news update links
May 14, 2009

Miami, FL - Key West, FL
By Josh

This morning the XOF1 team set out early for a photo opportunity with the mayor of Miami. In front of City Hall, Marcelo met with City officials, and showed them the ins and out o f the solar car. We were given a tour of City Hall, and got to see their beautiful waterfront solar trees among the coastal palms. The City Hall is situated on a marina and former aviation base. This location was crucial to Caribbean trade with the continental United States. Robert Ruano appeared as our tour guide. Pine Fork Elementary hosted the solar car for a presentation. We were there during their field day, and got the chance to show the student body renewable energy in action! The XOF1 was pulled over at least four times on the way to the keys. In every situation, Marcelo’s car was absolved of all potential violations and tickets when the police realized how cool the solar car was. In all of the situations the police wanted a picture with the solar car. It turns out that the police cruiser’s cameras got the team on local TV news station reports. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a beautiful sunset, amazed onlookers, and bubbly champagne at The Garden Hotel. With free parking secured at the hotel, and our rooms all organized, we all jumped in the pool with our clothes on. After drying off, we showered up and got some authentic Key Lime pie at a Key West restaurant. Marcelo, Grant, Jamie, and Willy Wonca all went dancing upstairs at a local dance club. We also checked out an adjacent concert, and went to bed shortly thereafter.

By Jamie

After Audrey picked Josh, Grant, and myself up from Helena's home, we rushed to get out the door and over to Miami's City Hall for a demonstration with Miami's mayor. Upon our arrival, we were immediately greeted by the Canadian ambassadors, both of whom were very nice guys. Once the mayor came out, he had a chance to look at the car and try on Marcelo's cool futuristic shades that project the view of the rear camera into his eye. The sustainability officer, Robert, was there as well and he gave us a nice tour of City Hall. It has a lot of history and was apparently an airport terminal for trade between South America and North America. It has been renovated and will be renovated again to be more green. We walked around back and saw huge solar trees which were arrays standing atop tall posts facing the south. This was very cool and I could only hope that Tampa gets smart enough to do something like this one day.

After leaving city hall we headed over to a "green" elementary school to do a demonstration. The children were excited to see the car and Marcelo does such a good job of explaining things to them. Following the demonstration, we hopped in the cars and headed to our destination - the southern most point of the U.S.

The keys were beautiful, much more than I expected. Our scenic view did not go uninterupted though. The cops pulled us over a few times, one of which we were pulled over by 3 different agencies! I believe that it was the county, the state sheriff, and the Department of Transportation. Another record for the car.

When we finally made it to Key West, we were hosted by the Gardens Hotel and were greeted by a very funny, sweet woman named Erika who is a member of GLEE (Green Living and Energy Education). The hotel was one of the most beautiful I've every stayed in. At one point Josh got lost in the exotic garden and we all took a dive in their swimming pool with our clothes on.

Xof1 ready to go in front of Audrey's house.
Marcelo speaking with the Canadian Ambassadors.
Miami City Hall - which used to be a major air gateway shared between the Americas.
Marcelo and the Mayor.
Looking good Mayor!
City officials.
Picture with Audrey.
The view from Miami's City Hall - gorgeous.
This banan sticker apparently said - "Place on forehead"
Pine Fork Elementary demonstration
Preparing for take-off.
1-2-3 solar car!!!!
Waiting around for Willy Wonca and Grant.
Patience is definitely crucial when it comes to this project.
Karen and Ike waving us down while on the bridge.
A picture with a city commissioner of one of the islands in the Keys.
Nice view. What a sexy car.
Getting pulled over by 3 different agencies. Then we realized before leaving that the wires to the
solar cells needed to be resoldered because the car was opened improperly.
Then another cop shows up.
The second (or third?) time we were pulled over.
Key west.
xof1 basking in the sun.
Celebrating our arrival in the Keys with Erika and Allan.
Nothing like an unexpected, fully clothed, dip in the pool. Refreshing.
We finished dinner off with a few slices of Key Lime pie. Apparently Marcelo and Grant have poor aim.