Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How we are getting to Korea

I am scheduling this to post on Tuesday during the first leg of our journey to Korea.  By the time you are reading this we are probably already on the airplane, or sitting in an airport!

Since I talked to a lot of people and got some great advice, I knew there was a lot that I needed to do in order to get us ready to go to Korea.  We sent a shipment of around 700 pounds of our household goods that the Air Force shipped for us.  The rest of our entire house of furniture and belongings went into a storage unit in Virginia.  Now that it has been a few months, I actually can't really remember exactly what we sent to Korea!!  :)   I know I sent just a few plates, cups, utensils, sheets, towels, etc.  I also sent a baby swing, bumbo chair, bouncy seat, and pack and play.  There was one tub each of clothes for the children, and one tub of clothes for me.  Marshall added some stuff to, but not much- he mostly carried what he wanted when he left instead of sending it in the shipment.

I also had to get our medical records from Langley.  They burned them onto a disk for us to print out whenever we needed copies.  We got updated vaccination records to take.  We may need the medical records in case we need to see a doc in Korea- on or off base. There were no special vaccinations required to travel to Korea.

I got conflicting reports about whether or not we would need a visa before we left.  The type of Visa we will be getting is the A-3 Visa, which is for military dependents.  We are eligible for that type even though we are not going Non-Command Sponsored to Korea.  We have 30 days to get the visa after we arrive in the country, and there is an office that issues them at Osan AB.  Otherwise, without the visa you can stay on a tourist entry for 90 days (that is what Mom is doing- staying 2 weeks).

The biggest hurdle for us what determining when we'd be able to leave.  We had to wait to get our hands on a passport for Maverick, and in order to complete the passport application you have to have the birth certificate and Social Security card.  Luckily for us the SS card came within a few weeks after he was born.  I drove to Richmond to pick up his birth certificate rather than waiting for it to be mailed, because they said it would take 4 to 6 weeks.  We also had to get a decent photo for the passport application.  I have to say, the photo requirements for infants are a bit ridiculous.  You can't be holding them, they have to be awake, mouth closed, eyes open, and the lighting and head proportions have to be exactly right.  I draped a white sheet over his buzzy chair at home and took the pictures myself with my digital camera.  Then I edited them using one of the many free websites that meets the passport guidelines.  Once we applied for his passport (and paid extra to expedite it) Mom and I went online and bought our tickets.   I was expecting that we would leave in early November, and it worked out perfectly!

I have to say- without the support of my family there is no way that I would have survived the last 2 months, or the trip to Korea.  My Mom is flying with me to help with the kids and staying for 2 weeks to help us get settled. I don't know WHAT IN THE WORLD I was thinking, thinking that I could do it by myself.  Who knows, maybe it wouldn't be that bad....but I can't imagine how I would take care of Mdx and Mav....taking her potty, changing his diapers, feeding both of them, keeping her busy and out of other people's hair, not to mention getting any luggage through the airport!!  I know I'll have to do it by myself to leave Korea, but I'm not even going to think about that right now.  :)

So, we leave RDU Nov 2nd early morning, and land in Detroit.  We have a 4 hour layover in DTW before we leave for the 16 hour flight to Seoul.  It's going to be GREAT!  I can't wait!

1 comment:

Marshall McIntyre said...

Your time on a plane is about equal to my time in airports for my flight out here. However, I didnt have 2 kids, so you win the BA award!