tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
And we've got tickets!!!!!!!!!

My coworker friend Kelly use a login from the Adam Lambert fan club and they could get tickets from today on. She got through and got floor seats! No standing outside the venue all day to get a standing place in a mosh pit like she's done for other concerts. It's all seating. I have no doubt that we'll be standing through much of it but that's ok. At least if my back does get tired, I can sit for a few minutes. I'M SO EXCITED!! I know it won't be the same as it would have with Freddie but i'll keep him in my heart and really enjoy the show!

Tickets are on sale to the public on Friday. I think the official Queen fan club probably does the same thing. It does take the best seats away from the general public, I guess, but in this case, I'll take it! What's really annoying is the scalpers that grab up as many as they can and start selling them on ebay and Kijiji minutes after they've bought them. That's what really bothers me. I remember seeing that when the Elton John tickets went on sale. He sold out in a half hour and Kijiji had scads of tickets on sale immediately and all of them going for at least double the face value. It really isn't fair. It's one thing to resell a ticket you can't use or buy a couple extra and sell them for face value to someone that couldn't get through or wants an extra. It's quite another thing to buy up all the good seats to resell at a profit and nobody seems to be able to stop this. They don't have to hang around outside the venue on the day anymore, not with so many internet places to buy.

I do have to admit, though, that i bought tickets to a hockey game through eBay so there's a bit of hypocricy on my part there. It looked as if the person had a season ticket and sold the individual game tickets for auction. I looked at his other auctions and he had the exact same seats for sale at other NHL home games (Montreal Canadiens, ironically, at the same venue as the Queen concert). I didn't pay very much over the face value, though so I don't feel too bad about that. It's a different situation, as well and I didn't feel ripped off because it wasn't an outright pay-me-double+ thing.
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
Queen is doing a short North American tour in June-July and they're playing in Montreal and Toronto! Now, ok, Freddie's dead and nobody can really fill his shoes. The last person they took on board, Paul Rogers, did not impress me though the CD they recorded of original work with him was good. I saw some early video footage of him on stage with them and he seemed to be dressed like Freddie and trying to emulate him in style when he was singing. It really put me off and although I did get the cd, i would never have considered seeing them live.

Last year, hmmm might have been the year before actually, Queen (or at least, Brian May and Roger Taylor, because John Deacon has retired from the band) did some gigs in London with Adam Lambert who is a former winner or participant of American Idol. He's made a fairly successful career for himself and is quite popular. One of my coworkers is an uber-fan and went to two of the three concerts in London. I saw some Youtube video of it and I have to say, Adam did a very good job. He did his own thing, and though did come across as flamboyant, he's apparently like that anyway and it seemed to be his own way with a nod to Freddie as well. He seems in awe of the legends that he's standing on stage with (and well he should be!) but he seems to fit in nicely.

So anyway, turns out they're doing this tour with Adam and I'm going to do my very best to snag a ticket to the Montreal show. My friend at work will be going and possibly her husband and another person at work in another department, also possibly. She's planning to drive up to Montreal so I said I'd go as well and contribute to the costs and the driving. We can share the hotel but if her husband is going, I may just get my own room as I don't really know him all that well and I'd be more comfortable on my own or sharing with the other woman even though I don't know her at all. Then on the weekend, I was talking to one of my old friends from school who was looking for a concert buddy. She has tickets to George Thorougood in May and I said i might go. I have seen him before but it's usually a good one. Queen came up and she's very interested. I think she's going to try to get her own ticket even if we don't end up sitting together. We can share a hotel room for sure, and with my coworker or the other gal if it's all girls together. I think she'll fly up. I will still go with my coworker because I promised and that was the whole idea, a road trip. My coworker was thinking of staying on in Montreal. She thought about trying to get a ticket to see Katy Perry who's playing there the next night. I don't mind KP but i don't think I want to spend the money on a concert. I thought I'd probably just come back myself on the train or fly and if my other friend is going, we could fly back together.

