DESTINATION AMERICA IMPACT featuring
COWBOY JAMES STORM, GUNNER, ANGELINA LOVE AND CHRIS MELENDEZ
PHOTOS KUNSAN (Courtesy of Songehin Yi)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18TH AND WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19TH – NASHVILLE TO SEOUL, KOREA:
Leaving Nashville today with a group of wrestlers either currently or formerly with TNA. “Cowboy James Storm” (James Cox), “Angelina Love” (Lauren Williams), Chris Melendez (amputee who lost his leg in Iraq), and “Gunner” (Chad Lail – former marine). Have to admit that touring with wrestlers is a first for me and I’m lucky to have such a great group of people for my “inaugural” tour. Of course, I was bragging last week about how “easy” this tour is going to be compared to taking “musical” tours overseas. There’s no performances, no sound checks, no concerts – just “meet and greets” with the troops every day. And we are visiting bases I’ve been to many times – Camp Casey, Osan Air Base, Kunsan Air Base (Home of the Wolf Pack – my absolute favorite base in the world!), Chinhae Naval Base, and Camp Humphreys.
The only base I have never visited is Chinhae Naval Base and can’t believe with all my trips to Korea, I never knew it existed. I’m really looking forward to that visit because the Commander of Fleet Activities there is the father of one of the MWR reps we had in Japan on the Kristian Bush tour in May/June. She put me in touch with him and we’re communicated a little via email.
Now my favorite base – Kunsan and the Wolf Pack. The “Wolf” is always a Colonel and every “Wolf” I have ever met has gone on to become a 1 Star, 2 Star, 3 Star or 4 Star General. The Wolf Pack delivers the finest leaders in the world. And, to make it even more special, my favorite base in Iraq was Balad Air Base. I took 37 tours into Iraq between 2003 and 2011 and rarely did one of those tours not involve a visit to Balad. And guess what, one of the Colonels that I met as a “Wolf” was always the 1 Star General at Balad. I have been so incredibly blessed.
James and I were the only two flying out of Nashville and everyone else met us in Detroit. Gunner had arrived there at 9 am in the morning because he flew from Greensboro and there was only one flight option. Chris arrived at around 11 am from Orlando and Lauren landed from St. Louis a few minutes early at almost the same time we arrived at around 12:30 pm. We had a couple of hours layover in the Lounge and then boarded the flight to Seoul. It is a “double decker” aircraft which if I have to fly overseas commercially, I’d say it’s my aircraft of choice. We were all able to sit in the upstairs area, too.
I watched “The Longest Ride” which was about Nicholas Sparks’ book that I had read last year. It was a good book and an even better movie. It’s a 12 ½ hour flight so if the internet ever comes back up, I’ll get some work done, too.
Slept for about 4 hours and then tried numerous times to get on the internet but it was always “unavailable”! The others had the same problem. The flight attendants were really nice on this flight. We had a breakfast before landing and landed on time. All our bags arrived and we had no problem clearing customs. Roy from MWR met us with a huge poster but it only had “Gunners” photo on it. Was a great poster if only it had included the other 3 participants. The MWR bus turned out to be too small to put all our bags in the luggage compartment. But, only one large suitcase had to be put inside the bus with us. There was no water on the bus so I ran back inside and purchased several bottles for everyone since it’s about an hour and a half drive and very hot and humid outside. I taught the young Korean at the check out counter the concept of “double bagging”, too!
Lodging is at the same as when I was here before with Aaron Tippin in 2012 – Camp Casey Lodge, which is a nice “on-base” hotel. Our rooms were ready and we dropped our bags and headed across the street to the Warrior’s Club to check out the menu. The internet in the Lodge works great so I was able to work for a couple of hours before going to bed.
