So we finally made it into Canada last Wednesday! It was my first time crossing the border with a band, and I’d heard horror stories of just how tough it could be to get in, so I was pretty worried. Fortunately for us, everything went off without at hitch. We drove through the night from Richland, Washington through Seattle (no stops, sadly) and ended up at the venue in Vancouver just in time to load in. The show was great: all the bands were amazing, the venue was this really neat theater with a nice big stage, it was awesome.
We had the next day off, so we drove all day to make it to a friend’s house that we were staying at in Calgary. I discovered that in Canada, off days really just mean driving days, because there’s a lot of land to cover. It was a beautiful drive though, and we had the chance to stop and take some pictures at a nearby lake, so it was a pretty painless drive.
(Canada is incredible. We just pulled over at the first stop we saw, and happened upon a lake surrounded by wildflowers. It was a dream.)
So when we finally made it to our friend James’ house in Calgary, at about 2 in the morning, there was snow on the ground. In September. I guess they call it the Great White North for a reason. It felt like Christmas for us San Diego kids. We were all exhausted from driving all day, so we went to bed immediately and slept in that next morning. We were lucky to have a really late show in Calgary on Friday, so we decided to take a day trip to Banff before the guys had to play. I’m not sure how many times I yelled “THIS IS MY FAVORITE DAY EVER” on that drive, but seriously, it was the most beautiful car ride of my life. I think I took about 200 pictures out of my passenger window before we even got there.
The town of Banff is actually quite small, and we didn’t really have time to explore much around it, so we pulled up and parked by this little lake in the heart of town. We took some pictures at the foot of the lake, and wandered into a park where the inevitable snowball fight ensued. I’m not sure if my camera kept me safe, or if the boys just wanted to be nice and keep me dry, but either way I didn’t take any snow to the face, so I’m not complaining!
That day is forever in my top 10, for sure.
We stayed the night in Calgary again, and headed out in the morning to drive to Edmonton for the next show. I met a girl there who was a fan of my work from instagram, so that was really cool getting to talk to her (though briefly, because I’ve also been selling merch on this tour, and my line that night looked like I was selling the new iPhone 6 or something). But its always really exciting meeting people who not only like my work, but know my name and recognize who I am. Its surreal. After the show, I headed to the hotel room while the guys loaded up, and I watched some news with French subtitles (which leads me to my favorite thing about Canada: everything is in English and French which is a French learner’s dream come true) and edited photos. Like these:
The next morning we left to drive to Winnipeg, which would end up taking about two days (like I said, long drives). I got some more experience driving the van and trailer, but there wasn’t really a whole lot to see out our windows on this drive. So we decided to play some road trip games. We played 20 Questions, and an alphabet game where you try to make yourselves hungry (like that takes much work on a road trip). But we realized that our arsenal of Road Trip Games is severely lacking. So if any of you have any go-to games, please let me know.
I finished off our last driving shift of the night around 3 am, and we crashed at a hotel a few hours west of Winnipeg. We got a few hours of sleep, but had to be out fairly early the next morning so the boys could get me to the airport in time to fly home and get ready for my brother’s wedding! So that’s where I am now: at my gate in the Winnipeg airport waiting for my mildly delayed flight to Denver, avoiding putting together the to-do list of things I have to do in the next 4 days before the festivities begin! I have been waiting for this wedding a long time. I. Literally. Can’t. Wait. – xx
*Update* I’m finishing this post in a Denver Marriott 8 hours later, because air travel is often more than you sign up for. But its a good thing I gave myself a few days to get home! There’s nothing stopping me from getting to this wedding. I will hitch-hike there if I need to.