Well, it finally happened. One would never have had guessed we’ll see this day in our lifetime — the Canadian Loonie is now equal to the once mighty US Dollar. Just a few days ago, it reached as high as USD$1.02 to CAD$1.
I did some checking on the Bank of Canada exchange rate website and found out a few interesting facts.
- The lowest all-time rate was 62 cents US to the Canadian Dollar. That was just a short 5.5 years ago. It’s amazing how fast we had reached par.
- The highest all-time rate was USD$1.06 to CAD$1. That was about 50 years ago. It’s just 4 more cents to hit the all time high. Wow!
These days, Vancouverites had been making their way south of the border for a shopping spree. I swear that at least 20% of all the people I know had made a trip down south the past few weeks. We were one of those 20% of the people.
Of late, we had been hearing horror stories of long waits at the border. One of my friend actually had a 3-hour wait(!) coming back. The news reported that the best time to cross is before 6AM. Well, we did just that … almost. We left home at 6:15AM and guess what … we should have left at 6!
We quickly realized the problem … there is only ONE lane opened at the Peace Arch Crossing. And me being so smart, I picked the wrong lane. I took this lane that was much shorter — like they say … if it’s too good to be true, it is.
I guess those people on the correct lane were as frustrated over the long lines. I don’t blame them for thinking I am one of those queue jumpers. Honest to God … I am not! So, no one gave me any room to move into the right lane for 20 minutes. I did not think it was right to move forward. Sigh … we just waited patiently until someone gave us room to move in.
Let you in on a tip … an extra lane opens at 7AM.
We stopped by an IHOP for breakfast in Bellingham. Frankly we were all very hungry as we did not even have a cup of coffee before we left home.
We were one of the early birds in the restaurant and had practically the entire section to ourselves. By the time we left, there was a long line of customers waiting for a table. This IHOP apparently is newly opened. What I like most is the welcoming jugs on every table.
Suanne and I had coffee while the boys had hot chocolate. The coffee was $1.69 each. Suanne thinks it was bland but I felt it tasted like soot! For the hot chocolates, they are either free or they forgot to charge us for them.
Free refills too on the thermosflask.
Pecan, Blueberry, Boysenberry and Strawberry.
IHOP currently had what they call the Fruit Crepe Fever specials. I saw them even in the IHOPs in Vancouver. It’s a good deal. For just $7.99, you get combo meal below and a fruit crepe.
The crepe was simply the best. It was very fruity, very-very rich and simply delicious. For small breakfast eaters like us, even one crepe is enough, let alone having this AND the one above.
There is a choice of four types of crepes. We chose the Blueberry and Strawberry ones.
Since we are in IHOP, we ordered also the Pancake combo (also $7.99). Nanzaro had recently acquire the taste of getting sunny side up eggs like his dad. I love sunny side up eggs … especially the yolk.
Ahh … truly a chip off the old block. Our way of eating sunny side up eggs is … you first break the yolk and then slurp up the yolk … and importantly leaving behind some yolk to go with the remaining egg white. What is missing is just soya sauce here.
That’s my boy!
The pancake was fluffy as expected. Nothing great really. The waitress came by asking if we wanted maple syrup … warm maple syrup. I like that.
The total bill came to $34 inclusive of tax and tips. Frankly, service was rather slow. It’s because the place is so packed on a weekend morning.
I’ll blog more about our shopping trip the next few days. As a matter of fact, we were in the states for two consecutive weekends and are going again this coming weekend! Tell me, tell me … have you ever been to the state for shopping the past few weeks and if so, what did you get? We had some real serious savings getting some stuff there and will share with you later. At the meantime, tell me the bargains you had!
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if you guys are crossing that often to the US, you should really look into the Nexus pass. I’ve had it for over a year now and although it costs $80 (for five years), it’s totally been worth the hours of waiting that I’ve saved!
Please take note that all the passengers in the vehicle MUST hold the Nexus pass else you are not allowed to use the lane.
We have Nexus too, and with now a toddler in tow we can’t imagine sitting in line for hours with him.
Worth it if you go stateside regularly. Important thing is, to qualify to be in the Nexus lane, EVERY SINGLE occupant in the vehicle MUST have a Nexus pass. So if you have friends or family members along who aren’t Nexus pass holders, you must stay in the regular lanes.
i love my sunny-side up/easy-over eggs with soy sauce too. but i need to have rice to mix with it too!
i love ihop though. yum… one of the only chains that lives up to the hype.
At the Coach outlet, i bought a bag and a planner, and a wallet for my man at 50% discount off the regular retail price (extra discount because of columbus day sale on oct8). Gap is also cheaper across the border. difference of $30 on a baby jacket. we go wild at Target too. love to smuggle baby back ribs from costco too. not a bargain, but just cant seem to find baby back ribs in costco ca.
I heard somewhere that if you use the Nexus pass and declare something, customs will tax you every time. Yet, if you drive through the regular route and wait 3 hours, they usually let you go for minor things.
And the dollar rates is the reason I cannot really afford to go over the border to Canada. Maybe someday though. First I need a passport! oy! LOL!
Did you guys go to the new IHOP on Bakerview? They used to be down south by WWU. I want to try it but I HATE the gridlock on Bakerview.
Breakfast at IHOP ? I suggest the new Avenue Bread in Fairhaven …. some of the best breads and pastries I’ve ever had in Pacific NW. Opens early (7am) for brekkie too 🙂
*sigh* Our trip to Canada was really expensive this year. So very very expensive. I calculated that we could have gone to Ireland for a week for the same amount of money. Oh, and that line at the border? It’s murder. It took us 12 hours to get from Richmond to Seattle. The border was a nightmare and we missed our flight. It made me a sad panda. =(
The sunny side up eggs look burnt.