Current location: Livingston, TX
Well, apparently I spoke too soon about the ease of becoming Texans. And unfortunately, we have only ourselves to blame for not doing our homework thoroughly. One thing we thought strange was that they require you to register ALL of your vehicles before you can get a drivers license. Now we understand why. Registering the vehicles went pretty smoothly. The application requested the gross weight of each vehicle. We had read that they will require either a certified weight (meaning you have to take your rig to get it weighed) or the manufacturer's brochure to confirm the weight. So we were honest and filled in the weights accordingly. Once at the registration office they didn't ask for any proof. Why is this important, you ask?
We found out at our next stop, to get our drivers license. Our combined gross weight is over the 26,000 lb limit which means that in the state of Texas we need a class A (non-commercial truck driver's license). In order to get one of those, we needed to take a written and driving test - that is, a driving test with the trailer attached. Uuugh. We left pretty despondent. Mostly because we were just barely over the 26000 lb limit and could have easily fudged the numbers. I can't imagine they have the manpower to follow up on those numbers. But it was too late for that. We thought about going to another office and telling them that we only had the truck so we could get the regular license but were concerned that they might figure that one out after we left the state. Texas initially provides a temporary license and sends you the real one 4 weeks later. I presume this is mostly to check for outstanding warrants and suspensions, but thought that their systems might also check registrations. We didn't want to take the chance since we'd be in California by the time we found out. So we decided we had no other choice but to follow the rules.
We studied Wednesday morning and took the written test that afternoon. We both passed. Phew! They only schedule driving tests for Friday, Monday and Tuesday so we scheduled our driving test for this morning. We woke up to a rainy morning and well, they don't do the tests in the rain. Shoot! So we called right at 8am and rescheduled for Monday. A bit of relief, although it's only temporary. I'm not looking forward to the test. I can't imagine we won't pass. After all, we made it all the way down here, didn't we? But I am a little worried about whether they'll require us to back up. We can both do it, but sometimes it takes several tries to get in just right. I have no idea how strict they'll be or how tight the spots will be. Just something else to worry about!
Our plans were to pull out on Sunday, but now we will have to delay one day (assuming we pass!). We have a lot of flexibility in our travel schedule to California so the delay won't have much effect, but we are ready to get out of Texas! Today it's in the mid-eighties with 100% humidity. Coming from Colorado, I forgot what humidity is like.
We needed some relief from the anxiety of the last couple of days, so on Thursday, we loaded Hunter and headed to Galveston to visit our friends, Rod and Connie Shaut ("RodNReal") whom we met at the RV-Dreams Rally last year. They were gracious enough to invite us to their current stix n brix home - they're not fulltiming yet. They were hit by Hurricane Ike last year and sustained some damage but have fixed up their house beautifully. I can imagine it will be hard for them to part with it when they're ready to hit the road.
We had a great afternoon of catching up, laughing and just generally relaxing in their courtyard. Hunter and Sam (their chocolate lab) got along great. I think Hunter enjoyed having a pal to hang with and I know he enjoyed being able to roam around the yard freely. I'm not so sure he wanted to come "home". When we were saying our good-byes, I asked Hunter if he was ready to go home and he just looked at me and headed toward the stairs to the house!
When Connie asked if we wanted to stay for dinner, we knew we couldn't say no. We had a taste of their cooking at the Rally - Connie made wonderful grilled mango chicken for the potluck and Rod won the chili cookoff - so we knew we were in for a treat. And we were not disappointed. Connie made delicious fish tacos. We both ate until we were stuffed. Connie, we'll come for dinner anytime! :)
It was a nice departure from Livingston and it was great to see our friends again. The drive was a bit long, but it was well worth it. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. I brought my camera and set it on the table upon arriving. I didn't touch it again until we were ready to leave. I'm really bad about that, but something I will have to work on. Connie didn't want her picture taken so I have none to show this time. I need to get back in the photography mode. I was pretty serious about it in college, but over the years had lost interest. Now I rarely remember to take my camera, but something I vow to get better about.
Our plans for the weekend are pretty laid back. We will meet Edith, Krystal's mom, tomorrow and are planning a hike on Sunday if the weather cooperates. More on that later...
4 Tips For Winter-Season RVing in Florida
1 hour ago