We have an 8:30 am lobby call tomorrow to go secure our “CAC” cards which allow us on-base privileges. Then we are off to tour the DMZ. When we departed the US, the DMZ tour was still tentative because of “military exercises” and was so happy to learn from Roy that it is a “go” for tomorrow! Here’s the news articles and the exercises:
North Korea blared propaganda audio messages across the border into South Korea on Monday — the same day Seoul started military exercises with the United States and other countries. Hours before, the North had threatened to “retaliate against the U.S. with tremendous muscle” if it did not cancel the military exercises.
Tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops Monday began a military exercise simulating an all-out North Korean attack, as Pyongyang matched Seoul in resuming a loudspeaker propaganda campaign across their heavily-fortified border. The annual Ulchi Freedom exercise, which will run through August 28, is largely computer-simulated, but still involves 50,000 Korean and 30,000 US soldiers. The drill plays out a full-scale invasion scenario by nuclear-armed North Korea and both Seoul and Washington insist it remains purely defensive in nature.
Really happy the tour will take place because it’s such an important part of the “history” of this area and important for the wrestlers to see.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20TH – CAMP CASEY AND DMZ, KOREA:
Slept for one hour at a time last night and finally gave up at about 4 am and got up to answer emails. Worked out with “bands” in the room since the little fitness room in the lobby is predominantly cardio and I didn’t have time to go searching for a gym. Breakfast was just “continental” in the lobby and sadly “lacking” in anything I could eat except boiled eggs. Everything was carbs – cereal, bagels, etc. I thought they would at least have fresh fruit but instead they had little cans of fruit cup in sugary syrup. Didn’t even have any yogurt. So I had 2 boiled eggs! Chris and Gunner were eating when I went down and they were having boiled eggs, too.
We departed to get our CAC cards (which allow us base access) at 8:30 am. We walked in and Mr. Chong met us and “took a number”. When they called his number, I walked in with him. The civilian processing the cards was very rude. He asked him who we were and when Mr. Chong told him we were professional wrestlers here to thank the troops, he responded “that doesn’t mean they deserve CAC cards”. Whoa! I decided to go first and try and soften him up. I asked him lots of questions and learned he is former military, retired, working as a civilian. Asked him about his wife and kids and he finally started acting a little more civil. There were two other females working in the office and they could not have been any nicer.
We had been told that Lauren would not be able to get a CAC card since she is Canadian. Well, that made no sense to me, so we decided to try. Turns out there was no problem getting one for her except that the main office had not put any of her information in the computer because they were under the impression she didn’t qualify. Called Frank and he “fixed” it pretty quickly but we had to leave and come back and pick it up later in the day.
Priority of the day was to get the poster of Gunner changed out for the official tour poster showing all the wrestlers. Pretty embarrassing to only have one huge photo of Gunner only and just the names of the others. The base was able to get that changed on all the “digital” advertising.
We drove for about an hour to the DMZ and had a volunteer riding with us explaining the “scenery”. I’ve done this tour dozens and dozens of times but it is still fascinating. We arrived at the DMZ and the Navy Commander was the same one we had with Aaron Tippin in 2013. He was awesome. Gave us the “private” tour. We were able to go into the building this time and walk over into North Korea. We were supposed to be able to go stand beside one of the ROK soldiers and snap a photo. But just as we were ready to do so, the North Korean soldiers came down from their side and stood outside the building. Our ROK soldiers had to leave their positions and face the windows to watch them.
Next stop was their brand new DFAC and boy is it nice. And, today was steak and lobster day——excellent meal. The group signed autographs and took photos with everyone stationed there. Then we loaded onto the bus to drive to Tunnel 3. I’ve only been able to tour the tunnel once before and we took a train down about ¾ of the way. This time, we WALKED all the way down and back up. Keep in mind, it was equivalent to walking 25 stories underground. We had to wear helmets because the ceiling was very low most of the way. I assumed they no longer had the train but when we got to the part where the water starts in the floor of the tunnel, I saw the train. I asked why we hadn’t taken it and was told “because you have to pay for it”. Well, duh, I would have paid for everyone if I had just known they planned to make us walk! At least I’m learning lessons before I return with Bucky Covington and Kristen Kelly in October. Poor Chris – our amputee who lost his leg in the Iraq war – was such a trooper. He walked all the way down and back up but I know he was in a lot of pain.
