Friday, October 9, 2009

We are Texans (ALMOST) and other foibles

We are finding that living the dream is elusive, or to put it another way to paraphrase the Godfather movies, every time we start feeling good about our lifestyle change we get pulled back to the current reality.

The current reality is that Jo is a Texan while Bob is still a Missourian. Here’s what happened, every thing that Bob read over the last year about becoming a Texan is that you had to get your driver’s license within 30 days of registering your vehicles and that you had to register your vehicles first before getting your driver’s license. Bob confirmed the latter while getting information on registering vehicles which luckily can be done long distance by mail which was completed in early September. While talking to the Department of Transportation personnel about registering Bob confirmed the 30 day limit. So on September 30th, well within the 30 day limit, we journeyed to Burkburnett TX to spend the night in a Hampton Inn using the last of the HHonors points Bob accrued while working, actually there are only 71 points remaining! Bright and early on October 1st we arrived at the Department of Public Safety driver’s license station in nearby Wichita Falls. Jo was able to get her TX driver’s license since she had a birth certificate and all the other necessary paperwork. Here is where it gets real interesting.

Bob had read online that you needed either a passport or a birth certificate and he had a passport card that he got for his fishing trip with the boys to Canada in June, his birth certificate is packed away somewhere due to the move. It turns out DPS does NOT accept the passport card. At this news we were very distraught anticipating another 18 hour round trip getting Bob’s license by October 10th. Every cloud has a silver lining as it turns out the limit was just changed to 90 days so Bob can get his license on our way to TX for the winter. We plan to spend a little time in Livingston at the Escapees Rainbow Park and then it is off to the Port Aransas area near Corpus Christi for about a month.

Another foible deals with the satellite antenna for the roof for our television habit; let’s face it we are TV-oholics. At the very last minute, in fact the day the antenna was to ship from the distributor to the dealership we switched from Dish Network to DirecTV. All through this we were adamant about our desire for ALL the high definition channels. Turns out there are two Winegard satellite antennas for DirecTV the 3003 (non-HD) and the 3005 (HD); this situation is a bunch of if only, if only we had known that the Trav’ler model had two different DirecTV models and inquired about the part number, if only the dealer who had previously ordered the 3005 for customers had caught the different part number since they knew we wanted HD, if only the installer had wondered why there was 4 coax cables at the roof location and only 3 outputs from the 3003, if only we had noticed that although the 3003 and 3005 have three LNBs the ones on the 3005 are a little bit bigger since they are dual satellite LNBs. We have to give credit to the dealership who did not say it was not their problem and realized their part in this mess. We have to take responsibility for our part and we did, agreeing to pay for part of the new antenna since the distributor would not agree to assume any part of the cost of the mess. The dealership agreed to assume most of the cost of the new antenna and we were about to agree to the deal.

But on a whim we decided to email the sales manager at Winegard and explained that through no fault of Winegard we ended up with the wrong satellite dish for my RV and wondering if there was anything we could do. We really have to give a lot of credit to Winegard because even though they had no fault they went the extra mile to make sure that a customer was happy. For the price difference between the antennas Winegard shipped the correct unit to me, we paid for the old unit to be taken off and the new unit put on and the old unit shipped back to Winegard. Luckily the hole in roof and mounting plate were the same size so that work did not have to be repeated. So now all we have to do when we get to our site is turn the dang then on and it automatically aligns itself. We have 130 channels of HD programming and two dual tuner DVRs with a lot more capacity than our old Comcast DVRs, a TV-oholics dream!

Working in reverse order we just have to talk about going forward while towing the fifth wheel (really good), turning (pretty good but nerve racking) and backing up (not so good)! Bob’s driving lesson on the way out was brief but it covered going forward and turning pretty well. We were in the far end of a Big K parking lot so there was not a lot of landmarks to help judge how well Bob was doing. Add to that is that you can really only see one side of the fifth wheel the backing up lesson left a little to be desired because we had a whole lot of fun when we finally arrived at our current location the Peculiar Park Place RV Park in Peculiar MO. Although there were pull thru sites available the park prefers that long term units be parked into sites that are not pull thru. Plus Bob knew he would have to do this sometime in the future so we went for it. Bob’s very limited previous experience has been with boats which he found out is a lot different than backing up a fifth wheel. After about 15-20 minutes of futile attempts the guy parked next door helped Bob get the fifth wheel into our site or we think Bob would still be trying to get that accomplished and it is almost 5 weeks later.

As I am writing this we are getting a very steady rain and the early October temperatures are colder than normal with potentially a hard freeze in the very future so we are getting itchy to head to warmer climates. Our plan is to get a driving lesson from one of our friends next week who is a RV veteran, finish getting out of storage what we think we might need (if it will fit that is) and then in early November our first big trip to Branson and then Texas where Bob can finally become a TEXAN!!

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

You can subscribe to this blog posts and/or comments by making selections under 'Subscribe To' or you can join the yahoo group which will notify you whenever a post is made,,

You can also signup to be a Follower of this blog.

NOTE: See our photos from places we have visited at