This weekend my husband and I took a trip to PA. J’s aunt got married so we decided to make the trip up to spend some time with his extended family. Normally I would die being in a car for 12 hours straight but honestly it wasn’t that bad. I think the fact that it was with my best friend made the trip bareable. J is a lot like me in the fact that we just want to get where we are going but we enjoy the view as we go. We stopped as little as possible so I don’t have a ton of pictures of the road trip (after all I’m not A). Pennsylvania has a ton of old houses and barns scattered along the hwy. It was my dream. I could have spent years exploring them all and would still have more to see. J’s aunt even has an old barn on her property. I’m beyond jealous.
Our second day there we decided to take a trip to Niagara Falls. It was a three hour trip from where we were staying. After you’ve just taken a 12 hour car ride the 3 hours there is nothing! For most of the trip we followed along Lake Eerie. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. No joke, one minute we are talking and the next I look out the window and think “hmm that looks like the ocean”. I honestly had no idea we were going to follow along the lake, or be anywhere near it. In my defense, I wasn’t driving and had never been there. The lake still had ice on it. I am from the south. Our lakes don’t ice over like that. And they surely don’t have ice on them this time of year. In fact our lakes never look anything like that. I made J get off the hwy so we could get closer. We found a little road that got us right up to the lake. We were on a cliff -made the view even better. Once we got close we could tell that the ice was further out broken up and melting. I can only imagine how pretty it was during the winter. I could have sat in the spot for the rest of my life and been completely happy. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. It was just us… And the border patrol. I’m sure he was just there to eat his lunch in a pretty spot. Even the little town next to the lake was pretty. I really should have taken pictures of it. But once again I’m not A. I had my phone and two cameras with me but instead of taking pictures I just pointed out the window and said “isn’t that pretty?” I think was was just in awe of everything.
Niagara Falls, NY was really a sad little town (I’m sorry if anyone from there ever reads this). I guess it could have been just the area we were in but it looked like they built a lot of things in the 70’s and never put any money into the upkeep of anything. All the roads were very confusing. They were doing road work on practically all of them (guess they were at least putting money into that). We stopped at Three Sisters Islands. It was a neat little place, but not was I was there for. I was on a mission to see the falls. We could come back later. We finally found a parking lot so we could get out but it was $10. We didn’t have $10 in cash because of the tolls so we decided to head to the Canadian side first. One thing about the area we were in is that everywhere has a toll road. I HATE toll roads. What do you do if you get up there and have no money? There isn’t anywhere for you to turn around. To cross the bridge into Canada cost us $3.50. That is crazy!
I’m not really sure you could say we made it into Canada. I mean technically we were on the Canadian side but we didn’t make it past customs. This is the point in the story where if you are my boss you stop reading and remember the fact that I would never do anything against the law…. ever. For everyone else, this is were the story gets a little interesting.
If you are driving into another country you pull up to a little booth with a customs agent inside. You hand over your passports and they ask you a ton of stupid questions they have to ask everyone. One of the questions is “do you have any weapons”. J and I both own guns and travel with them. However, knowing we were going into New York and then into Canada we left them both at the hotel. The customs agent was pretty insistent that if we had any guns we needed to let him know. We explained that we didn’t have any guns with us but both had a pocket knife. He didn’t seem to care about the knifes at all but really wanted to make sure we didn’t have our guns with us. We explained again that we did not but he asked us to pull the side so our vehicle could be searched. As we pulled the car to the side I opened the glove box to put our knives inside. That’s when I saw it…. J gave me a flashlight stun gun for my birthday last year (just what every wife needs). We brought it with us on the trip and forgot to leave it at the hotel. As we get out of the vehicle J stopped the officer and let him know our knives, as well as the flashlight stun gun are in the glove box (make note that he aknowledged him by saying ok). The two customs agents then precede to tear the car apart when we hear the familiar popping sound and know the flashlight has been found. The officer stands up with the worst look on his face and says “were you not going to tell us about this?”
Well…umm… We did… Why on earth would we tell you we had a flashlight in the glovebox? Are flashlights considered weapons in Canada? I mean in Georgia we don’t even consider the entire thing a weapon but we know that up north they think a little differently.
They continue to search the car and find a window punch in the glove box. Once again the agent stands up, holds the window punch up, and asked “what is this?” (Are window punches illegal in Cananda too?) At this point I honestly had no idea what he was holding up. We borrowed my moms car for the trip and I didn’t make it a point to know everything that was in the car. I asked if I could walk over to see what he was holding up and he agreed. The way he was holding it honestly made it look like a pen. He then tried to lecture me about having an illegal weapon. Now I have always been brought up to respect law enforcement and I know this guy was just doing his job. He doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall so I don’t fault him for that. But I was also taught to stand up for myself so when he questioned why we didn’t tell him about the flashlight I quickly reminded him that we had. He didn’t seem to like that at all. And maybe I should of kept my mouth shut, but to get respect you have to show respect. He asked us to stay put on the bench and they both walked inside- flashlight in hand. A little bit later they both came back out and questioned me. They must of thought I was the mastermind in the illegal weapons smuggling ring. They were lacking in their interview skills. Holding my passport they asked me what my last name was before I was married. It’s now my middle name and clearly printed on my passport. Even if I wasn’t who I said I was I could of answered that question by looking at it just once. I honestly think they were disappointed that we weren’t really trying to break the law. They gave us the option of leaving the flashlight with them forever or going back to America. I chose America. Canadians aren’t as nice as TV makes them out to be and I wanted no part of them anymore. Sorry to any nice Canadians out there!
They put the flashlight in a black box, placed it in our trunk, and handed us our passports (no stamp). We headed back to the American side and they asked why we were turned around. We explained about the flashlight and they honestly got a little excited to see what it was. I think they were a little shocked that it wasn’t a gun that got us kicked out of Canada (guess that happens a lot). We heard them playing with it in the back and one guy joked that they were going to shock themselves with it. They joked around with us a little more and eventually gave us the flashlight back. They handed me the battery and J the actual light and warned us not to shock them as we left.
Kicked out of Canada, we decided to stop to get the $10 to park so we could see the falls from our side at least. Unfortunately, almost everything was closed. We could walked out to the observation deck but that was about it. No Maid of the Mist or Cave of Winds. I guess we need to go back in the summer to actually enjoy Niagara Falls.
I had a blast the entire trip! I loved meeting everyone and I really wish that J’s entire family would just move to Georgia. I wish I thought to take more pictures but we stayed so busy meeting everyone and doing everything that I didn’t have a lot of time. The wedding was beautiful and I couldn’t be happier for J’s aunt and new uncle! There are so many other things I could write but you would be here reading all day!
Thank you to everyone for showing me such a great time! And thank you to my mom for letting us drive your car (sorry someone hit it in the chick-fil-a parking lot- and then I spilled my milkshake in the front seat-guess we will see if she actually reads this).