Prim and I just pulled back into Austin yesterday afternoon, with the last 2 nights at South LLano state park in Junction TX to unwind from the "big city" trip.
Sorry for the late post on the results and thoughts, but what happened to me can be a lesson for those who have not prepared, those who have prepared can chime in and tell us how they did prepare...
So Southern California has it it's pros and cons, as stated in previous posts, the driving and traffic is definatly a con... however, there are some pretty awsome resturants and beautiful views of the mountains in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Huntington Beach has a very nice "dog beach" (http://dogbeach.org/
) where dogs can run free along California coastline and play with other dogs and chase sea gulls to their hearts content. Yes, Texas also has costal beaches where dogs are allowed, but not off leash, so having all dogs off leash is pretty awsome (provided you dog plays well with other dogs). Most owners who have aggresive dogs will not let them off leash on that beach anyways, so those of us with gentle dogs are pretty safe.
Beach + Dog = GOOD.
Beach + Car Keys = BAD
Yup, you guessed it, My car keys were in my jacket pocket (hey, it cold and breezy on a beach) and I ran around with my dogs.... Poof - GONE.
So, you would think that if I was smart enough, I should have put it in my jeans pocket, where they woud be more secure but no, I didn't. I could have even locked them into the Excursion, since I have a keypad entry so I wouldn't even have to bring any keys or fob, but nope, I didn't do that either.
It is nearly impossible to find keys that have fallen onto a beach. Especially when the sun is setting and the tide is rising. This is fact.
It is also nearly impossible to find a locksmith that can come out and not just open a car door, but have a portable $5K computer gizmo to re-program the Excursion computer to accept new "computer chip" keys that were needed to start up the truck. We got lucky in Orange county on this one. Most locksmiths and even the Ford roadside assistance told us to get the truck towed to a Ford dealership for the night, and then have parts and service department make and re-program keys in the morning, as this was 7:30 PM.
So, $160 dollars later, I am out my orginal truck key, keyless FOB, my house key, and my wife's fiber optic mercedes key.... (I anticipate the last key to be the most expensive key to replace), BUT, I have my Airstream keys in my jeans pocket and 2 new Excursion keys that start the truck so I can go along my merry way and go back home at my campsite in Newport beach and drown in my stupidity...
As the wife and I drive back to camp with the dogs and my new truck keys, we do the shoulda/coulda/woulda talk where I shoulda had more truck keys made (we only had one since I bought it used), and that I shoulda left the keys in the truck, or at least, put in in my jeans pocket were it would be more secure...
We get back to camp, still in sorrow, but at least happy we have the Airstream keys and the day can end somewhat normally. So, I retreive the keys from my jeans pocket, unlock the trailer, and walked inside. 2 minutes later, the wife and I decide the dogs need a bathroom break, so we walk back out of the trailer and let the dogs do their thing. As we stand there in the moonlight watching dogs doing their thing, we hear the trailer door gently swing shut in a breeze...
Yup, you guessed it, the door shut WITH the lock latched... and my new Excursion keys AND the Airstream keys are IN the LOCKED trailer...
Well, good thing that locksmith left me a reciept with his phone #....$60 later, I now became the locksmith's best client, AND biggest idiot all at the same time.
Lessoned learned. Always have spare keys, always have them secure on your body, and find a way to hide or keep a set on the tow vehicle AND trailer.