Tag Archives: border crossing

Hello America!

6 Aug

Today I had a little jaunt in to the States, and when I say little I mean little, I was only there a couple of hours. Thank goodness the border is so close! ๐Ÿ™‚

Why bother going for such a short visit? Simple, I had to ship my dragon boat paddle back to the company that made it (Burn Water) for repairs.

Why did I have to go across the border to ship my paddle you wonder? Simple, Canada and the States are weird and like to have random rules in play in regards to what can be shipped where and my paddle was a big no-no for going across the border in a box.

Makes no sense? Lemme explain!

I went to FedEx on the Canada side of the border to find out how much it would cost to ship my paddle, it had to go to Northern California. The guy took one look at it and said they can’t ship it, there are rules that prohibit them from shipping my paddle. I asked for clarification and his explanation was this:

The States has a policy that we can’t ship used personal items across the border in to the States. Apparently the American government is worried people will ship over all their personal items then drive or fly over as if on vacation and then be all “haha, I claim squatters rights! my stuff is all here and I’m not leaving!” Basically they are afraid Canadians are going to try to sneak move-in to the States.

*rolls eyes*

Listen, I may be happy you have ObamaCare now but don’t think it sounds good enough for me to leave my healthcare system behind…even if I do desperately want to live in LA and pursue my acting career there *big epic sigh*

Oh, and on top of all that, if they could legally ship it, it would have cost me in the high $200’s! That’s just crazy!

It is cheaper to drive the paddle over the border and ship it from within the country, which is exactly what I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

The wait at the border crossing looked like this…

And I didn't bring a book, sigh.

And I didn’t bring a book, sigh.

I thought mid-day on a Thursday would be nice and quiet, don’t any of these people work?? Eesh. ๐Ÿ˜›

While sitting in the traffic that closely resembled a parking lot two border guards started walking down between the cars, I did my best to look innocent but I guess it didn’t work because they stopped at my suv and said they were doing a “spot check”.

Those are never good words to hear from someone with a badge and a gun.

While I sat super still in my vehicle, with the engine turned off, they searched and questioned, and searched a bit more. When the one guard asked the reason for my trip today I explained about the paddle and having to take it to FedEx on the American side of the border and they both looked at me like I was crazy. I wanted to point out that if I was up to something I would have come up with a far less odd sounding story but figured they wouldn’t appreciate hearing that, shrug.

Eventually they left me and my vehicle alone and I continued to slowly inch my way up to that little booth thing the border guards chill in while asking questions of those of us trying to pass through. The guard in the little booth asked a lot of similar questions, to which I provided the same answers and he also looked suspicious and unimpressed.

I should have just said I was going shopping, sigh.

The guard in the booth let me go and zoom! Off I went, in to America!

I am navigationally challenged and seriously doubted my ability to find the FedEx without getting lost but my directions were perfect and I got there quite quickly.

The poor guy at the FedEx though, I made his day harder, not intentionally though! Apparently if I had an American PO Box the amount of effort he would have to do is diminished by quite a bit but I don’t have one so he had to get me to fill out a form and he had to manually enter information in to his computer – oh the horrors! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Luckily FedEx has a box that is perfectly sized to fit a dragon boat paddle, so yay! But the FedEx guy didn’t let me put packing peanuts or bubble wrap or anything in there so I am now paranoid about my paddle and how well it will endure transit. I got insurance for it though soooooo if they mess it up even more than it already is I guess I can file a claim, now doesn’t that sound like fun? lol

I finished at FedEx way sooner than expected so I went to Fred Meyer (that is a grocery store) and bought some super delish, Weight Watcher friendly, yoghurt that we don’t get in Canada. I have bought them twice before, once on a trip to the States for shopping and once when I was visiting a friend in LA and both times my taste buds have been super happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t only buy the ones marked with the Weight Watcher symbol because they didn’t have that large of a selection so I branched out to some of the non-Weight Watcher ones, they are all low sugar options though.

Why oh why can't you be in Canada?

Why oh why can’t you be in Canada?

