PHOTOS (COURTESY OF UNISONO ZAPPU)
SATURDAY JANUARY 24TH THROUGH SUNDAY, JANUARY 25TH – NASHVILLE TO ZURICH VIA ATLANTA AND PARIS!
Met the Bellamy Brothers at the airport at 9 am today for our flights to Zurich. Check in was a breeze with our Delta friends. We only had 30 minutes before boarding so no time to eat at Noshville. Instead we ‘raided’ the Delta Sky Lounge.
Flight departed Nashville on time and landed early in Atlanta which means we had time to eat there. I went to the terminal where our flight is departing and had a salad. The only one I could have had purple onions in it. I thought I could just pick those out. HA! By the time I picked out all the onions, there was very little left of the “greens”. But, it was good. Went to the Delta Sky Lounge and answered a few emails. Had time to talk to Zac and Zoe before we boarded.
For once, I liked my seat on the plane. Of course, Delta is “reconfiguring” all their aircraft so that they will have a first class section, a business class section, and then 2 or 3 “levels” of coach class. All it means is, passengers are going to have to pay a lot more for their seats unless they want to be stuck in the back of the aircraft. L Flight attendants were nice and the food was exceptional. It was basically “regional” food which means “Southern Cooking” and I couldn’t have most of it. I couldn’t have the soup or the huge selection of breads. I “wanted” the butternut squash tortellini but “had” the duck sausage. I was apprehensive when I ordered it but it turned out to be excellent. I watched a movie about Sudan Refugees that was really good (Reese Witherspoon with dark hair!) and slept for 3 hours. I had the breakfast Frittata which was eggs and spinach. Did not have the croissant but the frittata came with a homemade biscuit and sausage gravy…which I also had to look at but not eat! We landed early and had plenty of time to get to the gate in Paris for our final leg of the journey.
Breakfast on the short flight was just cheese and meat with yogurt. Wasn’t hungry on that flight since I had just eaten a breakfast. We again landed early and were happy to see that all our bags and equipment arrived. We will be taking the tour bus between cities so no more flights until we go home which is great. But, we stay in the same hotel in Lucerne for 2 days, same hotel in Zurich for 2 days and then we change hotels every day until we fly home on the 3rd.
Gola’s manager Lukas met us with Steph our bus driver. We had a little problem getting “to” the bus. Zurich airport no longer allows buses to pull up and park and allow us to load everything as we exit the arrival area. The buses have to park in a lot and there are only certain banks of elevators that go to that level. We tried 3 sets before getting it right. Keep in mind that’s 10 people all pushing carts of luggage and big equipment cases throughout the “shopping area” at the Zurich train station where the parking lot access is located. The one guy who did not have a cart took the escalator and got there much quicker.
Steph is a great bus driver and even though it had snowed heavily this morning before we arrived, he managed to get us to the hotel in Lucerne much quicker than we planned. The hotel is really nice and we all got checked into our rooms easily…although not quickly. The hotel insisted on having passport information on each person. They wouldn’t make a copy of my copies of the passports as I requested but hand wrote the info on each registration form. It was almost noon by the time we completed check-in. The girl at the front desk told me breakfast had ended at 10 am. But Howard walked in the restaurant and there was a full breakfast buffet still out. I checked the hours once I got to my room and learned that it was open until 12 noon. Got in touch with the guys and let them know so they could have a “free” breakfast before most of them went to sleep.
Internet works in the room which is the most important thing to me. I’m going to bundle up (it is FREEZING here) and go for a walk around the lake. I’ve been here many times and it’s one of my many, many favorite places in Switzerland. Need to find some large bottles of water for my room.
Took some photos before all the snow melted and then hit the shopping street….only to remember it’s Sunday and NOTHING is open on Sunday in Europe except shops in the train station. I walked along the lake to the train station and bought my water for the room. Still have to drink half my body weight in water every day but it’s a lot easier now that I weigh so much less. Ran into Gregg and Jim checking out the bratwurst and kebab stand.
