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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Australia Adventure phase 1

I have begun the paper work process of my Australian adventure.  As I previously mentioned, I did not have a passport, I was wrong. My mom, who keeps everything, called to tell me that I did indeed have one. We had gotten it when I was 20 years old and she "found" it, but we all know she is more organized then Peter Walsh.  When looking at this photo I thought to myself, you know, youth really IS wasted on the young. I swear I looked 15 in that photo!  And btw, I have never been out of the country, why do I have a passport?
She brought me the old passport and we went to the post office. Prior to this I had gone and gotten my picture taken for the passport and I won't even begin to tell you how lovely it is.
As I was filling out the paper work for a renewal, my mom is standing behind me like a mom of a kindergartner sending their kid on the bus on the first day of school..
 "honey, are you going to share where you are going?" 
" Yes, I'm going to Australia" 
" But are you going to tell them with whoooo?"
I can tell she is about to burst with maternal pride.
I said, " I won the trip to go to Australia with Oprah"
at this moment you would have thought I was Madonna. The woman appeared to be star struck. Maybe Oprah does have some sort of Midas touch?
So with this she took extra care to make sure everything would be expedited properly.  She did find a snafu.  My last name has changed.  This meant I needed to go to the court house and get my marriage license. On a side note, this is one perk of returning to the place that you were born and raised. Birth certificates, etc are only 3 blocks away from any point in the entire city.
 But before she gave me detailed instructions on how to get there ( like I said, I have only lived here the majority of my life after all) she wanted to introduce me to the "girls" I was then escorted into the main post office area where she announced that I had one a trip with Oprah. The "girls" broke into laughter and glee and it was almost as though they had won themselves! They wanted to know all about it.
Mind you, there are people in line, but they didn't seem to be bothered by this, in any way shape or form, they too wanted to hear all about it. So I told the story, a much abridged version.  I paid $160 for a money order and off to the courthouse.  As I was leaving though, a little old Polish women grabbed my arm and said, "be safe and have a blessed trip with Oprah, I'll be praying for the both of you"
I'm then off to the court house.  As I walked in, I asked the uber friendly security guard where I could go to get a copy of my marriage license. She directed me to the basement with a hand wave.  I thought this was kind of ironic really. They send the criminals upstairs and the ones who want to get married, give birth, buy property etc. downstairs...
As I approached the office I felt like I had gone back in time to a bad 1950s movie and everything was black and white or grey.  I walked into the office and when I asked about my marriage license  I seemed to have startled them with a human voice. As I was speaking to Martha ( I read the name plate on her grey desk) , she asked the month and year I was married. She then went in the back and brought out a book the size of herself.  She took all of her strength to open it and it was a hand written ledger to search for my husbands name...
 *scratching needle on the record moment*
It was too shocking not to ask...
" so, you don't have this in a computer file anywhere?"
Ok then.  The air was so heavy and thick and musty in there and maybe I'm overly sensitive, but it felt like a morgue.  I needed to lift the energy in that room quickly before I too became a black and white drone.
I said, " is this going to assist in getting my passport expedited quickly"?
"mmm hmm", she hummed.
" because I was selected to go to Australia with Oprah"
Do you remember in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy goes to Oz and everything is suddenly
techno- color. I swear this is what happened to Martha. She looked up at me with her fog filled glasses and her face looked as though  rouge had been carefully placed on her cheeks.  She beamed. " Oh my goodness, I just saw that show on Monday, you were there! you are going? What is she like?  Did you meet John Travolta, I just love him, you know he is a good pilot...."   I hate to say this, but I believe I made her day, if not her week.
That is the power of Oprah folks and somehow I have harnessed it.
I got back into my mom's car, who btw is still smiling.  She asked if she could take me to lunch. After decided on a place that I could run in and grab something, she pulled me up to the door.
"isn't it nice to have a designated driver" she asked
"Well yes mom, it would be if I were..um drunk"  I understood what she was saying and just let that one go.

I contacted the Oprah reps and told them about my passport, they have been in constant contact via phone with us to ensure they properly orchestrate 300 people across the world.  I must say, when she does something she goes all out.

And now hopefully my night terrors will stop. The ones that have me at the door of the plane and Oprah saying that she was sorry but my passport was never received..and bah bye. bah bye.


  1. I am sitting here "cry laughing" right now, which may actually look worse than the Oprah "ugly cry." This is one of the funniest so far!

  2. Hey Noelle! I DVR'd your Oprah episode and watched it the other night. SO EXCITING!! I love to travel....have sooooo much fun! And BTW, when I got my passport for Ukraine I did it the standard (slow) way and got it in like 10 days. Very fast and easy :-)

  3. G'day Noelle!

    I'm co-responsible for a great new Facebook community page we've called "Oprah House In Australia" and we'd like to extend an invitation to you to come and join us!

    It's a place where we are showcasing Australia, Oprah, connecting wonderful people and opportunities and trying to get Oprah's attention! In fact, along with over 650+ people, we've already attracted TWO of your fellow Ultimate Adventure ticket winners to our page who are keen to not only learn about Down Under, but also hook up with fellow winners before you all come down in December!

    So, if you'd like to join us to share your exciting experience and journey (or I could just post links from your blog on our wall?) and be part of the online pOsitive pOsse, please feel free to join http://www.facebook.com/OprahHouseInAustralia and have a look around at the fun, informative and positive discussions on our Wall. By all means introduce yourself as I'm sure everyone would love to give you a warm welcome "G'day!!"

    All the best and hope to see you there,