Unwelcome to Canada

Posted: August 10, 2010    Categories: Canada, Maine, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, United States

I crossed the border today from Calais, Maine to St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The border crossing was the second worst border crossing I’ve experienced in my life, second only to when I walked from Jordan to Israel.

I am not kidding.

I was asked almost as many questions as the Israelis asked me, they searched my car and every bag I had with me from top to bottom, and the worst thing was, it wasn’t just me. Most of the non-Maine residents were stopped and had to go through the same procedures.

Given my experience, my previous bad experience crossing into Canada by car, and the stories of other people, I am very reluctant of ever traveling to Canada by car again.

I’m still pissed off even though it happened several hours ago. I thought the US was bad, but I looked over the bridge at the American customs station and didn’t see anything close to what the Canadians were doing. I’m not even sure what the hell they were looking for. They didn’t have drug sniffing dogs, under car mirrors, or bothered to use an X-ray machine.

I’ve been on the road for 12 days now. Between the passing of my father and days and days of driving, I figure it is now time to get back to some blogging.

Up until now I’ve mostly been in meetings, meeting other bloggers and taking care of business. Now that I’m in Canada, the real travel part of my trip can being.

So far the highlights of my trip have been:

  • Lunch with Kim Mance in Chicago.
  • Lunch with my old college roommate Sean in Louisville.
  • Visiting Monticello in Virginia.
  • Getting a tour of the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington DC by Marilyn Terrell.
  • Finally taking some photos on Independence Hall in Philadelphia. A World Heritage Site I previously visited, but never had any photos of.
  • Having drinks and sushi with travel bloggers Nomadic Matt, Jodi Ettenberg and Michaela Potter in New York.
  • I had a great meal with many bloggers from the BlogHer conference in New York. I also sat next to master sommelier George Miliotes and had an interesting discussion about wine.

I’ve also gotten a great start on some major projects I’m working on. There will be more on that later.

The next two weeks I’ll be exploring the Maritime Provinces. Tomorrow I head to Nova Scotia to visit the Joggin Fossil Cliffs and the Bay of Fundy.

One thing I also will look into tomorrow is getting a sim card for my iPad. One great thing about the iPad is that is comes unlocked so I should be able to get a sim card in any country where they sell the iPad. If I can get that to work, then the iPad will be my primary data device in Canada.

For everyone who offered to meet up with me in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, please contact me again. I’ll be Halifax in a few days and should be in St. John’s in a week.

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