Worked for a couple of hours and then took an hour and a half “nap”. Since nothing is open – even most of the restaurants – decided to walk downstairs and eat in the hotel restaurant. David and Susan walked in right after I got there so we all ate together. It was a really great meal. I had a small piece of grilled veal and grilled steak with spinach.
Came back to the room and worked but it’s not nearly as busy for me on Saturday and Sunday. Almost finished answering my emails and going to be in bed by midnight. We have a sound check and performance at the KKL tomorrow. Show is sold out!
MONDAY, JANUARY 26TH – FIRST SHOW IN LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND:
This turned into a crazy busy day! I did not get in bed by midnight. It was 2 am. Set the alarm for 7:30 but kept “slapping” it when it went off. Then, someone started using a drill and a hammer and it sounded like it was “in” my room. That was at 8 am. I guess someone complained…probably one of my guys…because it stopped until 10 am.
Got up and worked out with my bands. This is a nice hotel but they don’t have a health club. They have a “deal” with another hotel that is a walk from here and you can work out for 20 CHF per day. Didn’t have “time” to do that.
Had a quick breakfast and I was the only one in our group who was there. That was unusual. Showered and went in search of “egg white protein” to make my “shakes” with at night. No luck. Not at Sports Stores, Health Food Stores, or Pharmacies. Guess I should have brought that with me. I did find a great “fresh food store” right next to our hotel and had a salad from there for lunch. They also have “curries” so I’m going to tell my group about it because we won’t have much time for dinner tonight.
I walked over to sound check at 1:30 pm and found everything was delayed. The FOH console was broken and they were bringing in a replacement. Couldn’t do much of anything until that arrived. The venue is the KKL right next to the train station and only a couple of blocks from our hotel. We were able to walk back and forth from the hotel to the venue and “most” of the walk was underground through the train station shops. Which is a good thing because it started snowing really hard and is still snowing now at almost 2 am.
The venue is BEAUTIFUL and was designed by a world famous architect. Looks a lot like Carnegie Hall in NYC. I walked Howard and David over to do a “teleprompter” check at 4 pm and they didn’t finish up until after 5 pm. We have to leave for the show at 6:45 pm, so dinner was the take-out curry at the restaurant I found. Tonight’s show is sold out.
My friends from Gstaad were coming to the concert but called to tell me they were running very late because of the snow. We had a “Meet and Greet” prior to the concert and they missed that. L I did see them as I was walking out front to watch the show. It was snowing so hard that they weren’t able to stay after the show, either, but had to drive back….very slowly! Our other friend – Peter from Boswil – was able to attend and it was nice to see everyone.
It was a FANTASTIC first show. The audience was great, too. They performed for 1 hour and 45 minutes which was perfect. We are working with Live Sound which is the company we have always worked with in Switzerland so we know most of their staff.
We got back to the hotel at around 11 pm and I’ve been trying to answer emails ever since. It’s now almost 2 am. We have to leave for Zurich tomorrow at 11 am and it’s going to be a very busy day again. We are meeting with some folks from a record label early afternoon…then sound check and the performance. The good news is…Wednesday is our day off in Zurich…the only day off during the entire tour, though.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27TH – PERFORMANCE IN ZURICH:
Back to my “normal” routine of 4 hours sleep on a tour. Same morning as yesterday – exercise, shower, breakfast, and emails. Today there were lots of people in our group having breakfast when I went down.
Our bus driver arrived EARLY which was exceptional. The drive from Lucerne to Zurich was beautiful but definitely in “black and white”. Everything but the roads was covered with snow. We arrived Zurich at 12 noon exactly as planned. I looked up the hotel where we were staying because I thought it was one we had stayed at previously but didn’t find it in any of my old itineraries. But when we arrived, the Bellamys said it is the same one. It is located directly across from Jemoli – a great department store with an even greater restaurant area in the basement. And there is an Asian Café attached to the hotel.
The front desk clerk was great and had us checked in quickly. A new procedure in Switzerland is requiring copies of the passports. While that was always a requirement in SWA, it was not in Switzerland. But, this hotel just made a copy of the passport copies I had with me which made check-in much quicker.
