Covering our tour in Germany, Belgium, and France!
  • Day 10 - Travel Home

    November 12, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    It was an awesome trip and also very very long. We flew into Amsterdam to get home and almost missed our flight because of how big the airport was. The flight back to Boston was around 7 hours and for half the time the lady sitting next to me seemed to be stressed out constantly standing and looking at her papers from the baggage carrier.

    From Boston we had a layover and another long airport to get through. We were straight to Orlando and drove back. It was so much fun but the travel at times was crazy. I’m glad to see English on signs again!
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  • Day11

    Day 9 - Chateau D'Oupeye

    October 13, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Today we woke up and had some breakfast and hung around for a bit. We then drove to Liège to sight see and see what was happening. The guys got kebabs but that’s a food I feel like eating once a year.

    After we drove to the Chateau and they helped us load in. We got there at like 4:30 and we didn’t start until 10:40. So we literally sat around and did not. I attempted to sleep and was exhausted. Thomas and I had the food they prepared. It was in freezers and was a weird mix of chicken, some pate, a salad made of mostly carrots, and cheese sticks. Oh, some noodles and salmon too. The chicken was pink on the inside and everything tasted bad. I eventually went outside and mustered some French up to order some French fries.

    The gig was okay. Super loud (too loud) and the crowd was weird. They liked it but were stiff. I dropped my stick at one point because of how hard I was hitting. It was ridiculous. We finished and did an encore then we drove to Düsseldorf to get to our rooms. We said goodbye to Thomas. I know we will be seeing him soon.

    The tour is over. Time to travel back home to Florida.
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  • Day10

    Day 8 - Engis/Culturel Centre

    October 12, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    It was a standard morning of a meat-plenty breakfast in Germany. We said goodbye to Anya and headed out to Belgium. On the way we stopped and got some snacks. I discovered fizzy colas here aren’t as good (mushier) but the “Hungarian” flavored potato chips are awesome and just like Humpty Dumpty.

    When we got into Belgium we were greeted by lots of cows and the smell of cows. Our little hotel is in the middle of nowhere right next to a school of some sort. There was no innkeeper inside the hotel but our rooms were labeled and with keys, so we just took them. Each room has a small kitchenette which was cool.

    The gig was super close by and they had a really nice stage. It took forever to soundcheck but after we got to eat amazing food. Rouladen with polenta, onion, and zucchini inside, some kind of potatoes, a zucchini stuffed with polenta, and fire roasted tomatoes. For dessert we had vanilla ice cream with some kind of sugar around it, and in the middle was a ball of coffee ice cream. There was also a raspberry and some chocolate covered fruit that tasted horrible. Maybe a gooseberry.

    We started the show and only played an hour. It was a great set but apparently they thought we wanted smoke machines and a light show. Afterwards we met people and signed autographs and took photos. Doug unfortunately sold out of CDs. The last set was even better and was insane. Lot of Thomas stunts, us standing and picking up things, and dancing. It was awesome. We even got a great encore clap.

    After a man asked for drumsticks for me and the band to sign as he collects them from the bands. So we did that then ate paprika flavored Lays potato chips. Very good. We then went back and went into Doug’s room. His room has a humongous table in it which he found out was the public table. For some reason his bed is attached to it! We had soda and Côte D’or Pralinettes. Then I went to bed.

    Last day today!
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  • Day9

    Day 7 - Altenberge/Rattschänke Bornemann

    October 11, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Today we didn’t do anything but hang out until the gig. It was around five or so we left and got to where we were playing (an old beer hall). It was raining a bit. Outside we met Fabian, the local pianist who was hosting us. We got set up and inside there was a super beautiful old stage to the right, and right in front was the new bandstand. We sound checked and Fabian played. Great player.

    We ordered food. I got something called Zigneurschnitzel I believe it was called, or schnitzel with gypsy sauce. It’s a paprika based sauce with tomatoes and onions I believe. It is super reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce. It came with a small salad and French fries with mayonnaise. I’m not a huge fan of the salads here. They use a mayonnaise kind of dressing and it’s not great.

    This was another case of not much to drink. Beer and various beer cocktails, wine, two sodas (Coke and Coke Zero; they’re not a huge diet fan here), and various waters differing in carbonation level. They also had 7-up but that’s for the radlers.

    The gig itself was really fun. There were a lot of people. We played the whole night with Fabian on piano which was awesome. We even had Christian play a couple songs on piano. He was one of the guys who spent time with us at the chicken place in Münster.

