31 August 2010

10 days until lift-off.

I cannot believe that I only have 10 days left. Yesterday, while I was taking the ferry from New London, CT to Orient Point, LI (I'm on the island visiting family), I started a final checklist. Yes, final. The last checklist I will make before leaving for the UK. And the reason I started to freak out about leaving while I was on a friggin boat in the Long Island Sound.

1. Print out tenancy agreement as proof of residence.
2. Double-check weight of baggage
3. Print out itinerary for flight
4. Pack alarm clock in carry-on
5. Check UK customs page for items 'ok' to bring (amazed that I still have not done this)
6. Breathe. Stop freaking out.
7. Get another set of passport photos for ID cards
8. Get international driver's license
9. Make sure passport, proofs of stuff (residence, money) and Oyster card are packed/accessible
10. Breathe. Stop freaking out.

Yes. I really wrote that last one twice because I will need to be reminded to breathe and stop freaking out, and I don't trust my parents to remind me.

It still doesn't feel real, and I'm leaving in 10 days. How is that possible?

29 August 2010

Last day at EXP.

The day started at 5:15am. Rolled out of bed, slipped on some sandals, got in my car, drove to Dunkin Donuts (necessary when awake so early...I'm going to die in vet school), and then drove to work. It was a day filled with dressing mannequins, hanging posters, moving fixtures, arranging denim and dressing more mannequins.

I did a lot of undressing and re-dressing of those pasty white mannequins. My thumbs hurt from buttoning all those size 0 denim leggings that almost don't fit the girls mannequins.

It was bittersweet. I will miss the ease of it all...mostly because I knew what I was doing while I was there, for the most part. And I will miss the people. My work family was so supportive throughout my application process and they were almost as excited as I was when I got into RVC. Plus, EXP is a great company to work for (and the discount isn't half bad, either).

12 days until my flight leaves. I'm half-packed and almost ready to go...and I don't think it's really fully hit me yet.

24 August 2010

"Your visa has been issued."

Sweeter words were never spoken in the English language.

Ok, that's not true. But I'm a very happy girl right now. After all that worry I had (for no reason, I realize now...hindsight. Gotta love it), everything is going smoothly. 17 days left until my flight, and all that's left to do now is pack, go to my last day at work this Friday, and spend time with family and friends.

22 August 2010

And in other news...

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post with this important announcement: if I never have to see another girl in cowboy boots and a pair of cut-off jean shorts with a plaid shirt tied midriff, or a guy in overalls and boots without a shirt, it will be too soon. Countryfest @ Gillette Stadium = nightmare, especially if one works at a retail store within the plaza. Holy F$*# it was terrible.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post...

I got my confirmation email this morning from the NY visa office saying that my visa application is safe and being processed. Should take another week or two to get approved/denied (dear LORD if it doesn't I'll punch a baby). Odd, though, that the email was sent on a Saturday. Maybe they work 6 days a week?

17 August 2010


I really need to learn how to sit back and relax in certain situations. Example one: waiting for my visa to start getting processed. I stupidly did not ask for return receipt or certified mail, so there is no way to know if it got lost in the mail or if it arrived safely to the NY visa office. Unfortunately, WorldBridge is not allowed to say anything about visa information that has been sent to the UKBA offices, so even they can't tell me if it's been received or not.

Sigh. This will be lesson one in patience, then.


Ok, ok. It's more like lesson #295721 in patience.

11 August 2010

What's left?

So I have one month left until I leave the States for a longish while (at least until Christmas). Looking back at my list I made in a post a while back (click here to read), I realize: I've done everything that I needed to do. Luggage set? Check. One even has clothes in it already! Gasp! Plane ticket? Check. Organize room? Check. I even painted it and redecorated a bit! I feel so accomplished. Apply for loans/visa? Check and check. I sent out the paperwork today, and I feel as if I won't really rest easy until my passport is back in my possession. But yeah, pretty much the only thing I have left to do is pack and um...leave. And work the odd weekend at EXP.

I feel a sense of accomplishment and yet...it is overshadowed by the overwhelming weight of the fact that I'm leaving in only one month. I have this weird combination of anxiety, nostalgia, and exhilaration going on in my brain and unfortunately, I don't really know how to process it yet.

Tomorrow is Wednesday aka Hump Day. I have two more working days this week and then I will be able to hang out with my family in Maryland and remember great stuff about the people we've lost and maybe, finally, take bets and nail down a list of which of the cousins will get married (first to last). We talked about it last September at my uncle's wake (odd, yes, but it took our minds off of the heavy stuff for a while) and I'm pleased to say that they all thought that I would be smack dab in the middle of everyone. The reason? "You've got too much to do, with vet school and all, to get married any time soon." Aw, how I love them. They know me so well. I can't wait to see them and drink and swim and do silly things. We will giggle, snort, sing, play...I can't wait. It will be fabulous. Sad, but fabulous.

07 August 2010

34 days: Letter's in!

The official copy of the letter is in. It's all nice and shiny and sparkly...ok, not really. But it did give me a sense of completion. I have everything needed for my visa application. There is a little hiccup with the actual application, since I have no idea where my passport was issued (it asks for place of issue, there is none listed on the passport). I listed it as Providence, RI, since this is where I applied for my passport...but apparently it's the regional office location that issues it. I talked to WorldBridge, the visa info service, and they basically said you can make corrections to the hard copy of the application. I just need to put a little blurb about why I corrected it. No biggie.

And tomorrow starts my last week at Express! Well, not really. I'll be working occasional days to give the other managers a break while they find my replacement. Plus, I could use the money. I just hope I have enough to cover expenses until I can get my loan check (which I found out today wouldn't happen until at least 28 September).

Also, random...I have found a downside to owning a Mac. Most (read: all) of the videos on the Blackboard website for RVC needs a windows plugin for my Quicktime that I can't find. I'll have to keep looking when I have more time.

03 August 2010

Visa application: complete.

Huge sigh. My visa application is finally complete and paid for, and it was much pricier than I expected. I guess the fees went up since the last time I checked ($330USD,...I think my future children just lost out on their college funds). On the upside, at least it's completed, right? And I have all my supplemental documents...except my financial aid award letter. I'm still (im)patiently waiting for that to arrive via FedEx. I do have the letter from the Direct Loan office regarding the amount of my PLUS loan, but I'm 99.9% sure that it's not the one I need to supply with my visa application.

So now, the only thing I have left to do is get my biometrics taken (next Monday), and pack for London. 38 days left to go...