House Arrest

COVID put a pause on everything, sort of.  As with everyone else, our lives were put on pause for much of the spring.  After the initial fear of the unknown, the constant washing of hands and surfaces, staying inside basically 24 hours a day, and everything else that gripped society for March and April, things started to get a little bit of clarity in terms of where everything was and where everything was going.  Once it became clear that the “new normal” was going to last a long while, that helped inform the decision making process.  For one, it made it easier to go to Hawaii, as I knew there wouldn’t be any depositions or hearings or meetings that would necessitate me being on the mainland.  So I did that, for a month in April-May, and for another month in June.  Since I was under quarantine for the first two weeks each time, I used the time to clear a weedy area on one of the lots, clearing it all the way down to the lava (the photos below are before and after), and I think it turned out pretty well.

For two, it didn’t stop the Tenerife process, because we figured no first world country was going to be more ill-prepared than the US, which was pushing drinking bleach and other inane “solutions.” From what I’d read, the timing on getting the visa from the Spanish consulate was on the order of 2-3 months.  So I figured if we wanted to be in Spain by the time of the November elections – when I sure as hell did not want to be in the US – applying around the beginning of July would be sensical.  Also, we both wanted to be in Vienna for Christmas for the third year in a row, assuming that would be feasible even if we made it to Europe in time. I pinged the Spanish consulate in early July, asking how process was changed because of COVID.  Not only was there not bad news, the news was actually positive.  Instead of having to make an appointment for an in-person meeting, everything would be sent via email.  In theory at least, this sounded much easier.  So I started process of gathering documents, getting background checks, getting insurance, getting health screenings, etc.

During the process I came across David Ruiz at Torrevieja Translations, and he was very helpful on the process, plus had some contacts as well, including insurance for people attempting to procure a visa.  We got health insurance from someone he recommended, and it was shocking how inexpensive it was relative to either private healthcare or Obamacare.  I took care of everything in about one week, but then we waited for the California Secretary of State to return Crystal’s background check.  I got mine back in short order, but we waited a couple weeks for Crystal’s.  Eventually, she inquired, and it turns out someone had screwed something up in uploading her information (not sure if it was a typo or something else), so she never got entered into the system, and had to start all over again.  Once she got that, we got the insurance.  We had to get insurance before starting the process, i.e., we had to show we already had insurance, so we just guessed and put down October for when we’d actually be traveling to Spain, figuring it wouldn't be before that.

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