    The sets were super short, two 45s. So the night was over early. We packed up and went back to Thomas’s. There we are Toffiffee and some kind of chocolate candy with Rice Krispies. I then went to sleep instantly.

    Oh, for some reason my phone didn’t save my picture of the food. So I included a stock photo.
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  • Day9

    Day 6 - Essen/Uhlenkrug

    October 11, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Definitely the best food today. We drove out of France and had to make it through Belgium once again. We stopped at a gas station with a restaurant on top. Thomas and Andrew got fish, Doug got a burger, and I got schnitzel. It was weird because at this rest stop you could buy beer and wine and they had the appropriate glasses for them. So strange. The food was fine.

    We got back into Germany and made it to our gig. It was an old timely schnitzel house with family styling seating, and four choices of drinks: Beer/radler, Coke, wine, or water. That’s the norm here. Some places it’s literally coke, the local beer, or weird fizzy water. We ordered schnitzel with potatoes. When we got it it was amazing. It was two giant pieces with these incredible potatoes, plus a salad. The sauce was a peppercorn sauce. It was the best but I ate too much.

    The gig was fun. We had a few people sit in including Rick Alan on alto sax, a German guitarist and singer also (forgot their names). We had met the singer at the Swordfish. He apparently plays bass too but recently broke his shoulder. He sang really great.

    At the end of the night we stopped at some Turkish place. I didn’t get food but tried their tea. Pretty good. We then went back and the night was over.

    Just wanted to mention we met a 95 year old WWII vet at the gig. He fought on the Nazi side and was imprisoned for three years by the Russians. He was very nice. What wasn’t nice was the weird drunk artsy guy who kept trying to touch my earplugs.
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  • Day7

    Day 5 - Seclin/ La Scene

    October 9, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    Today was a very short drive. The day started with breakfast consisting of cold cuts, jams, croissants, and an omelette. We then drove only about an hour to Seclin. We walked around a shopping mall and went to a huge grocery store. They had literally everything including every cheese you could imagine. Unfortunately my limited French abilities didn’t get me too far and many don’t speak English.

    One thing that blew my mind was half the store was wine and European beer, especially Belgian. In the other side of the coin they had like five sodas. Coke, Diet, Dr. Pepper, and knock offs. Plus all the potato chip flavors were different.

    The gig was at a smaller restaurant. We got there early and met the club owners. They were very traditional French people and they even initiated faire la bise. We setup around 6:30 and our showtime was at 9:45. People eat dinner late there. So we sat around upstairs for awhile then ate dinner. They served us Coq du Vin with French fries and salad. Wasn’t a huge fan. The chicken was small and mostly bones.
    After the meal they gave us coffee. Usually you get a small cookie or something with it but here they had these miniature chocolate covered marshmallows. Not bad!

    We were supposed to start at 9:45 but it got pushed back to 1030 I believe. We played and the crowd was extremely subdued and didn’t understand a word of English for the most part. Not really our crowd. I thought my playing was pretty good at least.

    After the gig we packed up and drove back. Google took us to a dirt road which took us 15 minutes to get through because of the trailer. We got back then I hung out in the room which was super small and smelled funny.

    Today we go to Essen, Germany. Schnitzel time!!!
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  • Day6

    Day 4 - Ruiselede/Banana Peel

    October 8, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Today was absolutely amazing. We drove several hours to get to Belgium and got to the place we stayed. It was a bed and breakfast by a farm in Belgium. Very remote. We all got our own room.

    We went to the venue which was in an old pig farm. Everyone was incredibly nice. They had us drive out to a local restaurant where they made us an appetizer, soup, chicken and Belgian fries, and a pastry with coffee. They also gave us random gummy candy.

    After we played the gig to a full house. It was incredible how packed it was. We had our own room and got to sign the wall where so many people have signed. Lots of people brought things for us to sign and I even had a person ask to take a picture with me.

    On the drive back we found out they all do it for free. All volunteers. Everyone there was incredibly nice and I hope to go back soon. They said I might have been the youngest person to ever play there.

    When we got back I went into bed and watched TV. Such a great day.
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  • Day5

    Day 3 - Münster/Metrobar

    October 7, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    Today was great. We woke up in the freezing cold house where they made us a nice breakfast. Apparently Germans like salami in the morning. We had coffee and I noticed it tasted off. That’s when Thomas took a sip and spit it all out. The milk was completely gone. We then drove to Münster where Thomas lives to get to his place

    There we met his wife Anya and his very scared dog Stella. We had a soup and some kind of pretzel looking cookies common during Christmas time here. They weren’t sweet, but like a pumpernickel or something inside.

