Surreal moments in the Northwest – 1/12 – Preface and Travel Day

This is the, for me, rather unusual report of ten days in the Pacific Northwest. Days filled with music, fun and laughter. Days of wonderment, friendship and history in the making. I am still amazed by how much music, fun and memory making one can fit into ten days. And it’s because of that, I decided I better get to it and write it down. For the possibility I might start thinking that it all had been a dream. So, without further ado (did I just actually write that?) … here goes.

Preface: April 19th, 2016

I turn on Facebook (or it was on, already – I tend to mix those two situations up) and I see there’s a message from Kevin Crosby. It’s short, but it was to pave the road to September 5-15, 2016. It simply read:

“Hi Fred, don’t you need a vacation to the Pacific Northwest? I need a keyboard player!!”

Since I am sort of a keyboard player, with a soft spot for the Northwest – with Seattle in particular – I kinda like said (shouted out would be more accurate): I think I indeed DO need a vacation?

And from there on, it went.

Between April 19th, 2016 and September 5th, 2016

Oh my, what not happened between the above mentioned dates. The most relevant: making plans for the big event in the Pacific Northwest. It happening pretty much only two weeks after my summer holidays in the South of Europe, made me feel that I’d be one of those: ‘on the road people’. I like to be an ‘on the road people’, so I said yes. And from April 19th to September 5th, what happened was daily conversations, planning, exchanging ideas and an almost six-week holidays. I’ll spare you all the details, and skip right to September 5th. But the days between these dates, oh my … trust me on that one … they were something. Especially the holidays. Those, and the anticipation of The Tour.

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September 5th, 2016  [The Hague, NL – Shoreline, WA]

Early rise (5am), first tram at 6:08am to AMS Schiphol Airport (which is actually not located in Amsterdam but in the city of Haarlemmermeer – about 6 miles Southwest of Amsterdam). Checked in at home, already … so straight to baggage drop and through security. They, no surprise there, wanted me to open my briefcase. In that briefcase: my Proteus 2000 sound module, a dozen cables, a handful of power supplies, adaptors, pens and paper and my Korg Kaossilator. An interesting find, I’m sure. But no biggie.All went smooth: boarding, sitting down. I really digged Delta flight KL6033 very much. Watched two movies (Eddie The Eagle and Absolutely Anything – both of which I enjoyed immensely).Landed and got through security at around pretty much the same time as take off, so there’s was a whole day ahead. Kevin Crosby awaited and drove to the lovely suburb of Shoreline. It felt like coming home. Last time I was in Seattle was in the summer of 1994. A lot had changed, but it still felt the same. Busier, true. More hectic, true. But it has still that Seattle charm I fell in love with more than 20 years ago.

Having jumped time zones, September 5th was a day spent napping, pigging out on really bad 7/11 snacks, Beck’s pilsener and stuff. Stayed up that very evening until around 5pm, finishing off the 12-pack of Beck’s and five 16oz cans of Rolling Rock (for old time’s sake). I went to bed a happy puppy.