by Alison Price
I recently made the trip from my new hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia to Calgary, Alberta to speak at the Canadian Astrology Conference.
This is some 971km. There are options to get there. Of course, you can fly, rent a car and drive yourself or take the coach.
I chose the latter option. It was the cheapest choice at just CDN$154 return.
I went on Greyhound and there may be others who offer this service but I don’t know about them.
As the bus was leaving at 6:30 am from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver I actually left my home at 5 am and got a taxi the station.
You have to check in at the station and get your tag for the hold bag,
You may take one bag and put it in the hold under the coach. And take one small cabin bag into the bus with you. There are overhead shelves for this.
As we boarded the coach is was crisp to say the least as I shivered on the 6C platform.
I had a seat by myself as the coach was half full and the seat next to me was empty. This was nice as I could plonk my carry-on bag right next to me.
At the first stop the cops boarded and checked everyone’s ID and tickets which seemed odd but there you are.
Onwards eastwards we stopped every now and then to pick up more passengers. Then a ten-minute halt where you can get off and dash to the loo.
On again. Finally, at around midway we stopped for 25 minutes in Kelowna. Everyone had to get off as they refueled the coach. I walked over to Starbucks for a grande latte and a croissant. Quite a rush really as heck I didn’t want to miss the bus.
Back on and more stops here and there at places I’ve never even heard of like Salmon Arm and Golden. Did salmons have arms? Is it a fishing joke about having a salmon arm to catch fish like a green thumb to grow a garden? And what about Golden? Was gold found there? I am sorry to say I had no clue.
We arrived in Calgary town centre at11:50 pm.. Yes, it took that long.
I hailed a taxi to the hotel and settled into my room by 00:30am. Phew!
That was Thursday.
On Friday I gave my presentation and there is more on that here.
Saturday good times to be had but had to leave the proceedings early at 9:30pm as quite tired and I had an early start in the morning.
My alarm went off at 5:00 am. Up and showered, packed and checked out of the hotel.
Hopped into another cab back to the bus station. The coach pulled out at 7:30 am sharp and we were on our way back home.
This time no wifi on the bus and no electric sockets to charge your phone. Good thing I had juiced it up before I left the hotel.
It was a long journey back home as we arrived at the Vancouver bus station at 9:30 pm. I was met by hubby and we went the final stretch together in yet another taxi.
In my front door at 10:15 pm having been travelling for almost sixteen hours.
Tired but all good. Safe and sound.
What to Take on the Bus
Knowing what to pack for an astrology conference can be a challenge if you don’t do it often.
In the cabin you can take one small bag like a backpack or handbag. Here are some ideas on what to have in it.
* Water to drink.
* Food – More on this later.
* Pen and notebook.
* Computer laptop.
* Reading glasses.
* Ticket to ride.
* Lip balm.
* Pashmina (women) scarf (men) fold as a neck pillow to sleep on.
* Ear buds, phone and charger.
What to Put into Your Hold Bag
In a medium bag like a suitcase that goes in the cabin of an aeroplane. If your bag is bigger than that you are hauling too much junk.
* Clothes, shoes, cosmetics and toiletries.
* Other stuff that can be slung around.
Don’t use your best luggage for a coach trip. On a bus your bag will slide around in the hold and there are bigger bags and heavy boxes shifting about down there.
Don’t put anything in the hold that you may ever need again as your bag may get removed at a bus stop that you don’t get off at never to be seen again. These things happen.
What to Wear on a Coach Trip for 18 Hours
- Flat shoes, trainers or other comfortable shoes.
- Black leggings or jeans.
- Camisoles, t-shirts
- Light jacket with top pockets.
- Pashmina or scarf
- Light makeup
Food and Drink on the Coach
Pre-make your snacks at home before you leave for an 18-hour coach ride.
In sealed plastic bags put enough food for a four-hour time slot. So label each snack bag with the time you may eat the contents like for instance; 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. This is so you don’t eat the lot in the first hour.
Eating on a bus is usually done because of boredom.it is mindless snacking.
If you take your own food you won’t be tempted to but burgers and fries at every stop creating a logjam in your digestive system and a hole in your pocket.
The shuddering motion on a bus tends towards creating the situation of constipation.
Eat snacks like:
- Cheese cubes or wedges.
- Chicken strips – precooked and lightly seasoned.
- Sandwiches – cheese on bread and butter pre-cut into fingers or soldiers as this is easier to eat on the move than a massive chunk of bread.
- Grapes – The perfect fruit and no must core or peel to dispose of like with apples or oranges.
- Bottled water – one bottle to sip when your mouth is dry. Don’t chug or you’ll be dashing to the loo every stop.
What not to eat or drink on a coach
Avoid snacks like:
- Smelly food.
