WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16: Today I leave for Germany with the Bellamy Brothers.   I will leave Nashville with the band and meet up with David, Howard and Jenny in Atlanta for the long flight.  Susan has been under the weather so unfortunately she will not be going with us.  Hope that Susan gets to feeling better soon.  Met with the band at the airport, got everyone checked in.  They had several pieces of excess to check.  I did check 2 pieces for them so that helped, but they still had several extra pieces.  We had a quick lunch and a short flight to Atlanta.  Nothing eventful happened on the flight to Atlanta that I know of since I slept most of it.  J  Met David, Howard and Jenny at the gate when we landed.  Jenny had made chocolate covered peanuts for everyone and brought to us.  That will come in handy when I need a sweet fix in my room late at night.  J We have a long flight to Munich where will be met by Michael Tietze.  He has drove the Bellamy’s all over Europe for many, many years.  I don’t think I have ever actually met him, but have heard lots about him so I am really looking forward to meeting him. I watched 2 movies and slept for maybe 3-4 hours.  Going to be a long day when we land.
THURSDAY, NOV. 17: We landed an hour early. I sent the buyer a text when we landed that we were early. She had said the hotel rooms would not be ready until 10 AM, and with us landing so early, I was concerned about David and Howard having to wait. I was also hoping that Tiezte was checking flights and would see that we were landing early and be there waiting to pick us up. We all waited for everyone in our group to get off the plane and went through passport control, then baggage claim. They brought all of our gear out on a big rolling cart. Everything made it. J I walked out ahead of the others to see if Tietze was there yet, and he was. J Was so relieved and was happy to finally get to meet him. What a sweetheart he turned out to be. Tietze brought his big tour bus with a trailer for us. What a nice comfortable ride to the hotel. It was about 1 ½ hour drive to the hotel, and the rooms were ready. Again, relieved.  We all dropped our bags in our room and headed down for breakfast since it was available until 10 AM. Checked email, took a short nap and cleaned up in time to meet the promoter, Anja, to get the per diem for the band. Anja said we have a sold out show so really looking forward to tomorrow night. JHad dinner with the band, called home, checked more email and crashed.

FRIDAY, NOV. 18: I slept in today.  I went to sleep about 10, but woke up several times during the night and tossed and turned.  I finally got up around 8:30.  Waited and had a quick lunch before heading over to the venue with the band for sound check.  We had sound check at 1 PM.  It didn’t take near as long as we had scheduled so that was nice.  We finished by 2:30 and headed back to the hotel.  The weather is very dreary here this time of year.  It’s cold out, highs in the mid 30’s and the hotel is right by the Donue River, which makes it feel ever colder.  We are all hoping to get to walk into town tomorrow since we have the day off. Had dinner around 6 PM with Howard and Jenny.  I don’t usually get a chance to visit with the Bellamy’s when they are in town, so it’s nice to go out on the road with them from time to time and catch.  This is my 2nd trip with them this year.  J Band left about 9 PM to head over to the venue to prepare for the show.  I left with David, Howard and Jenny.  David and Howard did a sort interview with the radio station, Bayern 1, Oldies station who is sponsoring the show.  Then they had a short meet & greet with winners and a few other guests.  They performed a great show, but was only scheduled for 55 minutes.  They usually do at least a 90 minute set.  When they finished their show, the crowd was going crazy.  They ended up doing 3 encores before I finally went over to the production people and told them “no more”.  J  We were told there was a curfew and I didn’t want to cause any problems.  The Bellamys went back to the hotel while the band tore their gear down and got everything ready.  We got back to the hotel about 2 AM.  I called home and hit the bed.

SATURDAY, NOV. 19: Up and had breakfast about 9 AM.  Some of the guys were going in to town about 12 Noon, so I decided to tag along.  It was cold and drizzling rain.  It was a much longer walk than what we were told, but we had nothing else to do.  I walked into town with Wally, Randy and Rocky.  Went by the old Catholic church that was built in the 1200’s and took over 500 years to build.  Was very beautiful.   That is one thing I love about Europe, their architecture is amazing.  We had lunch at a Germany restaurant.  I ordered a “coke” and she brought me this big drink, not thinking anything of it, I took a big drink and found out it was BEER!!!  I am NOT a beer drinker.  It wasn’t bad, but was really not what I was expecting.  When she came back by, I again ordered a coke, and this time, it was little coke.  Had bratwursts and kraut, and it was delicious.  Did a little shopping and headed back to the hotel.  Got everything packed up and ready to head out early in the morning.  Had dinner around 7:30 since we had a late lunch and headed to bed shortly after.

SUNDAY, NOV. 20: Up at 4 AM, showered, finished packing and everyone was checked out and on the bus before 6 AM.  The hotel provided us with “to go” boxes for breakfast – ½ sandwich, fruit, juice, granola bar.  Was nice to have on the drive to the airport so early in the morning.  Arrive in plenty of time, got everyone checked in.  We had to take the gear to a special drop area for oversized pieces.  They pick one of the items I am checking for the guys and have it “tested”.  Had to wait for it “pass” before we could leave. Boarded on time for the even longer flight home.  I watched 2 more movies, looked at magazines, listened to music and slept about 3 hours.  Landed on time, got all of the gear and as we were exiting the baggage area, Kenny had all of the gear on one cart.  They “customs” guys stopped up and was going to send us to the inspection area.  I pulled out the manifest where we registered all of the gear before we left Nashville, and they “waived” us on through.  J  We always register gear, or at least recommend each group do this before they depart the US, and this is the 2nd time I have ever had to use it.  Sure am glad that we did.  J Said “good byes” to the Bellamy’s and headed to our gate for a short flight to Nashville.  Was so glad to get home and see my boys!  I think Jacob was so intrigued by all of the people and things at the airport, he barely noticed me at first.  L  Once he did, it was hugs galore!!  J  Home for the holidays, and will head to Switzerland at the end of January….2012!!  J Penny