Winter bites

Well it certainly seems like winter has arrived.  Went out with my friends last night..back to the car in three hours and frozen solid!   

This week I have booked my interview at the American embassy in London.   Before booking there is another lot of paperwork to fill in and an online checklist.  This needed to be checked, ticked, checked again and is now completed.  So my huge folder of paperwork is ready and I’m set to go.  I have discovered that once I have received my visa (should it be granted) I have to enter the US within six months of issue.  This has got me a little worried.  All over the US embassy website is ‘Do not change your life until you have your visa granted’. ‘ Do not sell your home until your visa is granted’. ‘Do not quit your job until your visa is granted’ ..

So in real terms you have just six months to do all that… my house isn’t for sale yet.  My business will not be closed until April year end.   All being well my visa will be issued immediately after my interview so I will have until June 2017 to enter the US.    Again there is no verbal help at the embassy and I have spent an afternoon scouring the website for information but I think it will not be until my interview that I can question an extension.  My son Nick will not finish his A levels until July so I’m not going to be able to ship out before then.  I’ll let you know what happens about that or if anyone who’s been in this position can let me know, I would be grateful.  I guess my other option is to visit USA say in March or April, gain my initial visa entry then and then return here to finish everything ?  Must admit to being a little worried about this. 

We are staying with some lovely friends / family Carol and Barry when we first arrive in the US.  Our plan is to spend time at their beautiful home while looking for our new home.  It will also give us the chance to recharge our batteries after the move over there.  Their house is gorgeous although they are looking to move to Washington sometime soon.. Carol and Barry have been friends with my husband Randy for most of his life and have been wonderful friends to us both since I have known them. Our children have adopted them as their grandparents.  This week I Facetimed Carol as we do quite often. We generally just all sit around drinking coffee and chatting and the wonders of the internet make it as if we are actually all together.  Carol was able to show us our rooms which she has prepared already for our arrival. Lovely lovely people to make us so welcome in their home.  This time next year ……

Our dog Barney will be making the trip with us.  Dogs don’t need to be quarantined now and my daughter Alex has researched Barneys journey.  She has found a company that organise the whole thing for us.  They will collect Barney from our home and take care of him throughout the flight.  They take care of his immunisations and everything else that is needed.  We couldn’t have made the decision to move to the US without Barney.  

My newly found group of friends …now known as The Pings have promised to visit us in San Francisco.  Some of The pings have met Carol on FaceTime as she called the other evening while we were out .   That was a little surreal ! I’m so pleased they want to come out and visit and really hope that they will.  We should be over there about a year by the time they arrive but I’ll stay in touch with them on Facebook messenger and will plan a fantastic reunion for us all.   I’ve told them that San Francisco is 8 hours behind the UK so they will have to have a rota to chat to me in the middle of the night.!   

Been thinking today about a  farewell party.  Randy says I shouldn’t as it will be sad and I will be a wreck and I know he’s right.  But I think it will be nice to get friends and family together before we go.  I think after Christmas…should the visa be granted… I will make a date for the summer ….. and send some save the date cards.
Christmas is coming round fast.  For the first time ever we are eating out on Christmas Day this year.  Will be very strange not organising and cooking for the day but I’m looking forward to that.   This year seems the first year that Alex and Nick  are no longer children.  Their choice of gifts reflects this but also feels a little sad.

The end of an era… and the beginning of a new one….soooo exciting xx


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