Tuesday March 13th. We are focused to move on. No late Monday night for us in the French Quarter. I take the St. Charles Trolley back to Whole Foods to retrieve the Telsa. Return downtown and Juan is already at the hotel entrance with our bags. We take I59 to the I10 and blast through Mobile, AL without stopping. Sorry Mobilians, I’ll come back and visit. Then we come upon the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile Bay, spotting it from the highway.
I’ve always been fascinated by military hardware, having almost become a Naval Aviator upon leaving college (that’s another story). I beg Juan to let us stop at this interesting place. It’s the battleship Alabama, there’s a American World War II sub, there are tanks and an indoor air museum. Juan’s leg is still hurting from Baton Rouge, but he agrees to wait it out in the car, occupying himself with phone calls, while I go into the museum. The museum includes access to nearly all levels of the Battleship. I tour the entire ship, then head to the submarine for a tour within, and finally to the airplane hanger which is stuffed full of fight jets and planes from the past 60 years. Check out the photos in this entry.
Finally, moving on, we intend to make a pit stop at an RV park near Pensacola, during lunchtime which goes awry. Working online while driving, we fail to locate an suitable RV park to charge the car during lunch. We waste time passing by two different RV parks, who weren’t answering their phones and neither had an open spot for us to charge at 220V. Then we locate one over the phone, so we grab some carry out pizzas at a well rated Greek (Pizzaria) and drive over to meet the RV park attendant. Takes us a good 10 minutes to locate him on the premises, which look more like a mobile home park than an RV park. He takes us to his only 220V 50Ah outlet and it doesn’t work. Next we double back to an automobile dealer a Chevrolet dealer and their EV charger, is really old and it either didn’t work or didn’t have 220V output- can’t remember which. The dealer manager kindly directs us to sister dealer, Sandy Sansing Nissan up the street, we plug in and finally get to eat our cold pizzas. Seems like the entire company comes out to see the Tesla Model S. A couple mechanics spend over half an hour chatting with us, when I realize they are already off the clock for the day and they’re handing around chatting simply for their fascination with the car. We spend about 75 minutes charging and decide to move on.
We wasted time looking for an RV park, then did not have much time to recharge the battery, so we downsize our target from Panama City to Destin (Beach). We have also made a strategic decision to re-route from Tampa to Daytona. Both Juan and I are big motorcycle buffs. While driving East from New Orleans I notice a lot of motorcycle on the road and surmise it’s Bike Week in Daytona. I explain what Bike Week is to Juan and he agrees to head over to Daytona instead of Tampa. Awesome. Well, getting back to our arrival to Destin, we locate an EV charger at a McDonald’s parking lot, about half a mile from our motel. Unfotunately, somethings wrong with this charger. It’s putting out less than 200V and the amperage is way low. We’re only charging at around 12 miles per hour. At that rate, we will need 20 hours to get a full charge. We phone the motel and the clerk tells us there’s a outdoor washer dryer and we might be able to plug into this outlet. We’re excited to explore this option. Upon arriving to the motel, we see the outlet is 220V around 30Ah. One of the plugs we purchased at the factory fits perfectly in the outlet. Bingo, we are on!! and charging from the dryer outlet!! We are pulling enough juice to charge at 17 miles per hour, basically the same as a decent EV charger. We head out for dinner at a nearby restaurant and retire early as nothing’s happening in Destin on a Tuesday night.