Anyway, it's all up in the air. The tickets go on sale Friday though early tickets can be got today I think, if you have American Express but we'll see how the week plays out. By the weekend I should know who's got what and who's going. Other plans can be made from there. I might actually get to see Queen!!! My all time favourite band!! It's definitely a bucket list band for me and even if Freddie isn't there, I think it will be a great show.

And tick off another one of those "try something new" items. I wish I had been able to see Queen back in the day but I never could, and then it was too late once Freddie died.
tvordlj: (SnapDraggin)
We are back and i have the lurgy. I've had a cough but no other symptoms for weeks but it's finally decided to whack me with the sick stick. The cough has tightened up again and i have a fever. Don't know how much because i can't find my thermometer but yes i feel lousy. Am calling the doctor tomorrow and hoping i can get in with one of them at the practice. This could put a damper on the rest of the week but if i need medication, that should sort it out. The week in Montreal was great, but the cough seemed to get worse as the week went on. I blamed dry air in the hotel room. It wasn't until Saturday night that i started feeling chilled and i figured i had a fever then. It's so frustrating and disappointing that i get sick while Graham is here!!! Thankfully i wasn't sick while we were away but even so....

So... we met up with my friends Katherine and Keith on Thursday. Had lunch at Dunn's deli for a fix of Montreal smoked meat NOM! We did a bit of shopping on St. Catherine Street from there and then back to the hotel suite for coffee. They'd left their little dog in the suite so couldn't stay away too long and indeed the doggie was itching to get out for a wee when we got back. I forget now where we had dinner that night, it's in my book but i don't have it handy. We did get to the Keg the night before and had a really nice meal. Friday, an internet aquaintance of Graham's drove over from Quebec City. In the morning, Graham and i had gone to a lovely little museum by the Montreal City Hall that was a "chateau" and set up with rooms and artifacts that traced the history of the city through to the end of the 19th century. When Karine arrived, we had a lovely afternoon. We did head to a nice restaurant recommended by the concierge but it turned out to be only open at lunch, until 2 and it was just after that. We went across the way to a pub instead and chilled out there for the afternoon and came back to the suite to have the wine she'd brought us. She promised us she wasn't going to drive back and was going to stay at her Dad's overnight.

Saturday was check out day and my cousin Brian picked us up about noon. We went to brunch with his wife Ven and their two kids, one a 6 week old infant! Spent a couple of hours at their house catching up and then Bri took us to the airport. The flight was delayed a bit because the crew was being cleared through customs from a US flight but the flight was fine and we got the rental car ok too. Because i wasn't feeling well even then, it was off to the drugstore for supplies and here i am. bleurgh.
tvordlj: (Default)
Bonjour from la Belle Province! Am writing this from the hotel business centre but it's very limited as to what sites it will let you go on. No social networking ones! Facebook will have to wait!

My first day, Monday, not three blocks from the hotel on our first venture out? Face plant onto the sidewalk!!! You know sometimes you have trees in the sides of the sidewalk? (pavements in the UK) and there is a metal "plate" type thing around it for decoration... well this one metal plate had no tree, just a shallow dip/hole and sure enough, my foot found it. Poor Graham nearly had a heart attack but when i got up, i moved all the joints and bones and things seemed to be working ok. No twisted ankles, Back seemed to hold up though it is still a bit sore but no more than you'd expect, my knuckles on one hand were scraped and bruised and my knees are a bit as well but not too bad. Sheesh!

Onward and upward. We walked around Old Montreal that first afternoon, then had a really nice meal in Chinatown just a few blocks from the hotel. Tuesday we went to a museum in the morning and then shopped along St. Catherine street in the afternoon with a Starbucks wifi stop part way. The Musee des Beaux Arts was quite good, with lots of paintings and some artifacts from various eras. We didn't go the Canadian section as we were getting footsore already but they had a small exhibit of Napoleon Empire era items that was really, really interesting. Graham was impressed to see Boney's actual hat! I loved seeing the bust of Josephine and some of the miniatures of her and of him and of course there was a portrait of him in all his Empiric glory. There was some early 19th century silver and some lovely mantle clocks that i quite liked among other things.

