Hong Kong: First Impressions

As the list of cities that I have visited grows, I become more and more interested in what sets each apart from the other. When we first land in a new city, we like to spend some time walking around and exploring, without too concrete of an itinerary set. Our first few days in Hong Kong, we stayed in Kowloon, very close to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. As we walked out the front door, one of the first sites that met our eyes was a couple dressed in clothes from a bygone era. It was like they had stepped straight out of the 1930’s in a British colonial style. Of course we knew that Hong Kong had been owned by the British for over a hundred years. It had only recently been returned to the rule of China. But it was still interesting to see how the British and Chinese cultures meshed within the modern city of Hong Kong.

Our first morning wanderings brought us to one of the main shopping districts of Kowloon. At first glance it looked very similar to a street you might see in New York, or any other large fashionable city. There was one striking visual difference.


The scaffolding was made of bamboo! I decided the bamboo scaffolding is much more visually pleasing than the metal and blue walls that is used in New York. Building and renovating happen in cities all over the world. The small differences in details in universal activities like this are just so interesting.

Another difference we noticed as we strolled along were number of jewelry stores, and how different the jewelry was. The gold was yellow, a much deeper and richer yellow than gold used in jewelry in the U.S. In China (and Hong Kong) they use 24k gold to make jewelry. It is a tradition that brides are given gold jewelry by their families when they marry. Their jewelry is one of the few items that traditionally they retained ownership over. The deep yellow of the gold is gorgeous and attention catching. The other jewelry that was really interesting was the pearl collections. So many different colors and sizes! While the pearl jewelry in Hong Kong didn’t quite rival that of Mikimoto (a Japanese jewelry designer), it was still far more varied and intricate than pearl jewelry in the United States.

If you would like to see a sample of the gold jewelry from Chow Sang Sang, click here. To see a sample of the pearl jewelry click here.

I love visiting the green public spaces in the middle of a towering urban metropolis. There is something really interesting to me about the juxtaposition of nature and concrete jungle. The layout of the park, its structures and plant life, as well as the people in the park, can give you a taste of the culture of an area.


Kowloon Park was a beautiful green oasis, filled with quiet waterways, animals, and a playground that our kids loved. In Central Park you’ll find people doing yoga. In Seattle’s public spaces, you’ll possibly see Butoh or Capoeira. In Hong Kong, you see people practicing Tai Chi or martial arts.


The Peninsula Hotel, an icon of British colonial culture in the midst of Hong Kong’s Kowloon, is located very close to the Star Ferry. This hotel oozes with the luxury of a bygone era, reminiscent of the height of British colonial power. You can go to the Peninsula and experience afternoon tea, in true British style. Although intrigued by the idea, we didn’t go to afternoon tea on this trip. Maybe next time!

***Correction – The above picture is not the Peninsula Hotel, but a nearby building called 1881 Heritage. You can follow a link to the Peninsula Hotel’s Website here. ***


This is a part of Tsim Sha Tsui looking over Victoria Harbor into Central Hong Kong. I love these kind of relaxing moments when traveling with our children. No one can teach you to stop and enjoy the moment like small children, who find the joy in splashing in a fountain, gazing at reflections, or watching the ships moving across the water. The Star Ferry was a big hit with both of our girls. It is really a very short ride to cross Victoria Harbor from Kowloon to Central Hong Kong. I am more used to the ferries going to and from Seattle, which are much bigger and far longer crossings. The Star Ferry is about a 10 minute ride, but it gives you an excellent vantage point for taking in the skyline of Central Hong Kong and Kowloon. Plus, I just love the name. Who wouldn’t want to ride a Star Ferry?

Destination Hong Kong: The Flight


Without children, airline flights can be somewhat restful. You sit and watch a movie, or read a book. It can be tedious if it’s a long flight, but you are free to pass the time in pretty much any way you would like. With children, not so much. The flight itself becomes a long contest, a battle of wills, an exercise in creativity. Sometimes flights with children go well, and sometimes they don’t. The worst flight we ever had with our children was a flight from Athens to Paris when our oldest daughter was nine months old and teething. She was inconsolable and screamed pretty much the entire three hours. We could feel the hostility from everyone on that flight, except for an Argentinian couple sitting in front of us. The air was palpable with it.

