Tracy Byrd: European Vacation

Tracy Byrd takes his wife and kids along on a great working getaway—with plenty of playtime built into the schedule!

When Tracy Byrd combines business with pleasure, he doesn’t stop at something as mundane as discussing an upcoming booking with his agent on the golf course. Nope, Tracy does it the way you’d expect a Texan to do it—big! And from March 3 through March 18, that’s exactly what he did, taking his wife, Michelle, and kids Evee, 14, Logan, 11, and Jared, 6 with him during a working vacation through England, France, Switzerland and Germany.

“We did two shows on the northern coast of England in Minehead, UK. Then we did two shows in Switzerland in Zurich. And then two shows in Germany,” explains Tracy. “I decided, ‘If I’m goin’ over there and work, we’ll go over a little early and stay a little late and make a family vacation out of it.’ ” Along they way, they saw castles, gorgeous countryside, snow-capped mountains, a very famous clock, a very tall tower and one very large hamburger—even for a Texas boy. “It was tiring,” admits Tracy. “But we all had a good time and it was a great experience for the kids.” Here’s what Tracy had to say about some favorite stops on the trip.

To see some of the great family photos from the trip, check out the May 11 issue of Country Weekly.

CW
Are your kids good travelers?
TB
Yeah. We’ve been lucky enough to vacation a lot and really make family vacations kind of a priority. So they’ve been a lot of places, but that is by far the most travelin’ they’ve ever done, especially in one span. We flew from Houston to Dallas and from Dallas to Heathrow. They’ve been to Hawaii, and that was the longest flight they’d been on up to this one. But we flew in there and spent about 3 days in London. Then we rented a car, and I did successfully drive out of London on a side of the road, side of the car I’d never driven on before.
CW
Was it a freaky experience?
TB
You know, I was expectin’ it to be. When I first picked up the car, I had to sit there a minute and I went, “All right, you’ve gotta think in a totally different frame of mind.” I was afraid I was gonna swing out and make a turn in the right lane [big laugh]. But in about 10 minutes, I was really comfortable with it. I think maybe I do better over there than I do here.
CW
Any Chevy Chase European Vacation moments on this trip?
TB
Not on this trip. We did pretty good. We didn’t have any major mishaps of any kind. We were three days in London, then got the car and drove about a three-and-a-half hour drive up to Minehead and did the shows there. We really saw some beautiful countryside on that trip. It was awesome. Then we headed back to London and stopped at Stonehenge on the way back. But there was an incredible storm, winds howlin’ 50 mph it felt like. And just pourin’ big, giant drops of rain. We sat there for about an hour, and it never stopped. So we took some pictures through the window and just kept goin’!
CW
Tell me about the castle in Germany.
TB
Supposedly the Disneyland castle was patterned after this one. It’s kind of a neat story. King Ludwig II evidently was off his rocker a little bit. They called him the mad king. He started buildin’ castles all over the place, spending all the tax money all over Germany, he was building castles. But this is the main one he built. It looks down on the castle he grew up in. He built this castle and never did finish all the rooms. Only 14 rooms are finished it it. But he moved into it and lived for six months and then they found him dead in the lake where he liked to go swim in the summertime. It looked like somebody had knocked him in the head with a rock. It’s evidently a pretty famous fairy tale sort of story. It’s kinda mysterious, and they don’t really know exactly what happened to him. But they think the townspeople may have had something to do with it. But it was interesting and it was absolutely beautiful. It’s an amazing looking place . . . the architecture.
And then to think about the construction of it. It took ‘em 14 years just to get it as far as it is now, and it’s not even finished. We had to go up in wagons with horses pulling ‘em. So to think about them haulin’ all that stone and rock up and everything else up there was just amazing. Thinking about them doin’ it and how much it must’ve cost.
CW
Cool stories for friends when they got back?
TB
They did. They all had to do reports for school when they got back. The schools were great about ’em going. They really considered it an educational trip. But they wanted ‘em to put together pictures and a report and take it back and show things to the class. So we brought back different currencies we used and stuff like that for them to take to school. It was a good trip. They really enjoyed it and they’re still talkin’ about it.

To see some of the great family photos from the trip, check out the May 11 issue of Country Weekly.

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