Whitney's Visa = The Best Weekend Ever!! Part 1

 We definitely just had one of our most memorable and best weekends ever! In fact we've had a very crazy week of many joyful times. As discussed in our last blog post, Whitney had her 'Life in the UK' test coming up, which thankfully she passed!! Well done baby! This meant we could go onto apply for her 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' visa. 

This involved heading to Cardiff on the Friday (31 October) after work, as we decided to go back for the weekend than have to deal with the crazy busy immigration office in London. Since leaving Cardiff in 2011 and Whitney moving over in 2012, we haven't been back to Cardiff much and we really miss it - it was my home for 6 years and majority of our long distance! We loved being back and have no idea why we don't do it more often, so we've decided to make sure we take more trips to Cardiff.

Normally we stay with friends in Cardiff but we decided to have a hotel experience this time. We stayed at the Radisson Blu and definitely recommend it. The staff were great, our bed was super comfy, the bathrooms are awesome and the breakfast is great! Definitely opt in for B&B if you ever get the chance to stay there. Whitney wanted to steal their copper lighting.. Anyways, back to the visa!

Whitney's appointment was at 10am on the Saturday, and we had all our evidence and visa in such beautiful order thanks to our wonderful solicitor we've used for the last 3 visas! (Rees Wood Terry, based in Cardiff if you're ever looking for immigration help). With the 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' visa you have 2 options - you submit it via post and wait 6 months, whilst they retain your passports... or you pay extra for the premium service, where you have a face-to-face appointment and you find out the decision the same day! We opted for the premium service as it would be torture waiting half a year, plus we're heading to America for Christmas! I was feeling quite nervous that morning, though I know we had nothing to worry about but the thought of my wife's life in the UK and our lives together as a family was in one persons hands is just a bit daunting!!
Boy are we glad we opted for the premium service!! The staff were all really nice and within just over an hour of arriving there we were called up to the counter - we thought they had some questions for us but instead we heard the great words of "your visa has been successful!!" Whitney exclaimed out loud in joy (in a very quiet office haha) and I sat there in shock with tears. We had done it! We no longer have to worry, Whitney can stay in the UK and by my side for good. 

Time to celebrate!!

We had a great rest of a weekend in Cardiff, which involved a bit of retail therapy, as well as bumping into some lovely followers who live in Cardiff. Thanks for coming to say hi girls, it means so much to us to meet you!

 Later that day we also caught up with some good friends - a coffee at our beloved Coffee #1 (with a couple of welsh cakes) with Dean, followed by celebratory cocktails with Lee & Dave. We had a wonderful time catching up over a cocktail, discussing wedding plans (theirs next year!!) and even got to watch some of Cardiff's fireworks.

I've mentioned Lee & Dave's tea shop in Cardiff before and it's just so amazing to go back each year to see how great they're doing. They're honestly the loveliest guys ever with the loveliest tea shop - be sure to stop by Pettigrew Tea Rooms if you're ever in Cardiff and say Wegan sent you ;)

Later that eve we rushed back to the hotel, opened a bottle of Veuve de Clique that we had driven with us to Cardiff and squeezed it in their mini fridge! We made a toast to Whitney's visa and I gave Whitney another card I had been saving until later (I gave her a 'Congats' one earlier) - which made her cry, aww!

After a couple of glasses of champagne it was time to head to our celebratory dinner at Park Plaza. It was rather strange being there with my wife as I had been there on a couple of Christmas work do's when I worked in Cardiff and we were still long distance! We had a wonderful dinner (Whitney had a steak and I had pasta) and a glass of our fav red wine, Malbec. At this point we clearly should have stopped drinking, but we continued in the bar at Park Plaza- oops! A lovely couple who we met at #ROSWEGLYN live in Cardiff so we invited them to join us for a drink. It was nice to get to know "followers"... though we follow them back anyways ;) At this point of the night it was hard to get a good group pic but check them out on their instagrams (@beckyates @kasiaelstone) or youtube, they're a "lush" couple (as they would say.. lush doesn't mean a drunk FYI haha).

We ended the night with a drink at Pulse, the gay bar I used to frequent weekly and Whitney had been in there many times with me. Sadly this time it didn't feel the same at all- not sure if we're too old, grown out of it, or it's just got bad. I'm glad it's still there for LGBT people in Cardiff but it didn't have the same vibe. I also got told by a drunk guy that they'd never seen anyone have a drink with their pinky sticking out in Pulse.. well you can take the girl out of Windsor.. haha. (But was I really doing that?! Maybe I just seemed too sober).

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Cardiff- there is SO much going on, so many people, SO many shops and restaurants.. and there's even Auntie Annes pretzel stand! (Yes we had pretzels & yes they tasted just like America!) We'll definitely be returning soon!...

Sunday morning came, followed by a much-needed cooked breakfast at Radisson Blu and on the road we headed back to Windsor, but London was calling our name to head straight to the Ultimate Planet awards! As mentioned in a previous blog post, I (Megan) was honoured to be nominated as 'LBQ Role Model' of the year for the Ultimate Planet Awards!! To hear all about the awards, stay tuned for our next post!

Meanwhile, please raise a glass & join us in a toast... Cheers!


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