DAY 7 – OSLO TO COPENHAGEN:
Forgot to mention the wild dreams everyone had on Sunday night. I think mine probably topped everyone else’s though. I dreamed that someone stole my purse when I “left” it somewhere here in Norway. Woke up in a cold sweat. Then went back to sleep and dreamed that Zoe fell out of her crib. My floors are all wood, so I panicked but she came walking into my bedroom. Only she looked like one of those “coneheads”. Truly bizarre dreams. Wondering if we all ate or drank something strange at dinner. J
Didn’t have time to work out this morning before leaving for the airport. Got up, showered, had breakfast and walked over to the terminal to check in. Flight was on time and I got there WAY too early, as usual. We boarded and then sat at the gate for almost an hour while they worked on the air conditioner. It was pretty cool outside but very hot inside the plane. I figured we’d sit there and eventually they would take us off and put us on other flights. But, they finally said it was fixed and we departed. It was only a 45 minute flight and both my bags made it. Walked over to the Hilton that is connected to the airport terminal and got checked in. Forgot how “nice” this hotel is. Really love staying here. Beautiful room, big shower stall and fantastic restaurant. I walked back over to the terminal to change money and to see how far it was to Terminal 1 where I’ll depart from on Thursday to Billund. I walked and walked and walked. Turned out to be over a mile roundtrip! That isn’t far for me but I had on little flat shoes with no cushioning and the walkway was uneven bricks. There are even great movies on the tv (for purchase, of course) and I watched one after checking in. Then, did some office work and went to the gym to work out. The gym isn’t that great but at least it’s better than having to run every day.
I booked a one-hour massage for myself for tomorrow while I was in the Spa. Really looking forward to that. I ate in the hotel restaurant tonight. They have a great buffet with lots of healthy choices. When I came back up to my room and started working, the electricity on one side of the room went out. I tried to call the front desk but even the phone was out! Finally had to walk downstairs and they said they would send someone right up. While I was waiting, the electricity popped back on. I called the front desk but as I was talking to them, there was a knock on the door. Oh my God….God is right. There was this Nordic God standing there….never saw a maintenance man who looked like that. Honestly, I rarely see good looking men over here but this one was the exception. Of course, he was blonde and I’ve never been attracted to blondes but he sure was gorgeous. I had to tell him the electricity was back on and thanked him for coming up so quickly. He insisted on coming in and checking things out…oh, darn. LOL. There are two phones in the bedroom area and when he picked up one of them, the cord dropped out of the handset. Said he would have to go get a replacement and come back up. I really wanted to take a picture of him but was much too embarrassed to do it.
Going to try and get in bed before 2 am tonight!
DAY 8 – SHOPPING IN COPENHAGEN:
Had a “decent” workout in the little gym, a very healthy breakfast and then my massage. Am always apprehensive about massages in foreign countries because I’m usually disappointed. Not so this time. It was perfect. Just the right amount of pressure to get the knots out but not painful.
Showered and then headed downtown on the Metro. I got more instructions from the Concierge knowing that I would get lost. He even gave me his cell phone number! LOL. I don’t know if the Metro stop is “new” or if it was here when I was here several years ago with my friend Patricia. I remember it was a hassle taking the Express Train into town and very expensive. This metro departs from the hotel and is very inexpensive. It was impeccably clean and not at all crowded. Made 8 stops and only took about 10 minutes to get there. Stopped right in the center of town.
I made sure I memorized “landmarks” so I could hopefully find my way back to the same metro station. I even took a photo with my cell phone just for added protection. The streets were PACKED. I sort of remember shopping here but it’s been so long I’m not sure it was the same area. I think I went in every store on the mile or so long shopping street but didn’t buy anything. I did lust for a pair of over-the-knee lavender suede boots though. Enough with the boots already! They are just so much cooler looking over here.
All the women are wearing boots even though it’s summertime and was probably 65 degrees today. They also wear the black leggings or black tights under dresses, skirts, shorts, tunics…you name it. That’s the fashion this year. All the tops are oversize and long.
I was getting pretty hungry by 6 pm so I “googled” Italian restaurants in Copenhagen and found one that was the “oldest” in Copenhagen. It got 4 out of 5 stars but the real selling point for me was the fact that I thought I could find it with the directions given. Actually went right to it. It was packed as well, which is a good sign. I sat outside and had a caprese salad and pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic and chili. It definitely wasn’t “4 Star” but it was okay.
Everything in the city closed at 7 pm except the restaurants. The streets were still packed on the “shopping street”. That’s the European work ethic though. They work their “hours” which obviously were 10 am until 7 pm and then they close no matter how much business they could do if they stayed open until 9 pm. Gotta love it.
