Next Stop: Europe!
I think we’ve been counting down to this European tour for what feels like years. For the first time of my teaching career, I didn’t have a countdown to the last day of school, but I sure had one for Europe. We had a pool party Saturday to say goodbye to Amanda, Jackie, and Christie, and then Monday morning we were off!
Taking a five-piece band to Europe isn’t cheap, so in order to save money, we booked our flight out of LA, saving almost $800 per ticket. However, this also meant we had to get to Los Angeles. Nick and I started our day at 8am at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. We picked up a small SUV (only $24 total to drop off in LA!) and picked up the guys one by one.
In our quest to save money, we booked our tickets through a third party website (Explore Trip) which somehow ended up with us all being on different flights. Originally, we were all supposed to fly to Dublin together for the first leg of the trip, but the Thursday before we left, Nick, Bruce, and I got the unwelcome news that our flight was cancelled. Several hours of being on hold later, we got re-booked on a flight to London that only left ten minutes earlier than originally scheduled. We breathed a sigh of relief: the plan was back on schedule.
Then of course, British Airways would choose that weekend to cancel all flights in and out of London 😣 But since we had no other options, we had to cross our fingers and hope it would all be sorted out by the time we got there.
We got on the road to LA just after 10 am. Our flight was scheduled at 7:40 pm, so we felt fine. We factored in Los Angeles traffic, and we should still have had plenty of time to get there. Of course, we hadn’t planned for a 100 mile traffic jam outside of the city.
We sat in traffic for hours. Suddenly we were sweating and wringing our hands, frantically checking the ETA on our GPS that started at 4:30 pm. Then 5. Then 5:30. When it read 6:09 pm, Tommy and I directed Nick (who was driving) to a detour and a wrong turn that pushed our ETA to 6:30 pm (sorry again!!). We got on the phone with the airline who basically told us there was nothing we could do except try to get there on time. Finally past the traffic jam, Nick drove like a bat out of hell, weaving in and out of LA traffic at top speed, narrowly avoiding collisions. (Seriously- someone began video taping our driving- probably not in admiration.)
We arrived at LAX at 6:11 pm thanks to Nick’s driving, but we still had to return the rental car first. We literally squealed into the parking lot, threw the keys at the attendant and ran for the currently-boarding shuttle, only to have the doors close in our faces to be told we would have to wait for the next one. The boys took the opportunity to run (really!) to the bathroom, having politely declined to use the bottles in the car for my sake, even though they were fairly desperate by this point.
We got on the next shuttle, and the nicest shuttle driver in LA got us to our gates at top speed. Bruce, Nick, and I said a hasty goodbye to Mike and Tommy who were headed to Dublin, and we all ran. Bruce sweet-talked the baggage people to check us in quickly, we got through security glued to our watches as the minutes counted by, and we arrived at the gate just in time to board with the last group. Believe it or not, Tommy and Mike even had time to grab beers.
20 hours, multiple flights, four countries, rental vans, and a lost saxophone and electric bass later, we all reunited at De Melkbus in Holland. We’ll keep you posted on the shows- it’s never a dull moment on the road with Whiskey Kiss!