I’m definitely not as jittery and nervous as I used to be. Just the anticipation of crossing the border rendered all sorts of weird imaginations. We had to practice our stories, make sure our facts were in sync, the fridge empty of all citrus product, the poultry frozen rock hard, all eggs hard-boiled, the liquor cabinet drained, the vet certificates for the dog and cat close at hand and, of course, our passports standing ready at least 24 hours ahead of time. Chuck would always laugh – “honey, they love us at the border”. “Just answer their questions and always tell the truth.” “It will be o.k.” – which always made me mad…
Our favourite border crossing is in Sarnia into Port Huron, MI. In fact, this time, our great little Border Buddy App was reporting 0 minute wait at the Blue Water Bridge on Sunday, November 8th. Sure enough we drove right up to the gate and waited for the light to turn green and we’re off. Definitely no time to start panicking.
Now Chuck has to slowly creep through the gate watching our mirrors and the side of the coach ‘cause there isn’t alot of extra width. In fact, to date, border crossings are the narrowest lanes we have had to drive in. And, there’s some daunting evidence of damage from those before us. But as we’re creeping I’m watching the customs officer lean over his desk, squint his eyes and try to read our licence plate. [I have good eyes…]
Good afternoon – passports please. Where are you headed?
Grand Rapids for some service, then Chicago, Nashville, Charleston, Poplar Bluff, Las Vegas for Christmas and Southern California for the winter.
What kind of service are you getting?
An oil and filter change and tune-up for the coach.
WOW, how much will that cost you on this thing?
Well, they told me $500 but we’ll see. It was a lot more expensive than that last year!
As he prepared to send us off he ended the discussion with – It’ll be ok – right?
I jump up from the passenger seat and burst out laughing! We’re all laughing as he hands back the passports and waves us through.
What? A customs officer with a sense of humour? No questions about fruit, tomatoes and chicken? No questions about pets and immunizations? No on board inspection?
Chuck is right – they love us at the border! And, our licence plate always makes for a good story…