FRIDAY, JULY 20TH:
HOO-WHEE, What a day!
Got about 4 hours sleep and then went for a long run. Of course, I got lost. But, I’d been seeing these signs for the “Swingers Club”. We were joking about it, but I actually found it when I was lost. They have a masseuse and a sauna there, too! It was a beautiful run past corn fields and into a little village.
Had breakfast and the nice lady at the hotel asked me if there was anything she could “make” me. I asked for an omelet but she didn’t know what it was. She kept asking if it had flour in it. I told her how to make it and she was gone for about 30 minutes. She came out with this beautiful HUGE omelet. I was laughing and told her it was much too big. She used FIVE eggs!
Answered a few emails and then “dis-assembled” my fan for the trip to Switzerland. It was supposed to take 3 ½ hours, but you know how that goes. We had two vans and Chely and I got in one and Victor, Kevin, and Katie rode in the other. We had driven about an hour when we stopped at some type of “station”. We were crossing the border into Austria and had to get permits for the vehicles. Victor walked over to our van and his clothes were dripping water! There was no air conditioning in their van. I later found out that the driver was refusing to roll down his window, too. I would definitely have taken care of that problem had I known. We told all of them to get in our van but Katie said she was “cool enough” where she was sitting as the window was down on her side.
After we drove another 2 hours, we learned that the road we needed to take was closed. So, several minutes negotiating a new route and then another hour’s drive. Finally arrived at the hotel and Chely’s other musicians had just arrived right before us. Their flight had mechanical problems and they sat on the runway in Chicago for 3 hours. Lindsey sent me an article today where the rate for cancelled flights was up 30% from last year. Last month there were over 20,000 cancelled flights and for the same month in 2006, there were only about 7,000! I believe it after our experiences.
I took everyone except Chely into Lucerne. The plan was to sightsee and shop. The big “Blue Balls Festival” is in Lucerne this week. Yep, that’s really the name of it. One of my friends asked me if there were a lot of unhappy men attending. 🙂 The minute we got out of the van in Lucerne, it started pouring down rain. It didn’t stop, only got worse while we were there. Usually, it’s just a late afternoon show caused by the “heat”. Not this time. I was determined to buy John (my new artist) a tee-shirt from the Festival. Easier said than done! We kept asking people where we could buy one and were finally directed to the main pavilion for the show. (Seal is performing there tonight). There was security on the door and we were not allowed in without a ticket! But, I sweet-talked the security guard and he let us go in. Only to learn that there is NOT a festival tee-shirt. There were “Seal” t-shirts but no festival “t”. They finally pulled out some old shirts from last year but none in his size. I finally purchased a white polo with “Blue Balls Festival” on it in a Child’s Large! Sure hope it fits.
I took everyone out for a nice dinner at an Italian Restaurant. Only when our driver made reservations, he made them for the restaurant upstairs instead of the one downstairs where we had looked at the menu. It was very fancy and the service was extremely slow. She would not let anyone have red wine prior to the meal – only WITH the meal. Plus the “special” was Veal Liver. YUCK. We asked to be moved downstairs and they accommodated. Much better menu. I had incredible ravioli. Went back upstairs to the bathroom but didn’t know if I was a “Damen” or a “Herron”, so I had to go back downstairs and ask our driver which door I was supposed to go in.
Our waiter asked if we wanted dessert and I asked if they had crepes. He was offended and told me it was an “Italian” restaurant and they did not have crepes. I mentioned that all the booths outside had them and he made a grand gesture with his arm telling me to go out there and eat then! I told him I’d like the check. His comment then was, “Oh the beautiful lady is also the boss!”. My comment was, “Yeah NOW you are sucking up to me!”
It was raining very hard when we left Lucerne. Billy Yates had just arrived the hotel when we returned. We all had a drink (hot chocolate for me!) and some ice cream and then went to our rooms.
Finishing up emails and going to bed. We have an 8 am lobby call for check tomorrow.
SATURDAY, JULY 21ST:
Got up and had breakfast with some of Chely’s group. A couple of them wanted “scrambled eggs” so we attempted to place an order with the waitress who did not speak English. Last night when we told her that we wanted “separate checks”, she freaked out and started yelling “Oooh, La-La!”. This morning we told her scrambled eggs for 2 but since there were 3 of us at the table, she insisted that we needed “3”. Then when she brought them out, they were soft-boiled eggs, not scrambled. Glad I didn’t order any.
I assumed that the stage would not be ready for us that early and I was right. We had to wait about 45 for the opening act – Billy Yates – to finish his sound check before we could begin. Everyone at this festival has to take a gondola up to the top of the Alp (Klewenalp). All the beer, food, instruments, etc., for the event, have to be transported on the gondola. I hate that thing. When it passes a tower, it SWINGS back and forth. I always time it – 7 minutes up and 6 minutes down! Katie and I had to go back down to pick Chely up at the hotel, so we had TWO trips up and back down this morning.
