Eric Baines

The Long Ride Home

by eric on Nov.01, 2010, under Eastern Europe Tour 2010, Music

After the show in Baku, we all went to eat,drink and celebrate the end of the tour. This went from the restaurant to Keiko’s massive suite where we all raided her mini-bar and drank until our 4:30 am lobby call. It was a ton of fun but I know for me I was also trying hard to not think about what we had to do next. Getting home is always the hardest part for me. The tour’s over, I’m missing my girl, my bed and I just want to be home but first there’s just 30 more hours of complete and utter torture.

It started in Baku at 4:30 am. We all gathered in the lobby and jumped in a van to the airport. We then waited for an hour or so while our bags were checked in and our passports were stamped before we could finally board the plane. The first flight was just three hours and I slept most of the way. We then landed in Moscow where we had a seven hour layover that turned into a nine hour layover. Ugh! we were trapped in the Moscow airport for nine hours and can’t leave the terminal. Moscow isn’t the worst place to be. There is a lot of shopping, a few restaurants and free wi-fi. So we grabbed a table at the Irish pub, ordered food and turned on the laptops. The pasta was great but the wi-fi was extremely slow. It literally took me an hour to post a blog. That should’ve taken three minutes. I guess it was a good time killer but so frustrating. Keep in mind I’ve slept for three hours and there’s no place to lay down in this airport. We finally boarded the plane home. Only twelvehours to go. Twelve hours of sleeping in coach. I watched a few movies, played some poker on my phone and got as much sleep as possible. Then we landed. I’m getting excited! Just to smell the American air again was exhilarating. I couldn’t wait to see my girlfriend and I was just moments away. I get to the front of the plane and instead of seeing a jet way there was a bus at the end of the stairs. NO! Another bus ride way too full of people smelly, pushing and grumpy. We get to customs and the line is long for the passport part but it’s moving fast. I’m home free. Not so fast! Then it takes 30 minute to get my bags. Partially because my bass is in a flight case which is oversized and comes from a different place than my suitcase. At this point all I have to do is stand in one more line to get out or into the country depending on how you want to look at it. I size up the lines and find the shortest one. I’m so close to the long awaited embrace of a girl I haven’t seen in three weeks but wait. My line is short but it’s barely moving. No! I always pick the wrong line. An hour later, I kid you not, I reach the front of the line. Meanwhile, I’ve seen other people get there bags, get in the super long line and get through before me. What did I do in a past life to deserve this?!?! I get to the front and there’s an older customs agent working my line who is talking to each person for what seemed like ten minutes at a time. Argh! I went up to him and tried to keep my cool because he could easily make my night a lot worse if I lose it. He asked me what I did for a living and why I was out of the country, pretty typical. Then he wanted to know how the shows went and what it was like working with Keiko and on and on. It was all I could do to not scream at the guy! When it was all over I waspissed and so was Autumn who had been circling the airport for two hours waiting so what should’ve been a great homecoming was awkward and grumpy. We recovered, though.

Overall, It was reasonable fun tour with very little mishaps this time. I have a fun job and I have to take a step back once in a while and appreciate it. Not many people get to do what I do and I don’t take that for granted. I also have a job that creates a unique bond with the people I work with. I’ve been with Keiko for almost ten years of this kind of travel and she and her crew are like family to me. Thank you Keiko for another crazy experience and thank you all for reading about it. Now go buy my record on Itunes. :-) .

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