Left Nashville today with most of Mark Chesnutt’s band to fly to Billund, Denmark via Dulles and Copenhagen.  Mark and a couple of his staff/musicians departed Texas and will hopefully connect with us in Dulles for the flight to Copenhagen.  Mark will be performing on Friday at the Country Music Festival in Silkeborg, Denmark, on Saturday at the Country Music Festival in Furuvik, Sweden, and then we go to Kuwait and Iraq to perform for the troops.  Back in Nashville on August 16th. My beautiful little 9 month old “twin” granddaughter gave me a gift for the tour.  On Monday, she stuck her fingers in my left eye taking off an entire layer on the way down and another on the way back up.  I’ve been wearing a contact lens and using antibiotics every two hours to “aggressively” treat it.  The pain is gone because of the contact lens and hopefully it will heal quickly.  My daughter had to drive me to the Optometrist and after we left, she got a big kick out of the fact that the injured eye turned BRIGHT GREEN.  Seems the drops that he put in the eye to keep it dilated for two days have dye in them and reacted with the contact lens.  I had one bright, glowing dilated green eye and one normal brown eye.  Very attractive.  I looked like something out of a horror film.   Anyone want a baby girl?  Can offer a discounted price right now.  J No problem checking in this morning and our flight was on time.  There were thunderstorms all around and I was pretty nervous.  A guy in line with a camo backpack told me it was great flying weather.  So, of course, I started quizzing him.  He is a pilot and worked Medi-Vac in Iraq and also was in Afghanistan.  He actually was stationed at Speicher when I had Aaron Tippin performing there.  He was on his way to Denver for a job interview.  Has 24 years in the service and is retiring later this year.  Thankfully, he was right.  The flight wasn’t too bad – a little turbulence.  It was one of those small planes and I had the exit row with no one sitting by me.  It was also FREEZING.  My feet were frozen and my purse felt like it had been in a freezer by the time we landed.  We have a 5 hour layover at Dulles so I’ve been on email non-stop.  Had a problem getting logged on.  I have T-Mobile but it wouldn’t let me log on because it’s not an official “hot spot”.  Just another way to get your money. Finally had to go on through Boingo and even had problems with it.  They did let me in the SAS First Class Lounge (after a lengthy discussion!).  Even though I’m on a business class ticket, my “Global” status on United allows me in the First Class Lounge.  FINALLY, I see a “benefit” for being Global (the secret society).  Mark and his guys flights left Dallas and Houston on time, so they should meet us here at around 4 pm.  Our flight to Copenhagen departs at 5:15 pm.  Mark, Joe and Slim arrived on time and our flight to Copenhagen departed on time.  The flight attendants are really nice but it is a “strange” aircraft.  They made us put ALL our bags in the overhead – even my purse.  They made me put the blanket in the overhead but I could keep the pillow on the floor.  Guess the blanket can injure you if there is turbulence and the pillow can’t????   The lady across the aisle from me had set her purse in the floor at her feet. I saw the flight attendant pick it up and put it in the overhead and she never mentioned one word to the passenger that she was taking it.  About 5 minutes later, the lady was totally freaking out thinking her purse was missing.   I told her what had happened and she was not happy with the flight attendant. The seats are absolutely the most uncomfortable I’ve ever sat in.  There are only two classes of service – coach and executive – but even in executive the seats truly suck.  The movies were “non-existent” and the food was as bad if not worse than United.   They had a “galley” where executive class passengers could go and get food throughout the flight.  The bathroom for our class was pretty remarkable.  It was huge, for one thing, and it had the windows in it just like in the rest of the plane.  The entire door was a ceiling to floor mirror once you stepped inside!  Picture that.  You’re sitting on the toilet looking at yourself on one side and outside at the sky on the other. Freaky.  Thankfully there was very little turbulence the entire flight and we landed right on time.  While we didn’t have to pick up luggage, we did have to change terminals and it was the LONGEST walk I’ve ever taken.  Plus we had a really short connection.  We made it just as everyone was getting on the little prop plane.  