THURSDAY, JULY 14TH:
Yeah, the gym opens at 8 am. I had to pay 170 Swedish Kroners to use it and then there were 2 kids in there climbing all over the equipment and “playing”. Their mom was totally ignoring them. Made me mad to pay to use the gym and then have to wait for kids to get off the equipment to use it.
I drove to the airport with the promoters to pick up Heather. The Nashville group is now stuck in NY until late this afternoon which means they won’t arrive until Friday morning IF everything goes okay. I am so stressed!
We searched all over for “water with no gas” today. After going to 5 grocery stores, we finally found it. All the water over here is carbonated!
Heather arrived on time and someone from a Norwegian Radio Station came to the airport to interview her.
My cell phone has quit working and the signal for the wireless internet (that I paid 170 Swedish Kroners for) has a vey low signal and keeps kicking me off line. I told the office to call me but the hotel switchboard won’t answer their calls. It just rings and rings and then goes to a Swedish voice mail. I am ready to KILL someone. My office called T-mobile and their answer was that all their customers who were out of the country were having problems.
The Nashville artists are on the flight to Sweden. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I feel 100% better today after having worked out.
FRIDAY, JULY 15TH:
Left for the airport at 8:00 am to pick up the Nashville group –hopefully at 9:00 today. NO such luck. They missed their connection in Stockholm and were STUCK. The only other flight today was sold out. We tried re-routing them through Trondheim but that flight couldn’t get them in any earlier. Elizabeth was supposed to perform tonight but I knew there was no way it was going to happen. She still had to have time to rehearse with Heather’s band.
We tried everything – all the airlines and routing to nearby cities. Even checked the price of chartering a jet (too expensive). We were finally able to hire a van and driver to bring them to Are today. It took them about 7 hours. BUT, remember, they arrived at the airport on Wednesday at 11:00 am and have been “traveling” ever since – 3 days!!! First, their flight was delayed out of Nashville to Newark because of “weather”. They didn’t depart until around 9 pm and then got stuck overnight in Newark. The airline “ran out of vouchers for hotel rooms” so they had to try and find their own place to stay. All the hotels were booked and my travel agent finally found them somewhere to stay. They went back to the airport in Newark on Thursday but were “wait listed” for their flight to Stockholm. Fortunately, flights from LA were delayed because of weather and they were able to get on board. They knew they had a tight connection in Stockholm and the flight out of Newark was late leaving because all the computers went down and all the luggage had to be “hand weighed”.
They rushed to pick up their luggage in Stockholm and take it through Customs – but Customs was CLOSED. They had all their luggage to recheck and no one around to re-check it for them. Some man was finally helpful and told them to take everything to the gate with them. He called the gate agent and told them to hold the plane. They literally ran to the terminal but all the “moving” walkways were broken and they had to take elevators instead. When they arrived at the gate, the airplane was pulling away from the terminal!
I felt so sorry for them by the time they finally arrived here. Heather did a 90 minute set tonight and we moved Elizabeth’s show to tomorrow night with Becky and Jett. Heather had a great show and although the audience was smaller than I had hoped for, they loved her. We start rehearsals at 10 am tomorrow morning and hopefully the crowd will be bigger tomorrow night.
Everyone is booking massages for Sunday. We deserve it!
My allergies are killing me. My nose itches, my throat itches, my eyes itch, I’m sneezing….and it’s all because of cigarette smoke. Be glad when the entire planet is “smoke free”!
SATURDAY, JULY 16TH:
Up early to get the girls started rehearsing and to WORK OUT. Got in an hour with weights and another 45 minutes on the bike. It was WONDERFUL. Then went to the solarium for a few minutes. Have to go do laundry and then the big show tonight.
This hotel is a “ski resort” and summer getaway for families. I’ve never seen so many kids! There is a fabulous pool with a big winding slide but the pool is overrun with children. Lots of bodies of water around and not sure if it is a lake or river or what but it’s beautiful. We are in the city of Are which is in the Northern/Central part of Sweden. Lots of sports facilities here for hiking, skiing, biking, swimming, boating, horseback riding…all the things I can’t do with a broken toe!
“Hiked” up the hill into the LITTLE town of Are looking for the laundry that the hotel sent me to. They don’t do laundry for the guests at this resort (don’t tell me this is a 4 Stars Hotel!). It was misting rain when I left and when I finally found the place, there was a sign on the door that indicated they were “closed for holiday from July 7 until July 29!” Must be nice. It started raining hard before I could hike back to the hotel – with my dirty laundry.
