|Up in the Skylon Tower,|
the Falls behind me (2006)
Going back to Niagara, to further explore this unique city built around a natural wonder, has been high on my to-do-again list. It seemed like this summer would be the perfect time to road trip again, but the rules had changed since I was there. Passports are now required to cross the Canadian-American border. This planned trip compelled me to complete #28 on my bucket list - Getting a Passport.
To get a passport, you need the following:
1) $100 fee for the passport application
2) $25 fee for the post office to process your application
3) a birth certificate with both your parents' names
4) a driver's license
5) a 2x2 picture of yourself NOT SMILING
6) a smile for the post office clerk processing your application
7) knowledge of the exact time when the exact right post office actually takes passport applications (not all do and there is no set schedule for when those that do do).
The hilarious duo of middle aged mommas at the Haverford, PA post office took me in right at the
buzzer (1:58pm -- they stop taking apps at 2pm!). They made all kinds of postal jokes back and forth with each other and with the customers and me. It was a true pleasure to actually be involved in the bureaucratic process with these ladies!
I booked my Niagara hotel, and my BFF and I began making grand plans for our Canadia visit. Three weeks later, my fabulous new passport arrived. See?
Unfortunately, as the trip grew closer, the status of my financial stability grew more unclear as my employer, the School District of Philadelphia, battles both city and state to properly fund our schools... not even properly, because the situation appears to be way beyond giving students and teachers the full array of resources to be successful. As of August 31, the teachers' contract expires, and so does the assurance of a proper paycheck.
So... no Niagara road trip right now, which is a downer and not how I planned to end my summer vacation. But I've got a shiny new passport and a bucket list, so anything is still possible!