January 4, 2006
Well it's a new year and a new start. From September through December of 2005, we managed to visit 10 states. After arriving back in Central Florida to spend the Christmas holidays with family and friends, we're anxious to get started again.
While here in Central Florida, we've taken care of some legal issues like getting drivers licenses with our new mailing address. That was a funny experience. Since our new mailing address is my mothers address in Lake County, Florida, we went up there to have it done. It has been many years since I actually walked into a drivers license office. Ever since Florida went to online renewals, I've done it the easy way. I've also managed to keep my same photo from many fewer gray hairs ago.
But up in Lake County, most towns are much smaller than Orlando so the possibility of those long lines to renew your license are rare. So we arrived at the drivers license office only to find 4 others in line. Wow, this was great! We'd be in and out of there in no time. We took our numbers and had a seat. Within a few minutes, Cricket's number was called and she went first. Shortly afterwards another officer called my number and I went up. She was very friendly, processed my request, and took a new picture of me. After that I was to have a seat and the finished license would be out shortly.
Looking down the counter, Cricket was still there. Her officer was still processing her information. After a few more minutes, she had a seat also. A quick discussion about the length of time at the counter and we realized that Cricket's officer had update her voter registration online whereas mine just gave me a form to fill out. No problem. I completed my form and turned it back in while we waited for our licenses.
In just a few more minutes, I received my new drivers license. What a change, gray hair in just a few minutes time. Now we waited for Cricket's license to be printed. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We soon began realizing that others who had gone after Cricket were getting their licenses. It seems as though Cricket's was lost somewhere in the system.
Finally, after about another ten minutes, she receives her new drivers license. And it wasn't good. You know how normally the photo is a head short from the neck up so you can see the face clearly. Well hers was more like from the chest up. Her face was so small, you couldn't make out much of the features. And there was a white spot on the photo. I guess she broke the machine.
Anyhow, today we will be finished getting our paperwork straightened out for our passports. Now when we head out west we'll be able to go north through Canada into Alaska without any problems.
Oh, and my Nikon D70 camera died last week. The good news is that it was the first release of the camera and Nikon was having some chip issues with it. They're fixing them all for FREE! The bad news is that it will take 4-6 weeks to do so. Since we could be half-way across the country by then and many photo ops lost, I went ahead and ordered a new one. Then when I get the old one back from Nikon, I'll just sell it on eBay. Now I can continue to bring you great pictures to look at.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. We look forward to your emails and comments on the message boards. See you back here in a few days.