In mid-November, we scheduled flights to Italy scheduled for Jan 31/Feb 1. The plan was we would apply and receive the necessary visas by then. As time has gotten closer, we decided to set Monday, Jan 27th as our “deadline” for the visas. If we don’t receive them by then or know that they are coming, we would cancel our flights. Well… it is Sunday, Jan 26th and we still don’t know when they are coming. So, we cancelled our flights today.
I’m disappointed but am also relieved. We still have a bunch to do to get ready for the move, so this gives us the time we need to do those things. And we’ll just reschedule our flights once we get the visas. Fortunately, we used points to book the flights, so we pay a low cancellation fee and get our points back.
Some general updates:
The visa application interview. I read a bunch of posted info about what happens during the visa application interview. It varied from answering a series of challenging questions to simply dropping off the application package. We were prepared for either – and ours was pretty much just dropping off the package. We had to sign a few more forms, make a few tweaks to the application form, get our fingerprints taken, and then left behind our two binders. It took less than 2 hours, which was mostly waiting in lines. So, we headed to Orlando to spend Christmas Eve at the Gaylord hotel. Lots of fun, including watching a few special Christmas shows, laughing with the Florida kids that were thrilled to be throwing snow bowls and sledding down an icy hill, and walking around to see all of their cool decorations. We also visited a street in Celebration, FL that goes crazy decorating – and have even been on the TV. We slept in on Christmas morning and had room service for breakfast. Very relaxing kind of Christmas. I took Jim to the airport for his return flight to Virginia and headed back to North Florida. Derek spent the day in a cave diving class so we had take-out Chinese for our Christmas dinner. Ho, ho, ho!
JoAn’s time in Florida. I’ve enjoyed my time in Florida, hanging with Derek and enjoying the beauty of the nearby parks. I’ve also had an opportunity to spend a bit of time with my three nieces, Britney, Kirstie, and Megan, and their delightful families.
Jim’s retirement. Jim’s last day of full-time employment was January 17th. He worked like crazy until the last minute, which is exactly what I expected. We had a very nice celebration at Pazzo Pomodoro, our favorite NoVA restaurant, with many friends. Rebecca Hall, our financial planner, kindly made all of the arrangements and provided us with this lovely celebration.
I am hoping that the title for my next block post is “We got our visas!”
Praying for the visa. So fun to be at the party!
So glad that you were in town and could pop in!
It was good to just now read your update. Excited for your next step! We are hoping to spend Christmas in Bologna this year so we are hoping to link up with you on that trip!
Bologna is such a nice town – and some of the best food in all of Italy! Let us know as it gets closer and we can plan to come to Bologna, meet in Florence, or you could travel to Lucca. 🙂