Wednesday, Sept 5, 2007
I leave today for Greece. I am taking Ty Herndon and his band over to perform at the 5th Country Music Festival. Mom has been here the last 2 years with Danni Leigh and Cowboy Crush, but since she is headed to Norway with The Bellamy’s I opted to go to Greece 🙂 Had to be at the airport at 9 am to meet Ty’s group and The Bellamy’s. I had my dad take me and come inside to help me out with everyone. Dad got to know the The Bellamy’s when he went to Switzerland with them back in June. It was smooth sailing checking all of Ty’s people in. They headed to the gate and I ran over to make sure The Bellamy’s got checked in okay. Got to sit and talk with Susan Bellamy for a little bit. She is mad that she has to go freeze her butt off in Norway and stay in places where sheep sleep on the roofs. I told her I would send her some pictures of us playing in the ocean. LOL! We left a few minutes late out of Nashville on a tiny Delta connection flight to JFK. JFK is a different airport, it isn’t open and airy, but tons of tunnels. Right on time we boarded our 10 hour flight to Athens. Of course my seat was right in front of a baby… I am thinking “not again” but this baby was great, hardly cried and every once in awhile I would feel a little tug on my sleeve and look between the seats and she was poking me. Oh, did I mention I got 3 seats to myself so I was able to stretch out and sleep a little.
Thursday, Sept 6, 2007 Landed in Athens and when we came out of baggage claim no one was there to meet us! This is not normal as I was told you are normally met by 10 people! A few minutes later they come flying in (there had been a traffic accident) to greet us. Nikos, his mom and dad and brother and tons of “staff” they were all very nice. The band was loaded into the mini van and Ty and his manager rode with Nikos and I rode with Magda. Magda was really nice but gets sidetracked. She was telling me some stuff about Greece and got lost… needless to say I saw a lot of Athens this morning. I was a few minutes after the band arrived, I arrived. Everyone got checked in and to their rooms. We are meeting Niko’s at 5pm for dinner. A few of us went down to the hotel restaurant to eat a small lunch. Of course I had a Greek salad that was awesome. Oh I forgot to mention that on Tuesday I went to get a “spray” tan so I wouldn’t blind everyone here with my white legs. The tan developed later on Tues night and I keep looking at myself thinking something is different and it is because normally when I tan my freckles pop out all over my face, but since it is a spray tan I have no freckles! Niko’s took us to this great restaurant where we had all this great Greek food, fish, and I mean the whole fish! grilled meat and fruits. Nikos and his brother own a coffee shop / bar and we all went there afterwards. Took tons of pictures and got to talk to some of Niko’s staff. Everyone is so nice and excited for us to be here. Ty and his band are just as excited to be here, too. It is 11:00 pm here and most of us are wiped out. We have an early breakfast and then a day full of sightseeing tomorrow. So.. goodnight! Linz Friday, Sept 7, 2007 Happy Birthday Nanny! We had the day off today to go and do some sightseeing. We left the hotel around 11 am and headed up to the Acropolis. Wow, what a sight to see! I can’t even begin to describe it to you. Even though The Parthenon and other temples are under renovation, it was still incredible. There is some type of energy up there… even birds will not fly above it. So we spent most of the day walking around there and then we walked to Old Town and had a great lunch. More Greek salad, bread, fried cheese that is to die for, and some vegetables and fruit. Old Town has a lot of small shops you can browse through and bargin for stuff. Surprisingly I did not buy a lot. Came back to the hotel around 6:30 to freshen up before we all headed back to Niko’s bar. Had a few cups of coffee and then we went to the radio station where Niko’s has a nightly country music program. He had Ty in the studio tonight. I can’t explain to you how excited Niko’s and his group of friends and employees are to have Ty here. They love his music. The Greek people are very loving and passionate people, very emotional too, but in a good way. It was almost midnight by the time we got of the radio station and back to the bar to pick up the rest of the band. Got to the hotel and everyone is starving.. we found this great little restaurant that was still open. Chowed down and now it is 2:00 am and I am ready for bed. Tomorrow is show day. We have to head out in the morning for load in and soundcheck. Oh, the hotel is an older hotel that when you use the elevator, you actually open the door and then as you go up and down you can see all the doors to the other floors. There is no “ding” either to tell you when you reached your floor, you just hear the door unlock… different… Goodnight! Linz
