Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things I Learned in the US

We just got back from a week in Palm Springs opening up my grandparents’ trailer (which came with its own set of issues) and these are some things I learned in the Unites States.
  • Montana doesn’t have sales tax. Woohoo to guilt-free shopping at Target! Check out the Missoni for Target items I picked up on CLEARANCE!! The Target in Great Falls doesn’t carry Dwell Studio though so my mission wasn’t a complete success.
  • The ketchup tastes different. Can’t pinpoint it - more sugar or vinegar? - but it was a definite difference.
  • Traveling with a two-year-old is not my cup of tea. This past week has been an exercise in patience for everyone (and patience is not something toddler’s excel at). It was nice to get away but man, I am exhausted! M. is a generally charming child and I had people tell me she did quite well (travel is hard on adults too!) but that aside she missed naps, was off her schedule, didn’t have her toys and was cranky. I think future trips - until she stops taking afternoon naps and learns better listening skills - will be road trips. There are lots of places within driving distance that we love to visit (Vancouver! Winnipeg!) so we are good with that. Also, we need a vacation sans kid. It would be nice to not have someone demanding my iPod every 5 minutes and wanting to watch Dora the Explorer. It would be nice to be able to go out in the evening to a show or a nice restaurant where we don’t have to worry about our child throwing a temper tantrum. It would be nice to sit peacefully on an airplane without being hit or scratched by a whiny toddler and embarrassed because we have one of *those* kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter to pieces and want to show her the world but I think those explorations can wait until she’s a little older.
  • When you ask an American how far something is you’ll get an answer in miles not minutes.
  • Looking for guaranteed free wifi? Find your nearest Starbucks. The same can be said for Canada but Starbucks was a life-saver this week when I was waiting for an email and the RV park didn’t have internet. One of us would drive in to Desert Hot Springs every morning to pick up coffee (for A. ) and tea (for me) and update our emails.
  • It gets dark in the desert FAST! Daylight savings really messed with us this trip because it was dark (pitch black) by 5pm. The desert is also very quite and peaceful. We took a couple walks outside the gates of the RV park and A. is now convinced that he would like to retire in Palm Springs. He was also fascinated by the wind farms.
  • Date shakes are delicious! We went out to Shields Date Garden and I was able to cross an item off of my life list.
  • Being able to buy wine in a grocery store rocks. I always knew grocery stores sold liquor but when you like some wine with dinner it’s really nice not to have to go to a separate store.
  • I would definitely stay at the Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach again. It’s right off the freeway but not at all noisy, is in a good location to access the sites, the rooms are big and nicely decorated (traditional European? French?), and the service was impeccable.
  • The Cheesecake Factory is way fancier than The Cheesecake Cafe here in Calgary, had valet parking, and hosted a wedding reception! These things may only apply to the Redondo Beach location but that's the only one I've been to. 
All in all, it was nice to get away but this is definitely a case of needing a vacation from our vacation. :)

Have you had a vacation end up being not quite what you expected?

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure! Sounds like you had a great time despite your smaller travel companion's "issues". I'd be terrified of even trying a trip like that, so good for you for braving it.

    Winnipeg calls! We'll have to try for folk fest one of these years!