Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Like A Completely Different Country!

Well, I went to Canada. And they let me come back home. Which is good.
I don't have any idea what I actually read on the ferry schedule to Victoria, but I thought it said that a car and driver were $16 and each additional passenger was $5. Those would be normal ferry prices. We got to the ferry and we were informed that it was $75. One way. Yes, I realize that would be $75 Canadian, but the Canadian dollar is only pennies less than the American dollar at the moment, so it still would have cost $150 to get there and back. That was why we didn't take the Victoria clipper- which includes a berth for overnight.
We considered going anyway- right up until the ticket agent said it was $75 EACH WAY. Then I looked at her and said, "Suddenly, I don't care to go to Victoria. At all." We ended up driving away from the ferry terminal, but I wonder how many people suck it up because they want to go to Victoria and already have a travel itinerary.
We didn't have tea in a quaint Victorian village, but we did have a scrumptious lunch in Stanley Park overlooking the ocean. That was the highlight of the day. Seriously, that was as good as it got for me.
When our plans took a left turn, we found a Starbucks and asked what we should do in the fine metropolis of Vancouver. The baristas hemmed and hawed.
We could go to the aquarium.
I can do that in Seattle.
We could go to the Bite of Vancouver.
I can always go to the Bite of Seattle.
We could go to the mall.
Then why are all the Canadians always down here at our outlet malls?
So, soon a regular came in and the baristas asked her, "What is there to do on a Sunday in Vancouver?"
She took one pitting look at us and answered, "Oh Gawwwd. Nothing."
The day would prove her right.
So, why a different country?
The green lights on the traffic signals blink. It's disconcerting.
There are intersections where one road has a traffic signal and the cross road merely has a stop sign. It is hard to tell when you should go.
The signs are all crazy looking.
The parking is metered 24/7. No weekends or evenings off.
The hardest thing about driving there, though, is that in our area, we have I-5. It is clearly marked and easy to find. It runs north. Or south. The freeway there? well, there isn't really one. As soon as you cross the border, it peters out into a boulevard through urban streets.
It was crazy.
We came home and ate dinner at the Olive Garden. We knew where that was, right off I-5.
It was good to be home. In a normal country, eh?


gramma2many said...

Dad and I get lost every time we go up there. Don't do it to often, but when we do, we get lost!!

Frizzy and Bird said...

I'm sorry your trip didn't go as planned. That's always frustrating. Where do you plan to go next and when?

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I highly advise the entry at International Falls Minnesota. It's right in the middle of a paper plant and STINKS to high heaven.... but I think it's like .75 to cross their little bridge.

yeah... I realize it's a LITTLE bit out of the way... just trying to make a helpful suggestion. ;)

KleinsteMotte said...

Try crossing to US at Niagara Falls. The Canadian side is so small compared to the US side. As soon as you hit the US you have at least 3 major highway choices and you better know exactly which one you want because there's no time to check. Toll centres take your cash and you're on the road for ages before you can correct your mistake. Make sure you have plenty of gas. But then travelling in a different country is fun. The challenge of the unfamiliar makes it an adventure.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

$75 ONE WAY? Good grief. That's crazy.

I've never been to Vancouver, but my husband went when they were preparing for the Olympics. He was working most of the time, but he did go to Stanley Park and he took a lot of pics of totem poles and gorgeous maple trees! (It was October).

Next time head south of San Fran. It's gorgeous (and mostly free!)

Elena said...

We went there for our Honeymoon. We paid to cross, but I don't remember it being that much. Yikes! My mother in law is visiting there right now. She keeps sending me picture texts of the fun things she's seeing.