WEDNESDAY, JULY 1ST – PERFORMANCE AT FOUR CORNERS MUSIC HALL IN UNTERMEITINGEN, GERMANY – HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!:
This business of going to bed at 3:00 or 3:30 pm is getting “old”. I slept until 8:00 am and then had breakfast. Answered emails until 11 and then got dressed to go jogging. It was so HOT in my room. I asked Bill to tell the hotel to get “my” fan out of the basement so I could have two fans going at the same time. It helped a little. It was actually cooler outside than it was inside because there was a nice breeze.
I’ve been working on putting together some proposed entertainers who will tour Iraq in September and considering the “feasibility” of it. I was never, ever concerned about safety when I took 37 tours there and 13 into Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013. Every tour we had some type of “attack” – ground fire, missiles fired, IED’s, mortars….you name it. But I always felt safe. Now there are less boots on the ground and less aircraft availability, so it makes me a little bit nervous. Not nervous enough not to go though. I guess the biggest “fear factor” is the fact that during previous conflicts, the “bad guys” weren’t really targeting “us”. They were after our men and women in military. Now, ISIS wants to capture and behead civilians. I’m not afraid of dying but I would prefer not to be beheaded. LOL
Anyway, that’s what has consumed most of my time for the past few days and it was still on my mind as I was jogging. The sidewalk took me next to a main road for about a half mile. As I was jogging along, this big double flatbed truck loaded with some type of concrete blocks passed me. Just as it got exactly even with me, there was a huge explosion. My first thought was to go facedown and cover my head. I stopped myself about halfway there. The truck pulled over and stopped. I assume it blew out one of the huge tires as well as my right eardrum. Point of this long story is, when it’s your time to go, you really can’t negotiate. I don’t have to be in Iraq to be in danger. I could just as easily been hit by the exploding tire while jogging in Germany.
I stopped in the restaurant next to the club to say hello to our friend Tom Jeier and his wife who were there having lunch with Howard and David. Then walked to the Aldi and bought a LOT more water for my sweltering room. At least the sun is almost on the opposite side of the hotel and I can open my drapes and let in more air through the open windows.
I took a shower and walked over to the club but the boys had already finished sound check. Went over a couple of things with Bill and then headed back to the hotel to work some more. At a quarter until 7, walked over to the club and picked up “to go” meals of salmon and salad for me, Howard and David. As usual, the food from Bill’s club was excellent. Thank you, Marianne!!!! Had about an hour to work before walking over to the club. Bill sold out and had to turn people down for tickets. We ran into a fan in front of the hotel who said he was unable to get tickets. I told him we couldn’t announce the performance until tomorrow but they will be performing in Wemding, Germany on August 4th at the huge open air concert that is one of the stops for BR Radl Radio Tour.
The club is miserably hot as well but the guys have big fans on the stage. We’ll move those into the restaurant for the autograph session. Hypertension shipped 50 cds here for me to sell and I sure hope we sell out!
The show was fantastic but so HOT. I stayed outside and listened. They did encore after encore after encore. Then signed autographs for an hour. We sold 37 cds which isn’t bad at all. I’ll take the remaining with me to Norway and try to sell those 13 there.
Bus call is 8 am, which means I need to get up at 6 am and it’s already 1:30 am. So good-night folks!
THURSDAY, JULY 2ND – GERMANY TO NORWAY:
Sun was streaming in my window at 5 am today. Glad it was because my iphone shut down in the middle of the night and my alarm didn’t go off. Fortunately I had set a little travel alarm as well.
Grabbed a quick shower and even quicker breakfast and was in the lobby before 8 am for the drive to the Munich airport. The bus driver was late and it was too hot to stay in the hotel but also too hot to stand outside. Hoping it will be a little bit cooler in Norway.
We arrived at the airport a little later than I would have liked. I had told the bus driver to go to Terminal 1. However, there were several different “parts” to Terminal 1. The first stop he made was not for KLM, the airline we were flying to Amsterdam and then on to Oslo. Got him turned around and at the right terminal and we went inside to check in.
