MONDAY, JUNE 29TH: SWITZERLAND TO GERMANY:
Got up at 5:30 am and hit the streets and trails again by 6 am for my last run here this trip. Weather is still fantastic. Was not real happy with my “bathroom” this morning. The soap dispenser (which is built into the wall in the tub) was empty. The tissue box was empty. And, my dental floss mysteriously disappeared off the counter.
Everyone was ready early and waiting when I went down to check out. The hotel told me that I had a bill for Tex Mex. Now, I had gone down on Saturday and told them I wanted to pay for EVERYTHING on their rooms because I had the money for their fee from their performance. They gave me the bill and I paid it in full. Then at 5 am Sunday morning when they departed, I asked the desk clerk to look at EACH room and make sure there were no charges. There was nothing. Then she hands me a bill for incidentals on two of the rooms! I didn’t pay it. I told her I’d have to get in touch with them and get her a credit card number! Wasn’t my fault or theirs that it didn’t get paid.
I called our promoter who was riding over with the bus to see if they had driver off a glacier. He said they were a block away but couldn’t find anywhere to park. I told him to come back around because he can pull right in front of the hotel. There is a huge sign on the street that says “BUS”. If it’s the same bus company we had with the Bellamys, this will be a CHALLENGE to say the least. At least our promoter “Bill” is with us!!!
We waited and waited and they never showed up. I called Bill again and he said the police had stopped them and it was going to “be a while”. I asked if I needed to send our Interlaken coordinator over but he said everything was under control. I stood out on the street to watch for them for quite a while longer and finally saw the bus coming. But, instead of pulling in, the driver went past me again until I started yelling and motioning. He had already passed the driveway, but managed to back up. We loaded everything on the bus and I asked why the police had stopped him. Bill said the “arm” came down on the bus when they were crossing the train tracks. Now, the crossing lights start flashing before the arm comes down so I guess the driver decided he was going to cross before the arm dropped. The police got him.
So, we got everything loaded on the bus and then the driver tells Bill that it’s time for his “break” and that lasts 45 minutes. I know that rules are very, very strict for bus drivers but could not figure out why he has to take a break right now. The breaks have to be taken every 6 hours and where the bus came from in Germany is only 4 ½ hours away. Evidently, the driver did not get the “sticker” he needed to cross the border between Germany and Switzerland and that took an hour. Then the police “stop” took another half hour, so he had to take a break! We all went for coffee and to shop while he “rested”.
As we were all getting back on the bus, I happened to ask if the driver had a map because I did NOT want him to use the GPS. That’s the reason we went through the Alps with the Bellamys. The driver did NOT have a map. Can you believe that? Only his GPS. I had to go to a bookstore and purchase a map and with the help of our Jrene (our Interlaken coordinator), she had to show him how to drive back to the city we are staying at in Germany!
About 2 hours into the drive, he stopped at a truck stop and we all got out. Only, it was a BP station instead of a truck stop. We went in but did not “eat” and when we came out, we saw the bus driver walking back from behind the bus with food. The restaurant was back behind the bus and was one of the really good ones that we stopped at with the Bellamys. I took a vote and no one wanted to eat, so we traveled on. At least we’re on a “highway” and not the snow covered Alps this time.
Our little 4 ½ hour drive turned into an all day affair…AGAIN! We stopped supposedly 20 minutes from the hotel because it was time for the driver to take another break. Only when we started driving again, it took an hour. Stopped by the club to drop off the equipment then checked in to the hotel. We walked over to the club and had another great meal. I ate healthy with salad and salmon. The guys decided to load in the equipment that night instead of tomorrow so while they were setting up, I was sitting at the table talking to Keech. Marianne – the club owner – walked out and sat a plate of apple strudel with ice cream, vanilla cream, and whipped cream in front of me. Bill had told her that I said the apple strudel I had at the castle last time was the best I had ever had and she wanted to prove me wrong. She did. It was fantastic. Fortunately, I had some help from the guys so I didn’t eat the whole thing!
The weather is beautiful here, too, and we ate outside at Bill’s. The hotel had my “fan” waiting for me so my room is “bearable”. We have passes for the gym next door, so I won’t jog these next couple of days.
