SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH – PERFORMANCE IN HONEFOSS, NORWAY:
Everyone was in the lobby with their personal suitcases by 7:30 am. We loaded them onto the production truck, had a quick breakfast, and walked over to the Train Station right behind the hotel.
I asked the hotel about the “ghost” and it is an interesting story. The hotel was built by Mr. Fleischer in 1888. Less than a year after it was built it caught on fire and was destroyed. He had not taken insurance on the hotel and was devastated thinking he had lost everything. Unbeknownst to him, his wife Magelen had taken out an insurance policy. They were able to rebuild. The ghost is supposedly Magelen and she is simply still watching over the property. When she was alive, she kept the books for the hotel and was the “chef” there. Rumor has it that when guests stay in room 407, they feel a presence. Supposedly, if they sleep on a certain side of the double bed, they feel an uncomfortable presence in the bed with them. If they move to the other side, all is well. When 2 people stay in the room, they never experience anything. Interesting story and very happy she didn’t come to check on me last night. David and I did hear a lot of banging around out in the hallway around 1:30 am. We both just figured it was someone who had too much to drink trying to find their room. J
The trains in Norway as excellent – as they are all over Europe. It was a 4 hour ride with 7 stops. I worked the entire way by hooking my internet up to my T-Mobile Hotspot – which is FREE of charge to me. The internet on the phone kept dropping every time we went through a tunnel – which was about every 5 minutes. I remember this train trip from when I did the Norway in a Nutshell tour. Every time I would try to take a photo out the train window, we would enter a tunnel! I thought the time went by very quickly. One of our musicians slept the entire trip. I won’t name names. J
Hilde was waiting for us at the train station and took us to the hotel. Some of the rooms were not ready when we arrived so the guys went to a hotel nearby. It’s a small town but looks interesting. I worked for about 45 minutes and then went to the lobby to walk over to sound check. The guys were still eating lunch, so Randy and I walked over to the venue to check it out. It’s a really nice “Kulture Centre” and the staff was very friendly.
While the guys did sound check, I walked over to the same restaurant and had an omelet – about the only thing I could read on the Norwegian menu. We won’t be able to eat dinner tonight until after the show but he show if from 6-7:30 pm.
Had about an hour after eating to work some more and then met Howard and David to ride over for the show. With the help of so many of our new Norwegian friends, we were able to find someone who drove 90 minutes to attend the show and bring his pedal steel for Jim to play in the show. However, when Jim was setting up during sound check, he discovered that it was the amp that had blown, not his pedal steel! He wasn’t able to check the amp after the show last night because the power had already been shut down to set up for the next band. Very glad we don’t need a pickup or someone’s pedal steel for the Sweden show.
Tonight was a great “ending” to the Norwegian part of our tour. The guys got another standing ovation! We met the promoter’s brother and his wife. He has lived in Colorado for many years and is married to an American.
Strange to think that we are still over here until September 25th but only have 4 more shows in all that time.
We all went to a great restaurant for dinner “Salt and Pepper”. I much prefer eating later as opposed to around 5:30 pm because I am always up so late. Howard and David realized they had performed here before and someone at the show told them it was in 1977. Hilde pointed out the “restaurant” where they performed when we went to dinner. David remembered that the show had to be delayed because the Russians had called in a bomb threat. Hmmm…things haven’t changed that much in 4 decades, have they?
Dinner was excellent. Hilde pointed out what she says is the best restaurant in town – a former prison. It’s not open on Sunday and Monday nights so we might have to check it out Tuesday night.
We have Monday and Tuesday “off” here in Honefoss and then travel to Stockholm on Wednesday. I am going to use my time wisely to catch up on my work!
It was bittersweet being overseas on 9/11. God Bless John and Jan Vigiano and their family. We will never forget.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH – 1ST DAY OFF IN HONEFOSS, NORWAY:
The fan they gave me for my room makes a “clicking” noise as it rotates and I could NOT go to sleep. I tried turning it off but it was much too hot. I finally fell asleep at 4:30 am and got up at 8:00 am. Went downstairs for breakfast and some of the guys were there. Nobody was eating much of anything because the food was really bad. The reviews on this hotel said it was “bare bones” but that is an understatement. It’s very old and need remodeling as well. Of course, this is where we will spend 3 days!
While I was sitting at breakfast, Tom (our backline provider) came over and said that he had been asked to take all the equipment back to the venue and store it there before he left. I couldn’t believe it. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. It was a nice “girl” that I had met the day before. I asked her why we were being asked to move the equipment. When they stored it last night, I was told that they had 2 meeting rooms upstairs that were rented out but they could store it downstairs. She said that she couldn’t rent the room with the equipment in it. I asked her if she had someone who wanted to rent the room and she said “no”. I said, “Do you really think it’s a wise idea to lose your customer over the price of a meeting room that isn’t even being rented?” She told the promoter that he would have to “pay” for the room if he wanted to store the equipment there. Talk about great customer service!
