Our Southern Neighbours

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The weekend before Memorial Day (in the U.S) was Victoria Day, here in Canada. We decided to cross the border for a simple day trip without the hassle of a 10+ hour drive to one of the big U.S city.

The closest U.S border is at Prescott, Ontario, a mere 45 minutes drive from Ottawa. Armed with cold drinks and cookies (Tim Hortons, obviously), we hit the road. Crossing the border is still a cool experience for me, the French girl, and I admit I get a kick out of using my Canadian passport. This is only the second time I go to the U.S as a Canadian citizen – the first time was last winter, in Niagara Falls. The process is so much more straightforward compared to crossing with a French passport! Even as a Canadian permanent resident, I used to have to pay and have my picture and fingerprints taken. These days, all I have to do is wave my navy blue passport and say “I’m Canadian, eh”. Love it.

We first stopped in Ogdensburg, along the St Lawrence Seaway. The town is pretty sleepy but it was relaxing. A bunch of kids were fishing with their parents along the river and for a second, I wondered if the “ADD children who watch too much T.V and are obsessed with violent videogames” was just a myth. Sure, the nearby busy hot dog cart was busy but kids were also getting plenty of outdoor activity in the skate park.

Alexandria Bay, an hour drive from Ogdensburg, hadn’t changed much, even though it seemed more sedate than usual. Recession and bad economy, maybe? Nonetheless, it’s still pretty and we had a great seafood meal for $20.00 — can’t beat that.

You can see the full set of the pictures taken in the U.S.A here.

Bridge to the U.S.A

I'll Give You That: Cool Flag Guys!

Ogdensburg, N.Y State

A. Bay U.S Immigration Inspection Station

On the Water...

Time for Ice Cream, Kids?

Alexandria Bay, Main Street

Baseball Jokes

Van's Motor Marine

One Way U.S.A

Gas Station and Motor Repair

Water Balloon

Good Old Fast Food

A. Bay Marina


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Ghosty Kips on

    I still can’t get my passport. 🙁 I’ll never be able to defect to Canada at this rate. … oops. Anyway, Never been to Prescott, though I’ve been to Niagara a half-dozen times. Looks like a nice place. Bemused at the Red Sox t-shirts, I’ll take the one with the skull please (and burn the other one). Wait, have you ever made it to Manhattan?
    .-= Ghosty Kips´s last blog ..Memorial Day =-.

  2. Before 9/11 you didn’t need passports. Actually you’ve only needed it the last couple years. It’s part of the “hemispheric travel initiative” or some such gobbledegook.
    If you had one great, but all you needed was a photo i.d. and the willingness to be asked stupid questions. (where were you born? Where did you go to high school? etc. etc.)
    I guess we had to set up some kind of restrictions on the theft/export of our “awesomeness.”
    Like I said before, I live about an hour from Alex Bay, and that part of the state is ironically considered the backwater of the state. I like Ganonoque better than Alex Bay, more family friendly (fewer drunk bikers, fewer bars) and more relaxed generally.
    I’m sure it’s slow since the season is stil early. Nice photos. We do have a sweet flag, but not as gutsy as putting a leaf on one!

  3. Wow. That’s one of the most informal-looking border stations I’ve seen! And I am glad that you get enjoyment in using your passport as well. I always like the feeling of having a new stamp in my passport. Which is why I do not get why people make a big deal in the fact that they required a passport to cross the Canada-USA border recently. In my opinion, if one goes to a new country, then one needs a passport. Unless they want the border to be abolished, like in the Schengen area, where a passport is not needed for the citizens to cross the unchecked border. Which frustrates me when I cross the US-Canada border and they do not give me a stamp.
    .-= Linguist-in-Waiting´s last blog ..Linguistic Factoid No. 18: Register =-.

  4. @Cynthia – You bet! It’s actually one of the only chance I have to have Tim Hortons. Don’t know why but it tastes great when driving.

    @Gledwood – Not much, $7 I believe. But just to cross the border, it’s a bit annoying. Plus the fingerprinting and picture.

    @Yogi – Thank you! You sure take a lot of road trips yourself!

    @Agnes – Hope you liked it… even for just a few hours!

    @Beth – Don,t even get me started on my passport picture… I like my French passport’s best, at the time I got it (2003, valid for 10 years), we were still allowed to smile.

    @khengsiong – To drive yes, but I get lost in the distance sometimes. I keep on thinking it’s km.

    @Nigel Babu – We had fries 🙂

    @London Caller – Ah, English and football! They must be going crazy with the upcoming World Cup!

    @Ghosty Kips – Nope, never. I have to go to NY sometimes, it’s just the timing is never right. How come you are having troubles to get a passport?

    @Rich B – A. Bay is mostly an easy close day trip destination for us, plus it’s a bit more “exotic” than Gananoque (and easier to pronounce too). The grass is always greener…

    That said, I agree with you, lots of bikers and not necessarily family friendly. Although I was surprised to see there was a Massonic Loge on the Main Street!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – I miss the stamps too, I used to get one on my French passport when crossing 😉 This is not the Prescott border but just the A. Bay marina one. I guess a lot of Canadian sail on the St Lawrence and go on US waters.

    @Poem – Always!

    @Seraphine – Okay, let me see: meal for too, gas for the car (but in gallons so no idea how much is was actually), two cokes and a pack of Camel (we have no US cigarettes in Canada). Sorry, will try to do better next time! 😆

  5. haven’t you heard, the masons are in a secret cabal that controls the world with the girl scouts, the NY yankees, the quakers and Oprah. A lot of America’s founders were masons, they were a pretty big deal at one time.

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