One and a half hours to boot around in a ZIP CAR with your cousin.
Oh what can you do in an hour and a half with a ZIP CAR rental.
Booked on the phone through their app and making a reservation for the appropriate car and pick up location. Done four hrs in advance and pre paid.
Picked up the car at the designated spot (Queen E and Logan’ish area) called “busy”. The car was there, ready, clean, and good to go. My cousin Eyren had the timing down and drove a block around to pick me up at 3:10pm – a bit late due to an unscheduled boss appearance at her shop.
Ready to go, trunk packed with random empties for the beer store. In that time, friend across the way kindly offers for us to take back some of his empties as well. For the sake of it and the dream of a bit of effort to earn an extra five or six bucks – they were along for the ride, in the trunk with the others.
And off we went…..here were the order of stops and random comments.
–Beer Store – arrival – 3:13pm – Empties in arms, sorting in the bins on the roller track to the counter. Purchasing of a case of Lakeport Light and out the door in 7 mins. Cost savings for returning the empties: $9.50. Of note: this Beer Store is one of the few remaining with full service old style set up. You know the one we all know and like – And it is usually reserved for small Ontario towns which have not yet been converted to the new convenience store/functional beer and liquor store all in one combo. Thats a lot of words for LCBO, in the new tiny shops.
–Liquor Store – Arrival – 3:23pm – A quick discussion about needs and wants and ultimately, the advantages of having a car there was a quick stop here to pick up the months worth of wine. Either that or communion wine for say, every catholic church in Ontario this Sunday…..none the less, a deserved stop and one that took us through every grape stomping producing nation in the world. Eyren had locations, years, styles, label colours and creative names all tucked away in the part of her brain noted for efficiency and a box of wine was filled in minutes. I was impressed. Of note: this liquor store did carry one type of Flora De Cana Rum (the most popular rum in Honduras but distilled in Nicaragua) and the 750ml (26’er) of the 5 yr old was $26. In Honduras, on over priced touristy Utila this same bottle is $6.
–Gerrard Square Mall (Staples) – arrival – 3:32pm – In through the door of what should be a terrible run down – out of style dollar store shit show – this was a generally pleasant little mall. Anchored by Staples and Home Depot, the surrounding stores seem to keep up in quality – or variety at the least – and its clean. Note: there was no music playing, hmmm is this another one of those things that has changed in the past three yrs? Shopping for random office supplies and goods was aided by the staff eager to point out to us where the goods were located. A well written list by Eyren even led to this quick exchange after having just picked up the tape dispenser and the wacky puddy “stick things” to your walls stuff.
“excuse me…….can you tell me where the velcro strips are?” Eyren asks.
“yes of course” replies the staff member, “they are right in front of you.”
…yes folks, service can be that efficient if everything and everyone are in the right place at the right time.
Im not sure how long we really were in the store because it seemed quite short to me. In that time however – and after splitting off with Eyren – I was able to quickly re acquaint myself with the prices and technology of the webcam, head phones, and compact digital cameras – In that, everything has changed and everything is still the same.
“Andrew!” I hear from somewhere by the check out area.
And we were off.
Of note: There was (point 1) a Service Canada outlet in the mall close to Staples, and (point 2) with no line up – see follow up comment below.
–Canadian Tire – arrival – 3:47pm – With underground – or below store – parking I should say, this Canadian Tire is quite impressive in size from the outside. From the inside – after walking a mile or two just to get in past the check outs – the beginning of the tour was not so impressive I must say. None the less a big store with big aisles and seemingly not to many people. We moved around to find cleaning goods for the store and walked out with brooms and plungers and cleaners and all this other stuff. There was time to count out random Canadian Tire money in the purse and accumulated to a savings of $1.50. Of note: Right inside the store was a Service Canada outlet. Quite large as well and lots of information and kiosks to serve. Interestingly enough we observed a substantial line……Funny comment made by Eyren that the people should go to Gerrard Square for no line ups and faster service. In that one random coincidence of life it would have actually been better to be shopping for office supplies than car parts today – thats if you needed to go to Service Canada as well.
-Back in the Zipcar heading south with no further schedules stops to make (meaning 1.5 hrs of errands are done in just under 1 hour) – 4:05pm
“Holy Shit, were done already, weve got some time to kill.” proudly states Eyren.
“Oh ya nice….. well lets go down there, and show me the Leslie Spit and Cherry Beach.” I offer.
And now we are cruising along south of the Lakeshore giving me a tour of my soon to ride bike paths. Learning this is here, and this is there…….all Im seeing are factory’s, but lets go with it. Looks inviting at times and I can see with green on the trees and by heading all the way down to the beach, this is going to be ripe for the warmer days ahead.
“I should take you to TNT, its the one Ive talked about taking you to, the big asian grocery store…..there it is.”
And we turn in the lot to TNT and drive towards the doors.
“Are we going to go in?”. Knowing of course that we apparently have some time to kill. And we do, or did.
–TNT Grocery – arrival 4:12pm – We walk through the front doors and are immediately met by two things familiar but never generally in the same context. First, a well lit, clean, organized, inviting, and massive grocery store. And second, asian cuisine and goods so plentiful you figure every brand, colour, smell and product was imported in directly from the shores of the south pacific – via Lake Ontario, not like thats possible – within that same hour. The fresh cooked fare in the beginning aisle on the right from the entrance had us stopped in our tracks. Within minutes I was ordering shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings (throw them in what the heck), BBQ ribs and the finally, sushi. In those quick moments of indiscretion Eyren and I decided that this was to be dinner tonight. A longer line than we had time for greeted us at the checkout, but we were able to scooch around to a suddenly available counter and get our way out of there within another few minutes. Cost $19.75.
Once back in the ZIP CAR (and a few extra minutes to actually deactivate the locks with the magnetic card) we were on the road back to home. With two drop offs to make and a look down at the clock saying 4:26pm, time was now not on our side. Quickly approaching the “busy” drop off spot, a quick swing around the side of the flat to drop me off with the goods for the house. Eyren to continue on to the drop off the car prior to 4:30pm and transfer the brooms and plungers and stationary….oh and velcro, to the store.
Job well done. Quite the little hour and a half of course. Organized and executed. Efficiency ended up giving me the opportunity for a tour of the new neighborhood and provided dinner for the two of us this evening.
Being the overall optimist and reasoner of everything….I determined we saved over $10 by returning the bottle empties (which other wise would have gone out to the curb) and $1.50 by using the Canadian Tire money. For a total of $11.50. On top of that, everything that was planned and done for the store was done. Interestingly enough, ZIPCAR costs about $11/hr to borrow….about the same we saved cause of the efficiency of the whole system.
And a Special Shout out to Eyrens Store: Rowe Farms Lesliville.