I started this post in Seattle but didn't get it finished, then didn't have a moment before heading away last week. Now that I'm back I thought I'd finish it off.
There is a fairly large anti-American bias in Canada with some folks, which I don't really understand. Like any neighbor we aren't going to agree on everything but then I don't agree with everything my government does. I like going south of the border once or twice a year and thought I'd list the reasons why.
- IHOP, I love IHOP, and there aren't any in Alberta.
- Biscuits and gravy, I love biscuits and gravy for breakfast. It is a good thing that it is hard to get it in Canada, or I'd be 400 pounds. But if I get to the US twice in a year I have it a couple of mornings and the craving goes away for months. A friend from the states came to visit last year and showed us how to make white gravy but I think it is best for my health not to do it.
- People there, for the most part, like to talk. I think we are more reserved at home, but I find in the states people will talk to you, which I like. As with anywhere, there are good and bad people anywhere you go but I like that Americans are quite forward compared to people on this side of the border.
- Bookstores. I love bookstores but at home we pretty much only have Chapter/Indigo and very few used book stores. In a one block stretch in Seattle there were several great book stores. I bought a book on the Negro Baseball League, with beautiful painted illustrations called We Are The Ship.
- Baseball of course, most of the time when we go to the states, a baseball game or two (or more) is in the plans.
- Crowds. Calgary is a city of a million people but we are spread out, you rarely find yourself in a crush of people. Seattle, Pikes Place was very crowded and great fun and Times Square in New York was a wonderful play to people watch.
- Hearing different accents is something I enjoy. Doesn't really apply to Seattle, but in the east or south, part of the fun is the differing ways people talk.
- Shopping, I don't really buy that much but you can get somethings that are different than you can here. I have a nice pair of purple Converse runners in Houston that I haven't seen in any shops in Calgary.
The bad part about going to the US: American beer. I'm sure there are good micro breweries there, just like there are here, but the major brands are just awful. The only thing worse than the regular brands are the 'light' beers, when the regular beer is basically water, how do you make light beer?