Never having crossed the border before and, as usual, driving by the seat of my pants, I was thinking it would be a while before I hit the checkpoint and have ample time to both stop at a Wells Fargo for some cash (really low) and gas (not really low).
Turns out (a) the Wells Fargo listings lie and (b) the distance to the border was nominal. Oh well. What really amazed me was how long the line to get into the U.S. was. I don’t know if they didn’t have many booths open or if this is a busy time for people leaving Canada. In any case, the line was enormous.
The line out of the U.S. was not so bad, especially when it split into six windows. As a first-timer, I didn’t know anything about what to do, but my new passport card worked great. I was asked some curious questions (as in the booth agent was curious and I found them curious), asked to turn off the engine and then sent on my way. No biggie.
Now, finding my way to and then into the hotel…big biggie. First, the streets were packed with peeps here for the Pan Am games. Then, the actual streets and lights didn’t work well with my eyesight and my ears (NAV lady was getting impatient with me). It didn’t help that the hotel itself has its letters on the building in almost the same color as the building. Plus, they were well above eye level from the seat of a car.
Then, finding a valid parking garage was a chore. The hotel suggested one but pointed out it was several blocks away so unloading the car first made sense (though not to the room, at risk of a ticket). However, the rate was a bargain ($15 a day, as long as I exit before 6 am Monday, which I planned on, anyway).
I skipped out of the hotel and wandered around until I saw a BBQ rib place and ordered a full rack (they don’t offer half-racks) and surprised myself by polishing off all but one rib (and most of the onion rings). Then I traipsed back here to see someone on one of the Apples. I raced back down immediately and here is your blog!
All that remains now is to see if I can upload the jpg for the post.
Miscellany of Day 52:
– As soon as I crossed the border, my NAV displayed the speed limit as 31. It didn’t show an “mph”, so I thought it was in kmh. When it shifted to 37 later on the road, I was finally able to deduce that it was the mph conversion of the kmh speed limit. Once I had that in my head, all was easy after that.
– I found some of the Canadian speeding signs interesting. For instance, one said drivers would get 3 demerits for driving 110 kmh, 4 demerits for driving 120 kmh and 4 demerits for 130 kmh. I guess that means I could drive 150 kmh and still only get 4 demerits.
Along with that, they had another sign that said the max fine for driving 50 kmh over the speed limit was $10K and immediate loss of license AND car. That would equate to 30 mph over the speed limit in America. I don’t recall if we are as harsh (I would like to think so).
– In general, the speed limits are much lower in Canada. The highest highway speed I saw was 100 kmh (62 mph). That’s either amazing or a drag.
– Because of the low mph, I averaged almost 43 mpg on my Canada driving. Who needs a fill-up?