Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family Visit & Spanish Consulate Visit

Of course, the time we decide to visit the states, Air France goes on strike and of course, we are flying Air France for part of our flight.  We had to keep an eye on flights the week prior to our departure and every day the flight from Toulouse to Paris had been cancelled.  I checked taking the train up to Paris the day before and it looked like it might be a good option as our flight from Paris to the states was on Delta, so it wasn't going to be cancelled.  We just needed to get to Paris.  On Friday, I called Air France/Delta and asked if the flight was going to be cancelled on Sunday, they told me that it would NOT be cancelled.  That they were going to open it up, because it had been cancelled all week.  Well that's good news, until Saturday morning when I received a text from Air France telling me that our flight on Sunday was cancelled.  It was now too late to take the train to Paris.  We needed to get to the states, as we had things to do to get our Visa application ready in Michigan and then we had an appointment at the Spanish Consulate in Chicago.

So we decided to rent a car and drive to Paris, as it's only 6 hours away.  We'd stay at the airport and then get our flight the next day to Detroit.  So that's what we did.  We made it to Paris and then made our flight from Paris to Detroit on Sunday.  Whew.

We stayed with my sister, her husband, their 2 kids and their fantastic bulldog.  I haven't seen my sister in almost 3 years, which is crazy.  I speak to her at least once a week, sometimes more though, but it was so good to see her, she's my best friend.  We always have such good laughs.

Bruce very happy at the Taco Truck in Michigan

Me, Bruce and my 15 year old nephew

Bruce and Kumar (the coolest Bulldog)

We had dinner with my brother, his wife, their 2 kids and my Mom.  Then dinner with my Mom again another night.  But mostly we hung out with my sister, who was such a great help with getting everything for our VISA.  I won't go into all the things we needed, but it's extensive.

We spent 3 nights in Michigan and then took the Amtrak to Chicago.  Bruce had never been to Chicago, so he was pretty excited.  We rented an apartment in the Gold Coast area, super close to everything.  The weather was also warm and sunny, which was really nice.

Our appointment at the Spanish Consulate was nothing like our experience at the French Consulate. They were friendly, nice, they smiled, they spoke to us, asked us questions about our life, why Spain, etc....the French, not so much.  They told us that it would be 8-12 weeks before we got an answer - but our guy did tell us that our application looked incredible and he didn't see any problem with us getting a Visa.  We left the consulate feeling pretty good.

We had a great time in Chicago, we ate sushi 3 nights out of the 4.  Seriously.  It was so amazing and good.  We went for runs along Lakeshore Drive, visited the museum, and did some serious shopping. We left Chicago, feeling pretty confident that in 8-12 weeks we'd be back to pick up our Visa.

We didn't bring our camera to Chicago so no pictures of that.  Thanks to my sisters iphone we at least have a few shots of our visit in Michigan.

I will report that Delta/Air France has taken very good care of us and the inconvenience that the strike had on us.  They reimbursed us for 1/4 of our flight - to cover the Toulouse-Paris flight and reimbursed us for our rental car, hotel at the airport and dinner that night.  Very pleased with that!


Betty Carlson said...

That is pretty amazing that Delta reimbursed you for the expenses incurred. I have fortunately never been hung up in a strike for international travel and, if I come to think of it, have managed to slip through for domestic air travel. I have had to change plans a few times for train strikes, though.

Our Juicy Life said...

Betty - it is amazing, we were very surprised. The initially said they would reimburse us 40 euros each and I complained and they came through.