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First Leg of the end of the summer…

September 24, 2010

Hey everyone!

I know its been a long time since my last blog.  I’m just not a blogger, but I’m going to try harder!

Let’s see, I’ve been on the road for about a month now.  It’s still going really well, and I’m having a lot of fun.  I’ve gotten to see several friends from “Blast!”, and its been very refreshing.  Jeff is out on the road with me right now.  He is on a break from his tour, and we’ve gotten to spend a great week together.

I’ve been to 20 different cities so far.  If you’d like to see them, they are listed under “tour” on the website.  I’ll talk about a few that stick out to me.  (Forgive the run-on paragraph) Vancouver was fun- I got to hang out with Blast friends at the PNE (Pacific Northeast festival).  It is basically a fair, but 20 times bigger.  The weather was amazing, especially coming from the sweltering Charleston heat!  Nashville was fun- Jeff was able to come out for a few days.  We went to a minor league baseball game, and took in some great live music on the strip.  Lake Charles, LA was memorable because of the buffet. (We play a lot of casinos and have to eat at the buffets, which are usually sub-par.)  This buffet, however, was voted #1 casino buffet in the nation.  It was delicious!   We played in front of the Houston Symphony Orchestra while in Houston.  That was a welcome change!  Las Vegas was nice too.  I’m not much of a gambler, but since Jeff was out, we decided to have a little fun.  We went to the blackjack table with $60 and left with $220.  Woo Hoo!   L.A. was nice, as always.  We all got to watch MB on “Dancing With The Stars” before the show.  We watched it on our bus- the satellite is on East coast time, so it was perfect!  We are now in Oroville, CA.  There is nothing here except a casino.  I had no idea so many casinos existed across the country.  Some are very nice and resort-like.  Some, not so much.

I’ll try and upload pics on the other blogs too.  No time now!


Rome and Sicily

July 28, 2009

Rome and Sicily:  The last two stops on the tour.

     Rome was a lot of fun.  We arrived around 6, but still took advantage of the night!  Janice, Ellie, and I went to an authentic Italian restaurant and did it up!  I had Eggplant Parmesan.  It was incredible.  It had SO much cheese baked in.  I was in heaven.   Afterwards, we took a cab to a central area of town and saw the sights.  I think it was called Piazza Niova. There were so many people out, even around 9:30 or 10 at night!  We took a rickshaw ride to Trevi fountain, which was gorgeous.  Then we ended up drinking wine on on the patio outside of a bar looking at a beautiful building. (see pic)

     The next day, we got up ready to hit the city before soundcheck.  We took the train to The Vatican, with the goal of seeing the Sistine Chapel.  On our way there, people were advertising tours.  They said there was an hour and a half line to see the Chapel, but if we were with one of their tours, we would not have to wait and we would get a guided tour and explanations of everything.  Since we had limited time and had to get to soundcheck, we decided to do it.    Well, when they said they would explain everything, they weren’t kidding.  This tour guide explained every little detail of every little thing.  The Sistine Chapel is at the end of a HUGE museum.  (The picture of the statue is of Hercules).

 The tour was going on 2 and a half hours and we still weren’t close to the Chapel.  We decided to leave the tour and book it down to the Chapel.  There wasn’t an hour and a half wait, much less a minute and a half wait.  Ugh.  We got scammed. 

     That aside, the Sistine Chapel was amazing.  Michaelangelo is a master and I don’t know how he accomplished that feat.   We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but my camera might have accidentally gone off and I got a shot of the ceiling.  (see pic)

     I really wanted to see the Colosseum, but since the tour took SO long, we didn’t have time.  Since I was in Rome, this was just unacceptable.  I decided to go after the show, even though we had to be up really early to leave for Sicily.  The soundcheck ran late and we didn’t get a chance to eat supper.  They fed us afterwards, but I was able to get out.  A few of us went around 2 am and had a great time.  We even found Duff beer! (For those of you that don’t know, Duff is Homer Simpson’s drink of choice) The Colosseum is beautiful, especially at night. (see pics) We also saw the Pantheon.  I didn’t get a good shot of it because it wasn’t well lit.  It had a pretty fountain in front of it with statues spitting out water. (see pic)  (The brown stuff under his mouth is not from the Duff beer I was pretending to give him!  Just a little rust)  Even though I was paying for being out so late the next morning, there are NO regrets!

    Sicily was beautiful.  We stayed in Catania and played in Taormina.  Our hotel in Catania was a minute walk from the beach and had a great view of Mt. Etna.  Mt. Etna is an active volcano.  You can see the steam coming out of the top in the picture.  When we got in, we took a cab to the downtown area of Catania and ate a delicious seafood meal. (see pic)  The restaurant was right on the big square and we had a great view of the cathedral (see pic).

      The next day, Ellie and I tried to go to the little water park that was nearby, but it didn’t open until 3:30.  We came back and lounged by the pool.  I was kind of glad that there wasn’t anything to see, because I was beat!  I bought internet and was able to catch up on my blogs.