Ok, fine, I lied, I bought one that is not low sugar, non aspartame, Weight Watcher approved, heck, it isn’t even a yoghurt lol

Chocolate Whip? Yes please!

Chocolate Whip? Yes please!

The yoghurts were on sale, 10 for $5 and I was trying to not duplicate flavours so I was forced to pick up a Chocolate Whip, it is such a hard life, teehee. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I ate it this evening and it was…ok…not as good as say a chocolate pudding but hey, it could be worse.

I also took a look at these soups I always see ads for that I’ve never been able to find over here either, yup, they are Weight Watchers also, well, affiliated with WW.

2015-08-06 22.25.00

The ads make these soups seem like the most delicious healthy option ever, they are only 4 points for the entire can! Not every Progresso soup is a Weight Watcher friendly one but I took one of each of the flavours that don’t contain pork so I could give them a try.

After the grocery store, which fyi, uses paper bags! That was different…Anyways! After the grocery store I hit up a frozen yoghurt place, mostly it was because I needed a washroom and if I was going to have to buy something in order to use a washroom they were the best option out of what was around lol

The place is called Menchie’s and it was cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a serve yourself type of place and you are charged 0.51 cents per kg. Seems a weird amount to me, I mean, why not fifty cents? You pick up a bowl, walk through a selection of soft serve machines that have all sorts of flavours and then choose your toppings.

I swear I wasn't the only one there!

I swear I wasn’t the only one there!

You can combine any amount of flavours you want as well as sample as many flavours as you want before you commit to what you buy. I ended up with peach and red velvet cake, Mmm! I topped the peach with sliced banana and the red velvet cake with broken up pieces of waffle bowl.

2015-08-06 14.13.55

Ok, so obviously making frozen yoghurt look pretty is not something I excel at but hey, it tasted good and that’s all that really matters!

So after all of that I came back to my side of the border, the line was way shorter on the way home and the guard was less suspicious lol When I told them why I went over (the FedEx issue) he just shook his head a little, gave a small smile and waved me through. He was a cutie so I wouldn’t have minded being questioned more by him! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goodbye U.S. (part 2)

17 Oct

So sure, it’s only been minutes since I finished the last post but since it’s now past midnight it is technically the “tomorrow” I spoke about inย the last sentence of the previous post so I am writing…it is my blog ya know, I’m pretty sure that means I get to make up the rules lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s see, I left off with the three of us gorging ourselves at Red Lobster, yum. ๐Ÿ˜€

I took a cooler with me with a freezer pack inside to store the yogurt I was planning to buy so I put our leftovers in there and off we went to the outlet mall. I’ve been to that mall before, with KL actually, but KS hadn’t been so we wandered most of it. Banana Republic was a real wallet killer for the other two, both found multiple clothing items they wanted. I tried some stuff on for fun but none of it fit….I found this cute dress, empire waist and flowy which is usuallyย a win for me cause that style hides a lot of my trouble areas. Well, the bodice part is fitted and made of a non-stretchy material, I couldn’t get the dress up over my hips and when I tried to put it on over my head I couldn’t get it to go past my breasts…barriers at both ends of my body! lol. ๐Ÿ˜› Ah well, I couldn’t have afforded it anyways, and where would I wear a dress? It’s winter! *rolls eyes*

I was mostly looking for presents for people for Christmas, I found none, sigh. I was sorta hoping to find a new pair of runners for working out as mine are not very good anymore but the prices weren’t cheap enough to be worth the expense so I left them all behind…so sad, leaving shoes behind, I think there’s a Girl Rule about that and I think I broke it…oops. ๐Ÿ˜›

We didn’t stay at the mall all that long, KS spent as much as she was willing to spend in the first store so she was ready to leave right after that and KL kept looking then talking herself out of buying stuff lol. Sorry to say we didn’t help the American economy all that much…although, we did give the waitress at Red Lobster a kick ass awesome tip so at least she benefited from us being there lol.