Anyway, the flight to Hong Kong was not that bad, but it was a little bit of an adventure. We lived near NYC at the time, so we took a straight shot from JFK to Hong Kong, roughly 16 hours of flight time. We’ve found that flying with children is a much better experience if you prepare them, and have a plan in mind. And a back-up plan. We had two children at the time, a three year old and 18 month old. Luckily for us and traveling, our 18 month old loved watching movies. We prepped our children by telling them we would get to watch two movies, have dinner, and then it would be time to go to sleep. We would be on the plane almost all night. When they woke up, we could have breakfast, and watch another movie, or maybe two. At the time, the length of a movie was a measure of time our 3 year old could understand. We brought a portable dvd player, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and several Kai-lan movies.

Everything went very smoothly for most of the flight. Our 3 year old even tried beef for dinner, and didn’t complain about eating something new and somewhat exotic for her small taste buds. She even laid down and went to sleep when we told her it was time. (This in itself is a miracle. She hates going to sleep.) We didn’t even need to use our back-up plan. (It was benadryl, just in case you were wondering.) Indeed, it was almost magical for me as a mom that both girls were so well behaved. I started to breathe a sigh of relief as we came close to our destination.

One of the rules we have while traveling is that our children must use the bathroom before the plane starts descending. So accordingly, I took our three year old right before they announced the plane’s descent into Hong Kong. As the plane started its final approach, our three year old started to say she needed the bathroom. I knew she had just been, and probably didn’t actually need to use the bathroom. She was clearly uncomfortable, and started yelling that she needed to use the bathroom. At this point, we were really very close to landing. I told her to hang on. I would take her to the bathroom as soon as the plane landed and stopped moving. Her screaming grew louder and louder as the plane descended lower and lower. Then, just at the very moment the plane’s wheels touched the ground, she threw up.

She threw up, for the first time in her life, all over herself and her seat the minute we reached Hong Kong. Knowing that cleaning her up would take some time, and wanting to quickly get her cleaned up so she would be comfortable and stop screaming, I stripped her clothes off of her, threw one of the airline blankets around her, and started wiping up the vomit with baby wipes. Baby wipes are lifesavers in these kind of situations. I might still carry them around with me even after all my children are potty trained. As soon as the plane stopped taxiing, my husband ran to get our carry on luggage. One of our other international traveling rules is that we only take carry on. In this situation, it was extremely helpful because we had a change of clothes at our immediate disposal. Meanwhile the plane had emptied of passengers, except for us. The flight attendants started to insist that we leave as well. It was a little bit harrowing, trying to get her cleaned up enough to put on clothes and get off the plane with several flight attendants ordering us to move. In what was probably record time we got her changed, gathered our belongings, and deplaned. At the first bathroom we saw I rinsed out her hair, and brushed her teeth. She felt much better after she had thrown up and been cleaned up. She sang a happy song as we moved through customs, excited to be in a new place.

Even though the beginning of our trip was a little bit explosive with the wrong kind of excitement, we really did have a great trip in Hong Kong. Stay tuned for more stories of our Hong Kong adventures.

Our Christmas Tree Travel Log: A Christmas Tradition

DSC_0196There are some family traditions that are created through a definitive decision, and intentionally implemented into family culture. There are other family traditions that grow organically through experiences and a multitude of smaller decisions made across a period of time. Our Christmas tree tradition is one of the latter. Here is our story.

When my husband and I were first married we lived in New York City. We were both students at the time, so money was pretty much not available in any kind of significant quantity. I love Christmas trees. Every year I would drag my poor husband through the icy cold of a windy, snowy New York winter to see the tree at Rockefeller Center with me. This particular Christmas, our first as a married couple, we went to Macy’s to look at the Christmas decorations. We went only to look at the Christmas decorations, with no intention to buy any.

On the top floor of the very large Macy’s at 34th Street and 8th Avenue, was a veritable Christmas wonderland with Santa’s workshop, fake snow, and a parade of Christmas trees full decorated with ornaments, angels and stars that you could purchase. One Christmas tree was fully decorated with symbols of New York, including the Statue of Liberty, taxi cabs, and……..pigeons. Yes, that’s right. Pigeons. It was NOT a tree that I liked very much, aside from reminding me of New York City, which I happen to love very much. My husband, however, decided that he really wanted one particular ornament on the tree. The pigeon. The gray pigeon with a bobbly head and I “heart” NY written on the side. I thought it was one of the most hideous things ever. But I loved my husband and so I consented to buying the pigeon, it being the only Christmas ornament we would purchase that year. But there was a deal involved. Next year, I would pick out an ornament to add to our collection.

