Up early this morning – which was difficult after our late night the night before. It took quite a bit of effort to wake Andres up and he was very grumpy after we did.
When we had emailed Patti at the Australian Embassy the previous week, she had let us know that visa hours were between 9am and 10am – although we could arrive later if we wanted, we would just need to call her when we arrived to get security to let us in. We decided it would just be easier to get there early, then we’d have the rest of the day to relax.
We headed downstairs to breakfast, even though they don’t do room service, the Holiday Inn Express still puts on a decent breakfast buffet. We filled ourselves up and then got ready to head out.
By the time we managed to wrangle the kids into getting ready to leave, we were running a bit late, so it was a bit of a rush. I ended up putting Andres on my shoulders and we did a fast walk around to the embassy. At least having been there before, we knew where to go! It was a 25 minute fast walk from the Holiday Inn Express to the Australian Embassy building – at least it was flat with well paved footpaths.
We managed to get there in time, so after cooling down for a few minutes, we headed up to the visa office and waited for Patti to get our visa organised. There was a little concern about the short validity of Nicol’s emergency passport, but they just changed the validity of the visa to match that of the passport and seemed to be happy with that. We were heading home the next day, so we wouldn’t need the several months allowed on the visa anyway.
Finally we were done and officially ready to return to Australia. We said goodbye to Patti and headed back downstairs.
We celebrated by stopping at the Starbucks across the road and getting hot chocolates and muffins – we relaxed there for a while, relieved that the official part of the journey was over (other than actually getting Nicol into Australia – but a visa issued by the Australian embassy should cause no problems).
We made our way back towards the hotel, stopping to buy some baby wipes for the trip home and then stopping at a playground for an hour or so, so that Andres could burn off some energy. Once again, he had no trouble making friends!
We eventually got back to the hotel and bought some sandwiches for lunch. They were still cleaning our room, so we sat down in the lobby for a while first.
Andres was pretty much asleep by the time we got back to the room, so I put him into bed and let him sleep for a while. We were planning on going out for dinner, so would be up late anyway – I figured it was better that he has some sleep now so he wasn’t impossible later.
That evening, we walked around to Ruby Tuesday’s. It felt a bit like a celebration, we were finally on our way home – all the official tasks were complete – and we hadn’t really been out for dinner as a family in quite a few weeks. We also remembered a bit later that today was “Andres day” anyway – even more reason to celebrate. It was on this day three years ago that Andres became part of our family.
We enjoyed our meal, although I think we did order a bit too much food – but hey, it was a celebration.
We eventually headed back to the hotel and after convincing the kids to go to bed, we finished packing ready for the final leg of our trip.