Passport woes

I’m flying to England on Monday to visit my daughter and her husband.  I bought the tickets in August, and have been looking forward to this real vacation for weeks. I’m taking two weeks of, to visit there for 10 full days. I can’t remember the last time I took so much time off in a chunk. I’m imagining all the things I can get done (or maybe not, and just relax a bit).

Last month, I decided to finally sign on with TSA and pay the $85 for the privilege of the pre check line, and not having to take off shoes or remove laptops. When I got to the TSA office, I noticed, much to my surprise, that my passport had just expired, this past September.

Yikes!

Of course, it then took me a couple of weeks to figure out where I could go to get it renewed. I figured I would drop by a post office,  but couldn’t figure out which office had passport services,  and what hours they are opened.   I finally got online with the passport agency and discovered that I was now to late to do it by mail (didn’t even need to go to a post office),  but now had to go to the paper agency office, either in DC, or Philadelphia. I went through the application process to allow me to set up an appointment,  and the earliest appointment available was this past Wednesday, just 5 days before I was due to fly to England! So, I took the appointment. 
Trouble was, I had ton of other things on my schedule that day. I was on duty for our inpatient ward service, and had to round with the residents before 11am (to insure that the overnight interns didn’t have to stay past their duty hours). I had a webinar scheduled at noon. I had a medical school council meeting at 3pm. I had a clinic patient scheduled at 1pm. And, i had to get to rockville for choir rehearsal at 7:30! The night before, my Mac Mini notified me that I had a busy day ahead, with 7 scheduled events on my calendar. I had no idea if I would manage to get it all done. 

I had warned the house staff on my team that we needed to round early, and no distractions (i’m the Queen of tangential thinking on rounds). We managed to see everyone, and develop the day’s plans, in record time, and I was on my way to the DC passport agency office by 9am.

I got there without hitting any traffic, and parked in a garage right across the street. Got through the lines quickly,  and when I finally got to the agent who accepted my documents and payment, I was all done and back on the road by  10:19! And my scheduled appointment was for 10:30.

So ,i was back on the road up to baltimore,  and made it to the office where I was giving the webinar  at 11:20. Plenty of time to get myself all sorted out with the computer and camera. The webinar itself went very well (huge thanks to colleague, Riki, who supplied me with slides that I only had to tweak minimally for my purpose),  and the questions at the end were right on target. 

Out of there by 1:15, and got to the clinic by 1:30, just as my patient was checked in. She complimented me in my promptness! Spent a solid hour with her (she had been incorrectly told she had Lyme Disease, and was grateful that I told her she didn’t). 

Then it was back down to the main campus again (where I’d been for the webinar), to attend the medical school council meeting. 

Got to North Baltimore in good time to catch a lift to choir rehearsal with the two other women who drive every week from Baltimore to Rockville for the rehearsal. So glad, after such a hectic day, that I could let someone else drive. 

And, by the time I got home, I feel into bed with deep gratitude to what force or  power (or pure luck) had allowed the day to go so smoothly. 

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