Welcome one and all to my new blog about (at least initially) my post-graduation trip to Finland, Sweeden, and Estonia. I graduated from Davidson College yesterday, and tomorrow (hopefully) I leave for Europe with my parents. We are visiting my mom's former foreign exchange student from her high school years and her family, both for vacation and to attend the youngest daughter's wedding.
As it stands, it is currently about 24 hours before the last check-in time for my flight from Chicago to Stockholm and I am sitting outside a friend's house in Davidson, NC without a passport. Problem? I think so. I had applied 3 months ago (thank you President Bush for increasing security measures but decreasing funding for passport services) and have called many times to help expedite the process and have received promises that they would bump me to the top of the list and overnight it to me, only to call back the next day and find no such thing happened, nor can they give me more information (damn you, Patriot Act).
So it looks like I might have to change my flight to Chicago to tonight, find a place to crash, and get to the passport services office in Chicago at the crack of dawn in the hopes that they will, for whatever fee it takes, process my application and get me a passport in time to catch a train to O'Hare and check in by 3:30. FUN!
If that doesn't work, this blog will promptly shift topics, as I will be sitting on my butt in Milwaukee (as a transfer of international tickets costs as much as we paid for our tickets, not to mention I'd miss the boat from Stockholm to Helsinki and have to purchase another not-cheap ticket).
Let us hope and pray that my passport comes in the mail today or tomorrow, or that the folks at passport services are more helpful in person...