Thursday, July 31, 2008

A couple near misses

As Henry mentioned, I took a recent trip to Canada for a family reunion. My brother, sister and I met in Buffalo, New York. From there we rented a car and drove to Ottawa, Canada. The night before the trip, I discovered that my passport expired a few months ago.

After a frantic search on the internet, I found that the law requiring passports to enter Canada had only gone into effect for those entering the country on commercial airlines. However, they do require both a drivers license and another form of government ID, like a social security card or birth certificate.

I've been a stay-at-home-mom for the last 14 years. I haven't a clue where my social security card is. I did have a copy of my birth certificate, but I was concerned that it would not be enough since the name on birth certificate doesn't match my married name on my drivers license. After another frantic search, I found a copy of my marriage license, so I figured that I would be able to get into Canada. I also brought along my expired passport.

We crossed into Canada with no problem. They didn't even comment on my expired passport or ask for any other documentation. I read on the internet that getting back into the USA is harder than getting into Canada, so I was a bit concerned at our re-entry.

After a wonderful visit with our extended family, my brother, sister and I loaded up the car to head back to Buffalo, New York. Since I had sat in the front seat on the way up, I decided to sit in the back on the return trip.

During our drive up from New York, my sister who sat in the back seat complained that she couldn't find cup holders. As I got into the back seat, I noticed an inset arm rest in the middle back seat, and low and behold, cup holders.

I noticed that in the cup holders were two little plastic bags. The first bag held what looked like herbs and the second bag had the residue of the same herbs. I've never seen marijuana before, but I guessed that is what was in the little bags.

We threw out the little bags and headed for the border. During the drive, my brother began to worry about crossing through customs. What if they search the car and find more drugs? What if they have drug sniffing dogs? I shutter to think what could have happened if they had searched our car when we entered Canada.

Luckily for us, we passed back into the USA as easily as we left it. Again, nobody commented on my expired passport.

When we returned the rental car, my brother talked to the manager about being more careful when they clean their rental cars.

It was a wonderful trip. I'm really glad that there wasn't an international incident.

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Tiffanie said...

OMG, near misses indeed! I can't believe that was in the car.

DJ said...

something tells me that the rental company employees will do a fantastic job of cleaning out the cars from now on!

Janine Cate said...

>something tells me that the rental company employees will do a fantastic job of cleaning out the cars from now on!

Too true! :) I can see the company memo now.