We drove back to Camp Casey and picked up the CAC card for Lauren with no issues at all. Had about an hour before we had to go to the Gateway Club to meet with AFN Television for interviews and meet the base commander. That’s when we learned that North Korea had fired on South Korea earlier in the day and the base was “deserted”. All the troops had been sent out to “secure” the area. The wrestlers did the interviews and we met the base commander who is great! He apologized for the fact that the troops wouldn’t be able to attend the “meet and greet”. We did have a few people show up – but mostly civilians who work on the base. We actually met with a lot more people at the DMZ today than at Camp Casey.
It’s amazing that we were in the part of South Korea that is closest to North Korea all day and were totally unaware that North Korea had fired on us and South Korea had retaliated. Will be interesting to see what happens these next few days!
We had dinner at the Golf Course and the base commander joined us. Such a nice man and we learned a lot more about Korea during our dinner. Been back in the room since about 9 am my time and working, working, working.
We go to Oscan Air Base tomorrow and they have worked out a visit to the firing range for everyone. Then there is another AFN interview and meet and greet. Sure hope there is someone on that base who can attend! Even with all the “challenges” today, the wrestlers had a great visit and the folks up at the DMZ who rarely get celebrity visits were thrilled to spend time with us.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 21ST – OSAN AIR BASE, KOREA:
Guess I skipped “Thursday” entirely on yesterday’s report heading. Hard to keep up with what day it is over here
I got up early again to answer emails that came in “over night” and then worked out, showered, and had my boiled egg breakfast. This time I had a stolen apple from the DMZ DFAC, too
We left lodging at 9:30 am for the 2 hour bus ride to Osan Air Base. If you have never traveled across Korea with a Korean bus driver, you have not “lived”. It is an experience. They push on the gas and let off constantly. Think it saves gas. And no matter if they can a mile away that traffic is stopped a mile away, they speed right up to where the vehicle in front of them is stopped then slam on the breaks. They are all worried that someone will cut in front of them if they slow down at all (and they will!). We will all be nauseous by the time we arrive, I’m sure
Haven’t been to Osan AB in a long time but it’s a great base. Looking forward to “remembering” good times there.
Our rooms were ready for us when we arrived so I got everyone checked in. We dropped bags and met Shawn in the lobby and walked over to the E Club for lunch.
After lunch, our escorts took us to the indoor firing range. All the wrestlers were going to shoot and I was going to take photos. We put on our hearing protection and they stepped up. It was unbelievable loud….much too loud for Lauren, especially because she is pregnant. She went out immediately and waited until the guys had finished firing and then she shot off a few rounds.
AFN Radio interview was next on the agenda and then an hour of down time before the “meet and greet”. The “meet and greet” was originally tied in to another event that was hosting 400 people. But because of the incident with North Korea and the continued threat, that event had to be canceled. I’m not sure how good the turn out will be tonight.
Still having problems using our CAC cards for exchange access. Seems some of the cards are missing “printing” on the front that mine has which states that exchange and commissary privileges are granted. Trying to get that fixed.
The base has a midnight curfew because of the North Korea attack. I want to walk into town to see how much the shopping might have changed. Spent a lot of time and money there in years past. Too hard to get copy bags through Customs now but back in the day, we were taking dozens home at one time.
We walked over to the E Club again at 4:30 pm for the 5:00 pm “meet and greet”. Has a couple of Colonels to meet with first and they were really nice. The room where the “meet and greet” was scheduled to take place had a huge buffet of free food set up. Originally, they anticipated having 400 people attend but because the base is on “lock down” and no one is allowed to drink, they canceled the event. Again our crowd was much smaller than anticipated because of the “threat level” in Korea right now.