I easily found my metro back to the hotel and got to my room and went to work. I was teasing some of my friends telling them I needed to “break” something in my room tonight so I could summon that Nordic God. About 10:30 pm I was working away when the power went out in the other half of my room! I swear I didn’t do it purposely. I called the front desk and about 5 minutes later, Nordic God was tapping on my door. He said that all the rooms around me were occupied and evidently they were all using their “kettles”. He’s obviously Australian from his accent and somehow the word kettle sounded incredibly sexy. LOL. He said he was going home in 15 minutes so I squelched the idea of turning on my “kettle” to see if I could blow the fuse again. J Actually, I was trying to figure out if I could take a photo of him through the peephole in the door. Have to get everything packed up again so I can be at the airport at around 10 am tomorrow. Carlene and her group will be flying in from Oslo and we’ll fly to Billund together. Dale Watson will arrive about an hour after we land.
DAY 9 – COPENHAGEN TO BILLUND TO SILKEBORG:
Was up at 6:30 am and went to the gym. Got in a good “arms” workout, had an egg white omelet, showered and was ready to leave for the airport at 10 am. I called for a bellman to help with my luggage because I wanted him to help me get it to the bus stop for the trip to Terminal One. Waited and waited and no one showed up. Took it down myself and then they were all over me asking to help. I refused! Got in line for the “Hilton Honors” guests and waiting at least 15 minutes while all the other lines moved right along. I finally got out of that line and in line with the regular customers. Not a great start to the morning.
Walked out to the bus stop and the bus had just pulled up. A couple of other girls were walking towards the bus and we all waved at the driver that we were coming. Bus just drove right off. So, we waiting another 15 minutes for the next one. The other girls got on first and took up all the luggage space with their duffle bags. I had two bags and had just set them inside the doors and stepped in when the driver shut the door on me and my luggage and drove off. I yelled at “her” but she ignored me. I stood right in the doorway and hung on to my luggage as best I could during the drive. I intended to get her name and report her when we arrived but there were about 50 people waiting to board the bus.
When I went to the check in counter, they would not check me in with just my passport. Insisted that I show them a printout of my airline reservation – which I had with me luckily. Then they told me I didn’t have a return flight. I had to walk them through the entire trip and was wondering why in the world we had to discuss the return trip at that time since I wasn’t even flying out of Billund and definitely not coming back through Copenhagen!
This was a tiny little terminal and the planes flying out of there were Cimber Air prop planes—my favorite (not!). Carlene and her group arrived and we started boarding the little plane. We did see their luggage being loaded which was a relief.
We started taxiing down the runway and I noticed that only one propeller was turning! I’ve taken that flight many times and never seen that happen. He kept taxiing and the flight attendants didn’t seem concerned but I sure was. Finally the second propeller kicked on and we took off. Only had a couple of patches for really rough air. Have I mentioned that I HATE prop lanes?
Landed in Billund and I swear it took as long to get our luggage as it did to fly over. Everything made it and we loaded the van and started the drive to the hotel. This was a different bus company and driver and he took us through places I’ve never heard of before.
Got everyone checked into the hotel and my “fan” was waiting for me in my room. I bought it years ago and they keep it for me for my visit each year. Got Dale Watson and his guys checked in and then I walked over to the festival to see Jytte and Snif and pick up the money for our dinners these next few nights. Jytte and Snif look great. They have both lost a lot of weight and I need to know their secret. As I was walking to the tent to see them, the first thing I saw was some Danish man peeing behind a trailer — very typical in Europe. J
Came back to the hotel to work for a few minutes and give everyone their dinner money. Carlene and I took a taxi into town and had Italian food. It was much better than what I had last night. Some of the other guys ate at the hotel and some went for Mongolian Barbeque. I had the Mongolian a couple of years ago and it was excellent.
When I got back to the hotel, I had a message that one musician’s flight had been canceled due to weather. I knew Jytte couldn’t hear her phone, so I decided to walk over to the festival because Allan – my promoter from the Faroe Islands and his wife Annie and Stig – my promoter from Denmark were there and I wanted to see them. It had gotten COLD outside and I don’t have many long sleeve shirts or pants. I was expecting much warmer weather here.
Talked to Stig and Allan for quite a while – until my teeth were chattering and it was time to leave. When I left the hotel, it was just getting dark. When I left the festival it was pitch black and I didn’t have a flashlight. It was cloudy so there was no moon or stars. Basically, the festival is in the “woods” back behind the hotel. I have a hard time finding the gate even in the daylight (no sense of direction, you know) and it was impossible at night. Add to that the fact that there were quite a few people who had lots to drink stumbling around out there and it was definitely a “fun” walk back to the hotel. I’m amazed that I even found the hotel. Need to remember to bring a flashlight next year.
Back at the hotel working on email and hopefully going to bed soon. Busy, busy day tomorrow.
