It’s a four hour drive from San Antonio to Houston – it seems everything is a four hour drive in Texas! At least. The ultimate purpose of getting to Houston was to see my brother Matthew and his family. His son Chris lives there also with his wife Dorothy and the twins Curtis and Isabella. Matthew is retired but his wife Michele is still working and their ultimate dream is to also hit the road in an RV as well. Looking forward to the day…
We were finally reunited with the Mini, two months to the day when it collapsed on the 60 in California on the way to Palm Springs. The diagnosis was a drivetrain malfunction which was caused by a cylinder head going south and bending and breaking all kinds of things in the motor. The Mini dealer in Ontario was very accommodating and as our lifestyle began to be understood they arranged for a loaner from Enterprise for our use until the car was fixed. Hard to believe that parts had to come from Germany but when it is cheaper to send crab to China for processing and back it becomes at least a little more understandable. The parts came in two deliveries (?) and the process as I mentioned took two months. And they delivered the car to Houston. All covered under warranty. Mini Cooper is the best!
We were there for Mardi Gras and ended up at the Ragin’Cajun, a rather noisy bistro with a very live band and some great food. Matthew had a dozen oysters on the half shell, two fisted Margaritas, and crawfish! Food heaven.
We had been to an art show in the Desert when we were messing around with the Mini and happened upon a Tesla booth (mixing art with the future?) where the salesman was most genial and invited me into the “cockpit”. He explained what that particular car could do, the Model X which could drive, park and change lanes by itself (but not pay tolls) and do it quickly. He sent me a followup email saying I could test drive one whenever we were near a Tesla dealer. No agenda – just wanting to show what the car could do. Low key salesmanship but very effective. So while we were in Houston I set up a test drive with the local dealer.
Susan McHenry was delightful and very knowledgable, scary knowledgable, and while I nodded my head a lot like I knew what she was talking ’bout I really only understood about 30% of what she was saying.
But I did get that these cars are the future, much like space exploration, and while I probably will never own one I did want to kind of get a sense of what my grandchildren will be driving. The ultimate goal of Tesla is to bring zero-emission vehicles at an affordable price to the masses and in turn reduce carbon footprints all over the world. Safe, fast, and environmentally friendly are buzz-words surrounding this company. This is gonna be huge!
We test drove the Model S 60, not the biggest and best but for me it was a dream car. It takes a while to understand the mechanics of the car and my test drive was a little rough at first. But as we entered the freeway Susan said to put our heads against the headrests and to floor it. That I got. That’s one strong mama! Susan and I built my ultimate model online and saved it for those moments when it is fun to dream.
Driving that vehicle made us hungry and we were off to Virgie’s, a very authentic BBQ in a distant suburb of Houston. This was the real deal.
A few family pics — always boring to readers but essential to keep the peace.
We did some of our own cooking as well, some great meals with a lot of old, rehashed but still poignant stories and a few bottles of wine. Carving up some flatiron…
…served with Italian Roast potatoes and a delicious sweet potato recipe which you will find below.
TBT. Don’t ask.