THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH AND FRIDAY, “THE 13TH” – NASHVILLE TO THE FAROE ISLANDS:
I always seem to be flying on “lucky” Friday the 13th. J Traveling today with The Bellamy Brothers to The Faroe Islands then Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. I’ve been home since the end of July except for a day trip to DC and a wonderful vacation in St. Pete with the twins. This tour lasts until September 25th. Then I have a quick trip to Atlanta for The Forester Sisters induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. So very happy for them and all I can say is “It’s about time”! J Going to San Antonio for the first time in years and years. One of my dearest friends in the Air Force is being promoted to a FOUR STAR GENERAL and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Okay, back to today. We got checked in and Ted at Delta took great care of us. Our flight was on time but once we got on the plane, a thunderstorm rolled in and there was lightning on the ground. The ground crew couldn’t come out of the building to help with departure. We sat for about an hour and then finally got clearance to depart. I was afraid we would miss our connection but we made it.
I have had this fancy new Blackberry that also has all the functions of an iPhone with the touch screen AND the keyboard. When I was in Tampa, I was suddenly unable to SEND emails. No problem receiving….just sending. I had only had it a few days then and was going to return it when I got back to Nashville. But after about 24 hours, it fixed itself. Right before we left Nashville today, the same thing happened. I called the computer “guru” who sold it to me and he said AOL is changing out their servers and that’s the problem. Anyone else having more problems than usual with AOL like we are?
We had a little over an hour in Detroit and then boarded the plane. It was one of the “new” ones with the little cubby holes and “lay flat” beds. Packed full, of course. I watched a strange movie titled “East”. In August, I was determined to lose 10 pounds, so I went on the Jenny Craig diet. Never cheated, only ate their food and only lost 3 pounds. Jenny Craig really doesn’t know how to deal with people who exercise as much as I do. So, I switched to Adkins on Monday. I lost a pound in just 3 days. It’s an easy diet for me except for no caffeine! Giving up that one cup of coffee first thing in the morning was brutal. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away the first 3 days from “withdrawal”. But things are fine now and I hope to lose at least 3 more pounds before I get back to Nashville. Pretty easy to stay on Atkins when traveling, too!
We landed in Amsterdam and had to clear security again. I took everything I could think of out of my carryon bag but they still nailed me. They kept taking more things out and finally they removed a little foam “cooling pad” for my computer and said that was the problem. Really? Security is much more “heightened” with the trouble with Syria but that’s a good thing.
My email started “sending” again, Thank Goodness! I called our promoter Allan in the Faroe Islands and woke him up. I had realized that we had to pick up all our bags and equipment in Copenhagen and re-check them. And that meant paying excess because Atlantic doesn’t “partner” with any other airlines. I checked their website and they only allow ONE bag at 20 Kilos. That’s 44 pounds. We had 18 bags between 9 people weighing 50 pounds each. Atlantic charges 40 DKK for EVERY KILO that the bag is overweight. It would have cost us close to $5,000 in excess. I asked Allan to try and find someone who could talk to Atlantic and get the fees waived.
We landed on time and picked up our luggage/equipment. Allan had still not called back or emailed so I called him. We were already at the check in counter ready to check in and they were nice, but “firm” that we had to pay. I went upstairs to talk to the Airlines and found a lady who knows who the Bellamy Brothers are. Allan had his friend call me back while I was there. He talked to her and they waived all the fees. Whew!
Even after doing all that AND clearing security again, we still had an hour before flight time. We ate lunch in the Copenhagen airport and then went to the gate to “wait”. Again, flight was on time and it was a plane similar to Southwest Airlines planes only with assigned seats. They just won’t let you “reserve” a seat…have to take what they give you when you check in! They had assigned me a bulkhead seat – which I hate – but I was able to get 5C instead.
