1999 Country Music Tour to Fan Fair Tour Diary

Roadblock #1, #2, #3    Tales De Tour #1, #2   Bonus City / State

Well, here we are, Sunday June 27th 1999, home safe and sound. Well, safe anyway.

How do Americanís tolerate such diabolic airlines? and whatís happening to our beloved Qantas?

Weíve had just the best group of people with us again this year, and despite the annoying ability of the US airlines to get in the way of peaceful and comfortable travel, everyone has experienced the adventure we find it to be, and had a great time with lots of travel tales to dine out on for at least 12 months.

With the help of 5 return travellers in this years group, weíve laughed off the worst (well almost the worst) that they could throw at us, and enjoyed some great Country Music, fabulous sights, great weather (best for 25 years) and enjoyed getting to know some great new friends both in the group and new mates in the USA and met some of the headliners of todayís and tomorrowís Country Charts.

Monday June 7 our dozen or so travellers from Qld gathered at the Brisbane airport to meet for the first time and begin our travels.

Roadblock 1.

Qantas, of all people, decide that thereís an oil cap that needs replacing in the Pratt & Whitney Engines. Now there seems to be plenty of oil caps for the GE engines (like on the 747 at the next gate), but none for ours, so after a wait on board then in the terminal, the flight is finally delayed by 3 hours, which puts us in jeopardy of missing our international connection in Sydney (where weíre to meet our NSW and Victorian companions). So in their wisdom and to our fearless tour leaderís relief, Qantas transfer us to the other airline, and get us heading south towards our international flight due out at 1:55 PM.

There were a number of other international travellers on board equally anxious to make the connections, and one asked our new flight attendant if our luggage had made the transfer as well.

... Luggage? oh no! Well no, she politely informs us, they did not accept any luggage from Qantas.

Well, fearless leader, what now? Not to worry, if Qantas doesnít manage to get it on one of the other flights scheduled to Sydney before our departure, our original plane when fixed should have enough time to deliver it in time.

Scene 2, International air terminal in Sydney. Now I thought Iíd seen some airport messes in LA in 84, and Atlanta in 96, but Sydney at the moment, is right up there believe me.

Fortunately most of our Sydney passengers were experienced with our nonchalant kind of approach to airline travel and were not phased in the least to find fearless leader absent from the terminal as promised when they arrived, so they casually booked themselves onto the plane, and even our "newbies" managed to get our hasty messages and directions left with the Group Check In counter at Qantas, so that all went smoothly and everyone arrived safely at the departure gate. We even found our 4 passengers form Melbourne waiting, and polite introductions were made all Ďround.

A check at the departure gate brought confirmations from the attendant that the bags were almost certainly going to make the flight. So nothing to do but sit back and make the most of the 13 hour jaunt across the pacific.

LAX, same day, and a couple of hours before we had departed Sydney, hereís 13 passengers from Brisbane scratching around the carrousel wondering when our 22 pieces of luggage would come spewing off the conveyer belt for processing through customs so we could wend our weary way to the Sheraton for a refresh and relax before tomorrowís onward journey to St Louis and Branson. Nothing turns up...

Roadblock 2.

"Do you actually have the luggage receipts??" says Koni, our diminutive Qantas rep on the floor of LAX customs hall. "Yes, of course", says fearless leader, "here they are". "And do any of your bags actually have locks on them... ", "well yes". "So can you give us the combinations of the locks and keys so we can clear them through customs?" , "well I guess weíll have to". "They usually put them on the next available flight, so we should see them on the 1 oíclock flight. You can ring us at 4 to see if they arrive".

With no bags to worry about at customs we whiz through in a flash and with our every patient companions from the other states waiting at the top of the ramp everyone shuttles around to the hotel and Rosie arranges the tours to Universal Studios and the City tour of LA and we settle back for the phone to ring. Sure enough a few hours down the line, just as everyone returns from their day trips, Qantas delivers the bags, and the Sheraton delivers them to the rooms. whew!.

So ended our first day on the road. Everyone where they should be, with everything with them, but oh so close.

Tuesday June 8

Before we get on the road I must report our first "Tale De Tour" moment . After presenting at the lobby with bags ready to shuttle back to the airport, two of our single ladies asked to be excused, as they had a little shopping to catch up on before we left, at the Gift shop in the hotel. what???

Well it seems that somebody down the hall from their room last night had made such a racket enjoying themselves that the hotel management had rung them at 2am apologising for the disturbance, and advising them that a special gift certificate would be awaiting them in the morning to the value of $100 in compensation! Yes, another calls out, I heard that party. It kept us up too, but we didnít get any gift certificates!

