Dining in the U.S.
Dining in the United States has long been a complaint of ours!  It is always about speed eating and table turns.  Whether you are fine dining and spending over $200 with a nice bottle of wine or eating at a neighborhood pub enjoying a beer and a $50 tab.  The staff are always in a hurry to serve you and rush you out of the establishment as quick as possible, in some cases when the restaurant is virtually empty.

We have learned to become tricky in our own right and when we intend to enjoy a nice meal and bottle of wine, as we did at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Palm Desert, we will not order our entree until the appetizer has been served.  However, sometimes even that trick doesn’t work as the last bite of appetizer was on our fork, the main courses were being place in front of us. On another occasion we were at a pub enjoying a beer and made the mistake of ordering the appetizer and main course at the same time.  The main was delivered when we were only three quarters of the way through our appetizer.

Our favorite move of all time when dining in the United States is when we are half way through our entree, almost done with our beverage and the bill is dropped at the table. BRUTAL!

While we don’t like the above dining experiences personally, from a business perspective we understand about turning tables when the restaurant is busy.  However, sometimes creating demand can be a good thing.  The other reason not to rush your guests is simply to give the server a chance to offer us the upsell of a second beverage, believe it or not, we have been known to have a second bottle of wine if our dining experience is spaced out enough.  Bottom line – we much prefer the Canadian dining experience!

Car Travel in the U.S.
We know British Columbia and most of Canada have adopted the U.S. rule of prepay or pay at the pump for your gas, however on our recent Southern California trip this was taken to new heights of absudity.  As we were highway driving in four or five hour sessions at a time, we always hoped to fill the gas tank each time we stopped.

For the most part we prefer to pay cash in the U.S. due to all the “news” we hear about credit card fraud.  However this means Tara has to go into the gas station “over pay” for our estimated fuel purchase and wait for a refund on the balance.  Inconvienent?  Sure, but the same does apply in Canada.

We got tired of this over pay, stand around and wait system about halfway through our trip and decided to use our credit card to pay at the pump on our next stop.  However, we did not know that you have to enter a Zip code for your residence in order to be able to use this feature.  So, we were back to the prepay, stand around and wait system.  BRUTAL!

We’d love to get some comments on this blog post.  The question we ask ourselves, particularly in a tough economy, is why are we making spending money a difficult, unpleasent experience?

Read Tara’s rant on recycling in the USA from yesterday!