    The gig was very close. We got there and had to avoid bicyclists constantly driving passed us on the sidewalk. It was a Little Rock music based bar. There we had some kind of nacho chips and a green dip that really didn’t taste like guacamole.

    The gig was fun. Kai Strauss, Erkhan, and other local musicians were all there. During the second set they all sat in and I played harmonica until the last song. Afterwards we packed up and I talked to Kai about how he went to see KISS recently. Then headed to a place open late that serves roasted chickens.

    When we got there Kai and some others were there. After midnight the chicken meal is 7 euros so we all got that. Some of the best chicken I’ve ever had. Most people walked out of there paying 10-12 euros. It was awesome.

    Afterward we drove back but went down a one way so we had to back up a huge trailer quite a ways. Then we were up for a short while (at least Andrew and I).

    Today Belgium!
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  • Day5

    Day 2 - Petershagen Bluesnacht

    October 7, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Today was an absolute blast. We had a nice breakfast at the hotel consisting of meats and cheeses and eggs. I got to try black currant jam and loved it. We then loaded our stuff up and drove a few hours to Petershagen.

    We stopped in a grocery store and I got a ridiculous amount of chocolate and Haribos. They had lots of interesting flavors I’d never seen plus variants of kinda we have. They were all chewier but overall I think tasted better. I also got some of their Mountain Dew.

    We set up at the next venue and the ladies working there made us pork chops and some kind of pudding. I also got a small coffee. The place was absolutely packed and a dude even brought almost every single one of Doug’s cds to sign. There were also lots of photographers and one wanted pictures of just Doug.

    The show went super well except the drum are hard to get right because of their size. But we sounded good. We got an encore once again which was crazy. The sets here in Europe are also extremely short, only about an hour.

    We then packed up and went back to the house we were staying at. It was like a bed and breakfast where they separated the top for us. We ate tons of chocolate and candy. The Mountain Dew was bad compared to America’s. One thing we do better. They also really like mixing sodas here; they sell coke and orange mixed.

    Overall an awesome day. Tomorrow in Münster!
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  • Day3

    Day 1 - Flights and Garniers Keller

    October 5, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Today was a very long day of plane rides. Our first flight was an hour long flight from Orlando to Atlanta. In Orlando we got hot dogs and in Atlanta a slice of pizza.

    The flight to Germany was about 8 hours. It was a big plane that had three in a middle row and two on each side. We were on the second to last row. Never being on a European flight before I experienced new things. They gave us pillow and blankets, not to mention they gave us warm towels before dinner and breakfast. There was supposed to be a choice for dinner but they ran out before us and we got a pretty gross lasagna with mushrooms. The best part was the salad.

    I watched four movies to pass the time. Mean Girls, Ten Things I Hate About You, Daddy Day Carr, and Election. I didn’t really get any sleep. Before we landed they gave us breakfast which was a peach muffin, some cheese, yogurt, and orange juice. Oh, and some weird chocolate mints. The yogurt was very good. Each meal came with what I’d call government cheese.

    When we landed it didn’t take long to go through immigration. They didn’t even ask us anything. Walking through the airport I saw tons of pastries I’d never seen before and pretzels that I’ve never seen. We waited for the guys then went in for some. I got a pretzel with pudding and apple. The apple wasn’t like any apple I’ve had before. Interesting flavor. I’ll have to try a more traditional pastry at some point.

    We then drove another two hours or so to get to our destination Friedrichsdorf. We go to our little hotel and we each got a room. The clubs booking agent Mike had a Haribo umbrella. He was surprised we’d ever had Haribos.

    We all went to our rooms for a few ours and I took a nap. We then went to the gig early to set up. The place was like a cave; narrow but long. They had some kind of French/German pizza called Flammkuchen. It was okay. I’m ready for sausages and schnitzel and maybe rouladen or sourbaten.

    The show went well. I had some equipment issues at first. The bass nearly collapsed at one point, and I couldn’t get my snare height just right. One f the best parts of the night was the fact those dancers who were at the Blue Rooster and the Kitchen (she hit her head on a table during a dip) were there.

    After the gig we went back and now here I am. It’s been a long day.
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