      Taormina was about 45 minutes away.  It is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever seen!  The venue was, again, part of old ruins. (see pics)  It was on top of a mountain, with a little village right before it. The view of Mt. Etna was amazing! There were all sorts of shops and restaurants  (and gelato stands- see pic) along the windy, narrow street leading up to the venue.  Houses had flower-filled window boxes everywhere. (see pic)  It was just what I would have imagined Sicily to look like.  The little pears you see were in our dressing rooms.  They were so cute!

      The last show of the tour went really well and I made sure to soak it all up!  The venue was beautiful by day, but stunning by night!  It was on top of a mountain and you could see the twinkling lights of the city down below.  The weather was perfect and I was lovin’ it!

     Well, that concludes my blogs for the Michael Bolton European Tour!  Michael said that he was pleased with me and would like to have me back sometime, so that’s exciting!   I hope there are more adventures to come!

Spain and Croatia

July 16, 2009


      The tour is trucking along.  Im getting really tired from all this travelling, but its definitely worth it!!  Spain was very pretty.  We stayed in a place called Lloret De Mar.  It is a beach town right on the Mediterranean, about 30 miles from Barcelona.  The venue was right outside of an old Russian Castle overlooking the Mediterranean!  They fed us an amazing dinner after soundcheck.  The show went well and afterwards, MB invited us for drinks in the hotel bar.

    Croatia was AMAZING!!  We were in a place called Pula, right on the Adriatic.  Our hotel was another resort.  The “sugarhorns” spent some time on the “beach”.  It was a bunch of rocks/ruins with steps leading down to the water.  The water was so clean and cool.  It was great.

      The venue in Croatia was an old Roman Coliseum!  It was very surreal to play there, to say the least.  Apparently, this coliseum was built before “THE” Coliseum.  I guess the Romans wanted to test their work out first in Croatia.

     Well, that’s it for now.  I’ll write about Rome and Sicily soon!  

Athens and Oporto

July 9, 2009

Hey y’all!

     The tour is so much fun.  Everyone here is so nice and welcoming.  I’ve been having a blast.  The ONLY downside is flying internationally EVERY OTHER DAY!!!  It gets pretty tiring.  We’ll get back from the show around 1:30 then have to be at the lobby at around 6.  We had to be down at 4:30 in Lebanon.  Last travel day, MB’s daughter was in town and it was her birthday the night before.  We went out and got back around 4:30.  Had to be in the Lobby at 6:30.  We tried to just stay up.  Ended up sleeping for 20 min!  Aside from that though, its been amazing.  I feel so blessed!  We have one day off this entire tour.  It was in Athens!  

     We stayed in a hotel in downtown Athens.  The place was really cute, but the “square” outside was a little rough.  Definitely the choice spot for the druggies, homeless, and, how shall I say…..hookers, of Athens.  I don’t think anybody knew that when they booked the hotel though!

     On the day off, we walked to the Acropolis/Parthenon area.  It was just gorgeous.   I got a lot of great pictures.  The view  It was SO hot.  Reminded me of July in Charleston.  After the tour of all that, we stopped to eat an authentic Greek meal down in the shopping area at the foot of it all.  Had greek salad (with awesome feta) gyros, bread with tzaziki (sp?)  sauce, and some other goodies.  The waiter brought us watermelon juice shots afterwards.   The show in Athens was a lot of fun.  The venue was awesome.  It was outdoors in kind of a rock quarry.  Very different.  

     Portugal has been great so far.  The weather is awesome!  Very crisp and cool.  I walked out onto the beach when we got here but had to put on my bathrobe because I was cold.  (SEE PIC)  It stays light really late here.  It is 10 pm right now and is just now turning to dusk.  A few of us walked down the beachfront boardwalk last night to the next city over.  There is a casino there.  We had a drink, but didn’t gamble.  WAY to smoky!  We went to a nearby hole-in-the wall restaurant and had some great grub.  I love finding little spots where the locals hang out and eat.    This morning, I went for a jog down to the same area.  Before though, I made sure to get breakfast.  All of these hotels have free breakfast and the spread is awesome!  Anyway, the beach area that I jogged to was hoppin!  Tons of people were out on the beach.  There were surfers- I really wanted to join them!!  Volleyball and soccer games were abundant.  A beach is a beach no matter where you are!

      Our hotel  here has an awesome pool area and beach view!!  (SEE PIC)  After my jog, I went to the pool and was joined by Jessy and Ellie.  We stayed for about three hours before having to leave for soundcheck.  So relaxing after all the travel!  The venue is in a casino tonight.  It will be different.  Everyone will be sitting and eating dinner! 

     Well, I think thats it for now.

Bulgaria and Istanbul

July 2, 2009

Hey Everyone!

      Bulgaria was a lot of fun.  We went to a traditional Bulgarian restaurant and ate all kinds of different foods, including lamb guts!  They braid the intestines and then cook them in this really good sauce.  It wasn’t gross, but I wouldn’t order it again.  The next day, I went to a small flea market near the St. Sofia Cathedral.  I got an LP of Louis Armstrong, but the words are all in Bulgarian.  Im going to frame it.  It cost the equivalent of about $7!  

