Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Boy, it’s been nearly a month since my last post. In that time I have interviewed, dreamed about what I could do with my pay, ridden my bike a lot, flew to another country without my passport, gone to the beach, and gotten a bit of a tan. I also got to hang out with a pretty cool three year old who has discovered, “What?” and its cousin, “Why?”, much to her mother’s and my dismay.

I’ve spent some time sewing, spent some money, hung out, and went to my mother’s wedding reception (the wedding was in Vegas, before I got my passport back). Life has been pretty awesome, but I’ve been too lazy to write in the blog. I’ll catch up soon, hopefully with pictures.

Can’t wait to get back to my husband, my pillow, another pair of shoes (who brings only one pair of shoes on vacation, the pair that still needs breaking in?), and our garden. I wonder how much it’s grown? I hope the peas are flowering, I’m definitely looking forward to that.

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Wedding Bells

Less than a week to the big day! I have a lot to do today, call a hair stylist, take my wedding dress to the cleaner, figure out how to get an American appliance to work here on 220V (yes, I know, a converter. still have to make sure I have the right adaptors, too, it was bought in Spain), vacuum the bedroom, make the list of people to send invites to, whether or not they’re actually coming to the wedding, give myself a pedicure (is it too early to do that?) and decide which of the borrowed jewelry I will wear with the dress. Oh, and find a piercing shop to have my old septum ring put back in, unless I decide to have a gold one made.


Here are my lovely wedding bell earrings. They even jingle!

I can’t wait to be able to show off the wedding rings our friend made!

We had been pretty bummed because we didn’t think we’d be able to have any family members out here for the wedding, ticket prices being what they are, but last week we got great news: both moms can make it! Not everyone is able to make it out here but for they who can’t there is streaming video hosted by the registry office. Sweet! Both moms arrive on Friday morning, within an hour of each other, at distant airports. So the meet-n-greet will have to take place back at the house, not at an airport or major transport hub since neither of the airports easily link up to the same hub. : ( Guess we’ll all just have to wait a little longer. I kind of fancied a big meeting at King’s Cross, myself.

I suspect this week will be a blur of minutes and hours and preparation and worry over what must get done and then the day will be here and gone and we’ll wonder where it all went!

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When I arrived in London I had possession of four bags, two of which contained 89.4 lbs of stuff in them by themselves. Traveling from Heathrow Airport to East Dulwich is no picnic, especially when you’re trying to transport a wheeled duffle bag, a giant camping backpack (bigger than dude-sized as the boyfriend said when he put it on), a little blue wheeled cart, a messenger bag and a cardboard bike box. The bike box wasn’t in oversized luggage and I discovered that it had come in on the flight behind me. This was glorious news! Instead of taking an extremely expensive cab, we were able to take public transportation all the way back home. It was an exhausting trip, especially as he had to wake up at an ungodly hour and I arrived at a slightly less ungodly hour.

The next morning we awoke to a voice mail message saying they’d tried to deliver it at 11:09 p.m. the night before. And thus began a five-day wrangle for my bike box, which also contained an afghan my mother crocheted, an awesome 70s pillow I found in the garage, a flannel duvet cover, four sweaters and various bike-related kit. It finally arrived two nights ago!

Apparently the box rated an inspection, as did the wheeled duffle bag, and I’m missing a present that I brought over for the boyfriend. Coincidence?

We made the popcorn and cranberry garland for the Christmas tree!

I wrapped the tubing, put in dropout spacers, did everything I could think of to protect this bike! And there’s my Mashton bag by Archie’s Grobags.

And aaaaaaall put together! We’ve been riding around in the cold and the rain since we put it together but it’s EFFING cold out and I think I might need more woolen layers before I can expect myself to ride every day. Still, it is so very lovely to be riding my bike again, terrible cold weather or no.

Found this video after hearing the song on BBC6 today.

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I’ll be back in baby’s arms this time tomorrow!

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We were preparing ourselves for an extremely long wait to hear back regarding my fiancee visa – we had been told 4-6 weeks by the visa company and up to 12 weeks by the British Consulate’s web site. WorldBridge informed us, after I sent the application in, that bank statements printed from the internet were unacceptable and the British Consulate’s phone service indicated long wait times for visa due to a “technical fault”. When I sent in the application, on a Friday, I chose Express Mail, and only after paying for the service was I informed that the package would arrive on Saturday, by noon.

Saturday? It can’t arrive on Saturday! It’s a Consulate! No one will be there! Then, when realizing we’d done something wrong (bank statements), I decided that our only hope was for no one at the consulate to pick it up until Wednesday, at which time it would be returned to me. Many tense trackings later, I discovered Tuesday that it had been signed for at noon the day before. Despair. Oh my god, what if the visa person is having a bad day? Will they deny it out right or actually call me and ask me to addend my application with the correct paperwork? A great flurry of anxiety was born, twin columns on either side of the Atlantic until sleep extinguished them.