I was going to book Howard a Thai massage for his birthday. The Spa in Jemoli (which is also the health club we can use for 25 CHF PER DAY!) advertised Thai Massages, so I ran over and proceeded to book one….only to be told the Thai Masseuse had quit. I then tried to book the deep tissue massage only to be told they could book a “short” one but not the longer time period. I left. I asked the hotel to find a Thai Massage that was relatively close to the hotel. They could not find one. I went upstairs, googled, and called one that was a 7 minute taxi ride. Everything was going along just fine until he refused to take my credit card for payment!!! I decided to just book a massage for our last day in Zurich which happens to be at the Radisson Airport Hotel. There is a Spa connected with the hotel and they offered Thai Massage on their website. And that would be on Howard’s birthday – February 2nd. Again, everything was going just fine until they told me they no longer offer Thai massages. In a country that has more Asians than Swiss, how is it possible that NO ONE offers Thai massages any more?
I began trying to book just a “deep tissue” massage with the masseuse in our hotel. No one would answer the phone. The front desk tried as well. I finally went by the room again to pick up a brochure and a nice young man opened the door. So, Howard is all booked for a 90 minute deep tissue massage at noon tomorrow – our day off! I asked the nice man “why” no one offered Thai massages in a country filled with Asians. He explained that their “parlors” were located in another “ring” of Switzerland…the red light district ring and you have to be careful what you book….or not…depending upon what you want. J On second thought, maybe I SHOULD have booked Howard’s massage over there. LOL.
We have a meeting with a record label at 2:30 pm in our hotel and I have to be finished by 4:45 pm to walk with the guys to sound check. We are told it is about a 15 minute walk but everyone tends to lie a little when it comes to the actual distance and time. We’re going to walk over but I have a feeling I’ll be calling taxis for Howard and David tonight!
Had a great meeting with the label. Looking forward to working with them on the Bellamy’s 40th Anniversary Project in Europe. They flew in from Germany and arrived late so I didn’t have a lot of time to meet before going to the venue for sound check.
I met the guys in the lobby and of course the short walk was a little longer than we were told. But, we didn’t get lost! J I remember the venue from 2010 when the Bellamys performed there with Gola. I checked out the backstage entrance and dressing room situation and then rushed back to the hotel to grab a really quick dinner, have the hotel print out set lists for me, reserve a taxi to take the Bellamys over and change clothes….all in 45 minutes…a “record” for me!
The taxi driver took a really long route to the venue and charged us 20 CHF. I think the hotel was getting a “kickback”. That’s what happened the last time the fare was exorbitant. Bellamys and Gola had a “Meet and Greet” from 7:15 – 7:45 pm and several of our friends and business associates were there including Albi, Daniele, Maya and several others. Show started right on time and there was about 900 people attending. It was a GREAT, enthusiastic audience and they insisted on one more encore after they had already performed 3 encores. Trouble was, Gola didn’t know the words to the song. After scrambling around for a few minutes, he found his lyric sheet. The Bellamys both use teleprompters because they are singing so many of Gola’s songs. But Gola writes his lyrics out on HUGE pieces of paper and puts them on the floor at his feet. J
We had another unscheduled “Meet and Greet” after the show with some more record label folks and a really nice man who wrote all the articles for BLICK…the daily newspaper that gave us such great PR for the tour.
Made it back to the hotel at around 11 pm and this time, the taxi charge was 10 CHF … HALF what we paid for the ride over.
Susan is going skiing tomorrow with Gola’s wife…who speaks very little English. It has been 30 years since Susan last skied. I told her I’m going to go ahead and reserve a wheelchair for the flight home.
I’m going to WORK on my only day off!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28TH – ONLY “DAY OFF” ON THE ENTIRE TOUR – ZURICH!
I only know what day it is because this hotel puts a rug in the elevator every day with the day of the week on it! What a great idea.
And, what a “day off” this turned out to be. First thing I always do when I get up is check email – sick, I know. Had an email from a friend at a booking agency informing me that a promoter in Europe had passed away. It was not someone I particularly cared for but, I don’t wish “death” on anyone. He had a wife and lots of children.