That is how it started. The next year we had moved to another location, and decided it would be fitting to find a Christmas tree ornament that captured some of the essence of our new home.

DSC_0225We ended up with this little beauty. So instead of our Christmas tree tradition being a taking of turns to add a new ornament, each year we pick an ornament that symbolizes something momentous that happened that year. The general overall look of the tree also was developed to somewhat camouflage the pigeon, blue and silver with highlights of red. I still didn’t like the pigeon and somewhat resented having it on my beautiful Christmas tree.

DSC_0227When we had our first beautiful little baby, we of course had to have an ornament that celebrated her birth. Subsequently, each of our children have their own special ornament on the tree that they get to hang up each year. It celebrates the joyous occasion when they first joined our family. Each child knows which ornament is theirs and loves to find a special place for it on the tree.

In years that we are not moving or having a new baby join our family, we spend a lot more time traveling. We often go on a large international trip or to an exotic location. These family adventures are also all memorialized with their very own Christmas tree ornament. As we decorate our tree each year, each ornament rekindles memories of the various destinations and adventures we have experienced together. We have a lot of fun reminiscing and then discussing where we want to go for our next grand adventure. Here are some of our favorite travel ornaments.

DSC_0234 DSC_0224 DSC_0206

I have come to love this family tradition, which is a log of our traveling adventures and how we have grown as a family. I have even developed some fondness for the pigeon, which somehow started it all.

How do you remember your traveling adventures? What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions?

Travel theme: Freedom

What is freedom? That is a very simple question with a very complex answer. One of the things I love about travel is the freedom I feel from every day life. Especially with four children at home, the daily grind sometimes seems a never-ending cycle of preparing food, cleaning up, changing diapers, etc…What’s interesting is those tasks are still somewhat present even while traveling with kids, but the new experiences, vistas and cultural experiences make these sometimes mundane tasks seem less all encompassing.

But even before we had children, traveling and the adventure of it always provided a sense of freedom. So, here are some photographs that illustrate what makes me feel free.
HPIM0387There is something about being in absolutely the middle of nowhere, completely cut off from the modern world, that evokes a sense of freedom. Out there, one has the time to ponder, to enjoy the moment. A conversation with your inner self about your dreams and desires is much more achievable when there are less distractions. Solitude can mean freedom.


Viewing great achievements in stone and architecture by man gives me a sense of freedom. What great things we are capable of if we dare to dream, to plan, to achieve! From ancient times to modern, mankind has created amazing buildings, bridges, tunnels, works of art. Seeing these amazing things gives me a sense of freedom to embrace my own creativity, to dare to make something extraordinary out of my life.


I feel gratitude that we have some measure of economic freedom, meaning we don’t struggle to provide food for our family. There are people who are born, grow up, and die living the same kind of life that their families have lived for generations. I feel freedom in having chosen my own kind of life, and that I have the economic freedom to travel and see many different places and cultures. Not everyone is that lucky.


Education gives me a sense of freedom. I don’t mean only a formal education, but continuing to expand my knowledge and experience gives me the freedom to see the world through many different lenses. I hope that it builds my understanding and compassion of others. These two qualities allow people from different backgrounds to connect and build friendships. That is also freedom.

Thanks to “Where’s my backpack?” for providing this the Travel theme: Freedom. You can follow this link to the original blog post regarding Travel theme: Freedom.


Happy travels everyone!

Travel for Christmas, Do You or Don’t You?

Ready, Set, Done!


