Sunday, December 31, 2006

Waiting for the airplane

Well, we're packed and ready to go. Just waiting for Brendan's mum to pick us up at 4am and take us to the airport - all-nighters required. Starting to feel a bit tired. But I've never been out of the country before, so I can't help feeling a bit excited as well. Ida and Tara sat and watched us pack all our stuff into one of the HUGE suitcases Brendan's dad gave us, and laughed at us. And told us we should travel to our wedding on the bus. Um, no. Sorry guys.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Email from Fed-Ex

Fed-Ex emailed Brendan today. The certificates must be in the mail.

We're travelling to Sydney on New Year's Day for a family funeral. So the travel blog will be added to sooner than thought, possibly. Except I'm really sick, I picked up something just before Christmas. If I'm no better by tomorrow the doctor tells me I have to go to hospital so really hoping that doesn't happen! I think I've drunk 4 litres of water today... sick of water... and I actually stayed in bed for almost an entire day! I dislike not doing anything productive, but I really don't want to get any sicker as several weeks in hospital would be disastrous on a number of fronts.

If anyone has Uncle Phil's email address or other contact details, please let me know ASAP. Thanks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

AIPT forms have been finalised!

Wow, AIPT emailed today to ask when we wanted to leave, as they had finalised our certificates and just needed to print the date. That's so quick! I expected it would take 4-6 weeks, and it's only taken about a week and a half. The certificates of sponsorship (and our visas) basically start from this date, so it's important. AIPT suggested January 1st (!!), but that's too soon for us so Brendan asked for the 22nd of Jan. This hopefully will give us time to go up to the consulate and get ourselves organised (and clean the study!). This is very exciting... it's starting to seem a bit more real, but not much.... I think it will be more real when we get on the plane. So at present, this is our official leaving date.

But we can't buy the tickets until we have the visas in our hands. It's going be a bit more expensive, unfortunately.

Also, I need to train someone new for my work (and get through all the hard stuff so they don't have to do it for a long time, i.e. until they understand it enough). I'm going to miss some of the people there a lot, they're lovely. And I'm especially disappointed I didn't get more time to do comms work, because I was looking forward to it so much! But I'm sure I'll get to do it in San Jose.

Again, if anyone knows of cheap shipping... we would fight to the death if there was only one laptop. I suggested this yesterday, and Brendan made the saddest puppy-face: "But we can't play games!" And now I have my new red graphics card, (birthday pressie from Brendan), I would miss playing Oblivion too much. Even if all the dungeon monsters have completely upgraded while I was doing the Arena quests, and now I'm too weak as a mage - the dinosaur things just swipe at me and breathe fire and I fall over dead. And I got asked to join the Dark Brotherhood, and I don't want to.

Also I have to finish wedding planning before we leave, or at least do the bulk of the organising. Luckily this has been OK so far because I've spent a year doing the research, so now I have a fairly good idea of what I want. A sophisticated, elegant wedding, with a black and white theme. (Brendan's word - elegant.) It's just a matter of a.) working out the details, and b.) trying to co-ordinate people to definitely do it. Although the two main venues are booked, which is the most important thing. And yes, I will probably leave my shoes and dress in NZ. Thanks to all those people who have offered to look after it! The lovely ladies at my church have offered to give me a kitchen tea in January, which will be very exciting!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Visa Applications ready for "Final" Approval

According to an email I received today, the visa applications have finished the "Initial Review" process, and are ready for "Final Review" and approval.

I have no idea how long the final review takes, but wow, that was quick!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Next Two Months

As the major purpose of this Blog is to keep everyone updated about our time in California I thought it would be worth providing a break down of what our plans are over the next couple of months.

First of all, for anyone who isn't aware, as I've scored an internship with IBM US, we are moving to San Jose California for around 18 months. At this point we expect to leave in late January, or possibly early February. It all depends on how long the visa process takes. I know that I'll be working here, at IBM's Almaden Research Center, but I have only a vague idea of what I'll be doing. I'd tell you what Tina's doing, but she has access to the blog as well so she can tell you herself :)

We've just yesterday sent the Visa application away, and the next step is to wait for AIPT (the organisation IBM pays to organise Visas) to send us back certificates saying they will "sponsor" us. We then have to take those certificates up to the US Consulate in Auckland, which will issue the actual Visas.

Once we have the Visa's we are free to leave and can book the air tickets. We originally thought we wouldn't need to worry about the cost of these tickets as IBM would provide "relocation costs". As it turns out they do provide the relocation costs, but not until after we arrive in the US. Nice one.

So we have some serious saving to do between now and then as we not only have to pay for the plane tickets, but also alot of random wedding costs along the way. As we're leaving in January, and the wedding is in April, we have to organise all the details in advance (yes, we are coming back in April for the wedding).

The last major thing to do before we leave is to shift all our crap out of the flat and into storage, and pack everything up ready to leave. We have already encountered one potential issue: shipping our computers to the US looks like it will cost an absolute fortune (around $400), but we can't afford to buy new ones over there! If anyone knows how to get cheaper shipping rates, please let us know :)

And of course, we have to clean the flat between then and now. For those who know us, rest assured that Before and After pictures of the study will be posted for your enjoyment. Although the pictures would be more dramatic if Tina hadn't already started cleaning little bits of if (yesterday she found her desk under the paper, with a little more time and the use of a shovel, we may soon find the floor!).

Right, that's all. I should be working...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Yay, Brendan is sending our visa off today! Although it apparently takes 4- 6 weeks for AIPT to process it. I really hope they take a much shorter time than that. We could have done it yesterday but we forgot to include the photocopy of my passport. I really dislike that photo, it makes me look old. I didn't believe everyone who said passport photos are "immune to the power of makeup".