Sunday, 14 October 2012

About travelling in the USA

Friday 12 October

As today is a quiet day to recover from our trip there isn’t much to tell, but we came across a few things on our trip that I wanted to write about. 

Getting petrol

The first one is about filling up your car with fuel.  It is not quite as straightforward as when you get petrol in Australia, where you go to the bowsers, fill up your car, go inside to pay and leave…

Nope, here it works slightly different and can be a real pain in the neck too.  The first time we got to a gas station (as petrol stations are called here) we couldn’t quite figure out how to get petrol, as there were so many buttons to press and other options to choose from.  A kind man told us that we had to go inside if we paid cash and thus pay before we could get petrol.  That was a bit tricky, as you need to know how many gallons (not litres!) you need.  Not knowing the car yet, nor being able to work out litres to the gallon instantly, we told the kind lady inside of our problem.  She understood and said she would take our credit card, we could get petrol and she would then charge us.  That worked a treat.  We got approx. $70 worth of petrol and were done.

We were then told that when you pay cash you pay first, otherwise you can push your credit card in a slot, get petrol and remove your credit card.  That way you are charged automatically, but…… overseas credit cards don’t always work as we discovered!  So, most of the time we have been alright now, but there are instances that the card doesn’t get accepted and then we have to guess how much fuel we need.  So far we have guessed correctly and have not lost any money because of this system.  

By the way, the petrol is rather cheap in comparison to Australia, so travelling is not overly expensive for us.

Road signs

Road signs in the States are clear and most of the main roads and highways are numbered.  Like in Australia and most other countries, the maps show the various kinds of roads (main, local, sealed, unsealed, etc.) and also if a road is a toll road or not, so it is quite easy to plan a trip.

Furthermore, the exits on the highways are numbered as usual, but at each exit you can be shown up to four different signs: for gas, food, lodging and attractions.  So e.g. if you reach an exit you are not only told where you can fill up, but also which types of fuel you can get.  For food the restaurants are listed, so you might see: McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, etc.  We thought that was an excellent way of informing travellers.

Restaurants at exit 56

Petrol (gas) stations at exit 56

Lodging (accommodation) at exit 56
And the rest or our day:

Well, I think I have covered most of our trip by now.  As I said, today was a quiet day.  Frank’s sister came on line early in the morning, and we skyped with her for a while.  Frank finished a book and I have been on the computer for most of the day, to upload my blog with the many pictures we had taken.  Of course, Wordfeud was again high on the list of entertainment after I had re-installed the game.  After I’d bought the advertising free game I had deleted it again instead of deleting the totally free version. L  

Mike, the next-door neighbour, brought us a few newspapers and the two parcels that had been delivered while we were away.  So I now can get on with my coloured pencil drawing, and my new shoes arrived as well, which fitted correctly, but I think I’ll keep them wrapped till I am back home again.

We made do with left-overs for lunch and dinner as neither of us felt the need to go out for grocery shopping and had an early night.

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