I am officially a tourist. My two working holiday visa expired today. My friend kindly took us to Niagara Falls and treated us to a hotel last night for my birthday. The started smoothly with her locking the keys in the car and having to call the breakdown people!
To end the visa, I had to be out of the country today. This meant we had to leave Canada and then reenter with me coming back in as a tourist. We left Canada – at this point, I could be left in no mans land if both countries decided not to accept me. At the US border, I explained the situation and we were given a piece of paper saying we were being refused entry to the US due to the reason for visit being to “flagpole”. We had to take this back to the Canadian border where the guy at the booth said we were fine to go back in. I was not getting a passport stamp as I did not get a stamp for US. I said that I wanted one as I was worried when I go to Vegas on Tuesday, airport border people would think I had outstayed my visa with no evidence to say that I had left. The guy said we were fine to go back in and it shouldnt be a problem. He said I was not being referred to the office, but could go if I wanted a stamp. I did. This was all very nerve wracking – I got all nervous unsure if I could take my seatbelt off to lean over and speak to the man in the booth, we declared two cans of cider in the car which he seemed to find amusing.
When we went to the office for the stamp, I again explained I was ending my working holiday visa and wanted to come back in to the country as a tourist. The man wanted to see evidence of my flight out of the country. I had a whole folder full of paper with all my other details of travel, proof that I could support myself etc, but they just wanted to know I was leaving and see the flight booking. At this point, it is entirely at their discretion how long they will let you come back for (up to 6 months). He stamped my passport to exit the country by the end of July.
I was not charged any money other than $4 to cross the border to come back in to Canada. The whole process took around an hour.
Time to enjoy our mini break… by this point it was pouring with rain. We checked in to the hotel. Realised I had forgotten my rain coat and headed out. We got some Beavertail, well I had Beavertail, Erin had Tims, and looked in some shops before walking along the Falls. Then up the hill and in the Skylon Tower for a drink at the top – disappointingly the only hot drinks were coffee based, so I had hot water and lemon. It was nice to see the view anyway and have a sit down to dry off a bit.
We looked around the shops in the casino mall and then walked back to go to the Haunted House which was fun. Kelseys for dinner was delicious and a man with a guitar sang Sweet Caroline. My food was good.
When we got back to the hotel, we curled up to warm up. I was so cold and all my clothes were wet, so I put my beanie on. I must have drifted off within 10 minutes. I woke up sooo hot as we had the heat on. I had the best nights sleep though. I was out so quickly and was so cosy.
We accidentally slept through breakfast, so we went to IHOP and had one last drive around the falls before heading back to Toronto. Of course, it was sunny today!