SATURDAY, AUGUST 11TH, 2012 – PERFORMANCE IN FURUVIK, SWEDEN:
Departed the hotel at 3:30 am and arrived at the airport at 4:30 am. We got everyone checked in with 14 pieces of excess baggage. Had to put the larger pieces on a different belt and then had to take all the boarding passes to the KLM office to pay for the excess before we were allowed to go to the gate. Went through passport control and security and arrived at the gate as they were boarding. If I had not checked everyone in and printed their boarding passes and changed the departure from the hotel to 30 minutes earlier, we would never have made the flight. Flight departed on time and arrived Amsterdam early. We have a 3 hour layover before flying to Stockholm….brutal! I am in the Lounge and brought in one of the Mavericks with me. Trying to get some work done because I won’t have time after we arrive Furuvik. All our bags arrived and we left the Stockholm airport for the drive to the hotel. It was supposed to take 1 hour but due to road construction on the new highway, it took an hour and a half. We’re all “dragging” from lack of sleep. Lindsey had the room keys ready for us. The crew had a quick lunch and then left for the venue. I was staying behind to ride over with the musicians. But when it came time for the musicians to go over, I learned no one was going for a sound check. Wish I had known before I rushed through a shower and skipped lunch! Lindsey was at the venue with Moe Bandy and stayed for a few minutes to make sure the Mavericks’ techs were set. Then she came back and we had a very early dinner. I was able to grab an hour and a half nap – first sleep I’ve had since Thursday night and it sure felt good. Then had to leave for the performance. Tom – the wonderful park manager who I have worked with for over a decade – is going through a really tough fight with cancer. He still made the effort to come out and say hello to me. He is having another surgery on Tuesday and there will be lots of friends praying for good news. Moe Bandy performed before the Mavericks and I missed his show. You’ll have to read Lindsey’s report to find out how great he way. J The Mavericks absolutely brought the house down. I really, really enjoy watching their show. There was big crowd watching which I was happy to see since the weather this year has been cold and rainy all Summer. Kjell, the promoter and all the production crew are the best to work with! I got to see Heather Myles for about 5 minutes at dinner but Trenna Barnes and Robyn Young went to see Moe and the Mavericks perform so I got to talk to Trenna for a while. She brought me a beautiful red scarf, too. South Mountain had already left but Lindsey said they were amazing, too. And, everyone loved the musicians from France that we used to back Heather, Robyn and Trenna. The trumpet player that we hired in Sweden did a great job performing with them. Some really talented musicians in Denmark and Sweden! It was 2:30 am before we got back to the hotel – after a stop at McDonalds for some of the guys who slept through dinner. I got in bed at 3:30 am and had to get up at 5:00 am to see Heather and Trenna off.Jude
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12TH, 2012 – STOCKHOLM TO OSLO TO STOCKHOLM:
Trenna and Heather were off on time but the rest of our groups left late. Several had not paid the incidentals charged to their room and it took a long time to take care of this. About 99% of the stores in Scandinavia will not accept your credit card unless you have a “chip” in it and a PIN code! It’s really inconvenient and I wish America would step up to the 21st century. I wanted to arrive at the airport by 8 am but it was 8:45 before we arrived. Then, because the Mavericks had 12 pieces of excess luggage, we had to go pay for all the excess before they were allowed to check in. The problem was the fact that they were paying cash instead of a credit card. Then, back in line to check in luggage, drop off oversize luggage in another area and walk to the end of the next terminal to go through security. The last one went through at around 9:30 am and the flight was departing at 10:15 am. Cutting it much to close for me. But, Lindsey is on the flight with them and said they all made it. I walked a short way in Terminal 5 and checked into the Radisson Hotel. Had about 30 minutes before I had go to back to the terminal for my flight to Oslo. It was a 1 hour flight and I slept as much as I could. Met with my two great buyers from Seljord and Vinstra about 2012. We had a really good productive meeting and I think they will be able to come to Nashville in October for the IEBA Convention. Flew back to Stockholm and have been in my room at the Radisson for a couple of hours working. Really want to get into bed before midnight. I have to be back in the airport by 8:30 am for my flight to JFK and then on to Nashville tomorrow. Seems like I’ve been gone much longer than 5 days! Jude
MONDAY, AUGUST 13TH – HOME!
Amazing what 5 hours of sleep can do! Feel so much better. Had a quick shower and breakfast then walked over to the terminal to check in. Nice to stay at a hotel connected to the airport, too.
Had two new experiences yesterday on my short trip to Norway. A man getting on the flight in front of me had on a nice white sports jacked and collared shirt with black Capri pants and sandals. Hope that fashion fad doesn’t catch on in America! Then there was an Asian lady flossing her teeth in the bathroom with a plastic bag. That was something to watch!
My flight left on time and as with all my flights this year, it was full. I didn’t even eat the meal they served. I was asleep as soon as we took off and slept until they woke me up for the meal prior to landing – about 7 hours total! No movies, reading or working, just much needed sleep.
Landed on time at JFK and I really hope we don’t have to come back through there any time soon. Very inconvenient. Took me forever to locate the Global Access Kiosks and then 2 of the 4 were broken. My bags that were marked “Priority” were the last ones off the belt. There was no belt outside Customs where I could throw my bags on as they were already tagged through to Nashville. I stood in line at a Transfer Desk counter for about 10 minutes and finally went to the front of the line and asked if I could just give them my bags. They let me but then I had to take the tram to another terminal and basically had to go to the check in counters and through that security line – which was very long – again. There was a sign for the Delta Lounge but when I followed it – nothing there! I asked a man at the Information counter and he sent me back to the same place I had just looked. Went back down and told him the lounge wasn’t up there and he said maybe they closed it. Sent me to another one quite a hike from my gate but since I had 2 hours to kill, it was worth the walk. I worked on emails until time to board the flight to Nashville.
Plane left for Nashville on time – one of the small regional jets that I dislike so much. Weather was fine and no turbulence. I slept for about 30 minutes on that flight, too. J So glad to be home!
Lindsey’s Road Report
Sunday, August 12