london calling, again

First, some commentary. What is all this fuss about the new U.S. passport requirements? Come Tuesday, January 23, “ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport …” How many people without a valid U.S. passport are going to choose a domestic destination over, say, Tulum or Nassau, because of this new rule? Can't people just get organized and get a passport? With all this anticipatory anxiety, you would think that getting a passport was tantamount to an IRS audit or thanksless tasks like applying to graduate school, for crying outloud.

Back in the day, getting a passport was a real pain in the neck. We earned our complaining rights, we vagabonders. Here in D.C., you had to wait, sometimes for hours, in lines that snaked outside some forlorn building on K Street. But several years ago, the passport application process got downright civilized. You have an appointment! When I went to renew my passport in the spring of 2004, at a local post office, they actually kept the appointment, they were gracious as well as punctual.

Chin up, travelers of the world. Getting a passport isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it’s what it ought to be, unless you screw up and don’t give yourself enough time (at least six weeks) to get the thing processed.

What a month it’s been so far. I’m okay, finally, but Isaac was home from school for several days. I am going to go into marathon mode to catch up on so many things.

Here’s a fun London getaway sweeps. To enter, click HERE. The deadline is February 15.