Hopping the Pond // BAAO Europe Headliner

So, I’m starting to get the feel for what its like being on the road nearly 300 days a year. Since I last posted, I’ve done a full 37 day United States tour. Then I had about a two week break** and now I’m headed on a European tour that is just shy of a month.

We’re going to some awesome places, (Paris and Prague are what I’m most excited about) and I will definitely be posting a lot more frequently so that I can share the experience with you. So check out the tour flyer down below to see where we’ll be on any given date.

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I’m writing up this post as I kill my final hour before heading to the airport. We’re flying out of San Diego tonight and land in Heathrow sometime tomorrow (the 12 hour+ flight on top of the 9ish hour time change has me absolutely clueless as to when we will actually land, so we’ll just take it as an adventure).

I’ve got all of my clothes, toiletries, and camera gear packed into one carry on suitcase, and a big ole hiking backpack. I think I pack three times as much as this just to go out of town for the weekend, so I’m unashamedly proud of myself for doing such a B.A. job this time.

Keep checking back here for photos and stories, I’m sure there will be tons of both! – xx


** This so-called “break” consisted of a lot more work than I was expecting. I worked about 20 hours for my brother and his wife, helping make Christmas Stockings for their really cool Etsy shop, Pink Slip Inspiration. Check them out, they make really cute stuff.

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Long Drives

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.

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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.

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(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.

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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!

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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:

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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.

Off Days

Touring full-time is a lot less crazy than you’d think. It seems pretty wild: a bunch of kids driving around the world together in a van (sometimes a bus), a different city every night, never really knowing what the next day is going to bring you. It sounds exhausting. But I cannot express to you just how truly mellow this life can be. 

We’ve recently had the rare chance to stay put for a few days, since we’re still just working our way up to Canada to start the real tour. So we’ve spent the last 3 days in Boise, Idaho. 

Our first day here we drove up from Salt Lake City, and made it in time for the show. It was a fun show, and the guys had some good friends here that they’d made a few years ago. So after the show we picked up some pizza, and headed over to said friend’s house where we got to stay the night, which was a fun change (they had dogs and comfy couches, I was in heaven). Also, the wife was a wedding photographer, so it was great talking with her about cameras, tour, music and everything in between. 

The next day we got up and headed to our hotel so we could shower before finding some breakfast. The hotel was a mess; our smoke alarm kept going off, our room got double booked, it smelled like feet and cigarettes, unfortunately I could go on. So we decided to upgrade, and headed out to a Hilton in the suburbs. We were starving by that point, and our hotel shared a parking lot with a restaurant called Twin Peaks, so we walked over there in search of the first thing we could put in our mouths. Seriously, We were so hungry. Well we soon discovered that “twin peaks” was a very obvious euphemism, and we found ourselves in what was essentially a cabin-themed Hooters. But we were starving so we stayed. It was interesting to say the least, but the food was good. (I’m not lying when I say thats the craziest thing that happened all weekend).

After our 3pm brunch, we booked it over to a movie theater across the street to watch Planet of the Apes, then headed back to the hotel to finish off the night with Chinese delivery and an face mask (I wish I could say the face mask was a family affair, but unfortunately I was the only one who partook). 

The next morning we got up and found lunch at a nearby diner, Elmer’s. We were the youngest group in there by about 40 years, but the food was exactly what we needed and the coffee was great. Then Ralph, Tyler and I headed to the mall to run some “errands”. I found a camera store and got some gear I was severely lacking, the guys stocked up on jeans and plain t-shirts at H&M* , and we finished it off with a run by GameStop to pick up Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and another xBox controller (MvC is my favorite game in the entire world. I was pumped about this purchase, let me tell you). 

We came back to the hotel, I worked on the computer a bit and the guys went for a swim. We ran to Whole Foods for dinner, since our suburbia options of Chili’s and Twin Peaks (not making that mistake again) seemed less appealing than the salad bar at our favorite grocery store. And now here we are: the guys just finished a game on the xBox, Tyler’s reading A Brief History of Time and I’m working on a special wedding surprise for my brother and his bride-to-be. So really, tour is not much different from real life. But it is my real life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. – xx


*H&M is amazing. It is the most reliable clothing store in the world: you could get the same thing (and I have) in San Diego, Boise, Frankfurt or London for under $20 and wear it ’til it falls off your body in rags and threads. Not to mention I’ve literally been in Boise for a little over 48 hours and I ran into two new friends there today in the span of 15 minutes. Seriously, I love this store.

Canadian Tour

I’m back out on tour right now with Being As An Ocean. We’re headed up to Canada to do a tour with Architects, Stray From the Path, and My Ticket Home. I’ll be on the first half of the tour, but will be flying home from Winnipeg to be back in time to watch my brother marry the sister-in-law of my dreams.


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I’m posting this from Salt Lake City, as we play a few routing shows up to start the tour off in Vancouver (we’ll be in Boise tomorrow). We drove through Utah at sunrise this morning, and saw some pretty awesome lightning. I can’t wait for the actual tour to start! – xx