A Travellerspoint blog

And so it ends, for now

rain 15 °C

It is the final day of Hanson Day weekend 2013. The hipster coffee shop, Chimera, across from 3CG has a breakfast menu, so I had a breakfast taco there. Who new breakfast tacos where a thing? You occasionally see one of the guys around town somewhere. You don't really notice them though, you notice the crowd of fans that swarm them.



After breakfast, I team up with Nicole, the Texas girl with the car, and head to Ida Red, a boutique in another part of the city. We go in and its clear that they are taking part of Hanson Day weekend too. They have Underneath (album 3) on and several fan merch items for sale. They carry mostly nick nacks from what look like local artists and artisans. Clothes, jewellery, books, and souvenirs. I never really thought of Tulsa as a tourist destination, but here I am, so I guess it really does have a market. I don't see anything for me though.

Nicole and I head back downtown and wander around. Also this weekend is Mayfest, an arts and crafts festival. I see this bottle with flowers in it/candle or lantern thing for my mom, mother's day is coming up. Here's hoping it will survive the trip back. It has what I'm assuming is oil inside, so I'll have to check it.

The big event today is the concert in the evening. The concert is to be recorded for the new fanclub EP. Some of their best work is on fanclub EPs, which is bit of a shame because the general public can't access it.

I put everything but my hotel room key in my purse and lock it on another friends car. Once again, they don't want to take any chances of someone recording, so all bags and purses need to be checked. Nicole and I find seats on these bleacher things. Cain's Ballroom, where the concert is being held, has greater roots in country music. So being the city slicker that I am, I feel a bit of a fish out water in this particular venue. The decor paying homage to various country artists, fringe shirts with cowboys hats and all.

The music is great, can't wait to get the EP in the mail. Its always great to geek-out like this, and feel like a 14 year old again. Except you get to do it without chronic acne and headgear. What amazes me whenever I come to Tulsa is how relaxed I really am with Hanson. Most people think I'm nuts, and I don't blame them. But in this crowd, I am stone cold normal. There are people that have actually moved here to see them more. They know what time of the day they go to starbucks most often, they know what bars they go to. Seeing them once or twice a year is plenty for me!

I head back to the hotel for an early flight home in the morning.

Until next time world...


Posted by AshleyC 13:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Christmas continued...

rain 15 °C

So I'm still in drizzly Tulsa, Oklahoma on day 2 of Hanson Day. I go down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. I only eat half, I'd like to be able to still fit in my jeans when I leave lol.

First order of business is the listening party, where we hear all of the songs of the new album. The listening party takes place in a small club across the street from 3CG (most of the activities take place in this area, aka The Brady Arts District, more about this later). I walk in and I have to check my purse at the door, can't have any secret recordings here! Seats are set up theatre style with several instruments set up on the stage. I start to think that one, or all of them will pop up on stage and start speaking or something. My theory is debunked when one of the songs starts play on the PA. I hear the whole album start to finish. One thing about Hanson, they don't bore. This album is very different from their last few albums. Its almost a more grown up This Time Around (their second major album after Middle of Nowhere, they were aged 14,17, and 19 at the time of its release). Alot of rock influences, with guest vocals from Michael Fitzpatrick (from Fitz and the Tantrums) on one song. I can see why its titled "Anthem".

I walk out of the club and its pouring even harder then before. I quickly realize that the strapless summer dress I was hoping to wear to show of my new back tattoo will not be worn at all :(. I grab my mui expensive, but sturdy umbrella and head to a hipstery coffee shop a few doors over until my next event, the walk.

As mentioned above, many of the festivities take place in a neighbourhood in downtown Tulsa referred to the Brady Arts District. While this district had been historically relevant to the city since it's incorporation in the late 1890s, its been pretty stark up until recently. This is my third time to Tulsa and on my previous trips, there barely anything around. Just several mostly small, vacant store fronts and such. But there is definitely more now; bars, museums, shops, etc. It had gone through a gentrification period over the last year. It was originally named after W Tate Brady, a business owner and civic leader that was heavily involved with the incorporation of the city way, way back. It was later discovered that this particular Brady, at some point, was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Learning the disturbing fact, city council voted to re-honer the district after Matthew Brady, a New York civil war photographer with no ties to Tulsa. Easier then renaming the place I guess.

