Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A movie of Coachella

I made this movie of my AWESOME coachella weekend :D

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Its hard to write about this weekend without incriminating myself. Please note as this is public all extra curricular activities have been cut. Well except for weed.

If you don't know what Coachella is then you probably don't understand it like I didn't. Its a huge music festival with some amazing indie & big named bands however its main pull seems to be the crowd, the drugs and the spirit. The way I ended up at this festival has been spoken about before, whilst working in Ontario I met a couple of guys in a parking lot at an underworld concert. One thing led to another and my sister and I drove down the entire west coast of the USA for a five day epic party weekend. I still was unaware of what I was getting into.

We arrived around 9pm Thursday April 14th night after driving straight from Las Vegas to find we were one of the only few people there. I saw my parking lot mates Cam & Chad and was so happy to see them. Quality people. The drinking had already begun but a shower was most on my mind since the drive from Las Vegas had been long and sticky, and we had been distracted by some outlet malls on the way. The house we were staying in was amazing it was a huge mansion in this gated community in Palm Springs. Heather and I were given our own room with private en-suite and queen bed. Quite a step up from some of the places we had been sleeping the last few weeks. There was a beautiful swimming pool with hot tub outside and a great deck area. The Kitchen was huge and fully stocked with beer, liquor, food everything you could need for an amazing weekend. There was also a cinema room in the back and an extra little guest house promptly dubbed the casino room. So the partying begun people slowly trickled in and I began to meet the Coachella family. Heather and I took it pretty easy, we had partied till 6am in Vegas and only had about 2 hours sleep each. I was sticking to the beer. There was music and lights in every room it was hard to choose where to set up ship. So around 2am in the master king bedroom Cam and Chad were having a little downtime chatting and I joined them for a few moments only to promptly pass out on the bed. I woke up at 9am the first day of the festival to find Chad stretched out asleep beside me and wondering how I managed to fall asleep in all the chaos.

Tiffany & Cam were still awake having not slept all night. Also I believe the two Andrews were also still up though they crashed shortly after. So to set the mood I whipped up a batch of my amazing pancakes and then scrambled eggs & bacon. The day began slowly, Big Matt & Maegan another two partiers showed up with a small dog. A few beers and Heather got stuck into the Crown Royal and cokes and we ended up hitting the festival about 4pm I think. The line was insane, Andrew Brown hadn't bought a ticket and Coachella was completely sold out there were scalpers everywhere selling tickets for 1500 and people with need a ticket written all over them. Matt(Phil) walked around with him for an hour trying to help him find a ticket. In the end he lucked out by getting a scalped one for $450 how he pulled that who knows. We were in the line sweating like mad for about an hour. A girl actually fainted in front of us as well. When Heather and I got into the festival she made a beeline for the toilets since she had been drinking all day. Straight away we lost everyone and I took her over to watch the first band I wanted to see She & Him (Zooey Deschanels band) We chilled out for a bit next to the speakers. A strange kid started talking to me but I was yet to feel the Coachella spirit and couldn't think of much response.

Heather went off to try and get into the Beer garden and ran into Phil whilst I walked aimlessly around trying to find anyone. Finally I message Phil and we ended up together watching Passion Pit which was one of my favourite bands of the weekend. Their performance and energy really surprised me! After Passion Pit we headed over to Them Crooked Vultures and found Rob jamming along in the crowd so he joined us. Them Crooked Vultures were also amazing a bunch of legends right there. We shared a joint and danced hard. Phil & Rob left us halfway Heather and I listened to most of it before walking over to the other stage for Vampire Weekend. Heather was meeting a friend and I was freezing my jacket being with Chad who I couldn't find. So I pushed myself into the vampire crowd to warm up and that's when I lost Heather. Apparently she found her friend and they danced to Jay Z together. After Vampire Weekend I went to Heathers and Mine meeting spot but couldn't find her through all the people so I went to the Sahara where Benny Benassi was finished up then on came Deadmau5 found a spot up the back near a speaker and danced. Phil & Rob discovered me there and joined for a bit before Rob found the others who were basically passed out on the grass. Not enough sleep and over partying. I was still completely sober at this point. I danced hard for the end of the night with Phil and Cam joined in a bit. Heading home however I had to find Heather and was getting tired and cranky. Phil stuck with me but I was not the most pleasant person to be around. We found Heather and then couldn't find the car. It took us an hour to find the car and when we got there Cam and Andrew B who had the keys couldn't find the car either so we hung around till 2am when the festival finished at 1am.

