Getting my passport…

When I lived in Niagara, I had a passport since I was so close to the US border, I would cross over fairly often and it was needed.  I also coached baseball in the US so a passport was a necessity.  After I moved to Alberta, I allowed the passport to expire since I am about 4 hours to the border of Montana and then it is another hour or so before you get to the next town.  I have not traveled to the US via air in ages (1993 was the last time, I think) and I have never traveled outside of North America, so, I decided why should I spend the money on a renewal.

So, now my work is sending me overseas to Mauritius to do training and obviously, a passport is required.  I am leaving for Toronto on March 24, 2 weeks today actually.  I applied for my passport on Wednesday.  Nothing like waiting until the last second eh?

Well, I had a friend be my guarantor.  He dropped by a couple of weeks ago and signed the application, he also met my new dog Twix, Blondie and Hera already love him, so now, hopefully, a third dog does too.  Anyway, I hadn’t gotten my picture taken as yet, so I couldn’t get him to sign the pictures.  Well, finally, on Monday, I got my pictures done.  The holdup was that I hadn’t gotten a haircut.  The holdup on that was that I have a Doctorate in Procrastination.

Wednesday, I spent some time to go and apply for the passport.  I went to one of the offices fairly near my house.  Both the navigation system in my car AND Google maps took me to a building that is under construction.  I was finally able to find the correct building – for some reason, Service Canada does not have outside signage – very helpful.  I go up to the third floor and as I am waiting in line, I see a sign that says something along the lines of “If you are traveling before April 11, we can’t help you”…  Wow, great.  I am next in line so I ask where I need to go.  Downtown, to the main Service Canada office, of course.

So, I punch in the address and head downtown – 30 minute drive.  OK, fine.  I arrive and the address is a hotel.  I entered the address as South-West, instead of South-East.  I have already paid for parking, so I walk 4 blocks to the correct address – at least it was only 220 and not 880 – otherwise, I would have had to drive.

I do find the correct building and hey, a giant sign – helpful for sure.  Too bad I missed it as I drove past the first time.

I stand in the first line, this is to get a number.  I am A130, it is currently at A95.  I ask how long the wait will be, I am told about an hour.  OK, not too bad I guess – there are a ton of people waiting.  Fifty-five minutes later, my number comes up – awesome, not as bad as I thought it would be.  I had to get one more piece of information for the application, not a problem and paid the fee ($180 for 10 years, $160 for the passport and $20 for delivery).

The “delivery” fee allows me to come back downtown on March 22 and pick up my passport.  If I wanted it delivered to my home, it would have been $50, and they couldn’t guarantee it would be delivered in time.  That would have cost me $100.  So, anyway, yes, I can come back downtown on the 22nd and pick up my passport, no problem.

Anyway, long story short, my passport application is in, I will go and pick it up in a couple of weeks and then I will be off.  What fun.  At least this time, when I go back downtown, I will know where I am going and not park in front of a hotel and walk 4 blocks in -20 weather.  Yeah, fun.

About kdarcy21

Well, this is my BLOG, so, read the BLOG !!!
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