segunda-feira, 19 de setembro de 2016

Day 3: San Marcos, Texas

Because this year's roadtrip was not going to be prodigal in supercharger chasing moments (I mean, we were bound for the desert and who in their right minds is going to the desert?), we decided to make the most of civilized Texas before we headed to the deep, far West.
San Marcos was an absolute surprise: Tesla superchargers hand in hand with conventional superchargers. What a treat for the Tesla-geek aficionado travelling with me.
See what I mean?

sexta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2016

Day 2: Gruene, Texas

There's something about roadtrips across the American south that calls for good ol' country music. I don't know why, it just is. and I don't know if the feeling affects other folks, it does me. Last year we were told that the Texan capital of country is Gruene in New Braunfels so I knew immediately this year we would have to go to Gruene and to Gruene we went.
A very touristy kind of place very proud of its country soul and its German ancestry (obviously, Gruene is "green" or Grün in German). I told someone I was born in Germany and instantly we were like fellow citizens of a common origin.
 There was some country music scene in the Gristmill patio but I confess I had been expecting a tad more country playing. Never mind. By the time I was halfway through the buffallo wings I had ordered for dinner, my mind was only thinking about my burning tongue and my crying eyes and why I had had the stupidest idea of saying I'm ok with hot, spicy food. I'm not!!

quarta-feira, 14 de setembro de 2016

Day 2: Out of Houston

And time it was to leave Houston and head to the great American outdoors. A storm gathered just outside Houston's city limits and in my mind I could hear the befitting "The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks. We're on the highway and around us, people take shelter as best they can from the downpour. I see bikers under viaducts, truck drivers hastily covering exposed tools and merchandise with plastic sheets and soon a wall of water falls heavily and we stop seeing anything. It will be the first of many walls of water we'll encounter in the following days of our journey but not the heaviest, mightiest, scariest of them all, o no, not by a long shot.
Just when the storm is over, a Model S is on the rearview mirror. I thought we had left the Tesla obsession back in Houston but, apparently, it is following us...

sábado, 3 de setembro de 2016

Day 2: Test driving the Model X

I thought it was going to be just five minutes for a couple of pictures at the Houston-North Tesla store where we had been last last year, right? Wrong! Turned out the store opened some minutes after we arrived at the scene. Turned out the nice, wonderful Susan MacHenry was there and remembered us (I mean, how often to you get to meet a Tesla-obsessed geek from Portugal?). Turned out she proposed test driving the Model X. You don't have to say that twice to the Tesla-obsessed geek from Portugal!
Before I knew it, I was standing under the (in)famous falcon wings of the Model X (boy, are they huge!) and the Tesla-obsessed geek from Portugal was in for a joyride! O joy!
To find out more about what's it like to cruise a Model X (and have the tech lingo to go along), please visit here, and here. I'm just the Tesla-wife not the Tesla-geeky-expert.

quinta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2016

Day 2: Where in Houston?!

Ok, it kinda made sense: last year we ended our all-American roadtrip at the Houston-North Tesla Store and you may guess I conceded in going there (again) as a kickstart to this year's trip. It was Sunday and we got there real early. I was safe, I thought. The store would be closed, there would be no one around. It was just a picture for the records and we'd be gone in a nick of time. Easy, hum?
Not quite...
We did take the (our) usual pictures. I even managed to take his photo right between the ICE we were driving and a white Model S that was charging and that looks like his. It was all going great for me and I already anticipated the wide open road, the deserts and all the Tesla-free places we were going this year.
It was all going smooth (for me). Too smooth...

segunda-feira, 29 de agosto de 2016

Day 1: Getting a set of wheels

When you set out on a roadtrip, you need the wheels, right? I'd be ok with whatever wheels as long as they'd be good enough to hit the road. We settled for a fine Nissan Altima (Texas plates) but just look at his sad, sad face that it's not a Tesla. Look how miserable he looks as he waits for the shuttle to take him to the car rentals. It breaks your heart...
Yep, dude, I'm afraid you're going ICE for the next seventeen days.
Yes, and there is no auto-pilot either. (I must say, I felt sorry for the poor thing...).

sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2016

Time to leave (again)

Airport life is not my cup of tea (forget lounges and free shops, enticing as they might be, they're not really worth the discomforts of stop-overs and long-haul flights). Airports are, instead, a necessary gate to the wonderful dimension we call travel; a thorn that reminds us of the beauty that follows the hardship.
To continue our all-American coast-to-coast roadtrip we needed to start where we had left off. To Houston we went (well, flew to be more precise). How exciting to be on the verge of leaving everything else behind and just go. Go. And how liberating to know that there would be no Tesla-decisions to be made this time around (or would there?).
 Happy, as happy can be, we took off. Hoorray!!!

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2016

Our 7th

In the midst of packing for yet another stretch of our US coast-to-coast, we decided to commemorate our 7th anniversary (time flies, sheesh!) and Tesla-drive we went to a nice, little restaurant in an old palace in the village where we live.
Inevitably, conversation ended in the usual:
"Would you believe we'd be here seven years later?"
However, this year there was a twist to the also usual:
"No, I wouldn't but I'm so glad we're here."
The twist was, as it had to be on a year so obsessed by Tesla (and no this is not a Tesla Motors sponsored blog):
"No, I wouldn't and neither would I imagine we'd be making conversations about Tesla all the time..."
Cheers, mate! You know I love you even when and if you talk Tesla to me.

quarta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2016

End of Part I

Epic! Astounding! In the summer of 2015 we came on a roadtrip to fullfil one of those bucket list wishes, in our case a US coast-to-coast which we would make in three parts, this one being the first. In the end we (he to be more accurate) made the decision that on getting back home, a Tesla Model S would be the car to have. We kept the roadtrip going as we had planned but tried to coincide stretches with finding super-chargers just for the fun (his) of it. I went along not knowing a few months later I would create this blog of Tesla-related adventures.
We started out in Miami, went all the way down to Key West and up again to the mainland, across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to get to Texas. On getting to the airport in Houston, this was the total of our trip: 4600.8 kilometres, some 2858 miles. Next year, which is this year, we'll travel the second part of our roadtrip. We'll start where we left off in Houston and will, hopefully, go all the way to crazy Las Vegas. Actually, as I write this it's 24 hours before departing from Portugal but as you read, we'll be somewhere in wildest Texas, Big Bend National Park maybe, or lost somewhere trying to find cowboy forts or whatever else we might be doing...

quinta-feira, 4 de agosto de 2016

Houston, no problem here but...

