THURSDAY, JULY 17TH – KLEWENALP, SWITZERLAND
I fought with the internet until almost 3 am and it still was not working properly. I am glad there will be a new Radisson Hotel connected to the Zurich airport the next time I’m here. Won’t be staying at this hotel again. I thought I heard it raining in the middle of the night and I was right. It was pouring when I got up. Was trying to decide if I should jog or work out so that made the choice easy. Went down to have breakfast and work out. Pretty good weight room just limited in the “machines”. Now I know why I don’t remember much about this hotel from my stay here a few weeks ago. That’s when my bags were lost! I couldn’t work out because I didn’t have clothes! Took the shuttle over to the airport at 1:30 pm and Asleep at the Wheel’s flight was landing on time at 2 pm. Found out the temperature had dropped drastically with the rain so I had to go into the Ladies Room and change into warmer clothes. It was great to see my boys again! They have been in Europe for several weeks now, too. The promoter showed up with 3 vehicles and a trailer to transport us the 1 ½ hour drive to the hotel. A couple of weeks ago, he notified me that the hotel that someone had forgotten to book rooms at the hotel specified in our contract. This has always been an “issue” since we are often put at a hotel that is not within walking distance of anywhere. They tell us that someone will come and drive us wherever we want to go but the problem is, no one wants to go the same place at the same time. When he sent me the new hotel information, I was not happy but really couldn’t do much about it at that time. When we arrived at the hotel, I realized it is even more isolated than any of the previous hotels. Not good. Then when we began checking in, they had forgotten to reserve one of the rooms. We worked that out. The hotel is nice but not any nicer than the other hotels where we have stayed. Then the other “surprises” popped up – there is no “bar” at this hotel. The breakfast ends at 9:30 am and dinner ends at 8 pm. Not good. The restaurant does not have any menus in English and no one speaks English. As if all that were not frustrating enough, we left dinner to find that the front desk of the hotel is CLOSED! There is no one to assist with any questions and no incoming phone calls can come in. If there is an emergency from back home, I hope they have working cell phone numbers for us. The hotel has a beautiful Spa but none of the information in the room is in English. Also the exercise room closes early and I don’t think it opens early. Will find out tomorrow. We may be changing hotels tomorrow. The internet does work here. It’s the same system – Swisscom – and since my internet was still not working this morning when I tried to answer emails, I know it was the hotel and not Swisscom. Tomorrow we have sound check on the top of the mountain. Jim – AATW’s tour manager – hates sky lifts. He saw the gondola today and he is as thrilled to ride it as I am….NOT. Hopefully the rain will have stopped before we have to get on it!
FRIDAY, JULY 18TH:
Couldn’t figure out why my muscles ached all night and this morning. Then I remembered working out fanatically at the gym in Zurich yesterday. I was so happy to find weights for the first time in 2 weeks that I worked every muscle group as hard as I could. Went to the hotel “gym” this morning and was really disappointed. No weights and all the cardio machines need some type of repair. I was able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the bike. Had breakfast with Ray and some of the guys and hit the shower. Marcus — our great driver from last year arrived right on time to take us to sound check. Weather is overcast and cloudy. Every once in a while the clouds part and the view is breath-taking. It is hot enough in my room that I had to open the window though. A bee flew in and we took turns chasing each other for about a half hour until I convinced him to fly back outside. Hope he doesn’t want to visit again!!! Jim, Mike and I let for the gondola station via the post office. I knew Jim was apprehensive about the gondola because I always am. But his fear is much worse than I guessed. We finally decided that that he would skip sound check. We are getting him a driver with a special pass to bring him to the show and back down tomorrow night. The gondola ride takes exactly 12 minutes and goes over 4 towers where it does the “swing of death” each time as far as I am concerned. 🙁 I hate every second of it but then I hate flying, too. Except with my military boys and girls. Don’t even mind getting shot at if they are at the controls. Sound check went fine. No problems and they sounded great. We finished up close to on schedule and then had lunch. Food up here is much better than at the hotel! We all took the gondola back down. Easier for me to go down than up because that seems more “natural” to me. Same thing happens when I fly.
Iris – my promoter from Interlaken and partner on this festival – arrived. She is sick with a cold so I loaded her up on Zicam swabs and Tylenol Cold medicine. I know exactly how she feels. Answered emails for a couple of hours and then had dinner with everyone. Half the group is going into Lucerne tonight but I had to “work”. I’m going in tomorrow. We are taking a huge paddleboat across the lake. I’ve done it before and loved it. I remember sitting on the boat last time thinking, “Life just doesn’t get any better than this. I’m going to move to Switzerland and work as a waitress so I won’t have any stress in my life”. Obviously I didn’t! The “Blue Balls” festival is taking place so there will be lots of fun things to do. Booths with every kind of food imaginable and selling everything possible are all along the shores of the lake. I love the shopping in Lucerne, too. And, all the big sales are taking place now. Sure wish I had some room in my luggage, darn it!
I remembered the front desk saying there is a weight room so I went exploring this afternoon. Found a separate room from the Cardio Room that has lots of free weights and nautilus. That’s where I’ll be in a few hours.
SATURDAY, JULY 19th – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR:
Another problem with leaving the window open is mosquitoes. Had several flying around me all night. Not fun.
Got up and went to the weight room first thing. Had really great machines and it was air conditioned. So, the cardio room does not have air conditioning but the weight room does. Had a terrific workout and feel so much better. Went to breakfast with Iris and some of the guys. Then back in the room for some “catch up” work, shower, and off to Lucerne.
Several of us took a paddle wheel boat over. The trip took about 1 ½ hours and is fabulous. You cruise along Lake Lucerne and make several stops along the way. Iris and I saw the fabulous Spa hotel where we spent several days last year. The guys loved watching the “inner workings” of the paddle wheel.
Docked in Lucerne and Iris and I hit the shops. I was really disappointed. After all the fabulous shoes in Greece, nothing looked good here. We finally gave up and went to the food booths and had a Bratwurst. We wanted Tibetian Food because it looked great but the booth wasn’t open. We could see them cooking all the food, but they wouldn’t sell to us. They opened just as we finished our Brat so we shared a plate of chicken in coconut milk. It may be the best thing I’ve eaten in Switzerland.
Festivals here have no litter and it’s almost impossible to find a trash can. When you buy something to eat or drink, it’s given to you on a plate made of wood or something durable – not paper. Then they charge you for it – usually 2 Swiss Francs per item. You are given a “token” and when you finish and take the plate and fork back with the token, you get your money back! Even bottles of water are handled that way. But, there is no litter on the ground after the event. Very good way to do this in my opinion.
Marcus drove us back in our van and my promoter from Germany for the show tomorrow was already at the hotel. He brought the huge 50 passenger bus and I could not believe that he got it all the way up the narrow, winding road to our hotel. Now we just have to figure out how he’s going to get back down – with us on it!
The “car” for Klewenalp to take Jim and Mike up the mountain to the gig didn’t show up at 7:30 pm. We called and it was waiting down at the gondola station. Finally got them to the hotel and Mike and Jim left for the venue. I leave at 8:30 pm with Ray and the band.
The weather was beautiful for once. In years past, it has usually rained. Biggest crowd I’ve seen there in a long time. Asleep at the Wheel put on a great show and it started raining on the very last song! They signed autographs after the show and now I am back in the room. Leaving for Germany tomorrow for one show on Monday.
NICK: It is 1:25 AM in Klewenalp, Switzerland on Sunday, July 20th – 7:25 pm on Saturday, July 19th in DC. Better?