Wednesday, Sept 3,2014
We have The Mavericks performing in Leknes, Norway on Saturday, Sept 6. Lekness is located in the beautiful Lofoten Islands off the coast of Norway. It is a beautiful place just inside the Arctic Cirlce. Made up of mountains, beaches and untouched lands. To get there we have to go Nashville – Newark-Oslo-Bodo-Leknes.
I am flying out today with 6 of the guys. Raul, Paul, Robert, Eddie, Jerry Dale and Mike. We are going to have a day off in Oslo before meeting up with the rest of the band and crew on Friday. Our flight out of Nashville was delayed about an hour, but we still had plenty of time in Newark to make the connection. Jerry Dale flew out of Jacksonville and we met him at the gate. We are all in SAS Plus (economy plus) but while talking to JD I noticed his seat # on his boarding pass was not a SAS Plus seat. We went up to the agent and she moved him. Great. Flight left on time and landed in Oslo a bit early. Mom kept telling me to watch the movie “Golden Arm” as it is about 2 guys from India who come to the US to play baseball. I never saw “Golden Arm” but did watch “Million Dollar Arm” 🙂 You know you travel to much when you think a 7 hour flight is “short” After eating and watching the movie, I think I only slept for about 2 hours before waking up for landing. Of course we all had help waking up as it got stifling hot in the cabin about 2 hours before landing.
I had arranged for Oslo Minibuss to pick us up and take us to the hotel. The guys wanted to stay in the city. Our luggage took forever to come out and while waiting, we saw JD boarding pass had him going on to Bodo today.. not tomorrow with the rest of us. So, once all the bags were out, Mike got the guys on the bus and JD and I walked up to the SAS counter. They could see where he was originally booked to Bodo on Sept 5, but someone had changed it and I would have to contact their travel agent. We finally all got in the taxi and drove the 40 mins to the hotel. We are staying at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel which is very centrally located. Our rooms were ready and I think most went up to take a nap. I need one. I emailed and called their travel agent and she was going to look into JD ticket. A few hours later she emailed and said he was confirmed on the flight to Bodo tomorrow with the rest of us. Whew.
So everyone is off to do their own thing and we will leave the hotel at 8am to go back to the airport. I slept for about 2 hours and then my friend Jan picked me up and took me sightseeing. We went to a few overlooks, the ski jump and a sculpture garden.
Around 10pm I got a call from The Mavericks manager saying the 5 guys flying out of Nashville just had their flight canceled and would not be able to meet up with the other 2 from San Antonio and take the flight from Newark to Oslo. The United agent was working on getting them new flights. So I am standing by..
So it turns out the 5 from Nashville (3 production, 1 bass player and 1 sax player) are now going to fly to Washington Dulles to London to Oslo then Bodo..however they will not land Bodo until 11:15 PM Friday night and there is not a flight after that to get them into Leknes. So I called Mike ( He is Norwegian and is helping me, we usually work a promoter named Gunnar, but he is ill and asked Mike to help us out) Mike then called Stig, the festival owner and he made transportation and hotel arrangements for the guys in Bodo once they land. Then they will take the 10:30 AM flight to Leknes on Saturday morning for a show that night. Russell (FOH guy) called me around 3 AM to say they were in Dulles and about to board the plane to London. Oh, these poor guys!!
Friday, Sept 5, 2014
Everyone was downstairs and ready to go to the airport at 8 AM. Our driver was there on time with the bus. We went up to the SAS check in and the agent could not see our flight from Bodo to Leknes (on Wideroe) she said we would have to wait 30 mins for Wideroe to open up their check in before she could check us in. In the meantime. Paul and Michael have landed in Oslo (they flew in from San Antonio) however, Michael’s personal bag and accordions went to Copenhagen. Have no clue why, but SAS is rerouting to us in Leknes…uh huh..not sure if we will ever see them again…
We were finally able to check in but they did not have a reservation for Jerry Dale! So, they ended up buying him a ticket and I emailed the travel agent. She responded that he had a different reservation and she would get the new ticket refunded. Great! Mike, the guy that lives here in Norway also met us at the airport and is going to travel with us to Leknes. So I now only have 8 guys flying instead of 13. We landed in Bodo with just a 20 min connection and then a 20 min flight from Bodo to Leknes. Stig met us with a van and a limo. The guys all piled into the van so Mike and I rode in the limo..all of 5 mins to the hotel. ha ha. Check in went fine and I think we are going to walk down to town tonight and see some of the local acts. Mike is playing tonight with one of the bands.