We had dinner at the E Club after the meet and greet. Then I walked into town just to see if it still looks the same. It pretty much does. I even found the tailor’s shop that we always used – Mr. Oh’s! The only thing that has changed is “me”. In years past, I would spend all day there shopping and bargain hunting. I’d leave loaded down with bags full of “A Quality” copy bags, copy watches, custom made shirts, jackets, belt buckles, etc. I didn’t buy one thing tonight. Sad.
Hoping to get in bed before midnight tonight and get up early and answer emails again AND get in a good jog before we depart for Kunsan Air Base at 10 am.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 22ND – OSAN AB TO KUNSAN AB:
I am waking up earlier and earlier but this morning the 4 am wake up was to my advantage. Answered some emails and then went for a jog. Talk about DESERTED – only met one other jogger and that was at the end of my 45 minute run! It was hot and humid and I’m glad I went early.
Driving for 2 to 3 hours today depending on traffic from Osan Air Base to Kunsan Air Base – my favorite base. It was very strange at Osan because there was no “noise” of jets taking off and landing. Extremely unusual for an air base this size but it was because the jets are in a different location right now. Wondering if it will be the same at Kunsan.
From watching the U.S. media on TV here, it’s a very serious and threatening situation in Korea right now. I’ve just heard it so many times with this crazed North Korean leader that it’s hard to get very worried about it.
The drive turned out to be 3 hours but we did stop for about 20 minutes at a “rest area”. There were restaurants and snacks but we decided to wait until we arrived at Kunsan to eat anything. Our MRW rep “Snow” met us along with several other staff members. The Wolf Pack Lodge is a beautiful facility. I was with a group a few years ago that were the first civilians to stay there. The Wolf even took time out of a very busy day to come by and welcome us.
We dropped our bags then walked across the street to the golf course to a restaurant called “Peppers”. They had really great food and most of us tried Korean dishes. We made a quick stop by the base exchange and shopette and the had about a hour to “rest” before the Meet and Greet. AFN radio and TV did interviews with everyone prior to the meet and greet. Then the wrestlers signed autographs and took photos with everyone for a little over an hour. The Wolf came back by and spent some time with us near the end of the session.
We walked across the street for a demonstration by the military working dogs. Gunner suited up and let the dog attack him too. We requested to be able to eat dinner at Peppers again because the food was so good there. After dinner we went to the Wolf Pack Café for another short meet and greet session. We were finished for the night by 9:30 pm. Good thing, too, because I was dead on my feet after having gotten up at 4 am. Going to bed early. We leave for Chinhae Naval Base at 11 am and it’s a 4 or 4 ½ hour drive plus a stop for lunch. Long travel day!
Last we heard, the 5:00 pm “deadline” that was issued by North Korea passed without incident. Officials from both North and South Korea are still having “talks” to try and diffuse the situation.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 23RD – KUSAN AIR BASE TO CHINHEA NAVAL BASE, KOREA:
Got a full 5 hours sleep last night and a good workout with “bands” in my room. There was a small exercise room in the hotel but only had a few free weights, no bench and the rest was cardio. I really, really wanted to jog but try to alternate my jogging with weight training and since I had such a good jog at Osan, forfeited my jog at Kunsan for the weights.
Met Gunner downstairs at 9 am and Snow took us to breakfast where I was able to get an egg white omelet. Stopped by the Exchange for t few minutes to pick up some memory sticks and then back to the room to pack up. We departed via bus at 11:15 am and have about a 4 ½ hour drive.
Got an update on the situation with North Korea before we left. Evidently they met for 10 hours yesterday. Keep in mind that those meetings are at the DMZ in the very same building we walked over in to North Korea in when we were there this week. North Korea has sent one of their top generals down to attend the meetings which South Korea takes as a good sign. The leader of South Korea is a female and I think that’s awesome!
Wish we could have stayed one more day at the Wolf Pack. Never get tired of visiting that base or the people there even though the personnel changes every year.
