I’ve been living in the San Jose since May 2016, I’m all settled in now sort of 😉 This is my first blog in a very long time. Its not been the easy moving to the other side of the pond and settling into a new country, but it has been made a little easier as we relocated with Apple and they have helped us every step of the way. Relocating to another country permanently is not like being a full time tourist. Its a lot of paperwork (mountains of it) and waiting its taken over two years to get our green cards. Taxes are hIgh here and learning an alien tax system is mind boggling you definitely need an accountant to make any sense of it.
We had two options of moving to the USA with a company and one is with a H1B Visa or an L1/L2 visa. We came in under L1 and L2 spouse visa, this was great for me as I only had to wait 90 days to work, while I applied and waited for my Work Visa.
H-1B Visas means the spouse of the partner who comes into the USA cannot work for 2 years. This is pretty terrible in many ways for families moving here. Silicon Valley, California is a very expensive place to live, despite the good wages in the Tech industry, you do need two incomes coming in to help pay for the high prices here for everything. Another issue which is hard for the spouse is they have to give up there job or business… Having to close the door to your much loved business and all the hard work and love you put into it can be devastating. so I’m glad we did not come in on the H-1B Visa. More info on H-1B Visa
L-1 Visa is a another option of moving to the USA as an employee who has worked for company for at least 1 year. More on L-1 Visa.
For my last day in Gatlinburg I had arranged to meet with Chrissy whom I met through the Fairy Society forum. http://thefairysociety.ning.com
Since joining the fairy society I have met so many lovely talented people, and if your interested in meeting like minded people this is a great place to meet. Since my travelling begin I have travelled all over the states and last year we decided to book a two week holiday to Gatlinburg Tennessee, to my surprise Chrissy just lived 22 miles away, so this was an ideal opportunity to meet a like minded fairy artist friend. I have to say it was a highlight of my stay here in TN. As soon as I arrived at the Local coffee shop called “The Spot” I was welcome by everyone and had a total blast 😉 Chrissy is a extremely talented artist, and an adorable person, she specialises Anime artwork, and her characters are adorable. Check out her lovely work at www.chrissyclark.com their are all sorts of goodies on offer. I have also included the link for fairy society for all kinds of artists its a great place to meet fellow artists, (whether its doll crafter, artist, writers, fashion designer, etc) and make friends, promote your work and also find that special gift for someone special 😉 I look forward to going to Tennessee again one day and meeting Chrissy again and I know we will stay in touch.
On our way back to Orlando from Brent Creek we decided to travel across the Smoky Mountains to connect to the I75. After getting the chance to do deals gap, we were told by many fellow bikers to go and do the Cherohala Skyway as the views were so awesome. So not to miss out on this golden opportunity we set off bright and early and made our way to Cherokee, Bryson City, Robinnsville towards the Cherohala Skyway. The bike ride was awesome in every way…;) the views were spectualar and ride was smooth and I pretty much sang my way the whole time.
In the photos is the view of the smoky mountains form the cherohala skyway, with a little picky of us at the bottom;) and the above clip is the view from out log cabin condo. If you love green mountains and lots of waterfalls this is a must place to visit… Were be back again:)
To celebrate our birthdays this year, as we are in Gatlinburg Tennessee, we found out that we were near the famous “Deal Gaps” also called the “Dragons Tail”. So who are we to miss out on this golden opportunity of taming the famous Dragon;).
For those who have not ridden the tail this ride is consists of 318 windy bends in 11 miles set high in the spectacular mountains of Tennessee. In the summer over a 1000 bikes a day will take this trip into the mountains. We set off from Gatlinburg early in the morning on a bright and clear sunny day, and made our was to Townsend on the 321 then crossed into the Foothills Parkway, where you literally ride along the top of the mountain, with awesome views stretching out form either side of you, ideal for a photo op;) At the end the road you hit the famous Route 129 turn left then after 3 miles you begin your descent through Deals Gap😀 With me on my Street bob I took a steady ride into the bends enjoying the luscious curves;) The sights are amazing, but you have to watch out for the rocket bikes coming upon fast, boys will be boys and play and they were having some serious fun;) There are a few photographers on route who take photos of you as you ride the tail and you can pick these up online. I can honestly say this was a fabulous journey and I loved every minute. Once at the bottom you meet the Dragons Tail resort, where you pick up a few souvenirs and a excellent burger one of the best I’ve had i ages. There’s also the tree of shame for those who manage to wrap their bikes around a tree of two! and board of photos of gravel rash… On leaving the Dragons Tail we decided to head the other way towards “Hellsbender” another awesome bike ride on the way through to Cherokee, then back to Galinburg for a well earned Texas Streak;)
I have to mention all the roads round here in the Misty Mountains are full of step winding roads ideal for the explorer in you, I have never been anywhere like it the beauty is truly awesome.
We were egar to make our way home before the storm hit, reality of danger clearly hit home, when we came upon a fallen tree in the middle of the road with three people trapped inside. Thankfully while we were trapped there for two hours all three of them escaped with their lives and with their feeling all there body parts. We literally missed it by a minute, I’m so thankful that we not a minute sooner… What ever you do guys always ride safe…
On my previous blog I was bragging about the glorious sunshine of Daytona Beach!!! Well that will teach me… Day 2 of our journey was not too bad either, but day 3 we got caught in a rain storm after an hours riding through South Carolina, so we signed into a hotel for the night, to wait out the storm. Day 4 we woke bright and early as we had 250 miles to reach Brent Greek, by 8 am we were on the road once again. It was exceedingly cold and I for one wanted to turn back or at least rent a car… but that was not an option as we had no where to store the bikes. So we pressed forward stopping every 50 miles to warm our frozen hands… (Oh I wish we stayed in Daytona) well soon we had to stop every 20 miles as we climbed the smokey mountains, all the while I was thinking I’m Nuts, this is totally crazy!
The worst was yet to come, 50 miles to go we hit a snow storm in some fashion…not funny when your riding Harley’s into a blizzard of snow on the interstate, with the roads getting worse every minute. Well fare weather riders we are not!!! bring on the extreme….DOH! Well neither of us were at our happiest but we plodded on, after 20 miles of blizzard the skies started to clear and we left the maddening interstate behind us and took a well earned hot coffee break in a delightful cafe. The Lovely lady in the Pink hat soon had us smiling again with her welcoming comforting smile.
Thankfully no more interstate just windy country lanes, despite the ass biting cold and a feeling of, I want to go home our next part of the journey was totally 100% stunning. Like a snow scene out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe… the windy roads were covered in snow and icicles on the trees and plants. and the stream running along the road not quite frozen was magical, the countryside here is a sight to behold. 20 minutes we got to our destination, where we are to stay for the next two weeks. All I can say folks that’s a journey I never want to repeat again, but boy am I glad I did it because I can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When I woke in the morning all I wanted to do is play snow angels 🙂 and I had the biggest smile on my face.
You know our journey the day before is just like life, sometimes we just have to go through so much emotional turmoil, but if we keep fighting and striving to reach our goals when we eventually get their it makes it all worth while, and sometimes the joy inside takes you to a special place of pure happiness, truly happy to be alive 😉