Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Today's post is all about how I spent my Friday & Saturday; I went to Manchester with my best friend to see Bowling For Soup and I had such an awesome time! We stayed over for the night at the Upper Brook Street Travelodge and I thought I'd do a little review about my stay there as well as tell you all about the concert :) I hope you enjoy reading!
I really enjoyed my stay at Travelodge. I've not stayed in many hotels before so I haven't got much to make a comparison to but I think the room was great for a budget hotel. It wasn't too big, but I just found this more cosy and it was the perfect size for two people to comfortably stay in. Our bedroom included a king-sized bed, a desk with simple tea/coffee making facilities, a desk chair, a shelf with a rail attached underneath for hanging up your clothes, a full length mirror and a TV. The room also had an en-suite bathroom with a shower. I heard that the 'Dreamer beds' at Travelodge were great, and this was very true :) It was so comfy and snuggly, and I was really happy that we both got two pillows each. That duvet was fab too! The bedroom was also lovely and warm, and both the bedroom and bathroom were very clean and tidy. The hotel provided handwash and theres a dispenser containing a 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash in the shower.
The Travelodge hotel as a whole was great. The staff working at the reception were friendly and welcoming. I've never been to a hotel without my parents (or my school when I went on a trip abroad with my high school history class) so I was really nervous about having to check in on my own. Due to my anxiety, I really struggle talking to people but the lady I spoke to at the desk was very professional, making it a lot easier to check in. The building itself looked nice and modern, and the interior looked great; it was easy to find your way around the hotel. As we entered the hotel, a member of staff was having her photo taken with Andy Bell from 80's band, Eurasia but I was so nervous about checking in that I didn't notice who it was... my friend had to tell me when we got to our room :D haha
I didn't like that there were only two plug sockets in the room that were located at the far corner by the desk. I like to have my phone within reach of the bed when I put it on charge overnight. It was a little annoying having no spare plugs to use when my friend and I were both charging our phones, and having to unplug them if we wanted to use the kettle. I also didn't like that there were several sachets of coffee but only two teabags but that's because I was too nervous about going to ask for more at the desk... I'm a tea lover so I wish there were a few more teabags in the bedroom. Other than those little issues, I loved the bedroom at Travelodge and would definitely stay in one again.
My best friend wanted to eat breakfast in the hotel so we paid for the all-you-can-eat full english breakfast, which was £7.95 each. You could also pay for the lighter option which was a little cheaper but didn't include the hot food. All-you-can-eat buffet style meals are great for me as I'm a fussy eater and I also have to watch what I eat because I have irritable bowel syndrome so I like being able to choose exactly what/how much I want. I also like that it was a self-service breakfast so I could avoid interacting with people... a mixture of tiredness, anxiety and just being the general introvert I am haha :D For the full english breakfast, there were sausages (with vegetarian sausages available too), bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, scrambled egg and baked beans. There was also bread (with a toaster available), croissants, fruit, granola and cereal. For drinks, there was a machine with water, orange juice and apple juice, a hot drinks machine with a variety of coffees and hot choocolate (which I got and it was yummy!) and tea making facilities with english breakfast tea and a selection of fruit teas.
The venue was around ten minutes walk away from the hotel and there was a mcdonald's really close by and a few bars that served food. We wanted something quick and not too expensive so we opted for McDonald's but google maps on our phones confused us and instead of finding the local McDonald's we went on a massive trek to the McDonald's near Oxford Road train station which unfortunately meant that I was exhausted and in pain throughout the concert #spoonieproblems. Luckily, I still had a fun time!
I think it was great that the Manchester Academy posted the time schedule for the concert on their facebook page, because due to our McDonald's mission we were so behind schedule and with the concert starting at 7pm, there was no way we were going to make it in time. We decided to head over to the venue at around 8:15pm and got there an hour before Bowling For Soup were set to play, so we could visit the little merch stall and buy t-shirts and find a good spot to stand. The venue was huge, a lot bigger than I imagined. I'd only ever been to Academy 2 which was smaller. The supporting bands were MC Lars, Lacey and the Dollyrots, and we listened to the end of MC Lars act and the Dollyrots (who my best friend really enjoyed) :)
Going to see Bowling for Soup was sooo awesome! I have loved them since I was around 13 years old and listening to their music is really nostalgic. Me and my best friend also become friends around that time so it reminds me of how happy I was to find someone who I could be my weird little self around haha I got to see them in concert for the first time at Nottingham Rock City in 2013 when I was at university for their Farewell Tour and I was so sad that they wouldn't be coming back and so I couldn't see them with my best friend. But then they announced their 'How About Another Round' tour so I booked tickets as soon as I could. They are amazing live; they are hilarious, great performers and have an awesome stage presence. They sang my favourite song by them, 'Punk Rock 101' and they also sang lots of great songs from other punk rock bands. I was so elated when they sang 'Basket Case' by Green Day... Green Day are my favourite band of all time! Bowling for Soup are definitely a 10 out of 10 for overall gig experience!
(Here's a photo of the stage when The Dollyrots were playing; I didn't get one when of BFS where on because I was too excited and dancing haha).
After the concert, we went to wait around the back of the venue in hopes that the band would come out and they did! It was so incredible to meet them all; they are so lovely and friendly even though I was fangirling big time and could barely speak hahaha I still can't believe I actually met them! :) it was so surreal. Here's a college of some of the photos we took with Jaret and Erik. It was way past midnight, I was exhausted and bedraggled so I don't look at my best, but I don't care... I'm so bloody happy!
Thanks for reading!
Who else has seen Bowling For Soup live? What's your favourite BFS song?
Have you been to Manchester Academy? Who did you see?