Oh wait, everyone. The US requires one to leave. Poland wants one. Italy wants one. The US will ask to see one when we want to come back. (Because Europe is great, but we kind of like Chicago so I think we’ll come back.)
So yeah, we’re going to need one if we want to go. I have mine (the picture in it is awesome, I look like a much less attractive great aunt version of myself). T1 even has one, and he’s only been around for 5 months now. TH is the oldest out of all of us, living in a foreign country. He has his too, so he can return to his motherland, right?
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
So to understand how bad this situation is, you should know that TH’s sister is getting married October 9th*. That is 24days from now, but we were going to go early to spend some time adjusting to the time change and because by now TH has traveled back and forth from Europe enough to know that a trip to the Land of Sausage isn’t worth making unless we go for longer than 7 days.
We’ve known about this trip for many months now, and I haven’t written about it but I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming. My amazing in-laws offered to babysit T1 for a few days while we were there and told us to head off to some country of our choice to spend a few child-free days. The best part? That SIL is getting married over our anniversary weekend so this was going to be like a second honeymoon for us!
FYI, I took this with my Canon G9, a point-and-shoot!
We decided we were going to go to Italy (I took several semester in college and kind squeak out a few poorly constructed sentences), and since I spent 5 days in Rome with my mom 6 months before we were married (read the blog I created detaining our trip here) I wanted to spend time somewhere else. I picked up an old version of Italy for the Gourmet Traveler and Bologna/Parma stood out as the place with the best food in Italy. That’s what I wanted this vacation to be about: eat, take pictures, sleep in, lots of marriage nuzzling, avoid anything and everything that screams TOURIST LOCATION!!! Repeat for 5 days straight.
At the beginning of July I was going through the steps of securing T1′s passport when TH realized that he couldn’t find his own. A night of depression, a day of panic, and then the realization that not all hope was lost. He would fly out to LA, visit the Polish consulate, apply for a new passport and pay to have it expedited and everything would be fine.
Now keep in mind that he is Polish, and, well…
TH books a flight that weekend to Arizona (as in, books a flight just a few days before he leaves, $$$$), and then drives from there to LA with his best friend (who was road tripping that weekend with his girlfriend). At the Polish consulate he explains his situation and let’s the woman behind the counter know that he has lost his passport and would like to apply for a temporary one which should come within 2-3 weeks.
TH: I would like to apply for a temporary passport.
She: No reason, you’ll get the regular one in 2-3 weeks.
TH: Can I apply for the temporary one just in case?
She: Why would you need to apply for that one if the regular one will come in plenty of time?
There was no way around it, he submitted the regular application and came home feeling a bit confused about what had just transpired. Of course you have probably guessed that it didn’t come like she said it would.
That Husband called the consulate to check and found that his passport should have arrived, but the consulate hadn’t sent off his application because he was out of the office on vacation. He would put it in the mail ASAP and it should arrive “with plenty of time left.”
Apparently less than 3 weeks feels like plenty of time to that guy?
The twist that makes this story extra delicious. TH found his passport while we were packing up our stuff in Dallas, but when he called the Polish consulate to ask if he could use the old one, he was told it was now invalid AND that he would have to mail it off to the Polish consulate before he could receive his new one.
So we’re waiting. We’ll buy our tickets as soon as TH has his passport in hand. My mom has rearranged her schedule so she can be available to go with me and T1 if That Husband is unable to go, because no matter what happens, we think T1 needs to be in Poland for the wedding to meet some of the older relatives who might not be around much longer. In a land like Poland where one or two kids is the norm, babies are a big deal.
With all of this insanity and waiting, I’ve decided to cancel our trip to Italy. First, I didn’t want to get my hopes up regarding this dreamy second honeymoon and then find out I’d be going with my mom instead. She does like to eat and take lots of pictures, but the aforementioned nuzzling would be off the table and that right there felt like a bit of a deal-breaker.
Second, I feel fat. I know that so many of you are going to pipe up and say that I look great (thank you in advance) and that I’ve done great work since having the baby (thank you again), but I still hate my flabby belly that currently looks like it is housing a baby, and if we’re going to blow all of our vacation money on a “second honeymoon” in Italy I want to feel sexy (for TH) and confident (for the many, many, pictures we’ll be taking). The benefit of having immediate family in Europe is that we’ll likely be returning within the next three years, so I have some more time to slim down and tone up and feel ready to go all out when we have our next childless vacation through Europe (due to my assumption that our in-laws will fall in love with T1 and want to watch him while we travel the next time we come visit too).
We’re still going to spend a few days away from T1 (because when your in-laws offer you 5 days of vacationing in Europe without your baby it’s stupid to pass such a thing up!)**, but I think we’re going to visit a less expensive city like Prague, or maybe see something interesting farther north in Poland instead. Planning for this will commence when we actually have a plan, i.e. a passport in hand for TH.
*I’m not sure if brides are obsessed with 10-10-10 in Poland like they are in the US.
**This was so long! I’m impressed if anyone made it all the way through. And I apologize for my addiction to parentheses in this post. I’m in the mood for them lately.