So on Tuesday morning I was off as we were supposed to head out to Orlando for a conference around 1pm. I called up FedEx to try to get some clarity on the tracking from my EUC that was already a day late. The tracking I saw said it was put on a truck for delivery but then a few minutes later the status was changed to “At local FedEx facility” To me it looked like they put the box on the truck and then pulled it back off for some reason. So I asked the rep on the phone what the deal was, was it on the truck or was it at the depot waiting to get picked up. The rep said she called the depot and they told her it was just a mistake, the box was actually on the truck to go out for delivery. Ok, great.
So Cindy came up with a fun idea where she would drop me off at Dunkin Donuts on her way to work with one of my wheels. I could grab coffee and then ride back. I had the big Gotway Monster so the ride back went fast, barely a half hour. When I got home I notice I have a voicemail on my phone. It’s a woman from FedEx. She says they have box there on hold waiting for my pick up. What in the fck??
So my head is now very quickly running numbers, time estimates and possible outcomes. It is now after 10 AM. Don was originally supposed to come around noon. I texted him asking if he could push off his arrival till around 12:30 to give me some time. I had the Tesla in the garage sitting at 100% charge, which I did for the long drive to Orlando. I had no other vehicle options since Katie still had Cindy’s car and Cindy had my truck. Going to the FedEx depot in Fort Myers and back was going to chew through a good chunk of battery but I had to do it.
Now I was still unsure if this voicemail was accurate but I did not have time to sit at the house on the phone to figure it out so I hopped in the car and called on the way. I spent over 25 minutes on the phone, with about two thirds of it being on hold. The guy first told me that again he contacted the depot and they assured him that the box was on the truck. I then pressed him and asked why would I get a message that it was being held there. He said maybe it was just an automated message, I told him no, this was an actual person.
I did not trust what he was telling me so I asked if he could connect me directly with the depot so i could sort this out for myself. After another hold he came back and said “I am connecting you now”, after another FIVE MINUTES of holding I hung up the phone, furious. I called back immediately and more or less screamed at the guy that answered, letting him know how frustrated I was at how inept FedEx has been. I said all I want is to be connected directly to the depot at Fort Myers. It took another couple transfers and another 10 minutes or so of waiting but I finally got a hold of a live person at the depot. Yep, the box IS there, despite multiple assurances from other FedEx staff that it was on the truck. Even though I was angry at just how inept FedEx is, I was glad I went with my gut and started driving that direction immediately. By the time I got the confirmation I was only 5 minutes away. I picked up the box, sped home, plugged the Tesla back in and hit my remaining to do’s before departing in a whirlwind fashion.
Part of this conference included Cindy dog sitting Don’s dog, Lucky. We have had Lucky out at the house a few times but it has been 2-3 years since his last visit. Lucky seemed to acclimate himself quickly although Elsa didn’t seem to remember him very well. Don and I loaded our bags into the Tesla and pushed out around around 1:30 or so.
Because of the unexpected trip to Fort Myers my battery level was only in the low 80’s when we left. We stopped at a huge 20 station supercharger in Sarasota to fuel up for the remaining push into the Orlando area. The charge rate was amazing. We spent maybe 35 minutes walking around Whole Foods and came back to the car being close to 90% charged. The rest of the drive went smoothly, I used auto pilot for a good portion of the ride and we arrived at the hotel a little after 5:30.
The only thing on the conference schedule for Tuesday was to check in at the registration table and attending the opening banquet. The Omni hotel was MASSIVE and included a golf course, wave pool, lazy river, and more. My room was clean and modern. Really the only thing I didn’t like about the hotel was certain areas were kept meat locker cold, I did not bring any long sleeve shirts to combat the extreme AC. The Tuesday night dinner was fun with large spreads of food served buffet style and an open bar. I probably had a half dozen Miller Lites over the evening.
