I just figured i'd give a little update since I'm back on US soil. Interesting how at least this side of the board here has become more of a personal diary, get-together, coffee chat than a place to work on and solve R issues. Not sure when that bridge was crossed - and it may just be my assessment but it seems to be the case. Anyhow...

I'm back from my first trip to Europe. It was clearly a work trip - CLEARLY. I feel a bit bait and switched. This was laid out to be much like the cruise - where we provide our services for little or no cash but receive multiple times what we'd typically charge in the form of free travel. While the cruise allowed for both me and a guest to go free of charge, this trip was only for those working - or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when three boyfriends/girlfriends showed up at the airport. Now, to be fair, two of the couples are engaged (more about them in a minute) and the other living together, but still... fair is fair... especially when one if not two had to work about 1/5th of myself and three others. But, truth be told, I would not have wanted to have to find someone to take and based on what happened, i'm really glad I didn't otherwise they'd have been disappointed as well. Still, while I do subscribe to the adage that "fair is the other F word" this was not at all fair.

My trip started off with all of us arriving in Amsterdam at about 6:00 in the morning (midnight here). So it had been a long day of travel. Everyone retrieved their luggage - well other than me that is. I'm a good traveler and can live for days on my carry on. The only problem was, my carry on was my instruments. That was already pushing it so there was no way I could take anything else other than medication. Long story short, my luggage was never put on the plane. They sent it over nearly 40 hours later but because we were so far from the airport, the currier didn't deliver it until three days later. I'm still fighting with the airlines about that and trying to get reimbursed for the things I ended up buying in order to not wear the same cloths for four days in a row.

We were treated like rock stars by the people. The two gigs were incredible to perform for - complete with meet and greet, autograph session, selling signed posters for 25 euro. Understand that is not at all typical of the gigs I play. So it really was fun with amazing crowds. Unfortunately, between rehearsal (that I was never told about) set-up and sound check 5 hours prior to show and on and on, it gave little to no time to see anything. There was a whole lot of hurry up and wait. Finally, it was Sunday night and our performances were done. We'd move to Amsterdam for the next two days to finally be tourists. Oh, but not so fast... a "mix up" with the hotel meant we'd have to stay in the little town after all. I got a total of less than 2 hours in downtown Amsterdam. Do I still get to say I saw it? Not much more than a lay-over - which i never consider as being "in" a city.

I'll stop btching here but it was a huge let down. The parts I saw were fun. Got to hang out with some really, really good musicians that i know and have performed with in the past but not that often. They were pretty much all killer musicians so that part helped.

More to the purpose of this board, it was eye opening to experience two of the couples. Couple one consists of a guy 3 times divorced, most recently in Fall of 2017. He is marrying a one time D'd woman about 7 years his senior who was D'd about 3 years ago after a 25 year marriage. The other is one time D'd 13 years younger than me soon to be marrying a never married late 30s woman. The interesting part was how they all could not keep their hands off of each other. I swear to you it was like being with high school kids. I was thinking it but several of the others finally started saying things like "OMG, not this again, can you not go two minutes without touching each other" and similar comments. Talk about the all spun up infatuation phase. A rather wise long married guy in his late 70s with us commented how he wants to see how they are in a year or two.

We can further discuss this phenomenon if there is interest. I just found it really interesting to witness. As for me, I really didn't meet anyone outside of our group that i was able to spend time with other than perhaps the head of the security and his GF. He was great to talk to. A very smart man who fluently went from Dutch to German to English and spoke all of them very well.

I was asked again about wild girl - once again making me wonder if putting all those pictures up was a good idea LOL. The people I'm going to Nashville with asked the most. They then told me they were going to find me a "date" for when I'm down there next month. I've done this trip before so I know what I'll get.

Not much else to report. I wish there was. At least both me and my luggage arrived safe and sound back home yesterday. Let's hope this continues I the black cloud that seemed to have formed a week ago has dissipated.

Me 56
Met 11/95 / Married 5/00
Bomb 6/20/05 / She Filed on 6/2/06 / Divorced on 10/9/06
4 who'd qualify as GF since D & dated about 25 women since D