Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quebec part 2…

We were up and having breakfast at 8:30am and left the hotel around 9:30. Beth checked the bears in the trunk and unfortunately they weren't looking good, i think a combination of the cooler not being cold enough and possibly too much Vodka being added at once was taking its effect and the bears themselves were looking  a little drunk and turning into a slimy mess.

The weather was just right this morning, 70` and no humidity at all! you could really smell the fresh air too, totally different to the air down in DC. we made our way towards the boarder and i got all three passports ready to hand over.

Big Mother!                                          The border                                            Welcome to Canada!

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When Wendy flew into Toronto for the show there a couple of weeks ago, she told us how when the immigration officer asked her why she was coming to Toronto, she just looked at him and said “ To Rock and Roll”  his blank stare back at her told her this hadn't gone down too well but Kami, Beth and i had been joking how i we should do this when we crossed the boarder. My experiences of going to Canada haven't been the best, it seems its not a country that likes me much! having had problems with my Tomtom the first time i went, then getting my Tomtom stolen the 2nd time and then getting everything apart from the “rubber glove” interrogation in customs the third time I’d visited i really wasn't too keen on chancing my luck and telling the lady we had come to Rock n Roll!

I rolled the window down and she asked why we were there, in my head i was saying the above but out of my mouth came “ we are here for a concert in Quebec city” Which concert she asked, I told her the Roger Waters one she smiled and told us how all the crew busses had passed through  a week ago, she wished us a safe trip and  i then made the devil sign with my hand, looked at her and smiled and said “we will, we are off to Rock n Roll”

None of us had thought to get any Canadian currency and Beth was worrying a little more than Kami and I, there was a sign for a currency exchange right after customs and Beth said “what if we need to use the bathroom on the way and they charge for the use and none of us have any money!” Kami and i laughed while Beth went in to get a few $

After a couple of hours driving we stopped at a McDonalds, Beth needed to use the bathroom and i joked how she would be the only one able to go if they did indeed charge as she was the only one with $ After the three of us using the free bathroom we got in the line to get a tea and a milk shake, “everyone speaks English here” replied Beth when we asked if she would be ok ordering for Kami and i while we held back from the line. As she got to the front of the line the cashier opened her mouth and talked in French for what seems like 30 seconds asking Beth what she would like. The look on Beth’s face was priceless as she held up her hands and said “ ahhhh i don't speak French” Kami says she said it loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear, Beth says she didn't, i have no opinion and am staying out of it.

Wendy was flying into Quebec via Montreal and had messaged us to say she had arrived in Montreal and would be at the airport in Quebec around 2:30pm, Kim was also flying in but wouldn't get in till gone 10pm as she wasn't leaving Ohio till 5 and would have a stop in Philly first. I told Wendy we would pick her up at the airport as our ETA into Quebec was looking like 1:30 at the latest.

Sheep!!                                                                Horse, Moose, Santa, Pink Flamingo!!

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We arrived in Quebec just as the Tom tom had said, 1:30pm,  as we drove to the end of the street where the hotel was we could see the rear of the wall. that was being build, It was HUGE!! we didn't stop but just turned the car round and pulled right in front of the hotel lobby. By the time we got the bags out of the trunk, checked in and took our things up to the room it was time to head out to the airport to pick up Wendy! Kami and Beth decided to stay and find a bank and grab  bite to eat while i headed out to the airport. it was only 8 miles to the airport but due to traffic at that time in the afternoon it took me at least a good half an hour to get there. i parked up and headed into the terminal to see that the flight had landed 9 minutes ago. it was one of the smallest international airports I’ve seen and i hadn't even had chance to sit down when i saw Wendy walking through past the baggage carousel and through the doors, shame she didn't see me!! she was in a world of her own and it wasn’t even like there were hoards of people, she was the 3rd person to come through and i was the only person stood there waiting for anyone! it wasn’t till she more or less bumped into me that she noticed me and i saw that huge smile and happy face as we hugged.

Due to us talking and catching up in the car on the way back to the city i took a wrong turn and had to go back over the bridge out of the city, turn around and then come back over the bridge into the city! didn’t take as long going back though and as we pulled in the parking lot at the hotel Beth sent us a text to say they were sat at the bar next to the parking lot and had just seen us arrive.

Wendy and i joined Beth and Kami at the bar and we sat for an hour drinking Char Donnay and had a bite to eat. The four of us then went for a walk around the corner into the Plains of Abraham to check out The Wall.

The Plains was basically a huge natural bowl type filed that was in a large park area, the stage had been set up at the bottom of the bowl and the grass banking was on two sides that raised up slightly. It had in the past been the site of the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham where in 1759 the British Army and navy fought the French Army!! lets hope this wasnt going to happen tomorrow night!

