Travel Blog: Vancouver

This past weekend, I took a trip to visit some friends in Vancouver and to see a concert. The trip started out a little rough with some severe winter weather causing some major delays leaving Kelowna.

To make the best of it, I went to have lunch at the White Spot in the lounge and there I shared a table with a man working in a similar industry as my own. We chatted about music and working in the tech industry. We had some similar former co-workers and he invited me to check out his company in case I was interested in changing jobs.

I finally made it into Vancouver around 7pm and my lovely friends picked me up from the airport. We had an awesome dinner at a ramen place. I tried Japanese curry for the first time and loved it. Afterwards, we went back to their place and they showed me all the pictures from their Japanese trip and shared their stories. They brought be back a very cool travel cup from the Osaka Starbucks.

The next day was spent hanging out, listening to records, doing some shopping at Daiso, and watching old animations. It had been forever since I had watched Atlantis and Road to Eldorado. I somehow managed to polish off a bottle of my favorite red wine in the process.

The next day, I headed out to check into my hostel and hang out with a different friend for the afternoon. We had a lovely chat over some nachos at my favorite pub, Malone’s. After which I headed back to the hostel to get ready for the concert only to find out that the band that I had been looking forward to seeing had been denied entry to the country and would not be performing that night.

I was so bummed out that I didn’t even want to go see the other bands performing. At which time I met a man from Boston who was looking for a nice place for dinner. I asked him if he didn’t mind taking a trek out to Commercial Drive. Since he had no idea where that was, I went with him and we had dinner at Stormcrow. The rest of the night was spent drinking, playing a card game about news headlines, and talking politics between Canada and the United States. So what started out as a bummer of a night turned into one of the most memorable conversations with a stranger I have ever had.

The next day, I took the Skytrain back out to YVR which was way smoother than taking a taxi and a hell of a lot cheaper too. I ended up there early so I just watched some downloaded episodes of Aquarius that were on my tablet.

I am happy to say that I enjoyed flying with Faire Airlines and I will likely be flying with them in the future. I am even looking at flying out to Toronto on them in the future.

~ Clara D. Munro

Black Veil Brides Concert & Traveling Solo

I am excited to announce that I booked my travel plans for my upcoming Black Veil Brides concert. This is the first concert that I have been to in three years and the first time I will be going to a concert alone. The thing about concerts is that you’re not really alone, you’re there will all the other people enjoying the show. From what I understand about BVB fans, they are similar to MCR fans… crazy.

As I mentioned in a previous post, The Darkness in Me Sees the Darkness in You, I have been waiting to see Black Veil Brides for a few years now. I have been listing to the playlist below to get myself pumped up for this show. All the tracks are in release date order. Check out that cover of Rebel Yell though, it’s sick!

When I purchased the tickets for Black Veil Brides through the pre-sale, I received a free copy of their new album Vale, which you can listen to from the playlist above.

I feel like every other Black Veil Brides album it hit or miss for me. Keep in mind that my taste in music comes down to personal opinion and not on any kind of scale of music snobbery. I can remember listening to Black Veil Brides back when they were first making significant waves in 2011 and I wasn’t into their sound. Now, a few years later, they have changed their sound and developed more of a story to go along with the message of the band. The newest video “Wake Up” continues the Story of the Wild Ones carried over from Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. That album was the one that sold the band for me.

They don’t put as much effort into the pageantry as they used to but I think what they are doing is working for them. I didn’t mind the the costumes but I can imagine that takes a lot of work to pull off day in and day out when you are on tour. I think they have a more polished sound in their recordings, I can’t wait to see them live to see how they live up the the recordings.

I am a little apprehensive of their stage performance after the last Vancouver show. A heckler in the crowd must have done something bad to piss off the band and causing the lead singer to jump in after them. Below is the famous video of that event:

Even if something like this happens again, it should still be an enjoyable show. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever been to a metal/punk show that didn’t have its fair share of stage stoppers. Every time I saw Thirty Seconds to Mars, they stop the show and ask people who don’t want to be there to leave. I have to wonder what drives someone to be so disrespectful that they provoke the lead singer to jump off the stage and into the crowd to go after them. Also, have to wonder what level of self control the band has to have to NOT jump in after hecklers. Either way, that’s rock and roll for you.

Traveling in the winter in British Columbia is a bit tricky as the highways are unpredictable and dangerous, I have decided to fly instead of drive because of this. I will be testing out the new inexpensive airline, Flair Airlines. They offer affordable flights by making you pay for extra things like picking you seat, printing off boarding passes, and luggage. Since I don’t care where I sit, check in online, print off my own boarding passes anywhere, and I will only be bringing a backpack with me, my flights will only cost me $154 in total. That’s half the cost of any Air Canada or Westjet flight.

Once in Vancouver, I will be spending a couple of nights with two of my best friends that I have not seen in over a year. I am super excited to see them and spend time with them after being away for so long. I used to see them all the time when I used to travel to see shows in Vancouver. I don’t really know why I stopping going to shows, I think that for the most part, there wasn’t any shows I wanted to see or they were happening during times that I could not travel. However, with these cheaper flights, I may have solved this problem. Now, all I need is for my favorite musicians to tour more.

For the night of the concert, I will be just staying at a hostel on Granville Street called Samesun. They have places all over the country and the USA. Yeah, I have to share a room with others but I am not worried about that since my flight leaves in the morning and I have to be at the airport by no later than 10:30am. I looked at Air B&B and other hotels but for what I need, $40 a night at hostel works best. One might think that I am too old to be traveling like this but I don’t think so. After that red eye flight from Kona to Vancouver, I think I am up for anything.

C. Munro

Rest and Relaxation

It’s been ages since I had a decent vacation. Last summer, I waited way too long before going on my summer trip. It was at that time when I started planning the trip to Hawaii that I am currently on. I am about half way through this trip and it’s the longest trip I have been on in years.

It took about three or four days to finally unwind and let myself relax. We are currently in our second place on the island and it’s much quieter than our last one. It feels like more of a beach house and the gardens are spectacular. The Hilo side of the Big Island is a lot more muggy than the Kona side but the pace around here seems a lot more chill.

So far, I have been to a few historical sites, including the Place of Refuge and the Hulihe’e Palace. I have traveled all the way to the southern most point of the United States. I have gone snorkeling and surfing. I can’t wait to go check out the hot pools, the Lava tubes, and the volcano this week.

I may have fallen in love with the geckos here, I wonder if I can smuggle one back with me?

The point that I wanted to make with all this way to stress the importance of going on vacation. It is important to to trips like these. They are a million times more valuable than any thing. I am glad that I suggested going on this trip instead of doing traditional Christmas this year. What we have done here will stay with us longer than any gift ever could.

More over, I am glad that we choose to come to the Big Island rather than one of the more popular vacation islands in the Hawaiian Islands. The Big Island is more wild and you get the sense of new and untamed from it. Geologically, it’s the youngest of all the islands in the chain of Hawaiian islands. When you see field and field of dry lava bed, you know that there’s still so much time that’s needed for this island to mature. Even from a civilization point of view, Hawaii has a lot still left to develop but unlike the mainland, Hawaii has already taken great steps into the world of conservation and alternative energy.

I will likely be coming back to this island someday. I said the same thing about Haida Gwaii. Both of these islands have left a standing impact on me. I still have more to explore in Hawaii and I hope that I can visit the other islands in the chain someday.

Aloha for now!

Clara D. Munro