What's the first thing we see when we drive into the parking lot? A motorhome. Camping. This guy had his awning out, and his generator and cooler sitting beside his rig.
Doing exactly what you're not supposed to do.
Many of you know that most Walmart stores have an unwritten policy of allowing RV'ers to park overnight in their parking lot. But some Walmart's have stopped the practice because of people actually camping there. Can't figure out why anybody would want to do this in the first place because there are always better choices for free camping. Anyhow, this guy looked like he was all set for a long term stay.
Into the store, we bought about $50 worth of groceries. Only a couple of years ago, groceries in the U.S. were noticeably cheaper than in Canada. But now, they are about the same. We don't think that Canadian prices have changed very much over the last couple of years, but American prices are definitely higher than they have been in the past. On a general basis, we find that fruits and veggies are cheaper here. And dairy products are more expensive here. Meat and poultry and fish are about the same.
What deals did we pick up? Well, a litre of pure maple syrup for $13. And a 1kg (2.2 lbs) package of boneless skinless chicken breast for $9. Not bad.
First thing we do when we go through the cash at Walmart is to check our receipt. We've found that it's pretty often that there's a pricing error. Sure enough, there was a bag of petite carrots that were supposed to be $1.47 and they had charged $1.97. We went to customer service to get it fixed and she credited us back the full $1.97. The carrots were free. Not sure if this is a Canadian policy or if it's something new. But apparently if you find a pricing error on your bill, the item is free.
After lunch, we went downtown to the Midtown Mall where the main Bell Mobility store is where we had to go to re-activate our "mifi" cellular internet device. As we were getting close to the store, we realized we forgot to bring the device! Stupid. We went in to see if we could get a new SIM card and get it activated, but unfortunately you do have to have the device with you. So we'll head back there this morning.
So we went for a walk around downtown and along the river. This is not the most scenic time of year to be here what with the melting snow and the roads still covered in salt and sand leftover from the winter. But I can see where it would be a fairly attractive area when the leaves come out and everything gets green and a few rainstorms wash away the grey.
We had a little dinner party last night. Another one of our blog readers wanted to visit, so we invited Carla over and Ruth made a nice spaghetti dinner. Carla's husband is an engineer working at the mines north of here, and he's out of town so it was nice that we could be some company for Carla. Spent most of the evening talking about travel!
Carla, Jean, Mark, Ruth