When we landed in the Faroe Islands, I have never been on an aircraft that slammed down so hard – TWICE. Much worse than any Southwest landings and they are always pretty bad. We got all our bags and equipment and Allan and “Butt Bear” was waiting for us. Butt Bear has worked with us in the Faroes several times. That’s the name we gave him because his name is sort of pronounced like that.
The hotel is completely sold out with a convention for “adoptions”. We always get the guys their own single rooms when traveling overseas but this time we could only get 7 rooms instead of 9 and 4 guys had to double up. They were some unhappy campers but there were no other hotels on this small island with any rooms and really nothing we could do about it. Fortunately, it’s only for 3 nights and it’s a heck of a lot more beautiful here than the cities they play in the U.S. where they always have to double up in rooms!
I was able to answer quite a few emails before meeting most of the guys for dinner at 6 pm. It was a set meal and really great. I had to switch out the potatoes for a salad and skip the dessert. L
Back in the room and trying to get in bed before 1 am. Faroes are only 6 hours ahead of CST. We have sound check and show tomorrow and a day off on Sunday.
If you don’t know where the Faroe Islands are located, please take time to “google” them. They are small, in a very remote area but incredibly beautiful! Looks a lot like Ireland at times. They have these cool Faroese sheep that are black and beige.
Bedtime, I hope!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 – PERFORMANCE IN THE FAROE ISLANDS:
Got 6 hours of sleep – off and on. Always that way when I’m traveling. I checked the weather report and it looks like it will begin raining at 2 pm today and rain the rest of our time here. So, I decided that this should be my morning to go for a run. One of the desk clerks suggested I go to a jogging trail around the hill in front of the hotel. He said it was 5 km and he was right. It was the perfect run. Weather was about 40 degrees. There were a lot more hills than I jog in Nashville but it was a good challenge. I rounded a curve in the road at one point and almost fell over a sheep. Not a lot of that in Nashville either.
When I first came to the Faroes with the Bellamys years ago, they warned me to not leave my windows open in the hotel room. They said the sheep would come inside the room! Thought that was kind of strange but our rooms are actually located one floor below the lobby. I can reach out my window and touch the tall grass on the ground. And, yes, the sheep wander around right outside the window….which I keep closed. J
Had breakfast with a couple of the guys and gave them the “half good news” that I can get them into their own rooms tomorrow. It’s only for one night but guess that’s a little bit better.
Showered, answered emails, and then met the guys to drive to lunch at a restaurant in town that the guy who got our excess waived yesterday owns. And, he is the “chef”. The guys had this amazing dish of wide flat noodles topped with grilled salmon, shrimp, onions, mushrooms and an amazing “orange sauce”. I had the same thing minus the “pasta”. I think it is one of the best meals I have ever had anywhere.
Left for sound check and the production company didn’t have the stage set up. I stayed long enough to check on a few items but not a lot I can do once they are starting sound check. They arrived there at 2 pm and were supposed to be finished by 4 pm. I worked some more in my room and went to dinner at 6:30 pm. Right after we arrived in the restaurant, I saw the van drive up and all the guys bailed out! They were just getting back from sound check. Seems they had all kinds of problems….only one generator and they needed three. Took a long time to get those and then they didn’t have a splitter which took more time. Guess they had a lot of time to just “sit around and wait”.
Still having problems with the “meals” at the restaurant. Last night, they didn’t give us an appetizer/salad – just entrée and dessert. Our contract is for a 3 course meal – appetizer/salad, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. The promoter has explained this to them many times. Tonight they gave us salad and an entrée but said they couldn’t have dessert. I assured the waitress that, yes, they could. She brought a plate of cookies that looked more like bread and I told her “No. Give them a “dessert” from the menu”. She finally brought them something that they said was great. Hopefully our promoter can get this worked out tomorrow night…our last night here. The Bellamys and I are having dinner with Tummas – someone I met while he was in Nashville with Hallur earlier this year.
