As of this past Friday night (after work), I have been the proud caretaker of a Tesla Model S. As you may recall, this is not the first time I have had the privilege of taking one home; one of the perks of working for Tesla.
My family poses with “our” Model S at the Hooksett Supercharger.
Let’s take it from the beginning. Knowing that my family was planning on attending my cousin Jon’s wedding in NH on April 16th, I put in a request to borrow an S so that I could drive it up there and show my family.
I specifically wanted to showcase it to my Uncle Pat who is potentially in the market. I put in the request over a month ago and fortunately, due to the influx of Test drive vehicles at our disposal, I was able to take one home.
Friday night after work, after dropping my co-worker James off at his apartment in Somerville, I took the S back to my parents house and parked in their driveway. My Dad and Sister were at the Red Sox game and, as is protocol at my house, would be expecting to get picked up at Oak Grove once the game was over.
What they were expecting however, was to be picked up in my Mom’s Chevy Cobalt. What they got was much cooler. Both of them knew that I was potentially going to be able to take a car home from work, but no one, myself included, knew if it was actually going to happen.
Needless to say they were both pleasantly surprised when they got to the bottom of the stairs at the train station and instead of finding my Mom in her car, they found me in a P90D with the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, as well as pretty much every other option.
I got up late, around 9:30am. We were planning on leaving for the wedding, in Meredith, NH, at 12:30pm. The wedding wasn’t set to start until 4:30pm but a) it is a 2 hour drive, b) we were planning on stopping at the Supercharger in Hooksett, NH to top off and c) my family likes being early to everything.
However, before doing all that, we wanted to embark on another family tradition, Saturday morning breakfast. After deciding on a place, we piled into the Model S and I took us to a nearby spot in Stoneham. It was a nightmare in the parking lot so we found another lot nearby and parked there.
We easily could have gone to a number of nearby places but my Dad and I, being the babies that we are, wanted to show off and spend as much time in the car as possible.
After breakfast we went back to the house where we all got dressed for the wedding. In typical family fashion we were ready super early and thus left a little early at around noon.
The drive up to our first checkpoint, the Hooksett Supercharger, could not have been easier. Once I got us to the highway I engaged Autopilot and, with the exception of two “incidents” (a car pulling in front of us so fast that I pussied out and hit the brakes and a construction zone), I used it all the way there.
It really is such a useful tool. I pretty much hate driving. I’m a nervous driver and don’t like dealing with a lot of other people on the road. With Autopilot however, I just set it to 80mph, the flow of the traffic believe it or not, and let it do it’s thing.
I had my phone hooked up via bluetooth and was playing a playlist with great road trip music. Regardless of the ease of the directions, I had the Supercharger plugged into the GPS and it too worked beautifully.
When we arrived at the Hooksett rest area there was no one at any of the 8 charging stations. I just pulled up and plugged in. After taking a few pics in front of the car, we made our way into the rest area’s food court/general store.
This is a great rest area. It’s well “themed” and there’s a lot of food and snack options, as well as beer. I looked at the app on my phone and saw that it would take 40 minutes to top off.
It should have only taken about twenty but the Supercharger was charging at a rate of 96 miles (of charge) per hour as opposed to 300 miles per hour (what it was supposed to be doing; the real world results of Tesla ownership). My family was fine with that, we were plenty early, and so we just hung out until the app told me we were full.
We unplugged, hopped back in the car and I used Autopilot the rest of the way there.
We arrived at Church Landing at Mill Falls (after a slight miscalculation) and eventually found a good place to park. After checking in a the front desk and finding out where things were to take place we began to explore the hotel and the grounds.
To my surprise there was another Model S at Mill Falls. To my greater surprise it was charging, I didn’t realize there was charging there. Luckily it was only a 70D so the one we were in was cooler.
It was a beautiful hotel with an excellent location. It was just the right amount of rustic to let you know that you were in New Hampshire.
Panoramic view of Lake Winnipesaukee
After hanging out on the 2nd floor balcony, meeting up with other family members as they arrived and chatting at the hotel restaurant/bar with my Aunt and Grandpa, it was eventually time for the wedding.
