WOW. It’s been a year. I wrote a blog about our adventures last summer but it disappeared when my personal website crashed and I lost EVERYTHING!!!
We flew to Scotland on May 5th. We were supposed to wake up in Glasgow the morning of May 6, except we never slept. We picked up our rental car, after dealing with broken bag and underwear spilling all over airport. Scotland new more about my inner layers of garments than if I walked around in a kilt.
We arrive at the Z Hotel. I could not find parking. We have no coins, the hotel would not help us get coins, I could not seem to use any ATMs thanks to my over protective bank (even though I told them my travel plans) and I had terrible difficulty parking in municipal lots and their tiny tiny spaces. Two hours later I eventually found a spot in the art museum garage which closed at 11pm.
In the meantime Laurice put out an APB as I did not have a European working phone. Another fan actually tweeted @DavidDuchovny himself “If you see Walt Frasier please contact Laurice” Because David and the band did not have enough to do getting ready for the show that night LOL.
On the bright side I got a great tour of downtown Glasgow, circling the main square at least a dozen times and freaking out figuring driving on the wrong side of the road.
I got to see a lot more of the town as we walked to the venue, going the wrong direction for 20 minutes. Eventually we turned around, and walked up the pedestrian street lined with musicians and college kids enjoying the sun.
While waiting in line for the concert we ran into one we call the band mom. This was the first they heard of our RV plans. “I want to go with you” we thought she was in jest…
Also in line there was a chip shop across the street. Laurice had just gone in for VIP but I only had GA tix that night. I order both the fish and chips and haggas – or at least something called haggas. It was batter dipped and fried like the fish. Drowned in salt and vinegar, I could not tell exactly my impression of haggas itself. It did look like a certain rotting yet well endowed male body part. MOVING ON…
Great concert. This was the first European show. After a handful of small venues in America, this was massive. 1500ppl maybe. I forget exact numbers.
They bragged to have the 2nd largest disco ball in the world? Or maybe Europe. Scottish are known for big… again never mind…
Other Firsts that night – David’s Kilt, David Bowie cover with Weekend Mashup and the wicked Guitar Trio with Pat, Jeff and Nate. Did we get Square one that night? I forget….
We cabbed it back to the hotel. There was a spot right in front. I went to get the car. Almost locked up I struggled to find an open entrance and worse which floor I parked. It was a Seinfeld Episode with out a cast of characters to help me search. 45-minutes later finally I returned with the car to a frantic wife who had been fighting off guys and cars trying to save a spot on the street.
AH WE DID GET TOM PETTY – First time we see David playing guitar live
The next morning we found out the hard way the hotel breakfast was not free before driving south. WOW, there are a lot of sheep and yellow flowers. Oh and one particularly racist seeming Cowboy and Indian totems at a rest stop were strikingly odd to we Americans in 2016 most cigar stores here do not sport these anymore, right?
We finally pick up the RV, return rental car and head to London.
We find parking in the alley just 2 blocks form the venue. We are running late. We loved hearing Collin Lee playing guitar and singing as he warms up the crowd with “Major Tom” (playing to the home crowd) and a few originals.
This crowd was a bit subdued. Not because they were British, but we were in a church with pews in place.
Happy crowd pic.twitter.com/FqZu4zP2Vh
— Laurice Fattal (@LauriceF) May 6, 2016
After the show we grab some Middle eastern food. Really great spot across from venue.
We finally get in the RV and drive east to Dover Ferry. This is where we truly start to appreciate what a PAIN IN THE ARSE driving this RV is. It takes us double the time to get anywhere because it is only a 4 cylinder motor. Not used to driving on wrong side of car or street we are always about 6-12 inches farther to the left than you would normally think. So getting dead tired, I am really struggling to drive. After a brief pit stop pull into Dover just in time to catch the 4am ferry.
The had us park our vehicle and exit the RV during the ferry ride. FYI THERE IS NO HEAT ON THE FERRY. So me in shorts and t-shirt FROZE. We were all cold. Half asleep I found warmer spot up front but did not tell Laurice where we ended up. When we returned form the Bathroom she went looking for us. Also half asleep walking dead, she fell down some stairs and had some scrapes and bruises which would make the rest of the trip a bit less fun.