DAY 10 – SILKEBORG, DENMARK:
Slept for 5 hours and got up to go for a run. Weather was fantastic and I had a great jog. Quick, healthy breakfast, shower and got ready to go over to soundcheck with Dale Watson.
Yesterday when I was walking through the “garden” to go to the gig, I saw something black crawling quickly across the massive lawn. I couldn’t tell what it was but when I got close enough, realized it was a remote control lawn mower! It made absolutely no noise whatsoever. Very cool.
Dale’s sound check went smoothly and was over on time. One little panic because the contract had an old backline list and did not request a stand-up bass. The stage manager was able to find one before the show though. Carlene was next and no problems with hers either.
We had a press conference with Dale and Carlene at the venue. As always happens, the questions went to “what happened to country music in Nashville”? People in foreign countries do not consider the tops country stars today as “country”! Was a lively, heated discussion. Of course, the first question out of the audience was to ask them how the floods affected them in Nashville. Carlene lives in California and Dale in Austin, so that was a tough one. J
Some guy had taken this huge Semi and painted pictures of Carlene all over it. She met him a few years ago and he asked her permission. Today he drove it to the hotel and then to the venue. It’s pretty “impressive” to say the least!
I rushed downtown for a few minutes after the press conference. Was so stressed, I forgot to eat! Had to rush back to the hotel to dress and go over with Dale. On my walk back, I passed this elderly lady peering into some bushes by the side of the road. She was pushing an elderly man in a wheel chair. She said something to me in Danish and pointed into the bushes. I heard a rustling in the bushes but had no idea what it was. Then one of those remote controlled lawn mowers popped out! I guess she was scared of what she thought was in the bushes!
Dale had an amazing performance. He is country through and through. Audience loved him. Stig from Denmark and Allan from the Faroes were there and got to say hello to him. He signed autographs for at least an hour after his performance.
Carlene has some “challenges” in her show. As soon as she took the stage, some “crew” member fired up a grill right beside the stage and the entire stage smelled like diesel! She sang for an hour and then lost her voice and came off. The promoter had shut the grilling guy down but I guess the smell took a while to go away. She was able to go back on for a couple of more songs, but the set was still much too short. Good thing the promoter understood what was the problem. She was not able to go out and sign autographs either.
I got back to the hotel at around 11:30 pm. Dale and his guys were going to travel all night long in a van to Germany! Dale had me call Allan to come by the hotel and have a drink with him. Didn’t realize it’s Allan’s birthday! He and his beautiful wife Annie gave me the most exquisite necklace. I teased them and asked if it was made out of Puffin.
Pam Tillis and her group are supposed to be flying today to Denmark. Evidently there was bad weather in Atlanta and their flight was delayed for more than 4 hours. They would definitely miss their connection but last I heard, they are still in Nashville. Not good since it’s 7 pm there now. Not sure what’s going to happen with that one.
It’s almost 2 am here and I need to get a couple of hours sleep and deal with problems tomorrow.
DAY 11 – SILKEBORG, DENMARK WITH “JYPSI”:
Only 4 hours sleep last night and that was interrupted several times with text message and emails. Pam Tillis and her group finally found a flight out of Atlanta at midnight and are due to arrive Billund at 5:30 today. Not sure any of their luggage or equipment will be with them but it’s doubtful. I’m still trying to track the bag for David who is playing with Jypsi today and Pam tomorrow. The airline has absolutely NO information on it!
Went for a little bit longer run this morning. Weather is fabulous again. Had breakfast with couple of Jypsi’s musicians and then showered. Went over for sound check with Jypsi and they are amazing musicians. Very young kids…all sisters and one brother. Everything went smoothly and quickly at sound check. Came back to the hotel to work on finding David’s missing bag and stress over Pam Tillis making it in. I finally got someone on the telephone from Delta Airlines but they still had no record of the bag. The only thing they can tell me is that it was “scanned” in Nashville….something we all already knew. Doesn’t sound very encouraging unfortunately.
I worked all afternoon and then decided to have dinner at the hotel because I needed to be here for Pam’s arrival. The meal was excellent…tender steak with mushrooms and roasted potatoes. Pam and her group arrived about 30 minutes before I was due to leave for the venue with Jypsi. They were all really tired and NONE of their luggage or equipment made it. L Got them checked in and went over to the concert with Jypsi. I took the production manager a list of equipment they needed and by the time Jypsi went on stage, he had located everything they would need except for a fiddle and he was sure he could find that. If Jypsi didn’t have an early morning flight, Pam’s musicians could borrow one of theirs.
I was very apprehensive about Jypsi’s performance because their music is very “different” and skews to a much younger audience. But they threw in lots of classic country and bluegrass songs and the crowd loved them. I had lots of people coming up to me backstage saying it’s the best they’ve ever had at Silkeborg!
