TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4:
Departed for Zurich today. Traveling with the Bellamy Brothers for 3 shows in Zurich and a BBC TV Special in Belfast. When we arrived at the airport, I learned that David’s wife Susan was not going to be traveling with us. Her Grandmother was admitted to the hospital the night before for heart problems. My daughter is going with me, so she will now sell the Bellamy’s merchandise since Susan usually handles that.
At the airport, I ran into my first helicopter pilot in Korea who now flies Life Flight for Vanderbilt Hospital. He was on the flight with us to Dallas. Easy, smooth flight to Dallas except for one little incident. Was standing in the back of the plane talking to David Bellamy and we both heard a strange noise. I told him all we had to do was go up and ask Loren (helicopter pilot) what was going on. Turns out we were about to land and that was just part of the normal noises.
Lindsey got upgraded to Business Class on the long flight from Dallas to Zurich. American doesn’t have the monitors built into the seats. They pass out individual DVD players and a selection of DVD’s. We both watched Pirates of the Caribbean – which is a LOOONNGGG movie. Didn’t get any sleep on the flight over. I don’t like flying during the day –which is basically what this flight was. We landed Zurich at 7:45 am which is only 12:45 am in Nashville. Some guy in business class took too many sleeping pills and the flight attendants couldn’t wake him up. They were bringing wet towels and doing everything they could think of to wake him. When we got off, he was still “out”.
Got checked into the hotel in Zurich and started trying to figure out their wireless network system. A friend who is a travel agent called from the lobby so I went down to see her. By the time I got back to the room, my daughter had everything figured out and was logged on! (youth!!) It’s definitely a “rip-off” by the Swiss phone company though. You have to buy “LAN” cards from them to log on. You can buy a 30 minute, 2 hour, or 24 hour card. BUT, it is only good from the time you begin using it until that amount of time. So if you don’t stay online the entire 30/60 minutes, you can’t log back on with that card several hours later. It still uses all your minutes even though you aren’t online. And, the cards are very expensive. So, now I’m logging on through the hotel phone system – which costs me 50 cents a minute for a local call and takes 10 times as long to open anything. Not sure this is such a smart move.
Today is a “day off” for us, so we went downtown Zurich to shop. There’s a shuttle bus from our hotel that takes us straight into the center of town. We visited a lot of churches and did a little shopping. Got lost in the underground “maze” of shops at the train station. (Photo right: Lindsey downtown Zurich).
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH:
Up early to jog. Hotel told me to go through the parking lot and turn right to jog on the “panoramic” view paths. I couldn’t figure out where the parking lot ended and so I went the wrong way. Went all the way to the bottom of a steep hill before I figured out that I was going the wrong way. So, I jogged (more like a fast walk!) back up the hill. As I was passing the entrance to the hotel, I saw this couple that looked like skiers. Jogged past them and to the top of the hill, where again I couldn’t figure out which way to go. I discretely waited for the couple to catch up with me and then went the way they went. There was still a lot of snow and ice on the paths and it was too slippery to jog the “panoramic” view. So, back down the hill and jogged in Thursday morning traffic. Which also meant that I had to run back up the steep hill.
Later in the day when I saw Howard Bellamy, he was asking me if I went jogging that morning. The “couple” that I passed on the trails was him and his girlfriend. He said that they even called my name and I ignored them. His girlfriend told him it wasn’t me because it didn’t look like my legs. Howard assured her that I use a different pair of legs when I run. J (Photo left: Bellamy Brothers on stage).
Tonight was the VIP/Sponsor party at the venue. When we got there for sound check, there was a lot of camera equipment set up. No one is allowed to film any of the show without permission and I had not negotiated this. We found out that Swiss TV was planning to film the entire concert and broadcast an 80 minute special on Saturday titled “The Bellamy Brothers in Switzerland”. All of this had been negotiated by the buyer with the television company without our knowledge. Swiss TV had 25 people and 6 cameras ready to film so we had to scramble to negotiate a contract. Everything worked out fine but it was not “fun” for a couple of hours. (Photo right: Lindsey selling merchandise).
The show was great. The Bellamy Brothers are like “Elvis” in Europe. Everyone knows all the words to their songs and they get several standing ovations and requests for encores.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH:
Didn’t get in bed until 3 am and had to get up to take Lindsey sightseeing really early. I wanted her to see the snow-covered Alps, so we went to Grindelwald and Interlaken. Some friends from Grindelwald gave us a ride over and we took the train back. It was so beautiful with all the snow. I’m usually here in the summertime and I love seeing it in the winter. (Photo left: Mike Wells and Brian Gibbon). (Photo right: Grindelwald).
