Snowbirds Day 1

How do you plan and pack for a 3 month hiatus in the south? Even though we booked the rental home in July, it seemed so far off that it was put on the back burner. No. Scratch that. It was put in the cold storage locker. Only to be hauled out quickly and dusted off. Poof! The time had come and we were heading out for our first attempt at snow birding. That’s a thing.

List was made. Checked twice. But at the final packing surge the what if’s take over. What if it’s cold? What if it rains? What if …. oh, get lost Chicken Little.

The main source of my anxiety was bringing Molly across the border. I tried to read every written shred of information and grilled anyone I knew who had travelled with pets, but websites were cryptic at best (ie no simply stated facts) and friends just said “oh, don’t worry… it will be fine” ; one actually pointed out that Molly looked healthy enough to appease the border patrol. Great. Just enough non-information to send my ocd into high gear. The icing on the cake came from my sister. In her adult voice cautioned “good luck at the border “. Normally I would chalk that up to whatever… but she’s a VERY seasoned border crosser who Knows. I was nervous.

The thought of having to turn back after making crazy arrangements such as boarding our lovely kitty, Otto, with a friend (that’s a whole other story), renting out our home, notifying neighbours, tweaking mail, going modern (bills on line … who knew), car storage … the list was extensive. I glanced into the backseat and observed my sweet, patient Molly lounging in her space and thought “if you only knew”.

We had a few planned and a few unplanned pit stops en route. But overall we were rolling at a decent 9 am.

There was a line up at the Peace Bridge. My heart rate quickened. This was the moment of truth. The endless line up to cross the bridge was agonizingly slow. But we made it to the Nexus booth. The guard looked angry; it’s a job requirement upon hiring I think. He asked our citizenship. He asked our license plate. We don’t know it. He has to get out of the booth and look. He takes our Nexus cards. Are we packing firearms he wants to know. No.

Ok. You can go.

That was all. It was the shortest torture session ever. Less than 2 min. Whew. I can relax. Molly is legit. Then the new ocd thought: we should have packed the medicinal cannibas!

Rudy has been driving all day. And up to the border, his deliberate slow pace was tolerable. I really didn’t want to deal with the border so delaying was ok. But once the dreaded ordeal was behind us, his turtle speed was painfully obvious. Think that’s harsh? Even the Amazon Prime semi passed … it was torture.

I tried to assuage the moment by putting on the playlist I had arranged for the family gathering st Christmas. Aptly named “Tina Holiday Frenzy” it’s a great mix of 80’s and a few other gems (Bohemian Rhapsody and the like). It’s a 2+ hour entertainment package. It was supposed to get us from Cheektowaga well in our way to Pittsburgh. It started to replay just past Erie. Yawn.

So rather than Pittsburgh we decided to call it a day at Grove City PA. A shopping Mecca. Rudy suggested (jokingly) that we should go shop the sales. The thought appealed to me for st least 10 seconds.

Where would we possibly put anything else? The car is jam packed. Not even room for a new pencil.

Stay tuned … tomorrow’s headline might be: snow bird found dead wife apologizes for losing her temper over a coughing issue. Argh.

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