After all the stress and worry over our acte de mariage, two of the three packages ended up showing up Wednesday afternoon, so we had more than enough copies for the Consulate and I was thankfully able to sleep on Wednesday night as a result. The appointment couldn't have gone better. We showed up about 10 minutes before our scheduled appointment, as they requested, and we were out of there less than 20 minutes later. We had no problems, they didn't ask for any documents that weren't on the list (even though I brought my entire life just in case), they were quite nice and efficient and I must say it was my quickest and most pleasant encounter ever with French administration. Now I just have to wait to get my passport back in the mail with my visa in it. I should have it in the next three weeks and then I will be good to go!
After the appointment Friday morning we spent the day in the freezing cold and rain exploring Chicago since Lionel had never been. We also did a fair amount of eating and shopping in an attempt to warm up, but overall we enjoyed the day. We checked out the Magnificent Mile and Water Tower Place and spent some time exploring Grant Park and we had time to grab lunch at a Thai/Chinese place I had found years ago on one of my visa trips and really enjoyed. For dinner we did some Chicago style deep dish pizza at Giordano's and then grabbed a drink before heading to bed early for an early start Saturday morning.
view from in front of the French Consulate building
visiting Grant Park
along the river
Water Tower Place and the old water tower that survived the Great Fire of 1871
along the river in the rain
Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate (though it looks like a giant metal bean to me)
trying out Chicago style deep dish pizza
the green river for St. Patrick's Day
freezing our butts off while checking out the green river
a green fountain for St. Patrick's Day
visiting Lake Michigan all decked out for St. Patrick's Day
a cute bar we went to, I just loved the decor
waiting for the river dyeing in the freezing cold
Lionel all ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day
Overall our weekend in Chicago was incredible, despite the less than stellar weather, and it was a wonderful way to start my 30s!