Thankfully the weather was beautiful and the flight was smooth.  Landed in Billund and our bus driver with a really nice bus was waiting for us to take us the 45 minutes to the hotel.  The hotel had our rooms ready and still had my “fan” from years past.  I did assure them that I would not be riding one of their bikes while we were there.  The promoter came by and gave us the “buy out” money for our dinners.  I had worked on email for about an hour after arriving and took a break to walk downtown with the guys for lunch.  Mark crashed out as did a couple of his other guys.  The town is really large for such a remote place in Denmark.  Lots of great shopping and restaurants all centered around the water and walking street.  I had a grilled chicken breast and a salad with the freshest ingredients ever from the salad bar.  We walked back and I spent the rest of the afternoon working on email.  My promoter friend and his new business partners are here from the Faroe Islands.  It’s his 40th birthday and his “fiancée” (in Scandinavia they live together for 15-20 years, have babies, and sometime they marry and sometimes they split up!) had given him a trip from the Faroe Islands to Denmark to attend Alan Jackson’s concert.  Alan’s concert cancelled a few days ago, so I got him tickets to Mark’s concert.  Dinner was at a fabulous restaurant called “Piaf”.   It was a six course meal but ever course was tiny and UNIQUE.  I’ve never had such wonderful food.  And, things I never thought I’d try – the cheek from the pig was excellent!  J  Would recommend this restaurant to everyone.   Dinner lasted 5 hours…the European way. Just got back to the room and hoping to go to bed before 1:30 am.  Going to get up and run 5 miles tomorrow.  The weather is beautiful and hope it lasts through the concert tomorrow evening. Jude

Friday, August 7th – Silkeborg, Denmark:
Got up early and ran over 5 miles.  Weather was perfect.  The cyclists here are still so “bold”.  The way the highways are set up, there are the lanes for cars, then a lane for bikes, and finally a sidewalk for pedestrians.  Three times I had to jump out of the way to keep from getting hit by a cyclist!  Had breakfast with some of the boys and we decided to sit outside because the weather was so nice.  Only thing is they have these little yellow bees that they call “one day bees”.  They are only here at one time of the year and this is it.  They are AGGRESSIVE to say the least.  Pretty hard to eat with them constantly buzzing you and they don’t move when you swat them. One of Mark’s musicians came down looking pretty tired.  Seems the guy he is sharing a room with snored loudly all night long.  The guy is a BIG guy, so I can just imagine how loud it was.  He said he had his ear plugs in and music playing and he still couldn’t sleep.  Then I found out that the snore fell out of bed TWICE and the second time he hit his face on the table by the bed.  His upper lip was swollen about 3 times its normal size.  I felt sorry for him until he told me he got really drunk downtown last night.  Sound check was easy and the musicians finished around 12:15 pm.  They are free until they go back over for the show at 8:45 pm tonight.  Mark has a press conference at 2 pm then he’s free until show time.  I’m hoping they all take naps because we have a late show and an early drive to the airport for the flight to Sweden tomorrow. I walked downtown to buy some things that I forgot to bring with me.  Got there at about 10 minutes before 6 pm and when I came out of the store, the town was deserted.  All the shops closed at 6 pm and everyone left!  Gotta love Europe.  They have their priorities straight.  The festival was packed and Mark was totally awesome.  As happened in Norway,  I had several people come up to me and tell me that he was the best entertainer the festival has ever had AND that he was better than Alan Jackson (whose performance next weekend was canceled due to low ticket sales).  The promoter said the same thing from the stage and said she wants to bring him back.  Best compliment ever. My friends from the Faroe Islands were here and were blown away with him as well.  I never doubted that they would be.  The promoters from the Lida Festival in Sweden were also there and we discussed getting Mark to their event next year.   He performed for 90 minutes and did 3 encores then signed autographs for about an hour.  I am going to sleep for 3 ½ hours and then depart to the airport for the flight to Stockholm and a performance tomorrow night.  Jude