RocketMan and I went on our first vacation together to celebrate his advancing years. We decided to go somewhere neither of us had been to, so we ended up in the beautiful coastal city of Porto.
Before our mini-break, I got him some pre-birthday countdown treats including a leather passport holder which matched mine.
We were vacay-ready but admittedly, en route to Porto I wondered whether we’d jive well on trips. I’m the type who needs “me time” often, so five straight days with a new beau in a foreign land might just be intense. You guys know how first holidays go.
Luckily, it was all fairly symbiotic and we were both in sync on things and places we wanted to explore. On our last day, we both said we’ve had a pleasant time and agreed that as far as first couple holidays go, it was top-notch and close to perfect.
It was all going so, so, so smoothly.
Until our last few hours.
It started with our Uber ride. The driver didn’t fetch us from the correct pick up point even after we spelled out the street and the exact spot we were at. In his broken English and our non-Portuguese tongues, we tried – and failed – to communicate. RocketMan and I ended up hauling our bags down cobblestone steps to get to him.
We thought that was that, but then the driver decided to go the old town route. Now if you’ve been to Porto, then you know that these streets are hard to drive through; they’re too narrow to make seven-point turns, let alone three. It took us about an hour to get out of the city and onto the highway.
“Darling, it’s going to be fine. We have enough time. Just about.”
We got to the airport and went to get our bags dropped.
This was the point when RocketMan brings out his shiny new leather passport holder… only to find out it was empty.
His passport was nowhere to be found.
Panic and bile rose to my throat as we rummaged through his suitcase. We called our hotel (they’ve thrown away the trash and haven’t found anything), spoke to the check-in counter agent, we looked and looked but said passport was nowhere to be seen. We tried. And we tired.
Both nearly in tears and frustrated, we accepted that there was no way of him flying back to the UK that night without his passport. He would have to apply and wait for a new one. If he even gets one. So much for a stress-free holiday.
“Darling, you’re going to have to go without me.”
All hope emptied, we agreed that I catch the flight on my own as emergency passport applications may take a few more days. We both felt hopeless and resigned. I was disappointed that it came to this. Images of the past awesome five days came and went, and all I could think about was our dinner in Praia da Luz in Foz, where we drank amazing local rose wine and had an intense meal of cataplana while the sun set. Things seemed so idyllic then.
Whilst RocketMan dragged himself to the airline ticket desk, I decided to go for an emergency cigarette. I opened my luggage to look for said ciggy. Whilst looking through my stuff, I found my holiday book… with something else inserted. Maroon, gold embossed UK coat of arms, European Union heading.
IT WAS HIS BLOODY PASSPORT!!! What the heck was it doing in my bag… and inserted in my book?! I didn’t even touch the bloody book all the time we were in Porto!
I shouted his name across the airport, thankfully just seconds before his ticket got cancelled.
You seriously can not make this story up.
We checked in silence and in disbelief. By the time we went through all sorts of security, we both agreed we needed a drink. By the time we parked our bums with a carafe of local rose wine, we both wallowed in laughter. The type that makes you want to cry out of sheer stress and relief. We laughed. Howled. Because we had to. Because it was one of those moments when life throws you a curveball and you just have to swallow and pray to all the gods for some sort of absolution.
Because nothing ever worth it comes easy between him and I. But we got there in the end.
I’ve never been so stressed at the airport (I was much calmer when I’ve missed flights) but I’d do it all over again. Because it was a pretty darn good vacation. With the best first holiday date ever.
We’re off to another break soon and I only have one thing on my to do list: make sure other half has his passport in passport holder.