17 May 2014
To Go and Return Again
After a whirlwind tour of San Francisco, we are back and done with the visa paperwork portion of our adventure. Phew! After leaving the girls at home with my mother, (thanks, mama!!) we flew in Wednesday evening and took the BART to downtown. Dropped our bags at a little "French" hotel. (Didn't really plan the Frenchy-ness of this, it just worked out ... room for three and a breakfast!)
Once we dropped off our bags we walked down the street for dinner and ended up at Café de la Presse (I swear, it wasn't planned.) and while we were waiting for our meal alfresco, I wandered down the street a bit and managed to be mistaken for a nervous-looking man's blind date, Noelle. Nope. Not Noelle. But thank you so very much for considering me a candidate.
In the morning we had our breakfast and gussied up so we could convince the French we weren't too dumpy to come and live in their country for a bit. We set off on foot to the consulate, me clutching the massive, neurotically organized accordion file of paperwork that became known as my fourth child, and mentally preparing for stern, ruthless French bureaucrats to cause weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Once there, we were met by a very friendly security guard who checked off our names with a smile and ushered us in to the inner sanctum of ... peace and tranquility. Clean, tidy, bright, organized. And behind the glass, smiling consulate attendants. They were ready for us ahead of schedule and took us through the process with great patience. At one point, I noticed thank you cards taped up behind the desk from other astonished and appreciative visitors like myself. (I have never once seen a thank you card at the DMV. Just sayin'.)
Once done, signed, fingerprinted, photographed (you may smile, but no teeth), and fees paid, we were told we should know if we are approved by mail within the next 10-15 days. So now we wait ... but I feel hopeful! Either way, we've done our part and it's out of our hands.
her gift was the catalyst for our European calling, the remainder of those funds are just enough to cover our return tickets, and our final piece of the visa approval puzzle completes where she was born.