That one time we randomly went to Canada…
My sister, niece and I went to Michigan to visit family. To help cure the boredom that one becomes infected with in such a small town like the one my mom lives in, we decided to go to the mall…in Canada. The bridge is like a hop, skip and a jump away so it didn’t take anytime to begin the journey that I will dub Canada: our epic failure adventure or COEFA for short. So we take the bridge over, pay our small toll fee of three dollars, and wait in a slow moving long line of cars. My sister is in the backseat recording the whole journey across the bridge, the paying of the toll, the waiting and the weird dancing my niece and I broke into to help pass the time. Hey, we were pretty awesome though, just ask the random guys in the car next to us with the camera. So, moving on…we finally get to the border and are asked to present our identification. My sis and I hand over our drivers licenses and my nieces passport. Epic Fail starts here:
1. Don’t forget that it’s a whole other country entirely which means you will need a passport to get in.
The booth guy kindly asked us to provide our passports to which we replied…‘ooops we didn’t bring em’ or something along those lines. Thus begins the interrogation.
‘Why are you going to Canada’- to visit the mall
‘Have you ever been to Canada before’- we have (my sis and I), she hasn’t
‘How do you all know each other’- we’re related
‘How much money do you have on you’-(scrambling through wallets) uh sixty dollars
‘Has anyone ever been to jail’-(brief pause before I speak up) uh, yeah I have (hangs head in shame)
‘What for’-a traffic thing…
You get the picture, question after question. Long story not as long as it normally would be, the guy let us pass, saying he would trust we really were who we claimed to be so we could go explore the Canadian mall. We got there and I must say it wasn’t anything spectacular to look at. In fact, here’s a pic of my niece and I outside of it.
So we go inside look around, shop a little (70% off sales!) then decided it’s time to eat. Only thing is they only had like two food places and one only served poutine. Epic fail two coming right up:
2. Don’t go to the Canadian mall hungry…at least not the one closest to the border.
With basically no food options at the mall we decided to just pick up something light on the way back to the U.S. I don’t remember how exactly we came to the decision but it was set in our minds that we would go to Arby’s and get chocolate turnovers (yum!). Arby’s had other plans though. Once we got there they informed us they only had blueberry (yuck) and apple. Sadly we had to change our minds and wound up spending the nine dollars cash we had remaining as a collective. Oh those curly fries were good, but definitely not worth what happened next which brings us to our third and last Epic fail of the “quick trip” to Canada:
3. Don’t go to another country and spend all the CASH…
So we are headed back and of course just like coming in, we had to pay a toll to get out. Well Mr. toll booth man politely turned down the little blue plastic card that magically pays for everything else, apparently visa is not accepted at the Canadian border. We had to pull over to a little duty free shop to get cash from the atm and the cross back over by foot to the booth to pay. Sounds simple enough right? Maybe for any other group of travelers but not us. Basically what took place was a lot of attempts at the ATM machine that did not go through despite nothing being wrong with the account it was linked to. So my sister decided to walk back past the toll booth to a currency exchange center to see if she could access cash there. We spent about an hour and a half stuck in limbo between America and Canada until finally my sister emerged through the oncoming traffic, paid the guy the measly three bucks and we high tailed it outta there. Okay not really high tailed because honestly traffic was probably worse on the bridge coming back than going. But we didn’t care, all we knew was that we were free from the captivity of COEFA!
It wasn’t all bad, we had fun, it was an adventure and boy did we learn some lessons!