Scotland 7: PreTrip

02.28.19 | DEN-DTW | 06:47

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

Today I am extremely excited to be making my way back to Scotland. This will be my seventh visit to this place where so many of my ancestors were born, lived, and died. Over the years, I have come to consider Scotland to be a sacred place. 

I just boarded the first of two Delta flights that will get me from DEN to SWF, on the east coast. I was able to score a positive-space ticket for $122 one-way. I’ll have a short layover at DTW, just enough time to change planes. This reason is so I can fly nonstop on Norwegian Airlines to Edinburgh tomorrow. There isn’t a whole lot I wouldn’t do for cheap airfare. Put me in the cargo hold- I don’t mind- just get me there. Plus, I had such good experiences on Norwegian the last three times I flew on them.

DTW-SWF | 13:04

After we landed at DTW, I had to walk all the way from the end of the ‘A’ gates to the ‘C’ gates- that is quite the hike! I kept looking for the Southwest gates, but all I could see was Delta. I think Delta pretty much runs the airport. 

I forgot to get my first crew some chocolates, as is my tradition, but I had enough time to run to a newsstand before my second flight, where I grabbed some Godiva chocolates for the second. My first plane, this morning, was a Boeing 737-900, but this second one was a much smaller CRJ-200, or as I call it, a Barbie plane. 

There was only one flight attendant working this flight since the plane doesn’t hold that many passengers. In the U.S., the law states that there must be at least one flight attendant for every fifty passengers. Because of this, the CRJ-200 only requires one working flight attendant, and her name is Tiara. She, as well as the two pilots, greatly appreciated the chocolate. 

Newburgh, New York | 17:52

Newburgh Airport (SWF) is such a small, and cute airport. I believe I saw a total of 8 gates, as I walked through the terminal toward baggage claim. Not as small as some airports I’ve been to (Google “Sumburgh Airport, LSI,  Shetland), but so cute. I’m surprised that any airline offers international flights out of here.

The Hudson Valley Hotel and Conference Center should probably be called The Hudson Valley Motel and Gang Center. When I entered the lobby to check in, there was loud R&B/Rap music coming from one of the conference room- and the “hotel” is about as nice as a Super 8. I don’t want to knock Super 8, but now, at least, you can picture the quality I’m staying in tonight. That being said, the bed is pretty comfortable, the sheets appear to be clean, and the shower and bathroom are free of any visible nastiness. 

I just got back from an early dinner at Panera Bread, where I ordered some french onion soup (it’s pretty cold outside tonight), and a barbecue chicken flatbread. I swang by Starbucks for some hot chocolate to carry back. This kept my hand from freezing, as I didn’t bring gloves on this trip. If Edinburgh is as cold as I think it’s going to be, I’ll have to buy some when I get there.

03.01.19 | Newburgh, New York | 09:20

It’s 24 degrees this morning, in Newburgh. I’m sure glad I packed a scarf at the last moment- I almost didn’t. I would just like to apologize to the fine folks who work at the Super 8 here in Newburgh, after my comment from yesterday. As I walked to Denny’s to find some breakfast, I saw a Super 8 that looked so much nicer than the Hudson Valley Hotel and Conference Center. Traveler beware- don’t always trust your instincts while on the journey.

After breakfast, I walked up the road to Walmart, so that I could find some treats for the flight crew tonight. I try to get something for the pilots and attendants. I’ve said this before, and everyone should do this! It’s sort of a nice way to say “Thank You”.


I just checked out of the hotel- I asked if I could get a late checkout but they said they’d have to charge me $50 if I stayed past noon. My flight isn’t until 8-something tonight, but my backpack is far too big and heavy to lug around all day. It looks like I’m about to hang out in a tiny regional airport for the next eight hours or so. Rad!


We just boarded the plane and are taxiing. The crew thanks me for the goody bag and gave me a bottle of water in return. They seem to be extremely kind. They keep walking by and asking if I need anything and keep reminding me that it would be no charge.

The guy sitting next to me, Sam, is probably wondering why they’re paying so much attention to me. He is a student at Penn State- he said that he is visiting Scotland for four days, then will head over to Ireland for two. He told me that he has friends in both places.

SWF-EDI | 21:07 (East Coast Time)

It still fascinates me that humans can take to the sky in a multi-ton, cylinder and cross an entire ocean. What a wonderful time to be alive! I wonder if the Wright brothers knew it would be this amazing! Fascinating and awesome and wonderful, and how I’ve been so incredibly blessed to make my living.