Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 13

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

Missed Day 12, click here.

Day 13 – Drive on Thursday, May 14, 2015

As we mentioned, we had two definite goals for our trip to New England.  The first is to visit one of the “Summer Cottages” for the “mega” rich of the Gilded Age.  Looking at the list of Newport Mansions, we decided to “go big” for our one mansion and chose “the Breakers.”  The additional goal for the evening is to find ourselves in Vermont in the evening so that we can go to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour the next day.

It was another one of these “funny” overnights when the Rated Range went from 129 overnight to 130 in the morning.  Probably parked the car with the charge “on the margin” or it could be the pack “settling in and balancing” either way the overnight swings between -10 to +1 on Rated Range when left outside, unplugged, overnight.

After checking in last night, it was interesting for my wife and I to note that we both have never slept in the state of Rhode Island. So, we’re making that a “small goal” for this trip. To find states that neither one of us has ever slept in and add it to the list. So far, this trip, that meant the stop at Delaware and this one in Rhode Island have made two additions to the “Dennis slept here” list. Not quite President Washington’s claimed locations, but a small goal met on our list.



So, our hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites, Newport-Middletown was really close to our first stop at The Breakers, Newport, RI.

The Breakers, Newport, RI

The Vanderbilts built the Breakers as a “Summer Cottage” from New York. It’s a pretty impressive cottage. Now, for an even more ostentatious “house”, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA takes the cake, but that is for another trip.


I took pictures of our mileage from the hotel to The Breakers.



We were not allowed to take photographs inside of the house, but took full opportunities to take photographs from the outside.




If you’re going to take a picture at a summer house, you must wear your sunglasses. It’s an unwritten “rule.”




I figured to take see if I can interest folks to check out Transport Evolved by wearing my t-shirt. It’s a conversation starter.



We took the opportunity to take some “nature” shots.




Newport has some tight streets, but without traffic, it’s a fun little drive. I wonder how busy these streets get in the summer, which I gather is the peak season.





Left Newport and headed to East Greenwich for a supercharge.


East Greenwich Supercharger

The supercharger in East Greenwich, RI is the only set of superchargers for the state.  It was located less than 30 miles away from Newport, so getting there was “no problem.”



The superchargers were located at the edge of the shopping center.


The Connecticut local that we met at the Milford North Supercharger told us of the grocery store (Dave’s Marketplace) by these chargers and we figured that this would be a good time to replenish our supplies. It was this sort of hint that we hope to share as we assist in filling out the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.


On the way to the grocery is our own little “hint” for those travelers that wish to replenish other “supplies.” The wine shop (the Savory Grape) next to the grocery is well stocked and has a great selection of wine. We went in to browse. They had a few notable bottles, but seem to specialize in Italian wines more, though they carried a good selection of other regions. What struck me in visiting their shop was the layout of the shop was not by region, but by “body style.”  If you click on the link, they can explain it better, but I took it as how does the wine “play” in your palate.


After replenishing our supplies at the grocery store and browsing the wine shop, we were off to Massachusetts.

On the way to Auburn, MA, we spotted ONE windmill, not a wind-farm, just a windmill.  Granted, it looked to be the most high-tech of windmills that we’ve spotted on this trip.


I wonder if that’s all that’s needed to power Rhode Island? 😉 After all, Rhode Island IS the smallest state in the Union and currently has the same number of Representatives as Senators.

We thought that we were taking a picture of the Massachusetts state line when we accidentally took a picture of this sign that was set up before the state line.


Though not a state sign, it is a very welcoming sign for our veterans.

Auburn Supercharger

We don’t know why there is a pond adjacent to the Auburn, MA supercharger that has a rocket model, but, if you see the rocket, you’re by the right place.


This supercharger is located at the edge of the mall, as many of them seem to be, and the nearest store is a Macy’s Home store, which leads to a less busy, less parked cars near the superchargers. However, the superchargers in Auburn, MA is pretty busy.


Like many chargers near big cities, we didn’t speak with the other three Model S that were there. They all had Massachusetts plates and were “locals” who didn’t get out of their cars, so we didn’t chat with any of them.

So, we went ahead grabbed some electrons and planned for our stay in Vermont.