A group of people went down to the lazy river after dinner. I hung out there for a short while but since I didn’t bring a bathing suit it wasn’t much fun watching others float around. I instead went back up to the room but then decided I wanted to go pull my Mten3 out of the trunk of the car and ride around. I spent close to a half hour just tooling around the large parking lots of the hotel in the forward and reverse directions, enjoying myself. After my shower I collapsed in bed, tired from the very long day.
The conference went as many conferences do, you eat way more food than you should, you listen to a lot of people talking, and you cherry pick what information is pertinent to you. Actually one of the most valuable things is hearing the stories of other customers and how they handle certain situations, which in some cases may also help us out in the future.
On Wednesday after the presentations were done I just felt gross from the combo of food and beer the night before. I told Don I was going to hit the hotel fitness center to help burn off some of the grossness I was feeling. The fitness center was pretty large with a good variety of equipment. Again the AC was the only negative, it was so cold that I was literally shivering at first when I entered wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and shorts. After close to an hour workout I did feel less blah which I was happy about.
We had dinner that night at one of the restaurants in the hotel. We wound up sitting with some of the employees of Grant Street, the company who was holding the event. We had a enjoyable dinner with slow service and frigid AC but good food and conversation. I left the EUC in the car that night as it had been raining off and on for a few hours. I fell asleep watching CNN coverage of the Mueller hearing which was filled with him looking confused and refusing to directly answer questions a couple hundred times.
The last day of the conference was shorter for us as the last presentation we attended wrapped up at two. We wasted little time getting out of there. During the day Cindy told/sent me pictures of water in the garage. Through more investigation she verified the leak was coming from the water heater, great. Not only did the garage have water, the property was underwater as well from massive rainfall over the last 24 hours. I was not looking forward to having to address the water heater issue as soon as I got home.
On the way back we stopped to supercharge in Brandon. The charging was really quick once again however I actually wound up turning around in the parking lot and hooking back up a second time. I figured that 80% was going to be enough to get us home but the Tesla did not agree with my math, it said that my battery would be lower than what it recommends and I would need to keep my speed under 75mph to ensure I get home. That was when I spun around and hooked back up for another few minutes to get us to 88% which cleared any restriction warnings.
The lack of speed restriction was certainly needed. The pace of traffic on I-75 at times is insane. There were points I was going in the low 80’s and had the pack of cars leaving me in their dust. We pulled into the driveway around 6:30. Both Lucky and Elsa were thrilled to see us, they went nuts running around the house, it was very cute. After hanging out a bit Don and Lucky headed home and I looked more at the water heater situation.
Cindy had already turned off the water line to the heater as well as turned off the breaker. The leak was coming from the top heating element. There is a possibility I could just replace that element and get by for a period of time but I had already resigned myself to just replacing the unit. I was considering a tankless water heater, the type that only runs as needed to save electricity. The issue with those is it is a more involved install and often the circuit for a conventional water heater is not beefy enough because of the huge amp draw required to instantly heat water. The leak was bad so Cindy and I felt the need to go out to Home Depot last night, despite it being after 7PM when we left.
Once there we saw no tankless heaters on display but a lot of high efficiency Rheem conventional heaters. There was a model on special for $500 with the same capacity as mine, 50 gallons. In addition it has a digital display and the ability to add a wifi module which is cool but probably unnecessary in our set up. We decided to go this route for simplicity sake. The install should be very easy and Katie’s boyfriend Daniel replaces water heaters all the time for his job as an HVAC tech. He said he would be willing to help me do it which sealed the deal. We loaded the big box into the back of the Tacoma and plopped it into the garage. I plan to leave work early today to meet Daniel to get the job done.
The water heater will only be the opening ceremony of things to do during my upcoming week long staycation. The other BIG thing I hope to accomplish is completing the Prius battery repair so we can get all of our vehicles back in the household. I also have my brand new Gotway Nikola to test, ride, and document for YouTube. It’s going to be a busy but hopefully satisfying and fun week.