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Do you have permission to take your nephews out of the country?

From the description given, it seemed a great idea to stay in Windsor, Canada while visiting Uncle Al and Aunt Rita in Detroit. It was just 5 minutes away and would be an adventure. Someone forgot to mention the aspect of going through customs every time we turned around.

After checking in our hotel in Windsor we were going back to Detroit to meet for dinner with family. At the US border, I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t stop before an all important white line. As I looked up, the guardian of my country had stepped out into the driveway and was drawing his pistol and shouting something at me. The peanut gallery in the back seat of the van had not been this quiet in the last 2,200 miles.

I backed up never so quickly.  The guard was still angry when my turn came to proceed to the window for inspection. He asked the usual questions, “Where have you been? What did you do there? Do you have weapons in the car? Do you have a ‘concealed carry’ permit? How much cash are you traveling with? Where did you get your driver’s license?” (I suspect that the last question was not a standard question)

Then he looked at the nephews in the back seat and asked what relation were they to me.
“My nephews.”
“Do you have permission to take your nephews out of the country?”
“Of course.”
“Do you have a signed permission form from their parents?”


After another 20 minutes of questions, TWWNCBUIP and the nephews, and I were allowed to enter the US, with the promise that we would have written permission  should we need to enter the US from a foreign country again. (We promptly got “permission letters” emailed to us.)[slideshow]

We were actually able to laugh over the incident while having dinner with the Monzon side of the family at Slows Barbecue, even if the laughter was half-hearted.

Saturday we were touring the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn and the attached Greenfield Village (a village replicating a village from the early part of the last century).  This was also the day that the temperature reached 105 degrees. Fortunately, ice cream had already been invented and we had more than one scoop to get through the day. For future reference, the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village and the Ford Factory should be planned as a two day excursion.

Uncle Al and cousin Brandon had made plans to take the boys to the Tigers / Royals game in Detroit, so Rita, TWWNCBUIP and I headed to Ann Arbor for a tour of  The Ark (the music venue where most of the artists that perform at the Duck perform when in Ann Arbor). Our niece Cassandra (Brandon’s wife) who just happens to work there gave us a great behind the scenes tour. It was cool to see the venue whose shows we have been following for years, and to view the walls lined with photos of performers who have played there over the last forty years – it was a special treat to see the photos of so many of our Texas artists – a very young Keith and Ezra!

We met up with Al and Brandon and boys after the game, the boys were overloaded with souvenirs and tales of a great game, great pizza and the very best fireworks  which Garrett could still “feel” in his chest the next morning!  We said our goodbyes and headed back to Canada –permission slip in hand.

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