When we arrived at the office, we took our number and waited about a half-hour to be called. We had title, registration and insurance documents with us and we knew that they didn't take credit cards so we brought the checkbook along. The lady was helpful, but what we didn't expect was that we needed to have one other document with us. We needed to leave the courthouse and have part of this form filled out by either a Police Officer or Notary Public that would actually look at the car and verify that the V.I.N. on the car matched the V.I.N. on the Title. I don't really understand this, but maybe there are scams around where the Title and car don't match? Hmmmm....
So we dutifully took the papers and had a Notary do the verification for us.
When we returned (several days later) to finish up the process we found that the office had been closed and we were directed to a nearby Tag Agency :(
We got to the Tag Agency and got in line. It didn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes to get helped and the lady providing us service was friendly ... and very, very sick (if we catch something it's likely because she transferred it to us on our plates or papers). She reviewed all our documents and nodded approvingly that we were good to go. She asked the customary questions about what kind of plates we wanted, whose name to title the car to, and what address to send the new title to. We paid almost a hundred dollars for title transfer, a hundred dollars for first-time registration fee and some more for Ageny Fee, use tax, and the actual registration fee. It was roughly twice what we'd've paid in Colorado, maybe closer to 3 times.
She then grabbed our plate and affixed the bright yellow expiration sticker on it. It said "01-10".
We asked her why it was only to January instead of a full year from today's date, she said that Florida registers by birth month! Well .. Robin is January, but I'm in July ... but it was already completed and we'd likely have paid a whole new transfer fee to change the title over to me. (sigh).
We did get a bit of a chuckle out of it though. It's just something else we've run across that signals us that we're not in Colorado anymore. I guess I am kind of closed-minded to about doing things any way different from what I know, but this still seems a bit out in left field.
It does, however, give me a page or two of Blog material for a couple of hours worth of experience :)
After that (we'd hustled home from work to get there) we went to the Firestone Dealer so they could put in an air filter that I'd paid for but they forgot to install. To their credit they waved at us when we pulled up and came straight to our car the moment we drove into the parking lot. Their apologies were accepted and the technician popped the hood and swapped the air filter out in an amazing 31 seconds (yes, we were jokingly timing it ... but he wowed us all).
Then we headed out to the boat for a little visit and to clean up after some pesky pigeons. I'll figure a way to keep them off the mast and make million$ some day :) Then we headed off to dinner at a quaint German restaurant we'd been meaning to try for several months. It was pleasant and relatively quiet with some 'unique' live entertainment. The solo artist played keyboards and accordian as he had apparently been doing for many, many years. He was doing the "Pennsylvania Polka" and some other familiar German and European favorites for a while, but it got kind of weird when the Chicken Dance fired up and then it got pretty laughable when we heard "Margaritaville" on an accordian with a Polka beat.
Still, the food was good and the staff great. The facility is old and decorated in things Bavarian from who knows how long ago. We left quite pleased and with the next day's lunch n our take-home bag.
As is often our custom, we did not take a straight-home route and opted to explore a bit on the way back. It was dark, and pleasant so we put the top down on the convertible and meandered around in an inderect way home (a-la Family Circus). This is a good way to get lost for a while and not let it become worrisome because we actually planned on it :). So, as the streets wandered around and finally dead-ended we weren't bothered and started finding our way back.We were tooling aroung in a mobile home park/area actually and found a waterway blocking our direct route through the park (that happens a lot around here).
So we did a couple of left turns and found the perimeter road and were happily headed back to the main street when I heard two things simultaneously; Robin's scream and the sound of an impact on her shoulder.
We both knew she'd been hit by something and at first we figured it must've been a very large bug of some kind. We were making about 25 mph and whatever it was hit her hard enough to hurt a little, startle her a lot and , make noise and also hard enough to prove that it wasn't a moth or mosquito.
Slowing, I turned the overhead light on and we started looking for something large and crawly-or-winged beasty of the night. I thought maybe a dragonfly or Cicada, or maybe even a Mantis but we couldn't seem to find anything on or in around the seats.
Robin spotted him first...an unlikely critter in an unlikely spot. A gray-green Tree Frog maybe 3 inches long was sitting on the dashboard, probably wondering what had just happened to him.
He jumped across the dash when I tried to catch him and then I had a second thought because I had no clue about tree frogs and whether there are any venomous ones around here. I know there are venomous toads living around here and they will poison and kill dogs & cats sometimes and make people pretty sick with a neurotoxin on the back of their necks. Luckily we had some paper towels handy and I reached for him a couple more times before I finally got him when he landed on the steering wheel. I tossed him back out and we went on our way, very curious about why such a little fellow would attack such a big silver target (i.e. the car) and even more puzzled about exactly how he got that far into the sky to begin with. You see, we weren't exactly under any trees...