Oberhausen, Germany...22 June, 2010

Yesterday, the 21st, was a day off in Dusseldorf and it was spent wandering the old town with it's narrow streets and warrens of shoppes, cafes, bars and bakeries. Located on the Rhine River, I walked it's edge and sat in the sun as well as doing some shopping.

Last night was our dinner with the promoter of the German shows, Marek Lieberberg. As in past years he treated us to a magnificent Italian dinner, this time at Amici Ristorante in Dusseldorf. Platters of lobster, scallops and calamari, followed by more platter of pasta with marinara sauce and mushroom sauce and gnocchi. I had a beef fillet perfectly cooked with wilted spinach. This was followed by still more platters of dessert; caramel custard, gelato, fresh fruit, zaglioni (sp?) which is a warm wine and egg white based concoction whisked into a beautiful froth and more and more. From the moment we sat down a very posh red wine was poured and continued to flow all night. This stuff went down like liquid velvet and never stopped coming until you said 'uncle'. A magnificent dinner, fit for a king, yet was never pretensious. I arrived back in my hotel room around 11 in a food and wine coma. Straight to bed.

Woke this morning at 4:30...wide awake and feeling like I'd just eaten. Read for a while and finally got back to sleep at 7. Slept 'til 11, got some coffee and commenced to read the paper and practice until lobby call at 4:30.

We drove to Oberhausen and played the Konig-Pilsnesr Arena to 10,000 wonderful fans. All the German dates have been extraordinary and we still have more to go.

A runner back to Dusseldorf, a couple of martinis in the bar, peck these notes out, then bed.

So long,