We don’t. Travel for Christmas. When my husband and I were married we literally lived across the country from both sets of parents. I decided that I wanted Christmas to be a joyous celebration within our own home. I wanted to have our own Christmas tree and open presents in our apartment on Christmas morning. This had less to do with avoiding the hassle of traveling at Christmas and more to do with establishing our own family with our own traditions. Now that we have four children, I’m glad we established Christmas as a celebration in our own home with our own family. Partially because transporting Christmas presents for the entire family to and from a location where driving for a trip of short duration is out of the question, is out of the question. And I’m not sure how you could even make that happen with air travel. As a family, we like to travel as lightly as possible. Sometimes I feel a little bad for depriving the grandparents of the joy of seeing their small grandchildren light up with joy and excitement on Christmas morning, bare little feet running down the hall to see what Santa has brought. They could come to us, but we are the only ones living in this area of the country. Every single one of my brothers and sisters (there are 5 of us) live within a 2 hour travel time of my parents. My husbands family is not as geographically condensed, but still a lot closer than we are. So, it doesn’t make sense to ask them to travel during such a hectic travel season, leaving behind the majority of their family. Of course it is much warmer here, so that could be an added incentive for making the trip. Which means, it is much colder there. That is a definite deterrent. So for now, we will maintain our tradition of enjoying Christmas morning with just our own beautiful little children. I’m not going to feel too bad for the grandparents, at least for this year. At the end of January, we’ll be meeting them all in Disneyworld.

All Aboard for Christmas Fun


I love trains. There is something so freeing about leaving behind a car and allowing a train to transport you from one location to another. When traveling internationally, we depend on trains and buses for transportation almost exclusively. I think the one time we rented a car in another country was when we traveled to Trinidad and Tobago. On Tobago, a car is a necessity if you want to leave the resort areas by the airport and explore the rest of the island.

But, I digress. The movie “The Polar Express” was very popular a few years ago. My mother-in-law sent the movie to my girls as a present. Now, while it is not my favorite movie, my daughters became entranced with the idea of riding a train to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. Sometimes, what seems kind of cheesy and unbelievable to adults, is pure magic to our children.

My husband and I decided to take our girls on the North Pole Express, an event train experience provided by the Essex Steam Train in Essex, CT. We dressed our girls in their pajamas and headed up to the train. The train is pulled by a steam powered engine. How is that for drawing your mind to a different era?

An elf greeted the travelers in each car. While en route to the North Pole, passengers were treated to a musical rendition of “The Night Before Christmas”. Sleepy elves traveled through the train cars providing hot chocolate and cookies made by Mrs. Claus herself. The magic and excitement grew as the train travels closer and closer to the North Pole. Lighted Christmas figures are placed outside the train car en route to the North Pole. Once at the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus climbed aboard the train for the return journey.


They greeted each child, and gave a special gift, a bell from Santa’s sleigh. Our children’s excitement was so endearing as we made this magical excursion together! On the way home to the train depot the passengers sang Christmas carols together.

Riding the Essex Steam Train North Pole Express has been one of my favorite Christmas experiences with my children. Short of going to the North Pole itself to meet Santa Claus, this is much preferable to seeing Santa at the Mall or other more commercial settings. I love how the gift itself is so simple, and a symbol of the power of a child’s belief. The bells our girls received on this magical Christmas ride have outlasted many of the more expensive Christmas gifts that they have received. Experiences are far more enduring than things. That is one of the reasons our family loves to travel together. We build amazing memories together. Memories last a lifetime.


Local Adventures and Family Fun

The kinds of activities you participate in as a family in your local area are also the kinds of activities you’ll likely participate in while you are traveling. Aside from just having a lot of fun and bonding together as a family, local adventures are a great way to prep your children for travel. The children learn appropriate behaviors for hiking, museums, tours, or whatever your family likes to do. Parents learn valuable skills like knowing when the children are close to a melt down so they can preemptively strike and diffuse what could be a very stressful situation.

Really, we just like to explore and have fun as a family. Last weekend our local garden was hosting a family photography class. I like photography. My husband likes photography. Our children, even our 2 year old, are always taking whatever camera they see and taking photos with it. I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to expand our skills, so I signed us all up.

A professional photographer gave a brief lecture about the five elements of composition. We then had some time to head out into the garden and practice with our newly acquired information. Each person had some time to sit with the photographer and discuss a few of their favorite pictures. Then, as a class, we each shared one or two pictures and again talked about the elements of composition.

This is how each member of our family reacted to our experience.

My husband, being the very busy man that he is, relished the chance to work on his photography skills, even if he was sharing our DSLR camera with me.

I would have liked to take a few more pictures than I had the opportunity to, but really enjoyed watching my husband and children have a good time. The fact that it was a beautiful, sunny day surrounded by beautiful plants and my beautiful family, I probably would have had a good time even if I hadn’t taken any pictures.

Our six year old relished holding her own point and shoot camera and taking as many pictures as she wanted. She was thoughtful about her compositions, remembering the lecture we had regarding what makes a good photograph.

