A New Chapter Begins South of the Border

With a flight out on Sunday and our new home in Mexico waiting, it’s time to get a move-on.

By our calculations, we’ve been back in the U.S. for nine weeks, dividing our time between both sets of parents for seven of those weeks (which is 2-3 more weeks than planned).

It’s been a great visit, especially after not being able to spend time together for the previous 20 months. But it’s time to be getting a move-on, and we’re excited for the next chapter.

Even if Lori still can’t leave the country quite yet.

Amidst a flurry of goodbyes, Riley suddenly requires a quick diaper change before hitting the road (which is what’s happening in the background here).

He’s just that excited, I guess.

In other news, I requested an upgrade to a midsize rental car for our drive up to Portland. I figured we’d need the extra trunk space for our stuff.

The rental car company thought they were doing me a favor giving me a free upgrade to this fully-equipped Infinity Q50 AWD twin turbo V6 (they were way more excited about the car than I was, but hey, why not).

I was feeling pretty good about the upgrade. That is, until I popped open the trunk and noticed there was just enough room for a brief case and a couple bottles of Dom Perignon. Which is undoubtedly what this particular trunk must have been designed for, because it isn’t big enough for much else.

Per the usual, we got creative and made it work. And, fortunately, Lori and I had made the wise decision to take our footlockers up to Portland during our ill-fated trip to get Lori’s passport in Seattle. So, we didn’t have to try and squeeze those bad boys in.

Though, I’ll admit the car was fun to drive, even if that “fun” was limited to onramp acceleration and passing tractor trailers at speeds that would most certainly make me the laughing stock of Q50 fan clubs around the world.

We pulled out of town feeling mostly good about everything.

Packed car, check. Plane tickets, check. Place to stay in Mexico, check. Work lined up for the next few months, check. Our kids, check. Passports…? Me, check. Noe, check. Riley, check. Lori… Um…Lori…?

Here it is Friday, and our flight to Mexico departs Sunday. And still no passport.

The good news is, it was issued and printed on Wednesday. So there is a valid passport out in the world for Lori. This we know.

The bad news is, we don’t know where it is or how it’s going to get to us. It was due to arrive yesterday, then today. But when we checked the tracking, it had been delayed en route.

It was really important to us that the boys have a last little bit of time with their cousins in the Portland area before we flew out, so we really didn’t want to push our drive up there back.

As we headed out of town, I hatched a plan with my brother-in-law to drive down and meet my dad half-way on Saturday when the passport arrives at my parents house. If it arrives then…

If not, we’re kind of up a creek.

As we were heading out of town, Lori had an idea. We swung by the local post office to see if they could give us more detailed information on the current whereabouts of the passport.

At first, they were pretty unhelpful. Lori managed some tears for the older gentleman who worked the place, which was enough to get a phone number of the regional distribution center.

Lori called them up and was able to confirm that her passport was there and that there’s a possibility she might be able to collect it if we get there before closing.

It’s just after 4pm and the facility is over an hour’s drive north.

Fortunately, we’re heading that way. And…we’ve got the Q50.

We arrived at the distribution center with time to spare. Lori disappeared inside while I entertained the boys (i.e desperately tried to prevent them from taking out their toddler frustrations on the premium leather seating).

It was a long time.

After what seemed like an eternity, Lori finally emerged from the post office…


It took a great deal of persistence, after dealing for many, many weeks with this fiasco. But Lori was able to convince the right people and walked away with her envelope.

Mission accomplished. Now, we can finally move on with our lives (as best we can in the time of Covid, obviously).

One last hike with the cousins.

At the airport, with all our stuff. You’d think we were moving to another country or something.

Noe leads the way. He might just be the most excited of all of us.

Somewhere over the barren, red landscape of Mars…

…or Utah.

Downtown Phoenix.

A mere 3 hours and 57 minutes after leaving Portland’s PDX, we touch down at 3:45pm local time in warm and sunny Puerto Vallarta, by far the quickest journey we’ve ever made for an international move from the U.S.

All the hard work over the last several weeks to reach this point had paid off. All that was left was to get through customs and immigration, hail a taxi 40 minutes north, and start settling into our new home.

Or so we thought.

Seconds after I took the photo, above, Lori receives a message from the agent coordinating our long term rental.

Seems there was a mistake with our reservation and the rental is not available for tonight.

No problem, I tell her. We’ll grab a hotel room in Puerto Vallarta for the night and head up in the morning.

If only it were going to be that simple.

Turns out, there’s been some miscommunication between the owner and the agent and the house isn’t available until mid-November…for double the rent than what we previously thought.


To be continued…

2 thoughts on “A New Chapter Begins South of the Border”

  1. Nothing to say but, ‘Oh My Gosh!!”

  2. We miss everyone, but enjoy the postings and the photos. Take care of the boys and give a hug for us!


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