|May 21, 2009
38 Miles from Orlando (Osceola), FL - Leesburg, FL (90 miles)
Hi this is Valerio again. Got a good VAN sleep. We wanted to do some Yoga exercises with Jamie, but the need for coffee was too strong! Viva le pound cakes di tutto il mondo!
Basic maintenance of the van and gone with the wind..ops sorry with the sun I mean!! Not much sun though!!
Destination Walt Disney World! Welcome to the fiction world of the cartoons where a solar car, apparently coming from another planet, perfectly fits! The surprised faces of the kids made me feel satisfied, happy and proud at the same time! Mickey where are you?? I love explaining people what we are doing, where we are going and especially why!
It is time to leave again!! Coincidence!..in Orlando there is the Green Cities Conference. The perfect place for renewable energy ideas to be shared! I was impressed by the amount of people and the effort put into green energy subjects which, I have to admit, it is not really familiar to me!! I am an aeroacustician, which means I study noise generated by airflows trying to possibly reduce noise emissions, i.e. trying to make the world a little bit more pleasant place in a way. Solar energy is a new interesting world to me..I start feeling the importance of green solutions. This is what this trip is mostly transmitting to me.
Many of the people looked extremely interested, I also got many business cards for energy consumption reduction devices and ..free coupons for lunch!! Great people all around!
SAD MOMENT: JAMIE left us! We are all missing her already. She is a really sweet and at the same time well organized girl, one those we define a “girl with a TOOL BOX”!! We will meet again Jamie..and soon I hope!
We got an interview just outside of the conference from a local television. Josh had his first renewable energy interview with Xof1. He is diplomatic people!!! His camera fell during the interview and he resisted any temptation of media cursing!! Safe!!
We crossed the hills of the interior Florida, gorgeous landscapes. It is really worth fighting for preserving this world! We took quite some good shots you will see! Almost out of batteries we reach Leesburg where we get questions from several people and also get some funds for the mission. Dinner time..now it is the moment:..my very first American Hamburger…in a place that looks like the bar of the last scene of Pulp Fiction ..or at least to me!! We are still here writing the words you are reading in this moment! Much to tell everyday. Much to do. With the consciousness that we are doing much!
By Marcelo da Luz;
Waking up to a cloudy day spiced things up.
By Josh Holton;
I woke up early and went for a walk at a nearby retention pond. Marcelo and I checked out a stream of tadpoles coming from a drainage system. A local fireman came by to compliment the XOF1. We checked the strength of each individual battery, and proceeded to charge the array. The team set out for Orlando in mid-morning. Epcot center seemed like a great spot for a photo op. With the aptly titled “Spaceship Earth” attraction juxtaposed with the solar car, the frequently misidentified UFO, the XOF1, finally looked at home. The attraction, designed by visionary Buckminister Fuller, was based on the design of geodesic domes, another example of breakthrough sustainable development. The electric monorail is also a symbol of what is possible with sustainable travel. We stayed only briefly at Disney, and then headed to the Green Cities conference in Orlando. The convention center itself utilized passive solar design, and also had some of its own solar panels. Many prominent green companies and investors with everything from hybrid vehicles to PV technology were there. We met Tammy Worcter, a representative of Disney’s environmental initiatives. We also met with Solar Works, who helped us to get some Gainesville contacts at Gainesville. We showed off the car and received great attention from Florida political and environmental organizers like Nick Algee from 1sky and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, as well as A;an Van de Kamp from Seven Star, Mark Oberdzinski from Advanced Solar Photonics, Ben from Southern Energy Network, and more. Marcelo met some potential sponsors, and showed off the car. I had my first interview with a website called ecofactories.com. We had a great interview, but my tripod blew over with my camera attached mid interview! It seemed alright, so I jumped on the back of the website’s crew’s pickup truck to get some footage. Unfortunately, Jamie had to leave us to go to a family member’s wedding. She will be back, I’m sure of it; but for now, she will be missed. Valerio, Marcelo and I drove as far as we could on the battery, and stopped in Leesburg. We stayed in a 24 hour Denny’s parking lot for the night. Marcelo got a generous donation from a passersby, and we got a solar car discount inside. After some great conversation and photo updates, we had to get some sleep. We drove around 90 miles today in spite of rain.
|Josh (A.K.A. "Old Sexy") making everything smell like strawberry|
|Filming with Two Cameras and a Compressor|
|Double Camera Action|
|Filming with a Compressor|
|Narcizzi the Puppy|
|Valerio con Narcheezi|
|The Flying Monkey Bandit|
|Valerio Behind The Wheel|
|Going Down A Florida Hill|
|Arriving At Disney!!!|
|Epcot Awaits...The traffic guards were quite surprised!!!|
|Tourists, gawking at the tourists.|
|On the open road!|
|Green Cities Event|
|Onlookers at Green Cities|
|The XOF1 at the Orange County Convention Center|
|Ecofactory interviewing Marcelo|
|Josh talking about the XOF1 and renewable energy.|
|Some supporters of the XOF1|
|Valerio's very first American hamburger|