Saturday, January 27, 2007

We're Booked!

Anna has two different weeks of holiday breaks of school coming up. We decided that we'd take her somewhere vs sitting around the house not doing anything. We thought, why not a cruise? We have been on a few and thought this would be a great thing for us to do. She has never been. She could go and do her own thing and we could too. I looked around and found one of the most inexpensive ones I could find and then upgraded a bit. I then talked to her about it and told her that she could bring a friend if she could find someone to split the bill. At this point, I only half heartedly looked into it and came up with a price. I told her what it would cost each of them. I thought there was only a slight chance of this friend going but to my surprise, she and her parents said yes. Yeah! Now I'm excited.

Having an exchange student, there are certain things we must do. On any trip we take, we need to gather signatures of each of us, her parents and our rep. After all this paperwork is done, it is sent to DC where they keep it on file. With Anna being from Taiwan, she needs a visa to get into the Bahamas. Although, the cruise line said no she wouldn't since we're only going to be there less than 24 hours. However, the Bahamas Embassy in Miami said that yes, she does need one. So, after going back and forth with all these people, trying to decide if she needed one or not, we sent in a money order to the tune of $55 to get the said visa. Anyway, we should get her visa next week and the three of us will be set. Now, to her friend, Sarah. She doesn't have a passport because it has been lost. She applied for a new one last Wednesday so hopefully it will only take a couple weeks to get it. Neither does she have a certified birth certificate. She has a photo copy of it. See, she was born in Germany at a military base so it's a bit complicated. She has also requested one so hopefully she'll be able to get at least one of them before we go. We also ran into the new rule of needing a passport to get into the Bahamas but also found out that if you go by ship or boat and not air, you won't need it until next year. Good news. I also need to get both sets of parents to sign a note authorizing me to take their kids out of the country. Having one set in Taiwan who doesn't speak English all that well is a bit tricky. Hopefully I'll be receiving an email from them soon and that will suffice. I surely hope it doesn't need to be notarized or anything like that. Back when I first thought of this idea, it didn't occur to me that we'd need to be jumping through hoops just to go on a short cruise. Oh well, at least, I hope, we'll be all set once we get there and they let us on the boat. I can hardly wait to go.

For the second week she is off, we have made arrangements for her to stay at my friend's house. We have decided to go on another cruise, just Matt and me. Although it's a bit late, we're still calling it our anniversary trip. Since we had to find an "e" ending trip, we decided on Maui in Hawaii. Well, we're actually island hopping on another cruise. I can't wait for this one either. We haven't booked it yet but will probably in the next couple of weeks. This will also be our final trip as a couple before our trip to China to get our little girl.


Yes, Minister... said...

That is SO cool! We are cruising next Saturday to Mexico and it is dirt cheap! :-) LiLi and Ian have activities and so do we. Anna will have a blast! So will you guys :-) I'm just glad to hear that you won't be sitting around the house!


Lisa and Doug said...

Once you get through all these hoops, it will be all worth it! You are going to have a blast on both trips!

Mick & James said...

What fun!
Bring back lots of pictures and stories. LOL

Colleen said...

I LOVE vacations! How fun. Jim and I have had...oh...3 or 4 "last trips" before Hannah. HA!!!! And we have yet another at the end of March. Unbelievable.

Leda Perry said...

Wow, that is awesome! Wish I could go!