This has been a very busy and trying month. I anticipated the last 2 months as being hectic and they have been! I had made a 2 month calendar to keep track of deadlines and days to do things. All had been going along nicely until recently. The hang up has been the Spanish translations. I went on line and found companies to do it. The nearest I saw was NYC (2 hours away), so I used them thinking mailing it back would be fast, because The Marriage certificate still had to be sent to FL to be apostilled and the Police Reports after translation had to be apostilled in CT where we live. Even that part went as planned. The hang up was when I took the translated police reports to the Dept. of State in CT and found out that they could not apostille the documents because the notary stamp on the translation was from NY even though the Police Reports were from CT. My first thought was to redo the translations in CT losing $160.00 for the original translation. Another option I found out was to take them first to NYC to get a county OK and then take them to The Secretary of State’s office in NYC. When I called my translator and explained my problem, he said yes, I know it has to be apostilled in NY and he said he would be happy to handle the apostille process for $118.00. Then after I calmed down and weighed my options, I decided my husband and I could drive to NYC (we may be crazy) to do it ourselves-save money, get headache. Now, I have already sent the Spanish Marriage Certificate off to FL to get apostilled a week ago, so I am guessing I will get that back for the same reason. So I will wait a bit to see if I get it back and have it all done at the same time. One trip to NYC will be enough for me. The next headache is the cat paperwork. I finally found a vet that can fill out the paperwork as well as administer the necessary treatments. Then I have to drive the paperwork to a special vet to stamp it. If I am lucky, I can get it done in Hartford on a Tues. or Fri. when one of those vets comes to Hartford, or I can drive about 1.5 hours away to Massachusetts where the official offices are. It will of course depend on the timing.
Another process that has been taxing has been buying the airline tickets. I know, this should not be such a problem, but it has been. First, is making sure that the cat can go on our flight. (They only take a certain number of pets on each flight) and the second is, we had a limit on our credit card for a single purchase that was just under our ticket price, so we called the bank and made arrangements for this purchase and the airline says the bank keeps turning it down and the bank says they made the provisions for this purchase at our request. That required a “million” calls back in forth and of course you never talk to the same person at the airlines and we have to always be switched to the area that approves cats after telling our story for the millionth time. As of this moment, it has not been settled.
Another process that has been concerning is renting an apt in Playas for a month or so. We found one at a price we are willing to pay. Is it a good price? We do not know, but when we are there we will be able to see our real options and renegotiate for continued rental or relocate. We found it on FlipKey. You know how they say not to rent (send money) from someone you cannot meet face-to-face. The way there are so many apts. owned by Americans that live in the US, how do you safe guard this situation? I asked for a copy of their driver’s license. When I did a people search, I found the person with the same name and address. The name matches up with the rental. I am willing to send a deposit, but I don’t want to send the rest until I get the key in Playas upon arrival. I was trying to think of ways to do that while making them feel safe, too. We’ll see what they say. I did give them this blog address and I hope that they will realize that we are serious.
The final hurdle is my husband’s citizenship. He is at his interview and test as I write. I can’t imagine anything going wrong. The hurdle as I see it is when he’ll be sworn in. I hope it will be in a timely manner. After the swearing in, he can apply for a passport. I have heard that there is a place to get a passport in one day in Stamford, CT. That will give us time to go to the consulate to present our papers for the 180 day visa.
I feel like I am one of those plate spinners of old trying not to drop one. I read and re-read my lists to make sure I have not forgotten anything. Can we make it by June 25th? Let’s see! Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!
