Wednesday, Sept 1 & Thursday, Sept 2, 2010:
Leaving today for Norway with Mark Chesnutt. He is performing 2 shows, 1 in Froland, which is about an hour from Kristiansand in southern Norway and the other is up north in the Lofoton Islands.
Excited to be going back to Norway. Last time I was here was May 2008 with Dickey Betts at a festival in Lillehammer. All but Mark and Slim fly out of Nashville and we will meet up with them in Newark.
Flight was on time and very uneventful. Watched “The Back-Up Plan” which was really cute. Michaela Watkins plays J.Lo’s best friend in the movie and she is hilarious! Michaela went to Iraq with our Comedy Tour this past New Years so I am a big fan.
When only had an hour and a half in Oslo to go through passport control, collect our bags, go upstairs and recheck the bags before having to go back through security to catch our SAS flight to Kristiansand. Kristiansand is a very small airport and the 1 luggage belt was broken so when we got off the flight we all just had to stand by the plane and wait for them to unload all the luggage and just grab it from there.. that was a little different..
Gunnar, our promoter here, meet us with a mini bus and drove us to the hotel about 10 mins away. Gunnar’s contact at the hotel forgot to make the reservations and the hotel did not have enough rooms tonight for everyone. So after a while of going back and forth, We got 7 of the guys checked in there and 4 of us are staying down the street for tonight. It is actually the same hotel I stayed at with Pam Tillis back in 2007. I remember the very teeny tiny rooms… and yep.. as Delaney puts it “If I smile, my mouth touches each wall.. seriously.. it is that small! BUT.. it is closer into town than the other and closer to the shops. So, dropped my bags and headed out to do some shopping since this was the only time I will have to do any. Had to be back at the hotel to leave for dinner at 6:30. The original hotel felt so bad for not having our reservation that they reserved for us to have dinner at a very nice restaurant down on the harbor. The speciality was mackerel and it was delicious. Mark who is an avid fisherman was very impressed and we are going back tomorrow night.
It is 10:00 and I am getting very tired! Tomorrow is soundcheck and the venue is an hour drive. We will come back after soundcheck and then go back tomorrow night at 9 for the show at 11. Wont be back to the hotel till close to 2 and then up at 5 for our flight North.. gonna be a fun one!
oh.. yes.. I have already disassembled any locks on the bathroom door so I do not repeat what happened in Germany!!
Friday, Sept 3, 2010 – Hotel #2
Had a wonderful night of sleep! I slept so hard I don’t even think I moved all night. Woke up at 8, got dressed and headed out for some quick shopping. Grabbed a coffee and donut at the 7 -11 next door.. yep.. 7-11 in Norway.. no Big Gulps though 🙁
All the shopping is right down the road from the hotel and it is all pedestrian streets.. so nice. I guess the big thing over here are these 1 piece flannel jumpsuits? Not quite sure how they would go over in Nashville but every store is selling them here. Got a few things for me and a few things for The Z’s.
Me, Delaney, Slim and Bob checked out of the hotel at 11:30 and then came over to the other hotel where everyone else is and checked in to our new, much bigger rooms. Only had time to use the restroom and then we all headed out to the venue for soundcheck. Venue is about an hour drive from Kristiansand. Everything went fine and got back to the hotel at 5. We had dinner at the same restaurant again, the special tonight was spare ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw and fries… yes in Norway! The waiter came out to ask how everything was. Said they knew how serious we are about our BBQ and the chef was in back “sweating”.. it was all very good.
Headed out to the venue at 9:30 for the show at 11. OMG! It is freakin cold!!! Mark was sticking his hand in his pocket between every song. I am standing on the side of the stage and Delaney keeps looking over telling me how cold he is. The crowd doesn’t care.. they are drunk and enjoying it. Some teenagers were sitting on top of a swing set thing and the next thing we hear is this loud crash. One of the teenagers had fallen from the top of the swing set. Mark had a great set and the crowd just loved him. He and his band are real troopers. We got back to the hotel a little after 2:00 AM and have to leave at 6:00 AM for our flight north… so good night!!