Got an email from The Time Jumpers tour manager saying Delta had changed his flight and he only had a one hour connection in Atlanta en route to Switzerland on Tuesday. Brilliant….he is escorting 11 other musicians and they put him on a different flight. And, Delta did not even notify him of the change! I got in touch with Lindsey and she called Delta. Delta said they did not change his flight and she needed to contact the travel agency. She had to call the afterhours number for the travel agency and they said they didn’t change his flight. Hello…it didn’t get changed by itself! One of the two entities had to have made the change. She got it change back but now he has lost his seats. I’m calling Delta in a few minutes myself to try and get his seats back!
Leaving for the show at 11:30 pm for a midnight to 1:30 am performance. Faroese like to party all night long. Hallur performs AFTER the Bellamys. About 2 days before we left home, there were only 300 tickets sold. When we landed, there were 500 tickets sold. Early this morning there were 700 tickets sold. By early afternoon, sales had reached 900 and they closed out the “pre-sales”. The radio station announced that pre-sales were sold out but people could buy tickets at the door. The audience only heard the words “sold out” and there was a mad rush to buy tickets at the door. Think final count was about 1,100. The buyer was hoping only about 700-900 would be sold so there would still be room for a huge dance floor. LOL. The weather turned really ugly just before we left for the show. High winds and rain. Allan was amazed that so many people attended the show because many of the audience comes from the other islands and the ferry closes in weather like this.
It was a great show. Audience is a “dance” crowd like a Texas dance hall only with a lot more alcohol consumed. I would have loved to have the beer concession tonight. Bellamys brought Hallur on to sing their duet “Amanda” which is a huge hit here in the Faroes. Then Hallur had the audience sing “Happy Birthday” to David. His birthday is Monday when we’re flying all day. When we were in the Faroes several years ago, David’s wife and I were taken to “jail” as a joke for his birthday. It worked great. But without Susan here with me, I figured just a birthday cake would suffice this time.
Bellamys went on stage at 12:30 am and came off at 2 am. Hallur will perform from 2 am until 4 am. That’s the Faroes! I was back at the hotel by 2:45 am and since tomorrow is a day off, I’m going to sleep until just before breakfast closes. We are having dinner at Tummus’s home tomorrow night.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH – DAY OFF IN THORSHAVN, FAROE ISLANDS:
Had a hard time falling asleep and was actually awake until 5 am! Then I had to get up at 9:30 so I wouldn’t miss breakfast. Howard and Gregg had already eaten when I got to the restaurant.
The weather is still the same – sun for about 10 minutes, then wind and rain. Keeps cycling through those periods. It’s also about 40 degrees with winds at 30 mph!
I worked all morning getting everyone – but me – checked in for the flights tomorrow. I was able to print boarding passes for all the Bellamys all the way through from Thorshavn to Copenhagen and Copenhagen to Munich. That was a real surprise since Atlantic Airways doesn’t partner with anyone! The website let me check in for the Thorshavn to Copenhagen flight but not for the Copenhagen to Zurich flight. I am pretty sure we have to pick up all our luggage and equipment again when we land in Copenhagen and go to the check in counter and check in for our next flight. At least we have 3 hours if the flight is on time!
I worked out my upper body for 45 minutes in my room. The sun was shining, so I decided to “add” a 45 minute power walk to my exercise routine. Got dressed in my running clothes and added a windbreaker to my usual attire. When I got outside, the wind was blowing so hard, it took my hat off and almost knocked me down! I was determined to get in my walk and made it all the way to the top of the hill when it started pouring rain again! Walking against the wind was like walking in water – lots of effort to move even a few feet. Finally made it back to the hotel but my 45 minute goal wasn’t reached. Only walked for 9 minutes. L
Re-packed everything and showered and dressed for the dinner at Tummas’s house at 7:30 pm tonight. Met Wally in the lobby to go over “things” since I won’t be with them in Germany and Switzerland. Stressing me out that I can’t be two places at once! I’m sure they will be fine. Not so sure I will be. J
Butt Bear’s wife found a bakery that could make David a birthday cake today and she had it delivered to Tummas’s house. Tummas’s home overlooks the harbor and is on a hill with a beautiful view. It’s “my kind of house” — very open, lots of windows, white, chrome, and glass – absolutely beautiful. Met his wife for the first time who is gorgeous and his 8 year old twin daughters. They were very shy but is was so nice to see “twins” since I’m missing Zac and Zoe so much.
