"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations."
What a journey it has been over the past year, and specifically 2021. At the end of November we announced that Randy had made the decision to play for the Copenhagen Towers, again! We are so excited for the upcoming season! Back in November, March seemed pretty far off for Randy to be leaving, well here we are!
At the end of January we were waiting for Randy's visa process to begin so he could go through all the steps to have his visa sent to Denmark to be approved. On Thursday, February 4th we finally got word that the application had been complete and submitted. This meant that Randy had a two week time period to go to the VFS Global official in DC, Houston, Chicago, San Fran. or NYC, and get all of his biometrics done to then have the visa sent off for approval. We also had a previous trip planned with my family to go to Maui, Hawaii, departing on Monday the 8th and returning Sunday the 14th. That meant one week of appointment opportunities would not be available. Randy was feeling a little pressure with the time crunch. DC would be the closest and easiest office to get too, but their first available appointment was the following Tuesday Feb. 9th, when we would be in Maui.
I jump on the website and saw there was an appointment available in NYC the next day, Friday, February 5th at 11am. Crazy enough, Randy and I packed up in an hour and were on the road to NYC. To make sure everything would go smoothly Randy called the VFS office and asked about their Covid rules, it also stated on their website that they would ask him the normal Covid heath questions and take his temperature, that was it. We also called the hotel we were going to book and asked if we there were any quarantine rules, they told us we would be fine. We were not even going to be in NYC for a total of 24 hours.
We made it to NYC in under 10 hours and walked around Time Square at 12:30am. There were a total of 5 people in Time Square, we had never seen anything like. It was a really cool experience, and something we know we will not experience again.
Friday morning we woke up, packed up and walked to VFS Global. Randy walked into the building to check in and let them know he had arrived for his appointment. The "security guard/secretary" on the bottom floor started to ask Randy a few questions, specifically when we had arrived and if we had quarantined. These were different questions then what we had been told and saw on the website. After we informed him that we had not been there for 4 days and not quarantined, he told Randy that he was not going to be able to go upstairs for his appointment. He said we could come back in an hour and talk to the manager. We were devastated. We didnt know what to do. We had just driven ten hours, twenty hours round trip...for no reason!
We walked down 5th Ave. to Central Park. Randy made many phone calls trying to decide what to do.
New York City is one of my most favorite places in the world. It had snowed just a few days prior and the city was still so white and beautiful. We walked through Central Park in the snow and tried to soak in all the views before we walked back to talk to the manager and then make the drive back to NC.
The manager was very nice and extremely helpful. Randy was not able to go upstairs for his appointment, but they were able to schedule an appointment for him in DC for Tuesday 16th once we returned from Maui.
After lunch in the city, we made the drive back to North Carolina.
Early Monday morning after watching the Super Bowl, Go Buccs! We hopped on a plane to spend a week in beautiful Maui Hawaii.
Friday morning while we were in Maui, Randy received a phone call saying his appointment in DC had been canceled due to Covid tracing in the office. Oh goodness, here we go again... Once we were back in North Carolina Randy would only have 4 days to get to VFS before his 2 week time frame expired. Thankfully, he got an appointment scheduled in Houston, TX for Wednesday, February, 17th. He booked a flight and was going to fly to Houston on Tuesday and return on Thursday. Well, it would happen that a blizzard that Houston hadn't seen in decades was going to hit that same week!!
Monday morning we are home trying to decide if Randy needs to cancel his flight to Houston. At the same time Randy received a call from the super nice manager in NYC, also to mention it was this guy's day off! He informed us that Randy's appointment was back on in DC for Tuesday morning! We canceled his flight to Houston, jumped in the car to drive to DC, and made sure this time that there were not quarantine rules.
Early Tuesday morning Randy was at the VFS office and within 30 minutes he was done with his appointment and his visa was off to be approved in Denmark! We spent the remainder of the morning riding bikes around the National Mall.
We then had to wait.
Usually it takes a month to approve the Danish visa. A month was March 16th. That date came and went and still no word on the visa.
The original "plan" was for Randy to leave March 1st. Then it was pushed back to March 15th. Since the visa still had not arrived, we came to the conclusion that is was going to be very last minute notice and Randy would hear word that the visa was approved and he would leave roughly 3 days later. On Saturday, March 20th Randy talked to the president of the club and the tentative plan was that he would leave on Wednesday, March 31st or Thursday April 1st. This was all based on him receiving his visa.
We had the original idea that I would make the trip to Copenhagen over my spring break working at DCA. We were informed Randy would have to quarantine when he arrives in Denmark so he wouldn't have the documentation for me to be approved to enter into Copenhagen.
Another impromptu trip, we decided to drive to Florida for the weekend for a short getaway since I wouldn't be able to go to Copenhagen for spring break. We so enjoyed the time away as It felt like we were back home exploring the places we both lived while in college.
After a fun weekend away we made it back to North Carolina Tuesday night.
Wednesday morning I awoke to throwing up. I started feeling better around noon and decided I needed to get Covid tested to go back to work on Thursday. To my surprise, my test came back positive. My quarantine was until Saturday, April 3rd. Not our ideal situation, but we were very grateful my symptoms were not as bad as they could have been!
On Monday when we were in Florida I mentioned that my throat kind of hurt. On Tuesday when we were back home in NC, Randy noted that I sounded a bit congested. Wednesday was when I threw up. Then by Saturday my lungs were hurting and it felt difficult to breath. I never had a fever or lost my sense of smell or taste.I am thankful to say I am back 100% and did not have the virus as bad as it could have been.
Saturday morning, April 3rd, my quarantine was complete and we woke up to message that Randy's visa had finally been APPROVED! He was then informed that he was going to leave on Tuesday, 3 days later, like we had expected. Due to the last minute expense of the flight his departure date was then moved to Tuesday the 13th. We were grateful for one more week home together.
Tuesday, April 13th came and Randy was all packed up! After getting a workout in and a covid test we headed to the airport. Checking in at the desk, he was asked for his negative covid test. The desk agent seemed perplexed. She started to ask use to google if a "NAA covid rapid test" was considered an "antigen test." She explained that she wasn't sure if she would be able to let Randy on his flight to Chicago because he didnt have the proper Covid test. Randy had checked multiples times and double check with the president of the Towers to make sure he had the correct covid test and before we arrived at the airport it was "okayed." The desk agent talked to her manager and came back to tell us she was going to allow him to go through because of some QR code and the way the test was read. Praise God he was able to get on his flight. It was just the cherry on top to finish off his journey to Copenhagen.
We said goodbye with just a few tears shed and Randy is off to Denmark!
Randy had layover in Chicago and then hopped on his flight from Chicago to Denmark, with a total of 10 other people on his flight! Randy said it was pretty strict to even get on the plane in Chicago, he had to show proof of his work visa and the contract with the Towers.
When Randy arrived he had to get another covid test at the airport before going through passport check. He then will quarantine for 4 days and then get tested again with a PCR test.
We are grateful he is safely in Copenhagen. Randy is with a sweet family whose son also plays for the Towers. Only a few more days and he will be out of quarantine :)
I have a flight booked to depart May 3rd! This is tentative passed on Randy's health card being processed quickly. For me to have the clearance to travel to Denmark I will have to show out marriage license, his health card for proof that he is a resident, and my positive covid test from back in March.
I am looking forward to being able to join him in a few short weeks!!
I will make sure to post his game schedule and streaming links!
Thanks for following along on our crazy journey!