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Showing posts from 2015

They Hide Them

You may be wondering, "hide what exactly"? Well, as a British Expat in the US, after a while you discover which shops sell British goodies, specifically food. Usually the store will have an international/ethnic aisle and that is where all of the British food will be. Sometimes however, the store will have a British aisle but it will also place British food/sweets around the store intermingled in with American foods.


Here is an example. This afternoon I went out to Southern Season and took these photos. I went to the British aisle where I took the first photo but I then wandered around the store for a little while and discovered little gems hidden in other places. I ended up buying a couple chocolate bars and a pack of Jaffa Cakes.

So, next time you are in a food store that sells British food, look around a bit and you may find other goodies.













Summer,....is hot,....and long,....really, really long.

We are approaching the halfway point between my kids finishing their last year of school and them starting their next year of school. From their last day in 4th and 5th grade to their last day of summer break before starting 5th and 6th grade, they have 75 days of summer break. 10 weeks and 5 days, or 2 months 14 days off school. I recall feeling my summer break was too long when I was a kid and I only got 6 weeks off. I think my mother would have lost her mind if I had had a summer break as long as my kids have. I guess I can sort of understand why they do it. When the days are normally in the mid 90s to low 100s fahrenheit throughout the months of June, July and August, you don't really want kids sitting around in class. The cost of running the a/c in schools would probably be astronomical. Plus there are so many summer camps around that parents, if they can afford it, can send their kiddos to day camp, week long sleepaway camp or even a month long sleepaway camp. My 2 have not …

Continuing the Adventure. I am working! Sort of.

We have been in the US for 5 1/2 years and green card holders for almost 6 months. I have had work authorisation since August 2014 and 3 weeks ago I did my first ever day of paid employment. I spent close to 12 hours on the set of a television show. A new HBO show called Vice Principals is being filmed in the Charleston area and I signed up to be an extra. I worked each of the first 3 Sundays of May and I will be working again this coming Friday on an overnight shoot. The pay is not brilliant, but I am not really doing it for the money. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to be earning money in my own right, but I honestly am doing it for the experience of working and seeing a television show being made. It truly does take a village. The wardrobe guy reminds me of J.J. Abrams. One of the props guys reminds me of Andrew Scott (played Moriarty in the BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch). If I am totally honest I had never really heard of Danny McBride, the writer and star of the show,…

Sun, Horses & Free Beer

Living here means we get to see things in person that we would most likely only get to see on television.


The Budweiser Clydesdales are traveling the country and they have been in the Charleston area over the last few days. They were at Patriots Point yesterday but it was chucking it down with rain and thoroughly miserable. We stayed home and watched Marvel movies instead in preparation for watching Avengers: Age of Ultron next weekend.


Today was a glorious day. Blue skies. Sun shining. Temperatures
nearing 90F. So, we went out to Daniel Island to see the Clydesdales as they were doing a parade and delivering cases of Budweiser to businesses along the route. They were giving away free drinks (water, coke, diet coke, Budweiser, Bud Light) and kettle corn. I found out the kettle corn was free after K ran off towards the stand to find out how much it was and came back with a big bag of it saying "it is free!"


The horses were taken out of their air-conditioned trucks and
hitche…

Time for a Name Change?

No, I am not going to change my name. I am considering either changing the name of this here blog or, alternatively, creating a whole new blog. The primary reason for that is simply down to the fact that in just under 5 years we can start the process to become American citizens. This blog is about being a British Expat in the US and the "adventures" we get up to and how we adjust to living here being foreign. We are still foreign but will soon be citizens. We are at the start of becoming Americans. I think I would like to document the process. Don't get me wrong I will still be British. I will still be very proud to be British. (It is quite a process you have to go through to officially renounce your British citizenship). However, I love living here and I will be very proud the day I can also call myself an American. I have already had a letter from the President, did I tell you that already?  I would very much like to be able to vote for a President. All being well that…

Banking Makes Me Feel Old

That was banking, with a b.
When I was a kid I had my first ever bank account, a Young Saver account, with TSB. I could withdraw my money any time I wanted to, as long as the branch was open. Actually, thinking about it, I don't think I ever actually closed that account. It probably had about 57p in it and has long since been shut down by the bank themselves.
Anyway, now that we have our green cards, yay, I feel it is time to close the kids savings accounts that they have in the UK. No point having money in a country that is theirs and they can't get to it. When I left the UK I put my mother in law in control of it so she could deposit money and receive their annual statements etc. So, I am going to ask her to close the accounts, note how much Z has an how much K has, and transfer the money over to the US. Today I decided to make inquiries at 2 banks here in Mount Pleasant to see what facilities they have for children's savings/money. As I had to go to my bank to deposit …

APPROVED!

WE’VE GOT OUR GREEN CARDS!!!!  

Good things come to those who wait….and don’t give up….and are as stubborn as a mule! (That would be me) 

I have been banging on about wanting this to happen since I was a teenager. It has taken a LONG time to get to this stage. There have been loads of people who have helped us, and a couple people who did not help. So many forms which have had to be completed. So many documents have had to be collected, or notarized, or verified, or have equivalency tests done on them. 



Combined I have had close to 90 texts or emails from USCIS. To go from enjoying living here but with the nagging worry that it could all come to a crashing halt, to now just being able to enjoy living here, is a wonderful feeling. Now we are done with USCIS, well, until we need to replace the kids green cards when they turn 14, and then again when we apply for citizenship. I’m not sure what to do with myself now that I no longer need to check our case status online 900 times a day, and sp…

Another Road Trip

Since we arrived in the US we have made a point of traveling and seeing as much of it as possible. After all, until we have the green cards in our hands, we have no idea how long we will be here. Plus traveling places in the US from the US is a lot cheaper than doing it from the UK!
This past weekend for example we drove to Florida and visited Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
We went to the beach in Jacksonville and then to the Tallahassee Museum. (Ben built their website). 
There is still a lot of the US left to visit and hopefully we will travel during the year. A drive in the car for a few hours is cheaper than flying, and not too stressful when the kids have something to occupy themselves.
(In our case Z & K entertained themselves watching movies on the iPad and reading magazines).