Our arrival in the UK turned quickly frantic when the customs agent discovered a ripped out page (pages 13/14 to be exact) in Lucas' passport. Lucas had ripped it out ages ago and we had kind of worried about it at the time, but actually had all but forgotten about it since (our bad!) We've traveled with it several times since then and it was never a problem (hence we continued to forget about it) They were quite strict at the UK immigration station, but sort of by accident noticed the ripped page as they were handing our stack of passports back to us.
News to us...a ripped out page renders your passport "a mutilated document" which must be immediately confiscated by customs officials... WHO KNEW???
Of course, there's no way to actually get ahold of a live human being at the Embassy and our computer somehow stopped working during our flight, so we were left to find a computer/wi-fi kiosk in the airport, send an "urgent" message to the Embassy's e-mail address, and then wait to see what would happen...
After several additional hours spent at the airport (both being "detained" in customs and then being given a rental car with a door that didn't work) we did get to head west to Devon to see my friend Toni and spend Wednesday with her. By early the next morning we'd gotten word from the Embassy and they were kind enough to honor our schedule and give us an emergency passport appointment on Thursday morning in London...that just meant that our day was spent at the Embassy instead of enjoying the city since we had tickets to leave for Barcelona on Friday.
Thankfully, we were issued an emergency passport that's good for 6 months so we could continue on to Spain and then home to Italy. Would they have otherwise sent us back to the States...who knows?!? Ugh...the day was capped off when we were on our way to a restaurant for dinner and Lucas puked all over himself and Josh (from the Ergo) in the subway station...that was just the beginning of a 5 day stomach illness that kept Lucas under the weather for most of the rest of our trip - poor little guy.
Okay...I think I have officially covered all the less favorable parts of our trip...so now I can start writing about all the great things we got to see and do...thanks for bearing with me!