Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1
Today I leave for Norway via Switzerland. I am meeting up with John Michael Montgomery and his band who performed in Interlaken on Saturday night. I will meet them at the Zurich airport, assist with check-in, then we will fly to Oslo via Amsterdam. Talk about a long day.
My flight to Zurich was very uneventful. This is the first time I have ever flown United overseas and I have to say their flight attendants, one in particular, are very rude. I have always flown Delta and United is a huge disappointment.
Arrived in Zurich, waiting for what seemed like forever for my bag. Then I went to check in for my next flight. There is so much construction going on at the airport, seems like they are always doing something – inside and outside. Waited for JMM and his band to arrive. The got there shortly after 10 am, took them over to get them checked in, and the kiosk was going to change them for their bags. Everyone is supposed to get 1 free bag. The airline agent pulled up the reservation and showed me where they were issued tickets, but it did not include any free baggage. They did allow John to check his 2 guitars for free, as they did not want him to carry them on….wasn’t that nice? He did end up having to pay for 7 pieces, and fortunately it was only 30 chf per piece. I slept the whole flight from Zurich to Amsterdam, was so tired I didn’t even know when we took off! I didn’t sleep much on the flight over from Newark, I watched the movie “Wild” with Reece Witherspoon, and a couple episodes of “Orange is the New Black”.
Arrived Oslo and waited about 30 minutes on our luggage. There were 6 flights coming in on the same baggage claim. We exchanged some money, loaded up the bus and was on our way. We did stop to grab some drinks and a sandwich along the way. Arrived at the hotel almost 10 pm. We picked up Roald along the way and he rode up to the hotel with us. Got everyone checked in and had a quick dinner. The hotel is so wonderful to hold dinner over for us.
We are staying in a different part than we stayed last year when I was here with Darryl Worley. They have put us in the area where the kings and queens stay, much nicer rooms, but the view isn’t quite as good. Was a little warm when we arrived too, but thankfully opening the windows cooled things down.
Skyped home with the family. Tim is on vacation with week so he is at my dad’s with the boys. Time to start working on cleaning out his house. 🙁 Got to bed about 12:30 am, and it’s still very light out and a full moon!
Thursday, July 2
Slept in this morning, but woke up numerous times because it is so light outside, and I made myself go back to sleep. Got showered and went down to eat. I think just about everyone woke up between 4-5 am thinking it was more like 12 noon because it’s so light out, it doesn’t get very dark in Norway in the summer. John Michael and a few others are planning to go on a hike. We joked that if they weren’t back by dinner we would send the search party out looking for them. Shortly after John left the table, Marty, his drummer / road manager got a text from his wife that her mom had passed away. They had been expecting it, but it’s not the best timing with Marty being gone, and wishing he could be there for his wife. Marty lost his dad a few months ago, so he knows all about how she is feeling. 🙁
Spent the day walking around the hotel area, reading, checking emails, etc. Its’s so pretty here, quiet and relaxing, except the occasional sheep bells you hear as they walk around the grounds.
Went down to dinner about 7. It’s a huge buffet with cold food, salad, soups, hot food and desert. Sat down for dinner to find out that John and 3 others went for a hike around 2 and hadn’t got back yet. While we are sitting there John starts texting Kirk about where they are and coming to get them. Well there is no one with the festival at the hotel, everyone is down at the festival and its 20 minutes away. We decided to go to the front desk and see if they had a hotel van or something that someone could take to pick them up. Josh had sent Kirk a picture of the gps location, 2 1/2 miles away, downhill. Just as we were talking to the lady at the front desk and she was checking out their “location”, a car pulls up and I said ” hey, maybe that’s them”, just joking…sure enough it was. Just so happen a taxi went by where they were and they flagged it down. They had been gone for about 6 hours, no water, and we’re dying!!! They rested a few minutes and went in for dinner before it closed.
Back to the room, skyped with the family, which is very hard to do. Tim is on vacation and they have all gone to my dad’s for a few days, then I will join them when I get back. We don’t have Internet up there and very little mobile service. Sometimes that is a good thing, but sometimes it’s not. 🙁
Friday, July 3
It is so hard to sleep in very late, it’s so light outside. I wake up every few minutes / hours and check my clock to see what time it is. Get up, get ready, have breakfast and Chris , Kirk and myself leave for soundcheck. The production company had asked Kirk to come down early since it was a console he was not familiar with. Didn’t talked him long and all was ready when the rest of the band and John showed up. They ran a few songs and we’re just finishing up when u had to leave to go to the train station to pick up the Derailers. They had done a club gig in Oslo last night and we’re taking the train up. We arrive at the train station and find out that the train had been canceled due to the heat. It’s not hot like we think of, but it is very warm for Norway. The heat causes the tracks to expand and the train cannot run on them so they had to take a bus from Lillehammer up to Vinstra. They arrived about 30 minutes later than expected. Since lunch would be over at the hotel, we ran by the venue and let them grab a quick bite to eat, then went on to the hotel, got them checked in with time to rest before having to go to their shows
The Detailers and I left for the show on the cafe stage. They had a great little turnout, people line dancing and really enjoying themselves. After the show they signed some autographs and I sold some CDs. By this time John and his band had arrived for their show. John did a short interview and went on stage. He did a great show. So many in the crowd knew so many songs, people dancing, everyone was really enjoying themselves. I ended up going to meet with Vigdis during the last couple of songs. Vigdis is the coordinator of the event here. She runs this big store in town and pits together a couple of events in town. Since she has taken over, their attendance has increased by more than 10%!! Introduced her to John and took their picture. What a great evening! Back to the hotel to pack and go to bed.
Saturday, July 4 – Happy Independence Day!
Up, finished packing, went down for breakfast. Saw a couple of the Derailers, said “good byes” and reminded them of their times for sound check and departure for tomorrow. I left with JMM and his band to the Oslo airport hotel. We arrived at the Park Inn about 12:30, got everyone checked in, dropped out bags and we took the train into Oslo. Weather was great today, we walked around the riverfront, had a late lunch, walked some more. Some of the guys wanted to find this certain Irish bar, which was a good walk from where we were, and a few others were ready to go back to the hotel. 🙂 I went back to the hotel, grabbed a quick dinner, worked on emails, skyped with the family and off to bed.
Sunday, July 5
Up, ready and down to breakfast. I saw some of the guys at breakfast and they told me John wanted to go over earlier to the airport. It’s only a 5 minute walk, everyone is already checked in, but – ok, whatever he wants. We got everyone checked in without having to pay for any excess, did a little shopping and boarded the flight. Watched movies and slept very little on the long flight. Long layover in Newark, so I charged my phone and called home. Slept most of the short flight back to Nashville, thank goodness since I am driving back to my dad’s farm for vacation week. 🙂 Landed, all of our luggage arrived, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Was a really good trip, 2 great groups of musicians / artists. Looking forward to the next one. Was so glad to make it to my dad’s about 11:30 PM, and Jacob was already passed out. He tried so hard to wait on me to get there, but just couldn’t do it. Sure do, love my boys!! ❤ 🙂