      I was really excited for Istanbul.   The flight was nice.  It was only an hour long and we got served a full meal, including cherry juice, which is apparently big over here. When we arrived, we made a point to go straight out and see some sights.  We went to an area that had a couple of huge Mosques and the world’s largest market.  The Mosques were beautiful.  I wanted to go in and see the ceremony, but I think I was the only one.  There was a time limit and we wanted to get to the market too.  I was going to have to cover my legs and arms to go in.  I probably shouldn’t have worn shorts and a tank top.  I don’t think the men are used to seeing that much leg and arm!  

    The market is crazy.   There are about 4,000 vendors.  Everyone is SO aggressive.  They are all men too.    I got some cool things.  Jessy bought a Turkish rug and we all made friends with the owner of the rug shop.  He spoke English very well.  We ended up going out to dinner with him and his two friends who had just arrived from DC.  I had some amazing lamb ribs.  They were so tender.  If you can’t tell, lamb is pretty common over here.  Memet, our friend, ended up paying for the meal, which was very nice.  After a full day of shopping and eating great food, I was beat.  We were on our way back to the hotel at 10:30 pm when Janice  got a text saying Michael B wanted the girls to all come out and meet him at the club.  I was so tired, but found the energy to go back out.  Our taxi driver took us on a wild goose chase and we were late to meet MB at his hotel.  We walked to the club.  If we weren’t late, we could have ridden the yacht with everyone from the hotel to the club.  We got there and danced all night in the little VIP section he had going on.  They were close quarters.  When we first got there, I didn’t see the table behind me and bumped a drink off, right onto MB’s leg.   This was only the second time we had all hung out with him.  (We don’t see him very much- he is a VIP!)  Anyway, I was thinking to myself, “Great.  Of course this would happen.”  I wasn’t surprised that it did though.  I’ve become used to that sort of thing.  He was very nice about it and told me to just have a good time and enjoy myself.   Their entourage ended up leaving around 3:00.  The three girls didn’t feel like leaving and stayed and danced another hour.  MB sent someone back to “babysit” us and make sure we got home ok.  

      I should mention this club.  Its right on the water, outdoors, and a HUGE bridge covered in blue lights is right beside it.   The bridge connects Europe and Asia.  The venue is right next door.  Im typing this as Im listening to the Turkish opening act soundcheck.  Im right on the water and looking across the harbor to Asia.  It’s SO close!

     Well, I think the supper is here.  I should get going.   I’ll upload more pics later.  The three that I’ve attached are:   The Bulgarian market, St. Sofia Cathedral in Bulgaria, and the “sugarhorns” dancing in Bucharest.  This is the first time uploading pics here, so let me know if it doesn’t work!

Thessaloniki and Bucharest

June 27, 2009

Hey Everyone!

       So the first show went well, except we only got to play about 6 songs.  It started raining and lightning and we had to cancel it.  The crew worked ALL day to get the electricity up.  They were having problems but got it at the last minute.  We didn’t even get a full soundcheck.  Im sure we won’t have all those problems tomorrow night.  

      Michael B took us all out to a big Greek dinner.  I met him for the first time.  He’s very nice and down to earth.   A marching band passed down the street on the sidewalk right next to the Aegean Sea.  It was really cool to see.   Jessy and I rode in a cab with Michael  back to the hotel.  Thats when we found out Michael Jackson had died.  You know how everybody remembers where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy died?  This is going to be the same thing.

     I’ve eaten really good food so far.  The hotel breakfast in Greece was amazing (and free)!  We’ve been fed dinner by the promoters every day so far.  I haven’t spent much on food at all!

    We flew to Bucharest, Romania today.  The plane that we were on was very small and rickety.  Its the first time I’ve been nervous for a flight.   Jessy and I went walking when we got in.  We passed some cool old buildings.  One of them had bats flying all around!!  Very Transylvania-like!!  Then we found a big park and rented a paddleboat!  I have to say that the men here are very pompous and forward.  I don’t think they are used to girls who will dish it back to them 🙂   I think Im going to go to the flea market tomorrow before soundcheck.

     Everyone in the band and on the crew are so nice.  I feel like I know them all well already!  Im excited to play a full show tomorrow.  We didn’t even get to a song with instruments last time before the show got cancelled!

   I’ll try and post pictures next time I write a blog.  The Hilton is charging the equivalent of $17  for one hour of internet!!  I found a bar right around the corner with FREE internet.  Take THAT, Hilton!!   I didn’t upload my pics yet.  Im going to make it a goal to write a lot more blogs, since I can’t seem to keep a journal for the life of me.  More to come soon!!!

June 24th, 2009

June 24, 2009

Hey everyone and welcome to my blog!   (Feels weird to say, as I’ve never been the blogging type)   After a LONG travel day, I am finally here in Thessanoliki, Greece.  Haven’t gotten a chance to get out, but hope to soon!   Im a little bummed because I left my most favorite jacket that I got in Japan (some of you know it- the navy blue and white with big Japanese characters on the back) in the Athens airport.  Oh well.  I’m in Greece.  That makes me feel better!   More blogs to come soon!

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