Looking ahead, Looking back

I guess I’ll join the mob of writers taking advantage of the end of the year to find a topic for a blog. If you have followed our blog regularly, much of this is review. You can stop reading here!

 For the past 15 years our life has focused on RV travel. We have also continued to enjoy much travel out of the country. Foreign travel in 2015 started out in Israel to end 2014 and begin the year with our sons and their families. I am not sure I want to put together such a massive undertaking again, but it surely was a wonderful experience for all of us. The greatest delight for me and for Carol, was watching the members of the family who had never been to Israel experience it for the first time.

Coming back to the US we traveled in the coach for the months of January through May and into June returning to Rochester in time for the Rochester International Jazz Festival . We spent the end of the summer in the countries that surround the Adriatic, with the exception of Italy.

Our RV travels have taken a new turn. After getting back from Israel, we headed west stopping to visit our many friends along the usual route until we got to the Tucson area where we stopped for the Escapees’ Escapade in the Pima Fairgrounds south of the city. While there we ran into John who was manning a booth featuring Jojoba Hills SKP Resort (SKP is an alternate spelling for Escapee). After talking with him and a couple of other members of the Coop we decided we really needed to pay a visit and look into the idea. We have wandered in a fairly nomadic manner with the seasons for the past 14 years. It seemed to be time to see if there was another mode to this wonderful RV life style that would work for us. We joined.

 We left Rochester in early October inspired by the desire to be with the VA Goldbergs preparing for Corey’s Bar Mitzvah. Then we turned the wheels west hoping to get to our new site in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort by mid December. With stops in St Petersburg, Tucson, and Las Cruces, documented elsewhere, we finally pulled into Jojoba Hills on December 17. And here we have been. Grandson Alex flew in from Virginia to spend the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 with us in our new home base. This will be be two years in a row for him to share New Years Eve with us. On Sunday we will take him in the coach to Indian Waters Resort in Indio. it is much closer to the airport, and we will be joined by Yechiel and clan, renting a cabin in the same campground. We hope to take a day in Joshua Tree NP and then take Alex to the airport. We have friends in the park and hope to spend some time with them as well. Then on Thursday back to Jojoba Hills. I have reported our foreign travel plans elsewhere. We may touch Rochester in August and again in October.

Jojoba Hills SKP Resort

We joined and were assigned site 712 in April after visiting here for a week in March. since then we have traveled widely, crossing the country twice and touring 6 countries that touch the Adriatic. Now we have returned to Jojoba Hills, at last, to our site. It feels very welcoming here, like coming home. Although the people are all new to us, they are fellow RVers and have settled for the most part far from family and long time friends. It is a community of a wandering sort.

We do not know how much we will stay put here, but we do know where we will return to when we leave. The afternoon views from the patio in front of our coach will change minute by minute, but the mountains will remain:

and for the most so will the people. I have been looking at the volunteer opportunities and I’m sure I will find interesting things to do. They even have a Finance Committee that wants members. But I will also find pleasure in working with my hands helping to maintain the buildings and grounds. 
For the past three years we have gotten on just fine with only the Jeep, even when we are in Rochester or some other city. there are always feet if the car isn’t available. Here at Jojoba the distances are too small to take the Jeep, but too great and too steep to always want to walk, especially if we need to carry things. Besides I always wanted a pickup truck so we bought this golf cart that would never be at home on a golf course. Naturally it is RED to match the Jeep and clearly it is intended for off road travel ­čÖé Here it is front of our shed getting its first full charge since it was delivered.

We are looking forward to a week long visit from Alexander after Christmas and I am sure visits with Yechiel and family as well. They are only a couple of hours northwest of here. 
I have no idea what my blogging schedule will look like while we are sitting, but I suspect I will find things to write about over the coming months. 
Merry Christmas to my Christian readers and enjoy Chinese and a Movie to my Jewish readers (let me know what you saw).

Tucson

I see that Carol just posted her Monday Blog Message in a Minute and I guess that has inspired me to write.

We had a delightful time in Las Cruces visiting with the Ketler/Zeitlin family. Thursday night we had dinner at La Posta with Marianne and then went to a concert of quartet music at NMSU where we were joined by Stu and later by Leora. The group are faculty and all from Latin America, the program was short pieces from Brazil, mostly. Marianne characterized the program as being all encore pieces. I could not disagree. It was enjoyable, but more like brief bits of candy then a substantial meal.

After weeks of travel without the time or place to wash the coach I hired a crew we had used before to wash and wax the coach and Jeep. They took about 3 hours to get the job done, the owner and crew of three worked hard to prepare us for the rain we are now experiencing in Tucson ­čÖü

Friday night was a wonderful dinner with song and stories for the 6th night of Hanukah and Shabbat, at Stu and Leora’s home. We have had the pleasure of sharing Purim and Pesach with them as well as Shabbat over the years. It is so nice to have such wonderful friends to visit as we traverse the country. Leora did suggest that the High Holidays would be wonderful and I am sure it would be, Next year seems unlikely as we will just be back from an OAT trip to Africa as the holiday season approaches.

Las Cruces to Catalina State Park, just north of Tucson was a moderate day’s drive. The park is half empty as much due to the time of year as to the weather. It was clear and chilly as we arrived. The temperature dropped into the 30’s overnight and as I write it is raining, windy and has not gotten over 40. Tucson? We are snug and dry in the coach and likely to stay here unless the rain abates. Tomorrow we will have dinner with Ellie and Kelly who we met on the Thailand/Vietnam portion of our extended OAT trips in 2013.

Trivia: drop the “c” from Faculty and you have . . .

Half way across the country

From south of Mobile, in Summerdale AL we have moved on west stopping first in Poche RV Park outside Lafayette LA. We got in late and left early. It is a nice place and we have stayed there in the past, but this year it was just an overnight. Next stop was Rainbow’s End in Livingston TX where we got the Jeep and the coach inspected. Just pull into the inspection shop without an appointment and 20 minutes later after paying $14 total for both vehicles we are good for another year. We also got our mail, I needed the car to go over and pick it up, we hadn’t collected any in a couple of weeks. After two nights we were on the move again headed into San Antonio.

San Antonio was a three night stop. We had dinner with Mary and Harry, who are parents of the Assistant Rabbi at the synagogue we grew up in in Rochester. We had a lovely time and hope to see them in Rochester in the Fall-talk about planning ahead. Our other major occupation in San Antonio was time at the McNay Art Gallery. For some history http://www.mcnayart.org/ We got there at 3 in the afternoon, only to find that they close at 4 on Friday. We dashed through the special exhibit of Miro’s work from the 60’s to the end both paintings and sculpture. Although we have been fans of Joan Miro for as long as I can remember, we were not familiar with the bronzes. Oh my what a show. When I was in high school my parents had a cheap print of a Miro oil that hung in my bedroom. It went off to college with me and then with my sister Sandy and then with Yechiel and I think eventually with a nephew. Oh we could hardly drag ourselves out of the modern end of the gallery. We crossed over to the house side where the exhibits were also wonderful, but we had to leave. We returned the next day and devoted most of our time to McNay’s personal collection in her house. She was a painter herself and collected modern works of art with a wonderful eye. Photography was not allowed. If you are going to San Antonio this is a must visit. Oh yes the grounds are magnificent as well.

Sunday, oh that is today, we rolled out with a plan to be on the road bout 4 hours. We had thought about charging across I 10, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to do that so here we are back in Seminole State Park along US 90 just before we cross the Pecos River. Tomorrow we will stop early again in Marfa before continuing on to Las Cruces on Tuesday.