I know that I’ll be living it in Canada

Dave and I left Nashville on May the 1st around 9 am and drove to Cleveland, OH that night, Lawrence, MA Thursday night, and the Canadian border Friday afternoon. Beautiful drive, especially the areas around Lake Erie and through Maine.

Going through customs and immigration was a production (as we expected). They sent us to immigration first, which was a simple interview (we refrained from telling them that Dave was immigrating for the all dressed chips, which we’ve been saying to everyone else) and then while the officer created Dave’s visitor visa, they sent us to customs, who had us almost completely unpack the truck (we were allowed to leave the really heavy things as long as everything was fully accessible, and the officers did help us stage the boxes, lift them out of the truck etc. so we didn’t have to do all of the lifting and carrying for which we were grateful) and open all the boxes and then a K-9 unit went around and smelled everything.

The very good boy they had checking our stuff, a cocoa-coloured stocky doggo who was probably some kind of mix of chocolate lab and hound, only alerted on the kayak bag Dave generally uses to store meats and cheeses when we go kayaking. Once they determined the bag just smelled like beef jerky and not heroin or gunpowder or whatever, we were free to repack the truck. They helped us repack until their shifts ended. At one point I was laughing hysterically in the moving van and one of the officers said, “Are you okay?” and I said, “it’s fine, I’m just having a breakdown” and we both laughed. They thanked us at the end for our positivity so it’s a good thing my reaction to stress is to get the giggles and not to be really grumpy. Uniformly, the reaction of the Canadians we’ve told about this has been to be annoyed on our behalf, but I actually support the policy even though it meant for a dismal day for us. I’d just as soon we keep out gunrunners and the like.

We finished repacking in the evening just before the light failed and then had to finish up the paperwork. That took maybe half an hour, if that, because we’d come prepared with everything mostly filled out already and an itemized list by box of all our belongings. At about 10:30 pm, we started driving to Halifax from the border. We should have just gotten a hotel but we just wanted to get home. The weather had been perfect all the way from Nashville and we assumed it would continue fine, which was admittedly pretty stupid of us. Around Oromocto it started to get foggy, and the Cobequid pass had fog thick as pea soup. We went five km/hr for what felt like days. Finally Dave said he needed a rest but there were no hotels nearby so we slept in the cab of the van in a Petro-Canada that was under construction, like you do, until sunrise, and then white-knuckled it the rest of the way home.

We arrived in Dartmouth around 6:30 am on Saturday, May the 4th (be with you) (we didn’t choose the date so I could make that joke, I promise). We had movers scheduled to put our stuff in a storage unit at 11 am, so we got a few hours sleep before we headed out again for the storage unit in Cole Harbour, signed the paperwork, met the movers, stood around while they did all the work, and then came home and collapsed. Since then, we’ve seen a few friends but have mostly been concentrating on getting set up for healthcare and banking and phones and so on. For instance, most of today will be spent updating my two-factor authentications to my new number. But we’ve found time to go Lawrencetown Beach twice and Conrad’s Beach once.

P.S.: Going through my contacts to send out my new Canadian cell number, I was reminded of the existence of Callin’ Oates, 719-26-OATES, “your Hall n Oates hotline,” the existence of which always delights me.

Title is a lyric from Sloan’s “The Rest of My Life” which is the unofficial theme song of this move.

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