Take Off to the Great White North!

When I was in college, there were two singers, Bob and Doug McKenzie,who had a comedy album all about Canada.  The most memorable song was of course the Canadian 12 days of Christmas.  “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a BEER!”

Other items were 2 lbs of back bacon and 5 Golllllden Tukes!

That was my view of Canada for years! Luckily, since I have been with Michelle, I have been to both Vancouver and Victoria BC, and have been introduced to the real Canada! (Though they do like beer and Tukes!)

This weekend, we made another run to Vancouver, but for a reason that might surprise some..

As many people know, the music scene around Seattle in the 90s gave birth to Grunge.  Bands like Peal Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and many others started here in town, playing small venues and then exploding onto the rest of world.

Somehow through I was here, I missed this whole thing.  I think the main reason was because my musical tastes never progressed beyond my college days (they still haven’t), back in the 80s.  Much to Michelle’s chagrin, I still can’t tell the difference between Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Probably never will…

Michelle on the other hand, was right in the middle of the scene.  She worked for a local radio station for a while, and as you can see, had the look of a classic Seattle Rocker back then.

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Love the hair!! And in that time, she had to opportunity to see each and every band she had ever wanted to see! Well, except for one.

You see, throughout the years, for one reason or another, the one band she had NOT seen was the Foo Fighters! When it was announced early this year that they were going to tour, and play up in Vancouver, the trip was on!!

Now, I am NOT a complete rookie to concerts! I have been to Van Halen!  Huey Lewis and the Newsimage

Alabama, and, just a couple of years ago, Jimmy Buffett!


So even though I didn’t know any songs, I was sure I’d blend right in with the rockers!

Editors note: Thanks to the miracle of Pandora and a week of research, I did realize I knew SOME songs! And liked them!

We took off just before noon on Friday for the drive north.  It’s about a 2 hour or so trip.  The “or so” part deals with the border crossing and the BAD traffic in Vancouver itself.

Editors note 2: This is, without a doubt, a city that it is MUCH easier to walk or bike around in.  Traffic STINKS! But they have more bike lane and signals than even Seattle! 

Whenever Michelle and I go up there, we stay in the same place, the Le Soliel.  This, I learned one day, means the Sun. It was explained to me on our first trip when I asked, “Hey?  How’s come y’all  have SO many pictures of the sun around?” (Yep, Michelle did a face palm!)

In fact, the last two times I have not scored points with the Canadian border guards.  The last time the lady asked where we were staying.  “LA SoLEEL” was my reply!  She actually shivered at my pronunciation!

This I was ready.  The guy asked where we were staying, and I said  “LA So-LAY!”  (Quite proud of myself!) He just looked at me and said “You aren’t ANY part French are you??” (I guess it is LAY so-LAY. Oh well I took Spanish in college and damn near failed, never French!) Good thing correct pronunciation is NOT a requirement to enter Canada!

We got there early, and had time to walk around before dinner and the concert later.  We took a walk down to the waterfront and took the opportunity to snap some pictures

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We then grabbed a late lunch, early dinner at Al Porto Ristorante. Risotto for her and gnocchi for me!  YUM!  It was then back to the hotel, to relax before the concert.  We were in luck, as the venue was within walking distance, Rogers Arena, the same place that the Vancouver Canucks play hockey.


This could have been any sports arena in the states, until I saw this. I won’t explain why it made me giggle!


After we got a couple of tshirts, and the opening band finished, we made the move to our seats, and they were great!


We both had our rocker faces on! (See I blended right in!)


There is no way I could do justice to a review of the show, but folks it was a blast!!  I had an amazing time.  I knew more songs than I thought, and the lead singer, Dave Grohl, is just one great entertainer!  Earlier this year, he fell and broke a leg during a performance. He designed (In the deepest effects of the pain meds) a moving throne for him to sit it so he didn’t have to cancel the rest of the tour.



It worked perfectly!  Ladies and gents, I can ride a bike for 100 miles and pedal for 15 hours straight!  Dancing at a 2.5 hour concert made me more tired than even a century ride!  But it was fun!! We walked, home, shared a bottle of wine and went to bed!  Michelle declared it a great show!  And it was the last on her rock and roll bucket list!

The next day was spent leisurely walking around town, taking in the sights.  We had Minion Candy Apples


Gassy Jack

Gassy Jack, the founder of Gastown
Gassy Jack, the founder of Gastown

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

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Some Excellent bike art


And something that I just don’t understand


Yep fish and shoes….  It makes no sense to me!

Later we ran into my doppleganger!  Yep, that’s right, we looked exactly alike!


SEE!  If you aren’t sure I am the one on the left!

After a long walk all over town, we settled down at the Lion’s Pub for another late lunch early dinner. I decided to embrace the British roots of Canada and skip the burger for an excellent Cottage Pie!


After all that meat, taters, cheese and Cinder Cone Ale from Oregon (ok not all of dinner was British!) I still wasn’t that hungry this morning!

All in all, it was a great weekend away.  We had a blast, the show was amazing


and we, as always, just had a good time! I am very glad I agreed to see a band I knew nothing about and traveled back to one of our favorite places with my gorgeous wife!


9 thoughts on “Take Off to the Great White North!

    1. We used the passports, though my oldest going to school in Bellingham has the License doohickey.

      My guess is they decided someone up to no good would have at least learned how to say the name of the hotel so they just waved me by!

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