MONDAY, JULY 8TH – NORWAY TO DENMARK:
Got up to find text messages and emails from Lindsey. She and the Anita Cochran group are stuck in Newark. United boarded them on the flight and then they sat there for an hour due to “air traffic control”. Then they were told to get off the plane because there was a weather front moving in and no one was flying! There were “supposedly” no seats available on any of the airlines. United would not pay for their hotel rooms or meals because they said the cancellation was due to “weather” but they have proof it was due to air traffic control. Something she’ll have to “fight” if she ever gets home!
We were having breakfast when the bus driver came in and said he had lost the key to the trailer. Pretty strange since he parked it Saturday night and didn’t move it at all on Sunday. He said he was going to try and “cut” the lock off the hitch and it that didn’t work, there were gas stations that rented trailers. He said the other option would be to put all the luggage and equipment inside the bus. DUH…..that would work but then none of the passengers would fit and we’d need another bus for us! It was 7:30 am when he told us this and we were supposed to leave at 8 am. At 7:45 am, he was still “sawing” on the hitch and I tried to get him to go rent another trailer…to no avail. Finally at about 7:55 am, he was able to break the hitch off and we loaded up and left. He’s a really great driver….very safe and cautious. Not at all like the driver we had from the airport to the hotel when we arrived.
The driver had insisted we leave at 8 am instead of 8:30 am because of traffic. Then halfway to the airport, he said “What was I thinking? There is no traffic. This is ‘holiday time’ in Norway!” So we arrived just before the counter opened. Thankfully we were first in line because it was a very long line behind us. They had trouble checking us in because a terminal went down. Then the wrong frequent flyer number was in David’s record and they wanted him to pay for his extra bag. I finally figured out what was wrong and they allowed him to check 2 bags. The people in line behind us HATED us!
We went through to the gate area but had to wait about 30 minutes before our gate number was announced. Everyone moved to the gate area and Howard began “patting himself down”. He had lost his phone. David called it and someone answered and told him to come to the security desk to pick it up.
We boarded on time and landed in Amsterdam on time. I had a “gorgeous” man sitting beside me. That RARELY happens. After landing, I went to the juice bar to get a smoothie but the lady working the counter refused to put any yogurt in the juice! Howard walked up a few minutes later and she allowed him to pick any ingredients he wanted in his. Grrrrr!!!
A man and his wife were standing by the juice bar and were surrounded by security personnel. Someone had taken the man’s rolling bag and left him theirs. He was trying to get security to open the bag to see if there was ID inside so he could have the other passenger paged. Security refused and was waiting for someone else….maybe the Bomb Squad! The man had his passport and tickets in the missing bag. Trust me, I would not have asked security to open the bag. I would have done it myself! We left without knowing what happened.
Flight to Billund was uneventful and our promoters and his friends were waiting for us. Stig was also there but didn’t ride to the hotel with us. We stayed at this hotel last year and had lots of “issues” but it’s the best hotel in the city, so no other choice. Stig had made sure that Howard, David and I had rooms on the first floor because the elevator only goes to the first floor. We had the rooms but were informed that the elevator is broken. Unbelievable! The men who met us at the airport carried all our bags upstairs for us…this was done AFTER they had carried all the heavy band gear into the basement of the hotel! Since the hotel is not air conditioned, our contract states that they have to provide fans. Of course, they only had 3 fans so only Howard, David and I got one!
We all had dinner and the menu was pretty much the same as it was last year. I had a shrimp salad and a small rib eye that I asked to be cooked “medium”. It came out well, well done and dry! And we have to eat here 2 more nights….. L But the promoters here are wonderful and the show last year was sold out. All these are challenges are just part of the “fun” of touring overseas. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Lindsey is still stuck in Newark and no idea if she will get out tonight or not! Not good since she needs to pick up Zac and Zoe!
I’ve been working non-stop since we arrived. Going to bed soon so I can get up and go to the gym tomorrow morning.
TUESDAY, JULY 9TH – DAY OFF IN HOLSTEBRO:
Great day off! Had breakfast with Gregg and we met a lady who lives in Norway and grew up in New York State. She LOVES country music. She and her husband were leaving Denmark tomorrow morning but changed their plans so they can stay over and see the Bellamys perform.
The hotel has a “deal” with a local gym for their guests to use it free of charge. I remember going there last year and getting very, very lost in the process. Decided to try it again. J Got my map from the front desk which I couldn’t read because I didn’t take my reading glasses with me. Fortunately, I remembered all the wrong turns from last year and went straight to the right place. It is about a mile and a half from the hotel so I got in a great “jog” there and back before working out with weights. Really nice gym with everything needed for a good workout. And, I feel 100 times better all day long when I have time to work out first thing each morning.
Showered and did a little work before going to get money changed, buy water at the market and then do some “shopping”. This is such a great town. There’s a “main street” with all the shops I like and then lots of little side streets with restaurants, etc. It’s a beautiful city, too, with fountains, parks and sculptures. Forgot to take photos today but will get some tomorrow. Saw lots of clothes and shoes I wanted but can’t buy them because my bags will be overweight. I did buy some very small, lightweight toys for Zac and Zoe.
Stopped at the “”Waffle House” and had a hot dog for lunch. I never eat hot dogs except in Scandinavia. The rolls are actually bread with a hole hollowed out down the middle. They fill the hole with mustard, ketchup or whatever you want and then stick the wiener down inside the hole. The wieners are “crisp” and actually “snap” when you bit into them. Love ‘em!