David has a larger room that the rest of it and he said we could just leave it in his room. It’s on a hotel luggage cart and the guys just rolled the whole thing into his room. I guess the manager will ask for payment for using the cart for 2 days next!
I got in a really great workout in their fitness room. I have a plastic container for Kleenex in my bathroom but there is nothing in it….not an empty Kleenex box, just nothing. Like I said “bare bones”. There was a box of Kleenex in the Fitness Room so I stole it for my room. I have one of the ancient “box” hair dryers mounted on the wall with a long hose. These things were used in Europe about a decade ago. Of course all the guys have regular hair dryers. I asked the hotel if I could “borrow” a hair dryer and they said they don’t have any. There was one in the Fitness Room and I tried to take that, too, but it was mounted to the wall. L
The guys wanted to wash clothes and I asked the hotel about doing their laundry. They don’t even have washers and dryers here for the hotel’s laundry. They send everything out! I got the phone number for the cleaners and the guys were going to take their dirty clothes to them with the understanding that they will have them back – clean – by tomorrow afternoon.
Then I started the project of trying to find a massage for David and Howard. The front desk sent me to a hair salon who had no idea where to send me. A customer spoke up and gave me directions to one that was right across the street from our hotel! But, the door was locked and I called the phone number on their website and it just rang and rang. I tried calling one that Hilde has given me the number for last night at dinner. It rang and rang but finally went to voice mail. No point in leaving a message because they are NOT going to call a number in the USA!
I went back to my room and got on the internet and found a good one but it wasn’t within walking distance. The taxi company is next to the hotel, so I arranged that for David and he left at 3:30 pm. Said it was a great massage from a large Swedish lady with really strong hands. He and I had been texting Howard all day and he was not responding. I was getting really worried about him but he came downstairs right before David left. He had been awake until 4:30 am this morning. He went to breakfast really early and then went back to sleep.
I walked up to the shopping mall which had quite a few shops. I found a couple of items I was looking for and then was able to get an omelet to go. Had to get back and start “working”.
I went out at about 7:30 pm to a Chinese restaurant where David and Wally were eating. Was able to get “take away” food there as well and ate at my “desk” in the hotel.
Oh, I forgot, when I first got to my room yesterday, I was looking everywhere for power outlets. I had to rearrange the furniture just to plug in my computer and iPhone! Right inside my door, there is a shelf where you are supposed to put your suitcase. Above that is a Silver disc and I thought there was a power outlet under it. I wondered why they would put a plug way over there but one of the hotels we stayed in last week did the same thing. I flipped the cover up and nearly got sucked into the wall! It was a central vacuum system and good grief it had strong suction power!
Tomorrow is another day off and I’ve still got lots of work to do. Going to get in a good jog before I get buried with work though. We leave for Sweden on Wednesday for the one night cruise to Finland!
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH – 2ND DAY OFF IN HONEFOSS, NORWAY:
Breakfast was just as bad today as it was yesterday. I ate a boiled egg and drank a cup of very bad coffee. Went for a long jog this morning…partially along the river and then out of town. The weather is “perfect” except it’s “hot” for Norway and no air conditioning.
I pretty much worked non-stop except for a quick trip to the mall to buy a couple of things. When I showered, my entire bathroom floor had about a half inch of water on it by the time I finished. There was no “squeegee” like some of the Norwegian hotels provide. I was not going to stand in water and use the decades old “box hair dryer with a long hose” to try and dry my hair. It’s like trying to dry your hair with a cigarette lighter…it would take an hour! I went down to the Fitness Room and used the hair dryer down there.
Was able to get everyone checked in for our flight to Stockholm on SAS tomorrow. Had to email them to the front desk to print for me because I just didn’t have room to bring my printer!
David and I walked over to the “old prison” restaurant that is supposed to be so good. I wished I had looked at the menu before going because there really wasn’t anything I like or that I am supposed to eat….except they had Crème Brulee and I sure wanted that….but didn’t! However, the food was excellent and coffee was great after two days of drinking what the hotel is passing off as coffee! We didn’t see any “old prison cells” but there was some memorabilia on the walls. I forgot to check out my Ghost Radar while I was there which was probably smart.
I noticed that there were two “HUGE” silver disks on the wall outside my room like the small one in my room. I checked and those are for the central vacuum as well. If the little one in my room had that much suction power, I’m sure these would pull someone right into the wall. They are the size of toilet seats!
Jim and I both used this “machine” in the fitness room yesterday that we had never seen before. It’s a round disk that is elevated off the floor. There is a handle on top for your hands and two indentations on the bottom for your knees. You put your knees on it and “twist” back and forth to work your obliques. Well, we both certainly got a workout. We can barely move today. I use a machine for obliques at my gym but it’s one I sit on.
Saw the guys off and on throughout the day and think they are enjoying having 2 days off. The days seem to be going by much faster now
Even after working all day, I still had lots of work to do once I was back in my room. It’s almost 1 am and I’m waiting for Lindsey to call so I can talk to the kids!