Saturday, May 23, 2009

doing time

Last weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend. My parents wanted to make a quick trip down to Portland to visit friends, so we drove them down to Seattle that weekend so that they continue their trip at the beginning of the week.

Trips to Seattle to visit my brother and his wife are always fun because they mean OUTLET SHOPPING. And lots of it! It's a little harder these days with the 2 kids, but I can always find time to shop. Sometimes, though, it means that I come home with a pile of clothes and shoes from Carter's and Stride Rite rather than Banana Republic and Nine West, but shopping is shopping and clothes for me or the family is ALL good.

Usually, when we go across the border, I'm tuned in to the border line-ups at the different crossings. When we came home from Seattle on the holiday Monday, however, I was too busy making sure that the 2 kids and the dog were kept happy and by the time we reached Bellingham at 10:15 pm, we finally realized we never checked the border crossings.

Big mistake. Both the Peach Arch and Pac Highway crossings were reporting 2.5 to 3 hour wait times. But there was no going back to Seattle at this point. The radio said our best bet was the Aldergrove crossing, reporting a 45 minute wait. So, we headed over to Aldergrove. When we finally reached the line-up at 10:30, our GPS said that we were 2.8 km from the border. So, we waited.

Avery was easy, I could just pop into the back and soothe her or breastfeed when she cried (one of the benefits of a minivan!). And Josh was great. He watched Diego and Cars on the DVD and even though he was pretty tired, he just sat in his car seat. Unfortunately, he couldn't fall asleep because the car wasn't moving, but he wasn't acting up, so we were lucky.

At 11:15 pm, the GPS said we were just over 1 km from the border. At that point, we checked the radio again. This was when the radio reminded listeners that the Aldergrove crossing closes at midnight. OMG. Are you serious?! I never realized that there were border crossings that closed! We did the math and decided to chance it and wait out the 45 minutes. Well, it didn't work for us. When we saw cars in front of us start turning back, the GPS said we were 250 m from the border.

So, we went to the Pac Highway crossing and we finally made it across at 2:15 am. It took us almost 4 hours to cross the border. I'm pretty sure that was the worst border crossing we've had to date. Needless to say, we're going to be applying for a Nexus pass pretty soon now...


Derek said...

Remember that the Nexus lane isn't accessible until you get fairly close to the border, so when it's at its busiest, you still need to wait. We went down on the weekend too, but waited until Sunday to go down and crossed at Abbotsford/Sumas, with no wait. We came back on Tuesday through Pacific Highway (the kids had an extra day off school). Again, no wait. So if you can manage to go on a non-standard day when everyone else is going, it's worth it.

Karmjit Kooner said...

Wow, i'm impressed that you did that with 2 kids in tow! Well done :)