Thursday Aug 31 – Friday, Sept 1 2017
Today I head over to Europe for 10 days. First stop is Leknes, Norway with Lorrie Morgan at the Lofoten Country Music Festival. I absolutely love this festival and the area. I was here about 3 years ago with The Mavericks. It’s a great festival located in one of the worlds most beautiful places! As I leave today, The Z’s and Haley are going to NYC with mom today thru Monday. Lots of packing at our house. Haley has never been to NYC so I know she is super excited. Friday is a benefit for the Babylon, NY FD that our good friends, The Vigiano’s are helping put together. Wish I could also be there to see some good friends. I am on Delta while Lorrie and her group are on SAS. I leave at noon through Atlanta and Amsterdam while they leave at 2 thru Newark. Hopefully I will land about 20 mins after them. Flight leaving Nashville was almost an hour delayed which made my 1 hour connection a little bit shorter! I landed with about 20 mins before my international flight departed. Hauled ass from B terminal to F terminal. Thank God that flight was a little delayed also. As I was leaving Nashville Lorrie’s TM, Kai texted me that their bags were checked all the way through to Bodo and boarding passes thru Leknes. Usually you have to pick up bags in Oslo and recheck them, so my plan was to meet them at baggage claim. Oslo has now began to let people transit from international arrivals to domestic departures without having to do all this – which is great but we only have 50 mins in Bodo to get their luggage, recheck and go back through security. Yikes No problems on the flight over, slept for about 3 hours and then binge watched Big Little Lies. Landed Oslo, grabbed my bags and went up to the SAS counter to recheck. Texted Kai on my way back thru security and they had just gone through passport control. Saw the guys on my way to the gate. We have a 4 hour layover here. They went to find food and I went to the SAS lounge while I waited on Gunnar to arrive. He will fly with us from here to Leknes and help us in Bodo with the luggage. Flight to Bodo was an hour and a half. Since my bags were checked all the way through to Leknes, I stayed by the gate with everyone’s carry on so they wouldn’t have to deal with it going through security. Gunnar took everyone down to baggage claim, back to Wideroe desk, check in and through security with 5 mins to spare! The flight to Leknes is a 20 min skip over to the Lofoten Islands. Stig was there to pick us up and take us the 5 min drive to the hotel. Lorrie has hired Ivar, a well know bass player here in Norway, for this show. He actually flew up this morning from Oslo, but to a an airport about 3 hours away, then rented a car and drove here. He was at the hotel when we arrived. Got everyone checked in and packets passed out. The band is going to do a small rehearsal at 6pm and there is music in the tent down the street if we want to go. I put my stuff down then met Lorrie , Gunner and some of the band in the restaurant. I am so tired but had to eat something. I took a 3 hour nap 🙂 then met Gunnar around 9 and we walked down to the music tent. I think I lasted about an hour before I walked back to the hotel and fell asleep.
Saturday, Sept 2 2017
Woke up at 6 but made myself go back to sleep. Finally at 8 I got up and got ready and went to eat breakfast. Everybody was looking refreshed 🙂 The band and I went over to the venue at 10:30 for sound check. The venue is the indoor “soccer” hall. It is always very well run and the production is super. Kai and the band are very happy with everything and sound great. Very happy with Ivar on bass too! Went back to the hotel and Stig and Gunnar had arranged for us to do some sightseeing. So we drove up one side of the island to this little glass blowing gallery and met with the owners there. Taking a ton of pictures along the way. I can’t describe how beautiful this place is. After the glass blowing, we went to a little restaurant and ate at the buffet. Lorrie’s husband Randy got grilled Whale and Kai tried some sort of fish. Of course I got the cloudberry dessert! We drove up toward Nusfjord and stopped in the little “town” for some photo ops and as we were getting ready to leave we ran into a wedding party and we were able to see the bride and groom walking from the church to the reception. Little kids dress up so cute. We arrived back at the hotel around 6 and leave for the venue at 9:15 with the band, then Lorrie and Randy come over around 10:20. There really isn’t a backstage area so I advised Lorrie to just get ready at the hotel and come over right before showtime. Lorrie went out about 10:50 and did a great show. She still has an amazing voice and really works the crowd. I believe the festival is close to being sold out. She did sign autographs for a few minutes afterwards and then hung out backstage with some of the other bands for about 30 mins. I sent her and the band back to the hotel and I stayed while Kai counted out the merch and then we went back to the hotel. Hung out downstairs with everyone for about 30 mins before saying my good nights. Ivar has to drive out early to catch his flight back to Oslo. The rest of us fly out at 3. Got ready for bed and I think the party started in the lobby and outside my window around 3. I was so tired I just didn’t care and fell right off to sleep.
Sunday, Sept 3 2017
Went down around 9:00 am for breakfast and then back to the room to pack up. Gunnar has an earlier flight than us so I told him and Stig goodbye and Thank you. Always enjoy getting to see both of them. They take great care of us. Bus was at the hotel at 2 to take us to the airport… 5 mins away. Our flight isn’t until 3:30 but wasn’t sure how long it would take us to check in with this gear and luggage and since most of the bands are on the same flight we wanted to try and get ours out of the way. Check in was easy and simple and left on time for Bodo. Had about an 1 1/2 hour layover in Bodo so we went to the restaurant to get something to eat. I think most of the people in the airport decided the same thing. Took awhile to order our food and get it. Finished lunch with about 15 mins to spare before boarding the flight to Oslo. Landed in Oslo on time and went to baggage claim. Everything came through except 1 bag. Ric’s personal bag was left in Bodo. It should be on the next flight tonight. We are staying across the street at the Radisson so the SAS guy said he would keep us updated and bring it over when it arrives. Everyone is checked in. Lorrie and her group will stay here 2 nights before flying to their next show in Finland. I will check out tomorrow and move to hotel in Oslo for 2 nights before flying to Switzerland for Country Night Gstaad this coming weekend. It has been a quick trip but always enjoy getting to work with Lorrie and her band. I think they have enjoyed their time here. Gunnar and Stig made everything run easy and smooth too. Hope to see them again next year 🙂
Texted with mom and her and the kids are having a good time. Been watching Haley’s snaps of their adventures. Missing them like crazy and will try and talk to them soon if they aren’t to busy!!!