So we all wait to see what booty they may return with, but on arriving back to the group with nothing but a gloomy look, they report that neither the gift shop nor the hotel management know anything of the incident or the reported compensation, and that they had been hoaxed by the very people creating the disturbance in the first place! So after much commiseration, and a few smiling asides, we board the airport shuttle for the second day on the road.

Well after the drama and excitement of day one, day two had to go better... right?... wrong!

We transferred to LAX comfortably with time to spare and checked in at TWA in fine form. From past experience, this was a major head start to say the least, but what we didnít realise at that time, was that it might have been better if we hadnít!

Settling into the coffee shop and enjoying a cup of Starbucks and a bagel, we waited out the departure of an earlier flight to St Louis while our 9:15 departure rolled along. Just as well really as what was scheduled as breakfast refreshment on the flight eventuated as an American muffin, pot of apple sauce and coffee or beverage of choice. What we didnít foresee and had no way of knowing, was the brewing storms around St Louis and Iím not thinking of more coffee. 3 hours into the flight the captain comes on the intercom and announces the bad weather, and possible delays to landing, then shortly returns to the microphone to announce our reassignment to land not at St Louis, but at Indianapolis, Indiana!

So after a further hour or so in the air, Indiana looms large, and we touch down for our first Bonus City! Over an hour sitting on the tarmac, while other similarly diverted flights hog the boarding gates to refuel and we get our turn. Continuing discussion on the intercom as to updated weather in St Louis and whether passengers originally scheduled to continue onto Indianapolis would be allowed to deplane eventually end with the admonition that they may get off but they would have to return hours later to reclaim their baggage which would return with us to St Louis and be re-forwarded to Indianapolis on the next available flight.

Finally we hit the air again, and arrive in what to many seem as similar weather conditions as the first time we overflew St Louis thankful to meet our long suffering local escort Miss Bill, and faithful coach driver Pat, wearing out shoe leather walking from gate to reassigned gate in search of their antipodean cargo now nearly 5 hours overdue!

So Lambertís and their "throwed rolls" get tossed out the window as we depart the terminal with one eye on the roadside hoardings for food and nourishment exits after being in an aircraft for nearly 9 hours with only a muffin, a pot of apple sauce and the beverage of our choice to see us through! Half a mile down the road and Miss Bill our Miss Bill and Pat the driveris wandering the coach as she does, getting to know folks and renewing old acquaintances when eagle eyed fearless leader, Rosie and ever dependable Pat the driver lock onto a Cracker Barrel sign and we leave the interstate for some nourishing vitals.

As we completed the 180 degree turn around to enter the carpark Miss Bill comes gliding down the aisle as only she can and pronounces "look Pat thereís a Cracker Barrel, why donít you just swing in there". Ever obedient, Pat does her bidding with a wry smile and pretty soon weíre into our first taste of Turnip Greens, and fried catfish. About an hour later itís a much more content crew who head down the interstate for Springfield and Branson, finally turning into the Atrium Inn an hour or so after midnight.

What a day day 2 turned out to be but itís not quite finished yet. As we unload the bus, and the luggage comes off and into our rooms courtesy of a patiently waiting Frank and Sue, it looks like one bag didnít make the trip with us. Was it left at the airport in St Louis? Was it one the plane at all?

Only half confident of his judgement, fearless leader says "Itís late, lets see if it turns up in someoneís room in the morning" and everyone heads to bed, except Lisa and David, who had diligently packed said bag less then 24 hours before. They settle down to some solid 1-800 phoning in the wee small hours trying to get the luggage detectives onto the case (so to speak).

Itís morning and as the rest of us preciously come into the breakfast area of the motel, making a start at emptying Sueís specially ordered 2 gallon jars of full cream milk onto our cornflakes and Capt. Crunch, itís obvious that the luggageless oneís will not be down for a while, as they had seemed to make some progress in the early hours and would be asleep for a little while yet..

The rest of us set out on the coach after a fine feed of cereals and English muffins to explore the new playground of Branson. A trip down to the Old Town with a visit to the Five & Dime store by most, and a visit to the barber for Fearless Leader, and its off up Route 76, Country Highway pointing out the theatres of Mickey Gilley, Andy Williams, where Boxcar Willieís theatre was, the Award winning Country Tonight Show, Johnny Leeís theatre and the every present shopping malls. As travellers check out program times and arrange for others to join them for matinee shows and evening shows, we settle back into the easygoing pace of this Ozark Mountain town.

