June 30 we had both of our visa applications done and submitted online. Once that is done, then they require you to get your biometrics taken at an application support center. Basically, they take your picture and fingerprints. I’m sure you can guess that there are no support centers in Harrisonburg. It was either Norfolk or Alexandria.
I finished my application first and thought I chose the 11:00am appointment…apparently it was the noon appointment. When Sean submitted his, this only appointment available for July 5 was 10am. If you are familiar with Northern VA traffic, you know that 10 is the end of rush hour. But that means we would have to go through rush hour, and that made me VERY nervous. We were given advice and finally decided on leaving Harrisonburg at 6am. I thought 6:30 would be fine but didn’t want to risk it.
We hit the Manassas area around 7:40ish and it still wasn’t bad traffic. I don’t remember when it started to get really heavy, but when it did, I hauled it over to HOV. I couldn’t believe how many cars we ended up passing while we were in that lane. It came at a cost though. There was a dump truck with rocks and my poor car was pelted for a good 30 seconds before I could get out of the way. Try to dodge flying rocks on 66 at 8am when nearing the beltway…impossible. I guess it was around MM 60 when I went from HOV to far right lane in anticipation of getting on 495. I didn’t want to miss it! And I wanted away from evil rock truck.
Of course, I’m about to get on the ramp and we hear sirens and see lights behind us. No, not a cop (and trust me, I wouldn’t be who they would have gotten) but an ambulance! A nice one too. He was in the left lane and people actually got over! I was shocked. People in Harrisonburg don’t move over, but people in rush hour do?! Craziness! He even got to cut through traffic to get on 495…right behind me. There’s nowhere to go on a ramp. So I just got on and merged when I could and moved left. Turns out there’s a hospital shortly after we got on 495 so they weren’t there long.
495 was easy and so was 95. No issues at all. I couldn’t believe how relatively stress-less this trip was. We were tired (but Sean slept a little) but we made it! We got to Alexandria at 8:30ish am. His appointment is at 10am, mine at noon. So, I went to McDonalds and had pancakes because I was starving and there wasn’t an IHOP around. I try not to eat at McDonalds, but it was that or Burger King. Pick your poison. Once done, I figured we might as well go. So we got to the support center at 9:15. We checked in and there were people waiting to take people back. We were both in and out in 5 minutes…done before our appointment time!
We parked in the shade to see what we could do in NoVa. I had the day off, Sean was getting his second wind and I did not just want to turn around and drive home. So, we waiting til 10am and got a cupcake at Occasionally Cakes (right across from the center!) and then headed to Manassas. We’ve been looking for a solid black tie for Sean and found one at Burlington Coat Factory! We then had lunch at Logans and then headed home.
After that long story, like us, we wait!