SUNDAY, AUGUST 10TH – THE NETHERLANDS:
Got up early and gave everyone wake up calls. Was feeling real proud of everyone because they all seemed to already be awake. Then I got down to breakfast and the first thing I hear from two of the artists is how the group that I told not to go out and party last night came in drunk and woke them up in the middle of the night. Needless to say the rest of that story will not go in the road report. So, it was pouring down rain when we departed the hotel. I got everyone going back to Nashville checked in first. Then I told the two agents that me and the other six were only going to Amsterdam. The ticket agent actually argued with me about not checking my bags all the way to Nashville! While I was fighting that battle, the other agent proceeded to check 4 of the guy’s bags all the way to Nashville!! When I realized it, my agent said, “well we can’t tell just by looking at your face.”. I said then how about looking at their e-ticket that says we fly to Nashville tomorrow? The response was “oh we have a new system and it just automatically checks it through.”. Great. They said they would “try” to find the bags and re-tag them. I explained they we have a performance today and really needed them. Flight was pretty bumpy because of the weather. I had paid for business class which was exactly the same seats as coach with a curtain between them. They had 2 people sitting with me but plenty of other empty rows, so I moved to another seat. When we landed, all the luggage and gear made it except for one piece. The pedal steel player had taken the legs off the steel and put them in his suitcase to make the case lighter. It was the missing piece. The airline said it might have made the flight and was somewhere in the airport. We didn’t have time to wait for them to find it so we filled out the paperwork and left for the hotel. The rain had stopped but it looked like it might start again. Just as we were pulling in at the hotel, we got a message that we had to go straight to the stage as they would be performing in just a few minutes. We knew we would not get a sound check anyway, so it wasn’t a surprise. The pedal steel player put the steel on a table and played it like a lap steel. The airline called while they were on stage and said they found the bag in Amsterdam and would deliver it. After the first set, John signed a few autographs and did a radio interview with Holland and a magazine interview with Switzerland. We ran by the hotel and got checked in between sets. Went back to the stage where John did another set then signed a few more autographs. All the artists participated in the finale “Will the circle be Unbroken”. Went back to the hotel for a nice dinner in their restaurant. The front desk came in to tell us that Abe’s bag had arrived. Glad it showed up before we had to fly tomorrow. I have to get up at 4:30 am, so am going to bed very soon. SO happy that I am going HOME tomorrow. Jude
MONDAY – AUGUST 11TH – I’M GOING HOME!!!!
Four thirty am seems very early to be getting up except that I am so happy to be going home after TWO MONTHS in Europe. Called all the boys and woke them up. Everyone was in the lobby on time. The hotel had prepared breakfast boxes with FOUR sandwiches and candy in them plus croissants were available. Only thing missing was coffee but we fixed that with a quick stop en route to the airport.
I was flying out of terminal three and the boys were out of terminal two. My ticket counter wasn’t open so I went over to make sure they got checked in okay. Lindsey had printed out lots of “instructions” for them on clearing customs in Detroit.
My flight left on time and was pretty empty in business class. I was able to move over to an empty row. The pilot said we are expected to land an hour early in Chicago so maybe I can get an earlier flight to Nashville! It was still raining when we departed Amsterdam but there wasn’t a lot of turbulence thankfully.
There’s always one on every flight….the lady directly across from me threw her window shade up in the middle of the flight. You could hear the groans from the people she woke up but it didn’t phase her at all. Then a few rows back in coach a child started screaming and that lasted off and on for the rest of the flight. The days of thinking I might catch up on some sleep on the flight back are definitely over.
So, get this…the lady who was so rude to keep her shade up was sitting with a man who I assumed was her husband. He was up walking around the cabin quite a bit. Then when I got to baggage claim, he was in a wheelchair! And, he had one of the airport escorts pushing him around AND he was using his phone at Customs. The escort did not tell him he couldn’t use his phone. If that had been me, they would have fined me the $500 they threaten!
Tried to get on an earlier flight since we landed almost one hour early. But the flight was sold out with 4 people ahead of me on a waiting list, darn it. I went into the Lounge and worked for hours. Decided to go to the Ladies Room before heading to the gate. Just as I opened the door, it sounded like I hit a cat with the door because there was this ear-splitting screech! Scared the hell out of me. I eased the door the rest of the way open and it happened again. It was some lady in one of the stalls sneezing! She was loud enough on her own but the walls were marble and echoed like crazy.
Flight to Nashville left on time. Very small plane and it was packed. My very “pregnant with twins” daughter picked me up at the airport and it was wonderful to see her “glowing” and wonderful just to be home!