Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 5 Afternoon/Evening

We're back in Canada!!!

Yes, it's only Windsor, but at least we're in Canada. Arrived into Detroit (and the station there leaves a lot to be desired...) and had the station agent make a couple phone calls to find us a cab willing to take us across the border into Windsor. Cabs unfortunately are pretty pricey affairs, about $45 flat rate, plus the tolls (about $7.50 US for a round trip). Probably either of our most expensive cab ride yet, and the distance/time wasn't too bad for us, though the bigger problem was for the cabbie going back home. 1) He can't take a fare back to Detroit to alleiviate the trip and 2) the line up going through the tunnel to Detroit was stretched the entire distance of the tunnel and out past the toll gates!

For us in the back seat, the border crossing was pretty smooth, only a few questions and that's it. We had more issues with the customs agent wanting exact placement of the appropriate windows at his window and the cabbie didn't quite comply as nicely as he could've? In any event, we're back...Lunch was typical Canadian Fare. Sandwich or Chili at Tim Hortons, which thankfully is only a block away from the VIA station. I managed to secure a couple tickets for us from Windsor to Toronto while we were stuck waiting for another Amtrak train to pass us outside of Ann Arbour, MI...Thanks to the folks who left their internet connection open for us to "borrow" for a few minutes!

Train is supposed to arrive in Windsor at 5pm, turn around and head back for Toronto at 6pm. Hopefully we can keep to the schedule or else we'll be looking for a hotel tonight in the centre of the universe since the car rental desk closes at 10pm. We've got agreement with them to hang around for 10 minutes after that, in the event our train is on time and arrives at 6 minutes after 10pm. Mich would love to be able to drive up tonight and see her parents, but we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we're waiting at Windsor's train station.


PS: We decided for kicks to see what sort of time the Lake Shore Limited left Chicago and see whether we made the right decision to go for Detroit. Sure enough, we absolutely did. The LSL left Chicago around 1:30-2pm this afternoon, which would've guaranteed a missed connection in Rochester or Buffalo and another night in a hotel and another wait for the train to Toronto. Yikes! (and for those wondering the folks waiting for the Empire Builder left about an hour early for the next day's departure time (ie: they're about 23 hours behind schedule!!!)

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