SMS and I are YouTube stars. Yes, really! Ok, no, not so much. But we do have our own channel with 11 subscribers and a few hundred views. We’re going to go viral any….second…
But, yes, I’m going to be a little bit lazy and start off with the YouTube channel first since it covers our entire cross-country trip from Norfolk, VA to San Diego, CA. We had a really nice time although, surprise, surprise, it was a lot of driving. (This blog: come for the pictures, stay for the insights.)
But I do have pictures! Yes, I’ll go into a few highlights and lessons not really covered in the Vlog since our main focus there was the logistics of driving an EV cross-country.
Lesson 1: There is always more stuff than I think! Argh, yes, I envisioned a completely clear back seat so that the car was less of a target for break-ins. But, yet again after many moves, the “small amount” I left behind blossomed and filled the trunk and back seat. While this may have been a predictable outcome, it was still annoying.
Our starting point was Virginia Beach. We actually touched the ocean before leaving, although by the time we got to San Diego, we were over it and didn’t make it to the coastline proper.
After breakfast with Dad and dropping him off at the airport (you can’t ride with us!), we went to the hospital for my final checkout. There, I had my first Bates blowout of my career. What’s that, you ask?
A Bates Blowout is when your overpriced, cheaply made Bates uniform shoes completely fall apart on you in very short order. I never really believed people before it happened to me, but it’s real. In the span of walking 30 feet down a hallway, my shoes completely fell apart, shedding chunks of black rubber along the hallway. It reminded me of a line from a Will Farrell movie: “I’m not angry, I’m impressed!”
So, we finally hit the road where I promptly sliced the tip of my finger open. See vlog for evidence. So yes, the road trip was off to a rough start and SMS is a saint. The end.
Kidding! Our first stop was Charleston where we stayed for two nights. It kind of squished the rest of the trip but this was the city we wanted to explore a little more.
Charleston was very pretty. I was somewhat tempted to go on some sort of tour, but after a crazy month, I just wanted to relax and walk around.
We ate a few delicious places, some planned, some not. 167 Raw is a delicious temple to awesome seafood. It has a pretty relaxed vibe and it was fun to learn a little bit more about oysters from the really nice bartender.
We stayed at the Grand Bohemian hotel, which offered overnight charging. The hotel was pretty awesome with a lot of contemporary art works on display and a cool gallery on the first floor. We met up with my cousins at the Eleve rooftop bar, which had a really nice outdoor space. I felt very cool because my cousin’s girlfriend said she had been wanting to go there for a long-time so I felt in the know, even though I had no idea what was cool!
The next night, we went to Chez Nous, which has a really good reputation with a very small menu and cool interior. Honestly, we didn’t love it but it was fine.
Afterwards, we went to Edmund’s Oast because I had lasting FOMO from when I was in Charleston for a bachelorette party and I didn’t have the PB&J beer because I was worried what it might do to my stomach at the beginning of a night of dancing and drinking. Ha! Don’t tell me I don’t have good judgement! Well, maybe it’s not perfect judgement because I still wanted to drink it and it was, at best, so-so in my opinion. Win some, lose some! The outside courtyard was a total winner though and it was nice to relax outside.
Then, we were off! We met up with our Yokosuka friends while charging in Atlanta. Emily is out of the military and studying to be a CRNA while her husband continues to work as a civilian as well.
Another awesome meal stop was in Birmingham where we stopped at Saw’s BBQ. We both ordered the Pork ‘nGreens, which I rhapsodize about on the YouTube episode. SMS ordered it the last time we were in Birmingham and this time, I didn’t make the same mistake of not getting a plate for myself. It’s a dish with a delicious nest of grits with collard greens, pulled pork, and fried onions on top. This does not sound amazing but I promise you, it is completely insane.
We pulled into Memphis late that evening and the next morning, we had brunch with more Yokosuka friends! I am so happy to have seen my friends, whom I basically just messaged out of the blue to see if we could meet for a meal. I didn’t invite ourselves over to Brooke and Aaron’s but because of the kids and visiting parents, it was easier for them to meet at their place.
After brunch, we hit the road. Aaron lent us a Route 66 book that we used during our trip. They also recommended going to Bass Pro shop inside a former basket ball arena, a 535,000-square-foot pyramid! We took the slow elevator to the top and had a pretty incredible view of Memphis.
On our way West, one of the Tesla Superchargers was in the town of Shamrock, TX. There’s an old restaurant (no longer in service) and U Drop Inn, a highlight featured in the Route 66 guidebook! The building is featured in the animated movie Cars. It’s very cute.
It’s also staffed by the most aggressively nice volunteers I ever met. We were strong-armed into a photoshoot, posing in the restaurant and sticking a pin in the town we’re from. The map, aided by the fact that every visitor is forced at nicepoint to place a pin, is pretty impressive in showing the worldwide appeal of Shamrock, TX.
SMS drove the car up to the pump and pretended to fill the Tesla. We’re hi-wa-wi-ous!!!
At another Texas BBQ stop, we came upon a DeLorean time machine.
Another highlight featured in our YouTube episode: The Continental Divide. You will see SMS pour out water from a bottle. Where will it go?!?!
The Grand Canyon State…*sigh*…someday I will see the Grand Canyon.
The Petrified Forest vista. I wish we could explore the park more but our charge was low, which meant our AC wouldn’t work in Park mode. This was problematic since there were four feathered friends in the car that would have roasted.