Well, we did it! We've got our CESEDA L315-1 visas in hand, finally!
What, exactly, this means, I'm not sure though; the nice fellow at the French consulate said the Paris prefectures have been acting odd lately, denying people their actual residency cards once they arrive.
"Hold on a minute here," I said to Monsieur Calvet. "We're packing up our entire lives and moving to France and you're saying we may not have a legal right to reside or work there?!"
"Fingers crossed," he said, gesturing with two hands and four fingers in a manner that did not instill confidence. "Call me if there is any problem, but you should be OK."
Well, fuck it. We're still going.
To celebrate, we went to Bruno's for Coral's going-away party. Coral, who just turned 20, is the daughter of one of our oldest and dearest friends, Candace. We've known Coral since she was in her mother's womb, and have loved her to bits since we first held her tiny body in our arms all those years ago.
When Coral was nine, we took her to France with us for vacation. We had a lot of fun doing really goofy things, like spending all day at Disneyland Paris just to ride a total of three rides. (But the It's A Small World ride was worth all that standing in line, just for the look on that kid's face.)
Now, Coral is making her first trip back to Europe to accomplish two specific goals: 1. To get some chef's training at a French culinary academy, and 2. To spend some time working on an organic farm as part of the WWOOF program. She'll be gone three months, and we'll be meeting up with her in Paris in July before she heads back home.
Bruno's, by the way, has a very vegan-friendly bar menu: fried okra, french fries, and hushpuppies, for starters, and pints of beer are only $3 during happy hour.
p.s. The red beret was our bon voyage gift to Coral; I'd told her I had something silly for her, and she was sure it was going to be a bottle of that mustard salad dressing we ate at every picnic during that long-ago vacation. I wish I'd thought of that!