Due West

I went over my bucket list, and I realized that I hadn’t posted the pictures and videos from something I checked off back in 2013. I know what you’re thinking, and yes- I’m a horrible person. Nevertheless- Item 31 on my list is to hear Due West perform live. They are a fantastic country band, and I grew up with Brad Hull in my small town in southeastern Arizona.

Hawaii 2020: Day 3

02.22.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 21:04

Today was a good day. I spent quite a bit of it alone because my family all wanted to go out on a boat ride. I don’t know exactly what this ride entailed, but even though they said it was a good time, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the $140 price tag.

Instead, I decided to walk into Hanalei. I did some exploring, bought a rash guard shirt, found some fish tacos for lunch, and got my second snow cone.

This walk took about two hours, and the only reason I decided to Uber back, was because there was hardly any shoulder on the roadside to walk on. Quite a few times on the way into the city, I had to duck into a bush so that I wouldn’t get hit by any vehicles.

Every Town Needs A Crazy Person

When I got back to the house, I took a little abit of a nap. About two hours later, my family got back from the boat tour.

Matt and I made dinner tonight. We made a hash with pineapple sausages, onions, peppers, and potatoes. It was delicious!

Hawaii 2020: Day 2

02.21.20 | Princeville, Hawaii | 02:04

Before most of the family was awake this morning, Matt, Kas, and I decided to go for a bike ride. Our Airbnb provided a few bicycles, so it was a great way to start the day!

Morning Bike Ride

We ended up at Hanalei Bay and spent a few minutes standing on the shore. We should realize we had to start our way back to the house, and most of this ride was uphill. I was reminded just how out of shape I am. We eventually got back to the house, however.

Hanalei Bay

We tried to go hiking on this excellent 8-mile trail that Matt and Kas have been to in the past. They said it was one of the most beautiful hikes they’ve ever hiked. I was looking forward to it! When we arrived, however, we discovered that you now have to make a reservation to hike on this particular trail, because it was such in high demand. Unfortunately, the lady at the entrance told us that the booking would’ve had to be made about three months in advance.

We ended up stopping at a beautiful beach, and we played in the ocean for a while. One of my sisters brought sandwiches for everyone, so it was great to sit, chat, and eat on the beach.

We explored downtown Hanalei and I ended up getting my first Hawaiian shaved ice! Growing up in Arizona, we had a place that did this shave ice, but this was incredible! The snowcone was atop macadamia nut ice cream and they pour sweetened conndensed milk over the top. It was the most fantastic thing ever!

We decided that we would go back and swim, once again, at Queen’s Bath. Yesterday, my sister Lori and her husband Scott, weren’t able to be there with us, and we wanted them to have that experience. We even talked Lori into jumping off a high rock into the water. It was amazing! I think, all in all, I end up spending more than seven hours swimming in the ocean.

Hawaii 2020: Day 1

02.20.20 | Home | 02:04

I set my alarm for 04:15, but my body has been wide awake since midnight. I’m not going to fight it anymore- Today is the first day of my vacation, and I can hardly stand it- I’m so excited! Not only will I be one step closer to visiting every state (bucket list item number 99), but this is just going to be phase one of my adventure for the year.

This past August, my brother announced that we were going to Hawaii for our 2020 family reunion. Those invited: My parents, siblings, their spouses, and myself. We love the next generation, but these family members are not invited. We tried to do this last year, but there were just too many conflicts. We felt like this needed to happen- not only am I one step closer to completing my bucket list item number 99 (visiting every state), but this has been a life long dream of my mother. Since my parents are in their 80s, we figured that this is a good enough excuse to go. She ain’t gettin’ any younger!

The next seven days’ worth of posts will merely be ‘Phase 1’ of my 2020 vacation. I’m going to use ‘#Hawaii 2020’ Because there are going to be three phases over the next two months, I’m going to try my best to update this blog daily. A few friends have told me that they enjoy following along, and so I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing over the years.

I want to do some more live-streaming on this journey, so I want to invite you to download the Periscope app and follow @DavTravels. I will post the videos on the blog as soon as I have time, but you can always see them sooner via Periscope.

I also want to invite you to join my Facebook page, if you haven’t yet. This is one way to get notifications whenever there is a new post. Just click the Facebook link up top! Then, “Like” the page, and you’re all set!

Salt Lake City, Utah | 04:32

I guess I was too excited to go back to sleep, because now I’m sitting in the Salt Lake City International Airport, waiting for my first flight.


This is my first time flying on Alaska Airlines. I handed the “A” flight attendant a bag of Dove chocolates, so I hope he was grateful for the gesture. I cannot stress enough: Bring something for your flight attendants!

08:54 | SLC-SEA

The flight crew just paged for medical assistance. It seems like something is going on with a passenger in the back of the plane. I hope they are ok.

09:02 | SeaTac, Washington

If I bring a gift for the flight crew, whether it be a gift card, snacks, or chocolate, all I expect is a “Thank you.” I’m not expecting them to upgrade me or any form of special treatment.

On the flights that I work, I try to make a big deal about receiving a gift, making sure the crew members know who brought it, so they can thank him or her. I’ll even jump on the p.a. and make an announcement if I feel it’s appropriate.

I feel like my first exposure to Alaska Airlines was nothing special. I’ve heard such good things about their flight attendants, but I don’t know what that first crew’s deal is. Nobody bothered thanking me.

When I handed the gift bag filled with chocolates, I smiled and told the lead flight attendant that I was also a flight attendant and that I work for Southwest Airlines.- I got half a smile.

I guess I should be thankful for that half of a smile. I have more chocolates for my second crew, but little do they know- their reaction or lack of reaction is going to be the deciding factor of whether or not I bother to bring a gift on my return trip next week.