After warming myself up and chatting with other Fansons (yes, you read that right), from around the globe (I'm always disappointed when I find out that I haven't travelled the farthest to see them.) I stumble upon girls from dinner and we head to the walk. The walk is a one mile walk that they do as part of their charity. Everyone that signs up for the walk has $1 donated in their name to the of the causes they're involved in for developing countries, mainly Africa. Was a big part of their 4th album, titled The Walk (wonder where they got that name?).





Credit for these photos goes to Jennifer Marie, as some of mine have mysteriously vanished

It all started when one of their friends developed some sort of technology to lessen the spread of HIV from nursing mothers to infants, and they wanted to be involved. Taylor didn't explain it too well, so don't expect me to lol. The guys starts out talking about they current charitable projects and causes their involved in. The causes involve education, clothing and supplies donation, medical efforts, infrastructure etc. Another major cause was a partnership with Tom's shoes. They sell shoes at their shows and a pair is donated overseas somewhere. Along with a 'shoe drop' in Soweto that they arranged when they were recording the album with a local choir. Anyhoo, after they babble a bit more, the walk continues around the area. I try to look for people I know and say hi, I know a few people from Chicago, NYC, even a few from Tulsa from when I crashed on someone's couch during the music video shoot.

The walk concludes in Guthrie Green, a new park to go along with the new neighbourhood. I chat with a few other people, mostly other women, surprise surprise. I keep telling my guy friends that Hanson events are a great place to pick up women. Throngs of randy ladies and almost no competition. If you can name one song aside from mmmbop, she'll be putty in your hands. If you somewhat resemble one of them (they've cut their hair since the early 2000s), she'll do you regardless with great enthusiasm. So long as you don't care that you're the furthest thing from her mind.

The Walk at Guthrie Green

The Walk at Guthrie Green

Credit for this photo goes to Maria Warren, I have one just like it, somewhere

Tuckered out from all of the commotion, I head back to my hotel for a break. Girl, Interrupted is on.

After a dinner at a much better tex-mex restaurant. I try to track down a friend of mine from NYC who I know is around. Her name is either/or Kimberly or Ana, not sure which. Next on the agenda is the documentary screening at Circle Cinema. In the lineup to get my wristband, I met a girl from Austin. We strike up a convo and noticing that I do not have a car, she says she'd gladly give me a ride while in town. I take her up on the offer to go to the movie theatre since it is far out of the area. We settle in and watch the doc. We are surprised to see that they almost broke up in the process of making this album. I immediately imagined Tulsa in an apocalyptic state, with fans from far and wide, storming the streets in protest.

The doc ends and we head back downtown.

Peace out homies.


Posted by AshleyC 11:35 Archived in USA Comments (0)

This is my Christmas

rain 10 °C

Many people don't care for Christmas, present company included. The music, the movies, the increased high caloric foods that you have to eat because its apparently rude not to. And families are pretty much the sole reason why I avoid shopping malls. However, there is one magical day that I can attest is 'My Christmas'. That day, is Hanson Day.

Most Hanson Days in the past have had little celebration. As of recently, I usually slip one of my Hanson tank tops under my work clothes and share a funny tidbit about my favourite band on Facebook. Hanson themselves started hosting celebrations a few years ago in their hometown of Tulsa,OK, but they tend to fall on Cash, my nephew's birthday. So I stay grounded. However, this year, they decide to have it a week before the little man turns the big 3.0, so I jump at it and book my flights.

I land in Tulsa mid afternoon on Friday. I have a few hours before the fan club dinner. So I unpack, and organize my possessions in the order of which I will need them throughout the weekend. While maintaining order can be extremely difficult on the road, it gives me a sense of control when you're in a position of relative chaos. For instance, I started to feel a cold coming on before leaving for the weekend. A novice would just toss a bottle of cough syrup in their bag without a second thought. Not I, thankfully. My bottle of Nyquil broke in a ziplock bag.

