I want to get the story down, so we don’t miss out on any of the important lessons we learned that day.
At Karl’s company Christmas party, where 200 employees were in attendance, 5 names were drawn to win a cruise, Karl’s was one of them. We were thrilled! Then we talked to out doctor, and she told us that many cruises do not let girls over 24 weeks on boat. Which turned out to be the case on the cruise line we would be booked on.
So finagle number one, was to change the win from a cruise to the Caribbean to an all inclusive resort in Mexico.
We booked back in the beginning of January, and we filed for our passport on Maryn’s birthday. My passport came in two weeks later. Karl’s, well that is the story. Two weeks before our trip, Karl called the passport office and asked asked what as up. They told him everything was fine, and that his passport would he there soon. The following Monday he got a strange envelope in the mail with a bunch of paperwork in Spanish, and requests for documents (which he sent) and then called the office again. The guy at the office said the documents that we had gathered and sent we unnecessary, that Karl was all good, and that his passport would be there before our trip which was a week and 3 days away. So we waited, and waited, and the anxiety began. When Sunday rolled around, I was still anxious, but I held to the confidence of Karl and that man at the passport office.
Karl did this part, so I will have him explain it:
Tuesday – Karl calls the passport information call center 3 times and emails once trying to get in touch with the office actually processing the passport. It needs to get mailed out overnight on Today to get it by Wednesday to fly out on Thursday. Nobody does anything useful. The actual office is like a fortress, impenetrable by mere mortals.
Wednesday Morning – After an unimaginably restless night, Karl calls USPS to determine that it is possible to have mail delivered to a post office, so express mail can be gotten by the next morning. Plan – get the passport sent overnight to a post office near the airport. Execution – Call congress for help getting in touch with the actual office. I called Chaffetz’s office that was closed, then I called Mike Lee’s office. The person there referred me to another office. That office said “Passport issue? I’ve got just the person for this, Yolie in St. George will give you a call in a minute.” Yolie is a staffer who has some contacts in the SF passport office. Yolie called, got my details, then set to work. The passport office guy called about 10 minutes later, anxious to help. He determines that my passport application was transferred to the Tuscon office and mailed that day with 2-3 day shipping. He tries to call over and have them pull it back to change the address and shipping method. They are a likewise impenetrable fortress. He emails me a form to fill out and fax back. I fill it out and fax it back. He makes a new passport and agrees to have it overnighted to the post office by the following AM.
So we go to the post office the next morning. The guy there tells us that express mail has not yet arrived. It normally shows up at about 9:30. No problem. We’ve got an hour to kill, so we go drive around the hilly neighborhoods above the capitol.
Peep the view!
Back at the post office.
The mail is not there. I call Scott Mullins, the guy I’d been working with in SF. He tells me “It should have gone out yesterday… Oh wait its right here on my desk.”
We set to work trying to change Karl’s flight and push it back a day. Expedia is not very responsive. We called twice with slightly different menu choices to see if one was a quicker wait.
The flight was going to cost $980 to change to a time that wouldn’t quite work. That’s sucky. We decide to cancel the whole thing and try to make a new trip later.
The cancellation takes even longer. We get hung up on 5 times with botched transfers. We set up camp in the car and try the internet also, enlisting the help of Karl’s work.
We finally cancel about 40 minuted before the flight was scheduled to leave. We have a $1500 Delta credit that costs $300 to use. We also got refunded all the rest of the trip except the first night of the hotel. This all went back to Karl’s work, so we’ll work with them on setting up another trip later.
Then we went to the aquarium. Allison was sad.
Then a sting ray said hello to Allison, lifting her spirits somewhat. He poked his whole head out of the water.
We saw some cute river otters. They were actually huge and pretty boring.
And we saw one make poo and weewee at the same time.
Otter Pops for free upon exit. Delicious. The best $500 otter pops ever.
We decided to eat fresh Baja California cuisine for lunch. There’s this boss place called Baja Fresh that I, Karl, have had a few times. It’s like if Rubios and Chipotle had a delicious love child. We navigate to the location do discover that it’s closed.
We ate out at the Cheesecake Factory instead. Karl had a burger and Allison had a besaged shepherd’s pie. We also ate some delicious cheesecake.
Then we went to H&M to kill the rest of the cash we took out for travel. They have Maternity, Baby, and human clothes.
Zac and Krysta call and invite us to dinner.
When we got home we decide to finish up an art project. Allison bought these canvasses a few months ago and drew our faces on them. She always meant to paint them but paint was a bit against the feeling of the drawing. Instead Karl suggested we use tissue paper decoupage and make each others’ faces.
Then we filled in the backgrounds.
This older art project is similar. Karl Made these magnets that said ” I <3 A”, then Allison made a magnet that has a “K”. So we rearrange them to <3 the other whenever we think of it.
Time for dinner. We only brought the camera to show off our art project. As we walked up the stairs, we realized that this wasn’t just a dinner, it was a Baja Mexican Fiesta!
Zac got a whole bunch of party supplies and turned their living room into a mexican paradise. There was a mariachi record playing and Karen had a bowl of gum and was saying “Chicle! Chicle!” It felt like we were south of the border!
Greeted with mini sombreros, leis, chili pepper necklaces, maracas, mariachi music and dancing decals, margaritas, mustaches, and chicle hawking youngsters!
Also a dolphin in a sombrero. Even better than Mexico since the dolphin wranglers don’t let pregnant ladies swim with the dolphins.
Karen drew this picture of Pippy.
Zac made some Coronas. And got Mexican food from Diego’s, a pretty good Mexican place really close to our house.
Passing it back to Allison—–
Who needs Mexican beaches, when you have such friends as these? I guess the more important thing is that when our baby is born that she has people like this in her life, not that her parents had one last vacation before she was born.
2. Marry a good man, it makes everything better, and all set backs more livable.
3. Good friends are hard to find. Friends that will through you a Mexican Fiesta with you miss out on an amazing get away are one in a million billion. Hold on to those friends. I guess I mean, we are so lucky and blessed to have such amazing friends.
4. The best Therapy outside of having meaningful and uplifting relationships, seemed to be art therapy. Other forms that were applied and helped in lesser amounts: Food Therapy & Retail therapy.
5. Mom’s are sometime psychic, and sometimes pessimistic, (or realistic if you ask them) but also come with really good advice. Listen to your mom’s, even if you think they are wrong, and you know it all, they always have your best interests in mind. So listen, you never know when what they said to you will come in handy.
6. It is sometimes better to just be disappointed. Disappointment is so much better than so many other things.
3 thoughts on “The Vacation that Almost Was…”
Those are some good lessons to learn. I am glad we got to spend such a wonderful time together. We just love having you so close! Mucho hugs.
Just want you to know that we're in the middle of a passport nightmare at the moment, but I remembered yours and dug it up to feel companionship! 🙂 Long story as short as possible, Brian has a conference in Montreal next weekend. The kids and I applied for passport cards six weeks ago. Last week mine and Louise's came along with a rejection letter for Timmy saying it wasn't submitted by an approved agency when of course we submitted all three through our post office at the exact same time. The post office overnighted a new application on Thursday, but I think the chances of us going are pretty close to zero. We'll try to contact them on Tuesday to see if there's any way, but I guess at the worst I'll have to throw a party for me and the kids at home while Brian goes solo. :l