Today I leave for Schupfart, Switzerland with Highway 101.  Nikki and Justin arrived first, got them checked in and waited on the other 2 to arrive.  Andy arrived next.  I thought that his name was familiar, but couldn’t remember how I knew his name.  Once I saw him, I remembered.  We took him to Japan a few years ago with Blue County, one of my favorite bands.  I love Aaron and Scott and will never forget how much fun they were and how much fun they had in Japan.  Of all of my trips to Japan, I don’t recall any group having as much fun and enjoying themselves as much as they did.  Andy told me that Cactus is always “last minute” so I decided to go on to the gate with Andy.  As we started through security, they shut down 2 lanes and this only left 1 lane open.  The line started backing up quickly.  Cactus made it to the gate just as we were starting to board.  We all got on and were notified that one of the seats kept reclining and we had to have it fixed before we could leave.  It took about 45 minutes to get this taken care of.  Landed in Atlanta about an hour late and we headed for our gate.  They all made a detour to the food court as I went on to the gate.  Got the gate only to find out the flight was delayed about 20 minutes, then once we all got on, the flight was delayed more because the “entertainment” system was not working.  They switched out the board from another plane and got it working in the main cabin, but not in Business.  It didn’t affect any of us, and it would have been just as well if we hadn’t waited for them to fix it.  The movie was very lame. Luckily the flight was about half full so we all had our own rows to stretch out. I read magazines, ate and napped.

Landed about an hour late, not too bad.  We gathered up our luggage and gear and met Jurg just outside of the baggage area.  This is my first time actually working with Jurg.  We have talked and emailed LOTS over the years, but I have never been to one of his festivals.  Jurg tells us that the Scorpions are headlining tonight, so we decided that we want to go and check them out.  Got checked in at the hotel and had breakfast.  They all went into town and I checked email and napped.  We all met for dinner about 7:30 PM and then went to the festival to see the Scorpions.  They flat out ROCKED the place.  It was very cool.  Got back to the hotel about 1 AM, checked email and off to bed.  ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE!!!  J

Got to sleep in this morning, we don’t leave for soundcheck until 1 PM.  I still feel kind of turned around.  I swear I think traveling to Europe is harder than Asia.  Soundcheck was quick and easy.  I didn’t realize how many great songs Hwy 101 has until soundcheck to day.  Nikki has a great voice and I love her sound.  I really think they would do well at several of our festivals.  I am definitely going to be pitching them a lot more for our events.  They are all so nice and a lot of fun to be around, too.  Went back to the hotel for a while, had dinner and back to the show.  We got about ½ way to the show and I asked Nikki if she had the cd’s….”no”.  So we turned around and went back to the hotel to get them.  Made it to the show, they did a short televised interview.  Truck Stop, a huge European band, was performing before them.  They are “retiring” so this is their last show.  They played an extra 30 minutes, they have been touring for 35 years.  Highway 101 went on and they killed the place.  They are so good.  They did this rockin’ solo segment, and I swear you would have thought that the Scorpions were back.  It was awesome!!!  J  Jurg was very happy, too. We go back to the hotel and try wind down from the show.  We are all going to take a train into Zurich tomorrow and do some sightseeing.  I was there in February with Lucy Angel (and my family), so at least I will know a little bit about where things are.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 28: We all had a lunch breakfast, checked the train schedule and departed for the train station at 11:30 AM.  The train we wanted was set to leave at 11:43 AM, plus we have to figure out the kiosk and purchase train tickets.  Of course we missed the train.  Cactus befriends a little Swiss guy and he helps us to figure out another train route that will get us into Zurich, but it will be a little longer ride.  Once we got on the train, the ticket guy came around to check our tickets and he told us of another way to go…..we get off at Baden and change trains, and that will take us to the main station in Zurich.  Within 30 minutes we were in Zurich.  J We left the train station and headed down by the river that leads to the large lake.  There was a huge festival going on.  There were kids everywhere playing games, doing different activities, big green balloons, vendors with all kinds of food.  We could smell “cheese” and it smelled SO good.  Didn’t take long and that was the most nauseating smell ever.  We walked around downtown Zurich, had coffee, took photos, visited the Fraumunster Church – it was founded in 853 by King Louis of Germany and ownership was passed on the Zurich during the 13th Century.  We saw these really cool little “cars” called TWIKES.  They are electric and seem to be becoming very popular in Europe.  They run about $3000, would be ideal for running around our secondary streets!!  We walked down Bahnhofstrasse, which is like the Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills, only WAY MORE!!!  The most expensive item I was “window shopping” was a diamond ring for $30k.  It was beautiful!!!  We did a little shopping, souvenir and chocolate, caught our train and headed back to Fricke.  The hotel restaurant was closed today, but they opened just for us and served us the most wonderful dinner.  All of the meals have been wonderful at this hotel, and everyone has take just great care of us.  Lars and his wife own the hotel, and he is also the chef.  Denise runs the front desk and works in the kitchen, too.  Jurg and a couple of his friends joined us for dinner.  We all had a really great time and great conversation.  I got everyone checked in for our flights on line, packed and went to bed.

I woke up every hour last night.  I was so afraid that I would oversleep, that I finally just got up.  Went down for a quick breakfast, loaded up the van and we all headed to the airport.  I have really enjoyed working with Jurg.  He is a great guy and has taken such wonderful care of us.  Got the airport, got checked in, luggage checked and headed to the gate.  Justin said when he went through security that they “REALLY” checked him over, even took him in a special room.  J  Justin is Cactus’ son-in-law, but you would never know it to be around them, he and his wife are expecting their 2nd child in January.  January is going to be a busy time….I know several people due in Jan.  Wonder what was going on last April that had everyone so “busy”.  J  I wish that I could say that we all had an uneventful flight home, but that wasn’t exactly the case.  The flight was pretty full, but did have several open seats.  I moved up to a row with Justin, we had an empty seat between us; Nikki moved so she had an empty seat; Cactus moved way in the back so he had a whole row.  This left me, Justin, Nikki and Andy all within a few rows of each other.  Just in front of me and Justin was a family with 2 young children, one about 4 and the other about 2.  I have a 6 year old, so I have sympathy for those traveling with children.  I know things happen and flights aren’t always pleasant, BUT……this 2 year old screams and cries almost the entire flight.  Mom is doing her best to tend to him, dad is in his own world, and the other child playing.  This is going to be a long flight……a few hours in to the flight, the mom changes a “nasty” diaper right there in the seats.  I thought I was going to gag.  I could not believe that she did not take him to the restroom and change him.  I take my blanket to cover my nose, look over at the lady in the row beside me and she does the same thing.  Not long before landing mom gets all radical on the 4 year old who had been wonderful the entire trip, other than spilling his water in the floor.  I wanted so bad to tell her to just chill, things happen.  It was so embarrassing to see her act that way with her child.  We did land in Atlanta, finally, got all of the luggage/gear, went through customs, and headed to the gate for our flight to Nashville.  Flight to Nashville was short and sweet. I have to say, of all of my trips overseas over the last 10 years, I have never enjoyed myself as much as I did with Highway 101.  They are a great group, professionally, but personally as well.  They are always doing something to keep you laughing.  I definitely hope that we can do more festivals with them in the future.