This weekend is a special weekend, even in Hanson circles. This year, they are releasing their sixth, yes, SIXTH, studio album, Anthem. And they are using this weekend to promote to us first.


I'm very excited for this. While they've stayed in our conciousness since their last album, Shout It Out (for which I made a cameo appearance in the Thinkin' Bout Somethin' music video>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmG0DqhfDbY), released in 2010 through public and fanclub EPs, its great to get a whole new album.

I am NOT, however, very excited for the weather. Tulsa is in the midwest, so it has a fairly mild climate. I just wish its climate was better then Toronto's when I'm here. When I came down to shoot the Thinkin' Bout Somethin' (I take issue with multiple 'in in replace of ing), it was dry, but cold. Colder then that weekend in Toronto. This weekend, it is not only cold, but really rainy.

I stand in line outside 3CG to get my packet, so a wristband and tickets to all of the events I'm heading to. I strike up a convo with a fan from Texas. She seems pretty normal, not at all a bible thumping nutcase. She tells me she lives in Austin, so that explains it. I get my envelope and strap on the wristband.

The weekend starts with a fanclub dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant near the 3CG offices (their record label), with Hanson music (duh) in the background and a pre-recorded Isaac introducing some of the songs and discussing the recording/writing/production process for many of them. It is at the dinner that I meet a gaggle of other fans and we immediately decide to traipse around Tulsa together.

Hanson Day wristband

Hanson Day wristband

Fanclub Dinner

Fanclub Dinner

The evening is fairly low key, the festivities don't really kick off until Saturday. With listening parties, walks (with the band for their charity), visits to the pop up store, and screening of their documentary of the process behind the new album, the day is pretty packed.

AC signing off!

Posted by AshleyC 10:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Making my mark... on myself.

It has been my goal for the last few years to go to 100 countries by the time I'm 50. I recently scratched off country in August. One thing that I've been procrastinating about doing is getting a world map tattoo on my back and check off each country as I go. I came up with the idea when I was in New Zealand back in 2007. I always wanted to get it, but like other things in life, life gets in the way. Then all of a sudden, Misty, a friend of mine from highschool opens her own tattoo shop. So I thought it was perfect to get the tattoo I want, and support a friend's business. It took four sessions and I thought I was going to break my own teeth grinding in pain, but it came out perfect.


That tattoo shop is Punk Ass Piercings Ink. in Scarborough, Ontario.

Posted by AshleyC 17:48 Archived in Canada Tagged tattoo Comments (0)

One night in London

sunny 30 °C

Arriving at London's Stansted Airport exhausted, I go to the bus ticket counter. If I take a bus, I won't get to my hotel near Heathrow until 3am. Which only give me a few hours to sleep before my 9am flight. I just can't wait that long. I go to the ATM and order a taxi. The taxi costs ALOT, but I'll loose my mind if I don't get any sleep soon. And I justify it again that since eastern europe is so cheep, the over all expenses aren't that high. I get into the cab and its about an hour to get to the hotel by Heathrow.

I get to the small, mid-range hotel sweaty, exhausted and ready for another shower and bed. How much water have I gone through on this trip?

A few hours later, I wake up to the alarm that I've set. To early for the good breakfast that the hotel offers, I decide to skip it and eat at the airport. After a bagel and coffee, I board my flight to Detroit. If there is one thing that I'm a stickler for, its always getting the aisle seat. Especially for long flights.

After a long flight with only a few crying babies, I land in Detroit and connect to Buffalo.

The bus ride to Buffalo was longer this time and we had to wait even longer at the boarder for someone to get past customs. Is the savings really worth all of this waiting? I get off near my work and walk the 5 blocks to my house.

Wow, 50? I can't believe I've made it this far. I've travelled more in the last 6 years then many people do in their entire lives. And I still have a long way to go. Where will I end up next time?


Posted by AshleyC 07:30 Archived in England Comments (0)

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