We looked at Vermont and noticed that there were no superchargers on our route to Ben and Jerry’s.  The one supercharger that was installed in the state was further South of the one we’re using in New Hampshire. There are, however, several CHAdeMO and J1772 stations, so we decided to pick a hotel that was near a CHAdeMO station and settled on the Hampton Inn, White River Junction, VT. I sent an email to Vermont resident, Tesla Roadster owner, creator of the “world famous CAN JR and its newer counterpart the CAN SR”, Henry Sharp to see if he has any recommendations. Beside, worst case scenario, we also planned on several J1772 routes as backups along the way. Besides, neither one of us has slept in Vermont before, so that’s a bonus.

The CHAdeMO at White River Junction is on the NRG eVgo network, so I figured to go ahead and open an account with them.  Even though I won’t get the card until I get home, eVgo does have a pretty well staffed support line that can activate a CHAdeMO remotely, if needed.

With that in mind, we headed off to the last supercharger on our Route North (as we were not looking to cross the border into Canada) and to Vermont, the Hookset (North) Supercharger



and another state line crossing today.


It struck us as odd that New Hampshire has some really wide roads compared to some of the more populous states.


Hookset (North) NH Supercharger

We were surprised at how early we got to the Hookset (North) NH Supercharger.  Realizing how close our stop at White River Junction, VT will be we figured to go into the rest stop.





Many of the restaurants at the rest area were unavailable that evening. Only the diner was open, or packaged sandwiches from the General Store.


We figured that we would range charge here and head to Vermont, where we didn’t have any supercharging options on our route to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour. Inside the rest stop, we spoke with the gentleman at the tourist information booth and found out how close we are to Maine.

After this discussion, and paying attention to the time, we figured to go to Maine for a lobster dinner.

We went online to look for a restaurant for our lobster dinner in York, Maine. We targeted the Harbor Porches Restaurant at the Stage Neck Inn and made a reservation for dinner.

Calculating that we didn’t need a range charge to get to and from the Stage Neck Inn, we charged what we needed and headed out to “have lobster in Maine.”


On the way to Maine, we found these signs interesting because we don’t have them in California.


Dinner with a sunset view of the ocean is something that West Coast folks enjoy often. So, we rushed off to the restaurant for our dinner and hoping for a view of the sunset.


Another State Line crossing to Maine.


They’re so friendly in Maine that they provide TWO State line welcome signs.



And we got to Maine before sunset.









Stage Neck Inn, York, ME

Well, remember that thing I said about the sunset…


We’re in the EAST COAST. They get the SUNRISE here. (yes, I had a little “DUH” moment there.)

What do I care? We had LOBSTER in Maine for DINNER.

That’s a victorious look behind that bib.



We got out of dinner with the sun already set.


Another Tesla Motors random sighting at the Stage Neck Inn.



The car was parked outside of the Inn with the owner nowhere to be found, so we didn’t get to chat with them, but it was cool to see a Maine Tesla Model S.


A picture of our car in the dark.




Nearly 74 miles from NH to ME, means we have more than enough to get back to the Hookset (North) superchargers again.

We hit 39,000 miles on this drive, and yet another picture of significant mileage on the car.


And just like that, we’re back at the Hookset (North) Supercharger.

Hookset (North) NH Supercharger

Eagle eyed readers will note that the mileage between our to York Beach, ME and from York, Beach, ME is not exactly even. This is because of the oddities of these “rest stop” superchargers. We had to head North for several miles before we can turn around to head over to York Beach. Luckily, when one has a ton of miles, a little detour is only inconvenient and not “deadly” to the drive.





The drive to Vermont from New Hampshire was scary. The route was dark. REALLY DARK.  There was hardly any traffic and our nemesis, the “Deer Crossing” sign kept popping up. But, we pressed on.

The darkness in the drive is striking in the lack of any “light pollution” that we normally experience in Southern California. Even when driving between Las Vegas and Southern California in the evening, the route is rarely as dark as the drive we experienced in Vermont.

Hampton Inn, White River Junction

We made it to our destination just passed midnight.


We parked the car with a 176 miles of Rated Range to make it to Ben and Jerry’s with a vertical climb ahead of us.  Remember that we chose the hotel with a CHAdeMO at the location, since we can charge in the morning, we really don’t care what the charge level is since we expect to have enough to get there and back (assuming we can catch another charge on the way back South.)


Go on to Day 14. Click here.

We changed the color of the route map to go Yellow for our Westward journey. Since we reached the furthest Eastern portion of our drive, we’re now making the u-turn Westward.

13_Newport to White River Junction

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