Oh Canada

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

July 20 ~ Day #71
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
3856 [4437]

Today’s Total Expenses: $40.43

Transportation: $38.00 (Gas – $35.00, Bridge Toll – $3.00)
Food: $2.43

Current Location: Grimsby, Ontario

Auto Club to the Rescue

Yes, we again had to call the auto club. This is becoming a habit.

It was my fault, really. We have a cooler that plugs into the power outlet in the car and we have been using the power outlet that works even when the car is off.

Apparently, last night, I forgot to unplug the cooler. The instructions say not to leave it plugged in, without the car running, for any more than 4 hours. Well, it was left plugged in all night.

So, needless to say, our battery was totally dead this morning.

Thank goodness for CAA. They showed up quickly, gave our battery a boost and all was well again.

Hopefully I will never again forget to unplug the cooler.

Birch Run Outlet Mall

The last time Geoff and I visited Flint, Michigan (well over 20 years ago) we spent time at an outlet mall.

I mean, how can you be this close to an outlet mall and not go? Come on – work with me on this!

Actually, we were in the market for a couple of backpacks for the European part of our trip so that was all the justification we needed to visit the outlet mall.

The North Face Outlet Store

As luck would have it we parked right near The North Face outlet store and so that was our first stop, knowing that they should have a decent selection of backpacks.

We weren’t disappointed by their selection, but, we were confused. There were so many styles and such a huge price range that we didn’t even know where to start.

Frank Coleman, the selling supervisor for this store, was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. We told him how we planned to use the backpacks – basically as an easy way to carry our stuff as opposed to regular suitcases. We’re just not diehard hikers. We just want to be able to carry our luggage and still have our hands free.

He showed us several selections and narrowed it down to what was the most suitable.

Geoff got a Crestone 75 (it can hold up to 75 liters of stuff) with a good suspension system that he found very comfortable.

I got a Terra 60 (it can hold up to 60 liters of stuff) with an opti-fit suspension (it can be adjusted to fit short people like me for optimum comfort).

We also discovered that there was a sale on that would give us and additional 25% off the already discounted outlet pricing. It seemed like a no-brainer. Looking at the original pricing for each backpack, we actually got both backpacks for what we could have paid for just one of them.

However, I do believe the clincher was all the time Frank spent with us making sure we got the right backpacks and showing us how to adjust them.

Thanks Frank!

A&W Hamburgers for Lunch

While walking around the mall we picked up some coupons for A&W, so we decided to go there for lunch.

What a mistake. The burgers were horrible! Okay, they were pretty cheap but I do believe they were the worst burgers we have had – ever.

Sorry A&W, I used to love you when I was a teenager but I doubt we’ll ever be back.

Canada Customs and Immigration

After leaving the outlet mall we continued on to Port Huron and back into Canada.

The Canada Customs and Immigration officer was wonderful and welcomed us back to Canada.

We declared our newly purchased backpacks and he just waved us through.

Great to See my Dad Again

We arrived at my Dad’s at about 6pm. He had waited for us to arrive before making supper. He treated us to a terrific stir-fry dinner.

We are so looking forward to spending several days with him as well as seeing kids and grandkids while we’re here.

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