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Crossing the Canadian border twice after two years

Yeah! I was so excited to travel to Canada for the first time in nearly two years to visit my family! Unfortunately, Air Canada canceled direct flights from Toronto to St. John’s in New Brunswick, so I revised my travel plans:

  1. I flew from Charleston, South Carolina, via Washington Dulles Airport to Bangor, Maine. There I rented a car to drive to Saint John and back to Bangor again.
  2. I flew to Buffalo from Bangor, once again via Dulles Airport; then, I took a taxi across the border and back.
  3. I flew from Buffalo to Charleston, South Carolina, via Dulles Airport again.

Dulles Shuttle conveying passengers between terminals

Of course, I had to do the obligatory Covid test three days in advance. Since stormy weather threatened my flight, I scheduled a second test in the event of me having to fly a day later.

Dulles Shuttle conveys passengers between terminals                                                                    All went well, however, and I had a beautiful drive through Fall landscapes. Finally, I reached the Canadian border in my rental car.

 

The border officer informed me that the machine randomly selected me for a drive-through Covid test. Well, that was quite an experience. Two guys in uniform directed me to drive into a tent where two other officials dressed in white, complete with long overcoat gloves and theater caps, waited for me. The one in charge directed me to open my window, ensured that I had my mask on, and handed me a tray from which I had to take the testing kit. He gave me very explicit details, carefully monitoring every move. I had to wipe the container with a disinfectant after closing it and placing it back on the extended tray.

My youngest daughter, Georgina, and I were so glad to be reunited in person. Granddaughter, Donella, was a little shy, not having seen me for such a long time. Husband Al jokingly kept singing “Oh, no!” when I arrived but proceeded to spoil us with delicious dinners and breakfasts.

Dinner at the Thornes                                                                                            Pet in house

We had a wonderful family time. It was such fun catching up with the little one’s activities and sharing in her 7th birthday party! Georgina baked and decorated a beautiful cake, while Al provided the disco lights for the dance party.

Birthday cake Georgina Thorne                                                               Disco lights at party

Unfortunately, there was a strike during this time and no Covid testing. After an intense search for a place where I could get the results in time, I finally came upon Buffalo Airport, where I had to pay $260 for the required rapid test. The company was so efficient and could not have been more helpful. Not even an hour after landing, I was on my way across the Canadian border again, this time to visit my 3rd daughter in Niagara.

Lundy’s Lane Niagara Canada Tribute to Battlefield

It was heartwarming to see my tall grandsons, daughter Genie, and her husband. Doug had built a very impressive man-cave where he and the boys could hang out. It was great to be part of family activities. Genie caught the Holiday spirit and decorated her Christmas tree. The Canadian ornaments celebrated her and the boys’ recent citizenship.

Visiting Niagara warranted a quick visit to the Falls. The sheer power of the cascading water was breathtaking, while the autumn colors contrasted beautifully with the white waters.

 

 

Genie and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Twisted Pig. We munched on fried shrimp, baked brie dip, and herb bread. I also had minestrone, and of course, a glass of white wine. The restaurant stands on the river edge at Port Dalhousie, where the Olympic rowing teams compete.

Promote Twisted Pig, Port Dalhousie

 

Lunch at Twisted Pig at Port Dalhousie, New Brunswick

Returning to the USA was a piece of pie.

The flights were effortless, and I got home without any problem. Now I must plow through all my mail, get my music lessons going again, as well as finalize the arrangements for my South African tour in April. I am also looking forward to visiting my family in London for Christmas and New Year.