ROAD KILL – DAY 15 and 16 – AUGUST 10th and 11th:
Last visit to the 20 Franc per day gym! Nice facility but definitely overpriced. Ever had one of those days when you turn on your computer to nothing but “problems”. That’s the way my last day in Switzerland started. Spend most of the day sorting things out. Did have a great massage in the early evening. Very different, of course, from what we get in the U.S. At one point, she said, “Now this in not going to be pleasant but it’s not dangerous”! Then she placed a cloth over my lower back and pulled on the skin directly over my spine. There was a loud “pop” which sounded horrible and she said, “Yes, good!”. Not sure what happened but it sounded a lot worse than it felt. Spent most of the evening trying to get all my things stuffed back into two bags. It’s not a pretty sight! Feel sure the bags will be over the weight limit and hoping the “waiver” is in the record. There was a mistake on my itinerary and fortunately the promoter who was arranging my transport to the airport noticed it. Otherwise, I would have missed my flight to Denmark. Thought I was supposed to leave the hotel at 9 am for the airport. Actually LEFT the hotel at 6 am for the flight. Spitz – our driver from the festival – drove me to the airport. He had only slept for 2 hours the night before so I had to keep watching him to make sure he didn’t fall asleep. Made it fine to the airport with plenty of time to get checked in. Bags were overweight but the waiver was in the record and I didn’t get charged. Sitting in the airport lounge now waiting to board the flight. Short flight from Zurich to Copenhagen. When I landed, my flight to Billund wasn’t listed on the departure screen. I didn’t know what gate to go to, so I started walked towards the “connecting flights area”. I had to go through a security screening but still couldn’t find a listing of my flight. Kept walking and went through Passport Control. Figured I had probably REALLY screwed up but I remembered how strange the Denmark airport was from our connection last week. I finally found a transit desk and asked why my flight wasn’t on the board. Simple explanation – I’m going out of Terminal 1 for Domestic Flights and I landed in Terminal 2 for international flights. NEVER have I been in an airport that didn’t list all the flights for both terminals. I walked for over 30 minutes just to get to my gate. Good thing I had a long layover. Finally arrived at the gate to find that there was no air conditioning in that part of the building! Then, when they started boarding, I realized I was on a small propeller plane. I hate to fly and especially don’t want to fly the little turbo-props. The weather wasn’t “great” either – overcast and raining sporadically. Got on the plane and thankfully there was an “off-duty” pilot sitting next to me who didn’t seem to mind at all that I latched onto his arm every time the plane bounced. The flight was 30 minutes of terror for me. Even my new pilot friend seemed surprised when we bounced three times as we hit the runway on landing. I was met by “Jerry” with a beautiful white limo to take me to the hotel. It was a two-lane road all the way with lots of people taking their lives in their hands by riding bikes. Absolutely no shoulder on the road, so we were often “stuck” behind a cyclist. I was at this festival years ago but don’t remember the hotel. They gave me my key and Jerry helped me with get my hundred pound bags over to the building across from the main hotel. We went inside to find that I was several flights up and there was no elevator. Jerry was definitely ready to bolt rather than offer to carry those bags up for me. Went back to reception and asked if they had anything on the ground floor. They gave me a fabulous suite with a beautiful view of the countryside. The beds have huge down comforters on them. Only they are folded and under the bedspreads so it looks like someone is sleeping in the beds. I should be so lucky J Best news is, I have WIRELESS internet connection way out in the middle of nowhere in Denmark. This is heaven after 10 days in Switzerland using a telephone line to connect. I’m so spoiled! I was told to come to dinner at 7 pm and they had a special table set up just for me with fresh flowers and it was outside. Had an incredible appetizer that I still don’t know what it was. Just that it was great. Then, there was a buffet inside and the chef was “grilling” outside. The food inside was a challenge. There were several bowls of food that you would use on a salad…croutons, bacon bits, cucumbers, etc., etc., but NO lettuce. There was something that looked like purple cabbage but one sniff told me it was beets! Then there was a large bowl of ketchup, one of mustard, and one of some unidentifiable substance. There were bowls filled with green olives, black olives, and one with whole, small COLD potatoes and one with cold green beans. I headed for the grill where they had steak, sausage, chicken, and spare ribs! Going to ride to the ferry landing tomorrow AM with the bus that is picking up Asleep at the Wheel. I get to go HOME in 3 days. I’m ready….