Saturday, Sept 4, 2010 – Hotel # 3:
Alarm went off way to early… downstairs and ready to go at 5:45. Most of the guys were already down there as they didn’t even go to sleep. Our driver was there also. Everyone loaded into the minivan and then we realized we were missing Slim. Ran upstairs to his room and I hear water running! He is in the shower! Run back downstairs to the minivan and the driver informs me he needs to go and put gas in the bus… so they run do that while I go and bang on Slim’s door. He thought it we were leaving at 6:30 not 6. Left hotel around 6:10. Gunnar, our promoter called me from the airport and said he had us all checked in. Arrived at the airport and Gunnar meets us outside with bag tags that we put on ourselves, walked up to the bag drop and retrieved our boarding passes.. this is what I’m talking about!!
I forgot that when we left the venue last night I had put some beer cans in my backpack for the guys to have on the drive back to the hotel. Obviously I still had 2 in my backpack when I went through security 🙁
They confiscated them and I am sure they will enjoy them when they get off work… also got a nice frisking, that will wake you up. We have to fly from Kristiansand to Oslo to Bodo to Leknes. No problems to Oslo and had about a 2 hour layover there, flew in to Bodo and our flight to Leknes was delayed about 45 mins. Everyone is very tired and all of us but Mark have to go straight to the venue for soundcheck when we land. Flying Leknes was beautiful and I got everyone checked into the hotel very quickly. Production company had everything set up and ready to go when we got to the venue so it made for an easy soundcheck. The Venue here is at an indoor soccer stadium. Everyone is very happy that it is indoors tonight. Made it back to the hotel by 5 and I think we all crashed for about 3 or 4 hours. Did not leave hotel until 11:30 PM to go over for the show. Mark was worried about his voice because of the lack of sleep, but he sounded great. The promoter and crowd were very happy. Boy.. the Norwegians sure can drink!! We all hung around after the show and after the last act everyone went on stage and sang “Will the Circle be Unbroken” I think we finally made it back to the hotel around 3:00 AM and of course not everyone went to bed. We all stayed out on the hotel porch until 5:00 AM.
We don’t have to do anything tomorrow until the afternoon when we fly back to Oslo for the night. I was nice and let the guys all sleep in a little 🙂
Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010:
I think Mark and his band hate me 🙂 I make them play in the freezing cold outside on Friday and then after pretty much no sleep I make them travel all day to Northern Norway and go straight to soundcheck!!
After finally making it into bed at 5:00 AM (watched a nice sunrise) I woke up at 10:00 and went downstairs to eat breakfast. Saw a few of the guys, but I think most slept until 11 or 1. LOL. At 2 me, Gunnar, Nina, Aaron, Barry, Slim and Steve went out and did a little sightseeing of The Lofoten Islands. The big thing here is cod fishing and they catch it and dry it. We got to sample some, wasn’t to bad but stunk the bus up pretty good for the rest of the trip! Took some nice photos!
Back to the hotel at 4 and loaded up to head to the airport. Again.. Gunnar checked us all in securtiy check was right by the check in counter.. nice! Took the little turbo prop to Bodo and then a 1 hour layover to Oslo. Our promoter got us rooms at The Park Inn, a new hotel connected to the Oslo airport. Just opened on Thursday. I got everyone checked in and then we met at the restaurant for dinner. Food was very good, but service took a looooong time. I think we finally finished dinner at 11!
Up in the room now and about to go to bed. We actually do not fly out until 1:00 PM tomorrow so we get to sleep in a little bit 🙂
Can’t wait to get home and see my babies!!
Monday, Sept 6, 2010 – Day 6 – Hotel no more!
I ended up getting about 6 hours of sleep, waking up around 8 and went down to get some breakfast. With the hotel connected to the airport (5 min walk) we used the luggage carts for our bags and equipment but the hotel would not let us keep the carts in our room to use in the morning so we ended up leaving them outside overnight. I checked to see if they were still out there when I went down for breakfast and of course they were gone. Asked the front desk if they could get some more for us and she said she would. Finished packing and went down to the lobby at 10:30 and there were no carts. Front desk said she had grabbed some more but they had already been taken.. again. So she went and got us more.
Forgot to mention that when we flew out on Wednesday, there were 3 other bands on our small flight to Newark. 1 group was playing a different date in Norway, one was headed to Ireland and I can’t remember where the other was headed. One of Marks guys said if a basketball team got on our flight he wasn’t going.. didn’t like the odds! LOL. So when we checked in to come home the other band that had been in Norway was on our flight again. Flight to Newark and then on to Nashville was on time and again my dance / chant to the God of Flight on Time and No Lost Luggage worked 🙂
However.. my ride couldn’t pick me up because The Z’s were not feeling good. Welcome home mama!