Winter Vacation – Finale

When we checked into the motel on the Friday, one of the first things the son did, was try to open the top dresser drawer.  Perhaps he had a sudden urge to read the Gideons’ Bible.  The front of the drawer just came right off in his hand.

With sleep schedules now totally confounded, the son was asleep shortly after 11 PM Saturday night, while I was still lurking around outside, reading newspapers and doing crossword puzzles in the vending room, and gabbing with the security guard.

Son was up at 7:30, and went over to the office to get yet another tea, while I “slept in” till 8 AM.  Just as he quietly eased the door open at 7:45, the maintenance man fired up the snow blower, right outside the unit.

The son’s OCD shows differently from mine.  Now that we were both awake (Speak for yourself, son and heir.), things should “be done”, we should pack immediately and vacate the premises.  I made toast juice and pills, washing dishes and final packing, last till almost 9.  We visited the office, finalized all paperwork, and offered many thanks to Connie, to be spread among all the nice desk clerks.

The car is loaded; we’re ready to go, and it’s just 9:10.  Finally, the son asks the question he should have thought about before.  What time is this County-Line Trade Center open?  I had hoped that it was at 9 AM, like the Gibraltar Trade Center.  The reason we stayed up here, was to try something new.  I had used the Google Maps overhead view to find that it was an ell-shaped building, about half as big as Gibraltar.

We drove a mile in five minutes and pulled into the parking lot.  There was one snowed-in car, and a half-ton with a plow blade clearing the lot. One wing of the ell is a furniture resale store and a dental office.  The Trade Center is only half as big as I’d hoped and imagined.  The sign on the door says opening is at 10.  We drove back down to last night’s McDonalds, and parked at the back, trying not to get plowed in by the guy clearing their lot.

Finally we drove back up, and the plow jockey unlocked the door, and let a couple of vendors enter.  With no booths open, I got into a conversation with one, about socialized medicine, Obamacare, and a second international bridge, while the son prowled this tiny little microcosm.  One unopen booth shows Saturday hours of noon to 5, and Sunday from 1 till five.  On a Superbowl Sunday, after a significant snowfall, this is not going to get much better.

The Gibraltar center is full of kitsch, “As seen on TV.”  This County-Line place also has lots of stuff seen on TV – if you used to watch Sanford and Son.  The food service area looks like where Sly Stallone got rat burgers in Demolition Man.  There are signs on the doors which say, “All hoods must be removed before entering.” and, “We will provide security escort to your vehicle, but we will not carry merchandise.”

Eleven o’clock – we can’t go home yet.  What do we do??  The son’s paying for the gas; let’s drive 25 miles and go to Gibraltar.  We stopped at a nearby Meijer’s gas bar to fill up.  “Let’s go into the store.”  The son found and bought two big bags of Chili-Cheese potato chips the Meijer’s on the other side of town didn’t carry, and I located and bought two large bottles of McIllhenny’s Chipotle Tabasco Sauce the other store also didn’t have, for the daughter.

Right across the street was a small health food store.  Between it and its larger parent two miles down the road, I found most of the items the big GNC stores didn’t carry, for the niece.  Touchdown, Yay!

The kid and I spent several hours touring Gibraltar, its yummy food court and the gun and knife show they had on the display side.  While I got to caress a Beretta 92 pistol, similar to Rants’ military version, the son found that he likes shotguns.

I got rid of another small pocketful of change to an old veteran, collecting to support other vets, down on their luck.  I saw at least two “girly” guns, one a little .22 caliber varmint plinker for a 12 to 18 year old, the other, a more serious, semi-military style .308, shoot-a-moose, or a trespasser, rifle.  Both were done in camouflage finish – if you were hiding behind Sailor Moon, the darlingest pink and black daubs and lines.

About 3, we decided to head home.  Plows and volume of traffic finally had the roads down to bare and damp.  Since we’d driven south, we decided to cross back, over the bridge.  The same factors which kept people out of the Trade Center, kept them off the bridge.  I again was able to get into a Customs line with only one car ahead of me.

When I was allowed to roll forward, the window of the booth slid open, and I was greeted by a female customs officer.  Not unheard of, but not common on the Canadian side of the Windsor/Detroit crossings.  She smiled at me and said, “Hello/Bonjour.”  “Bonjour,” I replied, “now I know I’m truly back in Canada.”

“Pardon me; could you please pass me a serviette?  I appear to have spilled my poutine.”  Every Canadian knows exactly what that sentence means, but I may have to translate it for my American readers.

A couple of questions for me, and a couple for the son, and we were soon on our way home.  I coulda brought that beautiful Beretta back, and no-one but me would have been any the wiser.  The son called the wife, now that Canadian cell phone towers would carry my Canadian cell phone plan.  We told her we were on our way, and three hours later, we were ordering pizza, after covering 870 Km./555 Mi. over a very enjoyable three-day weekend.  Thanx for reading along with us.    😀

15 thoughts on “Winter Vacation – Finale

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Worst vacation evar?


  2. BrainRants says:

    You might want to venture past Michigan some time. Like to Arizona. Also, the 92F is dependable, etc., but I’m not getting rid of my M1911.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I want to venture past NY, OH, PA, MI all the time, but old folks, and old cars, are not reliable. LadyRyl wanted me to drive her to Phoenix, for a wedding, and then realized just how far it was.

      What or who is/will be, in Arizona, to make a trip worthwhile?? Lots of nowhere for safe plinking. What exact version of 1911A, and how new? Actual Colt? Kimber? Black? Blued? Pretty silver? 😕 😀


  3. papict says:

    Ah, poutine… I have fond memories of eating poutine. That would be a nice welcome home to Canada for you.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Canadian editions of American fast-food chains try – and fail. McDonalds just brought out their version. As my brother is wont to say, “I’ve had it twice, the first time, and the last time!”

      We’re going to make a big homemade batch for supper tomorrow, with sirloin roast gravy. I saw a version online last night, oven-roasted chunked potatoes, with wild mushroom gravy and tofu. Made me wish for a plateful of haggis. 🙄


  4. whiteladyinthehood says:

    “We will provide security escort to your vehicle, but we will not carry merchandise.” ~ that gave me quite a chuckle as well as your opening paragraph. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip and made it back home safely.


    • Archon's Den says:

      One of Robert Heinlein’s books said that the strength of an intellect is strongly influenced by the number of events experienced. Little vacations like this help keep me from going senile. That drawer-front event was somewhat odd. I followed him into the room, looked up, and he was just holding it in his hand. Enjoyable to be away, but comforting to return home. 🙂


  5. When I was in my twenties I used to accompany my father to gun shows all over southern Ontario. I assisted in with the selling of bullets and guns, and had a fabulous time. Ah and you mentioned a Beretta, a nice little handgun. Perfect for every lady.


    • Archon's Den says:

      And despite all the Chicken Littles insisting otherwise, neither you nor society is any the worse for it. I mention the RCMP and High River, only in passing. 😦

      While many Berettas are nice little ladies’ purse guns, the 92F/M9 is a bit large for most women’s hands. While I can handle it, it’s such a handful, I’m not sure I could control it. I’d like to try, but finances disagree.


      • I have a large purse. lol I used to go shooting years ago, and yes, there are handguns, that were just far too heavy for me, let alone trying to use one. I do miss the gun shows with my father, they were always quite fascinating and my father (a seller) was very knowledgeable.


  6. benzeknees says:

    You do find adventure wherever you go, don’t you? Of course, wherever you go, there you are – do you think that’s part of the problem?


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