Trip North


Heading north

From May 27 to June 3, 2020 (8 days) we took a 2,700 mile (4.350 km) round trip from Florida to Upstate New York to visit 2 of Margy’s sisters, followed by a return trip through New Jersey to see Artie’s brother and family, plus a few friends along the way north and south.

We had become weary with the Covid-19 stay-at-home restrictions (see our Virus tab for highlights). We figured we could stay safe and healthy, with proper social distancing (no hugs, even with family and friends), use our masks and lots of hand sanitizers. It worked. We enjoyed a great visit and returned home to Devonshire without any health problems, and no difficulties anywhere on the trip for hotels, rest rooms and meals.

What follows are the photos and comments from the start of the journey, followed by highlights in Owego, New York, Milltown and Toms River, New Jersey and then the return trip south to Florida. We included an early 51st anniversary hotel stay, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona, Florida.  At left is the route north. The last tab, South, shows the return route to Florida.

Prior to the long trip, we made a quick visit to see Tesla’s new sales and service center, located about 20 minutes from our apartment. We said hello to Chris and Chris, the two guys above right, who normally work with us for routine software updates and annual preventive maintenance. The new site is impressive.

We also paid a short visit to Artie’s cousin, Sel, and her husband Noel (sitting in their newly constructed screened patio). We usually see them each week, so we wanted to say goodbye before the trip.

We made a short stop in south Jacksonville, Florida, 5 hours north of Devonshire. Rick and Sheryl used to be neighbors of ours in Fernandina Beach. They were baby-sitting their grand kids, Payton (8) and Addison (5). Payton made the welcome sign and place settings with our names.

Payton showed us her clever necklace that she made from her animal place-setting figures. We had never seen these Twisty Petz before. What creative new toys for kids!

After driving through Jacksonville (above), we were invited by Nicola and Graeme (left) to join them for a home-cooked dinner at their house. What a treat!

The ceramic table below was created by Nicola, our financial advisor as well as good friend. She is a talented and artistic person.

It was so nice to see them. Their oldest daughter, Amelie, took this group shot of us together.

We drove through our old neighborhood, to see our old house. Sadly, no time for visits.

The next day we began the long-haul drive north. The first leg ended up being about 15 hours in the car, with frequent stops to stretch our legs, grab a bite to eat (we packed snacks), take rest room breaks and find a hotel.

Fortunately, the Tesla makes life easy, with clear way-points to stop and charge the car along the route. We never had a problem finding a charger or having to wait for an empty space. We used the charging time to do our rest breaks, so there really was no lost time while charging the car.

At left is a sample screen view in the car of the route, showing the charging locations in red.

Above, we did our charging at local malls and even at the Savannah Georgia Airport parking area (note the empty airport terminal, where we used their rest rooms while charging). Artie wears his rubber gloves to protect himself from possible Covid-19 germs on the touch-points for the charging station.

Below, we used a Sheetz rest room and photographed the low gasoline prices that have been in effect for a few months across the USA and world. At this price, the Tesla charge cost, at about 8 cents per mile, was essentially the same as gasoline, assuming typical consumption rates such as a 28 mpg highway driving estimate for our former car, a 2008 Toyota Avalon.

Above, Margy cuddles her driving companion, “Mum” bear, which was a gift from Coté some time ago.

At left and right here, we both do our energy medicine exercises as part of our morning routine during rest breaks.

While charging the car at this rest stop, we discovered a convenient pizza place across the street. They even had gluten-free crust for Margy. Of course, with the Covid-19 virus rules, we had to eat outside after we placed our order. We typically planned our charging stops for when we would need to stop to eat anyway.

All along the route we found rest rooms to be available, clean and safe. As you see in the photos, most places had barriers set up so that no two people would be standing closer than 6 feet apart (2 meters). Sinks and urinals were blocked off with “out of order” or “temporarily closed” signs posted. Many had new hand sanitizing stations mounted for convenience.

We decided to use a car wash that was near one charging station, to get all the road grime and bugs off the car.

Below, Margy’s traveling companions for the car and the evening motel room.

Nicola’s colorful table in their beautiful back yard.