Saturday, 5 May 2012

Visa time!

So I now have my American Visa!  :)
I went down to London with my Dad for a couple of days to have my Visa interview. We travelled down on the train on the Tuesday afternoon and after navigating the underground like pro's ("we need the light blue line going towards the North..."), we found our hotel which was really nice! We quickly dropped off our bags and headed back out to catch a show. When we got to Leicester Square we decided to watch the Phantom of the Opera because we had both always wanted to see it. We bought the tickets at the theatre, got some tea then headed back to watch the show!

The Phantom of the Opera was amazing! So glad we watched it! After the show we had a few drinks in a bar in Leicester Square before heading back to the hotel for an early start for my embassy appointment in the morning.

On the Wednesday morning we were up early to head out to the American Embassy, and of course it was pouring down! After a bit of help from google maps we found the embassy and I went to get some spare passport photo's done in case the digital photo that I had uploaded to the website wasn't right. Then I went to queue up outside the embassy.

We had to queue up on the street in front of the embassy and have my paperwork checked by staff, then queue some more and have my paperwork checked again by a security person. This is where my Dad had to leave the queue because only the person applying for the visa is allowed into the embassy. Then I had to go through a security hut. It reminded me of airport security inside, lots of security guards and we had to walk through a metal detector type thing while our bags went through a scanner. After this I was inside the gates of the embassy and had to walk round to the visa entrance, walking past lots of armed security men. It was all very strict!

When I got inside I had to show my paperwork again to the receptionist who gave me a number and told me to take a seat in the next room to wait for my number to be called. The waiting room was huge and was very, very busy. I managed to find a seat and sat waiting for my number to be called/show up on the screen. You are not allowed to take your phone, i-pod, camera or anything electrical at all inside the embassy so it was a bit boring waiting. I did take a book in with me but I was scared of missing my number on the screen if I read it! After a while my number was called and I was asked to go to window 5. Here I was asked for my paperwork and passport for the final time and was then told to take a seat again to wait for my number to be called for my interview.

This was a longer wait but not as long as I was expecting as I had heard of some people being there for 5 or 6 hours! This time I was called to window 20. Even though I knew there was no reason for them to reject my visa I was still nervous walking to the window! When I got there the man was really friendly and asked me what role I had been given at Disney. Then he asked what I was studying in the UK and what I planned to do when I got home. The he simply said 'that's great, I've approved your visa. Say hello to Mickey for me!' And that was it, after all the waiting and worrying about the interview it lasted no longer than 60seconds and my visa was approved! I organised my passport delivery and left the embassy, I couldn't believe how easy it was! I arrived at the embassy at 10.15 and was out by 12.00.

Because I was finished so early at the embassy, we decided to watch another show as out train home was only later on that night. We made our way back to Leicester Square and decided to watch Les Miserables. We had both seen Les Miserables before but both really love it so we wanted to watch it again!

Les Miserables was fantastic again! I could watch it over and over and never get bored! We still had some time to spare so we did the tourist thing and visited almost all of the London landmarks in an afternoon!

So in just over 24 hours we had watched 2 musicals, had a visa interview at the American Embassy and visited the majority of the major London landmarks!  I really enjoyed it, thanks Dad! :)

Leanne x

Disney Birthday!

On Friday 13th April I finally turned 21! And of course everything was Disney! I woke up to find a giant Minnie Mouse balloon smiling at me :)

Minnie Mouse Balloon!

I got some amazing presents from my Mum, Dad and brother including my very own Minnie Mouse teddy! She is coming with me to Florida!

Minnie Mouse 

Minnie Mouse :)

All of my family and friends came round for drinks to celebrate! Thank you so much to my family and friends who helped to make my birthday really special and thank you so much for all of the lovely gifts, cards and money :)

Even my birthday cake had Minnie ears!
I had an amazing night with my family and friends and because I am going to Florida (and I am a little bit mad about Disney!) we all wore Minnie Mouse ears!

Me and my friends then got on the disco bus into town, don't think I've ever laughed as much! And we got a few funny looks... and free drinks with our Minnie ears on! 

Leanne x