It was cooler and very foggy this morning. Finished sound check and came back to the hotel for lunch. Another “challenge” but we had Marcus (our wonderful driver) with us to interpret. The wireless was not working in my room when we left this morning and it had not started working when we finished lunch. Everyone else’s rooms had a great signal, but not me. The hotel told me I could change rooms, so I went through several rooms trying to find one where the internet worked. Then I had to pack everything back up and move again. I did get in a great run down along the lake. Ran for 5 miles and was watching the sky because they had a huge hail storm in Interlaken a couple of days ago. It got dark a few times, but I made it back right before it started raining. My friend and the agent on the date – Iris – arrived just as I was heading out for my jog.
I was just thinking the other day how lucky we were not to have the attacking shower heads. Guess I jinxed myself. This shower has one of the “wands” and the water pressure is extremely high. I got in and turned it on and it immediately flew off the wall and started chasing me around the shower, banging into the wall and soaking me. Once I finally got it under control, I had to hold it with both hands to keep it from taking off again. It had as much pressure as one of those hand-held wands at a car wash. I definitely got an “exfoliation” at the same time I had a shower.
Had dinner with Chely’s group and Iris and then was able to answer a few more emails before we left for the show. It is raining really hard now and I did not want to take that Gondola up. Iris hates the trip up as much as I do. But, there is no other way to get to the show site. The backstage this year was amazing. It was “catered” and very clean. Usually, we have to beg for water and a peanut but this year the food looked really great. I would have rather eaten there than at the hotel restaurant.
Chely did another great show and there were a few die-hard fans standing in front of the stage in the pouring rain. The others were up at the top of the hill in a tent with open sides so they could watch the show. I was walking back down to the tent when a lady who was trying to sneak backstage, slipped in the mud an fell. She fell right where a little walking bridge led to the backstage. She was fairly overweight and broke something when she went down. They had to bring a stretcher to get her back up the hill.
Chely signed autographs for about an hour after the show. The merch table was set up right in front of a German country music band and when they started playing, it was deafening. Not a good plan.
Took the gondola back down – one last time – and got in my room by 1:30 am. Going to bed very soon. Tomorrow my friend and I drive to an exclusive hotel on Lake Lucerne for 3 days of pampering.
SUNDAY, JULY 22ND:
Got up to get Chely’s group off to the airport. Someone had called Chely’s room at 4 am and woke her up. She said they were asking her for a photo! I was furious. Got everyone off to the airport and Iris and I had breakfast. Then we tried to check out of the hotel and no one was at the desk. I waited and waited and waited……Finally I went into the restaurant. I think the front desk staff was doubling as a waitress. Hopefully, we won’t be at this hotel next year! Just as we were leaving, this lady from the backstage catering came in and wanted me to take “photos” to Chely. I told her that I could not do it because I’m traveling for another month. She was not happy but I told her she could mail them to me if she really wanted Chely to have them. Then a “light” went off in my brain – Chely and photos. I KNEW she was the person who called Chely’s room at 4 am. Decided to leave before I said something very rude.
We had to waste some time so we drove through Lucerne. The Blue Balls Festival is taking place through next weekend but it was STILL raining. Drove on around the lake and found our fabulous hotel. I had called them this morning to make sure all the rooms had internet (they do – wireless!) and asked if the rooms were air conditioned. Only the suites are air-conditioned and the cost is over a thousand dollars per night. I brought my fan with me. Iris was horrified that I checked into a 5 star resort hotel with my own fan. Bet she wishes she had one tonight. 🙂
We are staying at the Park Hotel in Weggis, Switzerland on Lake Lucerne. My room has a little balcony that looks out over Lake Lucerne. The bathroom is really high tech. Took me five minutes to figure out how to flush the toilet! And, when you sit on the toilet, a fan comes on. When you get up, the fan turns off. It also has a built-in bidet with photos showing how to use it.
We went over to the Spa and make appointments for tomorrow and Tuesday. I’m getting a body scrub, body wrap, facial, massage, and facial. Wanted a manicure and pedicure but they were all booked up for both days. I’m also going to do the “power plate” with a trainer at the gym. It’s the newest form of exercise. It’s a “pad” that vibrates. You only do 10 minutes on it, exercising various muscle groups. It’s supposed to be really hard to do but I want to try it.
