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Bethie
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PostSubject: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:32 am

I was just checking out getting our passports and the cheapest i could find would be $543 for all three of us, thats a processing fee of $59 each plus $127 Government fees per adult and $112 per child... Mad Dang Government!

Can anyone find it cheaper for us or should we just resign ourselves to paying this horrible fee?
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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:44 am

Um, why would it cost that much? Are you using some type of service?

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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:47 am

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/fees/fees_837.html

Here's a link concerning the fees - from the U.S. Department of State.

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Jig
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:36 pm

Scooter and them went up to DC since they didn't have very much time between the booking and the cruise leaving. Scooter said they only paid like $50 apiece or something small like that and had it back that day. Are you guys going soon? Can I go?
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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:42 pm

It's $67 to renew a passport and about $97 to get a new one. The fees are slightly less for a child under the age of 14. You can also request expedited service for an additional fee - if you need the passports within 6 weeks. Or, you can come up to DC and try to get the passports in person.

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Lynelle
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:10 pm

So that would be about $450.00 for me and the kids........got to get on that soon.
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Jesse
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:52 am

Where are you going Lynelle?
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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:53 am

It's just good to have a passport, whether you have plans to travel abroad or not. As of July, you won't be able to travel even into Mexico or Canada without a passport.

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Brian
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:24 am

Better question is why would we want to travel there? Canada is way to cold for all you weak warm blooded southerners, and Mexico just sucks.

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Jesse
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:27 am

Mexico does not suck.... once you're in the resort anyway... good food, good music, beautiful water, no bugs, nice temps... is there more you can ask for??

Have you ever stayed on the Atlantic side Brian?
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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:29 am

Jesse wrote:
Mexico does not suck.... once you're in the resort anyway... good food, good music, beautiful water, no bugs, nice temps... is there more you can ask for??

Have you ever stayed on the Atlantic side Brian?

I agree Jess, but there is a key component to your sentence. That is the "once you're in the resort." Without that, Mexico is a totally different place.

We had a great time in Mexico and loved the resort. Outside of the resort, however, it was quite different.

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Jesse
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:33 am

Mexico.... eww, yuck, never go there...

Mexican resorts... the best place to vacation in the America's

That's sad... but I agree.
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Brian
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:39 am

Mexico SUCKS.
Why do you think everyone there wants to be or is already here?
They aren't dumb, even the mexicans know Mexico sucks! The only parts of Mexico that ok is the parts where American Companies build fancy resorts, those resorts would be nice no matter where they put them. Slap a Sandles in Cumberland, VA and all of a sudden Cumberland is a beautiful place.

Beauty is only skin deep... Mexico SUCKS!

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Amanda
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:43 am

Brian wrote:
Mexico SUCKS.
Why do you think everyone there wants to be or is already here?
They aren't dumb, even the mexicans know Mexico sucks! The only parts of Mexico that ok is the parts where American Companies build fancy resorts, those resorts would be nice no matter where they put them. Slap a Sandles in Cumberland, VA and all of a sudden Cumberland is a beautiful place.

Beauty is only skin deep... Mexico SUCKS!


No, please tell us how you really feel. Wink

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Bethie
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:09 pm

We hope to be going to Guatemala soon, though nothing is in the books yet.
Thats kinda why we wanted them, but really, they are just good to have..."just in case."

Thanks Amanda for the site.

~Before anyone says, why would you wanna go to Guatemala, don't bother, i'm sure no one has anything nice to say about there either, though i don't hink anyone in our family has ever been there.
Its funny, Guatemalans hate Mexicans...actually, Mexicans hate Mexicans...lol~
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Brian
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:10 pm

Sorry I have to ask... why Guat?
I've been to Costa Rica and Panama which are both VERY beautiful countries but they are a tad further south. It great you want to travel, I'm just wondering why with all the places in the world you would pick Guat to be your first country to visit?

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Bethie
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:07 pm

Well if i had my way, Scotland would be my first choice, but Brandon has wanted to go to Guate for a while.
I actually found a place called Panajanchal on Lake Atitlan...its the most beautiful place i've ever seen. There are dozens of "cities" around most of the lake (which is huge) but on one side of the lake are THREE dormant volcanoes. They are SO beautiful. Its also VERY cheap to go there since its not a "tourist" place. The houses i've found are huge and usually include two houses on each property for VERY cheap. Some even come with there own cars.
I believe its Jose...that lived in Guate, where his family currently still lives, and he has been telling Brandon about his place...he and his wife just bought a huge amount of acres for very little in the mountains. Its pretty much jungle. Very beautiful.

Another thing is, you could actually drive there if you had a few days. Guate rises up into Mexico.

Anyway, its as beautiful a place as any and not a complete tourist trap...thats why we like it...our money goes a LOOOONNNNGGGG way there.

Lake Atitlan is so loved by foreigners, that about half the population in Panajachal alone(and there are many other cities in that area) is foreign, they visit then deside to live there. Mostly Russian and American.

There are HUGE complexes up and still going up to bring in more "outsiders." These complexes are very large subdivisions right on the Lake... For $150,000 you can have a 4-5 bedroom house with pool, lake view, gourmet kitchen...okay, anything you can get here. Plus, the complex has a shopping center, grocery stores, cafes, restaurants...everything.
And on top of that...its beautiful!!! Lush gardens, fountains, jungle. There is round the clock security...its a gated community.

Anyhoo...i'm sure your like totally bored now.

I'll include a pic of the lake...
You can see the volcanoes in the back.

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Jig
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PostSubject: Re: Passports   Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:52 pm

Beth is soooo right. There's already some fairly huge retirement complexes for people who couldn't afford the $2k/month it took for apartments in souther Fla. but wanted that climate to retire to. Lots of Americans who can live very well on $1500/$2000 a month that they get from Social Security. NPR had a big report on it a while ago and I thought it was really interesting.

A lot of the people like it there because you can eat for less, housing is cheaper, the climate is like Fla. but in the last few years hasn't been hit by hurricanes as much, and the people are a lot friendlier. I've known a lot of Mexicans and South Americans and they're almost always friendly and helpful.

So there. From what I hear Costa Rica and Panama aren't as nice as Salvador and Guatemala. Too many begging locals like Jamaica.
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