There are all these young high school kids wearing bright red pants.  All the pants are just alike and we learned that it’s what “graduating seniors wear” the month they are graduating.  Yes, the entire month and yes, they “party” for one month.  We’ve seen them extremely drunk in both cities we’ve visited in Norway.  Last night they were partying right outside our windows.  Managed to sleep for 4 hours and then showered for the long day of travel from Norway to Germany.  I had forgotten that it was Mother’s Day until I had a sweet text message from a friend of mine in NYC.  Quick breakfast and then a 20 minute “beautiful scenic drive” to the airport.  At one point, we drove over a bridge that I swear is the tallest bridge I have ever been on.  The airport is tiny and we were the first ones there.  I figured out how to check everyone in using the computer kiosk which definitely moved things along.  We had really nice gate agents who only charged us excess on the musical instruments, not the luggage.  They kept apologizing but it only cost 960 Kroner which is about $175.00….a heck of a lot better than the $2,600 we paid FinAir.  We gave both the agents autographed cds and photos.  Jennifer is having a hard time getting boarding passes for all her flights every time we fly.  Don’t know what is different about her booking, but something definitely is. Flight from Haugesund to Oslo was short — only 50 minutes and the weather had cleared up.  We landed and DID NOT have to pick up our luggage and equipment.  Figured out that it’s only when you are entering Norway from another country that you have to do this.  Need to remember this in the future.  I had a salad and then we went to the gate to wait for our flight. Had several hours layover in Oslo airport and then flew to Copenhagen on SAS.  I am in business class on all these flights but it’s a real “rip-off”.  The seats are the same size as coach and the plane is packed full.  All they do is stick up a sign on the back of the seat saying “Economy Class Behind this Row”!  Seriously. When we landed in Copenhagen, I reached up to get my backpack out of the overhead.  It wasn’t there.  I thought it might have slid down the bin a little but after a thorough search, could not find it.  I panicked and thought someone had taken it.  I went to the front and told the flight attendants and one of them said, “No I moved it to row 22”.  I was flabbergasted!  Row 22 was in the back of the plane.  I asked her why she thought she had the right to do that without my permission.  She said she needed the space for another bag.  I told her how much I paid for my business class ticket (believe me, it was a LOT) and didn’t appreciate being treated that way.  She apologized but I didn’t want to hear any of her excuses.  I had to wait until everyone got off the plane before I could retrieve my bag.  Sent an email to United (their partner airline tonight) complaining about her and I expect I’ll get a response since I’m “Global” on United (the highest rating you can have in their Frequent Flyer Program”). We had another layover of about 2 hours only this time, our gate had not been announced.   We had Starbucks coffee until the gate was announced.  Jennifer had to get her boarding pass and it took forever for them to issue it.  He quizzed her extensively about her checked bags. Flight was on time and we landed in Munich.  You may remember that Susan sprained her ankle when we were in Germany in March.  It’s just beginning to heal.  I know from personal experience how long it takes!   As she was getting off the bus that took us from the plane to the terminal, instead of picking up her carry-on bag, she rolled it off the bus.  It hit the ankle that was already sprained.  Not good!  All our luggage and gear arrived EXCEPT Jennifer’s bag and one of Susan’s bags with the merchandise.  We went to see the SAS agent to file a claim. When we gave him the information, he said that Susan’s bag got left in Copenhagen and would be in Munich in about 40 minutes.  He said Jenny’s bag was there but had been “diverted” due to suspicious contents!  She didn’t have anything in there that might draw attention other than a hair dryer.  I still think it has something to do with the problems in her booking.  She got it about 10 minutes after we filed the claim.  SAS said they would deliver the bag to Susan either late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Bill – our buyer and my friend – met us in the terminal and had a nice bus waiting to take us to the hotel an hour away.  It was an easy drive.  The temperature is about 70 degrees.  It started raining right before we reached the hotel. There was an “angry little German man” working the hotel desk.   He wanted everyone to fill out paperwork with names, addresses, passport numbers, etc.  I took everything away from him and told him I’d do it tomorrow!  Since it was still raining, the bus took us over to Bill’s club and restaurant.  He has terrific food there.  Since the angry German at the hotel said he didn’t have any ice for Susan’s ankle, Bill took some from the restaurant to her.  The food did not disappoint us.  I had a terrific salad followed by the perfect wiener schnitzel.   Bill also took dinner to David and Susan at the hotel since she didn’t feel like walking over. Back at the hotel – fighting with T-Mobile about my login and password.  Lindsey just called on Skype and let me watch Zac and Zoe on the video camera.  They have grown a lot since I left at the end of April. Very tired and sleepy so will stop typing and go to bed! Jude

Got up and had a quick cup of coffee and then hit the “streets” for a fantastic jog in beautiful weather.  And, since I’ve run this area many times, I only got lost once!  Stopped by the little “WalMart” type store for water and other things then showered, answered emails and met the Bellamys in the lobby for our visit to the “Castle”.  Our lunch with the Prince got changed to a meeting with the Princess because he was summoned to some government meeting.  First we toured their beer brewery.  Did you know that “beer” is one of the official food groups in Germany?  They take beer very seriously.  We saw a short film and toured the entire brewery.  At one point we went way down below ground and it was absolutely FREEZING.  After the tour we had the most amazing lunch ever.  It’s “spargel” season here – that’s white asparagus that is to die for.  I had Spargel soup and a salad with spargel in it.  I ate “light” because I was saving myself for the most delicious apple strudel with ice cream and vanilla cream sauce I have ever had.  Will definitely have to bump up my workout again tomorrow but it was worth it. When we met the Princess – Beatrix Prinzessin Von Bayern – I was sort of standing back letting the Bellamys do their thing.  She looked at me and said, “Are you the person who organizes these tours?”.  Sort of took me off-guard and I wasn’t sure whether to admit it or not.  J  When I said that I was, she started telling me about a Medieval Festival that they hold the first 3 weekends of July each year.  They have had the event for 30 years.  They hire a group out of France to perform “jousting” for the audience.  She told me to go by and look at the “stadium” and said she wanted to bring a country music artist for next year’s event and would love to have the Bellamy Brothers.  As luck would have it, I have them performing in Switzerland the last weekend of June, so it will route perfectly.  Her Production Manager – Martin – took us to look at the venue. It’s really impressive and will seat 13,000 people.   Think we’ll be back here next July.  Back to the hotel to work, work, work….Mondays are hell.  We went over for the show at 9:15 pm and the club was overflowing.   The crowd went crazy for the Bellamys.  It was extremely hot and the audience is still allowed to smoke.  They performed 3 encores tonight.  Tomorrow we take a tour bus to Brig, Switzerland which is very near Zermatt.  Been a long time since I was in that area (about 3 hours from Geneva) so looking forward to going back.  But, NOW I am going to bed! Jude