WEDNESDAY, JULY 28TH – THURSDAY, JULY 29TH – NASHVILLE TO SELJORD, NORWAY:
Sure needed and enjoyed my one week at home. Off to Norway again today, then Denmark the following weekend and end in Sweden the weekend after that. The festival in Norway features Carlene Carter and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – none of whom are traveling with me.
I had packed most of my clothes this weekend, knowing I’d be very busy the few days prior to departure. Lindsey called me into my bedroom to show me that Zac had climbed into my suitcase and was removing everything he wasn’t sitting on. Sure would have liked to tuck him and Zoe away and brought them with me. L
I had to leave for the airport at 10 am, so I was trying to get dressed and have a little time to answer the emails that came in overnight before leaving. I fly on Delta to Detroit, Amsterdam and finally Oslo with very short layovers between each stop. Lindsey was talking to me as I dressed and watched me spray my hair with deodorant. Guess I was a little more stressed that I realized. At least my hair won’t sweat. J
I’d been watching the weather channel – okay, been glued to the weather channel for days. There have been storms and tornados all around and strong thunderstorms were predicted for Detroit at about the time we were due to land. It wasn’t very turbulent landing and I had time to answer a few emails before boarding. I left the lounge and went to the gate area in anticipation of beginning the boarding process. When I looked outside, the sky was completely black and lightning was striking all around and straight to the ground. Was really surprised when they announced that we were supposed to board the aircraft. I think maybe 6 people got on when they cancelled the boarding process. Then we sat and sat and sat while we waited for the storm to move out. An hour later, it was fairly clear outside and we were allowed to get on board. I only have a 2 hour layover in Amsterdam and now our new arrival time only gives me a one half hour connection time. I had booked my flight so that I would arrive 2 hours before Nitty Gritty arrives so I could meet them and ride the 4 hours to Seljord with them. If I miss this connection, the next flight on the same airline won’t arrive until 2 hours after they arrive. Really hope I don’t miss it and not sure what I’ll do if that happens.
Flight attendants were really nice and attentive on the flight…always happens when we have gay males instead of elderly females. I watched a movie titled “The Green Zone” and found it absolutely fascinating because it referred to the Green Zone in Iraq where I have spent a lot of time. I assume it is a very controversial movie although I haven’t heard much about it. It basically addresses the issue of not finding any WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq. So much of the information appears to be factual from what I have learned during my 30 visits to Iraq since June, 2003. I’m not sure how interesting the general public would find the movie but I found it riveting.
We landed about 35 minutes late and I had to RUN with my 30 pound backpack to the gate to keep from missing the flight. It was raining pretty hard so I was hoping the flight was being delayed. But, no such luck. I made it just as they started the boarding process. Wonder if my luggage made it, too? Hmmmm……
Short flight – less than 2 hours – and no one was sitting beside me. I finished my murder/mystery book on the flight so I didn’t sleep any. When we landed I was surprised to see one of my bags on the belt. But my luck didn’t hold. My big suitcase was missing. After standing in front of the belt for about 10 minutes waiting to see if other bags were coming out, I decided to give it up and file a claim. There was only about 5 other people still standing there waiting for bags and it seemed pointless. When I tried to fill out the paperwork, the guy at the agent said I had to wait until all the bags were out and as long as the belt was still turning, there were bags still coming. I didn’t believe him because nothing had come out in a long time. I wanted to get the paperwork filed while there was no one else in line. But, oh, no…I had to stand there another 10 minutes at which time the belt quit turning and no more bags ever came out. Then I had to stand in line behind the other 5 people for half an hour to file my claim.
The agent informed me that the bag had been left in Amsterdam and would arrive at 12:40 pm today. I made him assure me that the bag would be delivered to me today because my hotel is 4 hours from the Oslo airport. He assured me this would not be a problem and I would have my bag before midnight.
By that time, it was almost time for Nitty Gritty to arrive since they were scheduled to land 20 minutes early. Took them forever to get all their bags and equipment but at least nothing was missing! We had a super nice, comfortable bus for the 4 hour trip to Seljord and I think everyone slept most of the trip. I sure did.
Hotel had our rooms ready for us and I got the one I requested. From years past, I know which one the internet works best in. J The front desk handed me a note from the Baggage Service saying they had my bag but would not deliver until 3 pm tomorrow. You can imagine my reaction to that! I started trying to call but the line rings and then a recording comes on saying they are really busy and then puts you on hold for about 10 minutes and ultimately cuts you off! I called over and over and over again for about 2 hours and had my travel agent and office doing the same thing. I finally won. The agent told me the hotel was too far for them to deliver it today. I told him that I had been assured when I left the airport that I would have it before midnight tonight. I then told him that since I am Platinum Medallion on Delta and probably paid his salary this month with the price I paid for my ticket, he needed to either hire a taxi or put it on a train and get it up here to me. He said he would check into it and call me back. I assumed he said that to pacify me and I’d never hear from him again – nor would I be able to get anyone to answer the phone there again. Surprisingly enough, he called back about a half hour later and said they had secured a courier to bring it up. I knew they could do this because EVERY year the airlines lose someone’s bag or equipment and they deliver it to the hotel by courier.
