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For The First Time Again: Granite Staters Cross The Canadian Border

Wife and husband Becky Hudson and Paul Freeman pose for a selfie under a tree in a park in Quebec City.
Paul Freeman and Becky Hudson/Courtesy
Becky Hudson and Paul Freeman (L-R) crossed the Canadian border as soon as it opened to car travel.

The Canadian border opened to car travel from the United States on Aug. 9 after more than a year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Husband and wife Paul Freeman and Becky Hudson jumped on the chance to head north for the first time, again.

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After securing negative COVID-19 tests and uploading all necessary documents to a Canadian government website, the couple from Lyndeborough set out in the early morning to make their way to historic Quebec City.

“I actually wanted to be at the border at 12:01 a.m. and Paul said, ‘no we have to sleep…’” Hudson said, laughing. “So we got through the border at 6:30 [a.m.] And we had no trouble. I mean, we were across the border within 12 minutes.”

After getting married at the end of 2020, Hudson and Freeman didn’t have a chance to go on a honeymoon. So they made up for it in true French-Canadian style. The two booked a room at the Hotel de Concorde with a sweeping view overlooking the city and picked up some fresh croissants, strawberries and luxurious cannolis to snack on.

Becky Hudson holds up a cup of coffee in Quebec City after crossing the Canadian border.
Paul Freeman/Courtesy
Becky Hudson holds up a cup of coffee in Quebec City after crossing the Canadian border.

The concierge welcomed them to the hotel, exclaiming that Hudson and Freeman were the first American visitors they’d had in over a year. Freeman remarked that everyone they saw indoors was masked up and stringent safety protocols were in place.

“We felt safer coming here than even going to Maine,” he said.

The couple said they’re playing the last-minute trip by ear, with some “quick and dirty” French lessons on the car ride up, but they’re savoring every moment.

“We love to know the local history and culture and tradition, so we just plan to walk around and do as much as we can and love it and live it,” Hudson said.

If you're planning to do something for the first time again, we'd love to help share your story. Send an email about your plans to, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate.

Julia Furukawa is the host of All Things Considered at NHPR. She joined the NHPR team in 2021 as a fellow producing ATC after working as a reporter and editor for The Paris News in Texas and a freelancer for KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.
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