July 13 12

So here’s something interesting.

Yesterday evening, we crossed the Canada/United States border with two eagerslashanxious girls. Our destination was a community center in Ann Arbor, Michigan where the two soon-to-be sixth graders would grab the bus that would take them—for the very first time—to overnight camp in Waupaca, Wisconsin.

(Overnight camp? Sleepover camp? Sleepaway camp?)

Because we were driving another person’s child, we had procured all the appropriate paperwork to make this as smooth a process as possible. Notes from the camp saying she is signed up to go there, a notarized letter from her parents assuring that we were supposed to have her in our vehicle. When we got to the border, the agent opened the back seat, said hi to the kids, took a gander at their smiling-but-not-smiling passport (mug)shots and sent us on our merry way.

This morning, after we dropped off the girls, we made a pitstop at the friendliest Dunkin Donuts on each and at the friendliest Target on earth and bought the necessities—Chocolate Chex, medicated chapstick, mint M&Ms, wasabi & soy sauce almonds, sparkle shoes for Isabella, individual peanut butter containers. We knew that we were outside of the country for exactly less then 24 hours, which allowed us an un-taxable allowance of NOTHING. So, we pulled up to the border with receipts in hand, hoping to pay our duty quickly in order to make it back to Toronto for Miss Isabella’s end-of-musical-theater-camp dance recital.

“Excuse me Ma’am, do you have any idea how much you are allowed to bring across the border?”

“$50? $0? Small children who aren’t my own?”

And then he handed our asses to us. For about half an hour. All we wanted to do was pay our tax—with pleasure.

Instead, he guilted me into wanting to tell him my entire life story.

Like:

Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes like…America!

I still think *most* someecards shared on Facebook are funny; Inspirational quotes, however, need to be shot in the ear and be erased from existence.

My sister-in-law had her fourth baby girl Emma Grace Avonlea this morning and just look at my gaggle of gorgeous nieces!

(Photo credit: Rachel Pitt, who is sort of, kind of already family.)

 

Brian Krakow was one of the most awkward television characters!

I am a fan of inexpensive beach cover-ups!

I burned my chin with a curling iron!

He should be careful what he asks for.

I probably need to add the following to my Twitter bio: Oversharing at the border since 1997. Also, may be available to smuggle small children into the United States of America. 

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  1. You know, I do want to have kids, but I don’t know if I’ll find someone before I get too old . . .

    [Reply]

    Comment by Avitable on July 13, 2012
  2. When will you be back at the Target in ATL? :) I’ll see you in NYC before then, though! Nice hickey :) I always called mine burns, too!

    [Reply]

    alimartell replied on

    If you’re getting hickeys on your chin, someone’s doing something wrong. Hahahah.

    [Reply]

    Jana A (@jana0926) replied on

    That’s your chin? I think it could be argued that if you get a burn on your chin while doing your hair, YOU are doing something wrong, as well!

    [Reply]

    alimartell replied on

    Obviously I’m doing something wrong. I burned my face.

    Heh.

    Comment by Jana A (@jana0926) on July 13, 2012
  3. The worst for me was the last time I visited you and the guy asked how I knew you and I FROZE! I figured “on the internet” would have gotten me thrown into customs jail. And I can’t lie for shit, otherwise I would have said school.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    There are always good answers…but I always think of them, like, 3 hours after the fact. Heh.

    [Reply]

    Kristabella replied on

    Ha! And we’re not doing anything wrong! Well, except for the time we went to the petting zoo and I lied and said I hadn’t been around farm animals.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on July 13, 2012
  4. I do not understand Canada or border patrols, mostly because I’ve never been to Canada. I’ve been to Mexico but they only take one look at my sunburned honkey face and pass me through.

    You get charged for something you already bought??? :/

    Dude must never have been to Target. If he had, he’d understand the magic of the place.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    So, depending on how long you have been out of Canada, you have an amount of money you were allowed to spend before you have to pay tax on it. So, if you leave the country for 24 hours, you can bring $200 back with you. 48 hours, I think is $500 and a week is $750…they just changed them so those numbers may be slightly off.

    if you spend more than this, you pay the tax on it.

    some people lie…or take tags off of things etc. to try to get around paying the taxes/

    We are super honest about it…because it you get caught, well, it’s just not worth it.

    [Reply]

    Issa replied on

    I would be too. I’m a terrible lier.

    Weirdddddd. Good to know though. Is it the same if I were in Canada and buy things? Would I have to pay more tax when I came back over?

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    Nope. Americans can buy whatever they want. heh.

    Comment by Issa on July 13, 2012
  5. I forgot the rules one time at the border and had an apple in my purse. I confessed and they took it away! I was so mad. In hind sight, I should have ate it right then and there whilst glaring at them and then handed them the core. But I’m a lot braver in my imagination.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    I suspect those customs agents eat reaalllly well :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katie on July 13, 2012
  6. That’s a bad burn! OMG.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Loukia on July 13, 2012
  7. I don’t think I can come to Canada now, I’m far to afraid of people in positions of authority. Can you not buy chocolate chex in Canada? Should I send you some?

    [Reply]

    Alimartell replied on

    They don’t care about Americans at the border, so you’re totally okay :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jen on July 13, 2012
  8. Ouch. That burn makes me want to send you my anti-burn, anti-rash, all-round-amazing ointment I bring home by the crate from Uruguay. I hope you’re using aloe vera. (You just kicked my maternal instincts into overdrive.)

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    I have taken such good care of it, you’d be impressed. It’s actually healing so well now. FINALLY.

    [Reply]

    Tamara replied on

    Phew. I’m glad. I scar really easily, so any little scratch is there for life — the lot of my skin type.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tamara on July 14, 2012
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