October 02, 2013

More catching up

Rik and I went to Vancouver BC for the bar mitzvah of the son of close friends. It was also the first time we took the all-electric Leaf on a road trip...

There are several high-speed charging stations on the highway from Seattle to the Canadian border. We headed for the first one north of us, about 65 miles away. We arrived there basically on "fumes," with only two miles remaining on the car's electric charge. It takes about 30 minutes for the car to charge about 80%.

We then drove to the next charging station, about 20 miles away, and charged again to 80% of maximum. Then we waited about 40 minutes to cross the border. We arrived at our hotel with 12 miles left on the charge. Luckily the hotel has an underground garage with electric outlets scattered throughout. We found the perfect parking spot and plugged in our portable 110 volt cord, and by the next morning the battery was fully charged.

This whole experiment took almost six hours, instead of the usual 2 1/2 plus the wait at the border. We were freaked out as well each time the car battery registered too low, wondering if we were going to make it to the next charging station. We have decided that the Leaf is great for driving in town, but that it sucks as a road trip vehicle.

Otherwise we had a great time. The bar mitzvah boy did extremely well with his singing and his Hebrew. His speech, on Cain and Abel, was insightful. As a younger brother, he brought a lot of personal experiences to his talk. The rabbi did something unusual. For each aliyah, he called up first the out of town guests, then the in-town guests, next family members and lastly the parents and the bar mitzvah boy. It was a most unusual way to involve everyone in the room in the service. And it was the boy's grandfather's birthday, so we sang Happy Birthday to him (and he was extremely pleased).

After a bounteous lunch, we headed back to the hotel and I took a long nap while Rik caught up on Canadian news. We joined our friends and their family and other guests for dinner at an Indian restaurant. Upstairs was a private room, decorated in a traditional manner. The food was yummy and spicy, a three piece jazz combo (two guitars and a bass) played mellow music, and everyone talked.

We met my cousins for breakfast on Sunday morning. It's been great to see them more frequently since they live so close to us, and to get to know their children as they grow up.

The drive home was just like the drive to Vancouver, expect that the border wait took an hour. We were again fried from the stress of not having enough electric charge to make it home, and luckily found an open Nissan dealer with a high-speed charger to get us enough juice to get home. What we would have done at night, I don't know. Probably called the Nissan help line and gotten a ride to a charger. But it would have been terrible to run out of charge on the highway. So no more road trips for the Blue Pumpkin.

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