Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Trip To Vancouver, BC

Photo by Linnea Strom.
The drive up to Vancouver, BC was, thankfully, uneventful. Six hours of rain and a wee bit of snow. One stop at the gas station just before crossing the border and a stop at a Hagen's to grab a salad for lunch. Before I knew it, I was at the border.

It was the first time I'd ever used my passport, which was exciting and nerve wracking to me. The border crossing officer asked me what my purpose was for visiting Canada. I told him I was visiting friends. Then he asked me where I was going. I gave him the street address to where I would be staying. “Who are you visiting?” I gave him my friend's name. “And where are you going?” I thought to myself, “Am I not speaking clearly enough?” so I spoke slowly and gave him the address again. He seemed fine with my answers, handed me my passport and sent me on my way. I was about a mile from the border when I realized I had only given him the street address of where I was going and never told him the city.

Nerves. They sure can make you a wee bit stupid at times.

Shortly after crossing the border I stopped at a bank and withdrew some Canadian currency so I had some in my pocket. It was interesting to notice that the quick cash option that we're used to in the states as $40 was $60 up there. Then the bills popped out of the machine and I instantly thought, “It's so shiny!” One of the newer bills was partially see through, too. After ogling it for a moment I continued on my way to my first photo shoot of the day.

After a couple of wonderful photo shoots in two beautiful parks, one in Port Moody and one in Vancouver, I spent the evening enjoying the company of old and new friends. I also learned that the legal drinking age in British Columbia is 19, which explained why I felt so very old at the bar that night.

Sunday was spent driving from one photo shoot to the next and having lots of fun with the participants. After a low key evening at a friend's house that night I got up Monday morning and stopped at the Cultch to check out SD Holman's exhibit, “Butch: Not Like The Other Girls”, which was pretty amazing, then headed home. Before crossing the border I stopped for coffee and a brief moment of calmness on the coast at White Rock.  Beautiful little town.

Perhaps it was because this was my first experience out of the states, but I noticed a feeling of somehow being out of place while visiting Canada. It wasn't an unnerving feeling. It was more of just an interesting observation. I was traveling alone in a “foreign” country and the only thing to guide me was my GPS. What in the world did we do before the GPS was invented? Oh yeah. We made a stop at AAA an gathered as many maps as we could.

This trip was a good practice run for me in preparation for the 9 day trip that's coming up. I have to remember to take better care of myself while traveling. Remembering to eat is the first thing. Making time to rest and regroup is another. Quiet time by myself is a good way for me to recharge. I forgot how much energy it takes for me to travel to a place I've never been, meet people I've never met and connect with them quickly so I am able to get good photographs. I love every minute of it, though. It's inspiring and brilliant.

T-5 days until the next big trip!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Travel Plans So Far

To say making travel plans and coordinating with multiple people is difficult would be quite the understatement. This is something I have learned quite quickly. But, I'm learning how to move through it and solidify plans so I have my first crazy travel adventure lined up. It happens the first week in May and it goes a little something like this: (deep breath)

  • On Saturday, May 4th I will be flying from Portland, OR to Salt Lake City, UT arriving in the afternoon with a shoot scheduled shortly thereafter.
  • On Sunday, May 5th I will fly from Salt Lake City to Denver, CO and have two, possibly three photo shoots that day then dinner with friends who live in the area. I will stay the night in Denver.
  • On Monday, May 6th I will fly (early in the morning!) from Denver to Madison, WI and will drive from Madison, WI to Waukesha, WI to do a shoot there at 2pm. After that shoot I will drive to Chicago, IL for an evening shoot and will stay the night in Chicago.
  • On Tuesday, May 7th I will drive from Chicago, IL to Ferndale, MI for a shoot at 1pm. From Ferndale I'll drive in to Detroit to catch a flight at 5:30pm to Toronto, ON, Canada. I will stay the night in Toronto.
  • On Wednesday, May 8th I have a morning shoot about an hour outside of Toronto at 10am and possibly another shoot in the afternoon before checking in at the Toronto airport at 5pm for a 7:30pm flight to Albany, NY where I get in around 11pm. I will stay the night in Albany.
  • On Thursday, May 9th I will drive to Mohawk, NY for a shoot at Noon. After that shoot I will drive to Niagara Falls, NY for a shoot at 6pm. I will stay the night in Niagara Falls.
  • On Friday, May 10th I will drive to Long Island, NY for a 4pm shoot. I will stay the night in Long Island.
  • On Saturday, May 11th I will drive to Long Branch, NJ for a 10am shoot then after that shoot I will drive to Florence, MA for a 3pm shoot. After that shoot I will drive to Boston, MA and stay the night.
  • On Sunday, May 12th I will be in Boston, MA and a morning shoot, a Noon shoot and a 2pm shoot. Then I will check in at Boston Logan at 3pm and fly out of Boston at 5:20pm to land back in Portland, OR at 10:39pm.
  • On Monday, May 13th at 10am I am back to work at my non-photography job.  
(Fourteen cities and sixteen photo shoots in nine days!)

I also have a trip scheduled the weekend of June 21st and will be going to Dallas and Houston, TX for a couple (so far!) of photo shoots and I'm hoping to schedule more for that area.

Then, in August I'll be down in the Bay Area (Oakland) for a photo shoot or two and to attend Butch Voices. I'm hoping to get some images while at the conference, as well. I'll also get to meet up with one of my favorite photographers, Syd London, while I'm there! 
I'm working on a trip down to Florida and a trip down to Southern California, as well. Details to come!