Summer in Europe 2010 - July 27th, 2010

Night before last, after our daytime festival show, we drove 3 km to our hotel. The hotel where Kim has stayed in the past was closed and the other hotels were full. So, our only option was the Straw Hotel. Yes, the "Straw" hotel. We were given the option of either a regular bed or a straw bed. Fearing the allergies to hay, we all opted for the regular bed. Had I known that we would be sharing the same room with 10 other people, including the straw/hay beds, I would have tried out the straw bed... allergy or no allergy, it was the same room. It was an interesting night.... Kim and I shared a bed and the guys took the top bunk above us. Across from us was an Asian couple and in the loft above were 2 Swiss and/or German families sleeping on the straw/hay. By the way, this was a barn... with chickens, goats, sheep and other animals roaming around outside accompanied with all of the smells that come along with farm animals. It took me back to childhood when I would go visit my Aunt Rachel & Uncle Otis, outside of Union, Mississippi, in the summertime where they had cows, chickens, cats, snakes, etc. and all of the sounds and smells that a frightful city (although "city" is used lightly, as "Hattiesburg," Mississippi isn't really a city, but it seemed it at the time) girl slowly and carefully became accustomed to and fond of. I always loved going to visit them. However, I can't say that I enjoyed this particular straw hotel. Perhaps it's because we were sharing the room with strangers, including whiney children.... and unusual bodily sounds (snoring) in the night that didn't belong to any of us.

Our location was right outside of Meinfeld, Switzerland, the home of the infamous Swiss Heidi. So, basically, we were in Heidiland. If you are familiar with the story, you know that Heidi went to live with her grandfather on a mountain. We were staying on "this" particular mountain. It's like Disney Land to many of the European kids, but there were hardly any people visiting Heidiland... maybe because there was a good bit of hiking involved? This would never go over in the States. It would be considered too boring and uneventful for the cyber/video/guitar hero kids of today. The exercise involved didn't include standing in line for cotton candy or the que for Space Mountain. Instead, the easy part of the trail only required that you stick your hand in a hole and try to feel what was inside the wooden box.... pine cones, rocks, bark and dirt. A shout out to all you hippy parents wanting to take your kid somewhere earthy... "Heidiland!"

Yesterday morning, Kim and I hiked up the HeidiHof Alp, drank from the natural springs... enjoyed the day on the mountain while the guys took the train to Chur, Switzerland. I said to Kim, "it seems like the guy's should be the ones wanting to hike and the girl's wanting to shop." After our hike, Kim and I drove to Chur to pick up the fellas. Eric scored 2 awesome jackets that were on sale. Had I known ahead, I would have thought a little harder on the shopping. Not really, hiking was much better... but gosh, I missed a great sale!!!

After driving to Chur and picking up the guys, we all drove back to Germany where we are staying with Miescha and Kathrin again. On our journey back to Germany, we stopped at an amazing Restaurant on the Walensee (translation... location, a huge beautiful green/blue lake with the Rocky Alps jetting straight upward). The mountains are so gigantic/enormous and present and the water so incredibly green that you can't help but believe that there is a God.

This morning, I woke up early because I had a dentist appointment. My root canal that I had before leaving for Europe has been giving me trouble. My headaches that I've been having for years have finally been solved. I have a major sinus infection right above my tooth and it appears to have gone into the tooth area. This particular dentist explained the connection between the two like no other dentist in the States would have done. Ok, I'm not dissing the States, It's just frustrating when you go several times for the same thing and nothing is ever solved. This dentist, which was a woman by the way, (with a piercing above her eye.... one of those "statement" piercing's... I think she likes the girl's) treated me from the perspective of it being a profession, NOT a business. It was genuine, heartfelt, quick and to the point. I am relieved and thankful, indeed! Oh... they took ex-rays, took a mold of my teeth for a night guard to keep from grinding and did not charge me a dime. I guess I looked like a poor pitiful musician. The dental assistant was a friend of Kathrin's, so I imagine, that was the real reason for it not costing anything.

On my walk back to Miescha & kathrin's house, I stopped off at a cafe for coffee where I ran into 3 guys from you'll never guess..... Montgomery, Alabama. I heard them speak English, so I spoke to them and asked them where they were from. They looked at me and said, "what's a gal from Tennessee doing in Neuenburg, Germany?" I said, “drinkin’ coffee and playin’ music, what else?” *wink* They are working with the local baseball team, the Neuenburg Atomics.

Last but not least, as I walked back to the house, I drifted past a shoe store. I hesitantly walked in and looked around. I can’t even believe what I’m about to tell you... But... I bought a pair of Birkenstock sandals. I’m a bit embarrassed as I thought I was finished with my hippie days. But who am I fooling? Surprisingly, they were much cheaper than back home. Next thing you know, I’ll be taking field trips to Heidiland with small children.

Cheers... Peace & love,


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