So much accomplished!

Texas Travel Blog

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RV gets "washed"- fun time!

I am making lists and getting it done!  Whoo-hoo!

Rig Progress: 

Took the RV today to Gallo Ford and got the cruise control relay recall done, had extra keys made, and got spare air and fuel filters (already have spare belts, hoses, and windshield wipers).  David, in Parts Dept., was very nice and said he'd be happy to ship parts to me in Central America if I called and needed them (arranging this in advance was a tip I read).  I need to remember to take his contact info.

State Inspection:  Finally ran out the chemical-filled gas, refueled, took Ciao Baby to Goodyear (3rd attempt), and she passed inspection!  Hooray!  We can leave Texas now!  This was a *major* hurdle and I'm so happy to have that done!

Returned the RV's armrest covers to Tweety's (poor fit & fabric) and bought a super soft gold throw from BB&B and will make them myself- cost close to the same, matches the seatcovers great, AND we'll have enough left for a lapwarmer!  (Khaki Sablesoft Throw $30)

For a bike cover, got an 8x10 silver tarp (following Maryann's excellent suggestion) and bungied that on.

Bikes on back with silver tarp to protect- part of reflective tape on bumper (more added later)
  Put rope around it to stop the billowing.  Added reflective tape to the tarp.

Ned added reflective tape (alternating red and silver) to the rear bumper which not only is safer, but looks snazzy.

Ned fixed the generator - hooray!  The breaker had flipped. The Nedchanic saves the day! :)

I finally finished rig curtains with the cabover curtains- whew!

I stuck up some clear plastic 4x6" photo frames - put in some good family pics and postcards like "Don't Mess with Texas Women" and excellent slogans like that.

Ned laid Pergo into the bathroom (since we removed the door, you could see right in there).

Did I mention the professional injector/fuel system cleaning I got done at the mechanic's? Ciao Baby is SO MUCH peppier! That was worth every penny ($150).

Ned gets all the computers ready!
I'm hoping to break 40 mpg now.  Haha!

Medical Must-Do's Done: 

Then I picked up the kids' Malaria prescriptions, (got my Malaria and Cipro prescriptions at my Well Woman appt. on Monday).  The Cipro will be for Traveler's Diarrhea and is for 2 courses in one prescription, thus in one small bottle, and thus one copay.  We did the same for each of the kids' 2 meds for Traveler's Diarrhea- I got info from the CDC website).  I ran the prescriptions (after copying them) by the pharmacist, who should have all the Malaria pills (24 each person!) by Thursday. 

We have to take one Malaria pill for a week beforehand, then one pill weekly throughout travel, then weekly for a month after returning home.  I researched it on CDC website, determined which drug (Aralen) for Mexico and Central America (recommended drugs are based on travel region) and the dosage (500mg per pill for adults).  While we don't start this course until late October, everything seems to hit snafus and I'll be thrilled when it is in-hand.  The Malaria pills should be fine stored up to a year, pharmacist said.

Typhoid Vaccinations: ($85 each)  So I called the HEB Redi-Clinic.  Oops, they only have 2 of the 4 needed Typhoids.  Will order more.  Check back in a week or two.  Lia and I ran over and got the 2 available.  Take 4 pills, one every other day for a week.  Immunity by pill lasts for 3 years (2 if get the shot).  So we started those last night.  Will check by the 19th as the PA promised to have the Typhoid vaccines in (he ordered more that day) or to go get it for us.  Asked Redi-Clinic about them writing our Malaria prescriptions- oh, they forgot to mention it costs $25 each person- so I got the prescriptions instead from our own MD's.

Hepatitis A:  Lia's the only one who needed this (we had ours at adoption time), so we got her one shot at the Pediatrician's.  The 2nd shot is needed at 6 months.  Lifetime immunity.  Redi-Clinic gives Hep A or B as a "Childhood Immunization" for only $14.85 (they get them inexpensively from the State).  I will have to see how that compares to the MD, as insurance does not pay for any travel vaccinations.


Went shopping Saturday and got kids' hiking boots on clearance (and hiking socks) at Gander Mountain.  Found a few quick dry shirts & shorts and sneakers at Academy.  Really like the Under Armour clothes brand, but will wait for a sale.  Having easy care, appropriate, quick-drying clothes will be great!  Already have the packtowels in various materials and sizes.  We still need warm stuff.  Hard to find in TX in 90 degree weather.