ROAD KILL – DAY 17 – AUGUST 12th:
Up early to run about 6 miles down a beautiful bike path that went through the woods and along the lake. AND I DIDN’T GET LOST – NOT ONCE – A MIRACLE!!! Showered and went over to meet the bus for the trip to the Ferry landing. We have not had any attacking showerheads this trip. Amazing. Scandinavia is famous for them. Maybe they read my Road Kill reports and fixed the problem. J It was a HUGE tour bus with lounge style seats and tables, a DVD player and screen, a full bar with beer on tap, toilet and a trailer hooked to the back for the gear. This festival KNOWS how to take care of the artists. I knew it was going to be a long ride so I took a book. Normally I can read when riding on a bus but this time it made me nauseous. Couldn’t look at the scenery because “in-land” in Denmark is very flat and boring. Only down by the water does it become beautiful. I noticed that the bus driver was bouncing his leg up and down really fast, turning the radio up and down, and looking out the side window a lot….all the things I do when I’m trying to keep myself awake when driving! So I got up and talked his ear off the rest of the way. Took the full 2 ½ hours to get there but we still arrived at 1 pm and the ferry wasn’t coming in until 2:30 pm. The driver has to rest after a certain number of hours driving, so that’s why we had to depart so early. BUT, I remembered that towns near a ferry stop are definitely geared towards attracting tourists (except the one we went to last year in Finland which had NOTHING except an old Russian Post Office!) so I struck out walking towards a church steeple. It was a fabulous little town – all walking streets with tons of shops, a huge “sidewalk” sale, and lots of wonderful little outdoor restaurants. I needed a LOT longer there. I bought another pair of shoes and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Ordered a grilled chicken and avocado salad….which was interesting. Why would I be brave enough to order Mexican food in Denmark? The “avocado” had been put through a blender and lots of other things added to it so that it was a light green color. Actually, it was really good. Ferry was right on time and I met the boys at the “gate”. The trip back went much faster because Ray and I talked about the music business and the crazy things we’ve been through over the years. Got everyone checked into their rooms and then we all had dinner. The meal was not as great tonight. Starter was again a plate of beets. YUCK. Then they brought around steaks, potatoes and beans. I made them give everyone a dessert and coffee, too. They are all big, growing boys and I wanted to be sure they had enough food. Back to the room to work on the internet until now – 1 am. Last show tomorrow. Jude ROAD KILL – DAY 18 – AUGUST 13th: Jogged down towards town today so I could see if there were any “shopping opportunities”. Of course, there are great shops here because I don’t have any TIME to shop. I got lost – as I knew I would – and ran about 7 miles instead of 5 trying to find my way back. Went over for sound check and everything was FIRST CLASS. Then Ray had a press conference for about an hour. He did a really great interview with a guy from Denmark Radio. I bolted into town for power shopping. Found a fantastic handbag for my daughter but the credit card machine would not accept my card. Tried 5 different cards and everything was rejected. They have gone to a new system which requires you to enter your 4 digit pin. I did that, and still no luck. But, I went to a cash withdrawal machine in a bank and was able to withdraw money from my checking account. Of course by then, the shop with the cute purse had closed. But, I scored big time on some more shoes. I thought I was going to make it through the entire tour without being mistaken for Celine Dion. Almost did. Got nailed downtown late this afternoon! Had dinner with the band and headed over to the festival. This is the first show on the entire tour that I have gotten to WATCH the show!!! All the other shows, I’ve had to take care of another artist while one artist was performing. They were GREAT. I’d forgotten how good they are. Signed autographs and came back to the hotel. Answering emails now. Then going to take a shower, pack and go to the airport. Not going to have time to sleep tonight. This seems to be becoming a pattern! Jude ROAD KILL – DAY 19 – AUGUST 14th: Remember when we could stay up and party all night. Said it before… I’m getting too old for this. I can’t imagine WANTING to stay up all night! Bus arrived right on time but the driver was concerned that it would take longer than an hour to get to the airport. I helped him carry the heavy band gear up the stairs and on to the bus so we could have that loaded while we were waiting for the guys to come down. Left right on time and made it to the airport. I had changed my flight to an earlier flight so I wouldn’t have to sit there for 4 hours after the guys left. Got some bad information about how many pieces I could check and had to pay for one extra piece. It was worth it, but I could have easily have packed everything in 2 bags. The Maersk Air Flight was on a decent sized plane….sort of like our Southwest Airlines planes. No problem until we started to land. The plane suddenly turned on its side and fell several hundred feet, then righted itself and climbed very quickly….like we were trying to avoid hitting something. I think everyone on the entire flight screamed at the same time. I really, really thought we were going