TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH AND 20TH:
Left for Europe today for shows in Zurich and Germany with LoCash Cowboys and then to Marseille to meet Gilbert’s father. More about that later. I flew Delta and LoCash flew United. I was concerned because I was routing through Detroit and Amsterdam and Detroit had strong winds and snow. We landed – or were shot down – not sure which. It was NOT fun landing or taking off in the high winds. But I fared better than LoCash. Their flight out of Nashville had mechanical problems and they ended up taking Delta to JFK and then Swiss Air to Zurich.
All my connections were on time and it was an easy trip. We landed early in Zurich (8 am) and I waited at the airport until LoCash arrived at 10:45 am. I stored my luggage with the airport and went into a café for a latte and to answer email. I rented a TEP Wireless which works all over Europe as I did last December on the Aaron Tippin tour. It is awesome.
LoCash arrived without Tony’s bags. Airline lost them and has no idea where his bag might be. They took the group’s original claim checks in Nashville when they switched them to Delta airlines. We have no way of even tracking the lost luggage. Very impressive. L
Albi met us at the airport and escorted us to the hotel. Ernie is our driver once again. I didn’t sleep but 2 hours on the flight over and was hoping to grab a nap before meeting Iris for our meeting with Universal Switzerland. Didn’t happen. I did get to watch “Argo” on my flight over and loved it. If you haven’t seen it, try too.
Took the tram to the main train station and met Iris for our meeting with Jean Marie at Universal Switzerland. The Bellamy Brothers are producing this really cool project for them utilizing Swiss artists and U.S. country artists. The big “launch” will be at the Interlaken Trucker and Country Festival this June. Lots of work but should be a very successful project. Had a great meeting and then Iris and I headed for Contrapunto – my favorite Italian restaurant in Zurich. I always order the pasta with truffle sauce and caprese salad. But I got wild and crazy this time and had the carrot ginger soup and ravioli stuffed with shrimp and lobster in a lemon sauce. It was to die for…but now I have to go back before I leave and have the caprese and truffles. J
Back at the hotel working and it’s after 1 am so going to bed. Iris and I are going “power shopping” early tomorrow before sound check.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST – FIRST SHOW IN ZURICH:
Did I mention that sweet little Zoe gave me her cold a couple of days before we left? Flying with a head cold is brutal…especially take off and landing. It was a pretty miserable flight. But at least it “dried up” everything and I’m much better except for a cough. Also, Penny and her entire family had a stomach bug all weekend. I was scared to death I would get it on the flight or over here. I ate yogurt at the airport and on all the flights. David Bellamy told me to get Probiotics and start taking them. Ever tried to explain “that” to a Swiss pharmacy? They gave me “something”, not sure what it is…but I’m taking it.
So it was FREEZING in my room again all night. I brought lots of layers to sleep in as well as fuzzy, warm socks and I still froze. Had to get up and warm my feet with the hair dryer. I always ask for this corner room because it is bigger. The normal size rooms are too small for me to open my suitcase unless I put it on my one little single bed! But the radiators in the larger corner rooms just can’t heat that amount of space. This is NOT a 3 star hotel….more like a 1 or 2 star by U.S. standards. At least the staff is nice…that consists of 3 people working shifts one at a time at the front desk and 1 cleaning person. J
Slept for 4 hours, got up and worked out in my room, showered and met Iris for breakfast. Albi joined us for a coffee, too. Iris and I took the tram to downtown Zurich for our power shopping. Didn’t find very much though. Zurich is not my favorite place to shop. She did find a “Handy Doc” which is a company that repairs Iphones. Her screen was shattered on hers. They fixed it for her in 30 minutes for about 179 Swiss Francs. We had lunch while they were repairing it.
She went to pick up her phone and I went into a little kiosk to buy water and cough drops. When I paid, I asked for a bag and the clerk said they don’t have bags. I said, “then give me my money back. I don’t want the items”. He said “Whhhhhaatt???”. I repeated myself and told him I had no way to carry that on the tram (2 large bottles of water and the cough drops). He suddenly came up with a bag for me. J
Iris left to go back to Interlaken and I went over to the venue with the guys. They did a quick sound check and had a little down time until dinner at the venue. I started helping Tony track his bag that was still missing.
Dinner was nice but really only one great item on the menu – the veal. The other choices were chicken wings, chili, or fried perch. It’s the same menu every year and trust me, go with the veal. J
After dinner, I worked with Lindsey on trying to find Tony’s bag. At some point during the evening, I realized they were tracking the wrong baggage claim check number! The airline had tagged 3 bags in Tony’s name when they switched the bags from United to Delta even though he only checked one bag.
The show was great and almost sold out. Albi’s new sponsors were there from “Victory” (motorcycles) and the guys met them and took photos with them. They sold about 45 cds after the show.
When we got back to the hotel, I made everyone bring me the tags off their bags. We figured out which number was missing and Tony got on the phone at midnight and talked to Swiss Air. Someone found the number and said that the bag had landed in Zurich at 10:50 pm tonight! “IF” they can find it, it will be delivered to the hotel. Honestly, if we hadn’t figured out that the bag tag number they were tracking was wrong, I’m not sure he would ever have seen that bag again!
So, it is 2:15 am and I am going to bed. Hopefully it will be an “easy” day tomorrow!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND – LAST PERFORMANCE IN ZURICH:
Got up early, worked out, had breakfast and went into downtown Zurich to shop for chocolate and kid’s clothes. It is much colder today because of the wind chill factor – 12 below zero. It was snowing really large flakes most of the day but not enough to stick.
Not a lot of shops have kids clothing anymore but I did find the toys they asked for. Also succeeded with the chocolate at Sprungli. 🙂
Worked most of the afternoon and then showered and got ready to go to the show. I happened to notice something “green” as I walked past my bed. Upon investigation, I found that when the maid cleaned my room, she took the sheets and did not put more sheets on the bed. No way I was going to sleep on the mattress without sheets. I had to go to the lobby and have the desk clerk get the maids back into my room with sheets. Told you this is not a 3 Star Hotel!
The venue was packed by the time we walked in. My friend from SUISA and the club where the Bellamys performed last September were my guests tonight. The venue was so packed, there was no where for them to sit! We did have a really nice dinner in the restaurant and got to chat for over an hour. The dance floor was much smaller tonight because they filled up part of the space with tables. And, they even took one of our merch tables and set it up for attendees!
LoCash had an amazing show. They always do, but tonight was truly spectacular. I’ve never seen everyone in the entire building standing and dancing throughout their entire set like they did all night. LoCash is famous for being able to know exactly what songs work with their audience and tailor their set list accordingly. If you’ve never caught one of their shows, make a point to try and see them. They will have a new CD out this year and probably be touring even more in support of it.
It was a truly great, short visit to Switzerland. Got to see lots of my friends and looking forward to coming back in June. In a few hours, we are off to Germany for one show tomorrow night.