31 August 2010

And the packing commences...

Well, maybe not quite the packing, but the sorting has started. We've reached the 'under two weeks' mark. Yikes! All of the big, important things have been taken care of. Next I really need to go buy a very large suitcase and start packing some of the things that I know I won't be using or wearing in the next week and a half. Quite honestly, I could get a lot packed. All I really need here is a few tank tops, tee shirts, jeans, and the obvious bras and what not.

Today I went to the bank and got about two hundred more pounds. I'm definitely set for start up money once I get there. Oh, and I also unlocked my phone so it's all ready to go once I get there and buy a sim card.

Oh! I also went to get my blood work done for my thyroid work up. I hope to get those results back tomorrow so if anything is abnormal, I can talk to my doctor and try to get some medication figured out.

As for an update on the headache situation: I *think* I'm in the clear now. I had a scare yesterday - I started to feel a stage one type headache coming on, which makes me dizzy and just a little off. It ended up disappearing this morning instead of progressing into anything further. That is definitely a good sign. Hopefully tomorrow I can continue to be productive and work on the packing situation some more. As for now, off to the gym!

27 August 2010


Sorry for my lack of updates. I've spent the last two days in the emergency room and the neurologist's office because of a monster headache that I had. I can't even describe the severity of the pain - it was the worst pain of my life.

I'm finally on the mend, after about fifteen different medications. The computer is bothering my eyes though, so I haven't spent any time on it. So yeah, that's about all I have right now. Now I'm off to get some sleep, since I slept about four hours total in the past three nights. Hopefully I'll be back to life tomorrow!

23 August 2010


Maybe it was the euphoric feeling that everything is now in place. Maybe it was that I was being completely practical. Or maybe it was just that I'm a shopaholic, sometimes in recovery. But...I just had to do it. I bought them.

Aren't they purrrrdy?

I actually hadn't thought about having rain boots seriously until a couple of weeks ago *palm to face*. They really only make sense, considering London gets mainly wet and muddy in the winter rather than snowy. I have Uggs, which I'm sure I'll wear plenty, but these will be nice for when it's especially wet and sloppy out there. Plus, they'll look super cute with my millions of pairs of skinny jeans!

I was very town between these, the plain red ones, and the classic hunter green. I think I made the right choice...we shall see when they arrive.


Finally! I can finally say that my ducks are now all in a row...I have my loans, I have my accommodation, and I now have my VISA! I just received an email from the consulate this morning stating that my visa application has been approved and they are next day airing all of my stuff to me, including my passport with the visa sticker.

For those curious about the time frame:

5 August: Biometrics appointment, mailed off completed application to Chicago consulate
10 August: Received email from consulate stating that my application had been received and was being reviewed
23 August: Received email from consulate stating that my application was successful, visa was issued, and package was next day aired to me
24 August: Should receive my packet back, including my passport with the issued visa

It has been stressful, but now I can officially just be excited to move in THREE WEEKS. Holy cow. I see a lot of laundry, packing, unpacking, repacking, and tears in my future!

21 August 2010

Hello, Saturday!

Well, another week goes by without a word from the consulate. //sigh.

I guess it has been eight business days since they received it..."normal" wait time this time of year is supposedly five to ten business days. I'm trying not to absolutely freak until it has been ten working days! It's just getting a little nerve wrecking for me...I leave in a little over three weeks! ARGH.

It's hard to be super excited when I still don't have permission to enter the country...

18 August 2010


Back to my regularly scheduled program today, and I like it. I woke up, hung out with my brother for a bit, went to the gym, showered, took the dogs to the park, and have been doing other odds and ends since then. Tomorrow I'm going to get my grocery shopping done.

Still no word on my visa. It has been six working days since I received the confirmation that they received the application. They said the average waiting time right now is five to ten working days, so I'm still within the normal range. Hopefully I'll hear this week, though!

17 August 2010

Back to real life!