On returning to the motel itís revealed that sure enough TWA have located the bag and will arrange itís delivery to the hotel. Not exactly delighted to leave it in the hands of the airline, D&L decide that expediency is the better part of getting your luggage back and decide to hire a car and drive back to Springfield to escort the wayward luggage to Branson themselves.

So with matinee shows on the go from 2 oíclock the coach pulls out onto Green Mountain Drive to deliver itís Aussie payload to theatres around the town. Later in the day, after the matinees and back at the motel, weíre loading up for a visit to one of the never ending buffet queues but thereís still no sign of D&L who are presumably still somewhere on the road from Branson to Springfield, or Springfield to Branson, worryingly a trip of only about an hour. Where could they be?

The Barnyard Opry at Mel Tillis' Theatre Branson 99Still we head off leaving instructions on where weíll be eating, and how to get to the Mel Tillis Theatre, our included show for the night. We leave tickets at the box-office as the group heads into the show. Everyone enjoys Melís opening first half as he rolls out hit after Country Music hit and we expectantly await Pam Tillisí appearance in the second half while marvelling at the theatre in the middle of the mountains thatís an hour from the nearest airport but still seats over a thousand people, and Iíve promised Miss Bill that I wonít mention the best gift shop in town either.

Pam Tillis comes on stage and opens with a string of hit songs, cracks a few jokes about Natalie Cole doing so well with a tribute album to her dad, that sheís now thinking of doing the same thing... a tribute to Nat King Cole! well... Next after a number or two, sheís made the mistake of opening a dialogue with the audience, and you just know whatís going to happen. Yep...,

"Orstralia" they cryPam Tillis and her Sisters at daddy's Theatre"where yíall from?"
  "Orstralia" they cry
"Why Iíve just been down there and had a wonderful time"... 
"We know and weíre going to see you 
at the Gympie Muster in August"

"Well yes, thatís right"....

and on it goes, about as interesting to the rest of the audience as a dawg with a stick in its mouth. but gee we had fun, the night we held up the Pam Tillis show in Branson.

On the way home to the Atrium the coach was buzzing with discussion about the show.

Meanwhile, back at the Motel, we discover the wayward baggage hasnít arrived yet, and neither has itís owners. There was a phone call from them to say not to worry that theyíre doing something else and not to wait up. Next morning it is revealed that they took a North exit instead of a South exit, and ended up somewhere they hadnít planned on, but still had a great time visiting some caverns and enjoyed their side trip immensely.

When Pat pulled the coach into the Atrium that evening, the more sedate among us huddled around the ice cream bar at Frank and Sueís.

Senka & Lou take the mike at the SteamboatMeanwhile a handful of the young at heart went across the road to the Showboat sports bar that Danny Davis does his lunchtime show at and christened it on our behalf. There are stories told in such places of a young man from South of the Border who accepted the hospitality a few of the local gals on this warm Branson evening and so the legend of "Neils on Wheels" was born.

So Day 3 ended, again, safe and sound, and full of "stops along the way". Especially for D&L who eventually made it home safely.

The rest of our stay in Branson was our usual good times, hunting for bargains in the numerous Outlet Malls, travelling the old steam train into Arkansas, shows at many of the theatres, raids on the Dairy Queen, a visit to the "must seeí bathrooms at Shoji Tabuchiís theatre, but "Tales De Tour # 2" struck this Thursday morning.

For some years now, Fearless Leader had been promising to visit the Tom Brumley Music Show, Tomís show is only on once a day, at 9:30 in the morning always proving elusive for him after a night on the town. But this year he was going to get there. Tom is a Steel Guitar Hall Of Famer and one of the musicians who has really set the sounds weíve heard in Country over the last 3 decades. For many years he was steel guitar player in the Buckaroos for Buck Owens. In the 70ís he played with Rick Nelsonís Stone Canyon Band most notably on the "Garden Party" hit. In the 80ís he was in the Desert Rose Band with Chis Hillman and in the 90ís can be found on most all of Dwight Yoakamís recordings. So having a pedal steel player in the tour group this year there was no excuse but for FL to accompany Ray and Syd to the show.

After a quite night before, at 9:30 they all presented with Butch and Cheryl at the show and sat enjoying the Brumley Family presentation of hits from the 50ís on through to the 90ís, when 5 or so minutes before intermission, drummer Todd Brumley (Tomís son) announced how sorry they were that, because of a bad back, Tom had taken these three or so days off. Whaaattt! Oh no!

