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So, it is now just over 2 days until I leave for Europe, and the most fortunate thing is that I am actually going! I received my passport from the Fed Ex delivery guy at 12:20 this afternoon. Tomorrow is a holiday, obviously Christmas, and the day after is a holiday for most businesses including Fed Ex, so today was the absolute last day possible to get my passport without having to drastically change my trip.
The thing is though that I am extremely fortunate to have my passport at all. Just a week and a half ago I called the Canadian Passport office to find out the status of my application, I found out that they had rejected my picture! This was no good, especially since I was planning on leaving in less than two weeks. Well that day I went and got a new picture taken, and sent it via Fed Ex overnight, faxed the passport office proof of my departure so they could hurry the process, and waited. I called the passport office after they had received the pictures, and they said they had a senior examiner on it, and it should be finished in time for me to go to Europe. I phoned back every day to check on the status, and each time I called back they couldn't tell me anymore, and often couldn't even tell me that much. I was getting worried when it was 5 days before I was supposed to leave, especially when the person I talked to at the Passport Canada office told me that there was no way I would be able to get my passport in time. I kept my hopes up though, that I would still be able to get it and possibly join my friends somewhere else in Europe. I called again yesterday (Friday) and got a hold of the best passport office worker possible. She listened to my problem and went to talk to her supervisor. She came back and told me she would send a memo to the examiner and CC the supervisor in charge to let them know of the urgency of my application. She had her supervisor walk it over to that department, and she took my phone number. She said they would try and finish it that day and send it out so I could get it the day after (which is today). I was ecstatic, cause I still had a chance to go to Europe, and go on the entire trip. She called me back a little later, and told me that the examiner couldn't find my pictures, so I gave them my tracking number from Fed Ex, and she said they would find them. She also gave me her direct phone number so I wouldn't have to wait in the queue if I needed to phone back. So I phoned back a little later in the day, and she told me they had approved the photo, printed the passport, and were just in the process of double checking it. She called back a little later with the tracking number.
I was very happy until we tried the tracking number, and it said the expected delivery was on TUESDAY!!! This would mean that I would have to change my flight, and meet up with my friends later on in the week. So we waited until this morning, and checked to see where it would be in the morning and maybe we could drive somewhere to pick it up. When we checked the tracking number this morning it had gotten to Oakland at about 5:30am, and didn't show any movement for a while. I called the Fed Ex number, and the lady told me that it wouldn't be leaving Oakland until Tuesday, and wouldn't get to Visalia until then. So this was disheartening, until later on in the morning I saw that it had arrived in Visalia. This was very good news, so my Dad and I were in the car on the way to Visalia to see if there was any chance that we could get it from them there, just leaving Hanford, and my mom called us. She had checked the tracking number shortly after we had left and they put the package on a truck for Delivery. Well I called the Fed Ex people again and the lady said, "yes, it is the intent of the driver to deliver it today". This was very good news, so we turned back and came home. Shortly after that I got the package, and my brand new passport.