After the mall we went to Wal-Mart for my yogurt splurge! ๐Ÿ˜€ I was so excited and so nervous – and yes, I am aware of how pathetic that is. I was all excited to finally get this yogurt I’ve been wanting to try for so long but so nervous they might not have it *cringe*

Turns out I had nothing to fear, the Yoplait yogurt section was huuuuuuge! And oh so much of it was the Yoplait Light, wOOt! ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks to a link left as a comment on one of my posts I was able to scope out the flavours last night so I already knew whatย I was looking for. I found even more flavours then was on the site but it turned out that I had veered into the non-light section by accident so I was looking at flavours I wasn’t going to be buying (like Pina Colada). Luckily I realized before getting to the till so the 2 non-light ones I grabbed by accident were replaced by light yogurts.

My Tower of Yoplait Light Yogurt!

I bought ten in total, each a different flavour, and none of them flavours I could get here in a different brand of yogurt (so no mixed berries etc).

The flavours I got are: Cherry Cobbler, Boston Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Apple Turnover, Blueberry Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Strawberry Short Cake, Lemon Meringue, Cinnamon Roll and Lemon Cream Pie. phew, just re-reading that is fun, imagine the fun of eating them! *excited giggles*

Walking through the food section of that Wal-Mart was crazy! We didn’t even go up and down the aisles so it was just what we were seeing as we aimed towards the yogurt but wow, lots of stuff we don’t have. I am jealous you have Special K potato chips, and for cheap! I couldn’t justify buying them but don’t think I didn’t stick a box in my cart and push it around for a while in the hopes I could convince myself lol. There was junk food everywhere! The end of each aisle we passed was strictly unhealthy food…I guess all the healthy stuff is in the aisles and they put the unhealthy at the end…which could be smart cause that means you could shop the aisles and kinda pretend the ends don’t exist so you don’t buy any junk. That’s probably not how it works though huh?

Of course it doesn’t help that it’s leading up to halloween so there was lots of extra candy etc all around…we saw this huge container of cheese balls…for halloween, kinda strange. Oh, and these cookies with marshmallows attached somehow and shaped to look like spooky cats, also kinda strange. There was lots of candy and junk food I wish I’d written down the names of cause I wanted to know what it was but didn’t want to pick it up in case I didn’t have the willpower to put it back lol. One thing I couldn’t resist was this big box of Junior Mints for only $1! Only a dollar?!?! Sweeeeet! Oh, fyi, those are like my all time fave chocolate candy type thing and they are kinda expensive here so I don’t buy them all too often and when I do buy them I get the super small box. So this, a big box for only a buck, there was no thought process, there was just my hand reaching out for a box lol. Bad I know…I’ll probably regret it tomorrow…but not tonight! ๐Ÿ˜›

So yeah, Wal-Mart was like a wonderland for bad-for-me-foods but I was firm and stuck to the yogurts and er, that one box of Junior Mints *whistles an innocent tune*

After that we got some gas (oh my god so much cheaper there, even when you take in to account gallons vs litres! It was a little over $20 for half a tank in my suv, here that’d cost me about $35!) and we headed back to our side of the border.

The Canadian border guard was a lady and asked how long we were in the states, I said approx 12 hours, she asked why we went, I said to eat at Red Lobster. She gave us all this up and down look and said “you were at Red Lobster for 12 hours??” So of course I said no, after eating we hit up the outlet mall blah blah blah. We always get way more questions going back home then leaving…firearms, tobacco, drugs, duty free shopping, how much did we spend, anybody give us gifts, and on and on…I mean seriously, if I was bringing drugs or firearms back do they really think I’d say yes when they ask? *rolls eyes*

I am happy to report my yogurt stayed nice and cold (I put it in the cooler bag) so I am not concerned it will not be safe to eat and I can’t wait till I have an appetite again cause the first thing I’m gonna eat is one of those. I am going to eat them by randomly plucking one from the group instead of carefully choosing, so it’ll be a little surprise each time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hey, let me get my jollies where I can alright? ๐Ÿ˜› lol

No more food binges for me though, that was plenty of damage! I know there is no saving this week but I will be careful for the rest of it anyways and hopefully my body can recover from the damage I inflicted in a couple weeks or so…I wish it luck! lol.