So, the guys who went out in Osan on Friday night met the “local” celebrity – Song Tong Sally. She is a large, older “madam” and quite colorful. She’s on YouTube if you want to check it out. J
We stopped for lunch about halfway through the trip and at a roadside “truck stop”. There was very little English but we finally found Udon with vegetables that seemed safe. We actually arrived at the hotel earlier than I anticipated — at 3 pm. It is a beautiful hotel – very modern – the Pullman Hotel. Got checked in and our rooms were so hot, it was unbearable. The room key turns the electricity on in the rooms, so the air conditioning was not on. I left to walk over to the mall to buy water. Was surprised to learn that all the shops in the mall were open even on Sunday. I was going to meet Lauren to walk over at 5 pm, so I didn’t look around at that time. I stopped by and checked out the fitness center and it’s a really great one. Mad now that I didn’t jog this morning in Kunsan instead of working out.
Went back to the hotel and worked until time to meet Lauren and then walked back to the mall. We were so disappointed. More than half the shops on the 5 level mall were empty. There were lots of coffee shops and restaurants as well as a few women’s and men’s clothing shops. We went into a Starbucks so she could try to purchase a cup with “Korea” on it. They only had one “to go” cup that said Korea but it cost $40! Passed on that opportunity.
We all met in the lobby at 6:30 pm to go to dinner with Mike (Fleet Activities Commander at Chinhae) and another “Mike”. Mike is the father of Jen who was our terrific MWR coordinator in Yokosuka in June with Kristian Bush. The guys had asked to go to a traditional Korean BBQ and this one was excellent. It was the same thing I had the first time I came to Korea – Bulgogi. Lauren had a bit of a problem eating very much because she doesn’t eat red meat and they only had beef and pork. But there was a salad with amazing dressing and she had the pumpkin soup and some rice. We were back at the hotel by 9:30 pm after a wonderful meal and great conversation thanks to the two “Mike’s”.
I’m going to try and get in bed soon. Have to leave for the base tomorrow at 12 noon. Should be a really fun day. Update on North Korea is that they are still in talks with South Korea.
MONDAY, AUGUST 24TH – CHINHAE NAVAL BASE, KOREA:
Got in a great workout in the hotel Fitness Center but also had a “sauna” that I didn’t expect. I guess they don’t bother with air conditioning in the hallways or the workout room. It was at least 80 degrees or more by 7:30 am. There was one little fan near some of the equipment but that was it. I worked out for about 45 minutes and would have stayed much longer except that the heat was unbearable. My room has finally cooled down to 73 degrees and I’ve taped signs over the thermostat and key card holder saying “Do Not Touch”. Hopefully the maids won’t touch and turn off the power and air conditioning. The air conditioner has run non-stop since I checked into the room just trying to get the temperature down to 70. Seems like it would be more “conservative” to leave the air conditioning on between guests so the rooms wouldn’t be 89 degrees when the next one checked in and have to run non-stop.
Great breakfast buffet as well but wasted on me because I could only eat a little bit of “salad” and an omelet. Coffee here is extremely “weak”. I may hit one of the dozens of coffee shops in the mall next door before we leave for the base today.
We departed at 12 noon and first stop was a really delicious lunch at their “quasi DFAC” Turtle Cove. Most of us had a delicious Korean dish with a cucumber yogurt sauce. Sadly our tour of the Korean Submarine and Turtle Ship had to be cancelled due to what is currently happening in Korea. We awoke to the news this morning that North Korea had deployed their submarines and no one knows where they are as they are not showing up on radar. So, security is pretty “high” on the ROK side of the base. Chinhae Naval Base is small but very important. The ROK base is adjacent to it. We were able to take a “driving tour” of the ROK base and it was fascinating.
Other stops throughout the afternoon included visits to Mike’s office (Fleet Commander), security, gym, housing, Child Youth Center, Base Exchange, Rec Center and Seal Tactical Operations Center. I’m sure I left out someone, too. It was a great day and the visits to the “work stations” was the perfect way to see the base and meet everyone. So much better than setting up a “meet and greet” somewhere and trying to get people to attend. Thank you – Mike, Mike, Wilson and Paul!
