Thursday, 17 June 2010

Why I'm Not a Travel Agent

We found out sometime last November that Kimmy and John were going to have a baby in May. Since then, I've been discussing and organizing plans to fly to England to meet my new grandson and have the kids meet their newest nephew.

After huge amounts of angst booking our airline tickets online, Kimmy helped me buy train tickets that would take us from the airport to her home town of York. Then, noting that my return flight in June was quite early, we decided that reservations at a nearby airport motel would be in order. So I painstakingly booked those as well, I even paid extra for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning.

On the big day, I had a copy of my flight itinerary, the train tickets that Kim and John mailed to me from England, passports, and some English currency all organized together. We made our flight on time, and when we arrived to the Manchester airport in England, I was ready. I had filled out the Landing documents we were given on the flight to turn into the Passport control people and our passports in hand, ready to whiz through and catch our train. The Passport Control Nazi barked out his questions: "How long will you be here?"
"Thirty-four days!" I had counted, I was prepared.
"What is the reason for your visit?"
"To see my grandson that was born 3 days ago," I gushed.
He kept flipping through the three passports I had given him until, holding up Logan's and my passport, he finally growled, "These passports are expired!"

I will skip over the part where I almost started crying and the part where the Passport Control Jerk threatened to put us on a plane right there and then to send us home. It ended up that the good people of England decided (after holding us for an hour and a half) that the kids and I weren't a security threat and graciously allowed us to come into their country even though I am a complete imbecile.

Once Dan arrived to England, we took a day and went into London to sort out the passport snafu at the American Embassy so all was set for our departure back home.

Just one last little detail to make this little saga into a great story--when we arrived in Manchester travel weary and ready to go home, the Travelodge didn't have a reservation for us...because when I booked the room back in April, I had inadvertently made it for MAY 16th instead of JUNE 16th. Perfect.

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