Scotland 6: Day 16

03.14.18 | Lerwick, Scotland | 17:12

Lerwick is a great little city! One that I’m happy to be visiting for a second time. I walked to the hostel, and after waiting a few minutes, a girl called Calli joined me. We sat for awhile and had a wee chat. Calli is originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, but is currently studying in Germany. She had spring break and decided to come for a visit to Scotland. We decided to walk into town together explore a little bit. We ended up being out and about for what was probably a couple hours. I tried to get an “Ussie”, which is how I describe a selfie with more than one person, but Calli has turned out to be one of those people who doesn’t like to have her picture taken. For now, until she lets down her guard, you’re going to have to take my word that she really exists.

This place is so incredibly beautiful! Next we went to a local museum which taught us all about the history of these islands. Fun fact: Did you know that the only reason that Shetland is part of the U.K. is because someone was going to marry an English princess and the king and queen had no dowery, and so they said to the groom… here, have some islands.

Next, we walked over to check out Clickimin Broch, which is the remains of what they think may have been a smaller castle/settlement. It’s old enough that they don’t really know for sure what it was. It was so fascinating to walk around, and even crawl into one of the chambers.


Dinner was at the Queen Hotel. There’s not a whole lot of restaurants in this small city, but the male was some kind of stuffed chicken with buttery mash and vegetables. It was probably the best meal I’ve had thus far on my journey. Just incredible!

Scotland 6: Day 15

03.13.18 | Aberdeen > Lerwick | 18:27

I’m sitting in the dining room of a northbound ferry. It has been seven years since my first (and only) time doing this. It’s time for Shetland!
A few days ago, my old friend Tia sent me a message telling me that her son is currently serving as a missionary in Aberdeen. When I told her that I would be in Aberdeen, she sent me his address so I could go see him… maybe check up on him? Actually, I know his parents and have no doubts that he is a great kid. I had the best idea: I was going to pretend to be interested in their message, and when they’d ask about my American accent, I was going to tell them I grew up in American but live in Scotland now. I had it all planned!

When they ask where I was from in America, I’d tell them that it was just a small town in southeastern Arizona that they’d never heard of. Hopefully, my video camera would record his reaction… I would draw on my Emmy-worthy acting skills and give them the performance of a lifetime. Sadly, when I knocked on their door, nobody answered. They weren’t home.

I decided to make this into one of my ‘<100 Steps’ posts. The rules are simple, you set out on your destination, and you have to snap a photo in 100 or fewer steps. That way, people can pretty much see what you saw without having to record a video the whole time. If I had a decent internet connection, I’d transfer all the videos and images and make one video, dubbing in music and everything. Unfortunately, all of my hostels have been not-so-good when it comes to an internet connection.


Tonight I have a shared four-person cabin. I will try to get some sleep, but I don’t know what will happen as I have at least two other roommates. They look like snorers to me.

This ferry has the world’s worst Wi-Fi. I am connected, but just barely. There will be no streaming of movies tonight. I texted my sister Melanie, and she told me that “at least you have Wi-Fi at all”- so very true. I imagine when the pioneers of old crossed the country, their Wi-Fi was also shite (and that, my dear reader, is Scottish for ‘poop’).

Scotland 6: Day 14

03.12.18 | Aberdeen Hostel | 21:38

My hostel here in Aberdeen is creepy but beautiful. It’s an older brownstone building, and they have me all the way up on the fourth floor. They call it the third floor, however, because in the U.K., the ground floor is the bottom. So the first floor is the one you come to when you walk up the stairs, etc. Very nicely decorated. The creepy part is the fact that there are paintings with faces on the walls, and that is horrible.

I decided to do a walking tour from the pub (that is on the bottom floor of this place) up to my room. You’ll see why I’m creeped out, just a bit.

Tonight I bought tickets to go to the cinema, and was almost late for the film. This is due to the fact that I actually walked all the way to the wrong theatre. So I had to pretty much do a 25 minute walk in 15 minutes. I did it, barely. Too much Irn Bru in my gullet. I need to start my 2019 diet early, I think. I did miss a trailer or two, however. For me, that’s a big deal because I need to find out what movies are coming out. I pretty much plan my existence around movie time.

Scotland 5: Day 22

03.22.16 | Aberdeen > Inverness Train | 09:22

IMG_0748 (2).JPG

Another steeple, as I am walking to the train station in Aberdeen,

I checked out of the hostel in Aberdeen just after 06:30 to get to an early train. I found breakfast at the train station: The Pumpkin Cafe. A breakfast sandwich that had been sitting in a cooler. I could taste that it hadn’t been made in the last 2 or 3 days. A danish with chocolate chunks and a bottle of Ribena washed it all down. If I recall, Ribena was one of my friend Colee’s favorite parts of the United Kingdom when we visited years ago (this trip was my very first visit, back in 2002).



