Travelling for the love of music

Some of the best trips I have made are to go and see a concert or attend a music festival.  And I would be so bold as to say many of you would agree!

Music is a passion for people the world over, and with flying times and costs more accessible for many, if you hear about one of your favourite bands or artists coming to a town near you, the chances are that if you were able to go, you would be booking tickets quicker than the time it takes Dave Grohl to drop the F-bomb in a Foo Fighters concert!

So, with that in mind, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and share the best for you and I!

The best concert I have been to bar none was The Foo Fighters, at Vector Arena in Auckland in 2008.  Obviously this is because they are hands down, my favourite band, but what totally tipped the scales was that my brother Nathan won a competition to meet the band backstage before the concert.  I was pre-warned by friends not to build them up too much as I could be let down but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  All 4 band members were extremely friendly and generous with their time and I love them all the more for it.  Actually, I went to their concert on both nights they were playing in Auckland…and yes, I am travelling up to Auckland next week to see them again and Tenacious D who are opening for them at Western Springs arena. Super excited about it too!  My all time music wish would be to see them play at Madison Square Gardens in New York, without a doubt I will add that to my bucket list!

Nath and Me with the mighty Foos

Some more of my concert favourites:

– U2 at Twickenham Stadium

– Counting Crows at Wembley Arena

– Scribe and P-Money at The Forum, Kentish Town

– AC/DC at the ‘Cake Tin’ TSB Arena Wellington

– Elton John in Glasgow, Scotland

– Stevie Wonder, Christchurch

– Dixie Chicks at Royal Albert Hall, London

As you can see, I am a lover of ALL music, from different genre, and music of all generations.  I would have loved to have seen Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Beatles and Elvis!

My wish list as of today is:

1) Foo Fighters – anywhere in the USA

2) Bruce Springsteen

3) Eminem

4) Florence and the Machine

5) The Killers – I had tickets to their Christchurch concert but it was cancelled  : (

6) Rihanna

and it could go on and on… However, what I am more interested in is your concert experiences! Please take the time to leave a comment sharing some of the best trips you have made for a concert and why it stood out for you. Thank you so much – I love hearing from other people!

 

Blown away in windy Wellington!

Wellington, our capital, that which, in my opinion was once dreary and dull, is now a humming, thriving city worthy of competing with the best of them worldwide.

I have the opportunity to travel to Wellington regularly for work, but alas never get enough time to truly explore and indulge in the delights of the city. That is my excuse for returning as often as possible on personal trips anyway! So of those of you who have not had the pleasure of spending time here, let me tell you why it’s a must.

Courtney Place – this is where the action is, bars, cares and restaurants that accommodate every taste and preference possible. Whether you want a brunch with your Mum or an all night bar hopping bender with your old uni mates, it is the place to have a good time. My pick for an amazing night out – cocktails at The Library and dinner at Chow. Chow have 2 restaurants in Wellington so if you can’t make it to Courtney Pl try for their other location by Lambton Quay.

Te Papa and Parliment: The Beehive – our country’s best museum and our Government buildings are an informative and enjoyable experience that will make you feel like you have learned something while having fun. A great way to trick the kids into an educational trip!

The Waterfront boardwalk – the best city walk in NZ that I know of, Wellys has done a fantastic job of creating a boardwalk that stretches the length of the waterfront and ca get you from one end of town to the other, soaking in all the scenes in between. When I was in town for an AC/DC concert a few years ago (please don’t judge me), we walked the boardwalk on a roasting hot day, stopping at several great pubs and bars along the way, watching kids diving into the brilliant blue water to cool off. One of my all time favorite memories of Wellington to date.

‘The Cake Tin’ – is the beloved nickname for the huge stadium based in the city. It is the home to local sports teams like the Wellington Hurricanes Super 15 rugby team, the Wellington provincial rugby team, the Wellington Phoenix soccer team and of course, an amazing venue for top concerts and events…like AC/DC! It has a great atmosphere and I had an awesome time there supporting my team, the Canterbury Crusaders in their triumph over the Hurricanes… Sorry I couldn’t resist!

So, don’t let the warnings of wild winds put you off, visit Wellington, it has something for everyone. My next step is to start exploring some of the local haunts, generally unknown to newbies in the city. So come on Wellingtonians, share with us your favorite places or recommendations and grow the love of Wellys even more!

Me in my other blogging life

Just a quick link out to some of my blog posts written specifically for my trip to Peru to attend WIPCE (World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education).  It was the trip of a lifetime, hope you enjoy reading about my journey!

 

http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2011/11/thank-you-wipce-peru-a-review-of-wipce-2011-peru.html

Blog post on the CORE Education blog

 

http://www.vln.school.nz/pg/blog/owner/Tamara.bell1

WIPCE Blog on the Virtual Learning Network

 

Luana and I at Machu Picchu

My sister Luana and I at Machu Picchu

Ya gotta love Melbourne!

Yes I travelled to Melbourne the week of the Melbourne Cup, but no I didn’t go to the race!  This last weekend I was in Melbs to celebrate my sister turning 30!  My sister has happily lived in Melbourne for several years now and invited her friends and family over to sample its delights.  Off the top of my head, around 20 or so flew over from all parts of New Zealand, and we enjoyed every second of it!