So half time rolls around and FL waltzes up to Todd who innocently was standing around meeting folks in the audience and said... "You know itís just as well weíre really enjoying this show because otherwise youíd be in big trouble" ... well the story was told about the long wait to get there and the pedal steel player who came all the way from Australia to see the show with Tom in it etc etc. and we had a bit of a laugh at the bad fortune. Then just before the second half resumed and we had ourselves resumed our seating, Todd motioned us over to the side of stage.

Curiously we stumbled our way through the second row where we had proudly sat ourselves at 9:31, now full of wondering what this was. Were we about to be ejected!?! Todd said " listen dadís just arrived out the back in the carpark. Heís just been to the chiropractor and heís picking some things up on his way home. I told him about you guys and he said if youíd like to come out back heíd love to meet you". Well, what do you say except thanks, weíd love to meet him. So it was that we stood around the car and chatted for 20 minutes or so, about his work, steel guitars and our very own Aussie Steel guitar legend Noel Anstead who builds Steel Guitars of legendary quality and world renown right down the road from us in Brisbane.

Billy Jo Spears with Rosie Dee and PJThursday night our now legendary farewell party at the Atrium, thrown courtesy of Frank, was a bit more subdued than some (thank goodness) but a surprise visit from Billy Jo Spears was a real bonus, and Melís piano player Milt Quackenbush again dropped in and after some comments about the piano accordion from last yearís party, decided to pack his electric piano this year. Some of the pretty young things on tour decided that sing-a-long was not for them and cranked up the volume on their latest purchases from Ernest Tubbís record store including the new Dwight Yoakam CD and partied till the wee small hours in certain knowledge that they could get some shut eye on the coach ride through the scenic Ozarks in the morning.

Friday morning dawns with the gentle hum of the diesel and the not so gentle blast of the air-conditioner as we settle in for the coach trip to Memphis, and about time for the first "pottie break", out of the mist emerged the small town of Marshall on our way south through Arkansas. Again it delighted our Aussie hillbillies, and it continues to amuse many of our travellers on exploring the local store, to find the kids video section around the corner from the gun racks and fishing knives. More great slices of back-country humour on the bulletin board with hand written ads of "Coon dogs for sale" and such like.

We push on into Memphis in time for our 3 oíclock appointment with Elvis at Graceland then Downtown to check-in and prepare for a quiet night on Beale Street with more than a few sore heads after the late night before. Still the music really lifts you up even when youíre all partied out, and everyone comes good and enjoys another late night on the town.

Early next morning we all pour back on the bus and the conversation turns to the previous nightís activities but soon settles into the quiet hum of the Tennessee back roads Another buffet, this one at Davy Crockett Park through the turning green byways and the small town squares. It doesnít seem very long before the David Crockett national park sign beams down from the roadside and another buffet beckons. This is not another franchised roadhouse weíre visiting here, this is the real down-home stuff, and sometimes things donít turn out to be what they seem. Grits do look a bit like porridge, but they still get the big swerve. Chicken is chicken, and ham is ham, but when it comes to putting a topping on you apple cobbler, it pays to ask what is in the big jar sitting along side the apple cobbler tray that looks so much like custard.

Unfortunately fearless leader was too slow to pick this up and "Tale de Tour # 3" struck.

It seems that about 8 or 9 culinary challenged Australians poured about a cup and a half of mustard into the said apple cobbler before the first one decided that it was a very striking flavour for custard to be and called a sudden halt with a call for water. Ahh well, it is the real deal that we like to include on our journeys.

 Punkin & our Miss BillFrom the dining rooms to the drug store and a quick stroll around the town square in Lawrenceburg, then onto one of our Small Town highlights. Long time friend of our Miss Bill is Mrs Mary Katherine "Punkin" McGee who for sometime now has joined us at the Park for lunch.  Front Page News in Lawrenceburg Tn For the second year, she invited the whole bus load to visit in her home, a magnificent 3 storey southern home of some 17 rooms with an amazing collection of antiques and collectibles. She made home-made lemonade for us all, and her husband prepared a small gift packet of Tennessee and Lawrence County lapel pins and other items. Miss Bill later returned the complement by inviting the group to her home in Nashville which she and hubby Rex open each Christmas for charity. But back in Lawrenceburg the local newspaper reporter stopped by and took a photo of all these strange people visiting, and ran it on the front page of the Lawrence County Gazette their weekend newspaper.