Wednesday morning, an email! Our application has been approved and the visa issued! What? How can that be? Can we believe it? It seemed a little anticlimactic, considering the froth of fear we had whipped up. But who knows when it will actually be sent to me. It could take days, it could take…no, there’s no way it could possibly take weeks.

Thursday morning, a phone call! UPS has a package that must be signed for, please be available to receive it. Raptures! Could it be my visa? A quick enumeration of various items I have recently ordered shows there to be none which would require a signature or be forthcoming. It must be my visa! Waiting, waiting, waiting, yet another drive to JoAnn’s Fabrics (what seems like the 10th trip in the past week), look up whenever a large vehicle’s engine is heard, cut fabric, mark fabric, sew fabric (wedding dress, you know), and then….

And then! The big brown truck! I fly out of the house and hop around in front of the delivery person. “Is that from Chicago?” “Let’s see, no…Tampa.” “Oh no!” “No, I’m kidding, it’s from the British Consulate? You were just so excited I couldn’t help myself.” “I’M GETTING MARRIED! That’s my visa!” “Ohhh, congratulations!”

Sign, run, rip, out falls paperwork and wonder of wonders, my passport. With my visa inside. It says Marriage/CP. No work or recourse to public funds. Entry Clearance!

I cannot credit how fast it all happened. I hardly believe I have it and must look at it now and again, gazing in wonderment at the slip of embossed paper pasted into the most valuable booklet I now own.

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Lately I’m whining about how hot it is, I feel like I’m melting and it’s one third of the way through November. I know I’m just being a wimp, especially after weathering supra-106 F temperatures in northern California. You want to know what it’s like to be cooked, that’s where you’ll find out. NYC and FL have nothing on those temperatures!

I didn’t manage to get more than about 15 stitches done on my cowl out west so this afternoon my grandma and I are going to this big house where a lady has offered space free of charge for people to complete craft projects. I hear tell there will be knitters present and I will be attempting to learn a different technique, in order that I may at least finish this first project and think towards the likelihood of starting a second. I suspect that I will finish this row (knit, slip, knit, slip, … swap!) and then switch to one plain old stitch so I don’t have to count. It’s too much for my brain at this early stage.

Mom and I have been making…well, let’s take a step back. A lot has changed, again. Two and a half months ago I thought I was back Stateside for good but just didn’t give the situation long enough to play out. At the end of this week I send in my visa application to the British Consulate in Chicago. I have a vintage pattern for a wedding dress, I have beautiful blue silk taffeta for a wedding dress, and my mom and I are sewing up a storm.

For those uninitiated into the ways of vintage patterns (*holds up hand*) they are MUCH more detailed than modern ones. I have never seen so many pressings, so many measurings, so many ripping-outs of details than I have with this dress. Which is why I’m glad Mom was too scared to cut into silk without first doing a mock up. Then, there is the why of my conviction, every time I get near a sewing machine, that clothes will just come spewing out of it wholly made. We have a number of items of clothing to complete. I’m only sure we’ll finish the mock-up and wedding dress but desperately want to finish at least one of the skirts as well before I am allowed to return to England (please, please let me come back!) and everything else will be finished and posted within months.

Kept hearing this song out in CA, thought it sounded like Metric, heard it on the radio here and looked it up to verify. It is. Guess they’ve really made it now.

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With another plane trip in the works, travel preparations have been in high gear, as are my fears that I will forget something. I’ve made a list, and checked it thrice, but now that a friend has alerted me to the fact that my thrice-checked acupuncture points tattoo is incorrect on one side, I am even more afraid that I will have left something vital off the list. But there are stores, even in rural northern California, and anything I discover I need may be purchased when I get there.

It’s too bad that I’m terrible at sewing by hand, and that it’s not as secure, because I’d love to be able to make stuff while I’m there. I will just have to content myself with knitting my cowl, which I have graciously neglected to do in order to give myself something to do out there. No phone and no internet and a mountain makes for an amazing forced break from the world but will I go insane? Only time will tell. So for now I dream of redwoods and cedars and drizzly rain and fog. I’m kinda hazy on the rest.

Portland is a bus ride away, and I have joined the fixed gear/single speed forum out there and already been offered a loaner bike when I make my way up there. That’ll make it much easier to get around, my trusty map in the back of my waistband and a non-binding itinerary in my head. I’d really like to see what that city’s like, what the people are like, how much apartments cost, what kind of jobs are available, how easy it is to get to nature, what the food’s like, the list goes on…

Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood

There’s a mountain! How ’bout that? How amazing would it be to have the opportunity to look at a mountain every time you go outside?

Willamette River

Willamette River

And a river! It looks to be about the width of the Thames, with easily tamable bridges. Lookin’ better and better!

I will have only limited internet access for the next month or more, so please bear with me and keep checking back! I’ll update as soon as I can.

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