Mission accomplished

Yesterday was the big interview at the US Embassy.  It took a couple of hours but we are in 🙂

We (Vicky and Simon) stayed in London on Tuesday night to ensure that we could get to the embassy nice and early – appointment was for 8am – we were there at 7:40.  We were given a ticket (number N115 if it matters) and we began to wait.  The counters opened at 8:10am and in honesty they were really quick. 25 minutes later we were called up, and the lady began to process our documents.  And then the question came – “where is your kajdhfdskjf878?” Simon’s classic response – “erm, what?”.  Then she checked the documents again and then said that we had been given the wrong ticket – we are there for an E2 Visa and not a standard N visa… Great, so we had to go back to the beginning and start again.

So, we now had ticket E903 (again, for those who are interested) and then sussed out that although there were 8 counters open, and only 2 people in front of us (E900 was already done, and E901 was just starting), we found that ONLY ONE of the damned counters were doing E2 visas!!!

So, 45 minutes later and we were being seen.  All systems go, and we would be getting the second interview shortly.  a further 30 minutes and we were given the all clear, asked to pay $420 and then a further £35 for delivering the passports back to us in 10 days 🙂

As well as this – we saw Dermot O’Leary applying for a visa of some description

So, we are all set now.

We have also figured out that HSBC offer some bank accounts that we can use to minimise the cost of money transfers between UK and US – so we have an appointment setup to proceed (subject to all being satisfactory of course)

The letting agent came around today and will be coming back in the next week or so to take photos and measure up etc.

Now all we need is for a buyer for the cars…..

Taking it easy…

We all went swimming this morning.

We just played at home all afternoon and got an early night – well the boys did.

We have packed up the crystal tonight and sorted through Elliot’s old clothes to set Olly up with a few and to figure what is left and then prepare to move it on.  There is an awful lot unfortunately – we definitely spent a lot of cash on designer clothes and the like.  Oh well, can’t take it with us…

No sale yet…

The 7 has been on sale for 6 days and not a single bite 🙁  Wondering whether the £14k is too much obviously – but think not – think it is just a case of big car takes time…. Hoping anyway..

We have made good progress during the week with a realtor in the bay area so hopefully our home will be much easier and quicker to locate when we head out there in a month. Visa interview this Weds and then we are all set.

We are thinking that we will take not much with us and hence minimise on what we end up shipping out to CA.  Just about toys and clothes really. Oh, and Simon’s computers…

Swimming tomorrow morning hopefully.

Another weekend dispatched :-( Great time though

Matt, Sara and the girls came over on Saturday and stayed overnight.  We polished off a couple of bottles of very nice Red Cabernet Sauvignon, half a bottle of Sambuca – clearly we had an ace time. 🙂

Elliot came back into his mummy and daddy’s bedroom with Jessica in tow, explaining to his parents that he had found his best friend and that they were going to watch Lightning McQueen and play with stickers 🙂

The 7 series is now officially up for sale 🙁 – it has (or shortly will) make an appearance on Autotrader for the next 3 weeks – hopefully this will be enough. please cross your fingers for us on a quick, efficient sale.

The small cosmetic damage to the 7 was put right by Grant from GHL Bodyworks in Ossett.  He did a terrific job and charged a VERY reasonable price.  Took two days and he earned himself a 18% bonus in beer tokens – really pleased with the work.

Olly has begun to move around a little finally – he kind of shuffles on his bum when he is sat upright.  He is also feeling better again although has returned to requiring feeding in the night etc.

Elliot and mummy seem to be coming down with a cold – and daddy has whinged on about a throat complication – painful swallowing which makes eating and drinking painful.

Simon and Oliver’s passports arrived at the end of last week so we are all set for the home search trip to CA.  We have also got an interview date for the US embassy for the Visa for Vicky and Simon – so we are heading nicely in the right direction.

Finally, it rained heavily on Friday night and we woke up on Saturday with pretty much NO snow left – the original snowman is still there although looks more like a large football at the minute.  The back garden is extremely waterlogged however – I guess this is to be expected given the amount of snow and the rapid nature of thawing

Finding a realtor in CA

We have now been in contact with a realtor in the bay area who now has as many bits of information as Simon could jot down.  We are now simply awaiting them to get back to us with what they propose that we do and what it will cost us.  They seem to charge anywhere between $500 and $1000 per day for their “services” and hopefully they will be advising us of what those services are.  The alternative is to go through good ld Craig’s list a few days before setting off and arranging our own viewings etc.  Incidentally we will probably do that as well.

Simon’s car is in being repaired following the little scuff it was treated to on New Year’s Eve 🙁  Should be back in our custody by tomorrow afternoon.

Simon and Oliver’s passports came through a couple of days ago and Grandma has kindly offered to sort out the ESTA online for us all.  We have also got through a date for the interview at the US embassy – Vicky and Simon need to attend – the boys are not needed since they are under 14.  SO, with luck, we will be mostly sorted before the end of January and then hopefully we will just need to get the paperwork in the passports and we will be all set.  Just got the house here in the UK to figure out – rent or leave empty.

Delayed Birthday Celebrations (weather related) Happy Birthday Granddad :-)

We all wish you a wonderful 42nd birthday – even though it is 3 days late 🙂

We managed to get the US Visa application photographs taken successfully today, so we are just awaiting Daddy’s and Olly’s passports to arrive and then we will be ready to rock and roll.

The snow is still here just in case you were wondering – we think a little has now melted but the drive and road out to the main road is still white and very slippery.  The car is actually struggling more today than it did when the snow fell initially.

The last few nights has seen the temperature drop to under -5 degrees Celsius here in Ossett, and has been as low as -13 degrees over near Manchester.  Frighteningly cold that 🙁

Elliot looks so grown up in his school uniform – we will take a picture and post it for all to see what we mean.