Our four year old loved taking pictures of her baby brother. She could have cared less about taking pictures of the landscape. At least we will know who to go to for good portrait photography some day.

Our two year old had my old iPod to take pictures with. She felt like such a big girl running around the gardens with her big sisters.

Our little baby just enjoyed being pushed in his stroller in the beautiful weather.

The class was a little long for the four and two year old, but we managed to hold off any meltdowns by discussing our next move of getting lunch, and asking for their input. The class was the perfect length for our six year old. She ended up with some really beautiful photographs. Let me share a few with you.

DSCN1986 DSCN1993 DSCN1924 DSCN1941 DSCN1972Our next big trip, we will provide a point and shoot camera for our children to share. Maybe they can make their own photo book with the pictures they take. Who knows? We’ll see where they want to take this new skill. The most important thing is we had a mini family adventure close to home, and had a really great time.

The Golden Key, a Chance in a Lifetime

Whenever we are trying to decide on a destination for our next big trip, we like to do some research to see what can see and experience while there. This year, we are planning a trip to northern Spain. Reading the history of Spain, I was reminded of the caves of Altamira which contain some of the oldest cave paintings ever discovered. I first learned of them in an art history course. Something you should know about me, I took several extra courses in history and anthropology while in college. So much so that my advisor kept saying to me, “You don’t have to take that class.” To which I replied, “I know”, and promptly signed up for it. To protect the ancient artists’ renderings, the caves are closed to the everyday traveler. Only those who can prove an academic need to study the paintings are allowed inside to view them. So today, my golden key would give me access to the Caves of Altamira. How amazing would it be to see in person some of the oldest visual art made by our ancestors on the planet?


Golden Key

Finding the Appian Way, and a Whole Lot More

Yesterday I had the opportunity to read a marvelous adventure story on the Emily Luxton Travel Blog, about how in travel, sometimes the random choices and unexpected events end up being the most enjoyable parts of our travel experience. In Emily’s case, she ended up hiking an unmarked path through the Vietnam country side. Read all about her adventures here.


Her story reminded me of when we were in Rome with our then 3 children and my in-laws. Near the end of our trip, the grandparents and older two children wanted to spend some time recuperating from our adventures with some hotel time. My husband and I wanted to go and explore some more. My husband has always been a huge fan of the Apostle Paul and tales of antiquity. As a history major, he is a vast source of information about the ancient civilizations of the world. He really wanted to find the Appian Way, the ancient road by which Paul entered the city of Rome. I was game, so we packed up our baby who was still nursing, and set out to find the Appian Way.

Now, the Appian Way is not one of the major tourist attractions in Rome. We took the metro to a part of the city that was definitely outside of the mainstream tourist areas. We did find a street called the Appian Way, but it was a modern version, and not the ancient thoroughfare we were searching for. With a baby in tow, time is a very precious commodity when traveling. When the baby has had enough, everyone must break to take care of the baby’s needs. There is no negotiating with a tired baby. So, we hailed a taxi and asked them to take us to the Appian Way.

The taxi driver did not know exactly where the Appian Way was, so he took us to where he thought it was. This also happened to be the site of ancient Christian catacombs outside of the city.


The countryside was absolutely beautiful.


I love exploring cities, but there is something so magical about getting beyond the cities and absorbing the natural beauty of the part of the world we are visiting. Flocks of sheep drifted about the grasslands rimmed by cypress and other towering trees. It really was an idyllic setting.


The only way to see the actual catacombs was to take a tour. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed. If you are ever in Rome, I highly recommend going to see them. Aside from the amazing size and maze like tunnels stretching for miles beneath the earth, the catacombs have beautiful frescoes. The subject of the paintings are of death and resurrection. Stories like Jonah and the Whale are depicted above the doorways to many of the rooms. Because they were the earliest Christians in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., all of the writing is in Greek instead of Latin. The fish symbol so prevalent in the early Christian writings was also depicted throughout the catacombs. We learned that the word fish in Greek is an acronym for Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There was a solemnity to seeing those ancient graves with their beliefs of the afterlife so vibrantly depicted in those frescoes. Touring the catacombs was one of our favorite things we did in Italy. Unfortunately, our little baby was not as much of a fan. She started crying about halfway through the tour. I don’t think she liked being underground.

