Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip to Pennsylvania

Thursday we went on a road trip to see what the big buzz is about some great shopping in Pennsylvania. On the way down about 15 minutes or so past the Buffalo border we stopped at a McDonald's for some breakfast. We then washed up and proceeded to our car. When we reached the parking spot and headed for the car, there was no car to be found. We searched the entire parking lot and our car was definitely not there! I wondered how that could be possible with a parking lot buzzing with activity and us only being away from the car for about 20 minutes or so. Mr. Sunshine headed inside to call the On star number to track down the vehicle as this On star package comes free for the first year. I was outside with the girls still searching and wondering what we would do next, what about my purse and the passports which were still in the car? I was still a bit baffled and could not believe that this was happening. The older daughter was walking around being very vocal and loud about how she could not understand how somebody could have stolen our car.

I was walking towards where we had parked it and I noticed some lady bent over and fixing her shoes while sitting in her car with the door open and she was smiling at me. I wondered if I should ask her if she knew anything about it or did she simply find it very comical? Well she asked me where I was going. I remember thinking is she going to offer us all a ride? I don't think that I would take a ride from a stranger anyways. I told her that we were on our way to Pennsylvania, and she said that our car is on the other side. She said this is the New York Side and you are on the Pennsylvania side. Well it seems that at this particular spot both sides of the highway can exit and cross a bridge and eat at the McDonald's which meets at the middle of the two sides and then you exit back to your appropriate side. She explained that both sides are identical. Her and her friend both followed the girls and I back into the building and they were telling us not to feel bad as they had both done it in the past themselves. One of them explained that she heard my daughter talking and was smiling because she remembers saying the same thing when it happened to her years ago.

We found Mr. Sunshine who was on the phone just about to call On Star and explained, and he said no we didn't do that. He looked at us all confused and we were all a bit embarrassed. We thanked the women and proceeded to the centre which upon really looking you could see two exit signs in opposite directions one saying, ERIE SIDE AND ONE SAYING PENNSYLVANIA SIDE. Still a little reluctant we went towards the Pennsylvania side and thank goodness there was our car! A wave of relief came upon us all and we got in and started driving.

We joked the rest of the drive down about how much fun it would have been had Mr. Sunshine contacted the On Star 911 team only to find out that his car had never left the parking lot. Well we kept on teasing my daughter about her loud voice and how she looked like she wanted to contact the police and how she starts to speak in a southern accent as soon as we cross the border. "Officer, Officer, please help someone has stolen my car with all my treasures an lovelies." Well really, you had to be there. She was not saying that but the little one and I were teasing her and we had a lot of fun for the rest of the drive.

Now about the shopping. Well we went to a Prime One outlet mall and another mall. Is there exceptionally great deals? There is on somethings but not all. You really do need to watch because not everything is cheaper. For instance I had purchased two things at Old Navy in Canada just two days ago and they were the exact same price in Pennsylvania on the Thursday. One of the sales people asked if I lived in the area and I said no. She said too bad because tomorrow all of the regular priced merchandise would be 40% off on Friday. It was very nice of her to tell me that. So I shopped at Old Navy on Friday instead of Thursday so that was a great deal but had I have not know that, everything that I would have bought on Thursday would have been exactly the same price as it would have been at home except for the taxes but the exchange would have covered most of that. So considering gas and hotel stay I actually would have ended up spending more.

So you do have to be careful but you can find some really great deals if you really look. There is no sales tax in Pennsylvania so that was great. Also there are some great stores there that we do not have in Canada. There is also definitely a greater selection of items and sizes. Some of the best deals are definitely on foot wear. You can get the latest styles and they can be designer styles if you wish and they are about 50% of the price that you would pay here. The only way that you would get those prices on the same merchandise would be to wait until next year and hope to find them at Winners or S'il Vous Plait or some place else.

All in all we did find some really great deals and it was a fun and very enjoyable trip.

Lastly, as we were driving along some residential roads just outside of down town Pennsylvania going towards our hotel. I opened the window and I could hear a very loud strange sound. It was almost like a buzzing sound coming from the trees. These trees were situated on beautiful properties with great houses but I could not understand how these people could sit down on their beautiful decks with this awful strange buzzing sound. When we got to the hotel I had to ask the front desk clerk about the strange sound. She said that she had no idea what we were talking about as she did not hear it. I told her to listen when the sliding doors open as you could hear it from inside. The next door opened and one of the other desk clerks said that it was the cicadas. They are apparently big grass hoppers that come out of the ground every 7 to 14 years. (I have not researched this so I am only retelling what was told to me). They only buzz for a short time and then they will stop and start again some other time. Well ,when we went to the outdoor pool that evening it was very quiet they had obviously stropped buzzing. I wonder if they only buzz at sundown. The next morning Mr. Sunshine and the youngest went swimming and said that there was a cicada in the pool. She said that it was a really big and looked like a grass hopper and was a yucky green colour. I never heard the cicadas buzzing again for the next 24 hours of our stay in Pennsylvania(knowing more about them now, I kind of wanted to hear them again and really appreciate it this time).

Well. we are back safe and sound and we had a fun time.


  1. I must admit when I first read this story it was still in draft form and Sunshine had only typed the first part about the car being stolen. I gathered my family together and told them and we were all in shock and concerned. Then a little while later I went back and read the rest of the story. I once again gathered the family and told them what happened and we laughed our heads off. This is so funny mostly cause I can picture all of you. This is one of the best reads in a long time. Funny, Funny, Funny!

  2. That was so funny. I was reading the part about the car and laughing out loud so hard my son asked what was so funny. lol I don't know you at all but I could just see that playing out. You tell the story so great! I could totally see my family including me doing that. lol