SUNDAY, AUGUST 14TH:
Rooms were, of course, ready for us because my friend Rineke was handling everything. She is awesome and made sure everything was perfect for us. We had breakfast then the guys and I walked over to the venue. The stage is set up at a “Boy Scout Retreat” and it’s really beautiful – lots of grass and flowers and chairs on the lawn for seating. And, LOTS of booths out front selling C&W wear. I left the guys to sound check and went for a 5 mile run along one of the canals. It was a terrific run. But, it stared raining hard again not long after I got back.
Had a short meeting and lunch with the Bellamy’s distributor who is here from the U.K. Haven’t seen him in about a year and a half and it was great to catch up with him. Then the Bellamys had a press conference at the hotel. The room was packed with media reps and it was a really interesting session. They did liners for everyone afterwards.
I walked over to the venue with Susan and showed her where everything was located so she could get set up. Then walked back to the hotel to get David and Howard over to their dressing room. I was walking back from the dressing room to the backstage area – a path I had walked several times today – it’s a straight shot, but a little long – and I got off the path somehow. Was walking in the mud and thrashing around in the bushes when I saw Susan and the band standing in the backstage area. I’m sure they either wondered what in the heck I was doing out there or they knew I was lost again!
The venue was packed – estimated at 4-4,500 people and it was a “listening” audience which is a rare treat in Europe. They loved the Bellamy Brothers and the Bellamys really liked this festival. They are already asking if they can play it again next year. All the artists who performed today went on stage for the finale “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and for once, it worked better than I’ve ever seen it happen at a festival. Couldn’t sign autographs tonight because everyone has to be cleared out of the venue by 8:00 pm. Came back to the hotel and had a nice dinner. Going to bed soon because I have to get up at 4:30 am to depart to the airport.
I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – going to click my heels together and chant, “I want to go home!”. Really glad to be going home for a couple of weeks before heading to Afghanistan.
Monday, August 15, 2005:
Up early – 5:00 am – to depart for the airport. I got ANOTHER migraine on the ride to the airport. Very strange. Instead of getting them when I’m stressed, I get them after all the stress is over. Doctor’s visit is first on my agenda when I get home.
Only took 1 hour 15 minutes instead of 2 hours but once we got checked in, we learned that boarding would begin at 9:25 for an 11:00 flight. Security was very tight! I had already checked in when Susan came over and wanted to know if Wally might have given me Jonah’s ticket. It was missing! But, Randy was standing beside me and happened to look through his ticket and found it. Whew. Wouldn’t want to have to buy a one way ticket on the day of departure.
Found the “stroopwaffles” for everyone and now get to carry all that around with me. Plane was absolutely full but the movies were terrific. Couldn’t decide which one to watch and wanted to sleep some. Ended up watching two movies but we had to turn off the system before I saw the end of one. Susan had watched it though and told me how it ended. Susan said that she was sitting in her seat when she started “smelling” something rank. She looked down and this pair of brown feet with white fungus growing on them were shoved right up on her seat. The Indian lady sitting behind her had taken off her shoes and put her feet up through the back of Susan’s seat. When she got up to go to the bathroom, Susan stuffed a pillow in the seat to keep her feet out!
We got all our luggage and proceeded through Customs and Security. As I was trying to “dress again” after coming through security, this elderly African American security guard came up to me and said, “Do you mind if I pay you a compliment?” I said, “Honey, I’ll pay YOU if you’ll give me a compliment”. He said he just wanted to tell me I was very pretty! Now, this is AFTER that 9 hour flight and after my balsamic dressing had exploded on my pink top and after I had made a mess of my blouse trying to wash it off! I told him he certainly made my day and that he was “charming”. He told me to come back through again real soon and I assured him that he wouldn’t have to wait long to see me again!
Our flight was delayed out of Detroit back to Nashville – as usual. But we are now airborne and should land at 5 pm instead of 4 pm. I am SO glad to be home for a few days.