Met the guys for dinner and I had poached salmon (although the menu listed it as “trout”!). Came back to the room to work on emails and at around 10:30 pm, got a call from the front desk that my bag was here. J Only thing “missing” was Zac. LOL
It’s only 10:30 pm but already totally dark here. When I was in Breim several days ago, it didn’t get dark until midnight. Going to unpack my things and go to bed very soon, I hope.
FRIDAY, JULY 30TH – SELJORD, NORWAY:
Actually slept for 5 hours last night which was a rare treat. Got up and went jogging the “hills” and then had breakfast. Evidently the guys were up and waiting for the breakfast room to open this morning. Breakfast here is from 7:45 until 10 am because people stay up all night and eat later. It had rained most of the night but cleared up for my jog. Showered and worked on email until time to go to the venue at 1 pm. Sound company had the stage ready for NGDB’s guys to load in.
I went out to the booth area while they were setting up to check out the festival t-shirts. It’s the same guy who has the contract at Breim and it’s the same t-shirt (sexy scantily clad female with STUD POKER written on the front and all the names of the artists on the back!). NGDB is thrilled with that. J
The guys really enjoyed the “sites” coming into the event. There was a green camo tank with a matching covered trailer attached. It did not have “tires”, but the actual tank tracks on it and 3 females had driven it in and were camping in it. And some of the outfits….well, I need to take photos!
Sound check finished on time and John did a little workshop for some of the attendees. I came back with the guys and worked for about an hour before meeting them for dinner. The menu is the same as last night and I think it will be the same every night. L I had the salmon AGAIN.
Carlene Carter and her guys made it in. KLM lost her luggage yesterday, too, and she didn’t get it back until late this afternoon. At least she got it before she left Oslo.
We left for the gig at 10:15 pm with a show time of 11:30-1:00 am. Nitty Gritty was AWESOME. They still sound exactly the same as they did when they first started performing together. Audience loved them and so did my promoters. Got 3 encores.
If was very sad to be there without Jonny this year. This festival and the Vinstra festivals were his “babies”. Somehow I sensed that he was watching over us and approved. He actually booked this festival last year before he passed away. I saw his sister and had a chance to talk with her for a few minutes. Can only imagine how sad it is for her not to have him with her this year.
Got back to the hotel at 2 am and I’m going to bed very soon. Nitty Gritty departs at noon and I go over to the venue at 1 pm with Carlene’s group. Oh…the t-shirts…the vendor actually “cleaned” these up from the ones at Breim. He put underwear on the girl and pulled her top up a little! J
SATURDAY, JULY 31ST – STILL IN SELJORD, NORWAY:
Only got 4 hours sleep last night but still felt fine when I got up. Dressed to go jogging again since it looked like the rain had stopped. Of course, as soon as I got to the bottom of the hill, it started sprinkling. I decided to wait until after breakfast (which is a brutal run) and went back to the hotel. Ate really, really light – yogurt, fruit and boiled egg – and hit the road again. This time it started raining even harder when I got to the bottom of the hill. Decided I needed to keep running though and take my chances. It actually just sprinkled all the way on me and was fine.
So, last night at dinner, the Nitty Gritty guys and I were talking about me not having ANY sense of direction. I was talking to Stan backstage last night and we were walking towards the stage at the same time. He went into the toilet and I followed him right inside, thinking I was still heading for the stage! J
Showered, answered email, and met the NGDB boys to get them off to the Radisson Airport. The driver brought a small van instead of the nice bus that brought us over and let’s just say I was not happy. It was “okay” because John had his own car but it was NOT what we had listed in our contract. I started asking about the transportation for tomorrow’s 4 hour ride to the Radisson with Carlene and was told it was a van again. Our contract specifically says for rides of 4 hours or less, each person must have TWO passenger seats and vans and mini-vans are not acceptable. This van did not have 14 seats for the 7 of us. I had to discuss this with the promoter when we arrived at the venue. We finally compromised by changing our departure from noon to 1 pm and the promoter will take his car as well. Still not what our contract stated and this is something that has to be corrected next year. That, and the lack of variety on the menu at the hotel. Ready to never see another “salmon”!