Then, I had a phone call from Wally saying Norwood had left his “bag” in the taxi they took home last night. They forgot to get a receipt so we had no idea what company it was. Lukas made calls last night and Norwood tried everything today. His ipad, laptop, and other “tour related items” were in the bag. Thankfully he had his iPhone and passport or we would have been taking the train to Bern today to get another passport! I felt so sorry for him.
Knowing that Susan was skiing today, I was scared to check in with her or David to see if she was okay.
I literally rushed to the Post Office to mail a package off to Gstaad and ran through a Health Food Store…still no “egg white protein”. Guess Switzerland has never heard of it. Then Albi called and wanted to “meet with me” for a few minutes at the hotel, so I cut my shopping even shorter. Noticed that one of the watches on my “double faced” watch had quit running so I ran over to Jemoli and left it for a new battery. I ran into David at the sushi bar and he showed me photos of Susan in an upright position on skis, so I marked that off my “worry” list!
After the meeting with Albi, I began “working” on answering emails. I’ve worked all afternoon and evening except for a short “dinner break” with Howard and David. When we returned from dinner, Norwood was standing in the lobby smiling from ear to ear. The taxi driver had taken his bag to the police station and turned it in. The police went in his contact list but only found numbers of people in the U.S. But, eventually they found a production manager in Switzerland and called him. He has been communicating with Norwood and gave the police Lukas’s phone number. The police delivered the bag to the hotel. Whew. One casualty diverted.
We leave for a performance in Basel tomorrow which means the tour will be “half over”. Really flying by. And now we get to drive to a different city every day and stay in a different hotel every night. Can’t even unpack each day. But the scenery is beautiful and the people I’m working with – Bellamys and the Swiss – are wonderful.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH – PERFORMANCE IN BASEL, SWTIZERLAND:
Woke up to more snow that turned into rain before we left. Worked out, showered, dressed, quick breakfast and we were off on a 70 minute drive to Basel. Roads were clear and there wasn’t much snow left. THAT is about to change. We’re going to get lots of snow the rest of the tour with the most on the last day in Davos. Our Production Company has already informed us that they can’t get the truck up the roads to the venue and will have to transfer everything to vans!
We are at a Ramada in Basel and historically that has not been one of our favorite chains in the U.S. But, this one is great. Rooms are nice and a little bigger than in Zurich. Internet works great, too. Only “challenge” is the elevator. You have to scan your key, punch in your room number, and watch the “screen” above the keypad. It tells you what “letter” (A, B, C, D, etc.) elevator you get on. Then when you get on the elevator, there are no buttons for floors. The elevator only goes to the floor you punched in. We had that type of elevator in NYC over Thanksgiving and it was a PITA. Also, it means I can’t go to anyone else’s room if they are not on my floor.
First thing I do when I get in my room is check to make sure the internet works. I don’t unpack anything until I do because I will change rooms if it doesn’t work. Fortunately, it worked. I looked everywhere for a “closet” to hang my clothes for the show tonight and tomorrow but couldn’t find one. Then later tonight, I noticed a round circle on the far side of my bed. There is a small closet in the same “wood” as the walls and impossible to tell it’s the closet!
Walked down to COOP and purchased lots of water and some fruit for lunch. Then worked non-stop until time for sound check. The best thing about this hotel is that it is located right in front of the venue. We just walk over. It’s a really nice venue. I checked out the dressing rooms and picked up keys then left to work some more. The hotel menu didn’t really have anything I could eat other than a Caesar salad so I walked down to a German restaurant that Wally recommended. They had a really good menu but did not offer “take away” and didn’t start serving dinner for another 30 minutes – too late for me because of the concert tonight. Ended up going to an Asian Noodle shop and getting a skewer of chicken, shrimp and tofu!
We walked over to the venue and had a “Meet and Greet” before the show. Our friends and promoters from Schupfart were there. Sadly, the promoter from Schupfart passed away unexpectedly last month. He was a wonderful man and will be missed. Bellamys are performing there again in September.
Show was really good and again, lots of enthusiastic fans. Bellamys performed a 4 song encore again. I was back in the room by around 10:30 pm and answering emails.
We leave for Herisau tomorrow – show #4 of 6. Can’t believe the tour is already half over!!!
FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2015 – PERFORMANCE IN HERISAU:
Okay – Frank Lilley – you will be happy to see that my life is getting back to “normal” for me. J
Up EARLY to exercise, shower, breakfast and get on the tour bus for the 1 ½ hour drive to Herisau. We performed there in 2010 on the first BB&G Tour. I don’t remember the hotel, but Susan does. I did remember the venue.
The drive up was breathtaking with LOTS of new snow. And we are expecting even more over the next few days.
Got everyone checked in and I made sure my internet was working. I went in my bathroom and there was this long silver rod extending from the mirror over my sink with a big white “ball” at the end of it. I pulled on it and nothing moved. I thought maybe the mirror had shelves behind it. Nope. Then I noticed the “bar” running along the side of the wall and realized I am I in a “handicapped” room. Perfect! LOL. Also the container with the little “bags” in it is closest to the toilet and the toilet tissue holder is on the far side of that. Visualize, folks! So every time I reach for the toilet tissue, I pull out a baggie instead. I was delighted to hear that everyone on this floor has a handicapped room as well.
I asked the front desk where the nearest Coop or Migros was located (Swiss grocery stores) so I could go by my water and fruit. They gave me directions and I saw the sign for Coop first. Only it was Coop PARKING. I walked around behind the building. No entrance. I walked up the steps. No entrance. I had no idea where to go to get inside the Coop so I walked up to the Migros instead.
Came back to the room and worked until I went to sound check with the boys. The bus parked where we thought was the front of the building so we hiked around to the back door…where all good musicians enter. When we walked in, we were met with what looked like a building that had been blown up and this huge heater that was going full blast and smelled horrible. There were workmen everywhere. We opened the one door that we thought would lead to the stage and it took us right back out front to the bus. So, not to be deterred, we walked up the stairs. Same situation up there. We came back downstairs and walked outside and realized the building where we are performing was in front of us.
I checked out the dressing room and “meet and greet” situation and hiked back down to the hotel. On the way down the hill, a man was walking towards me. He had on shorts and flip flops and a can of beer in his hand. I really, really wanted to take his photo but was afraid he would throw the beer at me. He crossed the street and went into a – are you ready for this—PHONE BOOTH. Something we never see any more in the USA. I also passed the Coop on my way down the hill….not the parking lot but the front door. Howard later told me that he had to go into the parking garage and take the elevator up to get inside Coop.
David, Susan, Wally and I rushed across the street to eat at an Italian Restaurant before leaving for the show. Food service in Europe is very, very slow so we asked first thing if they could serve us and have us out of there in one hour. They assured us they could. I had the best meal I’ve had this entire trip. Half a Crapese Salad and grilled prawns with veggies. The prawns were in this really light mustard sauce.
Had another great show to a full house. Our friends Susann and Jessica Loop attended this one and it was great to see them. They live in Switzerland but spend a lot of time in Australia and the last time we saw them was in Australia when we were there in October.
Susan and I went into the balcony and took some photos. We didn’t stand in front of anyone but twice, two different guys tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to move. I stood in the very same place and they never touched me. I told her it’s because she looks like a nice person and I look like someone who will kick them if they mess with me.
It was snowing really hard when we left the venue and MUCH colder. We were back at the hotel by 10:30 pm. I am going to talk to Zac and Zoe on Facetime at 1 am and then go to bed. We leave for Bern tomorrow – Gola’s home town and definitely a sold out show. We’ll get to see lots of our friends from Interlaken – including one of my best friends, Iris – and one of my friends from Gstaad at that show. It is a 2 ½ hour drive tomorrow.
Better, Frank? J
SATURDAY, JANUARY 31ST – HERISAU TO BERN, SWITZERLAND:
Got to talk to Zac and Zoe on Facetime but meant I got in bed at 2:30 am. Definitely worth it. This hotel has “ centrally controlled” heating which we all hate. It was so hot in their restaurant yesterday that Howard could not eat. Our rooms are really hot. Seemed strange to sleep with the window open considering how cold it is outside but it was the only way to cool off the room.
