Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Passport Update

Just a quick update on Ella's passport situation. I am writing this from the small village of Colares in Portugal, so it's safe to say we ended up getting it eventually.

Literally five minutes after publishing my last post, Ella's citizenship certificate arrived in the mail. This was on Monday, one day after missing our flights to London. I was super excited although trying not to get my hopes up, as it was looking like we would be able to get flights in time to make it to my friend Kristin's wedding. Andy and I bundled Ella up and rushed to the Passport Office to submit the documentation. I was told on the previous Friday that if I got the certificate I would be able to pick up her passport on Tuesday. We called our travel agent friend Luke and told him we'd like to book flights leaving on Tuesday at midnight, getting us in to London at 4:30pm on Wednesday afternoon. Catching these flights would mean we would be able to get our previously booked flights to Portugal Thursday morning. 

We arrived around 2pm and presented the certificate, and then tried to confirm that we could pick up the passport on Tuesday. The Passport Officer gave us nothing, only saying it "should" be ready then. Of course, something could happen during the printing/production phase that could delay it further. In the mean time, Luke confirmed that the flights we wanted had a few seats left, and he could hold them for us until 7:30pm that evening.

This put us in a bit of a sticky situation as we were not 100% guaranteed to get the passport on Tuesday. We didn't want to book another flight that we would not be able to make - we were already spending quite a bit more on these new flights and couldn't really afford to cancel them again! However, Luke warned us that the flight was almost sold out, so if we waited until the next day there was a chance we'd be out of luck (unless we wanted business class, haha). 

Feeling a bit deflated, we went to a food court in the building where the Passport Office is, so that I could feed Ella and we could discuss our options. In the end we figured we should book the flights, but I'll admit I felt a bit unsure and sick about it! Luke was meant to email us the booking details for the flight, so as I flicked through my email to look for it a new message popped up: "Your passport is now ready for collection". 

Hooray!!!! Best email I have ever received! We went back up to the Passport Office and collected our freshly printed passport, ecstatic that finally things seemed to be working out. Later that night we paid for our flights (however our seats weren't confirmed until about 3pm Tuesday afternoon... talk about stress right up until the last minute!) and started preparing for our 25 hour flight with our 2 month old infant. 
Ella and her Aussie Passport
Super happy to have this in our hands!
We are representing the Commonwealth!

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