Getting back at 2:30 everyone was tired from no sleep and one by one everyone passed out. Cam hung out with me on the couch and we talked, Chad brought out this amazing party toy which made you look like the universe was above your head complete with constellations and shooting stars moving around. I just lay back and talked Cam fell asleep on one end and then Chad passed out by my head and eventually I fell asleep myself.

Saturday people seemed in better spirits because they had actually got some sleep this time. The line-up for this day wasn't as interesting to me and I don't think we got into the venue till about 6pm. Basically not as interesting but I spent most the day in the Sahara Tent. Bassnecter and Kaskade. Heather then wanted to head to MGMT and was supposed to meet her friend but we left a little late and there were to many people we couldn't get through the crowd. So Heather was in a bit of a bad mood and we went back to the tent to see David Guetta (who was killing it) and find everyone but they had gone to MGMT. I messaged Chad and managed to find them with the help of Big Matt and his glow sticks Hard to miss that guy in the crowd. We hung out with everyone for MGMT and then Muse who were also awesome. The happy vibe was hitting me a bit more. After Muse everyone met up for Tiesto and we danced hard for the end of the night. Once again we lost the car and didn't get out until 2am again. When we got back everyone partied a bit more I had a lot of alcohol. We sat around talking. Heather and I watched the sunrise over the golf course. Then I went to bed and slept for about four hours.


I went shopping with Big Matt & Maegan and they took us to Kosmos which is this huge store where everything is HUGE. Crazy we bought like 20 rolls of toilet paper because that was the smallest you could get.

Sunday was a big music day for me and it got kind of destroyed by a few things. Funniest moment however I was riding in Stephanie & Caroline's mustang convertible following Chad and the others in the big black van. Was feeling good. The top was down and the Californian sun was shining. Chad however had managed to leave the boot opened. So I'm yelling at them Heather is in the front seat on no sleep grinning away and I'm like THE BOOT IS OPEN apparently she heard me and she was saying hey guys Amanda is saying something I think the boot was open. But no one was listening to her and being all Canadians & Americans didn't even know what a boot was. So Chad takes our yelling as a sign of a drag race and screams off from the lights and we see a backpack go flying out the back. So we figure we have to turn around and grab it and then we see Chad stop up the road and Cam jump out to shut the boot. We tell them about the backpack and all over us turn around to see a guy stopped and picked it up about to put it in his car and we yell at him Cam runs over and grabs it and then off to the venue.

So I had found a phone in the Sahara the day before and it was in my pocket meaning I left my own phone in the car by accident. I was pretty annoyed as I was supposed to meet a friend I went searching for the car for an hour and couldn't find it. I missed spoon because of it. Giving up I came back to listen to Pavement who I wasn't that impressed with it could have been because I was annoyed I couldn't find my phone though... I found everyone during orbital and they were awesome which is weird because I've heard their music and found it a little to trancy and repetitive but I really enjoyed the live set. After orbital we danced to Plastikman a bit the guys were right into him, some old school Canadian DJ He was ok but not really my style. The closing act of the night was Gorillaz. We all headed over to Gorillaz who were so fucking good live except their last closing song was the worst song ever and it was the end of Coachella.. Heather had passed out on the ground with Andrew B cuddling her since they had had no sleep. Big Matt led us back to the car waving his glow sticks and we found it so quick perhaps the quickest yet and were home by 1am. A few people passed out and I tried to keep partying but fell asleep on the couch at 5am.. didn't even see the sunrise.

Monday, the last day. Well I was up then I was passed out again on the couch for a few hours I spent most my day making a video of the weekend on my computer. It was finished about 11 and I set it up on DVD to play in the cinema room everyone came round to check it out and it warranted a huge round of applause which made me happy. Andrew B had gotten some DVDs and I burnt everyone a copy. My tyre on my car was flat and I tried to change it but turns out I have a wheel lock which I don't have a key for.. and we had to get up at 8am to drive to LA to get our yellow fever shots. Cam and Phil were awesome and helped me pump it up with a bike pump which seemed to work. I packed most my stuff at 4am then passed out about 5am. Only to wake up 2 hours late I had to get Heather out of bed. And that was the end of Coachella.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

San Fran & San Jose

So San Jose was the next stop with a side trip to San Francisco. I was following my GPS and unfortunately there were road works.. so making a detour I got lost and ended up down this really bad road which added about 2 hours and a lot of annoyance to my trip. We got to San Fran in the afternoon and stopped by the pier tourist trap. We took a boat cruise around the harbour to check out Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge. After lunch and a little bit of souvenir shopping we took a drive up to Lombard road which was the worlds most crooked road and took some videos & pictures. Then I had to stop by the house from the TV show Full House. (if you haven't heard of it then don't bother) We found out sometime around now that both my brake lights weren't working... We were staying in San Jose at my friend Karen's place who I had known since I was pretty young in Darwin she had married an American and moved to California. They cooked us dinner and we chatted about random stuff before crashing out around 11pm.