Well, that was one crazy week! I saw Ed off to the airport in Chicago this morning, and then spent the rest of the day in Chicago by myself. Let's's a little recap of what we did.

Tuesday night: he got in and I went to Chicago to pick him up. Luggage was lost, so we got wayyy behind schedule. By the time we got out of the city we were famished, and the only place that was open was Denny's. So yes, his first meal on his American vacation was a good old Belgian waffle at Denny's, haha. Such is life. Got home LATE, went to bed.
Wednesday: we spent the day relaxing and just hanging out. That ended up working out since we had to stick close by in case his luggage came, and it was a little stormy that day as well. We did go out to lunch at the Cheetah, so I did get a good gourmet meal in his belly...brisket sandwich. :)
Thursday: was a beach day! I took him over to Holland to Kirk Park, which is stunningly beautiful. It was a completely clear, sunny day; and hot. We went and swam for quite a while...he loved the lake and couldn't believe it was actually a lake and not the ocean. The water was 78 degrees...crazy! After beaching for a few hours, we came back to GR and got all showered up for dinner with my family. My parents came over, and we all went out to Bistro Bella Vita downtown. We had a delicious meal, a few good drinks, and then headed to Hopcat for some microbrews. After all that, we came home and watched the new Jersey Shore, ha! I've got him hooked on it.
Friday: we said goodbye to my parents and then headed out for lunch at Rose's. It was such a nice lunch, the sun was out but it wasn't too hot yet. We sat out on the deck and just enjoyed each other's company and the good food. After lunch, we went to see Inception, which we were both dying to see. We had waited to see it until we could do it together, because Leonardo Dicaprio is our favorite actor. It was GOOD, I loved it. Finally, later that night, we went out with one of my very closest friends Liz and her boyfriend Sam to dinner. We went to Olive's and had a few drinks and yummy food, as always. After that, we came back home and met up with Brett before going downtown to the bars. We took him to McFadden's and the Viceroy...definitely had a lot of fun. Then we all grabbed coney dogs outside the bars after last call, hah. We got home around 3:30am and went to bed at 4.
Saturday: once we got moving (I was up at 8, he was up at 11, yikes!) we decided to drive back to the east side of the state for a couple days. I didn't really have much more to show him in Grand Rapids, and while relaxing days would've been fine, I really wanted to take him out on the boat. So, we left for PH at about noon, got there around 3pm. Later that night, we went to dinner at the Vintage, which is obviously always a hit. I got my usual - salad and sweet potato fries. He got the lamb chops. He said he really liked them, so that's good. :) We came back to the house and just hung out and watched movies for a while until hitting the sack.
Sunday: we woke up pretty early and got a start on our boating day. We were pretty much out of the house by 10:30...we left with my Dad and Case and the boat, and met my mom down at the dock. The water was STUNNING - I've never seen such a perfect day for boating. We ended up swinging down by Kim's house on the lake and stayed for some drinks (yes, it was before noon, lol) and chit chat. Then we all decided we should go down to the river to see the Float Down (yearly event) and then go to lunch. We ended up at Quay. After that, we came back home, took some quick naps, and then got back on the road to GR.
Monday: was our whirlwind tour day of Chicago! We left the house around 8:30am, got some breakfast, and then drove to Kalamazoo to catch the train down. It was running about 45 minutes late, so that was lame, but we ended up getting to Chicago around noon. From the station, we cabbed it to our hotel, which was beautiful and in a wonderful block from the Magnificent Mile. As soon as we put our bags down, we ventured out into the city. It was a lovely day, about 83 degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny! First we needed food, so we walked around and stopped at The Emerald Loop, which is close to the river. It was surprisingly very good...we didn't have super high expectations because we just walked to the first semi-interesting place we saw since we were so hungry and desperate for food. After lunch and a drink, we headed to Millennium Park and I showed him the bean and the outdoor theater. After that, we walked to Navy Pier and took in the sites and ate some ice cream. Finally, we walked back to the hotel to freshen up a bit and get ready for the Cubbies game. We went down to Wrigleyville for some pre-game drinks at the Sports Corner bar. They have summer shandy on draft...I couldn't even say no. We also went and bought a couple Cubs t-shirts to wear to the game, so we definitely looked the part! The Cubs ended up losing, but he loved Wrigley and the seats were good so the game was fun to watch. We had a few more beers at the game (of course) and he made sure to get a hot dog. After the game, we got back to the hotel and ended up just having a couple drinks at the bar there. We actually met a very strange but talkative man who bought us a round, I think just to have people around to talk to. He was quite the character. Once his date finally showed up, they wanted us to go bar hopping with them but then they kept making fun of our Cubs tees. They were both very pretentious and wouldn't let it go! Um yeah, we just got back from the baseball game you fools! We ended up making an excuse and just going up to the room and fell asleep in the ridiculously soft beds.
And finally, Tuesday: we had to wake up this morning at 5:30 to get him in a cab for O'Hare in time for his 9:00 flight. It was a fun week, but the goodbye wasn't too sad...considering I'll be seeing him in less than a month! After he left, I went to the gym and got my workout in. Then I showered, slept for a bit, then woke up and got ready. I shopped for a while (H&M, ahhh) and then got a bite to eat for lunch. I was still tired after that, so I had another nap, checked out of the room, and then headed back to Millennium Park. Equipped with a few magazines, I laid in the park and just chilled for about two hours or so. Then I got an early dinner so I wouldn't be hungry on the train, and cabbed to Union Station. Wow, getting on the train in Chicago is a LOT different than getting on in Kalamazoo. It was crazy. But I finally got on, and I just got home about an hour ago.

