Tuesday, July 17, 2007: I left today for Kristiansand Norway where I will meet up with Pam Tillis and her group. Pam has been over here since last week. She had a show in Breim, Norway which is on the other coast of Norway. Kristiansand “City on the Sand” is on the southern coast of Norway, on the North Sea. Funny, when I was in Scotland in April I was on the coast of the North Sea there! Kristiansand is a “walking” town and college town. Not much to say about my flights. Nothing exciting happened on any of them, however my plane from Detroit to Amsterdam was one the new Airbus planes. Very Nice, especially business class.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 I landed around noon in Kristiansand and maneuvered my way to the hotel via taxi, all by myself! Checked into the hotel only to find that my room is the size of a pea. Seriously, I am probably sitting in no more than 50 sq feet. I think my bathroom is bigger than the room. Have a tiny single bed that I pray I do not roll out of. Good thing I am not claustrophobic! Settled in and got hooked up to the internet with no problems. Pam and her group are due to arrive at 3:30. The driver came by the hotel to pick me up and we then we went to the airport to meet everyone. Flight landed on time with all the gear. I am beginning to think that mom is the jinx, too! Arrived back at the hotel and handed out all the room keys then Pam, Mary Sue and I headed out to find the H&M 🙂 Again this is a walking town so next to the hotel is a little shopping mall and then of course all around are shops and eateries. We decided that today was just a “browsing” day as we have all day off tomorrow and will shop then. Back at the hotel we meet up with some of the band and sat down to have dinner. It is buffet but we had a waiter that took our drink order. The table only sat 6 of us and there was going to be about 8 total, so I asked if I could move another table to connect to ours and he would not let me! Instead he just moved all the chairs around our table to make room for 2 more chairs, so now we are squished. Throughout dinner Pam is trying to get his attention so that she can get a glass of wine. She finally gives up and just goes to the bar area and pours it herself! A couple of us walk down the street to the little mini market to get water and such. Now I am back at the hotel finishing up emails so I can go to sleep!
Thursday, July 19 HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Fell asleep last night around 9:00 pm and woke up about 1 am because my cell phone was ringing. Thanks Kecia! LOL! You finally call me back and I am in Norway, 7 hours ahead of you. So, I finally get back to sleep around 3 AM and at 6 AM the fire alarms start going off. I, still 1/2 alseep, grab my phone to see who is calling me now. Took me about 30 seconds before I realized it wasn’t my phone ringing….. there was no fire, the smoke from the grill in the restaurant set it off. Today was a day off, so a few of us walked down to the sea and then over to the fortress. Had lunch at a little cafe beside the hotel and then started shopping. This area is like one big shopping mall and our hotel is right in the center. Pam, Mary Sue and I are in heaven! Had dinner at the hotel with some of the band. The buffet here at the hotel is not much to talk about, so I won’t. Long day tomorrow. We leave for the venue at 9:30 and it will take about an hour and a half to drive up there. Soundcheck and then come back to the hotel. Pam does not perform until midnight and does a 90 minute show. I think we will be back at the hotel around 3 in the morning! But as they say here… No Worries…. Going to finish up and then get to bed. I have a 7:00 am wake up call coming (if the smoke alarm does not get me at 6).
Friday, July 20, 2007 Up at 7:00 to have breakfast before heading out to the venue for Soundcheck. The drive is about 1 1/2 hours and it is a beautiful drive along the river. When we get to the venue and step out of the bus we hear this loud “rushing” sound, we all look up at this mountain that has this huge waterfall. It was so amazing. They actually put a spotlight on it at night during the concert. The local production company and sound company were a little behind in meeting us at the venue so we started later than anticipated. Other than a few glitches here and there everything seemed to go well. Pam, Matt and Mary Sue were going to stay at a hotel near the venue while the rest of us did the long drive back to our hotel. Pam does not perform tonight until about midnight so we had about 7 hours back at the hotel to kill. Had the buffet for dinner (again) seems to be the same stuff, nothing changes. Dessert bar rocks though! 9:30 PM rolls around and off we go again to the venue. This time of year in Norway it does not get dark until around 11 at night. I have Pam by the stage at 10 after midnight, the band is onstage “tweaking” everything and seems to be ready to go, however we cannot locate the emcee to bring Pam out. I call the promoter from the cell phone and he says the emcee will be here in a minute, however Matt has already started the introduction, as he says “Pam Tillis” the Norwegian emcee walks on stage! He then talks to the crowd in Norwegian and introduces Pam. She gives an unbelievable performance. At one point during Pam’s concert I walked out by the Front of House monitors to listen and this gentleman comes up and just starts “patting” my hair and flicking it off my shoulders and just saying “very pretty, very pretty” I just kind of turned and looked at him and he smiled and walked off. I think she does almost 2 hours and the crowd absolutely loves her. Gunnar, our promoter here, has a country band that is well known here. Pam invites him up to do a duet with her. He was so excited and did very well. It is about 2:00 AM when Pam finishes and we go over to the autograph table. Now Norwegians are very big drinkers, and they can drink, and drink, and drink. No trip to Norway is complete without a “drunk Norwegian groping” and I can now say my trip is complete. While at the autograph table, this guy, obviously drunk, is talking to me and asking if Pam will sign a picture. I tell him sure and he pats my shoulder and then instead of just taking his hand back, he kind of does a sloppy hand slide down my front! I don’t think mine was as bad as my mom’s “drive by” groping she got last week 🙂 However this guy then proceeds to Pam where he gives her a huge kiss on he cheek. LOL. I have to say that although they are drunk, they are a nice drunk! LOL. About 3:00 AM we head back to the hotel. Halfway back to the hotel the sun has started to rise. I think we all got into bed about 5 this morning!
Saturday, July 21, 2007 Woke up about noon and went out into town. It has started raining. The whole time I have been here we have had great weather. This is so nice because this summer has been Norway’s rainiest summer in 150 years! Shops are only open a few hours today, so I am doing some last minute purchases 🙂 Came back to the hotel around 5 and still no sign of anyone in my group! Getting all my luggage packed and trying to figure out how to get my new clothes home! We leave out at 10 in the morning and will be back in Nashville around 9:30 PM (keep your fingers crossed) So I am going to go downstairs and enjoy this buffet one more time! L
Sunday, July 22, 2007 Hardly slept a wink last night, kept tossing and turning. Finally gave up around 6 am and got up. Dressed and finished packing then headed downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast consists of sandwich meat and cheese and bread. Cereal, eggs, tiny sausages, baked beans and potatoes. Yummy! Actually not to bad, at least there isn’t any salmon! Everyone was up and in the lobby by 9:30. Loaded up all the suitcases and gear and headed to the airport. There are 10 of us total traveling, 9 in Pam’s group and then me. Our travel schedule is Kristiansand-Amsterdam-Detroit-Nashville on KLM/NW airlines. All of Pam’s group were booked at the same time but for some reason Darin, Pam’s lead guitar player, could only get checked through to Amsterdam and we would have to get the rest of his boarding passes in Amsterdam. Flights were on time and no problems getting the rest of his ticket in Amsterdam. Landed in Detroit and as we went through passport control, 2 of our people were pulled over for further questioning. Rechecked all our luggage and gear and now just waiting to take the last leg of our flight. Pam and her band are such wonderful people and had a really great time with all of them. I hope to get to work with them again soon. Pam did 2 amazing shows in Norway and the promoter is already talking about bringing her back next year. So now I am headed home, only for a week though, then off to Sweden for 5 days! It is a good thing that Joel is so understanding of my job and the travel I do in the summertime ( I am sure he enjoys the peace and quite while I am gone) 🙂 Linz