The wall certainly the biggest I’ve ever seen it at any previous shows. It was the standard size stage for the outdoor shows and the actual white brick wall was also the same size as all the outdoor stadium shows had been, however, adjoining the end of each of the bricks was another 200ft either side of scaffolding that had been covered with 8 x 4 sheets of plywood! These had then been covered by flat brick faces with various designs on which i still have to find out where and when and by whom but it appears they were given out to the public for them to design and then handed back!

Click the image below and then click on the opened picture once again for a large version to see each brick in more details

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Our initial view of the wall                           Rear of the extended parts                           Rear of the stage

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Wendy behind the wall                                The girls “super cute” security guard!

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Beth, Kami and Wendy,behind their wall!    Kami breaking her biggest wall yet!

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We took a walk all the way round the grounds, it took me a good five minutes to drag the girls away from talking to the “super cute” security guard they had found round the back of the venue but after we got moving again we walked around to the front area for our first view of the front of the stage,

First view of the stage              Surround Speakers                  Stage                                    The girls all happy!

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We spent a good half an hour wandering around watching the set up still being built, listening to the white noise being tested through the speakers and we then headed to around the left hand side banking. As we stood taking pictures, Roger and his entourage of Harry Waters, Todd & Pompey (security), Andrew Zweck (tour director) Sean Evans (creative director) and Chris Khansy (Production manager) made their way in from the rear of the wall and wandered around looking at the whole set up from every vantage point. Roger was also being followed by a TV crew and a few people from the media.

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it took a while for people to realise Roger was down on the floor, id say there was no more than 50 people walking around where we were having a look at the whole area and when people did realize they all headed down to the fence to take pictures. Roger then headed over to the grass banking at the rear of the venue, posing for a few pictures and waving to the crowds of people who had now realised it was him. The whole venue looked fantastic, it was the ideal place for a show and honestly, the best place to have actually seen the show from was as far back as one could get at the top of the grass banking!

We headed back towards the main street by the hotel and found a nice little restaurant to stop and have drinks at. Even though the show wasn't until tomorrow you could tell most of the people in the area and in fact the whole of Quebec was here to say the show tomorrow, i don't think I’ve ever seen as many Pink Floyd and Roger Waters T shirts in one area at any one time! It was a great atmosphere too, lots of the bar were playing Roger tracks, the weather was amazing and the temperature and humidity were just right.

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it was great to sit at the side of the street with a drink people watching, however i realised the three girls don't just people watch but they “people comment” “oh my look at the shoes she is wearing” “ what on earth does that dress look like” and “ OMG she should not be wearing that” were about 10% of the comments that i heard over the next 60 minutes from Beth, Kami and Wendy. AGGGHHHHH all i wanted was some “manly” conversation! i watched as a couple of Lamborghinis and a couple of Ferraris pasted by, if only there was some more testosterone male there for me to have talked to about them!!

The three of us headed back to our hotel for a couple of hours rest before again heading out to find yet another bar/restaurant. Dave K was joining us tonight for dinner and the five of us found a nice little restaurant and chatted and had fun for a few hours.

Kami, Dave, Wendy and Beth.         Dave and Wendy                                            Kami and I

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My friend Bob from Toronto was also in town for the show, he and his wife Erin and his two kids had made a family vacation of it and arrived in from Montreal yesterday. We had seen them briefly before we headed back out to dinner and also saw them as they passed by us while we were sitting at the restaurant. I couldn't believe how quick time seemed to be going, before i knew it it was time to go pick Kim up from the airport, Beth came along for the ride and this time it only took 10 minutes to get there due to their been not much traffic on the roads at all!

Quebec airport                                            Kim and the smallest dead end corridor

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Didn’t take long for Kim to come through customs and immigration, she told us how the immigration officer had told her that Roger had come through earlier on and she joked how she wanted to ask him for his customs form that he submitted,ha ha I’m guessing he came straight to the venue when he arrived which is when the three of us saw him.

Once again i drove back to the hotel, got Kim’s bags unloaded and then walked to a bar in old town Quebec where Kami, Dave and Wendy had made their way to. I discovered something tonight that has taken me several years to find out, Wendy sings!! she sang us several songs in the bar but I still don’t know what any of them were! this wasn’t due to me not knowing the songs or anything like that but due to…… well I’m gonna keep my opinions to myself and thank Wendy ever so much for the evenings entertainment, just don’t give up your day job! :)

A never seen before rehearsal of Wendy singing!

We all stayed at the bar till nearly 2am when Beth and i decided to walk back up to our hotel, Kim and Kami followed a little later.

 

4 comments:

  1. For the record, I was singing Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and in my head it sounds a fabulous rendention!

    -W

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In your head is maybe the best place for it:)

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  2. You are a sneaky little you know what with that camera of yours, by the way.... I will get you back!!!

    -W

    ReplyDelete