In order to avoid the long drive to Chicago, as we did for our French Visas, we have decided to go with one of those companies that does all the footwork for you. After talking to several local travel agents (OK, so the wife actually did the talking and investigating, while I stayed home and cleaned the toilet) we decided to go with Travisa.
They have a whole online registration thing, but in the end you have to send some paperwork to them via the snail system.
Yesterday we went after new passport photos (which weren’t really for passports, as we have those, but for Visa applications.) We first went to Wal-Mart, and yes I know they are evil, but they are also really close, and cheap, and (usually) hassle free. Oh how I wish we had gone somewhere else. When we first arrived they were out to lunch, I guess, as they had a sign signifying they would be back in a bit.
We decided we were hungry so we stopped by the sandwich shop for a bite. The lady behind the counter apparently wasn’t really the lady behind the counter, as she said she was only filling in for the real lady, who had to potty. She begged us not to make our order complicated, so we decided to spend our time deciding on what to order.
Real lady came and we ordered. Then the carbonated beverage dispenser was out of carbonated beverage and we should have been wise to the ominous signals.
I’ve gotten this out of order. Before lunch we roamed the store a bit and came back to the photo counter, where we were told to come back in half an hour as their was a baby appointment for photo taking. Then we ate.
Post eating we returned to the photo shop where we waited some more as the baby wasn’t yet done.
Baby finished and we took photos. Then we said we needed more photos as there were lots of applications to attach photos to. More photos were taken, but alas they didn’t turn out for reasons that will remain nameless. The photo lady recommended CVS and sent us away.
Two hours down, no photographs.
CVS took our photos, but the lady noticed my hair was sticking straight up. She started to take more, but the battery went dead. She promised to crop out my bad hair. She forgot during the crop shopping.
We got photos thought, even with bad hair.
Today we got it all together and sent it on its merry way. You have to include your passports with those things. That’s scary. Very scary. If this fouls up we are without passports and we’re short of time getting new ones.
Arriving home from sending our lives away I realized we used my mother’s PO Box as the address to have these things returned. PO Boxes don’t take next-day delivery and we ordered next-day delivery.
Amy made a phone call and things were set straight.
Ok, so this is actually a fairly boring story. But see we’re about to go to China and all my family will want to read about our travails. Thus lots of boring information. Get used to it, and go buy the new White Stripes album. I haven’t yet because I bought a new iPod, and the wife says that’s all I get.