Oh! Sidenote, I got hit on in the yogurt section of Wal-Mart…guy offered to buy me the “real thing” when I was holding the Pina Colada yogurt…I said thanks but no…random!

Hello U.S. (part 1)

16 Oct

I may never finish digesting all the food that got put in my stomach today…seriously, soooooo much food! All of it delicious but ugh, my digestive track is going to make me pay for this tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after…and probably even tonight eek! lol.

Today was my quest to Red Lobster, oooooooh yeah baby! *butt wiggling dance* ๐Ÿ˜€ It is ShrimpFest at Red Lobster and who can resist all you can eat shrimp? Not I or my friends lol. ๐Ÿ˜€

KL and KS got here at 9:22am, luckily I was ready early. ๐Ÿ™‚ I may have been a tad eager for the day to begin *blinks innocently* I drove us and we made good time, the wait at the border was about 20mins which is much better then the sign warning a 40min wait, lol. The US border guard was a guy and when he asked why we were going to the States I was honest, I told him we were going to Red Lobster. ๐Ÿ˜› You should have seen his face, the funny look he gave me, maybe he hasn’t heard that reason before? *head tilt* He let us cross without any real hassle (yah for the three of us looking fairly harmless!) and on we went. ๐Ÿ˜€ We actually passed the outlet mall on the way to the restaurant but we wanted to eat first and then go shopping, the shrimp was more important then the potential clothes etc we might find.

There were barely any people in the restaurant when we got there, they’d only been open an hour or so but that was perfect cause we got a great booth really quickly. Now, here’s the thing, when it’s an all-you-can-eat deal you can’t take food home with you, buuuuut, like I was gonna let that stop me? I was determined to sneak out some of those cheddar biscuits!…sooooo, I had tupperware in my purse *blush* Hey! Don’t judge me! A girl does what she must! ๐Ÿ˜‰

KS and I both did the ShrimpFest but KL had never been to a Red Lobster before (poor deprived soul) so she got the Create-A-Feast, she got snow crab legs, large butterfly coconut shrimp and um…I don’t remember her third item. She also “generously” offered to sacrifice her waist size by helping KS and I eat our shrimp – isn’t she so selfless? It’s amazing the lengths friends will go to for each other. teehee

Brace yourself! Here are the shrimp dishes I got: (seriously, you may want to sit for this…okaaaaay, I warned you!)

Coconut Shrimp Bites

Garlic Shrimp

Those came with a baked potato, oh, and I’d already been served a garden salad and eaten two of the cheddar biscuits…and eaten 1 lobster-crab-and-seafood stuffed mushrooms (we split the appie but I didn’t care for it so I let the other two eat the rest)

Then I got:

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp (ten to a skewer – I highly recommend, they were awesome!)

Parmesan Shrimp

Shrimp Linguini Alfredo

Coconut Shrimp Bites (yes, I got a second order)

At that point I thought I was gonna burst and was ever so grateful I wore my loose fitting jeans – more room for my tummy to expand lol.

The Shrimp Linguini Alfredo wasn’t as good as it normally is, when I get it in AB it has more seasoning, I found this serving a bit bland, this blandness saved me some calories cause I decided since I didn’t loooove it I wasn’t gonna eat itย (ya know, considering how many caloriesย I ate with all the other food I feel that savings is rather pathetic in the grand scheme of things lol).

The Coconut Shrimp Bites were amazing! I loved them! Never had them before but I will so want them again someday…the dipping sauce has coconut in it and the batter on the shrimp has a bit of spicy to it, Mmm! and yeah, you read that right, batter, as in bad for me batter…no healthy shrimp for me today!

