With Great Power….

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We are finally back in the good ole US of A!  We had a wonderful time the past couple days at Long Point Provincial Park.  It’s always so sad to leave Canada, more so when we do not have any set plans to return.  I really wish we could have spent at least another week at Long Point but we decided to leave today so we could split the long drive into two days, stopping to camp tonight.

The drive was mostly uneventful up to the border.  The trailer was pulling really well and easy, we were even able to stop and get some Tim Horton’s on the way!  Mmmm…coffee and Timbits!

The border on the other hand was super eventful.  It started with us getting caught in the wrong line at the border.  The lines were long and we didn’t see the sign for “RV’s” at the far right of the border until we were stuck in a line on the left side – it just wasn’t visible.  I frantically tried to see if people would let us cut to the other side so we could be in the correct lane, but as I hung out my window people would either look the other way or shake their heads in shame at us for not “obeying” the rules.  Apparently there is no excuse for unawareness when there’s a trailer attached to your vehicle.   It amazes me how incredibly helpful and understanding other RV owners are but the tolerance level from non RV owners is extremely low.

Since we were stuck in our lane we had to go through the border hoping we would be able to make it out the other side.  Maneuvering in tight spaces is very difficult when hauling a 36 foot object behind us.  We were also hoping to get an understanding border agent too, we’ve always had great experiences at the border so we weren’t too worried.  Unfortunately, we were not met with understanding at all, instead we were met by an extremely young guy who thought being in a position of authority meant he could treat us as rudely as he wanted.  He snapped at us and kept muttering things under his breath and when we would politely ask him to repeat himself he would yell at us sarcastically.  I was seriously shocked at the way he was treating us and doing it in front of our kids causing them to get upset and stressed.  We did our best to keep smiling so the kids would keep calm.  I’ve always found that if we can our countenance calm and composed that the children will react the same.

He then asked to see in our trailer – actually what he did was tell us to give him our trailer keys and also give him the keys in our ignition.  He was extremely agitated and tried to open one of doors with the wrong set of keys.  I leaned out my window to let him know he had to use the other keys…I was more concerned for our trailer and the fact that he was being so rough with the doors.  I get that he’s doing his job, and by all means, he can  search our whole trailer all he wants, we have nothing to hide but I don’t think damaging our home away from home is part of his job description.  When he didn’t pull our steps down fully and he jumped up on them when they were half folded in I just about jumped out of the truck.  The thought of my children kept me in my seat.  I was so disappointed because we’ve always been treated with respect before.

As it turned out, he suspected us of being trailer thieves – the kind with 3 kids and a baby in the back and crayons strewn across the seats– and we were escorted to the side and asked to exit our vehicle with all of the children. We were then met by two other border agents who were so nice!!!  I was so thankful for that!  The kids were all freaked out by this point.  Daddy brought them into the building while I gave the the new border agents our trailer Registration and helped them find the VIN number.  They explained to me that our licence plates were reported stolen but it’s obviously a mistake and they just needed to figure it out.  It was so nice to be dealing with people who were reasonable and mature! 

It was actually a dealer licence plate with the exact same number as our camper licence plate that was stolen.  So whoever stole the dealer car, thank you for all the excitement in our day!  When we finally made it back to the truck – all the new border agents waving goodbye to all our children – the Little Professor very solemnly asked us “Why did the police arrest us Mummy?!!” his eyes so big and his face a little pale.  I felt so bad for him.  We explained that we were detained, not arrested and that if someone had stolen our trailer, isn’t it great they would have found it so fast!  He eventually agreed it was probably a good thing, but I really wish the first border agent could have used a little more discretion when dealing with us.  It’s disappointing our little ones had to encounter such immaturity from a person of authority but in the end it’ll be a good life learning experience.

As a wise man once said….With great power comes great responsibility!

Before our brief incarceration we encountered a bomber plane – at least that’s what I thought it was.  It was amazing!  He was swooping – probably not the official word for planes – all around us…and at one point it looked like he was coming straight for us.  It was very cool.  By the time I was able to get my camera out he had started to leave the area.  I kept hoping he’d come back but I guess it was time for him to head home and it was time for us too.  It’s not every day we get “swooped” by a bomber.

 

3 thoughts on “With Great Power….

  1. Yikes! That’s awful! I’m so sorry you guys had to go through all that! Very rude and unprofessional of that border agent – you should sent a letter to US Customs explaining the way you were treated by that one agent, how he terrorized your children, and how close he came to damaging your property – he’s not going to stop unless someone tells on him. I get the stolen plate thing, but that doesn’t give him the right to treat your family that way!

  2. I agree with you Janice. Write a letter to the customs agency with your complaint. That was just plain inexcusable! A letter to a News Station to report it wouldn’t hurt either. grrrr

  3. That was fun, huh? You guys sure look like international trailer thieves to me. I’ll bet you just rented those kids for a cover story! Nothing a long day traveling, then to have to deal with immigration, which, BTW, I have to do EVERY time I came back into the country. I had to stay overnight in Houston a couple of years ago because I missed my flight, being detained for 90 minutes in the suspected-perp room. It seems my name is the same is somebody committing a rash of crimes. They won’t tell me exactly what, but he is very persistent and apparently an international traveler. I always have to wander back out to the baggage claim to find my lonely bag circling on the carousel, surprised that nobody has stolen my dirty underwear! At least I know now that I’m going to get that “Follow me please” when I get to an immigration agent.

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