I've been around, but have been very busy. Hubby hasn't been home much. Work related. I've been sewing curtains and making futile attempts to arrange the house. And we've been dealing with government related stuffs. So naturally blogging has taken a back slide.
So back to the hotel. HB went to bed with a fever and woke up vomiting. Tired, I asked my mom if she would drive the next day as it was the last leg, the one that would take us into Canada. I was already nervous and concerned about HB.
We drove through the rest of the country. By this point Hubby had decided to cross at the Port of Huron rather than Detroit. We stopped at a gas station and tried to get some information from the attendant about crossing.
Luckily I noticed an Ontario plate at the same gas station. I told Dad and Hubby to go talk to said person about crossing figuring they knew where the crossing point was, etc. And they actually agreed to have us follow behind them because they were going back across.
So this is how it works when you cross..
You first go through and pay a fee. This needs to be all in one currency and the fee depends on the type of vehicle. You go over a bridge. Then you will go through another check point to get your passport stamped. The gentlemen there had us stop over at customs.
In the middle of the boarder is the washrooms and the currency exchange. At the boarder they won't charge you a fee. If you decide to bank in Canada they will also accept US currency but at a flat rate. The exchange will use the current rate. On the entry to the US, there's a duty free shop.
Okay so back to customs. We get up to the counter. The boys are starting to break out into lovely spots (hand, foot, and mouth disease). My parents sit with them and attempt to keep them happy. Meanwhile Hubby gets up to the counter with what he think is his work visa.
What it is is a document saying that he is approved for a work visa. The custom agent says not to worry and get started on his paper work. She asks if I've had a visitor visa issued and starts on that as well. In order for that to happen I had to show her our marriage license. Thankfully I keep that in the lock box and Hubby had kept that accessible. Birth certificates and passports. Naturally Knee freaks out so she sends me to make a list of all our stuff.
For those of you who plan on taking any personal items into another country (dishes, furniture, etc) doesn't matter the country, you need a list. She said it didn't have to be so specific as to list every item of clothing (just adult clothing is fine) but specific enough to list things like bed, desk, etc. And then you have to guess it's worth based on if you would sell it in a garage sale.
So if I were you, (and me next time) whip out some paper and a clip board when you pack. That way you can have a list of some sort with you instead of be like me and try and remember everything from toothpaste to silverware to garbage cans.
Why do they want this? Because as she explained you can't sell your stuff and you have to take it back home when you leave. I asked her if I had to take back something that was broken or used like a food wrapper and she said no. So while I can sell anything I buy in Canada. I can't sell anything American. How it works to bring back things like my curtains to the vhs and clothes we've bought, I haven't looked into yet. I'm sure it works the same way.
We get issued documents. Our two visas. Mine has an error that says I have to leave early, but she has also listed me on Hubby's visa so she said it shouldn't be a problem. M'kay. Then the inventory list. Then our car which was or was not imported. Basically we are under a special exemption. We don't have to go through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles because we're only here 2 years. And we don't have to modify the car or pay the fee. We do have to import through Service Ontario which means saftey and emissions check. We failed the saftey check so tomorrow Hubby is getting my brake pistons replaced. My car is a 2006. So we've sorta imported the car. I'll explain that in more detail later.
After we are free to leave, we go and exchange money. Then we head into the car. I drive feeling a burst of relief. But let me tell you, it was weird. Why?
Well in the US the closer you get to Mexico, the signs will change to Miles/Kilometers. Not so at the Canadian boarder. As soon as we leave customs/boarder area, it's kilometers all the way.
Now my speedometer has miles and km. But the km are small so I'm having to peer down and figure what the heck 40km is and then later 100km is. For you Americans 40km is like doing 25m and 100km is 60m. And meanwhile Canadians are speeding past our caravan like the speed limit doesn't matter at all. Apparently this is normal in Canada as is running red lights.
We travel down the highway and into London. We have no idea where our hotel is but my mom spots it. Is it the correct Travelodge. Yes, it is! And so we settle down.
The next couple of days is Hubby and I trying to set stuff up. Hydro (which is both electricity and water) and Gas. Making futile attempts at getting cell phones or internet access without any Canadian id turns into a failure. As it stands we're linked to Hubby's bosses account. And until we have some id we can't separate. Seriously how are you supposed to communicate without a phone of some kind? Getting Hubby a SIN card, which is the Canadian version of an SS number. I don't get one because I'm not employed and can't be.
But then two awful things happen.
1) We're supposed to move into our condo/townhouse but the previous tenants have not moved out. We are supposed to move in August 1st and Hubby has to leave August 4th.
2) Somehow Hubby doesn't realize that one of the moving companies he spoke to about rates and whatnot thinks he's hired them along with the ones he actually has hired. And since he's having to rework when they will help unload the truck, it becomes as my husband called it one giant cluster f*ck.
Did it get better? Well, yes, and no. Let's just say the previous tenants are annoying. And while they moved their stuff out in enough time for my husband to stay the night and leave the following day, they left all their patio stuff on the patio! And then after they eventually moved it, they left a plant out there. And their mail still shows up. Just when I think I won't see them again, they show up. Considering the number of adults that lived here (4 plus one disabled), you'd think they'd get their act together about moving.
And then the painter had to paint around us, hence the lack of wall anything. He turned out to be an awesome fellow, but still.
And we ended up paying a "hush up" fee to the company we did not hire. And the company we did hire was gracious about our weird situation.
So now you are mostly up to date. And the rest about the car and socialized medicine (and the pros and cons of it all) I will fill you in on as I've gotten you up to date on most everything.