Too Long Between Posts

Since we landed in Jojoba Hills it seems we have been on the run.  We have both thrown ourselves into our activities as if we had never left. I won’t recount every committee meeting or get together as much because I can’t remember as it would be a total bore. I am running for the board of directors, as if that would surprise anyone, and Carol is reactivating our 4911 service which provides a park member, trained in CPR with an AED, on call when 911 is called to assist while waiting for First Responders to arrive. We have spent a day in Los Angeles with our family there as well. I get tired just thinking of all we have done. Oh yes, I have been playing Bridge 

The weather has gone from midsummer highs in the high 90’s to Fall with highs in the 60’s with no intermediate. The sunsets continue to be wonderful.

This view is from the pool deck looking over Palomar Mountain taken during Happy Hour in our newly updated covered patio.  If you follow me on FaceBook ,  you have seen this image.

Our next “move” will be to Borrego Springs for Thanksgiving with Yechiel and family and Miriam Katz family. That will have us out of the park for four days.  We have been exploring the candy store offered by OAT but with two trips scheduled already we are taking it slow for a bit.  

As I look back over posts from years ago it appears we have become a bit more sedentary. However, in those days we were spending a lot of time in Rochester and our RV journeys were just that journeys.  We plan to mostly stay in Jojoba Hills this winter and resume travel in May to Ireland. The plan is, as always, subject to change.

Man Plans and God Laughs – Settling In

It has been a very busy couple of days since I posted last. We decided to press on a bit after we left Las Cruces with the cracked windshield. I thought to stop at Pilots Knob, BLM land just into California, for the last night on the road.  Another cliche “the best  laid plans” are modified by Road Repair.  Some genius closed two exits off I 8 just after entering California, one of them being the exit we were counting on and the immediate following exit so that an easy return was not to be achieved. We got off at Grays Well Road Imperial Sand Dunes Park. This is adjacent to the border with Mexico and is a wonderful playground for people with noisy motorized sand toys.  Darkness did not stop them, but by 10:30 PM most were sitting at their campfires or tucked it. We took our favorite road The Imperial Highway aka S2 through Anza Borrego and on to CA 79 and home.

Pulling into our site was easy after a month of nightmares about how we would be able to get back in with the new hard awning. With me guiding from the ground, Carol eased it into place like the pro driver she is. We were greeted by Diane and Al as we dismounted to size up the entry and waited until Monday to have an evenings Happy Hour with them. The coach is set up for extended living, until Thanksgiving anyhow. The new windshield is on order, new batteries have been installed in the golf cart (not planned – but) and we  are settling into life. That means I have been to three meetings and Carol also and I haven’t gotten to play bridge, yet. Outdoor work is curtailed by extreme heat – about 100 as I write – and high winds bringing the threat of fire, not to be ignored in these parts.

It has been great fun reconnecting with our Jojoba Hills Community. At the Monday Meeting, Carol and I got in a long line of newly returned members to tell the stories of our travels since leaving in May. I was also welcomed as a candidate for a seat on the board, the only candidate for three open seats. Time will tell what other insanity I will choose. Carol  has signed up to run for Assistant Chair of Hilltoppers, the social organization.   

I Spoke too Soon

Uneventful just added an event. Not a show stopper, but a major annoyance. A couple of days ago some aggressive driver swerved in front of us and kicked up a stone that chipped the windshield. Not even worth mentioning. Got my a hold of our insurer and and arranged for a chip repair at the site in Las Cruces while the coach was being washed and waxed. 

The immediate chip repair was fine, but there was another large chip higher up and as soon as the tech laid the template around it it ran in three directions. New windshield will be ordered as soon as we get to Jojoba Hills. I am hoping they can do the replacement on site.  It’s always something.

The coach is beautiful with its fresh coat of wax. I must admit I  always have this done here by Sal’s Magic Touch . They are efficient and not terribly expensive. 

