Saturday, August 8th – Furuvik, Sweden:
In bed at 2 am with alarm set for 4:30 am. Boyfriend called at 3:15 am and while I was talking to him, my son called. I tried to grab a quick shower before calling my son back and while I was talking to him, my friend Kyle in Iraq called. Still made it downstairs on time and had coffee and yogurt while the guys ate breakfast.
I was getting worried because it was 7 am and the bus wasn’t there yet. When it finally arrived it was a 14 passenger van!!!  No trailer. I had to wake up the promoter and send the van driver back to get the bus. They pick us up in a nice bus and we totally fill all the bays with luggage and gear. Then the bus company thinks they can pack 13 people and all our luggage and gear inside the bus!  Fortunately the bus company is local and we were only 30 minutes late leaving for the airport. This actually happens all the time overseas. We put specific instructions on the contract and I make my office follow up at least twice via email to confirm the ground transport. And then it never fails…they usually meet us on arrival in a great bus then show up with a Toyota van to take us back.
We arrived with time to spare because the airport is so small and easy check-in. Prop flight to Copenhagen was quick — 30 minutes. Then the walk from our arrival terminal to our departure terminal took longer than the flight from Billund.
Flight to Stockholm left on time and all our luggage and gear made it. Had a 1 1/2 hour bus ride to the hotel.  Harri had our keys waiting for us and we quickly dropped our bags and headed over to the venue for a quick sound check.  Which turned out to be not so quick….we were supposed to do it in one hour and then go see the “monkeys” but it took two hours and we had to cancel the visit with the monkeys.  Honestly, that’s always the best part of the visit to Furuvik. Hated that the guys missed it.  Tom drove me over to say hello to Ing-Marie (their “leader”) and her baby Selima.   She has had Selima since June, 2009 and has to keep her with her at all times….sleeping, showering, etc.  I know that I can’t hug or touch Ing-Marie without getting slapped and bitten by her “baby”.  She’s extremely territorial.  So I was sitting in the golf cart and suddenly Selima jumps down and runs toward me.  My eyes must have really gotten big because Ing-Marie said, “Just sit still and let her get to know you”.  Selima squatted down and kissed my foot.  Won my heart. 
J  She kept running back and forth and since I know they like painted toenails, I took my shoe off.  She immediately came over and began cleaning my toenails.  It’s better than any massage.  Seriously.  I may be in love.  LOL  Then she grabbed my shoe and ran off with it.    I quickly went inside and said hello to Santimo, Linda, and Manda.  Santimo is the oldest, largest, strongest and the “leader”.  He usually raises quite a ruckus but this time he sat quietly and sucked him thumb. Definitely a sign that he is aging.  ;(   He loves cleaning my toenails, so once again I took off my shoes.  Linda got jealous and came over and I had to move my foot because she can be vicious without meaning to be.  Manda was the baby that Ing-Marie raised prior to getting Selima.  Manda is totally integrated into the Chimpanzee community now.  Ing-Marie says that Selima spends about 2 hours per day in with the chimps and she will gradually increase that time.Guys finished sound check and we returned to the hotel and had a really quick dinner.  The lobby is filled with Mark Chesnutt fans and they all have dozens of albums and cds for him to sign.  I told them he is sleeping and they need to have him sign them after the show when he plans to do autographs.   Several of them waited anyway and stopped him when he came down to eat.  The show had a large crowd and Mark and his guys were awesome once again.  I didn’t get a chance to talk at length with the promoter after the show but I think everyone was extremely pleased.  The autograph session moved quickly because of Tom and the great security.  We were back at the hotel by midnight and took Mark in the back door.  He was almost asleep on his feet from lack of sleep last night.  Hopefully he’ll sleep well tonight.  It’s off to the airport for the flight to Kuwait via Qatar tomorrow.  Flying Qatar Airlines which is a fantastic “5 star” airline.