The lady at the KLM counter was nice but said the guys could not check 1 piece of luggage at no cost! She said they were all booked on “mini-fares” and those fares did not allow them to check any bags free of charge. What????? Since I was a 2 Million Miler Plus, I was allowed to check 3 bags at no cost. All but 2 of the Bellamy’s group are “Platinum” on Delta (KLM’s partner), so that allowed them to check 1 bag free but they would have to pay for the additional bag. Even with me checking one piece of equipment, there were still 9 pieces left to check. It was costing a fortune – more than if they had paid more for the airfares.
Took a long time to get everyone checked in and then we had to take all the passports and boarding passes to another KLM counter for Wally to pay. The check-in agent had started writing the amount that was due in excess on each boarding pass. But then she stopped and just affixed the claim checks to the boarding passes. She called the person at the KLM counter and read each name and the amount owed. When we arrived at the counter, the person she had talked to was busy with another customer. Another lady came out to help us. Since only 2 of the boarding passes had the amount due written on them, she did not realize that she was supposed to be charging us excess on every passenger. And Wally and I were not about to tell her! J She only charged him 30 Euros for one bag and 70 Euros for another – 10 Euros total. And it should have been a LOT more than that amount. She started to give us the receipt for payment and then decided that she hadn’t charged us correctly. She started shuffling papers around and finally just gave up and said we were good to go.
But, we could only go to bulky baggage to check the excess equipment. Since we needed boarding passes for that as well, everyone had to go with us.
We were finally able to go to the gate after going through security. Randy ad I got thoroughly “patted down”. They asked Wally if he was “Dutch”! Howard’s vitamins cause quite a “stir” and the agent even asked him if it was “Ecstasy”! Like a passenger would say, “Yes, it is. You caught me???”
The plane was almost ready to board by the time we got to the gate. I got on but the guys weren’t right behind me. The gate agent would not let them board until Wally showed the receipt for the excess! Wally had realized that he had lost his iphone so he was all stressed out and through I had the receipt for payment. He finally found it and everyone was allowed to board.
It was a full flight and they upgraded Howard to business class at the last minute. We “sweet talked” the flight attendants and they allowed David to sit in business class as well. It was a short flight of just over one hour.
Landed in Amsterdam and only had time to go in the KLM Lounge for a few minutes before departing to Oslo. Again, a short flight of just over an hour. I sat with a very interesting older lady who was going on an Arctic Circle Cruise!
Landed Oslo and baggage claim was a nightmare. I think a dozen flights must have landed at the same time and they sent everyone to the same luggage claim belt. Finally after waiting for about 15 minutes, they announced that our baggage was coming in on a different belt. All our checked pieces arrived and we walked out front to meet the bus driver. He was a very young man named “Matts”. Also very nice and a terrific driver. The bus was new and very much appreciated.
It took a little over 4 hours to reach the hotel in “Bo”. We stayed here 2 years ago for this same event and liked the hotel and the area. We remembered that last time they gave Howard a key that would not open his door. This time, they did the same thing but to Randy! The hotel had my fan waiting for me, too.
Had to eat dinner immediately as they had been holding the food out for our arrival (almost 9 pm by that time). The meal as excellent.
The internet in the room is super slow, so I am using my wireless device that I rented. I had a panic attack today on the flight to Oslo. I use Tripit to monitor all my trips. All I have to do is forward the flight itinerary to them and they save it in their format and “track” my flights. On Saturday morning, we are scheduled to fly from Oslo to Leknes. Only Trip said we were flying from Sandefjord (TORP) instead of the main Oslo airport. Kjell had already rented a nightliner bus for us to travel to Oslo overnight and then sleep on the bus until it was time to check in at 7 am. If we were flying out of Torp, that’s only 2 hours from Bo and we would not have needed a sleeper bus.
Fortunately, I was able to look up the Norwegian flight number on their website and confirm that we were flying out of Oslo Gardenmoen….not Sandefjord TORP. I will definitely contact Tripit and let them know about that error!
Have been working for hours and going to bed NOW.