama tick). We ponder what to do with our 24 hours in Vancouver.
The rest of the day was a continuous series of mini-misadventures and misfires. One of those days where you can literally do nothing right. I could not wait to go to bed and be done with it. We got to spend time with the cousins, so there is always an upside.
Fast forward 7 days… we’re safely and successfully checked in to the flght home tomorrow. The expired passport is a distant memory. We have crushed our tourist game and loved our time together, bickering siblings and all.
There’s a reason I’m not a travel agent.