I left Austin, Texas, early in the morning to make it to the consulate by 8:30 a.m. The drive from Austin to Houston took 2 and half hours. I stopped and got coffee at the only coffee shop (Starbucks) opened. I needed my redeye and extra shots of expresso to get me through the drive. Caffeine is my best friend for early morning trips out of town. The drive was great because I had my music to make the trip bearable.
I arrived in Houston about 8:00 a.m. I was worried about the traffic being worse than Austin’s traffic. I was wrong about the traffic in Houston during morning rush hour. It was smooth sailing coming in on I-10 going Eastbound. No bumper-to-bumper traffic like my hometown!!!!!! WOW! I made a quick pit stop at a bank to withdraw some money. (Tip: the consulate only excepts cash or money order.)
About 8:30 a.m. I made my way to 1800 Bering Dr, Houston, TX 77057. I found parking in the parking garage on the 1st level. (Tip: get there early to get good parking. Also, you never know what the wait will be like. It could be like the DMV!) Next, I proceeded to walk into the building. I found the building directory:
The Spanish Consulate is on the 6th floor in office 600. When I got to the consulate’s office, the office was still closed. I arrived 15 minutes early, so I took pictures for this blog post and wasted time checking e-mail and Facebook. The consulate opened at 9:00 a.m. sharp. There were 5 other people waiting to get into to consulate. I was 3rd in line.
When I went up to the window, I turned in my paperwork to the clerk. The only issue I had was that I did not make a copy of the background check and apostille. I explained to her that the clerk at the Texas Secretary of State told me not to remove the stamp and that I was worried about tampering with the document. The consulate worker said, “Don’t tell anyone that I made a copy for you.” I said, “Okay.” Last, I handed over my USPS (United State Postal Service) per-posted envelope.I left the consulate, but within 20 minutes of me leaving I got a phone call from the clerk telling me that I needed to come back and pay. Both of us forgot about the $160.00 fee for the visa application. Rats!!!! I was about to get my visa for free. Just joking. (Tip: make sure you get your printed receipt for your records and don’t do what I did!)
I returned to the consulate once more to pay my visa fee and get my receipt. I was told it would take 3-4 weeks for my visa to be processed. Now the waiting game for the visa to be mailed to me starts. I hope I get my visa around mid August! That would be an awesome birthday gift from Spain!