Same routine this morning – work out, shower, breakfast and depart for the next city. I did make a quick run to the COOP (since I now know where the entrance is located) and a great “gift” shop next door to the hotel.
We left on time but hit a lot of traffic several times which definitely slowed us down. Still arrived at the hotel a “close” to the time we had planned. It’s the same hotel where we stayed in 2010 and it was great. The main shopping street is just a short walk across the bridge and I’m really glad I don’t have any time to shop. I’d have to buy another bag to get anything home!
Check in was quicker here than anywhere we’ve been! Made sure the internet was working in my room and then walked down to the Coop to buy water and fruit. Had to rush back for sound check and a meeting with a promoter who wants to book the Bellamy’s on a Rock and Blues Cruise in 2016. All I needed to do was check out the dressing room situation and the back way to get there. Natalie – who has been TERRIFIC – was told that the guys would have to walk through the audience to access the back stage. Frank said they didn’t but would have to walk outside. I knew neither of these answers was correct from our performance here in 2010. I told Natalie to speak with someone either at the hotel or casino and I’d come back after my meeting.
I rushed into the lobby where the Cruise promoters were waiting for me…and Frank, you will be proud of me for this … and a man said “Hello, Judy”. I thought, “Oh my. I’ve met him before. I didn’t realize I “knew” the cruise promoters”. It was a man and a woman which is exactly who I was supposed to be meeting. I apologized for being late and asked if they wanted to sit down in the coffee shop. They sort of looked at me strangely but agreed. I kept talking to them about the Bellamys and in the back of my mind thinking, this looks like our Facebook friend from Switzerland – Hans. The female just kept looking at me like I had lost my mind! As we were talking, I got a text from the cruise promoters informing me that they were waiting for me in the lobby! Talk about EMBARRASSED. Hans was very kind and I apologized profusely. Had to confess to the cruise promoters what an idiot I had been as well. L
Had a good meeting with them and the cruise isn’t until September, 2016. They will be coming to the show tonight and I’ll bring them backstage after the concert to say hello to the Bellamys.
I ran back to the Casino where we’re performing and checked on the “backstage access” situation. Natalie had it all worked out but as I remembered from last time, it is a “maze” of hallways and elevators to get there from our rooms. She agreed to meet me on our floor and walk us down at show time.
I rushed to the restaurant to have an early dinner at 5 pm and then get ready for the show. The restaurant was completely empty but the Maitre-d said that they have a “concert” tonight and could not seat me. After the day I had, it was the wrong thing to say. I put my All Access Pass right in his face and said, “I AM the concert and if you don’t let me eat, there won’t be a concert”. It worked. He asked if I could be finished in 1 hour. I told him if he would serve me quickly, I could be finished in 15 minutes! Found out they told Lukas the same thing about a half hour later only he didn’t play the “I am the Concert Card” and didn’t get served. He ordered room service which did not arrive before he had to be backstage. He had his meal delivered to the dressing room.
We had LOTS of friends at the concert tonight – Iris and Jrene from Interlaken, Marco from Gstaad, and Jean-Marie from Universal. Bern is Gola’s home town, so he had lots of friends there and a special treat – I got to meet his parents. Lovely Mom and Dad!
The show started a few minutes late as people were still coming in. It was a very full house and Susan and I didn’t have seats. We sat backstage and Iris and Jrene joined us before they had to leave for Interlaken. Wish we had more time to chat with them.
BB&G again did multiple encores. It was another great show. Can’t believe we only have ONE more show before we fly home! We took a group photo on stage with all the Production Team after the show.
I went back to the room and was going to send all the photos I took to my friends. Only I had forgotten to put the memory stick back in my camera and I didn’t have any of the cords needed to plug the camera into my computer and transfer the photos. Then I remembered that my camera has “wifi”. Two and one-half hours later I had figured out how to transfer the photos from my camera to my iPhone and then from my iPhone to my laptop. Whew!!!!
We are leaving an hour earlier tomorrow – 10 am – as it is a 3 to 4 hour drive depending upon the weather. Have never been to Davos and heard it is beautiful…but what in Switzerland isn’t?
