Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Over the falls in a barrell

No, I didn't go over the falls in a barrell, but if I had I might have gotten home sooner.  Still, we got to see Niagra Falls and had a lot of laughs, so who cares about the long detention at the border?

I think the way the day started should have been an omen.  We found out that if you collect 10 caches in the Buffalo/Niagra area from a list of 15 you can turn in some paperwork for a really nice geocoin.  Not that I or Brenda care to collect geocoins, but we do know a certain young man who is a collector, and, well, we did miss his birthday in April.  So out we went to northernmost New York first thing to start collecting the caches we needed to claim the prize.  I hope that same young man can appreciate my being attacked by not one, but two hordes of hungry Canadian (I'm sure American wouldn't do this to me) skeeters at two different cache sites.  And I was wearing bug spray but still ended the day with 22 bug bites. 

So we got all the caches done saving the last one, a cache at Honeymoon Trail Winery, for last where we did a LITTLE tasting and shopping before returning to the rv to doctor my bug bites and eat a late lunch.  Then we dressed for the evening tour of Niagra Falls from the Canadian side.  We were so psyched for this!

First of all, we were on the short bus.  If you've ever worked in education you know what I mean.  Some really strange characters on this bus.  Topping our list was our driver/guide, an Indian man named Prady (rhymes with Brady) who drove a lot like the cab drivers in Mexico and made lots of bad jokes.  And his accent was so thick that when he was trying to explain "ice wine" I thought he said "ass wipe" and I couldn't understand why that was so expensive.

So we darted in and out of Tonawanda/Buffalo traffic to pick up a busload of tourists and headed for the border.  That's when things turned weird.  The Canadian border agent took us all off the bus (wheel chairs, canes, and all) and searched the bus claiming she could smell marijuana.  She even made them get the dogs.  Meanwhile, we each had to go through customs one at a time and have our bags searched.  I was wearing my geocaching backpack that I thought I had emptied of any suspicious items so that I could carry the passports, wallets, sourvenirs, etc. for both of us.  Little did I know that tucked into the bottom of one of the pockets were about 4 small baggies each containing a sheet of paper with the word TOPLESS on it.  If you cache, you know what it was - a cache log.  But if you're a Candaian border agent you are not willing to let this one go away easily.  So I had to show her my GPSr and explain how it works though I think she was confused as to why I had to do it TOPLESS.  But I still got into her country!

The tour was great.  The falls were awesome.  I'm still glad we didn't try to drive up and do it all ourselves.  We ended the night at the Skylon Tower watching the light show over the falls.  Just freaking gorgeous!  Then we returned to the U.S. border where they again held us, searched our bags, searched the vehicle including the engine compartments again, and finally let us through after a 45 minute wait. 

It's been fun.  It's been downright awesome at times.  I am really ready to put New York in the rear view mirror.  We head to the Berkshires tomorrow and perhaps even Edith Wharton's home.  Just hope there's no border patrol between here and Massachusetts.

No comments:

Post a Comment