Saturday, Sept 8, 2007 – Show day After going to bed at 3 am, I had to get up by 8 to have some breakfast and get ready for soundcheck. The venue is about a 20 minute drive from the hotel but with traffic it is more like 45mins. Soundcheck was good except the stage plot I was given was an older one and I never received a revised copy to send to the promoter here, so we had to do some rearranging first thing. The back drop to the stage is this huge bolder and the acoustics are amazing. Nikos told me he has to reserve his dates a year or 2 in advance. Soundcheck wrapped up around 2:30 pm. Since we were heading back out to the venue until 9pm tonight we grabbed a quick bite at the hotel and then headed out shopping. Old Town is within walking distance of this hotel. Some facts about Athens… it is home to over 5 million people. It is a huge spread out city. The cars drive like maniacs… not as bad as China but a close 2nd. They make their own lanes and just whip in and out of traffic. Before the Olympics came here in 2004 the city put in a subway system, so this helped with some of the congestion. However depending on your license plate you can only come into Old Town on certain days of the week. Odd numbers on certain days and even on certain days. This helps relieve some of the traffic and the congestion. You have to be careful walking around b/c their are so many small side roads and you get lost very easily. Now, back to shopping…. 5 of us walked into Old Town and did some bargain shopping at the small market shops. We roamed around till about 6:30 and decided to go back to freshen up. Arrived back out at the venue around 10:00 pm. Ty does not perform until 11 so we had about an hour to kill. Ty put on a really great show. He is an amazing singer. I know he has had his ups and downs but I think he is in a good place now and hope that he continues to have an amazing career. The crowd loved him! Everyone was just so happy…. whew! Ty signed autographs afterwards for about an hour and a half. It was about 2:30 am before we got back to the hotel and of course we are all starving. We found a great restaurant down the street from the hotel that stays open 24 hours. They have great pizza’s, pasta’s and crepes. Ty had this wonderful chocolate crepe the night before so that is was I ordered tonight and it was sinful! Oh so good… So now it is 4 am and I think I will go to bed now. It was a great day… Linz
Sunday, Sept 9, 2007
Wow! What an unbelievable day! Everyone got to sleep in. Nikos and his volunteers picked us up at 2:30 to take us to the beach and then on to Nikos parents beach house for dinner. It was about a 45 minute drive to the beach. We stayed there for about 2 hours just playing and taking pictures. The water was a little cold but all the guys got in. The boys horsed around taking hilarious shots. Shawna is a great photographer and had Ty doing some poses for his myspace and possible calendar. I guess I should tell you who everyone is… a little late, huh? Of course there is Ty. His manager Leigh, who has been so much fun to hang with. Shawna and Keifer Thompson. Shawna is Ty’s back up singer and Keifer plays guitar and does back up vocals also. Together they have started Thompson Square which is doing really well. I wish them the best of luck. Rick Brothers is the drummer, very nice guy, he use to drum from Gretchen Wilson. Erik Halbig plays the guitar, we have worked with him a couple of times with different artist and he most recently went to Europe with Chely Wright on one of our festivals. Victor is the bass player, and like Erik, he was on the Switzerland gig with Chely. Victor is from Sweden, he moved to the US when he was 22 to study music. Lee Davis is a pianist. He plays keys for Ty but he has many side projects, including solo stuff and producing other artist. Oh, today is his Birthday! Brett “Scoop” is the sound guy. He is awesome. He has worked with mom a few times on other projects as well. All of them have just been wonderful to work with and get to know. So, After the beach we drove back to Niko’s mom house where she has been cooking all day and Oh My God what a display of food. It was like Thanksgiving! It was all so good… and we even had a birthday cake for Lee. I can’t even begin to describe in words what this trip has been like. The volunteers that help Niko’s out during this time are so kind. Of course they are these beautiful Greek women and the band is just going gaga! But so sweet. They have made us all feel like family. I have had such an amazing experience and hope that I get to come back one day. Niko’s and some of the girls and guys are coming to the US in November for a month so I will be able to see a few of them then. I have to start packing as we leave tomorrow. Ty, Leigh, Shawna, Keifer and Eric leave out at 7am for their flight to Rome. The rest of us leave at 10:00 to catch our flight home. Should be home around 8 pm on Monday… keep your fingers crossed! I can’t wait to get some of my pictures up and share them! Lindsey
Monday, Sept 10, 2007
Woke up at 6:30 so I could make sure the 1st group checked out of the hotel today. They had an early flight to Rome where they will spend a few days before heading home on Friday. Got some coffee and then back up to the room to shower and finish packing. Finally… the last day here, I figured out how to take a shower without soaking my entire bathroom. The shower pressure was to much for the showerhead handle and it would make my showerhead fly up and spray water all over the place. So I would lay the showerhead on the bathtub floor and keep my foot on it while I washed my hair. Not a lot of fun, but it worked. Their are only 5 of us flying back to the states today (Rick, Scoop, Victor, Lee and me) everyone was in the lobby and ready to go at 10:00 am. Nikos and his brother John came by to tell us goodbye. They told me to give many kisses to my mom and that I now have a home in Greece. Aww… The flight from Athens to Atlanta was a full flight so no stretching out on this one. I had a lady from Russia sitting next to me, very nice lady. She moved to Denver about 10 years ago. She saves her money to go somewhere every year and this year she went to Greece and Egypt. Rick sat across the aisle from me so we were able to chit chat throughout the flight. Landed on time in Atlanta and cleared customs with no problems. Landed a few minutes early in Nashville. All our stuff made it and we said our goodbyes, exchanged numbers and email addresses so we could send all our pictures to one another. I think Scoop is going to learn Greek… 🙂 I think after mom sees my pictures, I will not be allowed to go back 🙂 Linz