An October Honeymoon

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Apologies for not blogging last week and waiting so long this week, but I’ve been a combination of both busy and lazy lately. This week centered around a few things, most notably Thanksgiving (though I also saw “Coco” and highly recommend it). Meanwhile, last week marked my green card paperwork being sent off to officially begin my trek to becoming a permanent resident. I’m looking forward to it!

There are many things I could talk about that took place these last two weeks, but instead I’d like to share something I’d worked on over this month. During October, my husband and I celebrated our honeymoon for a few days in the balmy state of California. To commemorate the occasion, we filmed much of it and made a special series of vlogs dedicated to both it and our internet show, “The Spook Factor.”  So, without further ado, here are the vlogs documenting most of our trip. Enjoy!

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Vlog #2

Vlog #3

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Marriage Updates and More!

So, due to last week being busier than I anticipated, I didn’t make a blog post. Needless to say, the internet service at my fiance’s house was spotty after Hurricane Irma. Luckily, we didn’t suffer any major damage and no injuries, so I survived my first hurricane pretty easily.

I also wanted to take time to blog now because the rest of this week is going to be even more hectic. Tomorrow, September 22nd, I’ll be getting married! We’re going to a courthouse for a brief ceremony surrounded by friends and family (I was never one to have a big “dream” wedding), and then heading off to a nice restaurant to say our vows and enjoy a tasty dinner. Hopefully we’ll all have room for some wedding cake afterwards, and then we’ll be going off by ourselves to stay overnight at a hotel for some alone time. We then plan to spend Saturday celebrating our post-wedding with our circle of friends since a couple of them are unable to come tomorrow, and Sunday will continue our trend of taking my parents out somewhere cool for their vacation.

I’ll probably write a more detailed blog about these events next week, and as far as my green card goes, we’ve gotten a consultation appointment set up on October 4th. However, I’d like to mention that from here on out, I can’t guarantee I’ll have a blog up every week like I’ve usually tried to do. I’m thinking of doing my usual horror-themed string of blogs for October, though, so we’ll see if I can pull that off. I just read Stephen King’s “Gerald’s Game” and am thinking about seeing the Netflix movie, plus my fiance and I saw the “It” remake yesterday, so maybe I’ll make some of my entries about his work. We’ll see when the time comes, as we’ll be taking our honeymoon to California midway through the month as well.

I’m just so happy to finally be at this point in both our relationship and the visa process. This is basically the endgame to what we started back in November last year, and I’m relieved we had a smooth ride getting to it (hurricane notwithstanding). Until next week!

Welcome to Miami!

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After making it through immigration and a long, long layover at the Toronto Pearson Airport last Saturday, I’ve been relaxing and enjoying my time with my fiance in Miami. It hasn’t been without its downsides, however, as we’ve been bracing ourselves to either hunker down or evacuate in the wake of Hurricane Irma. We’ve both had to get used to knowing that I won’t be leaving after a short period of time, but we’re more than happy about that. My parents are also doing well in spite of missing me, and I know it’ll be hard on all of us once they leave after their 10-day vacation starting at the end of next week.

As far as Saturday, immigration went pretty smoothly in Toronto with me only spending less than an hour between it and customs. On my Miami flight, we did run into a moment of scariness when we attempted to land. Because of an error made by the air traffic controller, we came close to running into another plane who was also trying to land. Thankfully, our captain slammed on the pedal (I don’t know plane terminology that well) and got us out of there to loop around and try landing again. After the day I’d had, I was just eager to be on the ground and was even happier when I saw my fiance and future mother-in-law waiting for me. I didn’t even run into any issues with the two large suitcases I’d brought, so the rest of the night was a breeze.

Yesterday, we finally went to a courthouse in Coral Gables to obtain our marriage license. Even though we won’t be using it for a couple weeks yet, I’m glad we got around to it this quickly (partly because of the storm). I’m still eager to jump into my green card process as soon as possible, and we’ve got a fun Californian honeymoon planned in mid-October as well. And while our wedding won’t be all that big or fancy or traditional, we’re just relieved to have made it to this point. Neither of us have wanted a ginormous ceremony anyway, so a private, civil ceremony is perfect for us.

Of course, before we can make further plans, we have to deal with this hurricane. So, depending on circumstances (loss of power and such), I may not have a blog up until later next week. For now, we’ve got the house prepared in case we stay, and we have a solid idea about what to take if we head north. I’m not as nervous as I thought I’d be, but hopefully we’ll get through it unscathed regardless. Until next time!

