A Hectic Weekend

sorrento-living-busy-weekend-ahead-700x467

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!

19870598-visa-approved-immigration-stamp-for-crossing-the-border-passing-customs-for-tourism-and-passport-con

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!

 

Progress Report #2

immigratation-and-us-flag

I didn’t expect to be blogging about this again so soon, but so much has happened in the past two days that I can’t help it. On Wednesday, our immigration lawyer sent off the last of our documents to the consulate as part of the third step of my visa application. Within the same afternoon, the consulate immediately sent instructions for the next step to myself, the lawyer, and my fiance, Richard. We were shocked at how quickly this happened and immediately started making plans with our lawyer.

To clarify, this fourth step involves me setting up appointments for my medical exam and eventual interview at the consulate. Because I wanted to make time for each thing and didn’t mind waiting a little longer, both of my appointments are scheduled at the beginning and end of June. I’m super excited and nervous, but mostly excited. I’m now that much closer to being with my fiance and it feels like it’s taken less time than I expected.

It’s hard to believe we’ve made it this far. In the course of our relationship, we’ve cherished our temporary yearly visits. However, we often talked about when the day would come when we could see each other permanently. And even though we’ve been engaged for over three years, neither of us were sure when that could happen. It’s just surreal to know that we’ve reached a point where that might become a reality.

I think this will be the last update I make on the subject until I know if I’ve been approved or denied for my visa. I’m being optimistic that I will be approved, mainly because we’ve had no major issues with this process so far. Wish us luck!

Life Update Part 2!

Well, as you can see, my time spent with my fiance resulted in me not bothering to blog. But since he went home yesterday and I’m now having a lazy Sunday, I figured I should talk about a few things.

The first is that, as usual, the trip went great. While I didn’t have anything extravagant planned for us to do, we did see the new “Ghostbusters” at the drive-in (our reactions were a resounding “eh, it’s okay.”) and did some shopping in the city (more him than me). We got to have a new experience in the form of the Magic Mountain water park, and even though it was a busy Sunday afternoon, we had a good time going down water slides and trying out their elephant ear-like pastry called a Beaver Tail. We marathoned all the Marvel movies excluding “Civil War” thanks to some technical difficulties, though neither of us were too upset since we’d both just seen it when it came out this year. We also marathoned the 9th season of “The Simpsons” and realized that it’s a bit of a mixed bag, both with me being a veteran watcher and him being a newbie. All in all, we just enjoyed each other’s company as much as we could.

During this time, I was also forced to basically accept that my cat, Scamper, is well and truly gone. Even though we still haven’t found him, I had always assumed he wouldn’t come back. We live in an area that lately has been teeming with coyotes and apparently even a black bear, not to mention that the woods around our property stretches for miles on end. Anything could have happened to him. It still makes me sad that I can’t see how the rest of his life might have played out, and I miss his presence. My parents seem to be slowly accepting it as well, going so far as to store away his food dish and litter box. I know he lived a good, long 17 years, but I miss the little guy more than anything.

On the bright side of the dark side, even though yesterday was a little sad with my fiance leaving to head back to Florida, I ended up already booking my flights for my next visit with him. I’ll be coming down around mid-October and leaving around mid-November, so we’ll get to celebrate the Halloween festivities together AND I’ll still get at least one Thanksgiving Day meal (mmm, pumpkin pie!). Even better, the first weekend I get with him will be spent with us having fun in Disney World at the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks, along with a little shopping on the side. It’s been six long years since the very first time I visited Disney and I can’t wait to go back. My one goal this time is to try their Dole Whip dessert as I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I can’t resist trying something that isn’t really available anywhere else. It’s sure to be a fun trip overall, but it’ll be great to start things off with a bang.

Well, that’s my life up to this point. In a couple weeks, I plan to go with my dad to our town’s annual Flea Market and hopefully find lots of goodies for myself and my fiance. I always look forward to being there every year. I also hope to attend our Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in September, so long as the balloons actually GO up and don’t stay grounded due to weather. Either way, I’ll have a few fun things to do in the meantime before my trip kicks off. Until next week!