The visit to the Child Youth Center was awesome. There were only 3 young boys there but a room full of toddlers – including a set of twin girls. Lauren is going to make a great mother because she tried to take all the toddlers with her.
The visit with the Seal Team was a highlight for everyone. They asked lots of questions and so did we! Of course, I asked most of the questions and of course they were questions that they were not allowed to answer. LOL
Before heading back to the base, I checked one last time on the train we are supposed to take from Chinhae to Humphreys tomorrow. Good thing I did as we learned that it is the “local” train and there is no space for luggage! We all have one huge suitcase plus our carry ons. Mike was able to approve a “bus and driver” to take us tomorrow. The trip is 4 hours whether by bus or by train.
We were back at the hotel before 6:00 pm. They guys were going to work out and Lauren and I went to the mall next door in search of something we could eat besides Pizza which was what the guys were going to eat. She doesn’t eat beef and we couldn’t find anywhere with chicken on the menu. We finally gave up and decided to order room service! There’s no chicken on the room service menu either but Lauren found some pasta she could order.
Going to stay up until the office opens and then get in bed early and get up even earlier for the drive to Humphreys.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 25TH – CHINHAE TO CAMP HUMPHREYS:
Forgot to mention there is a typhoon headed our way! It is supposed to bring extremely heavy rain to Chinhae later this evening. I don’t think it will go as far inland as Camp Humphreys but we will probably still get a lot of rain. Just hope it moves out before we fly home on Thursday!
Got up at 5 am to learn that the North and South have supposedly “settled” and the threat of attack is over. Hope our tour can get back to “normal” for the last visit.
Even getting up at 5 am didn’t give me much time for a work out. The bus was supposed to pick us up at 8:30 am but I guess there was some miscommunication. Didn’t arrive at the hotel until 9 am. Good news is…it’s a big tour bus. Will make the 5+ hour drive much nicer. Mike – you’re working on taking the crown away from Kunsan! J
It’s raining really hard as we drive towards Camp Humphreys. I think it’s supposed to continue through tomorrow evening.
The three guys had the buffet in the hotel restaurant last night and it cost them $60 U.S. each! There’s no way I could eat that much food to justify a $60 meal.
We stopped several times en route – once for lunch – and arrived at Camp Humphreys at about 2:30 pm. We are staying at the same Army Lodging where I stayed with Aaron Tippin a couple of years ago….very nice lodging. The PX, Commissary, Gym – are all right across the street. I got everyone checked in and walked across the street to the PX to try to find something for Zac and Zoe. NOTHING there. Guess I will be shopping at the airport on Thursday.
Met Lauren, James and Chad at 6 pm to go to the Alaska Mining Company for dinner. I’ve eaten there every time I’ve visited Humphreys…which is a lot. The choices of what I could have were very limited. I was hoping tonight was Mongolian BBQ night but that is Thursday night.
We were back at lodging before 9 pm and I’m going to finish up some emails and try to get in bed at a decent hour because I’ll have to get up at 4 or 5 am again tomorrow to answer emails that come in overnight.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26TH – LAST DAY OF TOUR – SUWON AIR BASE AND CAMP HUMPHREYS:
After I sent the road report last night, I received the sad news that a dear friend and amazing man – Jeff Walker – passed away. I cannot even begin to understand this terrible tragedy. Jeff was one of the kindest, hardest working individuals I’ve ever had the fortune to know. He supported and constantly championed my efforts with international touring and the tours for the military. He was one of the original pioneers in developing the international marketplace and is loved and revered worldwide. My thoughts and prayers are with his wonderful family and all the thousands of mutual friends grieving his loss.
Today we drive an hour and a half to Suwon Air Base for “meet and greets” and then back to Camp Humphreys for our final “meet and greet” on this tour. It has been a wonderful tour – working with the finest in our MWR and military community and the greatest group of “wrestlers” ever!