We finally arrive in France at 7am (We lost an hour plus 2 hours ferry). Everyone crashed and slept. I drove about an hour, just over the Belgium border I believe, before I found a McDonald’s parking lot to crash. About 90-minute later, Laurice woke. The McDonald’s was closed and she had to pee.
FYI More cows then sheep now. You notice these things as you drive with a RV full of sleepy heads.
HELLO FRANCE… Or is this Belgium… Is it Tuesday? pic.twitter.com/NononUajRQ
— IMPROV TIME! (@waltfrasier) May 7, 2016
We drove and found a rest stop. I found heaven – a cache of stinky meats and cheeses, chocolates, bread and milk that would be considered gourmet here at rest stop prices. Brie, Salami, Crusty fresh bread, croissants, nutella, Swiss Chocolates, etc etc etc
Of course we were supposed to pay for using the toilet but Laurice jumped the turnstiles. We still did not have any Euros yet.
We arrive late after noon May 7 in Luxembourg. The camp site is nice. We take a field trip into town when our AC converter explodes. I am reminded of the movie TOP SECRET when we learn Val Kilmers’ friend is killed by the gifted electric sex toy not equip to handle European plugs with nearly double the voltage output. Horrible way to die? Possibly.
The next day – waking refreshed having a wonderful sleep after two 36-hour days back to back (we guessed we slept a total of 8 hours May 5 6am EST US time – May 9 2am Central Europe time) – I went for a walk in the town and discovered a WW2 memorial for an American Tank Division and had a moment for the greatest generation – which included my two naval grandfathers – both serving in the Pacific.
I return and the rest of the RV was just waking up. Folks go about having breakfast, showering and doing laundry. I double check GPS. Do we want to drive the RV, Cab, or walk the few miles to the venue. According to GPS we are 4-hour walk from venue. This is when we discover we are at the WRONG campsite. Thinking we were already in ESHE, we were actually in the City of Luxembourg, a 25 minute drive away. Fortunately the entire country is only about a hour drive in any direction.
So we load up and head to ESHE. We find free parking on Sunday May 8th, right up the hill from a car show blasting club music. A huge fan of fairs and food trucks, I really want to go there. Instead we head to the venue to get our bearing. After walking round, we find shaded seats in the courtyard as we hear “3000” faintly… Another fan couple recognized us and did not know how to approach so they attracted us with David’s music like Sirens and Odysseus.
We get lunch at the mall next door. very American type urban center mall with fancy kiosks and the typical stores you would expect here. We order a lot of finger foods including fried fondue balls, mushroom tartin etc YUMMY
I was the very first in line for VIP that night. David was not feeling well. I told him not to speak. We take a photo and walk away respecting his need to minimize contact that night.
“WALTER” David Yells strained through vocal fatigue. “You forgot your signature”. I think I made things worse. “You’re amazing” I bet he only writes that for me (LOL, inside joke? never mind…)
Awww.. I agree David. ❤ pic.twitter.com/CkLIOmp3vf
— Laurice Fattal (@LauriceF) May 8, 2016
Later he told me to STOP clapping on the off beat during Another year. Sorry I do too much jazz to clap on the one (White people, am I right?)
When we spoke with the band they shared they had bus trouble the night before and stopped at some French Air B&B. We all had road stories.
I believe this is the first time we heard SOMEONE ELSE’s GIRL
This concert is special thanks to a Drake Cover. It was hilarious hearing all of us sing “Hotline Bling” and mumbling the rest of the words we don’t know – especially when David shoves mic in our direction. Strange they never whipped out that cover again?
After the show we gave a tour of the RV to a few of our German Friends before driving north. The goal was to drive to Amsterdam that night. We made it to Belgium before crashing at a rest stop. We were exhausted.
NEXT STOP MAY 9 AMSTERDAM…
3 Concerts so far, Little Sleep,no one dead yet… I CALL THIS A SUCCESSFUL 4 days