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST, 2015 – BERN TO DAVOS, SWITZERLAND
Can’t believe it’s already February. Time is passing much too quickly the older I get. L
Very quick workout today, shower, even quicker breakfast and off we go to Davos. As I said, depending upon the snow, will be a 3-4 hour drive. And should be really beautiful.
I fell asleep for part of the drive and woke up to the most beautiful scenery. But there was a LOT of snow! The cars were required to use chains but our bus was still fine.
We got checked in and it’s a nice hotel. Except when we came upstairs, several of us had rooms which were still being cleaned…mine included. I waited in the hallway for about 15 minutes while they cleaned. Steph our bus driver had told me there was a Coop just up the street. I bundled up and stepped carefully along the sideway for more than a mile and never found it! I also realized it’s Sunday and might not be open. But, I asked the Reception when I got back and they said it’s open until 11 pm but it is long way!
We all walked over to sound check together because we needed to go in the back way and had no idea how to get there with all the snow. We had to walk down a very steep, snow-covered hill to access the back door. I was hanging onto Lukas and he kept telling me it wasn’t slippery…and I nearly took him down because I was sliding every which way! It’s a nice venue and a good way to end a fantastic tour. I checked out the backstage area and then went next door to eat. The restaurant at the hotel where I ‘wanted’ to eat doesn’t open until 6:30 pm and we have to leave for the show at 6:45 pm. I ate lunch/dinner at 4 pm! Service was very, very slow as is typical for all Europe as I mentioned. The service is slow compared to the U.S. because our waiters and waitresses work on “tips”. The wait staff in Europe are paid a good salary and don’t depend on receiving a tip. So, the U.S. wants people to eat and leave so they can get a new customer and additional tips. In Europe, they want you to sit and talk for hours because they get paid the same regardless.
I ordered another Caprese Salad and “thought” I was ordering sliced veal with grilled vegetables. Only it turned out to be schnitzel and was breaded. And, there was a LOT of food. I ate half of everything and brought the rest back to my room and stuck in the fridge. Had about an hour to work before going back over for the show. Gola actually drove us over in Heidi’s van. They checked into the hotel as I was coming back from eating and I got to see their two beautiful daughters – Nikki age 2 and Leslie age almost 1. They are ADORABLE. Makes me miss Zac and Zoe so much. I had bought them little stuffed animals which instantly made me their “friend”. J
Zappu is getting sick and we all hope it’s not the flu and hope if it is, he doesn’t infect us. Surely I can’t have it again after just getting over it! The Bellamys and Gola did their “Meet and Greet” and also did a radio interview with a station from Germany.
It was a seated audience tonight which means they weren’t quite as “rowdy” in the beginning. But they quickly warmed up and were in front of the stage dancing by the end of the show.
We had a “wrap” party at a design studio after the concert and they served some sausages and then a sort of soup with sausages as well. If you are on Facebook, be sure and check out my photos tonight.
It has been a wonderful tour. Working with the Bellamys and their guys is always “easy” and a pleasure plus they are all excellent musicians/crew. Gola, Lukas, and our entire production team and photographers were awesome as well. The time has flown by and it was an amazing experience once again.
We leave for Zurich tomorrow and will stay at my favorite Zurich hotel – The Radisson at the airport – for one night. Then we fly home very early on Tuesday morning.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND – DAVOS TO ZURICH:
Since we didn’t leave the hotel until 11:30 am, I had time for a good workout…only the hotel didn’t have a gym and there wasn’t one nearby either. So, it was “bands” again in my room. Will be glad to get back to my “routine” in Nashville.
Had breakfast and none of my group was in there…too early for them. I was able to check everyone in for our flights tomorrow and got the front desk to print out the boarding passes for me. Saw Gola, Heidi and the beautiful little girls in the lobby before we left. Also saw Zappu (who is feeling MUCH better. He thinks it’s just he altitude that made him sick!) and Sandro before we departed.
It was a beautiful, snowy, frightening drive down the snow covered Alps…and it was snowing HARD again. As I said, our driver Steff, is excellent. Couldn’t not even tell we were moving. It took us a little longer than expected but since it was a day off, really didn’t matter.
