I started out my 2017 in Wisconsin, where I stayed for a whole month while waiting for my visa. Here are some things I enjoyed doing during my time in America (besides the obvious- spending time with family).
-Getting to spend quality time with my baby Buttercup. I’ve been so dog deprived in France!
-Going with Jenna to see the touring Broadway play of the Sound of Music. It’s one of my favorite movies and it was great live.
-Getting to catch up with my friend Elvera. She drove all the way from Madison 3 times to hang out because she's cool like that.
-Cleaning out our basement. Yes, this was actually fun for me. I wish I could have done more. We’ve lived in our same house for 24 YEARS, and have accumulated a lot of junk. I felt like an archeologist digging through layers of different eras. I threw away a lot of VHS tapes and other 90s memorabilia, and found some gems from my childhood to keep.
-Watching lots of American TV. I’ll miss you TLC channel, and all of your shows about wedding dresses and weird people. Until next year, old friend.
-The French visa process going smoothly. Maybe because I’m a pessimist, but it was a little scary to have no control over when I could see my husband again- and not even knowing 100% that my visa would be approved. Thankfully, everything went well and it didn't take long at all for the visa to be processed.
-Finally getting snow the week before I left! Pretty much no one loves winter and snow more than me, so I’m glad Wisconsin came through for me.
And now that I've been back in France for a week, here are a few things I'm looking forward to in the coming months:
-My cousin Brittany visiting at the end of February. We’ll spend 3 days in Paris, go with David to Milan for the weekend, and then spend a few days touring around where we live in the South of France.
-After I take Brittany back to Paris for her flight, I’m doing a 1 night solo trip to Bruges, Belgium! It’s a city I’ve wanted to see for a few years, so I’m making in happen since I’ll already be up north.
-Another weekend in London at the beginning of April. We liked it so much in December, we had to go back! The flights are cheap, so why not?
-My whole family visiting at the end of May!! As of now, the tentative plan is to meet up in Geneva, Switzerland, spend some time around our home turf in France, and then hit up Venice, Florence, and Siena in Italy! It will be an epic family reunion.
-Our honeymoon in Greece in June! I know it’s obnoxious, but all of these things really do deserve exclamation marks, so you’re going to have to deal with it. We’re so excited to relax and sightsee around a new country together.
-I’m also looking forward to small road trips around southern France. And spending lots of time at the beach this summer. Also, any other travels we’re able to afford and squeeze in would be a bonus. I’d love to do Israel and a few places in Eastern/Central Europe (Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow). David is dying to go to Vienna.
So what else is new for the Rubinos?
We’re planning on finding a new apartment soon and will hopefully be moving to Cannes. Obviously living rent-free was worth it, but I’m ready to leave our small town and to have more privacy and control over our own place.
Now that I have the visa (well, first I need to have it validated and do a medical visit- could take another month or 2), I can also look for some kind of job. Really not sure how that will go or what I will find... but I will see what's out there.