Washington was mostly a destination of convenience. Given that our wedding commitments had captured the beginning of our vacation week we felt Boston (an early contender for our attention) would be too difficult to enjoy in the remaining time, especially since the current Supercharger network mandated a return by way of Philadelphia. Looking at the future maps of Superchargers, Boston becomes a nice apex in a loop trip back through Albany and upstate New York. We've now skipped Boston two summers in a row-- but maybe next year?
Staying with relatives in Chantilly was more about having time to visit them than any monetary savings. While commuting in the Tesla meant we wouldn't be spending gas money, we would be spending quite a bit of time each day shuttling ourselves in and out of town. The Metro commuter trains might be faster (debatable) but they certainly weren't cheaper than driving a Tesla! Besides, I wanted to shake and rattle the car and make sure it wouldn't break. DC traffic would be just the test I wanted.
I've driven enough places that I've learned to be flexible. Enter the tide slowly and just go with the waves! Try to learn the local customs, then adapt to fit. I can't change my plate but I can try to blend in.
Traffic was tight with tailgating and aggressive lane positioning rampant. Any attempt to signal a lane change was met with blocking and deliberate moves to close any available gap. Hmmm... Here's where the Tesla began to surprise me. It's a large car-- quite wide-- but she's got reflexes and agility thanks to the electric drivetrain that can't be matched. Indeed, the lady can dance! Pretty soon it became abundantly clear that if I could fit the car in a gap-- even well ahead of us-- I could mash the throttle and BE THERE before any other driver could counter the move. Bouncing the throttle off the regenerative brakes and back to the prevailing cruising speed with zero drama and at my whim.
I would venture to say that beyond being surprising, discovering this capability was transforming. No more "lane anxiety"-- I could get wherever I wanted to go so suddenly and back to normal cruise equally suddenly that it was beginning to become fun. Lane sniping could become a new rush hour sport! I had to resolve myself to only change lanes when absolutely necessary to keep the power from corrupting me. It just wasn't fair, I was cheating the system. I'd brought a taser to a thumb wrestling match!
That may be some of the best home security I've ever seen. Getting around an unfamiliar city is always daunting but hats off to Tesla for making it as easy as they could. While we did have some navigational issues because of highway ramps that were stacked funny and some inconsistent signage, overall we got where we were going thanks to the huge display. I was getting very spoiled have the Google Maps up full screen and zoomed in so that we could see where we were relative to various landmark buildings. The satellite images are just super crisp anyway-- but for downtown DC it was really startlingly good and useful.Parking Panda (which also services a few other large cities).
I won't go into all the places we went to see and things we did -- this not being a travel blog, per se-- but a good time was had by all and we highly recommend the Newseum and Library of Congress.
Click HERE to read about the road trip from the beginning.
Click HERE for Part 5: A Natural Detour!
Video clips from the first leg of our road trip-- if you haven't seen them already: