This photo is from March of 2010, just over 3 months BEFORE we left for France. It was taken in San Francisco in front of the French Consulate, where we had to go to get our visas to live in France. Many aspects about this were either challenging or frustrating, the biggest of which was having to travel from Seattle to San Francisco to apply for visas. Another included the challenge of getting appointments. We had to make a specific appointment for each one of the four of us and due to the nature of the scheduling, one appointment was before lunch and three of them were after lunch. Fortunately, once we were there they processed all four of us during the first appointment.
Another, um, interesting thing was being told that we were applying about 5 days early for visas. Technically, no one is eligible for a visa more than 90 days ahead of their arrival date. Not knowing this, we had timed our trip to coincide with the spring break at PSCS, thus making it so Melinda and I wouldn’t miss any work and the girls wouldn’t miss any school. Given that, we could have been turned down and told to return, all four of us, a week later. Fortunately, we weren’t made to do that. But when our visas were granted and our passports returned, the visa expiration date stamped in them was a couple of weeks earlier than we requested. That showed us.
Speaking of this picture, I think it’s pretty awful of me but it’s one of my favorites of Melinda. I think she is absolutely gorgeous, just like in real life.