The next day we got up early had Weetbix for breakfast and then headed out to Karen's workplace her Zoo. She showed us around a bit introducing us to a few of the animals and then we said our goodbyes. We stopped by the Australia store and picked up a ton of Tim-Tams and some burger rings for the road. I am seriously craving Australian food more then ever. We went to the Google head office just because. Actually it was around Google I was pulled over and a cop asked me if I was aware my brake lights were out. Of course I lied and said no and asked is there somewhere nearby I can get this fixed. He asked us how we were funding our road trip HAHA well you could smell a whole lot of weed coming out of our car which didn't help... He let us go anyway with a warning and we got on the road to Las Vegas. We made it to Las Vegas pretty late and I had a hard time making it to our hotel the directions were really unclear. We were staying at Circus Circus. I accidently went up the wrong way on a road and had to turn around only to hit a curb. Poor Jeepy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eureka, California

Heather came and picked me up in the morning the car was all packed which was a nice surprise. We were driving the Oregon coastline and stopping for the night in Eureka, CA. We misinterpreted the time however the coast was gorgeous but the drive took us over 10 hours and we didn’t arrive to Eureka till 11pm.

So we were couch surfing again. The guy was at a party one of his friends birthdays. It seems kind of weird that we would be crashing it but everyone seemed pretty laid back and there was so much weed floating around – welcome to California! Since we had been driving all day we ended up passing out on the couches before our host finally took us home around 3am. The next day we woke up bright and early (11am haha) and I made pancakes for everyone. There was another couchsurfer Rand from Washington there and he put maple syrup and peanut butter on his... I had a taste and was pretty unimpressed. Around 1pm we decided to actually do something and headed up to Fern Valley about a 40 minute drive in Redwoods National park. It was a bit of a miserable day constantly drizzling rain. We started the hike and missed the Fern Valley turn off so ended up walking along the coast and found this cool waterfall which I recognised from being on another hike about 1km off track. There was another hiking coming down from where we were heading and he said it was all flooded and pointless to keep going so we turned around. We found the Fern Canyon sign apparently we had somehow walked right around it..there was no real track but you just walk through a canyon and we were climbing over trees and crossing rivers. Turned out Heathers shoes weren't waterproof Rand gave her a few piggyback rides.

By the time we finished the hike we were soaking wet and it was getting late. We headed out of park and made it to the coast just in time to watch the sunset which turned out to be pretty amazing. I think we got back to the house about 9pm and Rand cooked us Poutine.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Portland, Oregon

Life on the road again...

There was something really different about leaving Banff this time, the friendships I made seemed stronger, the place seemed a lot more like home. It really struck me how being single and out there opened up my eyes to a whole new world in Banff. I noticed that in my travels since the break-up life just seemed different and in a good way.

So we drove out from Banff about 8am and basically just went straight to Portland, Oregon. Our border crossing was smooth, I have it down pat. Someone told me when they are trained really well to spotting signs of distress, suspicious behaviour and whenever I cross the border im always super nervous. So this time I played it cool and just got pushed through the line. The only real issue was that I mentioned about giving my car to Bianca and the customs guy said it had to be imported then I said ok Ill get my mate to pick it up and he was like .. how can I trust you? Do you have an honest face? Maybe if he knew me...
Portland the city I didn’t really see much of since I was out snowboarding both days. The snowboarding was amazing though. Day 1 Thursday the 8th was over 10inches and snowing all day. I honestly would ski a fresh line and then it would fill in on my way back up so I could ski it again! I went to Mt Hood Meadows which was pretty quiet but visibility was poor and the wind really strong. Still I had an epic day and met a really cool guy from Hawaii who showed me around the mountain a little.
That night we went out for drinks to meet up with a bunch of csers. I was in bed early however, fighting the powder and anticipation of fighting more powder the next day weighed heavily on me.

So Friday I got up and picked up Mike who was from around the area, he was into computer animation and had just got back from a round the world trip. He took me to Timberline another ski resort right on top of Mt Hood. The lodge was heritage listed and had been used in the movie adaptation of the Shining. We had a great day but was quickly exhausted because of my day before and we went through the trees a little only to lose my balance in waist deep powder. Man that was a fucking workout. After boarding I had a nap then he took me out to Fire and Mountain for the best wings in Portland before we got drunk again and danced till 2am and I passed out on his couch.