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Old 06-16-2014, 11:13 PM   #11
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Is it worth loading our refrigerator with food?
When we come back to Canada from the US, my wife loads up with all the acceptable foods she can, as prices are way cheaper. I bet she grabs 20 lbs of cheese alone.
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The experience was unpleasant and a real turnoff to ever returning to visit Canada.
They were just doing their job, cut them some slack. Should they ever miss catching someone with contraband, or someone who should not legally enter, they get lots of crap.

I got searched big time, and was given a real runaround, about 20 years ago heading into the US. This was long before passports were needed, and we had forgotten the birth certificates for our kids. Though easy enough to see they were ours, the acted on the assumption that they may have been abducted.

I never for a moment considered this to be representative of what US citizens are like, and have thoroughly enjoyed dozens more visits south of the 49th, and in doing so have met hundreds of wonderful folk.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:35 PM   #12
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Funny this thread surfaced again. We disconnected our trailer in Grand Portage, MN and drove up to Thunder Bay for the day on 6/8. We were singled out for a complete vehicle search by Canadian border guards. My wife and her purse were also searched during the process. Had we had the trailer in tow we might have been there for hours. We have never crossed with anything illegal that would have put us on a list. The experience was unpleasant and a real turnoff to ever returning to visit Canada.
Hmm.. I try my best to prevent border experiences (pleasant or not) from determining what countries like to visit. If that were the case I would have long ago given up: annual visits to see the Detroit Tigers (Ticketed Canadian fans of the team lined up and searched by dogs) Skiing at Sugarloaf Maine (rental car almost dismantled under watchful eye of multiple machine gun toting US Border Patrol) and concerts at Art Park NY (car side scanned with portable radar truck (I was allowed to get out and shield myself behind a concrete wall))

I believe the folks protecting our borders are doing a very important and at times very dangerous job that doesn't always jibe with our expectations of how we would like to be treated/greeted. I don't let those minor transgressions (irritating as they might be) colour my opinion about visiting a whole country.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:47 PM   #13
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I am trying to put it all behind me. Heck ...we were from Texas. They were just doing their job. Guess they were looking for our pearl handled six shooters. We left them, the Sharps 45-70, and Bowie knives back at the trailer.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:04 AM   #14
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...The experience was unpleasant and a real turnoff to ever returning to visit Canada.
No doubt, but this is not specific to Canada. A similar experience - or in some cases something far worse - could occur on any border crossing... even back into your own country (no matter which one that is).
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:56 AM   #15
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Yes I have had bad crossings in both directions and home from Mexico I never blame the country. Not sure why some guards are so un pleasant but I think people are just that way many are really nice - sometimes we forget about the nice ones.. It would never stop me from going to Canada it's so crazy beautiful in Canada and the people are great!
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:57 AM   #16
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Not sure why some guards are so un pleasant....
I am pretty sure they have been instructed to be, and to not be light and friendly. They are not there as a welcoming committee. I have a bad habit of trying to get people like this to smile, but have had little success with border personnel.

A couple incidents have shown me the human under the thick skin. One I am sure I shared here before, but when crossing pulling our trailer a few years back, with my wife and our dog, the US crossing guard walked up to my window, and with a stern look on his face, held up a MIlkBone to me, with the warning "That is not for you, sir!", then did a quick walk around the vehicle. No crack of a smile, no other chit chat, a couple questions, and we were on our way.

The other was at an airport with our two then younger kids, who were behind us nattering away (all excited to go on vacation) while we talked to the customs agent. He looked at the kids, and hissed out a loud "Shhhh". Well, the kids shut up immediately. The customs agent then did crack a wee smile, and said "It works every time."
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:17 AM   #17
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I had a border guard on the USA side almost refuse us entry into the US. We were traveling to Seattle for a Mariners/Oakland game, and unfortunately, we were wearing the wrong baseball caps (my son was on an A-s team back home at the time). The guard told us that he would make an exception and let us through, but next time we were to wear proper apparel.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:44 AM   #18
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Hi: All... Once on our return to Canada the Officer asked me "What was the purpose of your Vacation". I did my best Jack Benny impression ever. She laughed and said "Oh I guess I answered that myself".
Humour works... if they're in control. Alf
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:46 AM   #19
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I have no problem with Border Guards. They do their job and we do ours. People can be unpleasant no matter what their job is. I'm glad they're there.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:26 AM   #20
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That reminds me that my passport expires about the same time I'm due to pick up my trailer. I need to do something about that.

I've been quizzed about guns, fruits, and vegetables every time I've gone through the border. With Colorado plates, I'm expecting a pot quiz, too, this time.

The only problem I've ever had was proving that 2 toddlers were mine at the Calgary airport. Both were exceedingly unhelpful (and got passports when we got home).
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