October Part II: Westward HO! Or… Eastward…Or… To Texas!

We got out of Vegas only to realize we were in Bat Country, but we did manage to leave before Nicholas Cage crashed a plane on the Strip, then chased the bad guy on a moving fire engine. He prevailed and even saved his daughter’s stuffed bunny he got her as an I’m your dad and I’m out of prison gift. As the lights faded behind us, LeAnn Rimes played us out with a melody about having a deep seated fear of solitude…or something like that.

Rain? OK. But HAIL, NO!

No, really, we left Las Vegas and headed for Arizona. It was still raining and would continue to do so throughout our trip. In order to keep our travel expenses down, we spent our nights in Travel Americas. They are quite awesome. There is always a place to park, plus they have food and gas on site. The trip through Arizona and New Mexico was rather uneventful, with the exception of the rain and hail. I would describe the rain in more detail but Tom Hanks already did that.

forest rain

The rain didn’t bother us too much, but at one point it started hailing so bad we had to pull over. We finally managed to make it to Livingston, TX in one piece.

Becoming Texans and Freakin’ NASA!

Our purpose for going to Livingston had to do with Escapees RV Club. They make it easy to get a domicile with their step by step process and address with mail forwarding. We had to show up to get licences and registration for the vehicles. You can make any state your domicile really, and you don’t need Escapees, but they certainly make it easier. Natalie has written a whole piece on Six Reasons We Chose to Become Members of Escapees RV Club.

Upon getting to our site at one of the two Escapees RV Parks, we found a giant crack in the windshield of our car. That would be an unexpected $400 or so. We were headed into Houston to see NASA after becoming Texans so we made an appointment with Safelite. We called it a day, but noticed that our cat, Laya, didn’t quite seem herself.

The following morning we headed out to officially become Texans. I won’t bore you with every detail of the process we went through, but you can get it done in one day. The Escapees main office (located on the park premise) handed us a useful worksheet that mapped out the places we would need to go to for residency establishment. A more interesting note was when our air conditioner started leaking water inside. As it turns out, the drain tub that gets rid of the condensation was clogged. Unclogging it was an easy fix. We headed to bed, but Laya still didn’t look herself.

The next day, we dropped the car off at Safelite and walked to NASA. How was it? It was great! I’m a giant geek, so it was like Disneyland for me… well… maybe not a giant geek… I’m 5’7″, so an average sized one…maybe on the short side… OK… I’m a short geek, but that’s beside the point. The point is I love geeky things and NASA is one of them. I even played with the lunar landing kids video game display. If you ever get a chance to see the Space Center in Houston, do it. You can see the training duplicate of the International Space Station. They have the actual lunar spacecraft that carried astronauts and much more. I’m going to stop talking about it and just show you some photos. While you admire the slideshow, I will admire the NASA sticker that is now on my laptop that I purchased from the gift shop. Go ahead. Browse away. The rest of the text will still be here when you’re done.

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By the end of the day, the windshield was fixed and I had a soda cup in the shape of an astronaut. Laya seemed to be doing worse. We decided that it may be the traveling and gave her one more night. The following morning she was still not doing well. I decided to take her temperature. Now for a cat, a temperature of 100 to 102 is normal. Laya’s was over 104. We knew we had a sick cat. It was Sunday and the only emergency vet was an hour away. We decided we didn’t have a choice and I took her to the vet. After many tests and dollars they found out she had a large cyst on her back side, possibly because her anal gland had ruptured and created a pocket under her skin.

She needed surgery to wash it out and install a drain tube. The cost was about $1000 for the whole ordeal. I’m not sure whose rear end was more sore by the end of the day, Laya’s or mine. They gave us pain killers for her and sent her home. We would travel to Boyd, Texas the next day.

By the following morning, Laya’s fever had broken, and she spent the drive up to Boyd taking turns sleeping on our laps. We got to Boyd RV Park, our home for the next couple of months and got ready to start Amazon Orientation the next day.

After completing a few days at Amazon, we were starting to get settled into our new, temporary routine. Unfortunately Laya had other plans. Her stitches split open, exposing the wound. We made another trip to a different vet (close to Boyd) and after talking to the vet, decided to let it remain open and drain. The downside:for a little over a month she had to be sprayed with water twice a day to rinse the wound.

The lesson of the month: There were a lot of lessons learned, but the most important was that cats don’t like showers.

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