Life Update!

Well, this week has been a bit hectic so far and I won’t be slowing down too much by the time my fiance arrives for his 3-week stay next Monday. I’m super excited because it’s been a couple years since his last visit and, while I don’t have a crazy amount of stuff planned, what stuff we WILL do is sure to make for a nice vacation.

But, before we get into some good news, I’ve got some bad news to share. As of Monday evening, my 17-year-old cat, Scamper, has gone missing. My parents and I have searched our property and started asking around, but he hasn’t turned up yet. It worries us mainly because, at his age, he doesn’t get around as easily as he used to and has never been away from home nearly this long. I’m hopeful we’ll find him or he’ll turn up, but it’s put a heavy damper on an otherwise good week so far.

Now, speaking of that good week, I spent yesterday in the city with my mom watching the annual Buskers on the Boardwalk Festival. It was pretty good, with this year’s being the first time they’ve run the festival prior to the weekend. Unfortunately, that meant many of the acts either weren’t there yet or just weren’t performing that day, so we had a lot more time on our hands between shows. Still, I got my now-traditional Tutti Frutti-flavored snocone and the acts we did see put on some entertaining shows.

Another plus is, fingers crossed, my Internet connection seems to have gone back to being stable since last week. I’m hoping it was less to do with our modem and more to do with either the lines or something on our service provider’s end. I did hear from my uncle that he’d experienced similar problems, so I guess it wasn’t just us after all. I’m just happy it seems to have sorted itself out before I start spending quality time with my man.

Finally, something I failed to blog about a year or two ago was that I, for the first time in my life, 100% completed the Pokedex in “Pokemon X” It was an arduous task of constantly trading, evolving and breeding Pokemon, but with Japan’s release of Volcanion and me managing to snag one, I can definitely say it was a worthwhile achievement. However, I toiled on and off with the idea of making a LIVE Pokedex (having physically one of every Pokemon and their evolutions), but I’d decided against it because of the amount of work it involved and a lack of interest. Well, thanks to the Sun/Moon information that’s got me pumped to play a brand new Pokemon game again, I decided the time was now. And ladies and gentlemen, as of tonight, I can officially say that I have a 100% complete LIVE Pokedex in “Pokemon X”!

giphy

I’m so relieved and proud of myself for giving it a shot. I’m hoping to do what most people will probably do and transfer my ‘dex over to Sun/Moon. Not so much to help complete the ‘dex there, but so I can continue with it by catching all the new Pokemon. Sure, I had a lot of time on my hands to pull this off, but I feel like I accomplished a big project and now I can just sit back and enjoy it for what it is. Then I plan to never, ever do something this extensive for a video game EVER again. Anyway, I can’t promise regular blogs in the next three weeks, but I’ll still try to get one a week out as usual. See you all then!

Another Update!

So, this past week I’ve been racking my brain on what to blog about. I’ve been re-obsessed with “Gravity Falls” thanks to the most recent episode and my excitement for the upcoming August episodes, and I beat “Fire Emblem: Awakening” (which was good, though the story was pretty meh overall). However, I couldn’t gather up the inspiration to blog about either of those things, so instead I’m here with a update.

This upcoming week, I’m planning to go back to the Dresden series with “Turn Coat”. I might also start blogging about the rest afterwards throughout August and possibly September. Why? I still have 5 main series books total as well as “Side Jobs” to cover, and I’ll be travelling back to Florida in mid-September through to the beginning of November. Given the number of distractions and how generally slow I am reading anything while I’m there, I’m gonna try my best to catch up with the series before that time or at least head there with preferably one book left to cover.

Basically, don’t be surprised if this blog turns into a Dresden-fest for a while. This doesn’t mean I won’t blog about other stuff if I have the urge to, since I’ve occasionally blogged more than once through the week before. But my main focus now is to at least try to catch up and go from there. Sorry to anyone who might not be interested, but for those who are, please stay tuned!