Still on the Road

We have been moving.  1720 miles over 5 days. For the high mileage drivers among you, youngsters, that is a mere 2 exhausting days. For us it is an exhausting 5 days. We are stopped in Las Cruces NM at our regular campground, Siesta RV Park.  It is basic, no pool, no lounge, no pavement. It does offer the services we want and a location we enjoy. We got off the road early, by 3 PM and will do very little until we roll on out on Saturday the 20th. 

The most exciting story of this trek has been that it has been totally uneventful. We have listened to Dan Brown’s Origin and are now almost finished with God of the Hives by Laurie King. We stopped in Monahans Sandhills State Park on I 20 in the Oil Patch, a familiar stop for us.

 

 

We went for a short walk in the sand hills and managed to lose sight of everything human created except for footprints and eventually people making them.

We have continued to live on a limited news diet. No more than 30 minutes with the NYTimes and NPR Morning Edition in the background while preparing and eating breakfast.  We limit our rants about . . . to 5 minutes and turn everything off, resume listening to our story and trundle down the road.  This seems to be much easier on the nerves. Sometimes I feel we are shirking our duty of being in turmoil and agony over the direction the government is headed. I am not running for any governmental office and I am not in a position to influence any politician other than by calling and emailing. these are very limited activities and I can only hope that someone actually counts the contacts. Our Senators are Cornyn and Cruz and our Congress idiot is Brian Babin, none of them are likely to ever do anything I consider useful or constructive. 

Hmm, that sounds remarkably like a rant, time’s up.

We are looking forward to getting to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort on Monday to resume our activities there. The remaining stops along the way may be Benson AZ, Peg Leg Smith Monument, or other boondocking areas along the way as the spirit moves us.

Note I am still learning to use WordPress and some formatting is a bit of a challenge. I will improve 🙂

 

On the Move, Westbound

As I write we are parked (parking is allowed, camping is not) in a Walmart in Opelika Alabama. We covered 320 miles today while driving for 6 hours. Time out for fuel for the coach and us, plus driver changes is not factored in.  Nor is a stop during which we figured out where we would stop for the night. Between Columbus GA and Montgomery AL along SR 80 there are no viable places to spend the night. That gets to looking like a very long 80 or 90  miles, especially after 5 and a half hours of steady driving. This is about 10 miles off our route but it will net out just fine in the long run. On days like this happiness is a WalMart that says “come on in and park near the Murphy station”.  

The other happiness was “no news.” We skirmished with the news over breakfast, a bit of NPR and a bit of the NYTimes, just enough to convince us we really don’t need to know any more. Certainly not while driving as throwing  a fit or things at the radio is not really safe while driving. Instead we are listening to “Origins” Dan Brown’s latest novel. There is lots of descriptive material and many puzzles to be solved along the way. Of course the main puzzle remains to be solved until we finish the  book. The miles vanish under the tires as the story unfolds. Monday is planned to be another 6 hour day ending in or near Jackson MS. 

Beginning another Cross Country Drive

After a way to brief visit, we left Covesville VA to begin our return to our southern California home base in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort by going the “wrong way” as usual. Our first stop was Charlotte NC to visit with Terry and David in their new home outside of Charlotte. As promised, their driveway was adequate for GeeWhiz and the Jeep and close enough to level for our needs. We had a delightful visit and dinner including David’s daughter Greta extended almost to closing the restaurant. After breakfast the next morning, more than plentiful, we began the job of extracting the coach from the driveway. With Carol at the wheel we inched around the curved drive and avoided the mailbox with at least 2 inches to spare. 

We set off for Hilton Head Island Motor Coach Resort and the Tiffin Travelers Rally. Carol negotiated Charlotte morning traffic and work zones with aplomb and eventually I took the helm for the second half of the drive. I was looking forward to easy parking in a well established RV resort, forgetting, or maybe just not thinking about, its being old too and designed, like Jojoba Hills, in a time when a BIG motorhome was 27 feet long! Winding narrow roads required an escort to guide us to the site and to assure we got situated without causing any damage to us or more importantly to the facilities. All done and it is indeed lovely. 

On our Site

We will be here a total of four days and we are meeting new friends some of whom we have met in the past but a few years ago 🙂  We are touring Hilton Head Island today and will write about what we see and do as we go.