Sound check was easy but it was COLD out there. Still overcast and sprinkling which makes everyone sleepy. I had hiked down to the little store at the bottom of the hill and purchased peanut butter, bread, jelly, and honey for “midnight emergencies” tonight. Last night, Carlene and most of the NGDB guys were trying to break into the kitchen to get something to eat after midnight! The promoter has promised to have food for them tonight after the concert but I’m not taking any chances.
We all ate an early dinner (salmon again for me) and they went to take naps and I am working, of course! Departed the hotel for the venue at 10:45 pm and Carlene was supposed to go on at 11:30 pm. The amp for the guitar player blew and the production company had to go to one of the other stages and grab one. She was about 15 minutes late going on but the audience was still huge and ready to rock. No one left because of the rain and she had an amazing performance. A very good weekend in Seljord!
Afterwards, there was a “feast” of sandwiches for everyone so we didn’t need my peanut butter after all. I’m keeping it for the 4 hour bus ride tomorrow though. Might need it at the airport hotel as well. J
Still raining and it’s 2:30 am here. Going to get this posted and go to bed. We leave at 1 pm tomorrow for the Radisson airport hotel for a couple of nights.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 1ST – SELJORD TO OSLO AIRPORT:
I can’t believe it’s August 1st already! My summer is over and I don’t know where all the time went.
Slept 4 hours then had yogurt and coffee and headed out to run again. Be glad to get to the Radisson and be able to work out instead of running every day. At least, there’s no rain so far today and it was about 50 degrees when I ran…..perfect running weather. My allergies are in full gear today with the sneezing and itchy eyes. Don’t know if it’s all the smoke or the rain brought in something new.
Showered, packed and ready to drive 4 hours to the airport hotel. We stopped by the festival site so I could ride with Kjell and give Carlene room to lie down in the back of the van. But Kjell wasn’t ready to go, so John stayed and rode with him. It was an absolutely miserable drive in the van. Couldn’t straighten out our legs and only one small seat per person. Next year, I’ll highlight that part of the contract in RED and make sure someone reads it. It actually says “minimum of 2 seats per person and vans and mini-vans are NOT acceptable”. Guess I should have held their feet to the fire on that one.
Anyway, we are at the hotel and there are 250 Americans here—all leaving tomorrow and all eating dinner tonight at the hotel. We had to make reservations to be able to eat. The food here is usually not good at all, but I don’t want to go all the way into downtown Oslo tonight. The waiter who befriended me several years ago – Jan — was there tonight and remembered my name. He was able to get us a table for dinner, too. J And, he told me the best things to eat on the menu and it was “edible”.
Came back to the room to answer emails and work a little. Nice to have a couple of “days” off although two of them will be travel days. Here in Oslo tomorrow. Off to Copenhagen on Tuesday and Billund/Silkeborg on Thursday.
MONDAY, AUGUST 2ND – HANGING OUT IN OSLO AGAIN!:
Kind of nice to have a few “off” days thrown in between events. I went to the gym for a killer workout with weights. Then had breakfast with some of my boys. Showered and answered the emails I had received overnight. Then I headed for the airport/train station. I have become a “pro” at taking the Express Train or bus into Oslo. Never thought I’d master it, but glad I have. I shopped all day long, basically looking for a pair of boots that I couldn’t find last year. Just as I had given up and was taking a side street back to the main shopping street, I walked into a large shoe store. There they were…and they had my size. They are soft black leather that come up over the knees and hit me about mid-thigh. Pretty easy to find except most of them are either suede, 4 inch heels, or flats. I wanted wedge heels and couldn’t believe I found them and only had to pay $100 for them! I have a feeling these are going to be my favorite boots.
Took the train back to the hotel at around 6 pm and walked into the restaurant to see if any of the boys were in there. Carlene and a couple of the guys had just finished dinner and I talked to them for a few minutes. They are going to move to the Radisson hotel downtown tomorrow which is a good idea. Just nothing to do out here except watch the planes land and take off. They don’t fly to Denmark until Thursday. I went back to the room and ordered room service so I could catch up on my emails.
Tomorrow I fly to Copenhagen and stay at the Hilton connected to the airport. Have tomorrow and Wednesday “off” so I’ll take the express train into the city on Wednesday. Haven’t been in the city in several years and looking forward to it. Hope the weather is good. Then on Thursday, I’ll meet Carlene and the group at the airport and fly with them to Billund and then bus to Silkeborg. Dale Watson will arrive on Thursday as well and my promoter from the Faroe Islands – Allan and his wife Annie – will be there as well. Jypsi arrives on Friday and Pam Tillis on Saturday. Going to bed soon as I need to get to the airport early for my flight.