The Big Move

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Tomorrow, September 2nd, is the day I’ll be leaving Canada to get married to and live with my fiance in Miami.  After all the stress of sorting out my things and taking care of important matters, I’m more excited than ever to be there. I can’t even say I’ll be too sad to leave, especially since I’ll still get to see my parents when they come down in two weeks for our wedding.

I guess at this point I just feel…relieved. I’m relieved to finally be getting out of their house and away from the small town I grew up near. I’m relieved that I didn’t have to worry about taking ALL of my stuff this first time because there’s a lot I’ll still need to bring once we have our own place. That will come in due time, but at least I can focus for now on the necessities. I’m relieved that this whole process has been smooth sailing and will hopefully continue to be that way when I apply for a green card. And, of course, I’m relieved that after all these years of dating and later being engaged, my fiance and I will finally be husband and wife.

Of course, I’ll miss the family and friends I have in Canada. But as I’ve pointed out to each and every one of them, I will be back for visits. We still want to throw a big party with everyone once I’m able to get the time and legal allowance to travel. And while I’m sure I won’t be able to come every year, I think it’ll make me appreciate things a lot more. Not necessarily my family or friends, because I already appreciate them, but my town. I’ve gradually felt stuck here and have wanted nothing more than to go somewhere new. Now that that will be a reality, I think my attitude towards it will change.

It’s weird to think that this is essentially a new chapter in my life. Besides college, it’s easily the biggest change to happen to me. But I’m glad the day is finally here. I’m excited for the new opportunities and plenty of fun things to do that Miami can provide me. And even though I’m not remotely pleased about the political climate down there, I’ll get by. At the end of the day, I’m going not just for myself but for the future I’ll have with my fiance. So, the next time you see a blog from me, I’ll be in the United States. Until then!

A Hectic Weekend

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So, last weekend was probably the busiest I’ve had in a long while, but most of it was worth it. Early on Friday, my aunt called to ask if I wanted a drive to the city to pick up my visa, which came in the day before. I went with her and one of other aunt’s to get it, though we ran into a bit of trouble once we got to the post office in the form of a kinda rude attendant. He and I didn’t realize my package had been sent as a Flex, so he disregarded my driver’s license thinking my visa wasn’t there yet. Thankfully, I knew better and had written down the delivery number, so I was given my visa/passport immediately afterwards. I also went to try on dresses (I’ve since bought one) and had to deal with a slightly obnoxious, pushy saleswoman in the process. But the main thing I’m happy about is that I have my visa at long last. It feels great knowing that I’ve secured my chance to be with my fiance.

On Saturday, my mom and I did our yearly summer tradition of visiting a nearby Buskers festival. Thanks to some overcast weather without rain, it was the perfect day for it. I had my usual tutti-fruitti snocone and gave some money here and there to the various acts. I got to revisit some returning acts (both from Australia) and also enjoy a new favorite in the form of Toronto’s Mighty Mike. He was a take on the classic strongmen and even had the outfit to match. He was funny, gave a few inspirational speeches, and could juggle three entire bowling balls and later two torches along with a 10-pound sledgehammer. I’m not sure if I’ll get to be back next year or when it may happen, but I’ll miss it. I’m hoping one day my fiance will get to experience it as well.

Finally, Sunday had me up bright and early to do my weekly cleaning job at a dentist’s office. I spent a total of five hours there with my mom only being able to help me quickly finish the job within the last hour. It was also the hottest day of the whole weekend, so I was quick to blast the air conditioning and dreaded when I had to eventually go outside. I then spent a good chunk of my evening at a family barbecue just up the road from our place. It was to celebrate the long-awaited visit of my cousin Brad, who my parents hadn’t seen in at least 30 years. You can imagine how weird it was for me considering he’d left home around the time I was born. Still, he was nice enough and my family thankfully didn’t drill me too much on my wedding plans. Plus, free hamburgers, hot dogs and dessert is always appreciated.

At this point, I’m still slowly working away at getting things done before I head to Miami in September. While most of those things are centered on my wedding, I still have my financial situation and other important stuff to sort out. I’m also hoping to visit the flea market next month for what will probably be the last time in a while. But until I get around to all those things, I’m just relieved to have reached what’s essentially the end of my visa process.

We’ve Been Approved!

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Whew, what a busy time it’s been! During my fiance’s week-long visit, we saw the rollercoaster that was the Season 10 finale of “Doctor Who,” happily and finally bought a Nintendo Switch, he got me further hooked on Thomas Sanders, and to top everything off, I’ve been approved to get my fiance visa! After so much waiting and worrying, I’ll be going to Florida to get married in September. Even though I’m currently waiting to get the visa itself, we’re excited to have made it through this entire process with ease.

