#NationVacation Travel Diaries pres. by Alberta Blue Cross

8 months ago
Another incredible #NationVacation is in the books after our weekend together, and I want to thank everyone who joined us for our first-ever road trip to Seattle and Alberta Blue Cross for helping us make this trip a reality. It was a fantastic couple of days, and as expected, each and every one of you contributed to a weekend that I won’t soon forget.
We’ve had some amazing vacations together over the years, but this past weekend in Seattle was unlike anything we’ve ever done. Not only did we hit up the hockey game on Saturday night — it was so much fun to watch the boys win a game on the road with such a fantastic group — but we were also able to get tickets for Seattle vs. Washington on Sunday for a total change of pace. We’ve mixed a lot of hockey games in with watch parties and other activities on these trips, but this was the first time that we’ve ever mixed in the spectacle that is professional football.
First up was our flights down to Seattle, and the only reason I mention it is because it’s fun to see fellow Nation Citizens looking excited about what’s to come. The possibilities for fun and shenanigans are endless before we leave Edmonton, and that hope always brings with it a positive vibe that always sets the tone. On the plane, the drinks were flowing, the laughs were loud, and it was almost like the horrific record to start the season didn’t even matter. Life was good, and we were going to do what we could to bring the good vibes with us.
On Saturday, we recorded a bunch of pre-game content at the hotel before heading out to explore Seattle for a bit. With a whole day to cruise around Seattle, we wanted to be as touristy as possible given the time window available. We went to Pike Place, saw the fish throwing guys, visited the disgusting gum wall, grabbed a drink or two, and enjoyed being a tourist in a very cool city. I had never been to Seattle before, so my head was whipping around at high velocity as I tried to soak it all in. Of course, as we drew nearer to puck drop, we settled into a bar to grab some food, have a drink with everyone that wanted to hang out and make our way to the game as a crew.
What I didn’t expect, however, was that Queen Anne Beer Hall would be such an eventful place to pre-game. The in-bar host at the place was simply fantastic, and he did a great job of creating a fun and enjoyable vibe despite being behind enemy lines. As an example, he had the entire bar booing us literally 10 seconds after we walked into the place, but it never felt like it was anything more than friendly ribbing. As the afternoon wore on, more and more Edmonton fans made their way in, and the tides started to turn a little bit. All of a sudden, the ‘Let’s-Go Oil-ers’ chants were drowning everyone else out, and that excitement spilled out onto the streets when we made the short walk to Climate Pledge Arena.
We decided to head to the rink early to check out the barn, take a few laps around the concourse, and meet as many Edmonton fans as we could along the way. As expected, we travel very well. There were fans in blue and orange everywhere, and it’s always fun to hear stories from folks who travelled in from all over to watch the boys play despite their shitacular record. On our trip or not, we met so many Nation Citizens who were excited to hang out with the crew, and we were just as excited to hang out with them. The high five lines formed, the chants continued, and it legitimately felt like we were in line for something special. There is no better fanbase in the world, IMO.
As for the rink itself, the facility is beautiful, and it was a smart idea to get there early with plenty of time to cruise. Outside of the obvious complaints about pricing, Seattle fans have a damned cool spot to watch hockey, and it was neat to experience it for the first time with my fellow Nation Citizens. Most importantly, the Kraken set that place up to be as efficient as possible, meaning there was more than enough time to do whatever you needed to do during the intermission and get back to your seat. Frankly, it was almost shocking how fast you were able to hit up the bathroom and grab a beer. Not once did I ever feel like I was rushed or that I was going to miss something on the ice.
As we know, the game was a tonne of fun. Not only were we thrilled to see the boys win a game — we’ll miss you, Woody — but to watch it with my fellow Citizens was incredibly special. Yes, the win was amazing and we were pumped about the result, but to be able to do it together made the evening all the more special. Being lucky enough to travel to a new city and watch hockey is a unique and special experience that I couldn’t recommend enough if you’re able to swing it. And considering the crew we rolled down there with was as awesome as they all were, it made the weekend that much more special.
On Sunday morning, we had just enough time to knock out an emergency podcast for Woody, eat breakfast, and rally because it wouldn’t be long until it was time to leave for Lumin Field to watch the Seattle take on Washington. Seeing as this was only my second-ever football game south of the border, I was fired up to get in the mix and people watch. I wanted to tailgate, I wanted to check the merch out, and I wanted to see what it would be like to be among among 65,000+ that are known for being some of the loudest fans in the league.
As it turns out, we brought our good vibes with us to the football game too because the home side ended up winning on a buzzer beating field goal that sent the place into hysterics. As much as the first half of football was a little bit slower than we would have liked, the second half was much more wide open and made for a fantastic finish. I know we don’t always get so lucky as to watch a pair of wins on these vacations, but in terms of results, this time around couldn’t have gone any better.
Lastly and most importantly, I wanted to wrap this up by saying thank you again to everyone who joined us on our first ever #NationVacation to Seattle. Without you, these trips would never be possible, and it’s so incredibly fun to meet and experience a weekend like this with you. Whether it’s parties back home or hitting the road as a group, the passion of Nation Citizens is one of the greatest things to be a part of and I truly wish I was smarter so that I could accurately describe how it all feels. These trips are one of the greatest parts about this job for all of us and I’m eternally grateful to have you all help us make these ideas come to life.
Thank you so much, everyone. I cannot wait for the Arizona trip in February.


There’s only one thing better than sharing memories—and that is making new ones. Alberta Blue Cross travel insurance protects your memories – and more – wherever travel takes you. Visit ab.bluecross.ca/travel.

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