Children Survive Tensions At The Border

The children survive tensions at the border incident happened in August 1994.  My two children Jason, he was 7 at the time, and Laura, who was 5, and I decided in July 1994 to take a vacation.  We live in Eagan, Minnesota and we traveled to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.  This drive takes about 9 hours.  The three of us chose to break it up with a stop in Duluth to visit my mother and to pick up my nephew, Kel, who was 8 and going to travel with us.

We started out for Duluth all three of us in a happy mood and ready for a great time in a place the kids have never been before.  Our family stopped for lunch and talked about going swimming at the hotel and seeing Old Fort William up in Thunder Bay.  After lunch we picked up some donuts and left for grandmas house.


The visit with grandma was great!   She always spoils the kids with great food and other goodies  She kept them entertained and soon it was time for them to get some sleep for their new adventure in the morning.  My nephew  joined us for dinner so it was just a matter of getting everything ready to go in the morning and we could leave.  We had some donuts for breakfast, packed up some snacks from my mom, and we were on our way!

On the way we stopped at several scenic overlooks as it is a beautiful drive!  The kids got hungry so we did stop at a little cafe for lunch and ate some delicious burgers and fries.  Next stop the Canadian border!

Children Survive Tensions At The Border

Now is where the story really begins.  The four of us were in line at the Canadian border.  At the time all you needed to get passed through was a valid drivers license.  I have that and never thought we would have any issues.  The car kept creeping towards the window and now it was our turn to talk with the border guard.

He asked for my license.  I confidently handed it to him.  He asked about the kids and I told him two were mine and the other was my nephew.  He then asked me to pull over and park and enter the building…Would the children survive tensions at the border?

I was a bit curious about this.  My nephew traveled with me all the time!  I should mention he was a Mixed Race child while my two are Caucasian.  The differences were noticeable if you looked for them but I never paid any attention to them and my two never did…

I was being suspected of kidnapping!  Wow this was a shocker to me… They wanted a copy of his birth certificate and a letter from my sister granting permission from her allowing me to take him out of the USA.  I had neither of those.  The guard then asked for a phone number to call my sister.

In the meantime I had the two boys sitting on the chairs scared to death.  My daughter was telling the guard” This is my dad, that is my brother, he is my cousin and we are going on vacation.  You should just let us go..”  Mind you she was repeating this over and over..

Let The Vacation Begin

I was worried what my sister would say.  She is a smart ass and she may have told them I kidnapped Kel as she thought it was funny.  Luckily that day she answered the phone and played it straight.  Her and I both got a lecture for not having the proper paperwork!  The security office then allowed us to continue on to our destination.

The rest of the trip was a great time.  We did enjoy the pool a lot!  The kids spent hours in there.  We did go to Old Fort William for an entire day.  It was an educational and fun time for all four of us!

I did learn a lesson that trip.  Never mess with my daughter when she is on vacation!

Thanks for reading!