- Garlic anything.
- Open coffee or other drink.
Alcohol is not allowed inside the bus.
No smoking on the bus.
The coach has a dinky toilet and basin at the back.
I believe the washroom is not really used by most people for that purpose which it is intended. Typically passengers prefer to wait until they stop at a scheduled break and then use the lavatory in the building.
I believe the back of the coach washroom is for those unfortunate souls who get travel sick. The tiny cubicle is almost like a Roman vomitarium. Let’s hear it for Caesar.
The journey over the Canadian Rockies is uphill then down dale and the roads are windy and switchback like. The bus heaves and rolls. Yes, folks throw up. Thus the washroom
What to do on a long bus ride
- Read a book
- Crochet or knit
- Write your journal
- Take photos
- Chat lightly with the person next to you or across the aisle
- Listen to your audiobooks.
What not to do on a long bus ride
- Bug the guy in front of you by kicking the seat, twanging the footrest or heaving on his chair back as you try to stand up. All of this is spectacularly annoTalk loudly either to others on your phone.
- Laugh loudly.
- Swear not in Canada, please.
Have a prosperous day,
by Alison Price
My Eclipse Timeline
I left home and made my way to the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza and Robson Square in the heart of Vancouver.
I found a spot on the steps high up where the early birds had gathered. You know those eclipse watchers that were there before me.
With my super eclipse shades, I began to watch the eclipse and the Moon’s limb slowly crept over the disk of the Sun. Very exciting.
The guy next to me was photographing with a very expensive looking camera. Two young students about aged 19 sat down with two plates of bacon, fried eggs, and toast from the food truck nearby. They proceeded to tuck in and wolf the lot down.
The Moon’s limb reached the center point of the Sun’s disk easing in from the right.
So far it has been a bright and sunny summer’s day in the city. The sky was blue and virtually cloud-free, so perfect eclipse viewing weather. By now it is still very hot and with a slight breeze.
The Moon is now almost two-thirds over the Sun. Is it getting cooler? I believe it may be.
The crowd has grown as more people gather on the steps.
Many are using the pinpoint viewing method of projecting the eclipse onto a card or the back wall.
The excitement was getting palpable.
I tried to take a photo with my eclipse glasses but the shot is a very blurry orange blob. Clearly, I am not a great photographer.
Trying to take a photo through my eclipse shades with my iPhone camera.
Feeling a bit cooler now. Lots of people on the steps. The excitement is stronger as the conversations flow amongst the strangers who have come together at this special moment in time. Keen eclipse they exchange opinions on the best way to view the eclipse.
Keen eclipse watchers exchange opinions on the best way to view the eclipse.
The orange blurry blob is the eclipse.
We are now at maximum coverage for Vancouver at around 78%. It seems strange how the Moon is moving from the right to the left. Now it is as total as it gets and it is definitely cooler now. The crowd is at full capacity on the steps now.
At the maximum the Moon seems to be moving off towards the bottom of the Sun as the thin crescent of the Sun still glares through the light is still strong but not the heat. The shadows seem even longer but how can that be?
At the moment of maximum, the crowd cheers and yells and everyone is smiling. What a super community here in Vancouver.
I am so happy I chose this spot to view the eclipse. The Sun now look orange and nearly red through my super cool shades.
People start to share their viewing screens and some let the flood of lawyers from the courts nearby to see. I cannot tell you the community support and camaraderie here on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
This is truly a special place to live. I am grateful that my husband brought us here over five years ago.
What teh Sun looks like at greatest eclipse. Still lots of light but a little cooler.
The last solar eclipse I saw was in Phalaborwa on the Tropic of Capricorn at latitude 23S in the southern hemisphere. This solar eclipse is being watched on the forty-ninth parallel at latitude 49N on the Pacific West Coast of Canada.
Where will I see my next solar eclipse? Who knows but I will look in Solar Fire and find one close by or one that I can comfortably travel to.
My notes that were taken on location in Vancouver.
I’ll definitely see you the next eclipse and I may even have special Starzology eclipse shades for you as well in my favourite cantaloupe colour.
by Alison Price
Well I’ve been in my new city for six weeks now and I have joined the local astrology group. The Fraser Valley Astrological Guild and I have been voted in a their new president. How exciting!
“Where is this place?” you ask me, well, the Fraser River is the reason Vancouver is where it is.
The Fraser Valley is a huge area spanning out on both sides of the river as it flows down from it’s source high in the Rocky Mountains. At the mouth, the Fraser River fans into a typical river delta flowing into the Georgia Straight and ultimately the Pacific Ocean on British Columbia’s west coast of Canada.
Simon Fraser (1776-1862) (the guy the river is named after) was one of the first men to reach Canada’s west coast and he established a settlement back in the 1800’s.
