Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lloyd's Adventures in Travelling

My sweet husband is a smart man, a competent man, a successful CEO of a multi-faceted organization. Although competent in his job, he teaches employees to never give him the only copy of any important document. He has, in the past year, been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.  It explains sooooo much about him and has made it easier for me to understand his interesting quirks and behaviours, like why he can never find his keys, or his wallet.  I've learned to keep track of such things for him out of necessity.  It obviously hasn't kept him from succeeding in life.

Recently though it has caused him major grief.  We went to Arizona in January.  He went a week ahead of me to participate in a retreat with some of his staff.  When we travel together, which is most of the time, I'm in charge of passports, boarding passes, all travel related documentation.   This time, however, he was on his own and I was to join him a week later.

A couple of days after he arrived in Arizona, he phoned me with a problem.  Being a competent and fastidious man, he had decided to launder what few items he felt needed cleaning.  So he threw a load into the washer, and then into the dryer, and upon removing them from the dryer discovered that he had left his passport in his pants pocket and it got pretty well beaten up, waterlogged, and wrinkled.  All the travel stamps had washed off and while the identification page with his photo and signature was still legible, it was damaged to the extent that it wouldn't have been able to be scanned by airport security.

When I arrived in AZ I looked up the number of the Canadian Consulate in Phoenix only to get a recording telling me that the Phoenix office had closed permanently in June 2012 and I would have to contact the consulate in Los Angeles.  When I finally spoke to a person at that office, I was told we had three options: First,  we could drive to LA, wait in line there all day for an application for a replacement passport which would then be mailed to us from Quebec.  The process of driving there, going to the consulate, and driving back would have taken up to five days and then a couple of weeks (at least) to actually receive the passport by mail.  The second option was to go to the airport and take our chances on passing through security and boarding our plane. There were many examples on the internet where persons with damaged passports were routinely turned away by security and not allowed to board international flights. The consulate official suggested that if we wanted to try it, we should visit the airport prior to the day of the flight and get something in writing from the airline supervisor.  Our past experience with airport security in the Phoenix airport made us very hesitant to try this route (long, scary story). The third option was to drive back to Canada and cross the border by car.  It might take awhile and some questioning at the border, but it would be the Canadian officials he'd be talking to and not US security officers. After weighing everything carefully, we decided he would drive back with his nephew who happened to be in Phoenix and was driving back anyway at about the same time we were scheduled to return home.

So, I flew home as planned when our holiday was over, leaving Lloyd to drive back to Canada with his nephew.  It took them less than 2 days to reach Canada.  After three weeks of worrying about whether he'd ever get back into Canada, it took only a few minutes at the Canadian border although he was cautioned by the customs officer to get his passport replaced before travelling again,

What a relief!  I wonder if I'll ever feel at ease when he's travelling by himself.  I think he will be more careful about checking his pockets before throwing clothes in the washer.

He went to the passport office last week to apply for a new passport.  The person who checked his application looked at his old passport and remarked that it's amazing how many people try to use similarly damaged passports and can't understand why they're not allowed to board their flight.  So it's a good thing we settled on the option of driving back. I guess it's also a fairly common thing to happen to travelers. Lloyd was told that if he loses or damages his passport during the term of his new passport, it'll be quite difficult for him to get a new passport again and if issued a new one, it would likely be for a shorter term than normal.  I guess all governments handle the issuing of passports more strictly since 2001.

Lloyd should have his new passport in hand in a week or so and is anxious to 'try it out' by going back down to Arizona!

He did manage to take some photos along the way as he and Mark were driving north from Arizona, through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Montana.  Here are a few of them, mostly Idaho and Montana.

Isn't travelling fun!!!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's fun for me who sits in my chair and looks at all the beautiful pictures. Glad it worked and the roads were clear for safe travels home.

RoeH said...

Security and the TSA at Sky Harbor airport stinks! Glad it came out fine for everyone. That's something that I would have done.

Granny Annie said...

Empathy hit me when word came that he had washed the passport and I felt the impending doom. I am so happy that your story had a positive ending.

Laeli said...

Awesome shots! I really like the one of the street through town.

I'm so petrified of losing my passport that I have anxiety about it. Once I stuck it in my bra, then forgot-I have the same ADD brain-and was a frantic mess. I even went back to the security people to ask for help-got an amazing lady who asked if she could search my bag again-YES PLEASE, I laughed,as did she, she doesn't usually hear that,hah-I brushed aside my hair and eventually found it but of course felt like an idiot. It was too funny in the end.

I\m happy your man was able to get back into Canada with not too much trouble! It must have been nervewracking.

thisisme said...

Poor hubby! I can imagine his distress when he found out that he had washed his passport. Thank goodness, he got back into Canada without too much trouble. Wonderful scenic views for us to look at today.

Delena said...

Oh my what a nightmare that must have been. So glad it all worked out in the end!

Kath said...

Oh no! Glad it ended well!

Or you would of had an extended stay in AZ?? :)

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