A stressful day planning for a getaway…


Yesterday, I was excited as I planned to finally renew my passport. My old one expired early this year and with all that was going on, I had little interest in worrying about it. However, in the last few weeks we have decided it is about time we start thinking about taking a vacation. The year flew by and the  last trip we went on, other than a weekend getaway here and there, was our road trip through a bunch of states last July with no particular destination in mind even though we did make it to places like Las Vegas, Reno, Boise, Portland, Seattle, and more. Now, I definitely am ready for a real trip-which, to me, means airplanes and passports are required.

Because my husband does not get paid vacation time from his work until next year-and his work will not permit a long trip unpaid- we decided we may as well use the gift card I won in early January from a package vacation company. This will be the perfect one week all inclusive vacation-which is definitely not my style-but when it is free, why not? Since it is a whopping $5,000, I was hoping to bring along a bunch of family members to use up all the credit at once but I have become frustrated over the last few weeks with their varying schedules. I think this time around it will just be my husband and I-off to Mexico!

Anyways, in anticipation of such an upcoming trip, I finally filled out my passport renewal application and took it to the appropriate office in person. The wait was not so long but, the government worker said I had to re-do my photos as there was some strange glare which was not acceptable. They hinted I do the application by mail but I just wanted to get it over with. Secretly, I was a bit pleased since the photos were pretty hideous and I would be stuck with them for 10 years. We had them re-done-my hair looks much better this time-and returned to the government office only to find the wait was over an hour long! We put my name down and went out to grab a bit to eat. As we drove we heard a strange sound from the engine of the car. My husband pulled over into the mall parking lot and popped the hood. Sure enough, a fluid line had snapped off and hit the engine fan…causing a few blades to fly off. Handy husband did something that made it possible to drive to a nearby garage where we had it checked out.

The mechanic there said we had a hole in the radiator due to parts of the fan flying into it, a fan that lost a few blades, and a fluid line that needed replacing. The bill was to be over $1,200! Just our luck. My husband bought a few parts and replaced the fluid line himself. Time was flying by and I had to go by foot back to the government building where suddenly there were now piles of people waiting in line! Of course. Luckily, after waiting in the long line again and explaining that our car broke down, they let me go first and soon I was called in. I did my bit, paid my fee, and will soon have a valid 10 year passport which I look forward to filling up with visas, entry, and exit stamps. Yahoo!

Anyway, back at the garage, my husband found a temporary solution for the car. By the time we got home, we were tired and stressed out. While my husband worked on his car, I visited the travel company’s website and browsed through the endless hotel options available and read all kinds of resort reviews. After all that, I think I narrowed it down to a hotel near Playa del Carmen but that is about it. I also want the hotel to be one of those that offer Spanish and dance lessons. I will definitely need some mental stimulation as I never have been great at lounging around all day at a beach. The dancing would just be fun since my husband is already pretty good. Maybe I can learn a few moves and catch up a bit. Anyway, I will have to keep doing some research but I look forward to this trip where all we will do is eat, play, and sleep. Just what we need after all the stress yesterday.


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