My poor feet are of course feeling the pain lol We walked back to the hotel and ordered room service burgers which were pretty good. I just couldn't walk any more and we had to eat before the hockey game. Which, for me at least, was a real rush! Wow, hearing the National Anthem in the Canadiens' arena! Well it wasn't the old fellow, Roger Doucette that did it all those years in the 60s and 70s and it isn't the old Montreal Forum but it did well enough! In the end, Montreal lost the game and the third period was the best, as they were more energized and trying to catch up and win while the other team, aptly named in this case, the Thrashers, were trying to stay ahead or get ahead because the score was tied a couple of times. Lots of sound and music in between plays, a nice preshow video presentation. Graham wasn't impressed as he isn't a sporty person in the least but he tried to look interested out of politeness!

We had quite high seats but actually had a pretty good view. One aside.... You may remember i lost my cameral at the pool place on Sunday.... We stopped into a shop on St. Catherine's street and i found a nearly equal replacement, one model newer and it was on sale $50 off so i bought it and it performed very well at the game. We walked all the way back to the hotel as the Bell Centre is actually on the street that the hotel is on though it was a bit of a hike. The cold air felt good after being inside. We did have to get pointed in the right direction but once on the way, it took about 20 minutes on sore aching feet.

Today we took a bus tour of the city with a few photo stops and one stop to go into Notre Dame Basilica which is really beautiful inside, all glowing blue and gold in the darkness. Behind the altar is a newer chapel that is sunny and bright and altogether a different feel. The tour was about 3 hours with the photo stops. After that, we brought food back to the hotel suite (I had leftover Chinese food from the other night) and had a relaxing afternoon. We're in the business centre now as i said and we'll have a couple of free drinks at the Manager's Reception before going out to find somewhere for dinner. We're fancying a steak and saw a Keg in Old Montreal which might do the trick.

Tomorrow, an old friend of mine is driving over from Quebec and we'll have lunch with them and visit the Biodome and Olympic tower i think. Friday an internet friend of Graham's is going to make the trek over. I think we might see if they will like to go to the planetarium because that's something we did want to do. I got to chat to my aunt on the phone last night and she'll be leaving on Thursday but i will call my cousin tonight and we'll arrange getting together on Saturday before we fly home in the evening. We've got to try not to do so much in one day as our feet and legs get tired out, thus the easier day today. I like the city though Graham doesn't see the Wow factor. I guess, though, when you compare it to Brussels or Paris, which did have a Wow factor, it's not going to measure up in that way . Anyway, must get off and check some more emails. t'ra for now.

Tickets!

Oct. 22nd, 2009 06:25 pm
tvordlj: (Default)
I finally received my tickets for the NHL game in Montreal. I may not have actually told this story for some reason. So yes. We're going to Montreal and back in the olde days i used to watch hockey. Montreal Canadiens were My Team. I got away from it over the years so i don't follow it much at all anymore other than watching the occasional final playoff game. They're still My Team even though i have no idea who the players even are anymore. That doesn't matter, i was going to be in Montreal so it would have been very cool to go see a game if i could get tickets. I ran it by [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee who isn't a sports fan at all. He was willing to go even so, though i have been warned that i owe him one ;) Fair dues. So i couldn't get through early enough on the day the tickets went on sale and when i finally did get through, sold out. Oh well.

