Some of you may remember this post
. Followed by this post
. I only briefly hinted at "What Went Wrong," but I feel like the ... incident ... is far enough behind me now that I can actually blog about it. Mom, if you're reading, I hold no ill-will. Really. I promise. (LOVE YOU!)
Flashback, a year ago, Thanksgiving. My well-traveled aunt is hosting, and happens to have a coffee-table book about Prague.Me
: "Hey mom, we should totally go to Prague next year. I've always wanted to see it."Mom
: "OK!" (she's very agreeable)Translation
: We'd been planning the trip since last NOVEMBER. Planning. Saving. Preparing. Discussing. Leaving no stone unturned.
Mom wanted to see Berlin, I wanted to see Prague. We found a guided tour for both cities, including Vienna. Bingo! Signed up by January just to get the free extra night early bird special.Translation
: We had the trip booked in JANUARY. For a SEPTEMBER departure. Plenty of time for all that needed to be done. PLENTY.
More planning, more finalizing, more, more, more. I saved for a new camera. I bought a fancy camera bag. Excitement builds. Packed my bag. Said good-bye to the fam. Felt bad for leaving on Steven's birthday, but hey, I was committed. Stepdad drops us off at the Indianapolis Airport, 2 hours early, all set! BYE!
Approach ticket counter. Scan passport. Done!Me
: "Mom, I need your passport."Mom
: "Here you go."Me
: "Mom, what is this?"Mom
: "It's my passport."Me
: "Um, no it's not. It's a card."
My mom, bless her, sent away for a new passport back in APRIL because hers expired this year. She received a passport card
in return, which you may or may not know, allows you to travel BY FOOT OR BY CAR to Mexico or Canada only. ONLY.<Insert stomach-sickening momen
Mom swore up and down that it was all she received, and assumed it was the "new-fangled" passport.
Me, being the quick thinker I can occasionally be, called my stepdad, halfway home by now, telling him to find mom's old passport in case it wasn't expired yet. He races home. Found it. Expires in December. Quick, bring it back. We're still ok! 30 minutes pre-flight, we're at the ticket counter, waiting. He comes running in with the passport -- VOIDED. You see, when you send in your old one to renew, they void it by punching holes in it, sending you the new one along with the voided one. Except mom is still swearing she never got the new one.
Dejected, we called the travel company. Canceled. Asked them to try to reschedule us, please. They will let us know if they have anything open. Completely
dejected, we pack up the car, head back home. Mom already planning the drive to Chicago to get an emergency passport, which you can't do in Indianapolis, by the way.
Cue sad violin music.
Mom calls 4 hours after our plane left.... "Guess what I found...."
To wrap up this story, I will say that I never unpacked my bag (eternal optimist), and we got on a plane exactly 2 weeks later without the assistance of a tour group -- just two chicks on our own in the streets of Europe. And it worked out better than either of us could have imagined, starting with a surprise bump to first class for the trans-Atlantic flight to Vienna.
Score.(attached: Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge, Vienna Opera House, me signing the Berlin Wall)