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A driver headed into the U.S. from Canada after crossing the border at Blaine, Wash. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP)

Shirley Parchoma and her husband, Bernie, were first-time Canadian snowbirds in February of last year when they last crossed the border into the U.S. in their 40-foot motor home, bound for Arizona and California, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Weeks later, the Parchomas returned to their northwestern Saskatchewan home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our trip was kiboshed,” Parchoma said. This past winter, she said, with the U.S. land border still closed to tourists, they spent their time in the frigid Canadian prairie province ice fishing, movie watching, “and doing way too much baking.”

Last week, the day after the U.S. reopened land-border crossings to Canadian tourists after a nearly 20-month pandemic-fueled closure, the Parchomas were among throngs of Canadians again heading south. In the U.S., they will escape a harsh winter and give a seasonal boost to the economies of states including Florida and California.

They had driven their motor home to Lima, Mont., preparing to drive to Nevada for an overnight stay before reaching their final destination, an RV park near Palm Springs, Calif. They got stuck in a three-hour lineup Monday to cross into the U.S.