Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 10, 2004
BLOG: Canadian Adventure
So, I'm just getting organized here after a 3-day weekend away; we were in Canada (specifically, Brampton, a suburb of Toronto) from Friday to Sunday. This was, amazingly enough, only my second-ever foreign trip, the first being a honeymoon in Ireland. We were visiting for my great-uncle's 100th birthday party; he's my father's mother's brother and basically the last of the immigrant generation in my family (like all four of my grandparents, he came over in the 1920s). It was also a sort of family reunion, with a large contingent from Scotland joining the American and Canadian branches of the family.
We had a bit of anxiety on the trip up; the State Department travel advisory for Canada stated as follows:
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Unfortunately, on reading this, it didn't occur to me that the only form of ID that's acceptable at the border is a birth certificate (we had brought the kids' Social Security cards and even showed the cards showing that they are on our health insurance plan; not enough). Fortunately, we live close to the airport and could get them in time for a later flight.
It's hard, based on only a weekend, to put a finger on the aspects of Canada - other than obvious details like the money - that are "foreign" - I suspect a lot of the things I noticed as different from home had more to do with being in the Midwest than with being across the border. But even as an American, I was astounded at the wide open spaces and gigantic buildings - particularly since we were on the outskirts of Canada's largest city.
Anyway, regular blogging should resume tomorrow.