The Parmesan Shrimp was yum but basically the Garlic Shrimp with a breaded parmesan layer over top so I say just get one per meal and stick with the Garlic ones cause they are so so so delish and by avoiding the breaded parmesan layer you just gotta be saving some calories, fat, carbs, etc…right? *nods convincingly* Yah! I convinced myself! lol

One of the newbie shrimp dishes is the Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp – holy crapolla! Whoever came up with that dish deserves praise! The perfect blend of sweet and spicy, nice big shrimp, ten on a skewer, they slid off the skewer oh so gently. Couldn’t ask for anything better. I wanted a second order of those too but knew I wouldn’t be able to eat them there and figured they wouldn’t warm up very well at home – and really, if I couldn’t at least eat a couple at the restaurant and if they weren’t going to warm up well I figured it’d be a waste of food to order them…I didn’t want to be responsible for the death of more shrimp then absolutely needed. lol. I was already causing a severe dip in the shrimp stocks of this Red Lobster location ๐Ÿ˜›

I had a strategy going in to this meal and I was even kind enough to share it with KS, I wanted to make sure we didn’t get too full too early on and not be able to eat lots. The first part of the plan was don’t order the linguini first! The pasta is way filling and will take up too much room! The rest of the plan was fairly simple, only order water or a diet pop (no filling drinks), eat barely any or none of the salad that comes with the order, don’t eat the side that comes with the order (I ordered a baked potato which I love but barely touched it), don’t eat the rice or other filler foods that come with the various shrimp dishes,ย oh, and most importantly, for pitys sake, never stop eating! If you stop eating that gives your stomach and brain time to get all chatty with each other and your brain will realize that you are way full and tell your stomach to STOP! If that happens you’re screwed…so, keep eating, a slow and steady pace, that way you can fit way more in. Gee, is it a wonder I got so fat? ๐Ÿ˜‰

The plan worked out great! Obviously. You did read the food list above right? What normal person can eat that much food?? *rolls eyes* Well, ok, the other two at the table ate about the same amount so I’m not the only one lol.

I did manage to sneak 4 of the cheddar biscuits out of there, and KS and I each brought home leftovers. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the leftover coconut shrimp bites there (they are just that good!) so I brought them home, along with the dipping sauce, and will see how they warm up…ya know, in four days when I finally get an appetite back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

*I have more to tell about the trip but this post is already long enough so I’ll write a Part 2 entry tomorrow!* ๐Ÿ˜€

Name That Yogurt!…No Really, Could You Please?

15 Oct

Ok, this is just a little post, and it’s written way earlier in the day then my normal posts – this feels so weird.lol. I need help from my American readers…or the more attentive Canadians lol.

Being in Canada I have spent my entire tv watching lifeย inundated by American ads, this means there are many many times I see something advertised that I want to buy but can’t cause it’s not in Canada. No big loss generally but every now and then I cross that silly little border and get the chance to buy some of the stuff I’ve been wanting to try – this is happening tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I am going to the states with some friends, after our lunch at Red Lobster (a restaurant I loooove but that isn’t in BC, sadness), and after our traversing the outlet mall (woohoo, cheap shopping!, not that I have money to spend there, double sadness), we are going to make a quick stop at a grocery store (not that I’ve told the other two this yet lol) so I can buy yogurt.

Yes, you read that right, I am going to the states and what do I want to buy? Yogurt.

It’s a specific kind of yogurt but for the life of me I can’t remember the brand name and of course I haven’t seen any ads for it lately…ooooh, I hope it’s not been discontinued! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Ok, here’s whatย I know about it, it’s one of the “healthy” yogurts, it is advertised as a food to enjoy while losing weight or watching your diet, and it comes in way crazy awesome sounding flavours (like cheesecake, and pie flavours…). The ads usually have a lady on the phone talking to a friend about how she’s been eating Banana Cream Pie and Strawberry Shortcake and other way yummy treats all while losing weight and in the background her husband is searching through the fridge trying to find all these bakery treats and completely ignoring all the yogurts right in front of his face.

Oh, and I think the yogurt containers are white with that tin foil lid…

Soooooo, anyone know the name of the yogurt?ย Cause I wanna buy it and try it but can’t seem to remember the brand name so I don’t know what I need to look out for…

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