I just passed through the town of Keith. I have dear friends who told me they are coming to Keith sometime soon. My advice to them is to bring your own entertainment- Keith looks like a very small village, at least that’s my perspective from a train passing through.

Fort Augustus Hostel | 18:19

Once I arrived in Inverness, I walked down the street a few blocks to the bus station where I purchased the fare to Fort Augustus, yet another destination I’ve never been to. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous at what it’d be like, the bus driver kept referring to it as “Fort Disgust-us”.


The road from Inverness to Fort Augustus follows Loch Ness.

Thankfully, Fort Augustus is anything but disgusting. I actually love this small town on the beautiful Loch Ness. Before you ask, yes I have seen Nessie earlier today. We hung out.

Fun fact: The guy who served me my fish n’ chips at lunch looks just like Jared from Subway. That is to say, child-molester Jared from maximum security. It was a bit freaky. Picture Jared but with a Scottish accent.


The hostel is a pretty big house, and there seems to be a large group of students staying here who are very loud. I may be forced to hurt somebody. I have three other guys in my room, all of them are staying here long term and working in the town. In my mind, they would have much better options if they moved to one of the cities instead. But what do I know?

Back to the beginning of Scotland 5 | Forward to Scotland 5: Day 23

Scotland 5: Day 21

03.21.16 | Aberdeen Hostel | 20:24

Once again it’s laundry day. I’m next in line to use the washer and dryer, so I’ve set up my little “camp” right here in the laundry room. Two people have brought their clothes in and both of them have been turned away, as I’m clearly next. I told them I’ve been waiting and I’m leaving early tomorrow morning so I won’t be giving up my place in the queue.

Today was so much walking! When I told hostel mates that I was here on holiday, they all wondered why I chose Aberdeen. My first visit here, five years ago, was simply because I’d never been. This is also where I caught the ferry up to Shetland. And now I’m back to explore a bit more of the area.

I thought today was a good day to explore more of the city. I have no complaints, it’s like so many other cities in Scotland. I want to learn more about it. I walked up and down streets. I saw a great deal. Felt like I burned so many calories!

Back to the beginning of Scotland 5 | Forward to Scotland 5: Day 22

Scotland 5: Day 20

03.20.16 | Aberdeen, Scotland | 20:26

On Sundays, like today, I try to do things a bit differently. I left the hostel this morning at about 09:00 and walked to church. It wasn’t too long of a walk, maybe 3 miles or so. The congregation made me feel very welcome. Everybody was too kind! I had a conversation with one of the older men, and he asked me if I know Elizabeth Smart (remember the gal who was abducted by those psychos? Search her name if you don’t). I told him not personally, but I did know who he was speaking of. He told me that she’s married to his grandson. No way! It was great to sit with him and chat!

After church ended, I quickly said goodbye and headed back to the hostel. The reason I left so fast was that I knew they were going to have a congregational potluck. I know they would have been okay with me joining them, but when I was in Oban two weeks ago, they asked me to stay for one, and I felt terrible when there wasn’t enough food to go around. It was good to go to church today, though.

Tonight, I spent some time walking around aimlessly. I found some dinner while I was out and about. When it started to get dark, I found myself in a not-very-good area of the city. Nothing happened. It just looked at the type of place where I would have been robbed and/or raped after dark. Since I wasn’t in the mood for this, I headed back to the hostel.

03.19.16 | Aberdeen Hostel | 21:23

Sadly I don’t have any pictures to share with you on this post. This is because I haven’t taken the time to explore as of yet. I did make it on the train safely to Aberdeen, however. My hostel is located a few miles west of the city center so it was quite a walk with my huge pack on my back. I decided to just hang out here for a bit and have declared today a day of rest.

Later this evening, I trekked back into the city (without the huge backpack) and went to see the movie 10 Cloverfield Road. The plot of this movie was a million percent different than I thought it would be. For once, the previews gave away very little. I’m not complaining, though. I feel like trailers give away way too much as it is. For this one, even though the acting was spot-on, I recommend waiting for it to get to Redbox. Probably not worth the cinema price.

