Today we crossed the border to the US with Dunya. We decided to cross the border at Niagara Falls. Firstly, because we also really wanted to see the Niagara Falls, but also because friends said that this might be a very easy border crossing because of the many tourists crossing here every day.
According to the USDA, we needed an International Health Certificate of maximum 5 days old. Ours was signed by our own vet in the Netherlands and dated about ten days ago. We decided to just go for it rather than looking for a vet in Niagara Falls to get an updated certificate. We hoped the border officials would not be too difficult about a (slightly) older certificate.
As it turned out, they did not even look at the papers. Once we arrived at the border with our US rental car, and our Dutch passports, they were far more interested in our plans than in the papers of our dog. This time they were not unfriendly at all, just curious. The official at the booth did not quite understand why we would rent a car in the US, go back to Canada and only a few days later go back to the US again.
He called upstairs and we were asked to park the car and go up in the building to talk to a senior official. This man was very nice and very interested in our plans. He even said taking a journey like this has been a long time dream of his and he hoped he would ever get the chance to go for it. We talked for a while, he asked a few questions and we were set to go. Not once did we feel uncomfortable or intimidated, like last week when we had to get to Plattsburgh to get the rental car. Could it be that the officials are just more used to tourists with strange stories at this border crossing?
Anyways, we are now in the US. We have a temporary green card for 90 days and we will see what we will do in the weeks to come. We would prefer to go back to Canada for a few weeks/months, but officially that would have to be within those 90 days, since Canada is not an exit country for the US. We think 90 days for both Canada AND the US will be too short, but if it turns out there is no way to get the green card extended, we will just have to make it work. It means we will have more time than expected for South America. Not so bad either…