   Ron & Neil take on the Shuffleboard challenge No time to waste as we reboarded for the trip to Lynchburg just up the way about an hour or so, and our guided tour of the Distillery at Jack Daniels.  More shopping in the Lynchburg town square and a chance for some Jack Danielís ice cream before the hilltop Hoedown Jack's Sunset Hoedownat sunset with our very own bluegrass band and a feed of hush puppies and catfish,   a game of shuffleboard or horse shoes before a dance and a look at the lightening bugs on the lawn. Hillbilly heaven! Of course the bonus for Fearless leader is that Rosie always has her Birthday at Fan Fair Time, and Jack Daniels always makes her Birthday Party go better! the Birthday Cake arrives!

Sunday June 13 still without catching up on the sleep we lost a week ago, we cruise into Nashville. Miss Bill takes us around some of the Starís houses, Music Row, Belle Meadeand the Belle Meade ante-bellum home before setting us loose on 2nd and Broadway to check out the Ryman, the Wildhorse Saloon and Miss Tootsieís Orchid Lounge and a bite to eat for an hour or so. By mid afternoon weíre into the fabulous Opryland Hotel, our home for the week of Fan Fair.

By special invitation, Sunday Night we all went down to the Exit Inn for a special showcase by Keith Urban, his first public show since the Ranchís last performance supporting Brooks & Dunn in New York 12 months before to the day.

Matt Rollings (Keith's producer), Martie & Emily  (from the Dixie Chicks) and Keith Keith put on a stellar display with Aussie Rod McCormack on banjo and acoustic guitar, ex Ranch bassist Gerry Flowers rejoining him, ace piano player Matt Rollings (who Keithís currently recording with) and other Nashville luminaries as side men. He did a whole swag of his new material heís hoping to have out on his new solo CD later this year. It was great to introduce our group to a number of other Aussie performers attending the showcase in Nashville this year, including Felicity and her sister Rebecca, and Gina Jeffreys (just finishing off a 3 week writing stay with husband Rod in Nashville),

Danni Leigh meets her new fansMany of the Fan Fair stories will only come to light in the fullness of time, as we lost sight of most of the group during fan fair week except fleetingly at breakfast in Rachelís Kitchen or the Cascades restaurant at the Opryland, but the star at Fan Fair on Monday was certainly George Jones doing songs from his new album out in July and a few of his big hits. There was the Bellamy Brothers, Toby Keith Linda Davis and heaps more on stage as well. In the booths, some of the girls caught up with Pam Tillis at her Fan Club Booth and reminded her of our visit in Branson, she recognised them, and apologised for not making our farewell party but her brother had arrived in town that day and they had a dinner party after her show, otherwise she and Mel had planned on coming around.

Monday night we all met up again for the TNN Music City News Awards Gala at the new Arena Downtown. Boy, oh Boy, did Faith Hill have a night or what. Hubby Tim McGraw and she collected an armful of awards, but the one they all talked about was Neal McCoy getting the Entertainer of the Year again over Alan Jackson, and Vince Gill. It was a really well deserved vote from the fans as this guy really works a show. A great tribute to Charlie Daniels as the Living Legend award, and again George Jones wowed them with his new single called "Choices".

Well, the crew just went everywhere from there. fan club parties, autograph hunting, record buying, boots buying, Fan Fair Shows, the Bluebird Cafe, Exit Inn shows, sightseeing and working the town over real good.

BoB & Maureen board the bus to the Friday night OpryFriday Night was Grand Ole Opry night, and it was the best GOO line-up in years. As well as legends like Bill Anderson, Little Jimmie Dickens Porter Wagoner, Jeanie Seely, Skeeter Davis, Charley Pride and John Conlee we had a host of new artists like Paul Brandt, Chely Wright, Vince Gill and Alan Jackson. What a night!.

So it was sadly that we bid Nashville farewell on Saturday morning, but the Smokyís were aícalling. Just an interstate and one more Cracker Barrel and we arrived in the town square at Sieverville, Dolly Partonís home town. On into Gatlinburg to drop the luggage and a trip to the top of "Old Smoky" to see the mountains on dusk and put a foot across the state line into South Carolina for a second Bonus state! Sunday Morning, putting on our well worn walking shoes and off to Dollywood for the day.

The night before Ron & Rosie had met with some customers of the Country Music Store who are fans of Frank Ifield, Bud & Joan from Dayton, Tn. It was an important drop of a cassette they had ordered before we left home. Bus driver Patís family (the lovely Sue and delightful Patrick) and Miss Billís family (the patient Rex and Grandkids Brooke and Tanner) were welcomed along as we made it into a real family weekend. Theyíre all now welcomed on our trips by all our travellers. Doing the rides, watching the craftsmen at work, or just sitting around listening to the music, we all wore ourselves out having fun. Johnny Russell at one theatre for us oldens, while the young folks attended the Kinleys in concert.