 

Sport, culture, shopping, food-Melbourne has it all AND it is easy to get to it!  The public transport in Melbourne is fantastic, starting with the Skybus that takes you directly from the airport to the city for $16 ow.   In the city you can choose from buses, trains and trams, that will get you anywhere you want to go.  I also loved being able to walk places as Melbourne is famous for its laneway culture (lively shopping lanes), wide boardwalks and leafy walks through parks or alongside rivers.  My walking highlight was strolling back from an amazing buffet dinner at the Kitchen Workshop (Crown Casino) back to my sisters house in Richmond.  We followed the Yarra river passing several top event centres: AAMI Park -where my fav band, the Foo Fighters will be playing next month, Etihad Stadium – an AFL haven and of course the world famous MCG – Melbourne Cricket Ground.

 

But lets not forget the reason we came to Melbourne in the first place…to shop! Sorry sis, I do mean for your party, and boy what a party!  Without going into too many of the somewhat fuzzy memories, what I can say is that we had the perfect venue.  My sister had hired the private function room at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda.  The function room is upstairs with a fabulous balcony looking out to the ocean and a ‘must visit’ while in Melbourne, great food, live bands and cold beers!   The beach below was still crowded after a 30 deg plus day when we arrived, just in time to grab a glass of bubbly and watch the sunset. The perfect end to a busy day, or should I say, a great start to a rocking night!

Sisters and Aunties enjoying our first glass of bubbles on the balcony of The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda

 

( And for those of you who were disappointed I didn’t talk enough about shopping hotspots…head to Chapel St in Prahan and/or Bridge Road in Richmond-full of fab stores and great bargains! )

 

 

Nau mai, haere mai-I need your travel advice!

 

I am beginning to get withdrawals.  

It’s true, I am addicted to travelling and without a trip to plan, I feel lost.  Not that working full time, with 2 young children doesn’t keep me busy, but this is what I love and I ALWAYS have a trip planned.

Problem is, my husband and I are off to Melbourne (watch this space for the next post) for my sister’s 30th in 2 weeks time but after that…the deep dark black hole of traveless time beckons.

That’s where you step in. What I want to know is where should we go next? The only catch is, this trip is to be a family trip, kids are coming along too! They were unable to come to Melbourne as its only for 2 nights and its a 30th party…I’m sure there is no need to explain further! I want the next trip to be for all 4 of us, so here’s the brief:

  • Somewhere warm and sunny
  • Not going to break the bank
  • Kid friendly (2 girls, ages 2.5yrs and 1yr)
  • Most likely to take the trip early to mid next year

Here is an idea of what I have been considering so far:

  • Flying to Auck and taking a campervan around the Northland hotspots, Coromandel, Bay of Islands
  • Heading to a Pacific island – Fiji or Samoa
  • Thailand!

Thailand is number 1 on my must visit hit list.  The only trouble is it is quite a distance, flights can be expensive-although cheap food and accommodation once you are there, and the big issue is the time difference travelling with 2 young children. I keep thinking that maybe it should wait until they are older, or perhaps make it a Mum and Dad only trip.

What I now need from you is feedback-please let me know your thoughts. What, if any, of the options I’m considering are worth doing, do you have any advice or experiences from having done a similar trip yourself, or where would you go and why if you were me?


Photo credit: kakisky from morguefile.com

 

 

Rugby World Cup had me thinking-travel for sporting occasions

Enjoying the ABs v France game in Paris, 2004

With the Rugby World Cup currently heading into semi final weekend right here in Aotearoa, New Zealand it seems timely that I discuss a common reason for travel and that’s to head away for a sporting occasion.

My experience with travelling for sporting reasons has predominately been for rugby.  During my younger years I went on several trips within New Zealand for netball and rugby tournaments.  But being a huge rugby and All Blacks fan, it was inevitable that I would make a trip to support them whenever I could.

Christchurch is my closest town, 30 minutes from where I live and seeing the All Blacks play there is always a grand event.  However, travelling around the UK and Europe for a Grand Slam tour is number 1 on my sporting trip bucket list, attending an Olympic Games a close 2nd!

A Grand Slam tour is one in which a touring national team from New ZealandSouth Africa or Australia plays Test matches against the four Home Nations of theBritish IslesEnglandWalesIreland, and Scotland. If the tourists win all four games, they are said to have achieved a grand slam.  Wins against all four Home Nations in the same tour have been achieved South Africa (4 times), New Zealand (4) and Australia (1).

I came close once, when I was living in London in 2004, my Dad came over and some of my friends joined us and we travelled to Rome, Cardiff, Paris and London for the ABs games v Italy, Wales, France and the Barbarians.

By far the best match was against Wales for several reasons.  Wales are as crazy about rugby as Kiwi’s are and for that reason the banter and analysing of the game with the locals was top notch!  Millenium Stadium is a must see, with the singing and cheering at an all time deafening roar due to the covered top.  Even better is the short stroll to the numerous pubs and clubs, over flowing with beer, people and rugby tales.  But what truly made the experience in 2004 was that the All Blacks only won by 1 point, 26-25!  The game was nail biting and the atmosphere electric. What made me a Welsh fan for life was that even though they lost, every Welshman that we spoke to after the game was so pleased to come so close and such fans of the All Blacks, that they would buy us a beer and sit and talk rugby with us anyway.  Does it get any better?

Dad, Fraser, Chris Jack, Rueben Thorne and me in Paris, 2004

Dad, my flatmate Jo and I enjoying the Cardiff pub scene after the Wales v ABs game

Richie McCaw and me hanging out, 2004

Well maybe it does, having a chat with Richie wasn’t too bad either!

For the record-I’m picking a Wales v All Blacks World Cup final next weekend?  How about you?  I would love to hear where you have travelled to for a sporting event as well. Please feel free to comment!