We are staying at the Zurich Airport Hotel connected to the airport and train station…my favorite hotel in Zurich. Took a little longer to get everyone checked in than expected, too. I got my laptop set up and then hiked over to the airport to find out what time the ticket counter opens tomorrow morning…4:45 AM! So we have to leave the hotel at 4:30 am. Figured out the “best” route and then went to the Post Office in the train station to mail a package to Schupfart. I was going to have to take the train into Zurich to buy Legos for Zac and Zoe that I promised them. But I checked the Migros in the train station on the off chance that they might have what they wanted. SCORED! So I did NOT have to take the train into Zurich which made me very happy! Rushed back to the room to answer a few emails and change clothes. Had a short meeting with David and then David, Susan, Howard and I had his “birthday dinner” in the hotel restaurant. Food was excellent.
I’ve been working hard to answer emails and get in bed by midnight so I can get 3 hours sleep. I WILL be sleeping on the flights tomorrow!
Again, this was a wonderful tour with even more wonderful people. Special thanks to everyone but especially to my “babies” – David, Howard, Susan, Wally, Randy, Frank, Gregg, Jim and Norwood – the best in the business!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD – ZURICH TO NASHVILLE:
Only got 2 ½ hours sleep….not 3. Wanted to get to the lobby early enough to make sure Wally had all the help he needed to get the equipment out of the storage room.
“Almost” everyone was on time. Norwood got confused on the time we were departing but he came right down when Wally called him. It was a “hike” through the shopping area of the train station, short walk outside and then an elevator to the check in desk. Since the first flight is on KLM, the ticket agents were KLM employees…which means they never understand the “partner” rules. I knew we were going to have problems yesterday when I checked everyone in because the boarding passes would not print “Priority” on anyone’s except mine. All the guys are “Platinum” but KLM just can’t seem to recognize Delta’s Elite Status.
There was one guy working the “Priority Check In Line” and he was great. Then the girl next to him starting helping and that’s when the problems started. The guy was letting everyone check in two bags – as he should with their Platinum Status. The girl was arguing with everyone. I was getting pretty frustrated with her. We finally got Howard checked in and then it was my turn. She told me I couldn’t check two bags weighing 70 pounds and wanted to charge me overweight for the bag I was checking for David. I argued with her that actually I could check 3 bags weighing 70 pounds because I am a 2 Million Miler on Delta. I was to the point of calling Delta to have a “chat” with her when the agent next to her said, “What’s the problem? She’s flying Business Class. She can check 3 bags at 70 pounds!” And so I did.
We had already been notified that our flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta was delayed by 30 minutes. Not good because we have a short connection but hoping the pilots will make up the difference in the air.
Everyone was really hungry so we stopped in the Zurich Airport and waited for a “mini” Marche to open. Good thing we did because once we got to the gate area, there was NOTHING..no shops at all!
Flight departed pretty much on time and landed Amsterdam a few minutes early. We had to go through Immigration and the guy I got quizzed me forever. He wanted to know why I didn’t have a “stamp” in my passport for my arrival in Zurich. I explained that we connected through Paris and there wasn’t an “Immigration” to clear when we arrived in Zurich. Don’t know why he only questioned me and not the other 8 people flying with me.
The flight crew was just arriving at the aircraft when we cleared Immigration and we had to wait and wait and wait to board the plane. Finally boarded and took off over a half hour late – as they predicted. But the pilots said we would still land in Atlanta at the originally scheduled time.
I had dinner which was really good and watched a movie about an Indian Family opening a restaurant in France. Howard had told me about it and it was a great movie. Once I took my headphones off to try and sleep for a while, I noticed that the man behind me had a “Tic”. He cleared his throat every 45-60 seconds. Talk about annoying! But I slept for about 3 hours and then purchased wireless and answers a ton of emails on my iPhone.
We landed on time and even had time to have a cup of coffee in the Delta Sky Lounge before going to the gate. Out plane departed out of “T” terminal…one I don’t think I’ve ever been it. It was a really quick trip to Nashville. I rushed home, dropped my bags and went to see Zac and Zoe practice basketball and cheerleading. Good to be home from a fantastic tour!