The big day for my interview was on June 28th, and we flew up to Montreal the night before to give ourselves time to prepare. I was of the mindset that even if they didn’t look at all of our paperwork, I wanted to bring nearly everything just in case. So, with a large envelope full of documents, we made our way down a couple blocks to the consulate in the early morning. Once we got past the initial security and I was given a number, we were surprised to see many people in the waiting room high on the building’s 19th floor. On one side were people waiting to get family visas and passports, and on the other was people like me opting for visas via marriage, work or school.

When my number was called, my fiance and I brought up our documents to a clerk window. The clerk had her back to us as she was talking to someone else, so we kinda surprised her when she finally turned around. It was all in fun, and she immediately went to business asking us for specific things like my passport, birth certificate, and other such papers. She also had to electronically take my fingerprints, though it took me a couple tries for each hand to nail it. Not because it was hard, but because my hands were a little sweaty thanks to nerves and the waiting room being a bit warm. She was thankfully very patient, though, and we had no other problems before we were told to take a seat again.

This was the longest part of the entire ordeal, because we were stuck waiting as others were called for their interviews. We got a few chuckles when a couple of guys went up with who I assumed were their fiancees/spouses and had to trudge back to the waiting room instead. I knew ahead of time that my fiance wouldn’t be allowed to join me for my interview, so it was amusing to watch. Finally, an hour over my scheduled interview time of 9:30, I was called up. Even though I was confident in myself, I couldn’t help still being a tad nervous. Luckily, the young man who interviewed me made me feel comforted the moment he saw me. He was super nice and only asked a few simple questions about my fiance and our relationship. After a little while, he handed me a piece of paper welcoming me to the US and said my visa was approved. I surprised myself by NOT crying right then and there and thanked him. He explained when I’d expect my visa (in about a week and a half) and after I asked him a couple questions to clarify some details, I went back out to my fiance. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went up to him and said, “We’re approved!”

It was an exciting morning and it only calmed down once we got back to our hotel and called/texted our parents to tell them the good news. Even after we flew back and met up with my mom, we were still eager to talk about it. It’s mind-blowing that we’ve finally reached this point, so much so that neither of us were remotely sad when my fiance left for Florida this past Monday. Now we just can’t wait to be married and start having the life we’ve wanted all this time.

Updates Once More!

So, there’s a strong possibility that you won’t see a blog up next week. That’s because my fiance is coming up this Saturday and staying until July 3rd. I may do a short one on our experience at my interview next Wednesday, but even if I don’t, I still plan to write one up regardless by the following week. At this point, between the visit and the interview, I’m too excited to focus on anything else.

Because of that, I’ve also accomplished a few entertainment-related things within the past couple weeks. For example, I mentioned that I’ve been playing “Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia” since I got it back in May. I finally finished both the main game and post-game dungeon by last night. I’m not going to do a formal review on it, but needless to say that I feel that game’s main strengths are in its story and characters (though the art is also great). However, I still prefer most of the gameplay elements found in the other 3DS titles. Despite my slow trek through the game, I’m glad I was able to finish it on time and pave the way to play something new in the coming months.

I also managed to catch a couple movies I’d been meaning to see. The first was “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” I still firmly believe that the first movie is the strongest of the five we now have, though there was plenty of stupid fun to be had in this new one. Even though they’re extremely flawed, I can’t bring myself to outright dislike these movies because I just love the world and adventurous feel to them. Plus, I’m not burnt out on pirates as a concept yet.

The other movie I saw was “Cars 3”, and while I liked it far more than “Cars 2” (that’s not hard to pull off, though), it still felt bland by Pixar standards. In many ways, it reminded me of “The Good Dinosaur” in that it looked gorgeous but felt like a wasted opportunity in places. Granted, I was never a fan of “Cars” in the first place and the characters never stood out much to me. However, I will admit that I enjoyed the references to Doc Hudson aka the late Paul Newman and feel this is what “Cars 2” should have been. It’s a direct follow-up to the original film and it’s a shame that this is what we could have gotten instead of the having to contend with Mater being in a spy movie.

So, these are some of the things I’ve been up to aside from work and my daily routine of internet surfing/chatting. Like I said, it’s doubtful that I’ll blog next week, but I’ll have plenty to talk about once I get around to it. I’m just now eager to ace this interview so I can finally move on with my life. Until next time!