Our 7th Roadtrip
to California
in our Model 3

Mark D Larsen
December 20-27, 2021

Deck the Stalls… with Rows of Teslas
(Click to enlarge)

We had committed to once again spend Christmas 2021 with Tamara’s family in California, despite the worsening pandemic. Below is the usual annotated pictorial of our 7th journey to the Sacramento area.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.

The holiday season was upon us, so we decked the halls… and our little elf.

All loaded up with suitcases and presents, we were ready to set off.

I describe where we're going on this trip.

We decided to plug in at the new Superchargers in Mesquite so that we could bypass the congestion in Las Vegas and keep going to Primm.

Moxie was a bit confused and curious, and she had never visited this Supercharger before.

As we approached Las Vegas, we could see that it was choking in haze and pollution. I was glad we didn't have to stop there to recharge.

We drove to Primm and plugged in at the only available slot, then kept driving to California. We could see that storms were brewing ahead.

We were astounded to see that the huge Supercharger site in Baker was almost completely full with all the holiday traffic.

We caught a bit of sunset while driving through Tehachapi, where it had snowed the day before.

We arrived at the Superchargers in Bakersfield, where we would spend the night in a motel.

This entire trip we drove 1,566 miles, and if we'd kept our old Subaru, at the prices we saw there, we would have paid $424.31 at the pump. Instead, we paid $193.02 for Supercharging.

While driving on I-5 the next day, we saw 37 (!) truckloads of Teslas going in the opposite direction. New customers were going to have a very Happy Holiday Season.

Our next stop was at the new Firebaugh Superchargers. It was a huge site, with solar canopies overhead.

Again, Moxie was perplexed, as we had never stopped here before.

We finally arrived at the home of Tamara’s parents, and Moxie now felt happy and comfortable in familiar surroundings.

After two days on the road, it was nice to sleep in and have a good cup of coffee the next morning. That day we ran errands for her folks and picked up some take out for dinner.

That evening we caught a sunset in a brief break in the clouds.

I was a bit surprised to see that, in the night, Tesla “unwrapped a Christmas present” into Correcaminos. Maybe upgrades download sooner in California than in Utah…?

The new upgrade made major changes to the user interface that most owners —including myself— are very unhappy with, but… it also contained a "Light Show" feature to play "Carol of the Bells" for Christmas.

We then drove to El Dorado Hills to spend Christmas Eve with her sister. I took this video while Moxie and their new Cairn Terrier puppy, Tilly, became acquainted in their back yard.

Here are Tamara, her sister Lisa and her husband Dean by their pool.

We then went inside their home for the evening.

Moxie got a little break when they put Tilly in her kennel.

We set about preparing dinner.

They granted Tilly some freedom, and the two pooches again started playing tag.

While unloading items from the car, I decided to take this video of the "Light Show" from the rear and noticed that even the charging port door had a role in the performance.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we enjoyed traditional tamales.

Merry Christmas to all, and… to all a good feast.

On Christmas the next day, we had our work cut out for us at Tamara’s folks’ home.

I had been volunteered as the main chef to prepare a traditional holiday turkey dinner.

We had taken over those kitchen duties to reduce the stress on her again parents while still holding a Christmas gathering for the family.

I think it was still a bit stressful for them, however, as it is always worrisome having other people mulling around in one's home and kitchen.

After preparing the dressing, I was now ready to stuff the bird.

We brought our roaster pan and sundry utensils with us to avoid having to find and use we could find in an unfamiliar kitchen.

And here’s Santa the chef, with his elf assistant.

A couple of hours later, I opened the oven to baste the turkey.

In the meantime, Tamara’s niece Haley and her husband Charlie had arrived.

Readers will recall that we had gotten together with them earlier in the year at Brian Head in Utah, and they enjoyed seeing Moxie again.

Here is Tamara’s 92 year old dad.

And here is her 87 year old mom.

Lisa and Dean arrived, and here the latter posed with us and Tamara’s mom.

Everyone gathered in the front room to exchange and open presents…

…except me, as I was occupied with the turkey.

And here I am, having taken my vengeance on it.

My helper elf kept me smiling.

Everyone started to load their plates and take them into the dining room.

Tamara was pleased that the meal had turned out well, despite the chef’s worst efforts.

Ready to stuff ourselves with the stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots. Bon appétit!

Another sunset smiled on our festivity.

Stuffed with their Christmas meal and pie desserts, the evening started to wind down.

Tamara and I were able to finally open our presents, having been too busy in the kitchen earlier.

I admit: I was exhausted and ready for… a long winter's nap.

Nonetheless, I decided to drive over to the nearest Supercharger to get ready for the drive home the next day.

The latest update had completed changed the way owners can check their mileage. Rather than "cards," there is now a control panel to view all those stats at once.

When driving through Tehachapi this next day we did encounter snow, but were fortunate that none of it was sticking to the roads.

As we approached Las Vegas, we were shocked to see the traffic on the opposite side driving back to California after the holiday. What a mess!

The Superchargers as Baker were once again packed, with only a few slots available to plug in.

We arrived home after midnight with 18% left in the battery.

And here are the stats after the roadtrip. Correcaminos had now compiled 52,869 miles on its odometer.

I was surprised the next day to discover that Tesla has now approved of me serving as a Beta tester for full self-driving. Yay! So far, it has done fairly well on our streets, but I've had to intervene several times as it learns them.

And as a final note, I returned home to find that owners more clever than I had figured out how to configure and load alternative "Light Shows" into our cars. Here is one of them that I downloaded and played in our garage just for fun.

It was a short trip, but necessary to help out Tamara’s folks for the holidays. Frankly, we’re glad to put 2021 behind us, and sure hope that 2022 will turn out to be a better year, putting an end to the pandemic and seeing some real progress in mitigating the climate crisis.