The first day of 2013 caught us oversleeping, but who can blame us, we did revisit our 20s last night. Although it was already later than we would have liked, we couldn’t leave Austin without having some BBQ. So our gracious hosts, Sarah and Chris, took us to Rudy’s. I’m not a huge meat eater, but that place was awesome! First they let us sample all their meats, from brisket to jalapeno sausage. When they give you our order it comes in a plastic basket with plastic silverware and top it all off on wax paper instead of plates. It was the best meal we had so far on this trip! And lunch for the three of us only cost around $20. With what little time we had left, we went up to Mount Bonnell for a great view an some pictures.
I think we all wished that we could stay in Austin, but alas the road beckoned and so did Houston. After a top off at a scenic RV park with plenty of deer around, our plan was to charge up at the Tesla store and we arrived to what we thought was near the location right around 6:30 (the store was closing at 7pm). And what followed then was one of the more annoying and looking back, kind of funny parts of the trip. The Tesla store was the Houston Galleria, a fancy shopping mall. We couldn’t find the Tesla store. Peter had called the store and was told that it was in the Green garage we kept circling around and seeing orange, yellow, but no green. Time kept ticking, the mileage kept decreasing and we still couldn’t find Green. We got our phones out in an effort to find a map of the mall but all the links seemed to be broken. I finally found one that showed that the Green garage is right next to Orange. So Peter thought that maybe the Tesla employee meant orange instead of red. But alas, orange was just another maze with no way out. By that point the situation was not looking good because it was past 7pm and mileage was down to about 6. I didn’t really want to be blogging about how after driving from Oregon to Houston in an electric car we ran out juice in a parking garage at at a mall, somewhere less than a mile from the Tesla charge. So I made Peter do the unthinkable, call the store and ask for directions.
The Tesla employee walked us through the directions (and yes there really was a Green garage) and we finally arrived at the charger. But alas it was past 7pm and the store was about to close and the employees were worried about leaving the charging cable overnight. But Peter did his magic and we were allowed to charge as long as we wanted (Thanks, Tesla!). We ate dinner at the sushi place at the mall, it was kind of nice to spend a couple of hours in civilization actually, even though it was between Forever 21 and the Gap.
The next leg of our journey took us to a magical McDonald’s in Lake Charles, LA. It’s not just magical because their McMuffin is only 300 calories and they have pretty good coffee but because this one had the only public EV charger in all of Lake Charles. The McDonald’s employee were actually excited to see up pull up and plug in, apparently they have never seen anyone use the charger before. Peter happily told them all about the car, like he already had many times on this trip and they said that they would keep an eye on it for us. And they did! We were ready to go the next day.