Just a quick pop to say 'Hello'! Cause guess what? Instead of enjoying the tropical weather in Jamaica with family and friends and a fruity drink in my hand I am at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia!!!
It is all my fault really. I apparently never realized that my passport had expired since January of this year!
This was somehow not discovered during the two passport checks in San Diego until we were going through regular security. At that point we had already checked in the bags so we got on the flight anyway. My husband was a basket case the whole flight stressing about our situation. After contemplating many scenarios we decided to try our luck anyway at Philadelphia but of course they saw the expiration date and would not let me get on. So we went with our plan B which was to let everyone including my family go as planned and I stay behind to get my passport renewed at the U.S. Custom House then take a flight.
Unfortunately since today was a Sunday nothing could be done. I will take care of my passport tomorrow (apparently there is 'same day' service if you are traveling within 14 days) but there is only one morning flight to Jamaica per day so I will have to wait until Tuesday to fly out.
What a mess.
The hardest part of all of this was not about missing our such anticipated vacation for a few days but parting with the kids. I had just gotten them back and it killed me to say 'good bye' again. I prepped my son though and he didn't freak out. Not sure how my daughter took it when she realized I didn't get on the second flight. She will now have to thrust in me as I keep disappearing on her.
The additional sucky part of the situation was I was left with nothing but the clothes on me. I didn't have a bag since I was using my diaper bag. I put a few items like my book, a snack in a plastic bag.
Luckily the lady at the airport info booth was very helpful and gave me phone numbers of the hotels and directions as to which train I can take to get to downtown.
I spent the day at what she called 'a mall'. It was definitely not in the greatest part of town to say the least. However with my plastic bags and totally tired raggedy look I didn't stand out that much. I had to wait until noon for stores to open and had of course such a hard time buying stuff. I hate shopping with a purpose especially buying stuff I don't need and already own. So after in debt contemplation I found an Ed Hardy light denim bag that was on clearance at Burlington Coat factory and figured I could use it as a beach bag. But none of the clothes I found were exciting. So hit Old Navy and there picked out some cool stuff not only I can wear here but also for fall back home. Among all this shopping my credit card declined as a safety alert and had to call them to remove the block.
My goodness what a day.
At the end though I walked 10 blocks to my hotel and discovered a transformation of my surroundings from total gettho to historical beauty. The hotel turned out to be a historical landmark and so charming with antiques. I love it as I am such a sucker for anything antique and old.
I then took a much needed bath and shower and started walking around to figure out dinner possibilities. I was so moved by my whole situation and how everything turned out. But I always feel it could sooo much worse. People go on vacation and get hit my tsunamis and die and/or loose loved ones. So what if I am missing a few days of our vacation. I decided to make the most of it and enjoy that I am in a different city and not think about what I am missing.
So that is the situation. Hopefully tomorrow I can get everything squared away and fly to meet my friends and family the next day. If this laptop battery does not die I will log on again tomorrow night.
Thank you all for commenting on the posts. I am glad you are enjoying them. They get much better each day.