Loaded into the RV: 

  • All the kids' homeschool books for the first trip portion
  • the all-in-one printer
  • extra gas cans
  • good wrench & needlenose pliers

Oh!  We got in family red t-shirts for the "Jessie clan" for the reunion.  Charles helped me design them and they say, "Ciao Baby!  World Tour 2008-2009"  Very cute! - highly recommend this site!

Oh! I got the terrific Yakima 4-bike rack in thanks to my Lazy Daze friends' recommendations.  I got the Yakima DeadLock with Core on their advice and that is awesome. I would never have known to get such a thing and now the bikes are locked to the rack and the rack is locked to the LD- with the same key. And I personally got all the bikes loaded- they haven't fallen off yet!

Got a Brother's Labeler for my birthday and what a blast! How have I lived this long without a labeler?? Everything is now labeled, in
particular all the computer, ipod, and cell phone charger cords and DC plugs. Ahh, to pick up a cord and be able to tell where it goes.

Paperwork & Details:

Kids' passports copiedWallet contents copied

I color-printed our Passport pictures onto photo paper -have plenty of visa pics now!

Called AmEx and gave them travel locations.  They gave a Global Assistance number 1-800-554-2639 in case we lose passports, need emergency cash, lose our wallet, need legal fees, break down, etc.  24/7.  Cool!

Same for Bank Of America, but not quite as helpful:  877-833-5617  They can get me emergency cash but will not allow an extra debit card (I wanted an extra in case mine gets eaten by an ATM).  I will use bank credit card for cash advance if needed.

Trying to get sane:

I have 3 notebooks for organization:

  1. Preparations:  Everything I need to do:  Do, Buy, RV, Medical, Pack (I used my snazzy labeler for all the tabs!)
  2. Important Docs:  Emergency Phone numbers, Passport, Birth Certs, Medical (copies of PRN's- be sure to make a copy before turning into pharmacy for filling!), Minor Travel (Permission to Travel forms to get notarized so can travel out-of-country without Dad), Wills (copy), RV docs (copies of title, registration, insurance)
  3. Itinerary- bright pink notebook for fun!  Kids have been researching Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns and inputting it on our private blog.  We'll print the first week or so and keep it in there along with the master plan.

Lost my new:

  1. locking gas cap
  2. nice tweezers
  3. TX postcards (found in the trash)  

I think it's stress.

Totally off-topic:


The *funniest* thing happened today!  You know how you see crazy drivers and you just *really* want to say something?  A lady almost hit the RV today while driving and then got all huffy when I blew the horn, avoiding the accident.  Well, it must have really made her mad because she then illegally raced onto the right road shoulder, around a cement truck, and slingshot back onto the road in front of the truck and across my lane, almost going off the road, before zooming off.  And guess what?  It didn't gain her much time with all the stoplights.  So we rode along thereafter for about 5 miles- I'm sure she thought that given all the turns, I must be following her. 

But no!  I had finally run my gas down to 1/8 of a tank and was headed for a specific gas station beside Goodyear, so that I could finally have my state inspection done there.  Well, guess who pulls into that gas station?  That lady!  And guess who pulls in behind her to the only available pump that was located *right beside her*?  ME!  She jumped out of her SUV and started talking intently to her 2 little kids in the backseat.  I sauntered over to her. 

No, I didn't say what I wanted to.  That would not have affected her enough and who knows if someone who drives that way has a gun.  So, I took a nice tact and said, "Hey, I'm so sorry if I got in your way back there."  She stumbled over herself regarding being mad at her husband moving her mirrors, a blind spot, how it wasn't road rage, etc. (She knew *exactly* what I was referring to.)  I told her that as a Mom too, I saw all her kids' activities stickers on the back window and wanted to make sure the kids were okay with the slingshotting and all.  (Honestly, she should be ashamed of herself - behaving that way with KIDS in the car!)  She apologized (seemed quite embarrassed) and I told her it was alright and wandered back to fill up - she dashed out of there.  She didn't need gas after all!  I suspect she was trying to escape the "wild woman in that RV!!"  Hahaha!  How sweet it was.  It's good to remember that other drivers are people too.

2 weeks, 4 days and counting!


lazydazer says:
Tessa - there is so much to be admired about you. Most especially your ability to see the humor in all things and keep your head on straight.

Anne Johnson from Lovely Youknowwhere, CA
Posted on: May 13, 2008
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RV gets washed- fun time!
RV gets "washed"- fun time!
Bikes on back with silver tarp to …
Bikes on back with silver tarp to…
Ned gets all the computers ready!
Ned gets all the computers ready!