The ceremony was short and to the point. There was a great recording of a string quartet playing classic rock songs like Somebody to Love, Sweet Child of Mine and I Believe in a Thing Called Love. After that there were drinks and horderves and eventually, the fun part, the reception.
There are three things I need to call out that made for a great reception. 1) The kisses – rather then just having Jon and Becca kiss every time we tapped the glass, the DJ let us know that it was there request to have each table do it individually. However, you also all had to stand up and sing a song with the word “love” in it. My table was the second one up and we sang Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille.
2) The dancing – I was pleasantly surprised that when the dance music started, people actually got up and danced. Usually I am the lone guy on the dance floor waiting for people to join me.
3) The dessert – rather than a traditional cake, they had a Ben and Jerry’s stand where you could make your own Sunday.
Best. Wedding. Ever.
Word had spread (thanks to my Dad) that we had driven up in a Model S. My Cousin Jon (the groom), my Uncle Pat (his dad), my Cousin Mike and my Grandpa all expressed interest in taking a spin in the S. My plan was to take them all out at one point in the evening.
But, due to the fact that it’s a wedding, Jon and Pat were too involved to take a brake. My grandpa ended up going back to the hotel before I could get a hold of him and Mike was too busy dancing and watching his kids to break away. It’s all good though, I’m sure I’ll get it again OR they can just swing by the Pru for a test drive.
It was about that time that my family decided it was time to go home. So, after making our rounds and saying “goodbyes” we hopped back in the S and headed home.
The ride home couldn’t have gone smoother. I set it to 75 this time, as it was dark and there were a bunch of cops out. We seemed to get home in no time.
This morning I had a pretty tight game-plan I needed to stick to. I had to get the car back to the Pru by 11am but I also had to be back at the apartment for 10am so that I could let the Comcast guy in. On top of that, a few of the things I was bringing home were big so I needed to stop by the apartment to drop them off.
I left the house a little after 9 and headed straight for my apartment in Somerville. To my pleasant surprise, upon my arrival, there was a spot right in front of the apartment on the street. I used the Autopark to parallel park the car, then unloaded everything into the apartment. Once inside, I noticed that there was already a router in our house. Had the Comcast guy already come? I didn’t have time to worry about that so I just grabbed the fob, went back downstairs and drove the rest of the way into the Pru.
Once at the Pru I used Autopark again to perpendicular park in one of our spots. Then plugged the car in and ran the key fob up into the showroom. After chatting with a few people in the back room I ran into Andy, my roommate/co-worker who told me that the Comcast guy had in fact already come and that I did not need to greet him at the apartment.
With that stress lifted, it was now my plan to head back to the apartment to do a few things around the house and enjoy my Sunday off. However, no sooner did I get out of the door of the showroom was I then chased down by Andy. He was letting me know that we were leaving spots for guests of the Private Event (that I didn’t know we were having) and was asking that I take the car.
What had I rushed for? I thought they needed all of the cars there for the busy weekend. If I knew that both the Comcast guy had come and that I couldn’t park the car at the Pru and thus didn’t need to bother returning it on time, I wouldn’t have rushed my ass off this morning getting it back there.
There is a new easter egg with Autopilot. Rainbow Road from Mario Kart appears when you click the stock 4 times instead of two. I tried it out on the Mass Ave Bridge on the way back to my apartment from the Pru. Notice that one of the topics of the podcast I was listening to was Autopilot… very meta.
Oh, well. With this new info I grabbed the fob again then went back downstairs to the parking garage so I could take the S back to Somerville for the day. Unfortunately, the spot in front of the apartment had been taken so I had to park two blocks down in the 2 hour parking zone.
I walked back to the apartment and when I got inside, began to unpack my things. I was still wearing my glasses and was itching to put on my contacts but they were nowhere in sight. I called my Mom and sure enough, I had left them at my parents house. So, after grabbing a few things, I hopped back into the Model S and drove back to my Parents house.
The good thing was that now I had my contacts (reason 1 for coming back to their house) and I had a safe spot to park where I didn’t have to worry about how long I could stay there.
Once here, I had some food and wrote the thing you just read. I also, plugged the car into the 110 volt outlet in the garage to charge it a bit until this evening when I’ll be able to drive it back to the Pru. It’s only getting a 3 mile per hour charge rate but it’s better than nothing.