A Gathering of Goldbergs – 2013

We began the new year in Fredericksburg Texas with half our complement down with what turned out eventually to be the flu.  Fortunately Carol and I were among the lucky who had flu shots over a month ago and they covered the particular flu we were exposed to.  We stayed healthy!  On New Years day Yechiel, Josh, Azriel and I went to the National Museum of the War in the Pacific.  After more than four hours they were turning off the lights to get us to leave.  Even with two more hours the next day, Yechiel and I never got passed the Leyte Gulf battle (preliminary to retaking the Phillipines).  Lesson, if you are a history buff and interested in the War  in the Pacific allow two full days or more to take in this museum.  I have not even talked about the Battleground site just down the road from the museum.  Check out their web site http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/index.asp

The second day of the year Yechiel and I were active, Carol and Miriam were the healthy ones staying behind to care for the sick ones.  By the 4th we were mostly up and around and we packed up and got back on the road to San Antonio KOA.  We arrived mid afternoon and after basic set up I got busy setting up the eruv for Shabbat (here is probably more information than you want on eruv).  We had set one up at Admiralty using a kite line and clothesline to link the back of our coaches and an open area from the door of Yechiel’s coach to ours. As I checked with Yechiel before climbing on the back of his coach to hang the rope, he told me that the KOA was entirely fenced with a river along one boundary, problem solved the entire campground was declared an eruv.  The kids were delighted because as they were recovering from their flu they could romp and play ball wherever they chose – so long as they stayed out of other’s sites.

Saturday Leigh and Pat revisited and after a great visit on the coach we went off without Yechiel’s family to a Mexican restaurant “Guajillo” for lunch.  We treated Josh to a margarita to celebrate his 21st birthday (a day early).  Sunday began the end of the Gathering.  Dan and I took Yechiel and family to the airport and said farewell.  On return to the KOA we decided to go to Mission San Jose where we took in the introductory film and toured the grounds.  Originally we had planned to celebrate Josh’s actual birthday with dinner on board, but Dan and Malena suggested that we take the Riverwalk boat ride and have Josh choose a restaurant for his birthday dinner.  Great choice!

Monday was a marathon of sorts.  Dan and family had an early flight so we let them take the rental van and drop it off.  We then left in Dan’s rental motorhome- me – and the Jeep – Carol with Josh to go to the airport.  Carol then found her way to the rental agency and picked me up so we could pack lunch and drive Yechiel’s motorhome in convoy with the Jeep to the rental agency in Boerne.  We returned to KOA and proceeded to spend the rest of the day cleaning everything in sight and preparing to continue on with our travels, alone.

Today, Tuesday, we headed out to Rainbow’s End in Livingston Texas where we will get new driver’s licenses and Texas plates for the vehicles.  The drive was uneventful if damp.  It took three different mapping packages and the use of a paper map to find a reasonable way to drive from San Antonio to Livingston without going close to Houston.  We did it and it only took 6 miles and 30 minutes more.  Upon arrival it started to rain for real with thunder and lighting and as I got out to disconnect the Jeep and guide Carol backing the coach into the spot it poured.  By the time the coach was spotted we were both soaked so I just finished hooking everything up in the rain.  In the morning I will double check my work.

After note: If anyone reading this is considering renting a motorhome from CruiseAmerica have second thoughts, then rethink if you are still considering it.  The list of unserviced items and failures is too long to make a ten day rental comfortable.  If I had not been along with my RV knowledge, it could have been a disaster.  The furnace failed and the propane/CO detector went into a failure mode I had not seen myself.  Add leaking roof vents and you begin to get the picture.  The 24 hour emergency service did not answer the phone for over 30 minutes and finally responded 12 hours later.  The rental from American Dream Vacations was not without some issues but the coach was new and well maintained and there were no major/show stopping failures.

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