SATURDAY, JULY 7TH:
Let me tell you, 45 minutes of sleep is worse than not going to bed at all. Everyone is “dragging” today. The tour would have been much easier had every single flight we took not had complications. Joys of travel in today’s world.
Arrived at the airport on time and beat the “crowd” that showed up about 30 minutes after we did. The female ticket agent checking us in was rude which didn’t help. She tried to tell one of the guys that his luggage was overweight. She said he could only have 20 kgs. Total. I explained to her that we were on an international tour and were allowed to check 2 bags each weighing 50 pounds. She smarted off with, ‘are you flying back to the U.S. today?’ I assured her that we were not but that we also didn’t anticipate departing the U.S. with the bags weight being within international guidelines, having to leave several pounds of our things “somewhere” in Europe to get the backs under that weight and figuring out how to pick them up on our way back to the U. S. I then asked to see her supervisor and her response was to throw up her hands and say “never mind”. We got all our bags checked. J
Flight out of Riga was on time and we arrived Copenhagen on time. Our next flight was on Air Baltic from Copenhagen to Berlin. There was an aircraft change and Susan and Howard no longer had seats. Once they got that fixed, we took a bus to the propeller plane – yes, my least favorite mode of transportation. We were all thrilled when the bus pulled up and we could see our luggage and equipment being loaded onto the plane. We were less pleased when we say mechanics coming on and off our aircraft. They held us on the bus for quite some time and then finally allowed us to board.
After sitting for quite some time, the pilot came out and got on the intercom. He explained that there was a mechanical problem and he was not comfortable flying the plane. He said they had located another plane and we would be transferred to it for our flight in about 5 minutes time. Yeah, right. About 20 minute later, the pilot came back on and said that although they could not repair the problem, he was not comfortable flying the aircraft. He said he needed our “input” because there was a broken wire in the fuel tank and the tank would have to be filled manually. The lady in front of me told him that she did not think it was fair of him to ask us for technical advise when she didn’t feel qualified. I asked him if it was a wire that was bad and located in the fuel tank, could it spark and ignite the fuel? He assured me that it could not. So, about 30 minutes later, we took off. I was pretty nervous the entire trip but we landed just fine. All our luggage and gear was with us and our promoter and a really nice bus with sandwiches, snacks and beverages were waiting for us.
It was a 2 hour drive from the airport to the hotel and we were already very late. Our guys just had to drop their bags and go straight to the show site. Fortunately, we had John Howe handing the production so he was set up and ready for us. The little village of Walddorg only has 600 people in it and the little village where the event actually takes place only has 40 people living there. But, the festival drew over 4,000 people. It was a little “western town” complete with a saloon, horses, etc. I finally got some great photos because for once, it wasn’t raining. The promoter kept coming up to me telling me that having the Bellamys perform was a dream come true for him.
After the show, they were to stop in a little “wedding chapel” on the grounds and sign a guest book. No one mentioned that a priest was inside and insisted on preaching a sermon instead of us getting them in and out of there quickly. Our promoter took care of it. Every time the preacher would start to speak, the promoter would clear his throat rather loudly. The preacher go the message and released the guys. We went into a private room in a big building and had a really great dinner. Then we drove back to the hotel to try and get in bed early. We have to depart for the airport at 6 am tomorrow for our flights back to the U.S.
The hotel where we stayed last night had “cats” that were allowed to roam the halls and even come into the rooms. I am highly allergic to cats and have been sneezing and sniffing all day. Sound like Donald Duck when I talk.
Closing down and going to get 4 hours of sleep tonight.
SUNDAY, JULY 9TH:
Decided that my “allergies” might really be a cold. Took some drugs and was in bed by midnight. But, I slept soundly for 3 hours and then couldn’t go back to sleep. Got up and exercised and answered emails until it was time to get dressed. Everyone grabbed a quick breakfast and we left for the 2 ½ hour drive to the Berlin airport. Arrived on time and it only took me about 2 minutes to check in with Delta. Bellamys are on Lufthansa and that took a lot longer. I was surprised by the amount of security checks and questions that we went through before boarding. It’s good and certainly much intense than what we have in the U.S.
So far, so good. Planes are scheduled to leave on time. I route through JFK with a 4 hour layover and Bellamys route through Frankfurt and Philadelphia. They left an hour before I left and arrive Nashville 40 minutes after I do – if all goes according to schedule.
Landed early at JFK (great, even more time on the ground) and worked in the Airport Lounge during the layover. Flight left on time and I arrived Nashville a few minutes early – with all my luggage! Called the Bellamys during their long layover in Philadelphia and they had all their luggage and equipment at that point in the journey, too.
Home until Thursday when I go back over until August 11th.