Sunday, July 24, 2016

On an electric road trip to the Jersey shore to sample sea scallops and salt water taffy

ELECTRIC ROAD TRIP: A rare all-electric Tesla Roadster in the parking lot of the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, below, where the automaker hosted a reception on Friday afternoon to thank owners for their loyalty. Tesla sold about 2,450 Roadsters in more than 30 countries from 2008-12.

JERSEY STYLE: Tesla Motors served shore specialties, including hero sandwiches with sausage and peppers, pizza and salt water taffy.

A MEETING ROOM WITH A VIEW: Tesla owners met with company employees to discuss the Model S and Model X, and any concerns, including Autopilot and Autosteer, two self-driving features.

STOPPING FOR JUICE AND COFFEE: In the morning, I drove about 114 miles to have lunch in Barnegat Light, a fishing port on the Atlantic Ocean. On the way back to Red Bank, I stopped to add range to my Tesla Model S at a free Supercharger in an outlet mall in Tinton Falls. Me and my wife had coffee while adding about 130 miles of range in about 30 minutes.

IN FOCUS: This photo of the northbound Garden State Parkway was taken with an iPhone while my Model S was on Autopilot and Autosteer, below.

SEA SCALLOPS: My box lunch of fried sea scallops, which were greaseless, at Viking Fresh Off the Hook, a seafood takeout shack in Barnegat Light, photos below.

SCALLOPS REPLACE LOBSTERS: The takeout shack is part of historic Viking Village, which began as a lobster fishing co-op founded in the 1920s by Norwegians.

SHORE TRAFFIC: An accident backed up traffic on Route 72 as we were heading for the bridge to Long Beach Island and Barnegat Light.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Treating your Tesla to TLC in Montreal, then taking a straight shot home to N.J.

DEBUGGED: My 2015 Tesla Model S after a mini detailing at Auto Bella, a hand car wash in the garage under the Hyatt Regency hotel and the Complexe Desjardins mall in Montreal, below.


MONTREAL -- Chinatown, Old Montreal and other attractions are an easy walk from my hotel, and the city has a great subway and bus system to cover longer distances.

So, this year, as in the past, I parked my Tesla Model S in the garage under the Hyatt Regency, where I stayed for nine nights during the International Jazz Festival. 

That gave me a chance to have my car washed and waxed, and the interior deodorized at Auto Bella on level P3 of the parking garage (a mini detailing cost $65 Canadian or about $45.50 U.S., plus a gratuity).

Though employees speak English, the menu of services is in French.

Auto Bella is open Mondays to Fridays (1-514-889-6225).

CHARGE IT: On July 4, we shopped at two Costco Wholesale warehouses in Montreal and then drove over to the Tesla dealer to charge my Model S for the trip home last Thursday, below.

FRUIT SMOOTHIES AND MORE: You'll find a pleasant cafe called Java U across the street from Tesla Montreal, which is at 5350 Rue Ferrier (1-514-908-3827).
VIVE LA AMERICA: Traffic in Montreal was more horrendous than usual on July 4, when Americans are said to flood across the U.S.-Canadian border to visit the French-speaking city. 

Driving home

On the way to Montreal, we detoured into Vermont to use the free Tesla Superchargers in South Burlington, where we had something to eat at Healthy Living, an independently owned organic and natural foods market.

On the way home, we decided to try newly installed Superchargers in a Plattsburgh, N.Y., shopping center.

This is travel in the slow lane:

We spent about 1 hour and 15 minutes at each of the two stops to and from Montreal in order to get a full charge of about 200 miles.

A related benefit is that Tesla Superchargers often are located near slow food, such as you'd find in Whole Foods, Healthy Living and Starbucks.

PLATTSBURGH SUPERCHARGER: Eight Tesla Superchargers are behind the Target in the Champlain Centre mall in Plattsburgh, N.Y., photos below. For slow food, the only option is a Starbucks Cafe in the Target store. 

STORMY THURSDAY: The straight-shot drive to northern New Jersey from Montreal takes you through the scenic Adirondack Mountains in New York State. Last Thursday, we encountered thunderstorms, and saw an accident that ended with a new Honda sedan T-boned by a tractor-trailer.

FIVE TESLAS: Our second stop on the way home was a shopping center in Colonie, N.Y., outside Albany.

BIG DEAL ON WILD FISH: By the time I got to the Whole Foods Market in the Colonie Center mall late Thursday afternoon, the wild salmon at less than half the usual price had run out, and I was offered a rain check. In New Jersey on Friday, my wife found fresh wild sockeye fillets for $9.99 a pound at the Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.

SLOW FOOD: I was tempted by these Sweet Potato Quinoa Cranberry Cakes on the Whole Foods salad bar ($8.99 a pound), but had a 16-ounce container of Vegetarian Pea Soup ($5.99) and coffee instead.

GRASS-FED BEEF: My wife paid $11 for a grass-fed hamburger with a side of sweet potato fries at Whole Foods.