to crash. The pilot never came on and said anything. I was SO glad to get on the ground in Amsterdam. Had a two hour layover but Maersk Air had changed my seat assignment when the board passes were issued. I stood in line for about a half hour to get that corrected. Then, for some reason, we had to go through Passport Control and that took another 45 minutes because of the long lines. Finally made it to the gate and had to go through a “verbal” security check, then the scanner security check. Arrived just in time to get on the plane. So, the latest fashions in Europe (which my daughter always picks up on so she’s a year ahead of everyone else when she gets back to the U.S.!) – Men are all wearing Capri pants! It looked pretty feminine to us but seems to be the rage. Not sure that will catch on with the guys in America. For women – colors are going to be brown and blue worn together. Also saw lots of dresses with full length pants underneath. Didn’t see one single “poncho” which seems to be what is “hot’ in the U.S.! When I boarded the plane for the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, their was a Middle Eastern couple (probably from either India or Pakistan) on the plane. They lady was sitting in the window seat and the man was standing in the aisle. I stood beside him, waiting for him to move so I could go to my seat. He just looked at me and kept standing right where he was. I went through the seats, down the opposite aisle and then back over to my seat which happened to be right in front of him. My seatmate was an attorney from Houston and he was flying back from Africa. He and his daughter and son-in-law just climbed Killamanjaro! I was REALLY impressed until he told me that they had something like 12 porters who took care of all the “work” (setting up tents, cooking, carrying their packs, etc.). Still that’s pretty impressive! We were on the ground waiting for take-off for over an hour. The strange little man sitting behind me started sneezing….and I mean really, really LOUD sneezes. He was sneezing every minute! I told my seatmate that we were both going to be sick – 8 hours of breathing in that guy’s germs was ridiculous. He continued sneezing after we took off and all through dinner. I couldn’t go to sleep because he was so loud. He FINALLY stopped and I went to sleep. Then about an hour after I fell asleep, the started coughing. It was this loud cough with a horrible gagging sound at the end of each one like he was going to hurl any minute. I was timing him and he was coughing at least once every 3 minutes. This lasted the rest of the trip…until we landed in Detroit. Oh, he added in several loud rounds of “nose blowing”, too. Fortunately, I had my little “air purifier” around my neck and antibacterial cream for my nose! The flight attendants in Business Class were “senior” attendants and that’s being kind. I’m all for working until I’m 90, but these ladies were rude to everyone and obviously very unhappy with their jobs. The lady serving our side didn’t have on any shoes! She had on a pair of airline socks that the passengers receive in their little amenity kits. I’ve never seen anything like that. We landed and I made sure NOT to get in the same line at Passport Control as the sneezing/coughing/hacking man. I was standing at the conveyor belt waiting for the luggage when I heard this horrible “harking” right behind me and knew he was there. I bolted for the other side of the belt and noticed a cute, young guy doubled over with laughter. He said he KNEW what I was doing. He and his friend had sat right across from the guy. He said the guy NEVER covered his mouth the entire time this was going on. He suggested that his buddy and I swap business cards so we could call and compare notes when we were hospitalized for whatever it was we were sure to catch from him. Very comforting! Never have figured out why the Detroit airport insists on sending the luggage out on two separate belts. There’s no way you can watch both belts at the same time. Our flight was an hour late landing, so I only had one hour to make it to my connecting flight. I had to keep running back and forth between the two belts until I located all my luggage. Then, a 20 minute wait in line to “re-check” the luggage and another 15 minutes to get through the long line at security. (I also can’t figure out why you have to go through security screening when you’ve just gotten off an international flight and been in a secure area the entire time)! Made it to the flight just in time to board. I had tried to change my seat because I was in the bulkhead seat but there were no other seats available. But, they told me no one was sitting beside me so I would actually have both seats. Right before we took off, the flight attendant brought a young, black lady to sit with me. When we took off, she started chanting, praying, and rocking! I’m scared to fly, too, but she was obviously petrified. Thankfully, the take-off was smooth and she calmed down. But then we had to land and she asked if she could hold my hand. I thought, “Honey, boy did you pick the wrong person to sit beside. I’m scared to death to fly, too”! But, I held her hand and talked her through it. Good thing it was smooth or I would have been screaming and holding on to her, too. J So, I wonder if I tell the flight attendants that I’m petrified of flying, will they upgrade me from coach to first class every time to “calm me”???? All my bags made it and my daughter was there to pick me up. Sure was GOOD to see her! So happy to be home. Jude