But a couple of weeks ago i thought i'd have a look on eBay just to see what was out there. That's where the scalpers all resell the tickets these days. I hate to encourage that behaviour but i was curious. Hmmm there were two tickets in the general section i had been going to purchase and they weren't too expensive yet. I decided to set my maximum bid to just a little over what i would have paid online direct and lo, and behold, my bid, at about half my maximum, was the high bid! W00t!
But wait.... the afternoon that the bid was closing i get an "outbid" notice. Ah well.
But wait again.... when i got home, there was a notice that i did win after all, that the higher bid was retracted. Hmmm...... suspicious, sez me. A little game to bump up the price to whatever the max bid is, i figure. I did check out the seller, and he's selling tickets for a large number of games, all the same two seats so it's clear he's got a season ticket for two seats and resells them. Well, i didn't pay more than i wanted to so i guess that's not so bad. The guy emailed me for instructions on whether i wanted to pick them up in Montreal or have them sent. I preferred to have them sent but it took him over a week to send them. It seems like he was selling them for someone else because the name on the envelope was someone else's name. It all sounds a bit dodgey as far as the reselling stuff goes but the seller has all good ratings and i have the tickets now and they seem pretty authentic so i'm taking the chance. It also tu rns out that the section i wanted is a bit higher up in the rink than i thought it would be. Not quite nosebleed seats but in the topmost sections. They do seem to be hovering over center ice though so at least we aren't stuck back up in a corner. The view should be good. and the crowd is always a big buzz, from what i've heard. Go Habs!

Wi-iFied

Oct. 1st, 2009 08:07 am
tvordlj: (Geek)
There's more to this WiFi than meets the eye, doncha know.  The iPod would pick up what it thought were networks but nothing would work. However, i have a Starbucks card and found out i could register it and get 2 hours of WiFi at Starbucks' hotspots every day as long as i used the card at Starbucks at least once a month. Fair play. I registered and when i came in this morning, i went to the Starbucks and voila i'm in! So i guess it just depends on where you are and if you have a password to the network. Some networks must be "free" somewhere, and i know people don't always secure their home connections. I wouldn't presume to use one of those if the iPod found it but i'm just sayin. I know hotels that offer it still must give you a password to get in and that's fine, too. At least i was able to get my gmail to work and that's really the only one i need as it will pick up my home email as well. The Yahoo account still doesn't recognize my password but i'm not as bothered. The iTunes software synced my Yahoo contact book to the pod and i got rid of the contacts i won't use or need and added phone numbers and emails to the ones i might use, including LJ so i can update LJ from the road if i get the chance. Facebook lets me text a status change but the email function is spotty at best. I set up my home weather location, and i tested out the Google maps function which shows the satelite and the map and you can "pin" specific addresses which is cool for noting where a hotel is.  I think i'm good to go now.

Speaking of hotels, i changed the one we were going to use in Montreal. I belong to Travelzoo which emails you deals every week and some hotels were featured on a three day special. One in Montreal was about half the price of the one i had booked but when i was reading up on it, there were some things about it that i wasn't as keen on, plus that particularly cheap rate was not for a suite, so the room i did book after researching only ended up being a little cheaper for the sort of room i wanted but still, it's a bit of a savings. We are going to try a suite hotel. Not so we can do proper cooking but it's nice to have a fridge, microwave to heat up stuff and maybe do breakfasts or snacks. It's also nice to have the fridge to keep milk for tea rather than the UFT fake stuff. The original hotel had a more equipped kitchen i think. This one, they will bring up dishes and stuff if you ask which is fine. They also do housekeeping daily which one of the others that i had considered did not. That was a long term stay suite place and they only do the housekeeping once a week though you can request new towels at the front desk if you want them in the mean time. I think i'd like having the daily service if i'm in a hotel so that's one of the reasons i picked this new one.

This one, an Embassy Suites by Hilton has a full cooked breakfast with the room which you can take back to your room if you want, and they give you two free drinks each at a manager's reception in the bar every night. Those things alone are worth close to 30 dollars per person if you take advantage of the drinks as well as brekkie, going by standard hotel prices. The location is really good too, right down by Old Montreal, around the block from Notre Dame basilica and a block from a couple of Metro stations and Boulevard St. Laurent, the main drag through the city. Another bonus is i should get Aeroplan points for the stay as well which i wouldn't have got at the other place. Most chains belong to the Aeroplan program but the other hotel was an independent one.

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