We drank hot chocolate and ate soup at a beautiful hotel looking out over the alps and a popular ski area. Since it took 2 ½ hours to travel there, we didn’t have time to go up to the top of any of the alps. Just did a little wandering around in the souvenir shops. Then I took her down to Interlaken and showed her where I spend a lot of time each summer at that festival. (Photo left: Lindsey in Grindelwald).
Show tonight was completely sold out. The venue looks like a Texas-style dancehall. Saw lots of people that I know from the other 3 festivals that I work with in Switzerland.
Going to bed so I can get up early to go to Lucerne tomorrow.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH:
Up early to work out. Not a very good exercise room in the hotel but it was still very dark at 6 am. I was doing “penance” for not jogging yesterday so I rode the bike, used the stairmaster and the “space walker” machine and worked out with a strange machine that looks like a rowing machine but is actually like a piece of nautilis equipment. We’re off to Lucerne today and it’s not the best of weather to travel in. Drizzling rain off and on. (Photo left: Wayne and Lindsey in Lucerne).
Took the one-hour train ride from Zurich to Lucerne and then walked around the shops for a couple of hours. We met up with one of the Bellamy’s musicians and had the traditional Swiss Lunch – Cheese Fondue. It was awesome….cheese with white wine and herbs with big chunks of their incredible bread. Very low fat. I’m not going to be able to fit into my formal dress in Amsterdam if I keep this up. Of course the truffles aren’t helping with the weight either. (Photo right: Lucerne).
We were taking photos of Lake Lucerne and noticed this white swan mating with another swan. But the male swan was holding her head under the water for so long that I was afraid she was going to drown. Then this other swan comes swimming up really fast with his feathers all fluffed out and his wings bent. The other male swan let the female go and took off with the “mad” swan in hot pursuit. So, that was the most excitement we had all day. (Photo left: Lindsey in Lucerne).
We did figure out that the reason Howard and Jennifer didn’t recognize me was because the only “flesh” showing was my nose and mouth”. It was freezing cold so I had on long silk underwear, running tights, a long sleeve t-shirt, gloves, a head band, sunglasses and my running shoes! No wonder I wasn’t recognizable.
Show tonight was sold out once again. Bellamys had to do three encores and the crowd was still going crazy when they left the stage. Tomorrow the band and my daughter fly home, Howard, David, and Jennifer fly to Belfast, and I fly to Amsterdam to meet Chely Wright and her band. I meet back up with the Bellamys in Belfast on Wednesday and we all fly home on Thursday.
I am still walking funny because my legs are so sore from running those hills! Going to try and run again tomorrow but hoping to find some flater ground!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH:
Up really early to get my daughter and the musicians/crew off to the airport. We crammed so much into so little time and got so little sleep because I wanted my daughter to really experience all the beauty of Switzerland. And, she did. She admitted that it is now her favorite of all the places she’s visited. London, Paris and Hong Kong were winning before this trip.
Tried to go back to sleep after they left but couldn’t. So, I got up and got dressed to go out and jog. Then looked outside and there was a heavy mixture of rain and snow falling. So, I got on the internet and tried to “wait it out”. Finally went out around noon and hadn’t even gotten to the bottom of the “killer hill” when it started raining/snowing and BLOWING again. But, once you’ve stretched and put on all those clothes, you’re committed. So I ran my 5 miles, got soaked to the skin and was frozen by the time I got back in the lobby. It will take my clothes a couple of days to dry out and I doubt that my shoes will be dry by the time I get back to Nashville. Also found out that running the hills gave me shin splints. Hurts like crazy going downhill but no pain running up hill and on flat ground. Glad to be leaving this area. Hopefully, there will be an awesome area to jog on the beach at The Hague tomorrow. It’s been snowing in Nashville and I’m hoping Chely and her group don’t have any problem flying out to Amsterdam today.
Of course, our only day “off” is a Sunday and absolutely nothing is open downtown. Even at 6 pm last night, downtown Zurich was a ghost town. BUT, all the shops underground at the train station were open. Went down there for a couple of hours to finish purchasing gifts. Back at the hotel to have dinner with David and do some real office work the rest of the evening.
Off to Amsterdam tomorrow am to meet Chely.