MONDAY, OCTOBER 19TH – JAPAN TO KOREA:
Forgot to mention that of course, Charlie and the Cannonballs opened the concert as usual. Yumi Godsey also performed. Yumi was in Charlie’s band a long, long time ago.
We met in the lobby at 6:15 am and Hiromi, Charlie, and Toshiko all came to say good-bye. Shoji and Seiya rode with us to the airport in Fukuoka. It should have taken us 2 hours but we hit rush hour traffic a few miles from the airport and it really slowed us down.
We are on Korean Air from Fukuoka to Seoul and they are “supposed” to partner with Delta. However, when we checked in, they would not allow everyone to check a second bag free of charge. I argued with them. Seiya argued with them. They would not budge. So, I took a picture of the man’s “badge” who was giving us such a hard time and told him I would be contacting Delta Airlines. He was not very happy about that.
Most of us went upstairs and had breakfast before heading to the gate. The plane was a really nice aircraft. Usually is when the flight is only a little over an hour! It was a very smooth flight and we landed on time. All our equipment and luggage arrived and Joanne met us with a really nice, new bus for the 1 hour drive to Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul.
I have spent a lot of time at Yongsan for more than 2 decades but haven’t been here in many years. We arrived a little after 2 pm and our first stop before checking into the Dragon Hill Lodge was to go get processed for our CAC cards. THAT was an ordeal. We had to take a number and there was 14 people ahead of us. A sign said each card takes 20 minutes to process. There were only two people working there and they closed at 4 pm. When I was finally called back, one of the two staff members got up and made coffee, stood and drank a cup and then left for a bathroom break for about 10 minutes. As soon as the other staff member finished with me, she did the same. That is why it was taking 20 minutes per person.
Once I got my card, I walked across the street and got everyone checked in at Dragon Hill Lodge. Boy, talk about wonderful memories from this place. And so many of you who will be reading this were here with me at some time throughout the years! It’s changed a little but not drastically….same restaurants and shops.
I got everyone checked in and the group was just finishing up with the CAC card processing. We were all starving because we missed lunch and some of the group missed breakfast and lunch. Kristen, Johnny and I went down to the Green Street Restaurant and ate and then met up with Jadan and walked over to Itaewon. They were just “overwhelmed” with all the shops. Kristen bought a couple of pairs of earrings and a beautiful leather jacket – both incredible deals, of course. Johnny is going to try to have a suit made when we get to Osan and I take him to Mr. Oh’s….my tailor there. I know he is still there because I saw his shop when I was there in August.
We were back in the Dragon Hill Lodge by 8:30 pm. Working away in anticipation of the office opening in a few minutes now!
We have AFN Radio early tomorrow morning and then sound check and performance.