My husband and I recently took a road trip from Tampa to Houston. My daughter moved there recently and was dying for us to come visit. I personally was dying to relocate Flo, her beloved rabbit, who had lived with us for the past two years, inside my tidy little home in her big old hutch, throwing her litter out all over the living room floor every time she thumped her hind foot at us. And the odor!
All that aside, my husband was overjoyed to be taking a road trip with me in his fairly new Tesla. We had never done that before and the car had more storage space in it than my SUV, due to the fact that it had no engine taking up the entire “frunk,” the front trunk. So we were able to take Flo (her hutch just barely fit on the back seat), as well as a full load (remember, front and back trunks!) of my daughter’s left-behinds.
Although I was excited to visit Alexis in her new home town, I was not looking forward to the expedition. Fourteen hours sitting in a car! (We didn’t want to stop overnight because of the rabbit.) But we would also have to recharge the car every two-to-three hours when my car would have gone for four hours before needing to gas up. For one thing, the car only holds a 280-mile charge. And Tesla superchargers (the fastest charging stations) are spaced approximately 150 miles apart, a two-hour drive at 75 mph. They charge at 200-300 mph, requiring anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to get us to the next supercharger. So the charging process took longer than filling the gas tank.
What to do for 20 minutes? We’d always look for a bathroom, of course. In DeFuniak Springs, in Walton County, Florida, the only thing open at 10 am and within walking distance was a friendly and spotless FNBT bank. The teller was a quintessential Southern belle; as gracious as she could be. We trooped in, one at a time, both on our way out to Houston and on our way back.
That was actually our shortest charging stop because there was so little to do there. So we hopped back into the car and continued on our road trip.
Most charging stations are positioned in a mall, near a restaurant. I did some shopping at a Bed, Bath and Beyond at one of our stops. But most of the time, we’d find the most interesting looking eatery and, if we were able, order something we’d never had before to eat. We always had my service dog with us, and Hachi’s pretty unusual looking, as well as well-behaved, so she always provoked discussion, either with the restaurant employees or with other patrons. So, we often took longer to wrap up a visit than the charging process required.
On our way back home, we were sitting in the Acme Oyster House in Baton Rouge, when I realized that, although the trip had consumed an extra four-to-five hours each way than it would otherwise have done, I had really enjoyed the opportunity to road trip and stop in several major cities I’d never seen before and chat with the folks in the diners along the way. I’m always in such a rush, even when on vacation, that I rarely can even force myself to relax. But I had truly enjoyed all of this chat time with my husband, and with all of our new acquaintances.