Been answering emails for hours now. I did an interview with GAC-TV before I left (everyone KNOWS how much I hate being on camera). It is going to air on GAC as “Great American Salute” with Lonestar and guest Judy Seale on July 4th at 4:30 pm Eastern time and will re-air numerous times throughout the holiday weekend. It will be great publicity for Stars for Stripes but I KNOW I will hate how I look and sound. L
Going to bed very soon, I hope. Tomorrow will be an easy day since the gear is already set up and we only have one show tomorrow night. Much easier working with one artist per event, too! Lonestar is so sweet and very easy to work with.
TUESDAY, JUNE 30TH, 2009, – UNTERMEITINGEN, GERMANY:
Relatively “easy” day today. That is after the internet shut down at 1:30 am this morning. It was still not up at 2:30 am so I gave up and went to bed. The gym behind the hotel doesn’t open until 9 am so I got up, had breakfast and worked for a while. Then hit the gym for BBA — butt, back and abs. Shower and grocery shopping was next. Had to buy lots of water. Everyone is complaining of dehydration on this trip for some reason. The hotel doesn’t offer laundry service but my sweet friend at the front desk washed and dried a lot of clothes for us. We think. We didn’t get them back today. Sound check took a while because the guys are not accustomed to performing in a little club like this. Bill had to drive into Munich to switch out some equipment. But everything sounded great at the end of the day. We had another fabulous dinner at the restaurant attached to Bill and Marianne’s club. Guys took the stage at 9:30 pm and the place was packed. No air conditioning so it was soooooo hot. Today is the last day for smoking inside in Switzerland and the last day here is August 1. Loving it!! Long travel day yesterday. The little club is in a very tiny village yet they sold out two shows on weeknights. The budget is small but it’s the perfect routing date between the large festivals on weekends. Covers hotel and meals and if you check your “ego” at the door and go back to the days when entertainers were struggling just to get their name out there, it’s a really cool gig. Plus Bill and Marianne treat everyone like family. Lonestar did two encores and then had to go back for another one! They signed autographs for everyone in line which took about an hour. It was a great first show in Germany! Tomorrow we are going “sightseeing” and perform the last show at the club before flying to Norway on Thursday. Time is flying by! Jude
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1ST, 2009 – LAST PERFORMANCE IN GERMANY:
Got up and jogged and weather is still beautiful. Not so “hot” in the mornings but will surely heat up later today. Had a very quick breakfast and shower and met everyone downstairs. Today is Bill’s –our promoter – birthday, too. The tour manager has friends in Munich and they picked him up and took him with them for the day. Half our group took the rental car and drove to Nurnberg. Bill first took us by the prison where Hilter was held and wrote “Mein Camp”. Then it was on to Lansberg which is a very quaint little city on the river near the hotel. We walked around and went up into a tower that had a spectacular view of the city. Afterwards we went to the Castle that I visited with the Bellamy Brothers in May. This is where the Medieval Festival will be held every weekend in July. It is a HUGE event and there was a lot of activity taking place in preparation for the opening this weekend. We were hoping to see Martin (he works for the Princess that we met last trip) and we did run into him. He’s working too hard to come to see Lonestar perform unfortunately. He is still very interested in having the Bellamy Brothers perform at next year’s event and hopefully even turn it into a two day festival with multiple acts. We were supposed to go to see a concentration camp and/or one of the military bunkers after the visit to the Castle. However, Bill got a call to go to the club to help out for tonight’s show. Had I known the guys wouldn’t get to go to a concentration camp, I would have rented a vehicle and driven with them to Dachau. I was there many years ago and this was the top request on their list. Really feel bad that they didn’t get to see this, even though it is very “touristy” now. We are supposed to have some strong thunderstorms tonight but since the performance is indoors, won’t affect our show. Venue is sold out. Last night in the autograph line, a lady was having her photo made and she said, “Eins”. Dean asked her what it meant and she said, “Once Again”. He said, “What did you say again” and she said, “Once Again”! He was asking her what she said in Germany (eins) but she was so flustered by having her photo made with them that she misunderstood. He assured her that he had understood the English phrase. J Mark brought his German friends to the show tonight and their one German Fan Club member also attended. The sweet lady from the front desk at the hotel was also there. Mark met 2 girls and a guy in Munich today who are here from California and also invited them to attend. It was another great crowd and the guys did their two encores. They called Bill up on stage and sang Happy Birthday to him and gave him a birthday cake. Autograph line after the show wasn’t quite as long as last night. Bill brought us pizza just as the line was ending which was great because we were all starving! Leaving for Norway early tomorrow. Will be a very long travel day! Jude