So, wouldn’t you know it?!  Cause and effect.  It worked!  I wrote a post yesterday explaining why we were still waiting and first thing this morning, we got the call.  Dina, from the Portugal Consulate, called us at 8:15 this morning and said, “Good morning, Abi, I want to start your day with good news.”  Whoop!

You know how it works, you watch the calendar pages turn while you wait… wait… wait and wait some more, and then BAM you have to kick it in to gear.  Our day, today, looked a little like this:

First Things First
  • First thing we booked our flights.  We are using our air miles so we were able to find seats on a flight tomorrow night.  Yep!  Tomorrow we fly.  Our seat choices were sucky and suckiest.  Two seats literally backing up to the wall of the toilets or two middle (of three) seats, one in front of the other.  We chose the two middle seats.  The trade off is that it is a non-stop overnight flight from Washington, DC to Lisbon, Portugal.  We won’t get any sleep, but we find overnight flights are usually much quieter.  And, because I hate to fly, any time we can get a non-stop flight, I’m all for it.
  • Next we took the bus to the Metro Station.
  • Got on the train to downtown Washington, DC, changed trains, got off near the Consulate.
At the Consulate in Washington, DC
  • This time when we buzzed the bell and the ominous voice asked if we had an appointment we enthusiastically said, “Yes!”
  • Dina took our passports, and our application package, upstairs to whomever rules the roost upstairs for our applications to be signed off.  She adhered our 4-month visas to a page in our passports and viola, completo! We had a sweet albeit brief conversation with Dina and she wished us well.  That is one busy little consulate.
  • We decided to walk 1 1/2 miles to a different Metro stop so we could catch our breath and find a Starbucks for that much needed caffeine fix.
  • Back on the Metro followed by a walk to our son and daughter-in-law’s house where we picked up our car and their car.
Embracing the Moment
  • We drove to our little Maryland home town – one hour north of DC – where we parked our car in storage.  We stood for just a moment of reflection looking at our life of 40 years stacked in a 10 x 30 garage.  Moment over.
  • On to the motor vehicle administration where unbelievably there was no line!  We turned in our car’s tags and wham bam thank you mam, our car is no loner registered or insured.  The clerk asked what happened to the car and we told her it was in storage.  Our paperwork stipulates, “Junked.”  Um?
  • A quick drive through for some sustenance and then back on the highway to DC.
Hop, Skip and Jump

An overnight flight, a 4-hour bus ride – just a mere hop skip and a jump across the ocean – and we’ll be in Lagos, Portugal where we’ll be greeted by friends.  We’ll make it.  It’s a bit close for comfort and we won’t have as much time as we’d hoped before hitting the rails with Eurail, but that’s okay.  Better late than never as the saying goes.  And, everything happens for a reason, right?

Tomorrow we fly.

Okay. So, the funny thing about this photo is that I didn’t realize I was holding the wrong page. Those stamps are “not” our visas!



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