Had such a great day today. After a quick breakfast at the Alaska Mining Company, we drove to Suwon. Went into some of the offices first and then the CAC to meet some folks. We met the Base Commander who is a Colonel as well as the Command Sergeant Major. They walked over to the DFAC with us for the “meet and greet”. Makes a huge difference to the troops when the Colonel and CSM make the announcement about “who” is there to meet them and sign autographs. We stayed for about 2 hours and signed over 200 autograph cards. Keep in mind, Suwon is a very small base – only a couple of hundred people.
We walked back to the CAC and had a quick lunch and then drove back to Humphreys. Had about an hour “break” before our “meet and greet” at Humphreys and I used that time to check everyone in for the flights tomorrow.
We were set up inside the Base Exchange/Food Court right in front of the doors so everyone coming in saw the wrestlers. It worked great. Even if they weren’t aware that the wrestlers were going to be there signing and taking photos, once they saw them they got excited and stopped to meet them. All the Korean workers who own the “booths” inside the exchange came by at least 3 times to get autographs and take photos. I joked that if they came through a 4th time, I was going to insist on a 50% discount on any merchandise at their booths.
I met a little boy in the 3rd grade who had just arrived last night with his family. They flew from Virginia to Atlanta to Seattle to Tokyo to Seoul! Shame on me for ever complaining about long flights!
I met a little 6 years old girl who was beautiful. She told me she has “Scoliosis” and is going to have her back fixed on September 1st – in 3 days.
We signed over a hundred photos there and then went back to Alaska Mining Company for dinner. The guys walked outside the gate into the town to look for “custom made jerseys”. Lauren and I came back to our rooms. I’ve already packed most of my things and showered. We depart to the airport at 6 am which means I need to get up at around 3:30 am to answer emails before I go. L
Our MWR escort – Ryan – has been terrific. He took such great care of everyone and it was a pleasure working with him.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27TH – KOREA TO USA:
When were signing photos yesterday, a couple of guys came up to me and pointed to a poster for Military Sales that had a jeep on it. They asked me where they could “register” to win the free jeep. I was clueless and suggested they go to Military Sales. Then I saw the sign on the autograph table that said:
Chance to win a free jeep with every autograph. Ask Judy!
LOL. Good one on me, James. Watch out for “paybacks”!
Even with all the challenges of “exercises” taking place and the tension with North Korea, this has been a great tour. Couldn’t ask for a nicer group to tour with. Frank did a great job of coordinating everything and quickly fixing any last minute issues we encountered on the tour.
Drive to airport was uneventful other than the usual bumpy, jerky ride. We had no problem checking in and lots of time to spend in the Sky Lounge before boarding the flight to Detroit.
Flight departed on time with the news that we would land early because of the jet stream. There weren’t enough seats available when we booked the flights to put everyone upstairs so all the wrestlers are downstairs. Two of the flight attendants upstairs are from Nashville! Never had that happen before.
I watched an “action” movie that wasn’t too bad but not great either. Tried to sleep with no success. Guess because it’s “day time” in Korea. We departed Korea at 10:25 am on the 27th and arrive Detroit at around 9:30 am on the 27th.
We did arrive early and our bags were all supposed to come out on Belt 3 with the Priority and Business Class. Other bags came out on two different belts. VERY confusing. We all got our bags on Belt 3 except for James and his was missing. He had to look through all the bags on the other two belts but finally found it.
I had over an hour to spend in the Lounge answering emails. Flight to Nashville is supposed to depart on time and did. It was also a much shorter flight than “advertised”. Maybe Delta is trying to win the “On Time Airline” Award by adding 30 minutes to the actual flight time. James and I landed in Nashville and all our bags arrived. Very happy to be going home and seeing Zac and Zoe! I am taking them to Orlando over Labor Day Weekend and then don’t have to go out of the country again until September 21st when I go to Norway and Switzerland with the Bellamy Brothers.