Marry a Frenchman and you can get a Visa in 5 days.
At least that was my good fortune (marrying the Frenchman and getting the Visa quickly). After worrying for a year, and really anxious in the last two months after getting married via a French civil ceremony, I showed up at the French Consulate in Washington, D.C., handed over my documents, and received my Visa via the mail in 5 days.
Waiting to approach the Frenchman at the window in the Consulate, I was very nervous. Everyone seemed to have some complications–waited too long to apply for an upcoming trip; forgot documents; didn’t meet financial requirements; had over-stayed passport, etc. But I had everything in order, and as the spouse of a French national, the man took one look at my documents, had another lady review them, and told me he would get my back to France and my husband in short order.
Sigh. It’s over. And they stamped my application to get my carte de séjour. I’ll soon be a permanent resident with healthcare and the privilege to work!
I’m behind in posts. I’ve been in France one week as of today. The week leading up, as you can imagine, was busy. So much to do.
I’ll catch up this week. I promise. For tonight (yes it is 10 o’clock in France; 6 hours ahead), I’ll just say, I had bacon and eggs for dinner. Yumm. The fact that after one week I am writing about American food should reveal something. It was welcome to have something familiar.
Sunday–5 days until France.
Friday, 15 of my dear friends joined me for dinner at a great local restaurant to say “bon voyage.” It was terrific! I felt so special to know that these beautiful women are my friends. Some are closer than others, but as I told them, collectively they have been a strong support group for me.
So I had an idea. I didn’t want them to buy me gifts. No room to pack them. So I gave each of them a gift. But rather than buying gift, I gave each of them something special that belongs to me; something that would make them think of me. I carefully chose each item and thoughtfully decided who would get it.
A doily that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Where ever I’ve lived, it always has a pillar candle resting in the center.
A decorative clay vase I bought while traveling in Jordan.
A piece of pottery I made several years ago (during my primitive stage).
A tuscan-style vase and pitcher that I displayed in an alcove in my kitchen.
A hand-tooled leather handbag, antiquish, that always hung on my vanity mirror.
A necklace I bought in Jordan (for my friend who loves chunky jewelry and makes her own).
A print I bought in Paris.
A book, “The Elements of Style,” for my friend who is just starting her writing career. My favorite writing book. It was in my suitcase and ready to go to France. I can get another.
I was so excited to share these treasures with my friends. It makes me feel as though I’ve left a piece of me with them, so I’m not really leaving them. And I wanted each of them to know how special they are to me.
Bon Voyage, dear friends. You all better visit me in the French Riviera!
In exactly one week from today I will be arriving in Marseille. Need I write more?!