Thursday, August 10, 2017

Travel Blogging XIV

Western Wyoming: We're home from Canada, and reflecting on several pieces of interesting trivia that we noted while there.

Item: At a market deli counter in Canada I ordered Pepper Jack cheese and got Jack cheese with cracked peppercorns in it. In the States Pepper Jack cheese contains jalapeño pepper pieces, in Canada this is called Jalapeño Jack.

Item: Canadians no longer use the one cent coin or penny, prices are rounded up or down to the nearest five cent multiple. They no longer have one and two dollar bills, but use coins called the "loonie" and "toonie" respectively. These last longer, save them money, work in coin operated machines, and nobody gripes. Their smallest denomination bill is the five dollar.

Item: In the U.S. diesel pumps at service stations are designated with green nozzles, green signs, etc. In Canada the diesel pumps are designated with yellow instead of green.

Item: When we started driving in Canada 40+ years ago major highways were two lanes with wide paved shoulders. Slow traffic would often drive on the shoulders to allow faster cars to pass. This has disappeared, I cannot pinpoint the year.

Item: Americans in Canada formerly saw vehicles there not imported to the States, and what we thought of as "American cars" with different names and slightly different trim details. Both are long gone.

Item: In both Montana and Alberta you see the name "Whoop-Up" given to various things or places. A Wikipedia search suggests this was a slang name for the region in the 1800s.

Item: Canadians prize their 'uniqueness' meaning ways in which they are not Americans. This is sort of like someone with a Chevy pickup prizing its differences from a GMC pickup made on the same assembly line out of almost all the same parts. Alberta probably has as much in common with Texas as it does with the Maritime Provinces. Canadians will not thank you for reminding them of their similarities to Americans.

Item: In Alberta a major highway normally has a name like "Crowchild Trail" or "Yellowhead Highway" in addition to a national or provincial number.

Item: We once really liked Caliebaut chocolates, until Papa was forced out of the company. Now their candy is merely good, but still priced as though it was world-class, which it no longer is. Papa now creates at Master Chocolat, which is worth a try if you are in Calgary.

Item: In honor of their 150th anniversary as a country, Canada's National Parks are giving away passes to the parks for free this year. It is a wonderful gift and we thank our northern 'cousins' for their generosity. Canada is a fine place to travel and the people are nice, we'll be back.

There will be no more Travel Blogging until late September when we embark on a long cruise. More about that later.