You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? I think if I were to write a thousand words about my trip to New York, I probably wouldn't be able to express what you can see in this photo. This pretty much sums it up. Mom and Dad and my three sisters and I visiting beautiful little towns, eating in quaint little restaurants and shopping all along the way. (Sometimes my dad would just circle around the block in the nice cool car as he patiently waited for us girls - he is such a sport.)
This was the day we went over the Canadian border to visit Niagara on the Lake ... we weren't quite sure we would all make it over the border, however. My mom had told us all to be sure and have a passport since they have really tightened up border patrol since 9/11.
My parents had theirs, my sister Spring already had hers, and I already had one too - although when I got it out I felt like Sandra Bullock did in the movie While You Were Sleeping. (Remember she had gotten a passport which had sadly sat for years without one little stamp showing that she had traveled and had used it? I have had my passport for 9 years and it was still waiting for its first stamp too ... sigh.)
Courtney had paid an undisclosed amount of money to expedite hers so she would have it just in the nick of time ... and she got it just in the nick of time. It arrived at approximately 10:15 on the morning we were heading out.
Leslie ... well, Leslie didn't get hers. See, you need your birth certificate to get a passport and she couldn't find her birth certificate, so she had to have my mom go get her one of those official embossed ones from the state of New York and then overnight it to her so she could try to get her passport in time - but she ran out of time.
HOWEVER. With birth certificate in hand and her Utah driver's license, she had been told that that should be enough to get her into Canada. We teased her that if we had driven all that way and she couldn't get in we were leaving her to fend for herself for the day because we didn't want to miss out on Niagara on the Lake.
She said, "That's okay, I'll just go to the outlets in Buffalo." But she didn't have a car and I don't think you really could spend 10 hours at an outlet mall by yourself ... do you?
Luckily, the girl in the booth looked over all of our documentation and let us through, but not without a warning, It won't be as easy getting back into the States, they are much more particular. (Um, well, at least we were in, right?)
Niagara on the Lake is a place of culture and beauty and history. The main road on the way into town is lined with beautiful big houses with sprawling lawns and enormous trees. There are vineyards and wineries, art galleries and museums. I think the live theater season in town runs for at least 6 months. It literally drips with charm. I decided we all needed to move there forever. Have a peek ...
We were all really glad that Leslie was able to be with us ... wanna know what happened on our way out?
We got to the guy in the booth at the border heading back into New York. He was looking through all of the documentation my dad had handed him.
He leaned out of his booth and said, "Who is Leslie?"
She leaned forward from the back seat so he could see her in the window and she said, "That would be me."
"You don't have a passport?"
"I don't, it didn't come in time."
"But you have applied for it then?"
Then he said a little more firmly, "Why do you think it would be necessary for everyone else in the car to have a passport but not you?"
She started to cry and apologize ... he asked her to get out of the car. He told my dad that she would be detained for awhile and she may have to stay there until morning when supervisors were back because he didn't have the authority to let her back in without the proper documentation.
Nah! Not really. That's what my sister, Spring hoped would happen. See, Leslie has really incredible, attentive guardian angels and they always help her out of sticky situations. Spring just thought how will she ever learn a lesson if she always gets out of things?
But it sure did make for a great topic of a song about Leslie that Spring sang on the way home ... and we laughed over and over and over as the lyrics to the same tune changed throughout the trip. :)