Above ground, we fed her and took some time to walk around. And guess what? We did find the Ancient Appian Way, the road that Paul walked on his approach to Rome to appeal to Caesar.



So You Want to Get Your Passport

I first applied for a passport when I was finishing college. When it arrived in the mail, I remember feeling a huge sense of freedom. Now I could travel to all the amazing places I wanted to go! I still get that thrill whenever I use my passport. I like to know that I could just hop on a plane and travel to exotic destinations. Since our youngest will need his passport soon, I’ve been reminiscing on all the passport application experiences we’ve had. Between applying for our passports, our children’s passports, and replacing our passports when a well-meaning wife did laundry not knowing our passports were still in her husband’s pants pocket, we’ve gone through the process several times in several areas of the country. Here are some tips that we’ve learned along the way.


1. The official information

All the official information and forms you need to apply for a passport can be found online by following this link to the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs


FYI, when applying for a passport for a child, both parents need to be present, or you must provide notarized documentation from the second parent giving their permission for their child to apply for a passport. All the necessary details can be found on the website linked above.

2. Know your time frame

There are two kinds of places where you can apply for a passport, a Passport Agency or a Passport Acceptance Facility. A Passport Agency is a government agency solely for the purpose of processing passport applications. Some Passport Agencies require proof of international travel within a short time period and require an appointment. They are the best option if you need expedited service. Expediting a passport application is a more expensive option.

A Passport Acceptance Facility could be a post office, library, or a municipal office of some kind. There are many more Passport Acceptance Facilities than Passport Agencies, so it might be more accessible option. Some require appointments. Some can take pictures for your passport application. To use a Passport Acceptance Facility, I recommend applying for your passport at least four months before a planned trip. Why, you may ask? Just in case something goes wrong. When applying for our third daughter’s passport, the agent at the Passport Acceptance Facility made a mistake on her part of the paperwork. Six weeks after we applied for her passport, we received a letter telling us there was a problem with the application. We were leaving for Italy within two weeks from receiving this letter, and the only way to get her a passport in time was to drive two hours to the nearest Passport Agency. They were able to get us her passport same day, but we had to pay expedited fees on top of the original application fees. Four months gives you plenty of time to address any issues with the original Passport Acceptance Facility should there be a problem.

3. Bring your own pictures

Some locations will take pictures for you, but it’s better to have them taken before you apply for your passport. We didn’t know this when we applied for our first daughter’s passport. The website said they could take pictures on site. And they could, but she was so little that I had to kneel down and prop her up trying not to let my hands show in the picture. If she hadn’t been coordinated and strong for her age, we would have had to go somewhere else to have pictures taken and make a new appointment. A photography studio or even the local Walgreens are much more prepared for taking passport pictures of young children. They are both less expensive and more accommodating. You can preview the picture before they print it, and they’ll retake it if you don’t like it. The entire process takes maybe 15 minutes. I recommend getting extras. You never know when they’ll come in handy.

4. Have extras

Part of being prepared for any contingency is to have extras, extra pictures and extra birth certificates. Had we not had an additional copy of our daughter’s birth certificate, we would not have been able to go the Passport Agency to clear up the problem with her application because they did not return the copy we sent in with the application until after we returned from our international trip. I always get three copies of our children’s birth certificates so we have extras exactly for these bizarre situations where they suddenly become necessary. It’s the same reason I always get two sets of passport photos. In this case, redundancy is helpful.

5. Be prepared, be over prepared

It is very easy to print out the necessary paperwork and have it all filled out before you go to your appointment. This is helpful for two reasons. One, it forces you to gather all the necessary information. You won’t be missing any. Two, anyone who has spent time at a government agency (think DMV), especially with young children, knows that you want to spend as little time there as possible. The more prepared you are, the less time spent sitting on a hard plastic chair trying to keep your children entertained. If all goes well, there won’t be any mistakes on the application you’ve filled out, and you’ll be out of there fairly quickly. If there is a mistake, it won’t take long to copy down the information and fix the mistake. You’ll still be out of there fairly quickly. Bringing your own previously taken pictures will also help you get out of there more quickly. This will make you and your children happy.

All the passport agencies we’ve been to have been staffed by friendly, helpful people. Even those times when there has been a snag in the process, the workers have been very kind. I hope this information is helpful, and that you have a good experience while applying for your passport. If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments. Happy traveling!