Had dinner and then we walked down to the tent to catch the bands. Usually you cannot see the northern lights this time of year. The peak time is in Oct but tonight the sky cleared up and we were able to see them! What an amazing sight. Just to see these green streaks across the sky and then fade away. Tomorrow is Michael Guerra’s birthday and he said he will always remember this birthday 🙂
Russell text me around 11 PM when they landed in Bodo. He asked if Michael G was missing a bag. I told him yes, his personal bag and the accordions. He said his personal bag was in Bodo and he would bring it tomorrow, we are still waiting to hear on the accordions. I am going to bed!
Saturday, Sept 6, 2014
Woke up around 9, ok..I woke up because I had a call from Russell saying their ride to the airport wasn’t there yet. Called Stig and he called back a few mins later and said he was on his way. I went down for breakfast and Stig said here.. it was Michaels accordions!! It went to an airport about 3 hours away and someone delivered it this morning. Yay. They guys are suppose to land at 10:55 AM. Me, Stig, Michael and Mike are going to meet them. We could hear their plane coming in as we left the hotel. 5 mins later we were picking them up and loading up the van. Ha ha.
So now I have everyone and all the bags!! Soundcheck is set for 1, so most of the guys are going on a short sightseeing trip and lunch while I go over to the venue with the crew. The band came over after lunch and we had a few problems with soundcheck…but the guys got it worked out. It is suppose to be a full house tonight..2000 people. Stig said one weekend a year everyone on the island dress up in cowboy gear..This is that weekend. So back to the hotel, had dinner and then got ready for the show. Showtime is 10:15 and the backstage area isn’t really all that so the band isn’t coming over till right before show time. All the other acts playing tonight are local acts. The Mavericks are the only US act and everyone is so excited to see them. There are people that drove all the way from Sweden and some flew in from California!! I can understand why..all the musicians in the band are top notch. It is just and amazing show to see and they did not disappoint tonight. Everyone was very happy. I think I got the last of the band members back to the hotel around 2:30 AM. Success!!
Sunday, Sept 7, 2014
Up around 8 to have breakfast and then we left for the airport at 10. We are flying back to Oslo for the night and then home tomorrow. Again..Leknes airport is tiny. I mean the check in counter is right between the baggage claim belt..yes..one belt and the security check. No restaurant..just a vending machine. I think with all our bags we used up all their paper stock!! Got everyone checked in and had about 30 mins before our flight took off. Then we have 3 hours in Bodo..at least there was a restaurant and a few shops. LOL. Landed in Oslo on time with all our bags, walked everyone over to the Radisson Blu Airport hotel and checked in. Most of the guys crashed but a few took the train into town. I met up with Jan and we had dinner then went over to Kjell’s house and I was able to meet his wife and kids and talk to him for awhile. Then back to the hotel. Have to check out and walk back over for check in at 9.
Monday, Sept 8, 2014
The SAS agent was so nice in checking us all in. He didn’t even charge any excess! Flight left on time. Ate, watched a movie and slept about 3 hours then we were landing in Newark. I hate Newark. We were getting our bags and noticed that 6 of the bags were only checked to Newark, 1 checked to JAX and 1 checked to SAT. Robie went over to the United counter with me to get them re tagged. The United agent re tagged them to Nashville so I sent Robie to the next gate since our flight was leaving in an hour and I just needed to get my boarding pass printed out. While the agent was printing it out, his supervisor came over and said that I would now have to pay $400.00 if I wanted the 2 bags checked to SAT and JAX to go to Nashville. So instead of fighting with her and missing my flight, I paid it and then promptly filled out a claim for a refund! On top off all that…the 2 bags didn’t even make it on our flight! They were being put on the later flight to Nashville!!
So, we landed in Nashville on time…less 3 bags. All in all, it was a good trip. I know the travel was brutal but the guys hung in there and really enjoyed being there and would love to do more festivals in Norway…
Dad and the kids picked me up.. It was sooooo good to see them. I missed them so much. It gets a little harder each time to leave them. I haven’t told them I have to leave for a Japan in a month 🙁
Oh..and my first night at home…I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and my ankle gave out and I heard a “pop” so now I am lying in bed, foot elevated and ice on my ankle..which is swollen to the size of a softball. Great!