A few weeks ago we took a getaway for a weekend in Essex, Canada. Only half an hour from Detroit, Essex is on the shore of Lake Erie and is known as Ontario’s wine country. We rented an AirBNB right on the water. Even though it was too cold to spend time on the beach, it was nice to sit in front of the fireplace and hear the waves crashing out the window. It was a very relaxing winter weekend.
We chose Essex because of the location. It was closer than most of our favorite places on the water in Michigan. Houses in Essex were much cheaper than equivilant homes on Lake Michigan. Factor in the exchange rate that the American dollar currently gets you about $1.25 Canadian, a weekend in Canada can be a really good deal!
Of course, going into Canada, you have to worry about border crossings. We crossed the border so late we were the only car in line and it couldn’t have even taken 5 minutes. Coming home on Sunday was a little busier, but it was pretty quick too, maybe ten minutes. If you time it right, crossing the border isn’t too bad.
Probably the hardest thing about taking a weekend in a foreign country is having to worry about customs. Normally, when you’re on vacation its not a big deal to bring leftovers home, but crossing the border makes that tricky. We had to buy the smallest quantities of food to cook so we didn’t waste too much and tried not to have leftovers from restaurants because there are stringent rules about what you can and cannot bring across the border. I don’t know how strict they are about enforcing those rules, but I didn’t really want to find out. To find out more information about what can be brought back from Canada, visit Customs and Border Control.
This was the first time I had been to Canada since I was an adult. Even though it is only an hour away, the border crossing was something that intimidated me. Now that I have done it, it really wasn’t a big deal. We will probably go to Canada more frequently now that we’ve done it and realized how easy it is.
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