Came back to the hotel to work on finding lost bags again. Need to let Pam and her two girls borrow makeup and clothes tomorrow if theirs doesn’t show up. Shops in this little town closed at 2 pm today (Saturday – can you believe it?) and NOTHING is open on Sunday…I mean NOTHING. They all need chargers for their laptops and one person needs contact lens solution. Really sucks to not have anything.
Going down to the lobby to make sure everyone made it back to the hotel and then I’m GOING TO BED! J
SILKEBORG – PAM TILLIS – DAY 12!
Love that we are in double digits…means I get to go home soon. Only ONE MORE WEEK!
Didn’t exercise this morning because I needed to deal with getting Jypsi off to the airport and check on lost bags. Had breakfast with everyone and went over some things for the day. Jypsi was ready on time because they stayed up all night. Evidently I missed quite a “jam” session outside under the pavilion where the bikes are stored. L
Got them off and started making calls about the bags. According to the website, NOTHING had been located yet. So, when the van driver showed up, I gave him copies of the lost baggage receipts and asked him to check when he went to the airport. He called to say that they had 2 bags and that 6 more were coming in about an hour later. We had no way of knowing which ones they were – personal luggage or equipment but he was going to wait for them. I gathered all my make-up together and took to Pam’s room so she could use it just in case her bag didn’t arrive. Went with the guys over to sound check and when the driver came back from the airport, he only had 2 items – one was Pam’s suitcase and one was her acoustic guitar. We had a press conference to attend and it was typical of the one we had Friday with Carlene and Dale and yesterday with Jypsi. Pretty standard questions except they asked a lot of questions about Pam’s Dad – Mel Tillis- as well. Finished it up in less than an hour and had a quick lunch in the lobby with Pam and Matt.
The baggage claim office is closed from 10 am until 1 pm, so I went back to my room to begin calling as soon as they opened. Pointless! Every time I dialed (which was every 2 minutes), I got a recording saying, “All our agents are extremely busy right now. Please be assured that we are looking for your bag 24 hours a day and will notify you when we have any news”. Brilliant! L
Matt was luckier than me and got through to him. They told him they had found 6 bags and were bringing them to the hotel but couldn’t deliver before show time. Matt stressed how important it was they receive it prior to the 2:45 pm show time and they said they would “try”!
When we left for the gig, nothing had been received. I left instructions with the hotel to call our driver – Peter (easy to remember because I think every male in Denmark is named Peter!) so he could bring me back over to pick it up. As soon as I got all the way to the top of the hill delivering the few cds and photos they had to sell, we got the call. The promoter had borrowed equipment from every source they knew just to get us enough instruments to perform. When I got to the hotel, there was one big black instrument case, another guitar case, the merchandise suitcase (yea!) and several personal suitcases. Took all this over to the venue but they had already started the show. They did switch out and use their instruments during the show though.
Pam was absolutely amazing and according to the audience, the highlight of the festival. If she and her musicians can sound that great on “borrowed” equipment, I can’t imagine it being any better with their gear. She sold all the cds we gave them – 90 – and I went back and gave them 30 more. Had to keep 60 for Furuvik. She signed autographs for about an hour afterwards. I introduced her to my promoters from Denmark, Faroe Islands, and Sweden. Sweden wants to book her in 2012 for their “Anniversary Festival”.
While Pam was performing and after I quit running around and “stressing” about bags, I checked my email on my Blackberry. For more than a month now, every few weeks, AOL and Blackberry have had a “rim” problem and it shuts down all the email forwarding. Very frustrating and really inconvenient when I’m overseas and on the run. That was the final “stress” factor for me and I immediately “gave myself a migraine”! I always carry fiorinal and extra strength Tylenol with me but this time I realized I had left it in my other purse back at home. I had to walk all the way over to the hotel to see if I had some in my luggage and thankfully I did!
Pam stayed to watch South Mountain and loved them. They are from Canada and perform over here all the time. She even stayed to perform as part of the finale. “Hey Good-Looking” and “Cotton Fields” were the closers. It was such a fantastic 25 Anniversary Special!
We came back to the hotel and I changed clothes and met Pam, Matt, Allan, Annie and her daughter Joann in the hotel restaurant for dinner. Meal was excellent – salmon (again J! ). Allan and his family and I stayed and talked and talked and talked. I was still giving him grief about drinking too much tequila the night I introduced him to Dale Watson. I put a “classic” photo of him on my Facebook page.
I’m definitely going shopping tomorrow before we have to depart at 1 pm. Pam “might” go with me. Hoping to get in bed before 2 am. We fly to Stockholm and have tomorrow night and Tuesday “off” there to sightsee. Today was so incredibly hectic, that I’m sure I left out something but just too tired to care!