Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Kennedy Sibling Reunion Tour 2015 Part Two: Manchester

After a successful trip to Copenhagen, the Kennedy Siblings took to the sky and landed safely in the gloomy haze of Manchester. We were both pretty tired - with Michael feeling the brunt of it having had to walk from the furthest points of two airports and up more flights of stairs than necessary in post-marathon soreness. I, on the other hand, found this to be quite humorous!

Once we cleared security check-in, we boarded a train and made our way to Mike's accommodations. We dropped off his things, and walked to my place where he criticized my lack of housekeeping skills (what? I wrote final papers and then left for multiple weeks - cleaning hasn't been my top priority!). To be fair, the state of my room is hands down the worst it has been - I've got papers everywhere!

Next, I showed him the infamous "University of Manchester" sign, where he made me pose like a proud big brother! Then we headed out on a campus tour. It was a fairly quiet afternoon, which was what we both needed, I think. (Pictures to follow once Michael sends them to me!!)

After the grand tour we headed back to the city centre for a bite to eat before heading to the Frog and Bucket for a night of amateur comedy with a few of my uni pals. This made for a really great, but late evening. Most of the acts were awful, but a few, including the winner, were really good. The added bonus, of course, was that it gave me another opportunity to check out the competition for my own stand-up debut in just a few weeks!

The next day, we both seemed to wake up early (surprise!), and met for coffee. We decided to get out of the city for a bit, and thought we'd have little fun while doing so. Fun, more so in the destination choice, rather than the experience of being there. Of course, I'm talking about visiting the original HALIFAX! ...because, what could be funnier than a couple of kids from Halifax, NS visiting Halifax, UK? Except it turned out, not much. It was just a beautiful sunny day walking around the town and enjoying a really good meal! It didn't take us long to realize that Halifax, UK doesn't have a whole lot to it, but it was still a nice outing.

Halifax Cathedral

No idea what this statue of a sheep is about, but I enjoyed the way he
seemed to be rethinking everything he thought he knew about life...
The People's Park
That's Michael at the end.

Baby Canada Geese!!
Eureka! The Children's Museum...
When we returned, we had nap/individual time before meeting up for Mike's first (and only, to date) visit to Manchester's Curry Mile. We met up with a couple of my friends and enjoyed yet another good meal - family style - at one of my fave spots, Mughli.

Our final day together was spent, with Mike doing his own thing during the morning, and me working on my dissertation. We met up for lunch, before visiting the Manchester Museum. This is where I met my other half... which, of course, is none other than Stan the T-Rex! It was love at first sight...until I found out it wasn't actually Stan's skeleton I was looking at, but rather a replica of it. Regardless, it was pretty cool to see the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex remains, and also sad that it's taken me this long to do so (it's only across the street from where I live!).

The courtyard at one of my favourite spots on campus, close to where we ate!

An elephant!
Yes folks, quality is not spared, no matter the expense, at the Manchester Museum.
Googly eyes are most definitely the number one choice of imitation authentic fake-eyes! 
Stan the man ...errr T-Rex! 
I clearly do a better "Stan" than Michael does... because I'm actually shaped like a T-Rex (and proud of it!)

Then, the Kennedy Sibling Reunion Tour came to a very unexpected, yet amazing end - a spontaneous Foo Fighters concert. This was a spectacular final send off for multiple reasons:
  1. I love the Foo Fighters and have always wanted to see them.
  2. The concert was sold out, and thanks to the threat of inclement weather (of which never showed itself until after we both returned home for the night!), we managed to get tickets at face-value, from a... "legal third party individual offering tickets up at a non-profit level out of the goodness of his heart" *wink*
  3. Foo Fighters were also one of our Mom's favourite bands. Seeing these guys with my brother on our "Reunion Tour" was incredible! She most definitely helped us get in, and we were rewarded by hearing all of her favourites! 
However, the idea that Mom was somehow missing it, left us both feeling moments of sadness throughout, I think. For me, I had a good cry during "Times Like These" which served as one of my healing songs in the days, weeks, and months to follow her death. Imagine how awesome that must have looked amongst a sea of hardcore fans - some random girl raining tears in the middle of all this energy! But, sometimes you don't have control over it. Sometimes the moments just take you. I've learned that even though they can be incredibly tough, you'e gotta take 'em - embrace them, if you will!

The concert itself was one of the best I've ever seen. The crowd was hysterically polite, but the band was epic. I've stopped going to live shows mostly because I increasingly dislike being around people who have no sense of being in a small space with a bunch of other people and acting like decent human beings. But, also because a lot of bands/performers are so over produced nowadays, that it hides all their naturally occurring imperfections - the result of which means they can't actually sing outside of the studio! The Foo Fighters were not one of these bands. In fact, I think they sounded better live - the way a band should! I also gained a whole new level of respect for these guys, because not only did they play two and a half hours straight, they made it clear from the onset that they wouldn't be playing an encore - which is one of my biggest pet peeves with concerts these days, the planned encore. There was no underestimation of the intelligence of the audience, just a group of guys doing what they love - playing great music, and playing it well! One could only be so lucky to have a 20+ year career doing something you love as much as they clearly do!

In complete disbelief that we managed to swing this completely unlikely happenstance!
(Photo credit: Michael Kennedy)
(Photo credit: Michael Kennedy)
Pretty sure this was the first outdoor show I've ever been to that ended while it was still light out (at 10:30pm!)
(Photo credit: Michael Kennedy)
Michael has since returned home safely to Halifax, and I went on one final adventure, before hitting the books. 

"It's times like these you learn to live again; 
It's times like these you give and give again.
It's times like these you learn to love again;
It's times like these time and time again."

-the (once again brother-less) Orange Canadian

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