Growing up I wanted to be a scientist. My guru was, and is, Sir David Attenborough and I was equally fascinated by the wonders of our natural world as I was with the mysteries of outer space. How vividly I remember watching the launch of spaceshuttle Columbia on TV. How excited I was the first time I touched a tiny, little piece of moon rock in the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. We, by means of of course, could not be in Houston and not visit the Johnson Space Centre. Absolutely not!
 I did touch a tiny, little piece of moon rock again. But I don't know, the mystique was somehow not there anymore. It was all far too Disneyland to me. There's something more real about the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida that I did not find here in Houston.
True, it was time well-spent but... It's the but.

terça-feira, 2 de agosto de 2016

San Felipe de Austin

The funny thing is that when you read this, we'll be back in Texas and it's one year later. Ah, the joys of blogland! We'll be somewhere south in the great State of Texas, deep, deep, very deep south. But when these photos were shot it was 2015 and we were in San Felipe, the legendary urban centre of the Stephen F. Austin colony.
It's a quaint little place; tourist-staged on the site of the old burgh. I don't mind the tourist-staging thing if it's elegantly done as is the case in San Felipe. The other nice thing is that we were actually the only tourists there (as we were the day before in Washington-on-the Brazos). So nice to get out the beaten track...
For a moment I could almost see Laura Ingalls running outside the little house on the prairie. Tough times, brave people who settled the West when the West was wild. In San Felipe de Austin we learned another chapter in the rich history of pioneer land.
And so we now know how and why Austin is called Austin.

domingo, 31 de julho de 2016

Lord, won't You buy me a house in Galveston?

He found out there was a destination-charger on the island of Galveston and I said the usual "Ok, let's go". Little did I know that I would fall in love with the place...
Those houses by the sea: lovely. All of them.
I remember feeling something similar the first time I went to Florida, to St. Augustine, and being so smitten by the place I went to open houses just to imagine what it would be like to be there. I didn't go on a house hunt this time but my heart told me I wouldn't mind coming back. The only thing that still strikes my European gaze as odd, is the cars by the beach. We have never developed that habit...
And what if those were Teslas?

sexta-feira, 29 de julho de 2016

Washington-on-the-Brazos, TX

Who would have guessed that Texas was once a (sort of) independent nation? Well, one has to come to Washington-on-the-Brazos to learn just that.
Interesting to notice what utopias can accomplish. Marvelling at the centenarian trees and the replicas of the houses of when Washington-on-the-Brazos was the heart of independent Texas does make one's thoughts drift back in time.
In this 21st century of ours is now easy to guess what was the result of the simple yes-no referendum... 

quarta-feira, 27 de julho de 2016

In Houston, Texas

48 hours before going back to the States and resume our coast-to-coast roadtrip, time to rewind and go back in time to the moments when the decision was made to welcome Tesla to our lives.
It was here at the North-Houston Tesla Service Center and Store that the features of the Model S were chosen.
I mean, I didn't choose anything. I remember being asked about my preferences and it was all geek jargon to me until they showed me the colours the Model S comes in.
- Solid white - I said and I guess it was the sole contribution I made to the Creature that would arrive a few months later. The road, always the road, the open wide road was my main interest. After all, what's a roadtrip without the road?

terça-feira, 12 de julho de 2016

Euro Champions

And so it came to happen that Portugal is now the European Football Cup Champion of 2016. At this Tesla-household we couldn't be prouder or happier.
Way to go national team! Obrigada!

segunda-feira, 4 de julho de 2016

In Palmela

A hot July day is always a nice excuse to drive south. To Palmela we went and, as all Europeans know, one of the best places from where to truly appreciate a village or a town and its surroundings is a castle.
Our ancestors knew it all. Up in a castle there's no way you do not spot enemy armies and when there's peace, boy, the views are stunning (always!).
Built in the 8th century, the castle, however, can be dated to a primitive fortress built as far back as the 1st century AD and the Roman period.
Apart from the usual fortifications and defense towers, the walls of the castle also protect several religious buildings assigned to the Order of Saint James, a religious-military order, much like the Knights Templar, but, unlike these, the Knights of Saint James were not bound by celibacy vows.
Totally worth a visit and, for us, another instance when the super-modern Tesla was in close quarters with the ancient.

segunda-feira, 27 de junho de 2016

Almourol Castle

One of the things I love the most about living in Portugal is that you're surrounded by history. Wherever you go, wherever you look, there's always something to catch your gaze. The Castle at Almourol is one such case.
Perched on the summit of a hill on a tiny island in the Tagus, the castle is said to have been built during the Arab Occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century AD. It was later conquered by the Christian Kings of our first dinasty in the 12th century and given to the Order of the Knights Templar.
It's a well preserved monument, only accessible by boat, and a site of legend(s). Going there I thought about its age and past and for a split Tesla-moment thought about the fact that maybe this was the first time a Tesla had been there. A castle that saw Crusaders has now seen the top-nodge electric car of the 21st century. No mean feat, huh?