Road Travels and More

Having fixed the minor failures developed on the 2 months long trip to Newfoundland and back to Rochester, we set out for our Charlottesville family under clear skies, the first actual stop on our way to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort in SoCal. We were debating where to stop along the way as we never consider making the drive in one day in the motorhome because it would be too long a day and we would arrive after dark. As we drove we decided to continue on to Western Village RV Park in Carlyle PA, leaving us a 4 hour drive to the farm. Our new Garmin GPS came up with a totally weird route that seemed to take us 30 miles out of the way. First mistake! since we have driven this many times, we ignored her route and drove on. Seeing a sign that prohibited trucks over 36 feet we drove on, we are not a truck and we are just 36 feet. Second mistake! The very narrow route through a very small town was closed. The detour took us through even more narrow roads with tight turns. Putting a rear tire on a curb and then dropping it off help two glass dishes decide to commit suicide on our tile floor. The resulting noise was terrifying and broken glass sliding around was no better and there was no place to pull off for 6 miles.

After we stopped long enough to clean up the worst of the mess we continued down US 15 only to find it closed!!! The detour of over 20 miles on mostly narrow two lane roads took almost an hour as all of the route 15 trucking traffic was detouring with us. The Garmin’s out of the way route was looking better and better. Lesson 3: turn off the Garmin’s “automatic redirect” so there is some reason for outrageous routes or just believe it. We made the campground before it closed and got set up in the fading twilight. The next day was uneventful and we are now happily set up in Malena and Dan’s driveway.

Side note: If you pay attention to such things, the url for this page has changed. Carol and I have had some challenges with Blogger which has not had any updates in a couple of years. Google does not seem to be interested in maintaining it. All posts from 2004 to today have been moved to WordPress, some early pictures seem to have been lost in the transition. I will leave the xctraveler.blogspot.com up for the immediate future until I finish playing with this new format. The blog is now hosted in WordPress on http://goldberg-online.net and it is the front page. Look up at the menu and you can get to the rest of an admittedly cobwebbed old site that I plan to begin refreshing in the coming months

Reflections

A year ago we were waiting for repairs on GeeWhiz to be completed so we could resume our life on the road. We were recovering from our trip to South Africa and neighboring countries and thinking about our travel west. Today Rosh HaShanah is behind us and we are in the interval before Yom Kippur and we are taking stock and making amends for any wrongs we have committed. If by my actions or words I have harmed any of you my readers, I apologize, and beg forgiveness and If any of you have inadvertently injured me I forgive you.

The arc of our travels in the past 12 months is fairly straightforward. We drove from Rochester to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort in 11 days, a record crossing of the US for us. We saw nothing. Other than a stop in Las Cruces to visit dear friends we, just, kept, moving. Once we got to Jojoba Hills, we planted ourselves. We took a week in Palm Desert with friends and a couple of weeks in Arizona including Escapade near Tucson. Other wise we were content in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort (here after JJH). Our travel back East had a couple of interruptions. First a stop in Flagstaff for Josh’s graduation from NAU and then a stop near Kansas City to fly to Ashgabot, Turkmenistan for the beginning of our trip to the Stans. Four countries – we had an overnight stop and a day in Istanbul and back to Kansas City to pick up the coach and return to Rochester for Jazz Fest!

Whew, Avi, our youngest grandson, flew in to spend 4 nights of Jazz (46 Performances) with us. and then we were off to NJ where we picked up Corey, and NYC and Cape Cod and Boston where we put Corey on a plane home, and NS and finally the ferry to Newfoundland (emphasis on land). and another ferry back to NS and returning toward Rochester via Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. I’m getting tired just writing this all down. The details can be found in the blogs along the way.

Our next travel should seem a bit more relaxed. Rochester to C’ville and four days with Dan’s family – Happy Birthday Dan – you can’t be that old, we’re only . . . forget it at least its a square. Then on to Hilton Head, OMG a real resort, for a Tiffin Travelers Rally and then across the country to JJH arriving before Oct 25 if Murphy will leave us alone. There is more foreign travel booked, but that can wait.

