When I undertake something, I usually research it to death. I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive, so by the time I'm ready to do something, I usually know the topic inside and out.
For some reason, this trip was almost like an afterthought. I researched things, of course, but not to an extreme. We got stuff in order (so we thought), but I failed to read through every Texas statute available.
Perhaps I should have.
When we last left off, I was panicking over not having the registration for the Pilot. Clearly this was our fault--we thought we had grabbed it, but got the wrong one.
Things started to look up, though.
We got ahold of our neighbor, who faxed us a beautifully legible copy of the registration. I filled out the paperwork, ready to submit first thing in the morning.
Then I looked at the information the driver's license people gave us. The required documentation:
1. Texas registration on ALL vehicles.
2. Insurance on all vehicles.
3. Out-of-state driver's license.
4. Social Security Card (actual card)
5. Original birth certificate.
The packet of information I got from our mail service about establishing residency had said nothing about birth certificates.
I checked the official Texas website, though (a week too late), and sure enough: They need a birth certificate or passport to prove we're citizens. Apparently a California driver's license and Social Security card aren't enough.
Cue further panic.
Our birth certificates reside in two lock boxes. The keys to those lock boxes sometimes reside in a certain part of the garage, and sometimes don't, depending on where we've left them.
We tried to get ahold of our real estate agent again.
Then Steve realized that his birth certificate might not be an official copy.
More panic ensued.
We thought of our options.
Abandon the whole thing. Ditch the trailer, forfeit our $6,000 deposit, go back home, sell the truck, refinance the house.
Have me get a driver's license (since I know my birth certificate is official)--presuming our agent could get to it--and I drive the trailer home.
Have Steve fly out first thing in the morning, go to the Hall of Records to get a copy of his birth certificate, then fly back that night.
That actually turned into our most realistic option. We had my mom start researching flights. It would cost nearly $1,000, we would have to leave our hotel two hours outside Texas to get to Houston tonight, I would be responsible for driving the truck and getting the hitch installed... it was unappealing but doable.
Still more panic ensued.
Finally our agent got back to us. (In reality, it was only like half an hour, but it felt like forever.)
She got to our house and Steve walked her through finding the stuff. The keys were in their proper places. Our birth certificates were on top. Steve's is certified. For good measure, we're having her send our title and registration, too, just in case.
She'll overnight everything tomorrow, and we should have it by 8 a.m. Thursday. We are eternally, eternally grateful to her.
In the meantime, our plans have now been pushed back several days. The earliest we'll get the trailer now is Saturday, and the earliest we'll be able to leave is Monday, after we have registered it. So we're looking at another week in the greater Texas area.
On a side note, the place we went for dinner was not Crusty McNutter's, but Buster McNutty's. (I'm referring to it as Cluster McFucky's because it seems more apropos.) The good news is that kids eat free. The bad news is that the food was lousy and a guy dressed as SpongeBob and some kind of rodent (a chipmunk, maybe) scared Anna, and both kids wound up having meltdowns.
It's just sorta been that kind of day.