Fraser was born on May 20, 1776, in Hoosick, NY, USA. There is no birth time so I have cast his chart for noon.
As the Moon travels about thirteen degrees each day erecting a chart for noon places the Moon only six and a half degrees out thus I know the Moon was in Cancer but I dismiss the lunar aspects.
The first thing to note is the grand trine between the Sun in Gemini, Neptune in Virgo and Pluto which was in Capricorn (as it is now). Pluto has almost completed a full orbit of the Sun since his birth.
Of course many people born in the 1770’s would have a grand trine in their charts because Neptune is trine Pluto so every planet will likely form a grand trine during those years.
Fraser has Mercury in its own sign of Gemini disposing three other planets in the mutable air sign. He was first and foremost a fur trader and Mercury rules trade of all kinds (I’m not sure which planet would rule fur or pelts). Mars is oriental and indicates he was at home as a pioneer.
The Outers weren’t there
Astrologers often remove the outer planets in a chart for someone born before Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered. These three planets were not in the conscious of people in those days.
It really is up to each astrologer to decide on this. Personally I use them all because even though Fraser did not know of the outers they were still part of the Solar system exerting their influence on his psyche.
When the outer planets are in contact with inner planets it brings the energies of the sometimes elusive planets into our conscious. In Fraser’s chart he has the Sun conjoined Uranus. This suggests he was an unusual man by any stretch.
Neptune (the visionary) is trine both the Sun and Mars indicating he was a man’s man probably energetic and at ease with knives and weapons. Rivers are ruled by Neptune. This hints that he dreamed of conquering his own personal challenges.
History is not my strong suit (yet), but I try to get to know a little of the background and stories of the places I live in. Maybe over the next few months I can dig a little deeper into the history of the Fraser Valley and the Astrological Guild that bears its name.
When you are ready for your astrology consultation or class the best way to contact me is by using the form below.
I will write back within the next day or two and let you know when I can see you and offer you some timing options.
I usually have a two-week lead-time and sometimes I am simply busy so it varies.
What I need from you
For all astrology work I will need from you ;
- your full name,
- your birth date (day, month and year),
- your birth time (hh:mm am/pm),
- your birthplace (town and country) and
- the place you are living in now (town and country).
- I will also need your email address,
- phone number and
- optional physical address.
I will send you a Client information sheet to complete and sign beforehand.
Time and date
A client consultation is usually booked for one hour but it may overrun a bit. Classes are for two hours each.
I take early bird appointments and start teaching classes from 7:00am thorough the day and finish in the evening 9:00pm.
Not all days are fully busy and it varies depending on my clients and student commitments.
Please let me know the focus for your consultation appointment.
If there is a specific question you want me to analyze or other areas in your life need and in-depth interpretation (often money, romance and health come up) tell me as soon as possible so I can be fully prepared. Most people have a specific reason to approach an astrologer.
What to bring
If you wish to record the session you may bring a digital recorder or other device. I do not tape but you are most welcome to do so.
You will probably want to take notes as well, so perhaps arrive with your writing materials. If it is an extended session feel free to bring a snack or your lunch.
What not to bring – Consultations
Please do not bring a “friend” to sit in on the consultation they can wait in the other room. If your sister drove you in her car, she can cool her heels in the waiting room (see, suddenly it has a name).
If you feel the need to have your friends, mother or boyfriends present there are other options. Please do not bring your dog.
A consultation is really about chatting for over an hour so in time we can both get parched. I provide regular tea or coffee and cookies. (By the way my tea is better than my coffee, or so I have heard…) If you wish you may bring your own specialty tea bags. I also have chilled iced water for you.
All consultations are strictly confidential. Even if you and I have mutual friends perhaps in the astrological community, rest assured I respect your privacy.
I have three planets in Scorpio (the sign of privacy and secrets) and I have no problem keeping mum. Afterwards, if I meet you in the street I won’t discuss your chart.
How to pay
You can pay for your consultation or course at the time of the booking via PayPal. On some classes and consultation pages there is a Buy now button on the screen.
If you need something slightly different then I will send you a PayPal invoice beforehand to your PayPal email address which is often different to your main email address.
Acknowledgements and confirmations
Your booking is only confirmed when you have paid. I will send you an acknowledgement email. I will only start analyzing your chart after I have received your payment. I learned many years ago about spending hours of my time preparing for clients who become no-shows and, after two weeks of this, you change your approach.
Astrology is a luxury item
To my mind, professional astrology services are a luxury item. You do not need astrology. No one needs it not like bread and water.
You can get free astrology anywhere online but if you want an experienced practitioner that is something else.
I do give back to the astrological community and pay-it-forward, as I donate one hour of my time every month to those in need. Check out my Giving page for details.
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