I walked around Aberdeen for a little while (of course I forgot my phone and camera, so you get no pictures) and ended up going to a club. I just needed to hear some loud music for some reason. It’s been too long since I have danced around with half-drunk people. No, I’m not falling to “the dark side”, well no deeper than I’ve already fallen without your knowledge, at least. Scotland is the perfect place for me to show off my dance moves- because they’re rather embarrassing and there’s not a chance I’ll ever see these people again. This will give them time to heal from the sight of my bum shaking.

Dinner last night was a healthy and delicious shake from the cinema. Oh- the shakes are not thick at all! Horrible, I tell you! I need to teach these people a thing or two. It’s like drinking flavored milk.

Back to the beginning of Scotland 5 | Forward to Scotland 5: Day 20

Today is a crashpad day. Aft working for six days in a row, the F.A.A. requires a flight attendant to take at least 24 hours off. I have, however, just finished working eight days in a row. This is possible because after getting back early on the sixth day, there was a 24-hour break, and then I started a P.M. trip on day number seven. This means that today’s plan is to hang out here, not cheat on my Herbalife diet, pick up one of my roommates at the airport, and hopefully get some cardio in. I have yet to emerge from the warm basement this morning. Also, it’s time to talk about a few items on the bucket list.

  1. I feel like I have been neglecting my neighbor to the north. Coming in at number 12 on the bucket list is to visit every province in Canada. So far, my exposure to Canada has been a couple of visits to the north side of Niagara Falls and a camping/road trip with friends up to Banff National Park and Calgary. I know that Canada has so much to offer too. I’m not sure when this trip will happen, but it needs to happen nonetheless.
  2. Speaking of Canada, number 38 on the list would be to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This is a fantastic hotel in a fantastic setting. I visited the lake on the trip as mentioned above, but we didn’t stay there. The hotel looks so wonderful!
  3. Number 23 on my list is to go on a cruise. The closest I’ve come to a cruise is an overnight ferry crossing from Aberdeen, Scotland, up to Shetland in 2011. This was a 12 hour overnight passage (if my memory is working), and even though there was a dining room, bar, and cinema, it didn’t have all the thrills of an actual cruise. I have never been on a cruise because I think the person or people I go with are going to be what makes the trip for me, not so much the cruise itself. There’d better be karaoke!
  4. Have you heard about the most expensive coffee in the world? It’ll cost you somewhere around $50 for a single cup. It’s brewed from coffee beans that are fed to elephants. The un-chewed beans that pass through Dumbo are pooped out and collected. Then they brew those beans. You may think drinking this overpriced crap-coffee is on my bucket list- not so! If you know me, you know that I don’t drink coffee, but I do LOVE the smell of coffee! Number 35 on the bucket list is to ride on an elephant (the poop/coffee talk was just to throw you off the scent).

Scotland 4: Day 23

4.19.11 | Aberdeen > Inverness | 11:03

I don’t think that I need to point out that last night’s sleep was horrible. I didn’t splurge for a cabin this time- they gave me a seat, much like a seat on an airplane, but it was a litter wider- that is unless you fly first or business class. I spent the entire night tossing and turning and all that.

I arrived in Aberdeen on time and had a few hours to kill before my train left the station. I found a coffee shop and got some hot chocolate and read my book. Oh, by the way, the book I got yesterday is called “Scotland” and it’s part of the “Horrible Histories” collection. This guy has written these different history books (more than 50 in the set so far) and in the books, he shares some historical facts but he tells them in such a way that it’s a light-hearted, funny approach. I can tell they’re geared to school-age children but since that’s about my maturity level, it worked. An illustrator adds in comics about what’s going on. I may have to check out his other books. The website is It’s totally worth checking out.

Now it’s time for me to talk about fashion. If you know me or have seen me dress, you’ll note that I’m not really into fashion- in fact, I often don’t care what I’m wearing. The last time I was in the UK, a lot of the guys were all about the mullet hairstyle- as ugly as that is. This statement left most of the U.S. by 1980, but if you’re traveling around the southern states you may see one or two.

Right now, it seems like a lot of people over here (mostly guys) are into wearing white shoes. While not as bad as a mullet, they like to wear these white shoes with dark, dark jeans. This makes the white shoes stand out quite a bit. Around Glasgow and Edinburgh, I’d often see someone in all-black, except for their bright white shoes. This may not be a fashion movement per se, but it has stood out to me a bit while I’ve been over here.

Inverness Hostel | 12:41

Walking over here was just great. There’s a slight chill in the air, but it’s probably at least 10° warmer than it was on Orkney… maybe not, but it feels like it.


For dinner, I had fish and chips again. It was some wonderful salt/vinegar/grease. I’ve heard it’s good for you too! It’s so great to be back in Inverness. I can tell it missed me. Bad.