Stopped shopping at 4 pm because that’s when the office opens in Nashville. Emails start pouring in then! And they did. Worked until a little after 7 pm and was going down to meet the guys for dinner. But at 6:50 pm, the internet kicked off and all the wireless connections just “disappeared”! Usually when I lose the network, I can still see lots of other networks in the area. NOTHING! Knew that wasn’t good, so I shut down the laptop. Then it wouldn’t boot back up. It got stuck on a black screen. I did a hard shutdown several times and it finally booted back up AND all the network connections were there. David said his computer did the same thing in Switzerland. I’m worried that there is a virus but I did a virus scan and didn’t find anything.
For dinner, I had the asparagus soup which was okay and the Wiener schnitzel which was greasy and “heavy”. Bad choice. One of the guys asked for dessert and the waitress said “No. No dessert tonight. The kitchen didn’t make anything. Maybe tomorrow night!”. I stopped by the front desk to ask when the elevator would be fixed and was told “definitely not this week and there’s nothing we can do about it”. Frightening when you consider this is the best hotel in Holstebro! J
Howard came in to eat late and I sat with him for a few minutes. When I left, I forgot my fanny pack that I had hung on the back of my chair. Remembered by the time I got to the lobby because I didn’t have a key for my room without it. Told Howard I did a “Howard” and left my fanny pack. Had to put this in the road report or he would bust me for not telling on myself.
Back to real work tomorrow with sound check and performance. Hard to believe I only have 2 shows left with the Bellamys and one with Gene Watson before heading home. It’s been a great trip with wonderful promoters and fantastic audiences everywhere we went!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 10TH – PERFORMANCE IN HOLSTEBRO, DENMARK:
Was reflecting that some things have changed since I’ve been coming to Europe all these years….and some things have not.
One of the big changes is the fact that we rarely encounter a shower head that chases us around a bathroom anymore.
Internet – although always promised as being available in each room – is rarely the truth. Sometimes only in the lobby and sometimes not at all because we “overload” it with all our iPhones and computers!
I got up early and went for a fantastic jog in beautiful “very brisk (especially since I dressed for 90 degree temperatures) weather. Denmark is where I had the horrible “hit and run” bike wreck several years ago. I am extremely cautious and careful to watch for cyclists. I had more than a dozen “near misses” this morning on my job. Cyclists simply believe they own the streets. There is a clearly marked “walking” path and separate “bike” path. These paths are divided either by different colors or a line down the middle. Cyclists do not ring their bells (in fact, I’ve never seen a bike that has a bell!) nor do they say “On your Left”. They ride on the middle line or over in the walking path and blow past you, usually brushing against you as they whiz by. Oh how I’d love to have a stick to whack them or put in the spokes as they terrorize pedestrians! And, motorized scooters ride on the bike paths and they are even worse!
This is by far the cleanest town in Scandinavia, I think. This morning they were washing the streets and painting the park benches. There is absolutely no litter anywhere, no graffiti….just beautiful streets, parks, etc.
Had breakfast with a couple of the guys and saw the nice couple we met yesterday from Norway. They are really looking forward to the concert tonight! I rode up to the venue with the guys for sound check. When we got out of the car, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was like being in a snow storm! This white “fluff” had filled the air and gathered in piles all over the ground. The venue is in a beautiful, very wooded park — wooded with Cottonwood Trees! I’ve been suffering with allergies since I arrived in Europe and this was not something I was expecting to encounter today. I didn’t stay very long!
The TV station that we offered to do an interview for yesterday decided they wanted it today instead. The buyer told them to just come set up at the venue and they could do the interview during sound check. That would have been great only Howard and David don’t attend sound check. They wanted them to come to the venue anyway and play one song acoustically. I had to explain that they don’t play acoustic guitars and I did not want Howard to come out in all that “cottonwood pollen” because he is having problems with allergies too. All we need is for him to lose his voice this late in the tour. We finally compromised by having them come to the hotel and interview them inside and outside and add some video from their website.
I had a few minutes to walk down the street and take a second look at a beautiful leather jacket I saw yesterday….very expensive, too. Met Howard coming back from his “walk” and he had scored a great shirt for only 100 DK! Fortunately, the store did not have the expensive jacket in my size. Did I mention that the shopping is fantastic here? 🙂
We had pre-ordered dinner and had to eat at 5 pm because of needing to go to the show. Finally I made the right choice – Cod! It was really good.
When we arrived at the show, it was packed. All the seats were filled and people were standing in the back. The ticket prices are only 40 DK and a sausage costs 45 DK at the venue. LOL. The buyer is actually a painting contractor. He holds 6 concerts throughout the Summer, secures lots of sponsors, and gives ALL the profits to various charities. Stig said the weather wasn’t great for the previous two concerts, so he was delighted with tonight’s attendance. Think he wants to bring the Bellamys back again next year. So, we are batting 5 for 5 with sell outs at all the shows!
We met the guys from Randers Graceland…yes, exactly what you’d think…a replica of Graceland and Elvis’s Tupelo Home. Bellamys took a photo with them and I even jumped into one photo with “Elvis”! LOL.
Stig had his wife had their little 8 month old daughter with them tonight. I got to hold her several times. She is an absolute doll and such a good baby. Thought I might talk him into letting me take her with me since she can still fly free…but no luck!
After the great concert and two encores, the promoter treated the Bellamys to a “traditional” Danish spread of meats, pate, spreads, brown “nut” bread, pickles, etc. etc. We had this last year and the guys loved it.
Was back at the hotel by 11 pm and took a photo with our new friends from Norway. Off to Breim, Norway tomorrow!