Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 12

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the twelfth in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 11, click here.

Day 12 – Drive on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When we decided to go North a few days ago, we made a list of the things that we wanted to get to, and we had two things on the list, visit at least one of the mansions of Newport, RI and the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour in Westbury, VT.

A few weeks prior to our trip, Ben and Jerry’s sent a Model S that they customized to tour the country in what they are calling the #SaveOurSwirled tour. Well, they were in San Diego and Los Angeles, but I was never able to catch them anywhere close. As many readers may have noticed, I have a “thing” for frozen desserts, so, we decided to take OUR Model S to their factory and pick up some Ice Cream ourselves.

Our appointment with the Tesla Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center was at 1:00 pm so, we figured that we had the morning to sleep in and have some fun, so we did.




We left my cousin’s house with 176 miles of rated range left, that meant a two mile range loss from the night before.



Since I was inspired by one of the “best” threads on called Model S Nature Pictures, it was one of my goal’s for this trip to get the “best” Model S Nature Picture that I can for our car and we found a pond nearby to try to take pictures in.

We actually submitted one of these pictures to the thread. Though I have to admit that it’s funny to have a nature shot from Long Island. Considering how close we are to the city.  Here are a few of the other shots from this “nature” shoot that we did that we didn’t submit to the thread.





We figure that we were in “nature” as this sign instructed us not to feed the wildlife.  Once again, for those that actually live near nature, we’re city kids from Southern California, so I figured a “Please Do Not Feed the Wildlife” sign is a good indication that we’re right by nature.



Since we had time and wanted a better drive, we decided to take the Parkway back to Syosset.



Tesla Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center

After our leisurely drive in Long Island, we found ourselves about thirty minutes earlier than our appointment, but decided to check in and the service center was able to take us in early.  We were playing this day “loose.”  We hope to make it to Newport, RI in the evening, but will stop off along the way if we are unable to.  So, having the service center take us in early will give us a fighting chance of making our goal for the evening.



We had the gasket repaired at the Syosset Supercharger, Store, Service Center and in the process they also repaired a lose nut that became lose and caused the window to not roll all the way up.  The repair was adequate, however, the fit wasn’t great, so we made the determination to have this repaired (again) when we get home.

After 0.2 miles of turning the car in, we got it back, fully charged, repaired and ready to go.


We’re easily amused by wildlife signs for animals that are smaller than Deer. (As you remember, around Minnesota, we developed our “Deer Crossing” phobia.)

So, this sign was intriguing to us, and can be found in the street by the service center.


Not counting the Model S that we saw charging at the Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center, we spotted a “Random Model S” on our drive toward Rhode Island.


As we look behind on Long Island,


a few tolls later, we find ourselves in Connecticut.


On our way to our first supercharger in Connecticut, we spot the flag of something from our youth, though now called WWE, we used to call it WWF.


Darien I-95 North Rest Stop

Though the distance from Long Island to these superchargers is rather insignificant, we opted to stop at all the I-95 superchargers to continue to assist in providing content for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.



The traffic Northbound on I-95 into Connecticut is quite impressive. It was so slow that we were pretty efficient with less than 300 Wh per mile for our consumption efficiency for the approximately 50 miles from Long Island.



Going inside the rest stop, we saw this sign for the Pez Visitor Center, and penciled that in. We probably won’t be hitting it on this drive, but would make a note for either the return drive or the future.


After getting our charge and information on the Pez Visitor Center, we rejoin the I-95 traffic.

As with other Random Model S that we’ve spotted, we were excited to see the following Grey Model S in traffic ahead of us.


There was actually a white one that I spotted on the Southbound I-95 around the same time, but it was going too fast for me to take a photograph of.

Now, most people would be irritated with the bumper-to-bumper traffic that we experienced in Connecticut on I-95. However, after experiencing the agoraphobia of the earlier part of the drive, there was something comforting to be driving in orderly freeway rush hour traffic. Yup, it’s the weirdness of being away from home for too long.

And with that, we found ourselves at the Milford I-95 North Rest Stop.

Milford North Supercharger

We drove into this supercharger and found one of the stalls being used by a local.


We spoke briefly with the other Model S owner. Apparently, he had moved to Connecticut decades earlier from California and we were among the first Model S owners that he has met at this supercharger.

This supercharger was very close to the previous one, but we’re adding content to the Teslarati App for iOS so we figure a few minutes of stopping would be good.





We figured that we would be able to reach Newport, RI for the evening so we made arrangements to find and book ourselves a hotel to stay the night.

Along the way to Newport, we caught this “EV-friendly” license plate on a decisively non-EV Volkswagen.


I suppose that the driver could be preparing for an EV.

With a destination in sight, we determined that we could add a stop along the way.

We decided to go get pizza at Mystic Pizza. For those that are not Julia Roberts fans, Mystic Pizza is one of the first two movies of Julia Roberts’ career. It is also a real pizza parlor in Mystic, CT, so we figured to get pizza there before we headed to Newport, RI.




Spent the drive enjoying the view outside, as well as the view from the passenger side view mirror.


Some nice sunsets.




and then we find ourselves at Mystic, CT ordering Pizza to go.


A photo outside.


And another one inside.



And no, we didn’t spot Julia Roberts there. With pizza in hand, we continued on our trek to our hotel in Newport, RI.

As we crossed into the Rhode Island border, you know what it means when the signs are blurry.


And the bridge to get there



So, after 112 mile drive from the last Connecticut supercharge, we stopped off at the Hampton Inn & Suites, Newport-Middletown for the night.  We’re pretty close to tomorrow’s first supercharger for the night, but we ended the night with 139 miles of Rated Range left and even if we lose ten miles overnight, we’re fine.



