THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, MARCH 8 AND 9 – NASHVILLE TO ZURICH TO UNTERMEITINGEN, GERMANY!
Nothing like having to pack for two nights in a hotel in Nashville and then a month in Europe. That’s what I did this weekend.
After staying at Loew’s Vanderbilt on Monday and Tuesday nights, I had one night at home and then left for Zurich, Switzerland today. Lindsey is there with LoCash Cowboys performing for Albi at Albisguetli Schutzenhaus in Zurich. This is the fourth group we have had perform there since the end of January. Penny escorted Tex-Mex Experience, then I came over with Jesse and Noah, and Lindsey has taken care of Scarletta and now LoCash Cowboys.
My flight was supposed to depart at noon to Atlanta with a direct connection to Zurich. We had a 40 minute delay leaving Nashville due to Air Traffic Control in Atlanta. I was sweating making my connection but we actually landed on time.
I had about 30 minutes before boarding so I went into the “new” Delta Lounge. The attendants were so proud of the new facility and said it was being enlarged to twice that size in the next few months. All that is great, but no one could get on line after I arrived. Their explanation was “it’s very busy at this time”. So, they don’t have enough band width to accommodate the guests they have now. How in the world will they accommodate twice that size? As a business traveler, the internet connection is my main reason for visiting the lounge. I care nothing about the free coffee and cheese!
We boarded the flight for Zurich on time and it was one of the old Northwest aircraft….packed full! The seats barely reclined and space was very small. A couple with an infant who looked to be about 7 months old were in the bulkhead seat and a lady in front of me began talking to the baby and ultimately quizzing them on how the baby was going to be on the flight. She was talking really loud and for a long time and when she asked whether the baby would be quiet, the man across from me said under his breath “the baby is already quieter than you are”! LOL
Baby was actually fine. Only cried once and that was of course just as I decided to take a nap. But the mother put the baby in her seat and she sat sideways on the edge the entire flight. The father slept the entire way and not once did he make an effort to let her rest.
Meal was decent and I was able to stick to my “no sugar” diet easily. Had a lot of turbulence throughout the flight and I was reading a book about an airplane crash which didn’t help much.
We landed early and I took a $70 taxi ride to Lindsey’s hotel and she took a $70 taxi ride back to the airport. I took her hotel room and was able to take a shower before we left on the tour bus for Germany. Was very surprised to find all the LoCash guys up and about that early since we don’t leave until noon. Lindsey said they had two amazing performances and were great to work with. I’ve know Preston and Chris for years and always wanted to work with them. Tony, their manager, is with them so it will be a fun tour – although he is leaving us after the show on Saturday night while we continue on to perform at military bases throughout Germany.
Bill picked us up in a great bus and we stopped about 20 minutes from the hotel at a “Marche” for lunch – my favorite restaurant “on the road”. I slept most of the 4 hour drive from Zurich to Untermeitingen.
Hotel had our rooms ready and we threw out bags in and then walked to the venue to set up and sound check. Bill put wireless in the club “just for me (he says)” and of course it wouldn’t work for any of us. I think we just overloaded it, honestly! I came back to the hotel for an hour and answered some emails. Walked back over to the club and had my favorite wiener schnitzel for dinner…best in the world! Blew my “no sugar” diet because Marianne makes apple strudel with vanilla sauce just for me and it’s so good, you just want to roll around in it.
I got back to the hotel at around 9:30 pm and it was freezing in my room. I guess the maid opened the window when she cleaned today and it was still open. I closed it but the radiator just wasn’t heating up the room…it is -5 C tonight! I asked the hotel at midnight for a space heater but they didn’t have anything. Called Bill and of course, he saved me from freezing. Brought me a powerful little electric heater over.
Have been answering emails for hours and it’s after 2 am now. I am going to bed. Tomorrow we go to Augsburg for shopping and sightseeing. J
SATURDAY, MARCH 10TH – FOUR CORNERS NIGHT CLUB, UNTERMEITINGEN, GERMANY:
Only 4 hours sleep last night and that’s after flying all the way from the U.S. Not good. Was able to do a quick workout in the room, shower and have some breakfast before leaving for Augsburg. My friend Sonja who works at the hotel came by to say hello even though she doesn’t work today. She is a great lady and tries so hard to make the hotel look good…not always an easy task. All but a couple of the guys went into Augsburg with us. Bill took them sightseeing while I did some shopping. Sadly, the only thing I purchased in 2 hours was stevia! J
Bill took them in the City Hall which is really amazing. You have to pay to go into the Mayor’s room and there is a giant Steinway piano in the room. Bill told Jared to sit down and play something. Jared was very apprehensive but Bill assured him that “everyone does”. Of course, after he had played about 2 notes, some lady came in screaming for him to get away from the piano. Nice trick, Bill!
Bill and I had lunch at the fancy hotel where stayed with the Bellamy Brothers. They have just finished renovating it and it has lost all its charm. When from dark wood and “class” to marble, granite, and “artsy”. We did have a great lunch though. I had spaghetti with basil and fresh tomatoes. The guys opted to keep shopping and just grab something to eat on the street. They failed to tell me that no one had any Euros. They tried a couple of places but no one would take their credit cards or U.S. dollars.
We all met back at the street where we were dropped off and while we were waiting for our rides, we noticed two little twins who looked to be about 3 years old. One of my guys said there was no parent with them and they were just running along the sidewalk, jumping in mud puddles. The sidewalk was adjacent to a VERY busy street and it scared me to death. I watched them for several minutes and no one came to claim them. Just as I was about to approach them (against Bill’s advice), they ran to a side street and turned in. I followed them and a man came down the stairs and took their hands. It’s a good thing I don’t speak German or he would probably have had me arrested for threatening him. Cannot imagine what he was thinking!
Bill and a couple of the guys went in one vehicle so they could stop at a Music Store. I went with the other guys and upon learning that they had not been able to eat, managed to make the driver understand “McDonald’s” – the Universal language. He got off the autobahn and I treated the guys to lunch with my Euros.
We were back at the hotel by 3 pm and the guys were supposed to go to the club to sound check. They decided they were much too sleepy and just sent Jim the sound engineer to do the sound check for them. I forgot to mention that Jim wasn’t feeling well yesterday and we were really worried about him. He seems much better today.
I worked until 6 pm when we all walked over and had another incredible meal at Bill’s club. The guys said it’s the best food ever and I agree. Had another couple of hours before show time but spent it running back and forth to the hotel and dealing with challenges for tomorrows trip to Ansbach – our first show for the Military! Our bus driver needed a hotel room for tonight and we got that squared away. Evidently my radiator is fixed, too, because it’s not freezing in my room.
Walked over to the club and the show because at 10 pm. There was an opening band – 7 Forty 7 – that was really good, too. There were a lot of young people in the crowd tonight which was great. I was able to get some really cool photos from the balcony above the stage. The show was AMAZING. These guys are entertainers, not just singers. The crowd loved them and Bill and Marianne loved them as well. They performed for 2 hours instead of 90 minutes. Then the autograph line took another hour. So, I got to the room at 2 am and have been working non-stop. It’s after 3 am now and I’m falling asleep at my computer.