Lessons learned, keep moving. We try very hard not to let the ailments of body and coach slow us down. We both feel better if we can move, get out and take a walk, or take a hike or just saunter and enjoy the day or the evening. The coach is easier, a generous application of $$ seems to keep it working just fine and every now and then some elbow grease to make it look nice and to fix the little stuff makes me feel better about myself.

I have skipped over the most important part of our life, after family, that is community. We keep addressing the question of why we return to Rochester, so many friends and acquaintances have moved on. The question can be found in our community in Rochester. Carol and I still belong to the synagogue where we met in kindergarten 70 years ago. We can walk in after a years absence and be greeted with hugs and kisses from people who know us almost as long as we have known each other. I am going to a board meeting of the Jewish Community Federation where I was President 30 years ago and I will know many of the attendees and be welcome to take a seat and participate as if I never left. And then we rush across the continent to Jojoba Hills SKP Resort where we have found a new (to us) and wonderful community that will welcome us with hugs and kisses when we arrive and we can’t wait to get together with them and share our tales of the summer just past.

Rochester

We are comfortably ensconced in our apartment on Saint Paul Street enjoying watching the people and the traffic in constant motion beneath our windows. We even venture out from time to time and walk when we can in our very diverse neighborhood. We are next to the central bus terminal and all city buses pass through this one terminal with a half hour delay for people to change from one line to another. For us we can go most anyplace we choose by bus and return is easy cause any inbound bus must get here eventually. The cost is 50 cents for Seniors. We also now have Uber and Lyft should we choose. Of course Ruby, the red Jeep, is in the parking lot for most of our travel beyond our walking range.

Read Carol’s most recent blog to see the current status of our walking range. This coming week is filled with appointments, I have not seen so many different doctor visits packed together, with no one sick, in one of visits here. Of course I did have to add one to tell me how to deal with the kidney stone, which seems to have taken some time off from tormenting me. Mixed in we will catch meals with people we want to see and even some time with Ray Ciccarelli, the Financial Planner who bought my practice and acquired me as a client as part of the deal. It’s fun for me to sit on the other side of the desk these days. Oh, just occurred to me his other office is in Naples FL and his sister is there as well as other family, hope they are safe.

I am reminded that the Jewish High Holy Days are not far off. It is a time of thinking back over what I have done and looking forward to how I can contribute to my community in the coming year. I have already made some decisions concerning our community in Jojoba Hills, but that is really only one community of the several that fill our lives and make life interesting and exciting as we approach the middle of our 7th decade. Funny, I shifted from me to we without even realizing until the words were on the screen. The greatest blessing of MY life is to be partnered with Carol for essentially all of OUR lives. I hope we are an example and inspiration to others in our family and circle of friends.

I could ramble on, but I am not sure I could keep your attention, so until the next time, as we say when we part from members of our RVing world “Safe Travels” wherever they may take you.

Retracing – Museum of Jewish Montreal

I am responding to a request from a reader to describe our time at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. We booked a tour “Making Their Mark, Montreal Jewish History Walking Tour” which met at the Jewish Museum. Car, Metro and hoof brought us to 4040 St Laurent the location of the museum with two hours to tour and have lunch. We walked right by it! Twice. This is more of a virtual museum. It hosts a cafe serving Jewish food.

I had a gefilte fish club sandwich for lunch, interesting. There were books on display and for sale and some pictures of old Jewish Montreal. There was a counter for the tours. Our walking tour was about two hours and we saw old synagogues, former synagogues, sweat shops, meat restaurants and schools. We walked though many of the alleys where life had thrived. One sweatshop in particular dominated the neighborhood. I was built by Leonard Cohen’s grandfather and today it is instantly recognizable:
In short the Jews moved north in the ’50’s and ’60’s and many left Montreal with the development of the Separatist Movement. Most large corporations moved their headquarters to Toronto to continue to be able to be Canadian Corporations. 
I would highly recommend the tour and the Food Tour which we didn’t have time for. Don’t allow two hours to tour the museum as we did 🙂 Two minutes is more like it, but have lunch.

Seeing the World/Seeing the US