Go on to Day 13. Click here.

12_Nesconset to Newport

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 11

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the eleventh in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 10, click here.

Day 11 – Drive on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today’s drive was going to be one of the shortest for the trip. But it also has the potential to go through some of the worst traffic of the trip. Our goal is to get from Northern New Jersey to my other cousin in Long Island. He lives near the Tesla Sales, Service Center, and Supercharger at Syosset, so another opportunity to write an entry for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

Prior to making the plans to visit Long Island, I reached out to EV supporter and Science Fiction Author, Aaron Crocco (whose new book, Spirit Hackers is coming out soon (June 2015)) to see if he would like to meet in real life. It turns out that Aaron’s other job is close to the Syosset location and we arranged to meet during his lunch hour. That means that we needed to target being at the Syosset store around noon. The traffic to Long Island is a challenge because of its proximity to New York City. Traveling from Randolph, NJ to Syosset, NY could take a relatively short time or, conversely, an inordinate amount of time. So, we decided to plan for the latter.

It was a tough night trying to figure out what settings to do for the 110V charge at my cousin’s home in Randolph, NJ. After some fidgeting about, we finally landed on 6A. One of the strengths of Tesla (whether the Roadster or Model S) is its flexibility in handling lower amperage charging. The Model S gained the ability to automatically sense and adjust to a lower draw for “safety” reasons but always had the manual ability to be set to draw at a lower rate than what is automatically sensed by the car.

Soon after we plugged the car in last night, it sensed that the wiring at my cousin’s garage had to be adjusted to 9A from the expected 12A. Many factors add to this result, but from what I can tell, it seems that the spot in the garage is the furthest point from his main panel.

The car kept stopping charge at 9A, so I did the “old” tactic of fidgeting the Amperage to get the right fit. First step is to charge at half the rate to see if that works. So, I went to 6A, saw that it took, and went to sleep.


As you can see, we rolled out of their place gaining one mile per hour. The charge actually topped off at 206 miles, a gain of 17 miles. Seeing that I didn’t really need to charge, I just wanted to minimize losing miles due to vampire loss, I found this rate was adequate for the evening. Additionally, leaving the car plugged in at 110V gave us the option to run pre-conditioning without worrying about range loss as we cool the car before the drive, which I did to get us to 204 miles of rated range before the start of the day. Beside, there is something “cool” about having some “places I’ve charged” marked thousands of miles away from home.

So, we left New Jersey and headed to Long Island. We have to warn drivers that the routes to Long Island from New Jersey is expensive. The toll roads and bridge tolls to get from Point A to Point B may require that someone obtain some sort of financing to make that crossing. We went through 2 tolls that cost $22 one way. That could get expensive on a daily basis.



Crossing over the bridge to New York State from New Jersey.



Decided not to “risk” our car in New York City traffic on this trip. That’s as close a view as we will get of “The City” on this trip.


View from the passenger rear view.


When we were on our way to Syosset, my wife noticed that the gasket on the passenger side was getting shredded. Though we didn’t take a picture of that particular instance, it was similar to the issue we had on the driver’s side at factory pickup (pictured below).


So, we made it a point to see if the Syosset Service Center can fit us in or provide us an appointment to have this taken care of.

Tesla Syosset Sales, Service and Supercharger Center

We got to the Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger earlier than our meet with Aaron, so we figured to get a charge before we met with him.




The center and supercharger parking lot was in extreme disrepair.


In fact, Tesla and/or their landlord was in the middle of repairing the entire parking lot and figured to have it completed by the May 17, 2015.

Before we saw the service center staff, we wanted to make sure that we had our car in our “possession” for meeting with Aaron Crocco.

One of the fun parts of the trip is we get to meet folks that we only know on the Internet in real life, so…



We took Aaron out on a spin in the Model S.

Needless to say, we had fun with him.

After our meet-up, we figured to have the gasket thing “taken care off”.

We went in to speak with the service center. Unfortunately, like SoCal service centers they are pretty booked up. However, they were able to fit us in for an appointment tomorrow, and since we’re not on any schedule at this part of our trip, we accepted the appointment.

With that we headed off toward Nesconset. Now the navigation normally would route travelers between Syosset and Nesconset over I-495 (the Long Island Expressway). But, if you remember correctly, we decided earlier in the drive to sometimes choose alternate routes and get off the Interstate, and we were so close that we decided to take an alternate route to Nesconset. We decided to take the Northern State Parkway and meander to our destination.

Stopped off for some grub, and proceeded to Nesconset.


My cousin’s son had a baseball game at Baseball Heaven that afternoon and we spent the time with them.

In speaking with my cousin and his son, we found out that their school has been undefeated so far this baseball season. Now the pressure is on us. We didn’t want to be the “jinx” that brought about their first loss.


So, how did the game go? My cousin’s son did great (went 3 for 3, with a triple for one of those hits) but the team was behind all game Until he scored the run that tied the game (off that lead-off triple.) Aside from startin get the game in Second Base, he pitched in relief to get the win if they counted those things at this level of baseball. It would’ve been a long ride back home (all the way to California) if we had been the “jinx.” It was fun to watch a “Hollywood Ending” to a baseball game in Long Island, NY.


We had to drop off my cousin’s son’s friend home, so I had my cousin drive us back in the Model S. He was impressed.

We had another home cooked meal that was topped off with a second Banana Cake from the Brothers Bakery of Allwood.


Since there was a little precipitation that evening and we were headed back to the Syosset Service Center the next day, we didn’t need to charge at his home and we turned in for the night.



Go on to Day 12. Click here.

11_Randolph to Nesconset