The entire atmosphere of the hotel and spa is very relaxing. The landscaping and architecture are very “calming”. And, everyone walks around in their terrycloth bathrobes. There’s little statues of naked men and women all over the groups. Of course, I took photos of those. We walked down along the lake and had a drink at a little lakeside café. The weather is beautiful. Then, I went to the gym to work out since I didn’t have time this morning. Worked “arms” today. I was lying on the weight bench when a man walked past the windows in his robe and it was gaping open every step he took. I didn’t think he had anything on under it and was going to flash me at any moment, so I looked the other way. About 2 minutes later I heard someone say “Hello” and looked up and he was in the gym, too. I answered him and kept working out and noticed that he was taking off the robe. Had a moments panic thinking he was naked because he didn’t have on a shirt. But, he had on swim trunks. Guess I’ve seen too many statues. J
After a quick shower, we walked down to a little restaurant in the town. Had a great dinner and sat and talked for hours. Back at hotel answering emails now. Looking forward to a wonderful day of pampering tomorrow. I’ll be the only one on the massage table answering emails on my blackberry! LOL
MONDAY, JULY 23RD:
Walked to a little restaurant down the street for breakfast because the only thing the hotel has is a huge buffet for 30 CHF. Too much food for me. Then we went to a market and purchased some water. Took me about 10 minutes this morning to figure out how to work the espresso maker. Finally realized that there is a “switch” by my door that turns the power on to it!
Went to the gym and worked out prior to my day of pampering. My first “treat” was a body peeling. It was heavenly. Followed that with a body pack which was pretty amazing. My friend was afraid to do the body pack because she is claustrophobic. Sure didn’t bother me. I had a male who did both of these procedures. At least this time when he handed me the little plastic packet and sent me to the shower, I knew it was plastic panties and didn’t put it on my head like I did in China a couple of years ago!
My last treat of the day was an amazing facial. I wish my skin could be this soft and smooth all the time. Also, there was a little bottle of avocado oil in my bathroom. It is fabulous. I purchased a large bottle of it from the Spa today. It smells and feels so good and is not at all “greasy”.
Showered and then we were going to go into Lucerne for Sushi. But, since it was already 6 pm and all the shops would be closed, I suggested we wait until tomorrow when we would finish our treatments earlier in the day. ‘Cause I REALLY want to shop in Lucerne.
We walked down to a fantastic little bar that is owned by the hotel. It’s right on the beach at Lake Lucerne. Had just ordered our drinks when it started pouring down rain! Unbelievable. We were going to eat in the hotel restaurant but it was French Gourmet and we didn’t like the menu or the prices. So, we walked back down to the same restaurant where we ate last night.
Came back to my room only to find that I had no electricity. I tried pushing every button on the wall but nothing worked. I called the front desk and he came up. There was a knob beside the door that had to be turned. I was really ticked off then because evidently the maid brought my cleaning back up and turned off the master power switch as she left. I had left my computer on and lost a lot of information that I had to then re-type.
The wireless internet has been going out all evening. I don’t like to pay 30 CHF for 24 hours of service and only be able to log on for about 20 hours. Lots of challenges in a resort hotel that does not cater to “business travelers”. J
Going to bed now as my first treatment begins at 9 am – a 90 minute Tibetan massage. Then I do 10 minutes on the Power Plate. If I live through THAT experience!
TUESDAY, JULY 24TH:
Had to be at the Spa by 9 am for the massage. I was REALLY looking forward to getting the knots out of my neck and shoulders. When we booked this particular type of massage, we asked if it was “hard” pressure or just a relaxing massage. They assured us that it was a very deep tissue massage. NOT. So, first she ties strings or ribbons or something on my toes (the ones next to the big toes) and on my middle fingers. Then she rings this bell several times above my body. She used lots of oil (even in my hair) but absolutely NO pressure at all. At one point, she laid my arm off the side of the table and just let it hang there while she did NOTHING for about 5 minutes. I was not at all happy with this and called Iris to “warn” her. Iris talked to the Spa personnel and told them that I was not happy with mine and she wanted a much deeper one. She had the same girl and said that it was a little better but still not what either of us was expecting. We learned that this Spa has only been open for a few weeks and evidently, they just don’t know what they are doing yet.
Next came the Power Plate for me. It was pretty amazing. When you stand on it, EVERYTHING vibrates – even my eyelids and cheeks. I can see why they asked if I had any “medical” problems before letting me try it. I worked my legs, butt and arms. You only do each exercise for 30 seconds. Trust me, I couldn’t have lasted any longer than 30 seconds. It is a very intense work out. I was breathing as hard as if I had just run 5 miles. And, this afternoon, I was actually “sore” in some spots where I trained specific muscles. But, here’s the negative. I got a migraine right after I finished and I really believe it was brought on my the intense vibration. It’s a wonderful “miracle” machine but I’m not sure the “side effects” are worth it.
Iris and I drove into Lucerne to shop and of course it started raining again. We shopped for about 3 hours and all I purchased were two belts. I found some really cool boots that I wanted but they didn’t have the color I wanted in my size. Then we went to a restaurant that has a Penthouse Bar that overlooks the city. It was beautiful and we sat outside – for about 2 minutes, until another huge storm blew in! We went to another hotel and had really great sushi for dinner then drove back to Weggis.
Have to leave for the airport at 7 am tomorrow. Spending the night in the Oslo Radisson Airport Hotel and meeting up with Carlene on Thursday.