In Hot Pursuit

Today my husband and I went straight over to the County Recorder’s Office after work and got three copies of our marriage license for my passport and visa paperwork.This might sound easy, but we’re coming back from a honeymoon in Hawai’i that was very active and put us a good five hours behind our normal work/sleep schedule. We work hard and we … crash hard. We were exhausted today, and I was at the end of my rope energy and pleasantness-wise. Luckily, my hubby is steadfast and was too silly from his sleepiness to pay attention to my grousing.

Aside from being the love of my life and a fantastic human being, he also is a man of not one, not two, but three nationalities! That’s right: He was born in Canada giving him a Canadian nationality and passport; his mother was born in England, giving him United Kingdom citizenship, a British passport, and European Union connections; and his father is American, so my husband was able to move to the States with no hassles, no visas, and barely a border check with his American passport. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a registered, card-carrying member of the Pottawatomie Tribe? Yeah, that’s right. He’s a total stud. It’s a good thing he loves to travel, or all those awesome keys to various kingdoms would be wasted!

Though I am French at heart (but American by heritage and upbringing), I have but one measly passport to my name, and it has recently expired. The shame! Actually, it’s fairly convenient as we recently got married, and I would have had to put in for a name change on my old passport anyway. But I’ve got one (well several really) up on my husband: I’ve lived in France twice and visited St. Petersburg and most of Western Europe. He’s traveled a good deal in Europe and went to school in Scotland for a few years, but my old passport has a long-stay visa for France, an Assistantship visa, and a visa to enter Russia as a tourist, along with many stamps of various European countries that ended up wasting precious visa space (brushes off shoulders).

I’ve filled out my passport renewal paperwork, gotten my name-change papers copied, and taken new passport-sized photos (and coughed up $170 bucks) to get an expedited passport with fifty-two glorious pages that will allow travel, exploration, and proof of my identity in lands far and wide (especially France, of course) for the next ten years! My husband, for his part, has tied up loose ends going through the process of renewing his British passport for our voyage. This included getting a British citizen to vouch for his Britishness, filling out the necessary documents, and forking over a chunk of change.

In addition to our paperwork completing, obtaining, and sending prowess, my husband and I are being savvy about our spending (especially now that we’re wed and back from our honeymoon) and spent a mere $1.80 for a sandwich that fed both of us. “How’s that?” you might ask, agape at our brilliant thrift. Giftcards, my friend, giftcards well-used from two years ago were the key. Team IvElise: 1, Expensive-and-Tempting-Food: 0.

Once we both have our passports in our hot little hands, the next step will be preparing for and going down to the French Consulate in Houston to apply for a Spousal Visa for me to remain in France for more than three months. We’ll leave a paperwork trail for thousands of miles in the end, but were on the path to success and looking straight ahead at the goal.


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