WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8TH, 2012 – NASHVILLE TO SILKEBORG, DENMARK:
Flying to Silkeborg, Denmark today for the annual country music festival that I work with. Taking the Mavericks for this event. Lindsey left yesterday and she’s in Furuvik, Sweden with 5 artists for shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. She has Moe Bandy, Heather Myles, Trenna Barnes, Robyn Young and South Mountain with her. We fly over and meet her on Saturday for the Mavericks’s performance. Won’t be a lot of sleep in my future for the next 5 days. But, a lot of fun. These festivals are two of the best I work with all year.
Found out yesterday that the trumpet player for the Mavericks had to cancel the trip. Contacted both buyers and friends in Sweden and Denmark and also put a message on Facebook. By noon today, we had someone in place in both Sweden and Denmark. Talk about last minute stress.
Check in was relatively painless at the Delta counter this morning even though we had 15 people including me. Flight was on time but one of those small jets to Minneapolis…like I was on a few days ago to Minot, ND! Miserable 2+ hours but at least I had the exit row. The International Terminal is a LONG way from the terminal where the small jets arrive. We had a tram for a very small segment but the walk was very long. The Delta Lounge is new and really nice though. There are still issues with the internet but I at least got all my emails downloaded to answer off line. Am also reading the instruction manual for my new IPAD. J
Really nice guy sitting next to me on the full flight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam. He is going to Florence, Italy as part of a “sales incentive” trip with his company. Nice perk, huh?
Watch “Morning Glory” while dinner was served. Realized about halfway through it that I had already seen it. L
We landed early in Amsterdam and I thought we had 3 hours until our flight to Billund. That’s when I realized my travel agent had booked me on the wrong flight! The guys were departing at 7:50 am and my flight was at 10:10 am. Wasn’t really worried since I was in business class and a million mile flyer with Delta. I stopped at the Transfer Desk for KLM and told the lady I was traveling with 14 other people and needed to change my flight so that I was on their flight. She was very rude and told me that if I checked bags, I could not change my flight. That didn’t sound right to me, so when we got to the gate, I was going to try and change it there. I knew that there were plenty of seats still available.
When the gate agents finally arrived (about 10 minutes before the fight was supposed to depart), I told them my problem. The lady was really nice and called her supervisor for assistance. Then she told me that I should have stopped at the Transfer Desk because I checked bags and that they could have changed my flights and gotten my bags switched to this flight. She said it was too late for her to do anything at that time. I told her that I had stopped at the Transfer Desk and the lady there refused to allow me to change the flight. She apologized but said there was nothing she could do.
So, the Mavericks got on the flight without me (and they later confirmed that there were PLENTY of empty seats). I had to call my buyer at 6:45 AM and ask her if she could have the bus pick them up at 9 am instead of 11 am and have someone pick me up at 11 am. We got all that sorted out because the buyer is such a pro and sweet lady to work with. I went to the Delta Lounge and had a lot of coffee and answered emails. I walked back down to the gate at 9:30 for boarding at 9:45. At around 10 am, the gate agent announced that we were just waiting for the plane to be re-fueled and then we would be able to board. We waited and waited. The agents finally announced that there had been a computer breakdown and all the flights in Amsterdam were delayed because it involved tracking how much fuel each plane needed for their flights! We sat and watched about a dozen fuel trucks drive past our plane. All that time, the fights going out of the other gates around us were boarding and leaving on time, so someone was not telling the truth about all the flights being delayed. Finally at 11:30 – an hour and 20 minutes late – the gate agent called my name and another girl’s name. We rushed up to the counter and she said, “Aren’t you glad I paged you. Otherwise you would have missed your flight!” The girl and I both told her that no one had made an announcement that the flight was ready to board. She said, “I know. I didn’t make an announcement. You were just supposed to ‘watch the flow’!” Seriously? What airline doesn’t announce when a flight is boarding???? KLM used to be such a great airline. Definitely not so any more.
A $110 taxi ride from the airport to the hotel and I finally arrived at 2 pm – dead tired. The promoter and her daughter met me in the lobby and made me feel so much better because they are seriously some of the nicest people I know. We talked for a while and took care of some business. Then I got check into my room and answered some more emails. It’s still “cool” here – highs in the 70’s during the day and lows in the 50’s at night – but NO rain! At around 4:30 pm, I walked into the town to buy Zac and Zoe some gifts. This is the town where I had the horrible bike accident several years ago, so I’m scared to ride the bike into town. It’s only about a 15 minute walk anyway. Lots of my favorite stores have close down since last year, though. Found a couple of things for them, then got a tuna sandwich – my first real meal (if you can call it that) of the day and walked back to the hotel.
Have been working since I returned and it’s now 11 pm and I am TOAST! Going to bed as soon as I send this out. We have sound check and show tomorrow. We won’t get back to the hotel until after midnight and have to leave for the airport at 3:45 am! Then a show tomorrow night returning to the hotel at 2:30 am with a 7 am departure to the airport. So, for all of you nice folks who are always volunteering to carry my bags, figure out when I’ll get any sleep between now and Sunday night. J
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH – PERFORMANCE IN SILKEBORG: Absolutely beautiful weather for a long jog. Probably around 59 degrees when I left the hotel at 7:30 am after having slept for 6 hours. I was so tired I just couldn’t stay up past midnight last night. My trainer has me running at my maximum fat burn heart rate for 15 minutes, then my normal running pace for 30 minutes and then back to fat burn for 15 minutes. Slowing down to 128 beats per minutes means I have to walk. It’s really hard for me after being a runner for decades. Had a fantastic breakfast with some of the guys. REAL scrambled eggs (not powdered), yogurt, fresh fruit and coffee. Took a quick shower and met “Lars” our Danish trumpet player in the lobby and hooked him up with everyone to run through some songs. Started trying to check everyone in online but ran out of time. Took the techs over to the stage for sound check, walked back to hotel and got a couple of guys checked in, then took the musicians over for sound check. The trumpet player is great. They wanted to take him to Sweden with them but the flights are outrageously high and we already have a guy in Sweden learning all the parts. Press conference at the hotel was next and it was deliberately shortened this year, which was nice. And instead of having all the artists in the room at once, only the Mavericks were there and then they other entertainers came in later. I walked downtown to look for another toy for Zac since I haven’t met his request yet but struck out. Lunch was really healthy — a hot dog from a stand on the street. But it’s one of those where they make a hole in the middle of the bread and stick the wiener down inside it. Best hot dog I’ve ever had. Went back to hotel and finally got everyone checked in. KLM website is not user friendly at all. Went downstairs to try and eat dinner in the hotel restaurant but I forgot how slow they are! Sat there for 15 minutes and couldn’t get anyone to take my order. Finally left and walked downtown to a Pizza Parlor and got a pizza to take back to my room and eat while I worked. Had a little crisis right before show time but averted disaster. 🙂 Show started at 9:30 and it’s the biggest and most enthusiastic audience I have ever seen! Show is fantastic. Crowd was super enthusiastic and loved the show. Guys signed autographs afterwards for about a half hour and sold 150 EPs. I purchased some sausages and bread as an after show treat for them. We arrived back at the hotel at around 12:30 am and I packed and answered emails until time to go to the lobby at 3:15 am. Some of the guys just stayed in the lobby and sang and played with the other entertainers and musicians there for the festival. Jude