SATURDAY, JUNE 28TH – DAY TEN: Up at 5:00 am, quick shower and off to the Stockholm Airport.  No problems with check-in and Swiss Air didn’t charge us $2,000 in excess fees.  That was a nice surprise. Flight left on time, no turbulence, landed on time, all our luggage and equipment made it and the bus to Interlaken was waiting for us.  Driver did have to take a longer route due to construction so the band had to check in quickly and go straight to the venue for sound check.  Carlene Carter and her husband Joe are already here and said things are going fine.  Bellamys and Carlene went over to the venue for a quick press conference from 5-6 pm.  Back to the hotel for a very quick dinner, and now I have to go back over for the Bellamys performance.  Carlene performs after them, so it will be a really late night again.  Hopefully I’m going to find my firefighters once I arrive at the venue tonight!  This is the 15th Anniversary of this festival and it was completely sold out.  It’s called a “Country and Trucker Festival” because there are a couple of thousand trucks that pull in and circle the festival grounds.  The drivers and their families “live” in the trucks for the weekend.  The trucks are usually Mercedes and are very well equipped. I met up with my NY Firemen.  What a wonderful group of people.  I’ve been so worried about them no need too—they have been having an absolute blast.  I introduced them to the Bellamys and Carlene Carter and got photos and autographed cds for everyone.  Tomorrow I get to spend all day with them going up to Jungfrau and I’m really looking forward to that – although I’ll only get 3 hours sleep again tonight.  It’s already 2:30 am.  The guys are all so funny — not to mention young and cute.  🙂 Bellamys and Carlene did awesome shows.  Got encore after encore and then signed autographs.  They were the perfect artists to have for the 15th Anniversary. So, I am signing off for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of things I left out but am so tired, I’ll just put them in my next report. Jude

SUNDAY, JUNE 29TH – DAY 11: Up early to get ready for the long train trip to Jungfrau.  Weather is beautiful again but I have to wear long sleeves because it will be so cold up on the Alp.  Have the attacking shower head in this hotel.  Has only happened to me once this trip, so guess I’ve been lucky.   There is so much water pressure that when you flip the switch to change the flow of water from the tub to the shower head, the wand first flips upside down spraying the ceiling and then flies out of the clip and chases you around the tub.  Needless to say, everything in the bathroom including all the clean towels got sprayed before I could get the thing under control.  But, tomorrow, I’ll be ready for it!  J Met Gary and Mike in the lobby and we walked down to the train station.  Arrived in plenty of time to catch the train only when I looked at the train tickets, they were for the wrong place!  I knew I couldn’t miss this trip, so I purchased three tickets at a cost of over $500!!!  Then I called the lady with the festival who gave me the tickets and told her what had happened.  She rushed to the train station, gave me the correct tickets, and got my credit card refunded for the ones I’d purchased.  Had a little trouble locating the firefighters but finally hooked up with them and the journey up the mountain began.  They were pretty tired and sleepy from the night before, but the scenery was so spectacular that it held everyone’s attention. They are an amazing, FUNNY group of guys so the trip up was delightful.  Plus I got to catch up on the gossip with my friends John and Jan Vigiano and get all the “dirt” on what the boys had been up to all week in Switzerland.  Sounds like they had a wonderful time even without me mothering them.  We went to the usual places once we arrived at the top of Jungfrau – the ice caves (which is a tunnel in the center of the glacier that you walk through), the observation deck, and then out onto the glacier itself.  It goes uphill and is covered with snow, so that was fun trying to negotiate in tennis shoes.  Got some great photos up there because this is the best weather and the clearest I’ve ever seen it in my ten plus years of visiting there.  Check out my website later this week to see photos from the trip.  Might make you decide to visit some of these places!  The trip back down was as much fun as the trip up.  Sad to say goodbye to them so quickly but know I’ll be visiting them in NYC later this year.  They have to leave for the Geneva airport at 3 am tomorrow morning, so “supposedly” it will be an early night for them. Got back to our hotel and had dinner with the Bellamys.  Have been in my room working for several hours now.  Going to bed soon because I have to get up at 3 am for a 5 am departure to the Zurich airport.  Will be getting the Bellamys off to the U.S. and then I’ll fly to Belgium to meet up with the Lt. Dan Band, my USO friends, my German bus driver, and Colonel Sughre and his family.  Will be in Belgium until Wednesday when I’ll return to Zurich for one night, then fly back to Norway to meet up with Cowboy Crush for that festival.    As I type this, a huge thunderstorm is rolling through the area.  Thunder and lightning straight to the ground.  Glad it waited until tonight!   When I got back from Jungfrau today, the maid had closed all my windows and turned my fan off!  Not sure my room will cool off before we leave tomorrow. Jude