So what a crazy week, and you can see by my description! I was kind of worried that we hadn't done enough, but now that I typed that all out I'd say we were pretty busy bodies. I'm very glad he came, and I'm already getting excited about seeing him in a few weeks.
Back to normal life tomorrow, after a nice sleep-in. I'll need to get to the gym, grocery shop, do some reading, etc. Off to bed now so I have the energy!

13 August 2010


Just a quick drive by post:

Everything is going well. I heard back via email that the office received my application; haven't heard on a final result yet. Ed is here and we've had a nice time so far. We are getting ready right now for a night out on the town with my friends and my brother. Tomorrow we're going home until Sunday night, and Monday morning we leave for Chicago. Yesterday we went to the beach and it was beautiful! We also went out to dinner and drinks with my family, it was quite nice. The only snag so far has been that they initially lost his luggage and it took two and a half days to get here...super lame. Good thing I have a brother just about his size. :) It did finally come and he's comfortably back in his own clothes!

Will update in a few days...

08 August 2010

Nothing new!

No new updates yet. I'm hoping I get a confirmation email that they received my visa application tomorrow. From what I've read online, people usually receive this email in 1-2 days.

I can not WAIT to have my visa in hand. Five weeks from tomorrow!

05 August 2010


I had my biometrics appointment today at noon. I got there at about 11:50 and was out before noon...much easier than I anticipated! I was the only person in there. All they did was take my fingerprints (twice) and a picture for a face scan. They stamped my appointment confirmation sheet and off I went.

After my appointment, I went straight to the post office and mailed off my entire visa application to the British consulate in Chicago! It is a little nerve wracking to put your only passport and original college transcript in an envelope to send off...eek! But hopefully I'll get those back within the next couple weeks and I'll be all set to go.

39 more days. :)

02 August 2010


My loan letter is officially here. At last. I'm completely ready for my biometrics appointment on Thursday, and right after that I can send in my entire visa application and hopefully get it back within 10 business days! Then I will be 100% set to GO. It feels so good to have most of the biggest obstacles taken care of. The visa application should be very standard and there is no reason it should be rejected, so I'm not too worried about it...but it will be nice when it comes back done and set.

Off to help my mom at the club for the afternoon...I still need to get a few things done in the next couple days before heading back to GR.