THURSDAY, JULY 28:
Today I leave for Norway to meet the Bellamy Brothers for a show in Kristiansand. Howard and David have been in Berlin recording an album with DJ Ortiz, who is a huge star over there. The band left out of Nashville earlier this morning on a different flight. I will meet up with Howard and David in Kristiansand, and we will all ride to the hotel together. I arrived at the airport around noon, as I had already checked in on line yesterday. Quick and easy check in at the airport and dropped my bags. I realized just after I went through security that I forgot my book that I had been reading and was hoping to finish on this flight. Had an uneventful flight to Detroit, which is always good. Landed and had a late lunch, purchased a new book for the flight. I am not a big reader, but early last year I discovered this author, Lisa Scottoline, and I LOVE her books. I start reading her books, and they are SO good, it’s hard to put them down. This time I am reading “Save Me”, about a mother who is volunteering at her child’s school, there is a fire in the cafeteria and she has to choose between saving a child close by or her daughter who is in the bathroom down the hall. We departed on time, and again uneventful flight. I was so consumed with reading my book I forgot all about being able to watch a movie! Lol I did get about 3 hours of sleep.
FRIDAY, JULY 29:
Landed in Amsterdam a little early, but I have 3 hours layover so I am not worried about having to rush to my next flight. J I checked out the airport and read some more. Boarded to Kristiansand on time, and it was a short flight. The Kristiansand airport is so small, one of the smallest I have ever seen. I think there is a total of 2 baggage claim carousels. J Again, I continued to read as I waited for Howard, David, Jenny and Larry (steel player) to arrive. They arrived a few minutes early, and then we had to wait about 10 minutes for our driver to get arrive. Larry was in Germany for a few days R&R. Drive to the hotel was about 1 ½ hours, not too bad. Driver picked us in a 10 passenger van w/ a trailer attached for luggage and gear. I think they switched the transport for the pick ups because when the band arrived, they were met with an 8 passenger van and NO trailer. They were able to get all of the gear in the van, but had to get a taxi to the hotel. Wally had everyone checked in and hotel keys were waiting on us when we arrived. The Bellamys played here last year, but it was for the Beach Party in mid June, and it was freezing out. This year they are playing in a “cave” and it is much warmer out. Went down and had dinner with some of the guys and then Wally, Gunnar and I went to check out the venue area. There was nothing set up, but the production company will be up there early in the morning to start. The view from up there is amazing- overlooks the sea. It’s about a 3 minute drive or you can literally HIKE up the hill. This area is a really nice family vacation spot. People set up their RV’s on a permanent foundation and lease it all year – like a weekend get a way. There is a water park, beach, pier and you can even put your boat in. Makes me think a lot of our lakes back home. It’s been a long 2 days, but very little sleep so I finally made it to bed about midnight. I figure I have 9 months of sleep to catch up on since I have a 9 month old I left at home.
SATURDAY, JULY 30:
Slept in this morning, was about 9 when I got up. Was so great to sleep in, uninterrupted. J Load in is not until 4 PM, so I went by the kiosk next door, grabbed some water, yogurt and snack for the room. Went up with Wally, Nena and Gunnar to the venue. Stage was set up and the band was starting to get their gear ready. Kenny said he came over about 1 PM because he wanted to make sure everything was ready for sound check. They actually finished sound check in 2 hours!! Walked back to the hotel, checked some emails, had dinner w/ Susan and David and headed back out to the show. Show started at 9:30 PM. I sat with Susan to help sell merchandise, but we didn’t sell very many. Was great to chat with her, it’s a been a long time since I saw her last. I think we decided it had been since our last trip to Norway in August 2009! Back to room, checked email, packed up my stuff and headed to bed around midnight again.
SUNDAY, JULY 31:
Up about 7 AM, showered, finished packing, breakfast and everyone loaded on the bus. Bellamys are flying to Oslo, where they will meet up with Judy, and travel on to Sweden for a show tomorrow night. I fly out shortly after the Bellamys to Amsterdam, then on to the US. Still reading on my book, almost done. I did watch a movie this flight – Soul Searcher – with Carrie Underwood, about the female pro-surfer who lost her arm due to a shark bit. Was a pretty good movie. Decided to try and get a little bit of sleep since I will have a short night when I do get home. I was rudely awaken by the flight attendant and the lady next to me talking right over me. The lady beside me was complaining about her movie monitor not working, and how they had a family of 4 in Business and they couldn’t even sit together, blah, blah, blah. Funny thing was, she watched a movie earlier when I did, so not sure what changed. Landed in Detriot, and it took forever to get our bags. Finally got my bag, went through Customs and dropped my bag outside of Customs. Because it was so late, you could not go through security here, you had to go outside the doors as if you were departing the airport and go through security at the entrance of the airport. I put my phone in the side pocket of my backpack just before going through, and when I got to the other side, my phone was gone. There was a security guard just past the screening place and I asked him to call my cell, he did, but my backpack did not ring. I walked back over to the security screening area and found my phone! J Went to the gate, read more on my book, boarded on time for the flight to Nashville. Finished reading my book on the flight, and it was a really good read. Landed about 11 PM, picked up my bag and headed home. Andrew has his first day of school tomorrow, August 1. He will start 4th grade and I would not miss it for anything. I really missed my boys, all 3 of them. J