Alright everyone, as promised, here is a little bit about my mini-vacation!
Those of you that already know me know that my boyfriend Kevin works in the music industry and travels the world with bands for a living. He's been with the band August Burns Red for a couple years now and that's who he's with currently!
I started checking out the cheapest way to get there and found a seat sale on ViaRail for $44 one way from Toronto, so I jumped on that!
I got to Montreal around 2 on Wednesday and decided to walk the 15 minutes to the venue from the train terminal - BIG MISTAKE! It was freezing! (somewhere around -25 with windchill) I swear I couldn't feel my toes about 2 minutes into the trek. Thankfully I had doubled my socks so I wasn't in for some frost bite.
I got to the venue, but soundcheck had started, so Kevin didn't hear my call to let me in! Thank goodness my friend Jake was running a little late for soundcheck after his trip to the gym and he found me & put me into the warm place I'd be calling home for the next couple days.
We went for food at Schwartz Deli so we could introduce our friend Jade to the famous Montreal Smoked Meat.
The show was loud & sweaty but being tired we just stayed at the bus after the show. We made a quick run to grab some late night pizza and watched some South Park and hit the bed.
Thursday I woke up in Ottawa and it was just as cold as Montreal BUT it was also snowing. I think in total it snowed about 5 inches! I also spent most of the day in bed with a brutal migraine.
Kevin and I hit the mall (a good 20 minute walk from where we were parked - and also unknown to me, when my leather boot sole would crack from the cold!) and then met up with our good pal Brent (whom I lovingly refer to as Kevin's tour BF) for some cocktails & dinner at a place called Union 613 - now if you're ever in Ottawa do yourself a favour and check this place out! From my delicious house made root beer to the friendly, accommodating staff, this place is a real find. Oh, and they have a speak easy in the basement, complete with a door that looks like a bookcase! We loved it so much we came back after the show.
Friday was the Toronto show. Some of my very best friends were coming from home to hang out with Kevin.
Our friends Ana & Bill graciously gave up their apartment for us to stay the night so we could enjoy a few drinks at the show and not worry about the hour plus drive home, so I went to meet up with them while Kevin got a little work done.
We took the subway back down to the venue (The Pheonix Concert Theatre) complete with a garbage bag of beer for Kevin (compliments of Andrew) and got ready for the show. We watched the show from the best seat in the house aka "front of house" where Jade (the sound engineer) and Ricky (the lighting master) do their work. If you're ever at a concert and want to hear it at its best, stand near FOH.
My friend Katie isn't a big fan of metal, but seeing the show from behind the scenes really made her a fan. She was in awe of how the crowd reacts, the band plays so strategically and how it all just works together. It was an awesome feeling watching someone develop feelings for music.
So the show ended and we all went to the bus and had some drinks, deep conversations & a lot of laughs with some old & new friends. For me it was such a weird experience having two worlds collide and just mesh so well. It's a great feeling to see all your friends getting along together! (We (JB & Andrew) even called Andrew's wife Aleksa because she couldn't make it)
We made our way back to the apartment around 3am and poured ourselves into bed. Getting back home by noon was definitely a good thing, I was exhausted. I got a much needed REAL shower & did some laundry before just relaxing to get ready for going back to work.
All in all it was a lot of fun but I'm glad to be back in the land of basset hounds and sweat pants instead of real pants! (until next time, that is!)