A and J’s Excellent Adventure

Picture of palm trees in la jolla

The view from our lovely deck

You know how much we’ve been looking forward to this trip, right? How we’ve longed to get away but couldn’t get the doctors’ okay? How much J. needed a vacation from work, and I a vacation from leukemia? Well, we were all booked and ready to go. I don’t think J. believed we’d actually get on the plane–she was convinced something would interfere at the 11th hour–but Sunday came and we went to check in to our flight on line.

Because we were flying to the U.S., J. went to get our passports, only to discover that they had expired three months ago. Three years, three months, three days, frankly it wouldn’t have mattered, we just knew we would not get in to the States. Why hadn’t we checked earlier? Well, remember, we hadn’t been travelling much, and, to be honest, our passports were the last thing on our minds.

Our calm preparation for our trip quickly turned frantic, but there was only so much we could do because it was Sunday. So we did the parts we could: we printed off and completed passport applications, we ran out to get passport pictures, we researched where and when we’d have to go in the morning to beg and plead for a new passport, we lined up our very dear friend and dog sitter, Triple D, and her partner, R., to help with transportation and dog walking, and, optimistically, we packed. Oh, and I was grumpy on the phone with every single person who called. Sorry friends. I was a little overwhelmed, not that that’s any excuse.

We were first in line at the passport office and, thanks to Chad and Loomi’s standing on their heads, left with new documentation in 71 minutes and sped to the airport. Thank goodness Chad and Loomi didn’t uphold our motto that poor planning on our part does not constitute an emergency on theirs.

Yes, there were several other inconsequential challenges that day–a blackout in another wing of the airport, 9 missing bags that kept us on the tarmac for one hour, a crying baby behind us, but, by the grace of God and good friends, we made it to our destination on time. Sure, someone must have vomited in our rental car–you know it wasn’t me–but that inconvenience is easily solved today.

As I write, I am sitting facing the ocean, the sun is slowly rising. and I can hear the waves and the seagulls. J.’s carefully chosen hotel is as beautiful in reality as it is on line. And because we had both, without knowing, told the hotel about the nature of our trip–we were celebrating good health despite leukemia–we were generously upgraded to a full ocean view room. The kitchen is fully appointed with fancy appliances, including the gas stove I’ve always coveted but J. has denied me because she asserts I would light myself on fire. She’s probably right.

As if that weren’t enough, there was cold water awaiting us, and two perfect little chocolate bars on the bed. Hazelnut chili milk chocolate. Chili is always paired with dark chocolate, but all that hype about the antioxidants in dark chocolate has been disproven so I now indulge in milk chocolate without shame. Could this trip get any better?

Now, before you go chastising us for being such idiots, check your passport expiry dates. Emergency passports cost a pretty penny. Our vacation budget was at a surplus because of all those cancelled trips, but yours may not be. On parting, Passport Chad kindly reassured me that people don’t often make this same mistake twice.

Picture of courtyard at Pantai Inn

Life is really, really, really good right now.



6 thoughts on “A and J’s Excellent Adventure

  1. Reading your post this morning was like opening a beautiful and unexpected gift. My heart is so happy and I have a huge smile on my face (despite my disdain for mornings). It does sound like you had a most “excellent” adventure to get to your destination, which makes for a great story.

    Please enjoy the ocean and all the upgrades, you both deserve all the love and happiness that comes your way.

    Hugs from the snow. xo


    • Thank you so much, Marnie, for all your sweet sentiments. We too have happy hearts and huge smiles, and I do believe we’ve earned this trip. I’m sorry it’s snowing back home, although it does make me appreciate what we have here all the more, if that is not a mean thing to say. We’ll try to bring warmer weather back with us. Love, Annie


  2. O.M.G.! I don’t believe the passport adventure – you are 2 cool chicks! I would have yelled surrender and just cancelled the trip. Where are you, because you certainly are not here in the land of rain, rain, and more rain? Peter is in New Orleans at the North American bridge championships for 9 days and I am batching. I just had 3 chocolate chip cookies for dinner – it’s a good thing I cook when he is home or I would be dead of malnutrition by now. I am hoping you do not have any more excellent adventures on your holiday. Have fun – anything that happens now will pale in comparison to your departure.

    Pat xx Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:41:52 +0000 To: peterpat@mymts.net


    • Dear Pat: Step away from the cookies! We do not want you to die of malnutrition while Peter is away or it may take days for them to find the body. We are having a lovely time, especially now that we have traded in our pukemobile. We can now smell the ocean air as we drive. The rest of the trip will be perfect. Love, Annie

      P.S. You have the honour of being my blog’s 5000th view! I knew you were special.


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