An Adventure to France : Tour Diary day 1 (or is it 2?)

Well, the entire 11-piece Gato Loco familia has made it, albeit treacherously, across the pond to the lovely and inviting city of Bordeaux. Prior to our first delicious sip of authentic, locally grown wine, we had a harrowing journey.

Starting at JFK at 5pm, 9 of us assembled (Kevin Garcia and Ric Becker were both already in Europe, van-jumping from 2 different tours). We managed to get all of our equipment through the check gates, included the ENORMOUS tuba flight case. it was sort of hilarious. The flight to London was easy and carefree. We took full advantage of the free bar on cross-continental flights, and wound up creating a spontaneous party in the middle of the plane, with laughing stewardesess and passengers joining in joking, laughing, sing-alongs, and general shenanigans. It all ended when we awoke a baby, who proceeded to terrorize the entire plane with its baby ways for the next 20 minutes.

When we arrived in London, we had only 20 minutes to make our connecting flight. We stumbled upon the touring-band god-send, Nickie, a British Airways employee, who grabbed ahold of us and led us, running and sprinting, through check-in gates and security check-points, avoiding and skipping all the lines that would have made us miss our flight, and actively yelling at people to get out of our way. Thank you, Nickie, wherever you are!!!

Once safely on the ground in Paris, and through customs, (whew….), we discovered that the tuba case had not made the transfer. Of course. Jesse whipped out his french fluency, and convinced the overworked baggage handlers at the Paris airport (there was a line of about 30 people waiting to complain about missing baggage!) that this was of immediate importance. The tuba was then shipped over on the next plane from London to Paris, and arrived at 12:30. LUCKILY!!!! We had a train to catch from Paris to Bordeaux in less than an hour, but still had time for an impromptu rehearsal in the Paris train station. Video is coming soon!

I’m not really sure what day it is, or how much I’ve slept in the last 2 days (under 4 hours, that’s for sure), but we were all deeply thankful to arrive in Bordeaux and be meeting by the smiling Zoe and Mathieu, waiting for us with a van to drive us to our hotel. Tonight, we ate and drank well, as one must do in Bordeaux.

We are all exhausted. It was a long and stressful trip, and we are sleeping well tonight, bellies full of wine and meat, and are preparing for our first of many shows tomorrow.

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