It’s been a nice easy evening. I watched Gulliver’s Travels– it was meh. I do love Jack Black, but I don’t think there was much special about this picture. I’m off to cough in bed. Yay!

Back to Scotland 4: Day 3 | Forward to Scotland 4: Day 24

Scotland 4: Day 15

4.11.11 | Aberdeen Starbucks | 08:46

I have officially, unofficially checked out of my Aberdeen hostel. The official part is because I have cleaned out my room, dropped off my sheets and pillowcase, left the room and turned in my key. The unofficial part is because they’re letting me leave my backpack in their storage since my ferry doesn’t leave until 1900 tonight. This means that I’ll be tooling around the city, think I’ll go get a haircut or something.

I had breakfast here at Starbucks again this morning, but I did order the oatmeal instead of just sugary junk food. In Scotland, they don’t call it oatmeal, they call it porridge! That is soooo Hansel & Gretl- I love it! Now that I’ve had my porridge, I think I’ll get a picnic basket and skip off to grandma’s house.

Northlink Ferries Waiting Area | 15:39

Soon after my update from Starbuck this morning, it started raining, and most of the day it’s been sprinkling lightly. I walked back to the hostel and hung out in the front waiting area. This is because I know I’d go out and spend more money than I needed to be spending, had I stayed in the city. I had some lunch (a cheese an onion sandwich, Strawberry Ribena and steak-flavored crisps) and tried to take a little nap. The nap never happened because some guy had the television turned up too loud. He was watching British soap operas. Hilarious and scary- but with a sexy accent, at least.

I was bound and determined to get my “beast neck” taken care of (for those who aren’t familiar, the ‘beast neck’ is when the hair on the back of your neck is getting a bit too long so you start to look like a beast). I found a place that was open and had the urge to get my hair colored again. This is just because the blonde I’d been sporting since Glasgow was a bit too yellow in my opinion. So- I asked the lady (whose name is Alix) if she could bleach my head as well. And now I look like the love child of Anderson Cooper and Ellen Degeneres. However, I don’t see the two of them “hooking up” anytime soon for any number of reasons. My hair is freakin’ hot!


A Sexy Blonde Boy Waits for a Ferry

After my hair was done, I headed back to the dock to hang out and wait for the ferry. I still have an hour and a bit before they let me board, and about 3 hours before they push. I know an airplane pushes back from the gate, but does a ferry “pushback from the dock”? I don’t know nautical terms. Perhaps I’ll be all in-the-know by tomorrow morning, maybe not. I’ve never been on any kind of cruise… it’s exciting! I heard the onboard movie was going to be Titanic. Actually, I just made that up- that’s just how clever and hilarious I am.


They let us all board a few minutes after 17:00 and so now we wait. I’m curious to see who my roommates will be. The room I booked was the cheapest offer, so it’s no luxury accommodation. I don’t need too much room, so it’s ok. My major concern is who I’m going to have to room with. I saw a list to sign up for dinner reservations, so I did. Hope it’s a good (and cheap) meal.

There’s not too much to this ferry. They’ve got the room cabins, a couple bars, a full restaurant, a self-serve restaurant and they are boasting about their free wi-fi, but I can’t pick up the signal. I hope it will start working when we push.


Aberdeen > Lerwick | 19:20

We pushed about 10 minutes early, so I hope there were no late-arriving passengers. I’ve been trying now for about 10 minutes to get my iPad to connect to the internet, but it won’t. Damn it all! I guess it’s not the end of the world though. I saw one kid on his phone and I asked him if his connection was working okay. He said it was. I think he’s a fat liar and if I catch him near the back deck, he’s dolphin food, cause dolphins eat humans now.

I met one of my roommates. His name is Terry and he’s probably in his mid-to-late 50’s. He’s from England but currently lives on the western side of Scotland. When he travels, he only travels to the British Isles. He told me that he can’t have the top bunk because he gets nosebleeds. So Terry and I have claimed the bottom bunks and two others will be on the top bunks. I don’t believe I’ve ever stayed in a room this small.

When I first boarded, I was feeling a bit weird, but someone told me
I’d feel better as soon as I got some food in my stomach. Dinner was
absolutely delicious! I had some mushroom caps with cheese on them
with a side salad, then the main course was Shetland lamb. Dessert was
the raspberry custardy thing that the chef calls a fold-over or
something like that. It was a great meal and the food kept me from
getting seasick.


Back to Scotland 4: Day 3 | Forward to Scotland 4: Day 16