Even though I’ve been told that I sound pretty much “like a Yankee” by members of my own family ( πŸ™ ) I am now and always will be a proud Trinidadian in my heart. (cue Benjai’s Trini). I love my country and I’m proud of my heritage! But I’ve been living in America since 1998. I’ve been married to an American for almost a decade. The truth of the matter is, I love America just as much as I love Trinidad, and my home is now here.

Finally, in October I made it official. I was sworn in as a US citizen!

Where's Waldo?

This is right after we took the oath!

Forgive the blurry photo phone picture! It was a magical moment

My husband took the day off and the judge was kind enough to let him snap a few photos (not all citizenship judges are so nice, apparently).

This moment was so long in the making and meant so much to both me and my husband.

A few weeks before I even knew when exactly my swearing in date would be, I was invited to celebrate a golden moment, courtesy of DKNY Golden Delicious — such a wonderful opportunity from a fragrance I love.
You might remember I reviewed and LOVE DKNY Golden Delicious. It’s so perfect for this season. Honeycrisp delicious without being too literal. Click here to learn more about this fabulous fragrance and join the Delicious Core Club on Facebook, where you can design your own bottle, or a golden locket!

We decided to celebrate our golden moment after my citizenship ceremony, and I managed to get reservations at the exclusive and elegant restaurant RIA at the Elysian Hotel.

Chef Danny Grant is known for close relationships with local farmers and a mastery of complex yet delicious cuisine.

Because I had indicated we were coming in to celebrate a momentous occasion, the staff at RIA all greeted me with kind wishes and congratulations. It was even printed on the menu! Everything we had was absolutely incredible.

Congratulations from RIA!

From the sea scallop appetizer

to the lobster and Wagyu steak, to the incredible seasonal dessert.

A few unexpected amuse-bouches blew me away with their complex blend of flavors.

Over this amazingly elegant meal, my husband and I toasted to our shared past and the bright future ahead of us. It feels like such a tremendous relief to know that the need for immigration paperwork and fees is now behind me forever. Now all I need is a passport, and 2012 will be The Year Of International Travel! That’s right – I’m naming it and claiming it!

I have a few folks to thank for all of this. My husband, simply for being the best. My immigration attorney Elaine Weiss for guiding me through the process since I was just a college student and a newlywed who needed help. And special thanks to the wonderful people of DKNY Golden Delicious for their generosity. This was a golden moment to remember forever!


A Girl's Gotta Spa! says:
November 4, 2011, 3:32 pm
Congratulations on your citizenship!!!! xoxoxoxo
Lianne says:
November 4, 2011, 3:36 pm
I'm SO happy I got to hug and congratulate you in Chicago last week! CONGRATULATIONS my dear dear friend xo L
pets says:
November 4, 2011, 4:25 pm
Again congratulations on becoming a US Citizen! Congratulations on the DKNY Golden Moment and your meal looks amazing! For 2012 I hope that you visit England and do the Magical Mystery Tour (Beatles) and do mainland Europe as well.
chai says:
November 4, 2011, 5:13 pm
Congrats Patrice...! it's so clear how much this means to you, what a joyous occasion;)!!
Surgerychick says:
November 4, 2011, 6:57 pm
Congratulations!!! Now go register to vote!
Beth says:
November 4, 2011, 7:20 pm
Congratulations! I'm so glad such a smart and engaged woman will be joining the ranks of American voters!!
Sherry Blossom says:
November 4, 2011, 8:49 pm
Congratulations! There is no better feeling than achieving your goal! Cheers to you, your husband and attorney, on an accomplishment well done! I'm joining you in the 2012 international travel declaration! My first stop EUROPE! where is yours????
I Am Your People says:
November 5, 2011, 12:17 am
Co-sign on surgerychick! Now that you're a citizen, time to vote. And CONGRATULATIONS!
crystal g. says:
November 5, 2011, 4:57 am
Queen Eye Cee says:
November 5, 2011, 11:52 am
Ava says:
November 5, 2011, 11:55 am
JoJo says:
November 5, 2011, 12:08 pm
Congrats Bella!!!! xoxo
Rocquelle says:
November 5, 2011, 1:38 pm
What an amazing moment! Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen and all of your golden moments to come!
TriniJean says:
November 5, 2011, 5:37 pm
Bella congratulations! I truly understand how you feel about Trinidad. Please vote... love you.
Liz says:
November 5, 2011, 10:51 pm
My father received his green card last year after 24 years in this country. We're still working on my mother's case, as it requires her to come up with the same $20,000 that it cost my father. There are people who will never know how blessed they were to never have to deal with anything that has to do with immigration, be it lawyers, the law, the paperwork, the excessive amount of money it requires. Congrats Bella! I know how you feel. I can only hope the same for my mother. :)
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:23 am
thank you Shannon!!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:24 am
Love you Lianne!! Thank you!!!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:25 am
thank you Petal! I definitely want to visit England. We have a brother I want to spend some time with, after all!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:26 am
I registered to vote as soon as I walked out of the courtroom! i'm so excited to vote!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:26 am
I can't WAIT to vote!! I signed up right away!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 9:27 am
thank you Chai! :D
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 10:03 am
thank you!!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 10:04 am
I also want to go to Europe!!! Thanks, Sherry!
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 10:04 am
I did, right away! Thank you~
bella says:
November 6, 2011, 10:06 am
it has been an epic and expensive journey for myself as well -- not as costly as what you're enduring, but there's a stress that immigration brings that born and raised Americans will never understand Thank you and all the best to you and your family!!
Danielle says:
November 6, 2011, 1:11 pm
Congrats!!!! I remember when my mom was getting her U.S. citizenship--she would NOT stop yelling out U.S. history facts...lol.
Crystal says:
November 6, 2011, 3:45 pm
This is awesome news!
Glenyse says:
November 6, 2011, 5:22 pm
Congratulations Bella!
D says:
November 7, 2011, 2:47 am
Congratulations! yes your judge was extra nice. I was bummed when i did mine cos i wasnt allowed any pictures.
natural dancer says:
November 7, 2011, 9:15 am
Gosh, I don't know why I teared up a bit reading this....what a wonderful moment in you rlife! Praying continued blessings upon you & your husband!!!!! candice natural dancer thefrizzness.blogspot.com
Beauty Is Diverse says:
November 7, 2011, 11:21 am
Congrats. !!
Andree says:
November 8, 2011, 11:57 am
Shones says:
November 9, 2011, 9:20 am
Congratulations on your citizenship!
Shariena says:
November 11, 2011, 12:18 pm
Congrats from one West Indian to another. I will hopefully be doing this in Canada soon.
PCG says:
November 11, 2011, 8:02 pm
Congratualations Bella! I am proud to have you as a fellow citizen.
Seleema says:
November 13, 2011, 1:43 am
Congratulations Patrice! Enjoy every moment of it and happy traveling. Yes girl name it and claim it! -Seleema
Sticky-n-Sweet says:
November 21, 2011, 11:48 am
My uncle would not become a citizen until he could be a dual Trinidadian-American citizen, but when he did, he walked around all day reminding people of their "civic responsibilities" lol! I'm so happy for you!
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