There is wireless internet connection in this hotel but the signal is SO LOW that I get knocked off about every 2 minutes. Then I have to shut down AOL and relaunch Internet Explorer and type in a really long username and just as long password. Such a challenge.
Tomorrow is the pampering day – a REAL DAY OFF – exercise, massage, facial, and a birthday dinner for Elizabeth Cook. I’m sort of “caught up” on most of my emails so that helps with being able to relax!
Great shows tonight with the girls. Long way to come for just a 45 minute set each though. I think the Swedes get as drunk as the Norwegians though. The men were constantly asking me to dance but fortunately I could show them the foot cast and get away from them.
Hope the weather clears up tomorrow so we can take a long bike ride.
SUNDAY, JULY 17TH:
On my final trek back to my room from the show last night, I passed a couple of men and a woman walking towards the lobby. One of the men had on a terry cloth robe like the Spa gives you. He was shoving his pants leg up under the hem of the robe and he had on dress shoes and socks and I could see his shirt in the opening of the robe. Not sure why he was trying to give the illusion of having on nothing but the robe but I didn’t stick around to find out.
GREAT workout again this morning…my last for a while other than bands in my room in Switzerland. L Went into the dining room to get a cup of coffee and some yogurt before my workout and the place was packed. People were even sitting in the lobby eating breakfast. I found a little tray at the lunch counter, grabbed my coffee and yogurt and came back to my room to eat out on my patio. The weather is still horrible – misting rain and overcast. A little cool but not cold. Hate that I won’t get to see any of the area before we leave because of the weather. Someone took the gondola up the mountain yesterday but said it was so cloudy they couldn’t see anything. Since I have to ride a gondola up to the venue next week in Switzerland, I’ll pass on that experience here.
Now, my internet is doing just the opposite. It still has a LOW signal but every time I sign off AOL, it automatically signs me right back on. Not sure what is happening. And, my IPAQ that I was having so much trouble with — now I can’t receive ANY emails and the phone doesn’t ring when someone calls. ARGHHH….I am technologically challenged and don’t have a clue how to fix any of this.
NOW, it tries to reconnect and it can’t connect but keeps trying over and over and over. It’s stuck in some kind of cycle and I can’t shut it off. Only way to get it to quit is to do a hard reset on the entire computer. I have to buy these little “wireless” scratch off cards at the front desk. Pretty expensive – around $20 for 24 hours of service. But, when you scratch off the coating, most of the letters and numbers scratch off, too. Then the type is so small, I can barely read it. There is a user name that is a sequence of about 12 letters and numbers with small and upper case letters and the same for a password. If you make a mistake and type a lower case instead of an upper case, you get an error message. I had to go to the front desk last night and have them read the card for me.
Had the massage which didn’t start off on a good note. She insisted that I was scheduled to have the “relaxing” massage instead of the Swedish Massage. I finally had to tell her I was going to cancel the entire session unless I got the Swedish Massage. And, then it was very disappointing. I wanted her to get the kinks out of my neck and shoulders. I couldn’t even tell she was doing anything until she started working on the front of my legs. Then she used so much pressure I wanted to leap off the table. Okay, next time write in a Road Kill Report that I am going to have a massage, email me and say, “Don’t do it. You’re wasting your money!” Kyrgyzstan was still where I had the best massage ever – for under $20, too!
The owner of the Holiday Club (and buyer on this date) was extremely happy with the artists and all their performances. He’s already talking about next year’s event. Wasn’t at all upset about the small attendance. Took the attitude that this was the first year and he has to “build his reputation”. Whew. The artists certainly enjoyed themselves once they got here. Just hope we don’t have as many problems getting them back to Nashville and me to Switzerland.
We had a lovely dinner with the promoters and afterwards, a special surprise for Elizabeth. The promoters had a birthday cake made for her and it was red, white, and blue with the pattern of the American Flag. It was so awesome. And, talk about delicious. It had this flour like crust with strawberry jam, then a layer of white cake that was filled with some type of cream and then a delicious icing….and it wasn’t SWEET like our desserts in the U.S.
Everyone is going to bed early since we have a 3:30 am wake up call. Night!