Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

1 – Introduction

This is the story of a car. A 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle to be exact. There were literally millions of Volkswagen Beetles made, and almost everyone has a story about a Beetle they owned, or their parents owned, or their grandparents, or uncle and so on. And in spite of the fact that there are millions of […]

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2 – Victor Chu

This is the story of a little car, but to tell the story, I need to start at the beginning. Victor Chu was born in Shanghai, China on July 1st 1945 and moved to Hong Kong in 1949. He moved to the United States in 1965, attending the University of Hawaii, then moved to Davis […]

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3 – Douglas Brown

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Douglas Brown, and I was born in 1958 in Edinburgh, Scotland and emigrated to Toronto, Canada with my family when I was eight years old in 1967. I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, where I learned to drive, and found out how much I loved being on […]

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4 – A Road Trip?

I had always had a dream (I guess part of my bucket list) to fly out to California, buy an old VW Camper and drive back, camping all the way. I thought it would evoke the old times – kind of like a Jack Kerouac ‘On the Road’ trip where time didn’t really matter and the trip […]

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5 – California here we come!

We changed our flight from Buffalo to LAX to Buffalo to Sacramento. It made more sense than driving all the way up and down the coast. The guy selling the car (Ron) was actually selling it for a friend – both of whom were VW nuts. I did my due diligence to make sure I was not […]

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6 – Sacramento

After changing planes in Phoenix we touched down in Sacramento around 9:45pm. Ron and his girlfriend were there to meet us and luckily for us our bags came off first so we were on our way. Ron lives in Vacaville, CA – a short drive from the Sacramento airport. By the time we were on […]

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7 – Davis

We got up in the morning and saw the Bug for the first time in the daylight. I was a bit afraid there would be things that we had not seen at night, but the Bug looked great! Our plan was to drive to San Francisco, spend the day there (Saturday) and then drive down […]

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8 – San Francisco

You can tell by the grin on my face that I am starting to get used to driving the Bug and am happy to be on the open road. Our day in San Francisco was – how shall I say? Interesting. To be fair – I’m sure San Francisco is a great city to visit […]

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9 – San Carlos

I had to pull off the highway to get something to eat, as I think that was part of the reason my headache was not going away. We pulled off at Belmont, CA and stopped at Wendy’s for a late lunch. When we came back to the car, we tried to open the glove box […]

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10 – Pacific Coast Highway

From our hotel, we only had to drive a block north to get to one of the very few roads that headed west to the Pacific Coast Highway. It was this road or some pretty serious wilderness if we had ventured any further South. The road cut across the San Andreas fault which I thought […]

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11 – Universal Studios

In the morning we set off early for our Universal Studios VIP Tour. We had been told that L.A. traffic was really bad, but compared to Toronto, it seemed much the same to us – actually the drivers seemed a little better at merging on and off highway ramps.   At Universal Studios, the valet […]

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12 – Around L.A.

We had decided to try to limit our driving around L.A. to one day if possible, so in my usual planning fashion, I plotted a circular route that would accomplish our goals without ever going near downtown L.A. We headed east, but in a southeast circle route, heading down to near Long Beach then pretty […]

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13 – Upholstery 101

Today I decided to recover the passenger seat of the Bug. I had considered replacing the cracked windshield, but was a bit hesitant to do it here, for fear that it might break and then I’d be stuck with no windshield. I figured that could wait until we were home and the car was in […]

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14 – Santa Monica

Los Angeles itself is not really a great place to visit other than the obligatory places to see, but Santa Monica is like paradise to me. The pace of life there is different than I am used to, and the weather, sun and sand are amazing! Californians are pretty health conscious and Santa Monica is […]

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15 – Route 66 – Day 1

Our Route 66 trip was the reverse of the ‘normal’ direction, as Route 66 became famous as the “Mother Road” that took travelers west to the Pacific Coast originating from Chicago. That’s why the sign on the Santa Monica Pier says “End of the Trail”. For us it was the beginning. Technically Route 66 ended […]

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16 – Route 66 – Day 2

We left Needles timing it so we would get to Oatman, AZ around 10am. Oatman is an old gold mining town that if not for the ingenuity of its residents would be nothing but dust today. If you have not heard, Oatman is known for their Wild Burros. The story goes that after the gold […]

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17 – Route 66 – Day 3

Day 3 of our Route 66 trip was intended to be from Flagstaff, AZ to Tucamcari, NM, where we had reserved a room at the restored Blue Swallow Motel. Things started off fine, leaving Flagstaff with the obligatory stop in Winslow Arizona, where we ended up ‘Standing on the corner’ as the Eagles so aptly […]

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18 – Route 66 – Day 4

At 8:30am sharp we drove across to Discount Tire, where they were expecting us. We talked to the young guy at the desk who said that the tires were pretty expensive – about $400 for 5 new tires! We told him that was cheap for Canadians! We sat in the waiting room and had some […]

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19 – Route 66 – Day 5

For the first time, we got up and hit the road before sunrise. We HAD to make the US/Canada border by Friday or we would be stuck until Tuesday, since Monday was the Memorial Day holiday and US Customs would be closed. As it turned out we had the most beautiful sunrise as we drove […]

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20 – Indiana and Ohio

We missed the slower pace of Route 66, and now were really just zipping along on the Interstate through Indiana, around Indianapolis, into Ohio. We had noticed that right rear tire kept getting low on air so I contacted Discount Tire, did a quick calculation and concluded that we could get to a Discount Tire […]

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21 – The Border & Home!

We got up in the morning in Erie, knowing our trip to the border at Lewiston, NY was not a long one. We had to go to the Buffalo Airport first though, to pick up my Ford Escape. From there, I drove the Bug and Sara followed me with the Escape as we traveled to […]

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