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Chely Wright shares the personal diary of her overseas adventure

Last September, Chely Wright traveled to Europe to perform at the Country Nights Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland. Along with two friends and three auction winners from her fan club, Chely also took in the sights and shops in Paris and London. Here, exclusively for Country Weekly, Chely opens the diary she kept during her trip.

Sept. 17, 2002
Today is the long travel day to Switzerland. Fly to Dallas to join the folks going on the trip my friends Chuck, Cheri and our Reading, Writing & Rhythm auction winners, Sharon, Kathy and Andy.

Sept. 18
We land in Zurich, then take a gorgeous three-hour bus ride in the mountains to Gstaad, Switzerland. We have not slept since Nashville, but its too beautiful to sleep.

Sept. 19
Tonight there is a huge welcome party tons of food! My band and I are so thrilled to jump up onstage for an impromptu jam session with Clay Walker and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It is really a night to remember.

Sept. 20
Today is show day! I have a great lunch in town with Sharon, Kathy and Andy. We laugh a lot and mostly talk about my sister, Jeny, whom they all met and fell in love with in Wellsville (my hometown in Kansas). After lunch, we all go over to sound check, then walk the streets a little. The show that night is a BLAST!

Sept. 21
This is our last day in Switzerland. My band and crew are leaving for home early tomorrow morning, along with Clays group and the Dirt Band. Chuck, Cheri and I will be riding in a car, departing at 3 a.m., to Geneva, to catch our flight to Paris.

This is where it gets nutty. We have a show tonight, so we know we wont be getting much rest before our car leaves for Geneva. Cheri and I get about an hour of sleep. Chuck never goes to sleep at all. He has a moment of panic at about 1 a.m., because he happens to look at our airline tickets only to realize that our flight was two hours earlier than he had thought! So we leave a little sooner than we had planned.

Sept. 22
We finally arrive in Paris. So cool! We go to our hotel only to be told that our rooms wont be ready till 3 p.m. So we store our bags behind the hotel desk. We only have six hours to kill. No problem. After a nice breakfast and a good, strong cup of coffee, we walk and walk. One of the highlights of the trip is attending a Sunday morning Mass at the most beautiful cathedral Ive ever seen. Im not certain if the fact that we are so tired plays into our emotional response to the experience, but the three of us stand in awe of the ceremony, and cry our eyes out. Its amazing. Still havent slept getting silly.

Promptly at 3, we arrive back at our hotel, get our room keys, gather our bags and find the elevators. OK, in a perfect world, if an elevator should happen to start to close, and the door bumps a piece of luggage, or a person, said door usually rebounds and opens again ... right?

Well, the world is not perfect and I learn that the hard way. I am literally attacked by this Parisian elevator and knocked out onto the floor! I might have gracefully hopped out of harms way, had it not been for my suitcase sitting directly in my path. There is nowhere for me to put my foot (I have big feet size 10), nowhere to step. So I tumble, headfirst, over my luggage and spill out into the lobby. Not cute! We laugh uncontrollably for about five minutes.

Cheri and Chuck gather me up and we head to our rooms. We walk into our rooms ... and guess what? No beds! Our hotel rooms have a shower, a TV, a table and a couch. So we head, bags and all, back down to the lobby. Big drama. About two hours later, we check into the fabulous Holiday Inn. We come all the way to Paris, only to stay in a Holiday Inn!

We decide to take a short nap, then hit the town. Although we are still pretty tired, we have the best dinner in a quaint little restaurant.

Find out what happend during the rest of Chely's Vacation in the current (1/21/03) "Newsstand Issue" on sale now!