Tummas owns a hotel or restaurant in town – can’t remember which – maybe both – and he had the food catered in. What an amazing meal and I stayed on my diet. The appetizer was fresh tuna and salmon with a unique salad. The main course was a huge, thick steak that you could cut with a fork, mushrooms and tomatoes and a “root” vegetable. There were potatoes that looked divine that I couldn’t eat. David’s birthday cake was beautiful and he said very light. It looked like a lot of whipped cream with white cake between the layers. He said it was delicious. There was also this big bowl of “dessert” that Tummas insisted I try. I didn’t want to cheat on my diet but it turned out to be whipped cream (which I can have) and rhubarb (veggie) but I’m SURE there was sugar involved. I only had a small spoonful but it was so delicious.
We had such a great evening. Allan and his wife and Jakup and his wife were also there. We sat around and told “stories” for hours. I was the one who said we have to go because Howard and David were really enjoying themselves. J
Have to add that this hotel has been awesome. I have an iron and ironing board, a “kettle” with decaf and tea, and wireless internet that is slamming. What more could a girl ask for?
Got to get up at 4:30 am, so going to bed now. Full day of flights from here to Copenhagen and on to Zurich for me and Munich for the guys. Sure hope we can check the luggage/equipment all the way through….
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH – FAROE ISLANDS TO ZURICH:
Didn’t get but about 1 hour of sleep last night. “Someone” kept texting me! Then I just couldn’t fall asleep until it was time to get up. Everyone was ready before 6 am and we left the hotel in pouring rain and heavy winds. Really looking forward to taking off in that!
Airport counter wasn’t open when we arrived and there’s really no concern when they open 10 or 15 minutes late – at least not by the counter agents who were late. I had checked everyone in and printed boarding passes, so we got in the “Bag Drop” line. Our excess fees were waived – thankfully! – and check in was quick. It’s a tiny airport – one gate. The only “café” that was open didn’t have anything I could eat. I finally bought an open face sandwich covered with shrimp and eggs and threw away the bread.
The plane was full, of course. The take-off was worse than I imagined. Wondered if we were going to make it but we did and once we got up above the clouds, it was a smooth flight. And he didn’t as David said, ‘Land like an Albatross” this time.
I had to go get my boarding pass issued at the Transfer desk and then I met David, Randy and Wally to eat another “seafood” salad. While we were sitting there, Howard went running by. David yelled at him and he came over. He said he had left his iPad on the plane and they told him it had been taken to Atlantic Airways Offices. He had to exit the airport and go to Terminal 2. I went to the security lines to see if he had made it back in and saw him coming in. He got his iPad back. J
I had to leave the guys and go to the “A” gates while they went to the “B” gates. We took off about 5 minutes apart. They landed safely, were met by Bill the promoter and taken to the hotel. Bill and his wife Marianne took Howard and David out to dinner to celebrate his birthday – AGAIN!
I got checked into the Radisson at the Zurich Airport. I’ve stayed here many times and love this hotel. There’s a huge wine bar that is in the lobby and about 4 stories tall. A girl in a jumpsuit “flies” around inside and brings the bottles of wine to the customers. Pretty cool. I worked for hours because the office had opened up. Then walked over to the train station in search of water and dinner. Found the water but came back to the room and ordered room service. They told me it would take 20-30 minutes but I called to check on it after an hour went by with no service! They appeared shortly thereafter.
I have lunch tomorrow with my friend Albert who works for SUISA. Have to get in some shopping, too! J