Chicago

I'm sitting in a Comfort Inn in downtown Chicago. Tomorrow morning we will visit the Consulate and try to get our Visas.

The saga of the Visas so far:

The website for the Consulate gave us a small list of documents needed to apply for the Visa. Amy, being a wise wife, decided to e-mail them and make sure we had what we needed. They gave her a new list of documents we need (well they were mainly for me since I am the one going without purpose). We spend a week gathering all of those documents and overnighted them to the Consulate. They were kind enough to overnight them right back to us with a brand new list of items needed. It was almost like they didn't notice that we had already set up an application with them and considered us two seperate people. The new information needed was again for me. It's almost like they think I am a single man wanting to stay long term in France, and am asking for a no work Visa. I applied for the non working Visa because supposedly it is easier to obtain, and I had no real plans of working. A few of the new documents are: a police report showing I'm not a criminal, a letter from the bank showing I have some money, a letter from my work saying I have worked before and how much I made, a letter from me (notarized) stating I will not seek employment nor aid from the French government, plus a letter from someone in France inviting me to come. What a pain in the neck.

So we decided to come in person hoping a little personal touch will go a long way. Now I have been told that you can go to France without a Visa and just use your passport. You can only stay on a passport for 90 days, however, after the 90 days you can visit another country and their stamp will buy you some more time. My fear now is that they will take my passport tomorrow to process the visa and I won't get it back for another 4 months. They tell me it can take that long to process because they have to send it to Paris. We're hoping to wing it a little and find out how long they will take to actually process it and if it takes to long say nevermind and walk out with all our documents.

We'll see.

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Visiting

Well we moved out of our house last weekend. Amy is currently living with her parents in Palmyra, IN. I am still in Bloomington living with some friends. It has been a tough week. The first day I moved in my roommate’s family was in town so I felt very out of place. Here I am a 28 year old man living with a married couple with a new born child. That morning I wandered around town for a couple of hours until work.

Being apart from Amy is tough. We've been apart before when she has gone visiting family while I had to work. This time feels different though. I guess because we have moved to different places versus her visiting somewhere. She came up for a couple of days this week though so that was very nice.

We finally got all our paperwork to the visa people. Hopefully they will accept and we can go pick up the visa in Chicago. It is such a stressful ordeal getting everything together to go to France. Eric has a nice world map hanging in my bedroom. I had never actually sat down and noticed where Strasbourg was located in France. So I have spent the last couple of nights mapping out places I want to go. I think Italy is a definite stop. And the Swiss Alps aren't too far from us.