Monday morning just one last chance to pick up some Outlet bargains and some Southern Fried Chicken and off to Knoxville to end the official tour. There we left our new friend Michelle to catch up with old friends from her high school exchange days. Senka and Louisa left to chase down Dwight Yoakam in concert in Detroit. Ray, we left in St Louis with Steel Guitar legend Dewitt Scott, and the Colgans and the Laycocks sadly winged their way home. For the rest of us it was Viva Las Vegas!

At least that was the theory. The reality was more like Airport 3!

Roadblock #3

The trip from Knoxsville to St Louis was fine, and even on time. St Louis airport again proved our nemesis. For an hour we stood in front of the check in counter with only 14 of the 18 travellers with seats on the plane. For those who have never experienced the American policy of selling seats on aircraft that they do not have to sell, well I can only say itís not for the faint hearted. The details are much too gory to go into but the determination of FL finally won the day, and all 18 travellers took their seats on the flight that ended up delayed by half an hour because of the 19th century technology perpetuated by US airlines on boarding procedures.

The last attempt to balance the books on travellers and seats was a bid by the supervisor to get 3 passengers to relinquish their seats, to others waiting to board, by offering an upgrade to first class on the next available flight, a meal voucher to use while they waited for that flight and a free return trip to anywhere in continental USA or some group of Caribbean islands of your choice good for the next 12 months. She got her volunteers and we got Las Vegas.

Dee prefers the poolside menuThe Muchows & Cullens enjoy a snack at the FlamingoWe visited the Grand Canyon by helicopter, by light plane, by long coach trip and short coach trip. We worked the blackjack tables, the roulette wheels and the slot machines and continually went from frigid air-conditioned palaces to 106 degree heat, generously bestowing our favours and our cash. Willie on stage at Las VegasWe visited with the Radio City Rockettes and Willie Nelson and enjoyed the lot, then came time for another plane trip.

Surely they couldnít do too much on a half hour trip from Vegas to Los Angeles could they? Well, they didnít actually. Delta got the bulk of us there pretty much on time and we checked in at LAX on schedule. Because of a whole bunch is US College football teams flying to Australia for a big 4th of July showdown which created seat shortages on Qantas (now codesharing with both BA and American Airlines) we actually had our Qld passengers routed through Auckland to Brisbane, and our NSW and Vic travellers direct LAX to Sydney.

Iím not sure yet how the Sydney group got on, but Iím pretty sure that our Neil got delayed because of Melbourne airport being closed by foggy weather. Dee tries to figure out the Golf Tee game from the Cracker BarrelMonique settles down to Sunrise in Auckland and a cup of coffeeThose of us scheduled for a one hour change over in Auckland got our 2nd Bonus City in a 3 hour delay connecting to Brisbane because another part (this time a brake part) had to be flown in from Christchurch. At least we had access to the rest of the well appointed international airport, itís coffee shops and duty free, and a breakfast voucher to see us through ok, and an offer to call our folks in Brisbane who would be picking us up to advise them of the delays.

Funny thing is, Big Rosie had to fly out of Vegas half a day before us to get a flight back to Australia, and I was expecting her to come back to Brisbane airport in the morning to see us in, and when we finally arrive 3 hours late, it turns out that she was only in Brisbane half an hour before we were anyway because of more delayed flights out of Melbourne the night before, meaning an overnight in Sydney before they would fly her in to Brisbane the next morning.

Rosie 2 and Trevor get another LV Night ShowLittle Rosie and Trevor didn't even make it out of Las Vegas on time, being put up for another night in Vegas (yep, a Bonus night at a hotel that the Shuttle bus drivers couldn't find) before her airline would fly her into LAX where they presented at the Qantas counter to be told they didn't have a booking on the flight home! Qantas were able to get them on the next flight and they did manage to get home, but with an extra day in their logbook that they hadn't expected. 

Year 2000 toursBut like all our trials on this trip, we took them in stride and emerged the other end with  more photos, more new friends, and more tales to tell than most and I guess weíll be back to do it all again in 2000.

Wouldn't miss it for quids! See yíall next year.

Visit these other Tours pages
2000 Tour diary
1997 Tour Diary

2000 Tours
2000 Fan Fair Express Tour
2000 Original Fan Fair Tour