Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please join Bruce and Mary as they renew their U.S. passports… in Mexico!
I am right behind Mary as we board the bus to Nuevo Vallarta at the staging area, in front of Walmart/Sams, for buses north. Mary is in charge of all paperwork type things because, well, she’s just better at it. She did a heckuva job getting our residente permanente, “forever” visas this spring and now it is time to renew our passports. We’re never back in the States long enough for the processing so Mary did her homework. She found that we don’t have to go all the way to the consulate in Guadalajara as there is a branch office in Plaza Paradise, Nuevo Vallarta, just a few kilometers north of PV.
But let’s back up a bit. Mary despite her paperwork prowess does have a slip-up now and again. We were having dinner at Peña Andaluza the night before this pic, two days before we set out for Nuevo Vallarta (on a rare day off from work – Canada Day!) and I casually asked (I generally stay the heck out of Mary’s way in these endeavors) “So Mary, what are we gonna use for passport pix?” The look on her face was pretty priceless. I guess because we had talked about it, she had checked it off her list.
So, anyhow, here we are at Kodak in Plaza Caracol, but hold on a second, it wasn’t that easy. First we bused out to Soriana Marina where we had our visa pix done. Sorry we don’t do pasaportes, they said and directed us to Walmart, a nice walk away. They said nope and directed us next door to Sams, Nope again, and they sent us to the Guadalajara farmacia behind their complex. They said nope as well but they were kind enough not to direct us anywhere. So we put our thinking caps on and thought that Plaza Peninsula, a fair walk, would surely have a photo studio. Nope, but it is a great place if you want to do some banking or real estate biz. Then I remembered having passed Plaza Caracol on the way out here and saying, “Now there’s a place, that except for a movie, I don’t see any reason to visit again.” The remark inspired by the fact that we get lost every time we visit this large shopping mall, it’s built like a casino. Que Irony, eh?
Here is Martin, a very professional photographer. The cost? 80P each. The wait? 40 minutes.Ok… now, we’re safely ensconced in a Nuevo Vallarta bus. We’d google mapped Plaza Paradise and had a rough plan of getting off the bus at an adventure tour place and from the highway taking a taxi the rest of the way, but luckily a local, a worker at one of the many 5 star resorts in N. Vallarta I suspect, overheard us talking. He kindly told us to stay on the bus, that it would soon take an exit and eventually take us right to Plaza Paradise, which it did. Muchas gracias, hombre joven!
And this is as close as we can get with a camera.
After passing through security we are soon at a window manned by the bilingual Hector. He is very patient and just an all around good guy. We’d made a couple mistakes on the address and signature portion of our application, but he just whited them out and we fixed them. Hector tells us that our new passports will be ready in 4-5 weeks and we must pick them up, here, in person. We pay the $110USD, each, by CC and we are on our way. Easy, peasy!
These are our old passports. Note the holes punched through, showing that they have been canceled. We’re glad that we can hang onto them for ID purposes.
We’ve made the transfer at Walmart and here we are, once again, on a plain old city bus making our way back home to Old Town and we both feel pretty good about getting this task done – mission accomplished!
Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. If any of you have further questions about renewing passports in Mexico, please ask. And comentarios regarding, well… most anything, are most welcome! Hasta proximo Domingo!