On arrival at Dallas Fort Worth Airport the weather was hot and sunny, just as we’d left it two months ago. All we had to do now was clear the final hurdle – Immigration. Once again we were ushered to the interview room, where once again only I was interviewed. I was given a hard time. The Immigration Officer was telling me in no uncertain terms that I shouldn’t be returning so soon after the last 90 day visit. I pressed her for a view on what was a reasonable period and was told it was one 90 day visit in every 12 months. The information on the American Embassy website doesn’t give that information. I did tell the Immigration Officer that I wished I’d had the opportunity to speak with her 18 months ago, as if I had, I wouldn’t have bought the RV, in fact I probably wouldn’t have bothered making the effort to visit their country for longer than 14 days at all. Permission was given grudgingly though I was told that for this trip we were to be spending our 2009 allowance in advance and therefore could not return to America again until 2010. Honestly, they just make it up as they go along.
We found our baggage which had been taken off the baggage reclaim belt to make space for a following flight as we had not been around to collect it, then grabbed a cab for our $100 ride to Motor Home Specialists in Alvarado (GPS: N32.422004 W97.228596) where we were reunited with our motor home.
The staff had made a good job of the minor body repair damage somehow sustained on the last trip, fixed the many minor snags including a new stainless steel rear wheel trim and fitted a new awning. This was to replace the never-used awning which came unfurled and trashed itself off the Pacific Coast Highway on 19th April during our last trip. It’s funny how some dates stick in your mind. This one does, probably because we’ve had to pay for the full cost of the replacement plus labour charges.
The total bill was around $1600. Coachmen, the RV manufacturers had bottled out of their obligation under the warranty and passed the responsibility on to the awning manufacturer who refused to replace it because we had not kept the original one for inspection. It was nothing more than a mangled wreck of steel and material which would not have fitted in to any part of the vehicle for ‘safe keeping’ without being cut up in to small pieces.
As today was Labor Day, a national holiday in America, the staff were pretty keen to get away early and so rather than stay the night locked in the complex to try out the systems we opted to leave and head down the road a few miles to Wal-Mart for some shopping and then on to the RV Ranch campground, which was our final port of call on the last trip.
On arrival at the RV Ranch we set about getting everything within the cupboards and lockers back as we wanted them and then unpacked. We were just so tired after what had been a very long day, and eventually went to bed almost ready to hit the road tomorrow.
LOCATION TONIGHT: RV Ranch campground, 2301 S Burleson Blvd, Burleson TX 76028 (GPS: N32.494183 W97.284819)