Somewhere on this blog I said I was easy going, going with the flow kind of person. Nope, don’t believe it. I lied. After that trip to New York City, I cannot make that claim!! I don’t think I can make my feeling understandable here. As soon as we approached the city, it was all over. The tension mounted by the minute. I was on the phone with my friend, Diane, as Leo made a wrong turn and he said, “Oh I just F—ked myself, now.” I turned to him and said, “Well, I guess you’d better find a way to unf—k yourself.” Diane went into hysterics. If that wasn’t bad enough, our GPS was taking us to who knows where, but it was not what I had put into the GPS. We drove around and saw signs for the Holland Tunnel, so we gave up on the GPS and just headed for Manhattan via the tunnel. Once in Manhattan, we drove around one way streets, blocked streets because of construction, streets that we could barely pass through because of double parking on BOTH sides of the street. We pulled over and stopped when we could and went to Google Earth and found our current location which, low and behold, was sort of near the street we wanted. We saw a Fed Ex guy asleep in the back of his truck double parked, so I woke him up and asked for directions. Actually he was quite cordial considering I just woke him up. He did give us directions, so Leo got near the street, dropped me off, and I walked a few blocks to the Court House to get my paper work stamped there, while Leo drove in circles (no place to stop or park there). My eyeballs were floating at this point, but I refused to do anything about it until after the papers were stamped. Signs said, no checks, no Money Order only cash or credit card. OK, I was set. I made a quick stop a few floors up and then headed down to the street to call Leo. We met at the drop off point and as I told him it was about 10 blocks to our next stop and he replied rather loudly, “I KNOW HOW TO GET THERE”. (Maybe he has gotten himself permanently, unf—ked.) In his defense, he did get us there with no problems. Again, I jumped out and headed to the next office as Leo drove in circles. I entered a room with about 20 people already there, just waiting. There was no line, but I read the signs that said, no cash, no credit card, only Money order or check. (Just the opposite of the other office.) I had it covered, I handed in my papers and check and sat down to wait with the others. For about 20 minutes the group kept getting larger, but no one was being served. Finally a man started calling names and one by one people left including me. I went downstairs and met up with Leo. We made it quite a while without problems, until we paid $6.50 to go over a bridge and a few minutes later we were going over that same bridge paying another $6.50. (Oops,I guess it was not permanent.) We had left CT at 8:30 AM and we finally made it to the CT line at 4:00 PM where we found a Burger King to eat. (Burger King never tasted so good and I don’t usually like it that much.) We live about 2.5 hours from the CT/NY line, so we ended up getting home after 6:30 PM.-OVER 10 HOURS IN THAT $@%?! CAR!
We finally have the airline tickets finalized, but the saga continued awhile longer. We thought we were being smart talking to a human at Lan, but forget it, no ticket. Leo decided to buy on line. I am the kind of person that does not buy anything but economy class, so I never even checked on Business Class. Leo did though. After figuring it all out, he realized that by the time we paid for the extra baggage in economy, it was cheaper to go Business because we each get 3 FREE bags. I was happy about that because we fly from 10:30 PM to 4:00AM and the seats in Business make into a bed and I like that idea. If I can sleep through that flight, I will be a very happy person!!! (I hate to fly). I even went on line to find music to sleep by. I intend to have a glass of wine. That always makes me sleepy!! Hummm, maybe I’ll live dangerously and have 2 glasses!! We cancelled our other reservations (that never really happened) and made these. We had to sweat out 2 days to make sure the cat got on the plane, too. Also, within 24 hours we saw the tickets in the “pending” section of our bank statement-a step closer than with the humans. Then it sat there 3 days, never going to the paid section. Monday, I went to the bank personally, to see why it is stuck in “pending”. They assured me it would be out of pending on Tuesday. Well it wasn’t. I wrote an email to the credit card section of our bank (we had quite a long list of back and forths so far). I reiterated my problem and within an hour the tickets moved down to the paid section, but it still had “pending beside it”. Well, that was some change!?! Shortly, though it said paid! This saga did not sit well with my self-proclaimed easy going nature. Well, tickets down, and just Smokey the cat to go. We have an appointment with the vet just 10 days before departure to end this ordeal.
Still up, is Swearing-in for Citizenship, Passport, and trip to the consulate for a 180 day visa.
We subscribe to an expat’s blog, Dom, who gives some useful info, unlike my rantings. He covered the Residency Process, which he had just done for two friends, so the latest info was there-just when I needed it. I think I have every English document certified and apostilled, translated into Spanish and recertified and reapostilled that we have. Probably overkill, but I can’t imagine doing all this stuff from there if something isn’t right. Since we have 180 days to do it, we will start very soon after we get there, just in case we need it (perish the thought). I’d like to stop and smell the… sea air, before we head down that path again. Sixteen day and counting.