Inflight Snack
SEA Airport

SEA-LIH | 13:23 (Hawaii time)

It looks like I got my wish. The new flight crew was incredibly kind and even told me they were very thankful for the chocolates. That’s all I wanted- my faith in humankind (and Alaska Airlines) has been restored. I’m going even to go one step further and give the airline bonus points because they have a place for me to charge my phone.

Soon, these amazing flight attendants were comping my meal and even gave me a tablet to watch movies. This crew seemed so much better than the first.

Princeville, Hawaii | 16:16

As soon as I got my checked bag from the baggage claim, my sister Karen, Joe, and Brett were already outside waiting for me. We drove to the north side of the island, to Princeville, where we are staying in two Vrbo homes that are side-by-side.


This afternoon, my brother Matt took some of us down a very muddy trail to the ocean. The swimming area is called Queen’s Bath. It was so much fun to swim around in the ocean for a while!

The Muddy Trail
Queen’s Bath

The only tough part was walking back up the muddy trail to the car. B the time we made it back, most of us were covered in mud!

For dinner, we had some delicious grits with shrimp in them, that my sister Melanie made. It was perfect!

Dinner with Family

I have now been awake for over 24 hours, and I’m starting to feel that way. I’m hoping to fall asleep fast.

On this day, 44 years ago, my parents’ were blessed with their favorite child. Up until this point, they’d had a miscarriage, a stillborn baby called Michelle, and five living disappointments, my siblings.

Fact: My mom tells me that after my brother Matt was born, they’d always felt like they had another child waiting for them. One can conclude, from this information, that I was the only inspired child, and therefore, my siblings are merely part of the baby factory.

I started my day in SeaTac, Washington, in a Doubletree hotel. My 03:00 alarm hurt like a mother. Since today was a workday, I had to drag myself out of bed, shower, and head to the SEA airport. I love walking in the morning, so it was a nice stroll to get to my plane.

Today’s Route: SEA – OAK – SEA – DEN

I just got back to DEN after a great three-day trip. My crew was amazing! I’ve always said that makes all the difference in the world- I was, once again in Omaha the first night and SeaTac the second night, which was my assignment for three out of the four weeks in August.

My coworkers blabbed to the passengers that it was my birthday, and so I have had a day filled with “Happy Birthday” greetings. Even the passenger that I wanted to eject from the plane eventually wished me a great birthday. It made me feel amazing!

I’m at the crashpad tonight and I just had the most amazing ice cream social with roommates! Just like last year, I happened to be here in Colorado today, so Dawn went out and bought a bunch of ice cream for everyone. I was really touched that she would turn this into such a big ordeal! It really makes me feel special!

“I Scream: 9” was a blast- I have already started to receive pictures from friends and family! I can’t wait to put together this year’s slideshow! I plan on posting it here on the first if I have time and can find a decent connection for the upload to YouTube.

I love the fact that I am sitting in my own home. I do love all of my travels, and it’s nice to stay in hotels (not having to make a bed), but I will never underestimate the comfort of my own bed! IMG_7318And just between you and I, I rarely make my bed at home. I don’t understand the point… I’m just going to mess it up anyway. Sadly I’m only in my own bed for two nights. On Friday morning I’ll wake up extremely early to head into Salt Lake City and join my work trip that will already be in progress. That’s the plan.

Usually, when I get home from working a bunch of trips in a row, I like to take most of the first day off and get some relaxation. You’d be surprised how your body just needs to shut down for awhile. I rarely feel what I would consider jet lag because of my work, but it still sometimes runs me into the ground. Normally, I’ll keep my phone off, at least for the first half of the day and just do light chores around the house- maybe even pop in a movie or something. Since I only have one full day off, however, this may be an interesting combination of trying my best to be lazy whilst simultaneously getting a whole lot done. We’ll see which part prevails in the end. I think I already know the answer.

Before I fall asleep, I want to discuss two more things on my bucket list. Number 22 is to attend 50 different state fairs. This is awesome. I remember growing up in southern Arizona- I would so look forward to attending the Graham County fair each year. This was even before my dear friend LaDawn introduced me to guinea pig night. Let me tell you- this changes everything! This is the first night of the fair, which was always a Thursday. You’d get to pay one fee and ride as many rides as you wanted. The other nights, however, you were required to buy tickets. The rider operators would take anywhere from one to four tickets, depending on how cool the ride was. But not tonight- tonight we are guinea pigs- but back to what I was talking about: this summer, I hope I’m able to attend a bunch of county fairs. I started to do the research a couple years ago, and most of the counties in Utah are involved in this.

Coming in at number 93 is to attend 10 different state fairs. Picture county fairs, but add way more rides and way more people. The entertainment is much, much better too. I remember once when I was in high school, a bunch of friends and myself road tripped three hours to Phoenix to attend that Arizona State Fair. This was so that we could go to a Vince Gill concert (Vince just so happens to be one of my mom’s country music singer crushes). There is just something wonderful about large gatherings of trashy people- I live for it.

This afternoon, I ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What’s my favorite thing to do while in New Mexico? I’m glad you asked! Eat! Duh! One of our passengers told us that her favorite restaurant here is called Sadie’s. She told us that she’d been gone from Albuquerque for 5 days and desperately needed to “get her green chile on”. I concur! My coworker Kendall and I decided to do just that. After checking in at our hotel, and changing into normal-people clothes, we grabbed a 13-minute Lyft ride. Since a picture paints a thousand words, here is a thousand words for you:


Chile Rellenos at Sadie’s

Whenever I am in this great city, I think about the time when my parent’s gathered up some of my nieces and one of my nephews and drove them 8-hour from southern Arizona to see the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival. When they finally arrived, they found out that the festival had been canceled, due to excessive winds. My mom tells me that they took the kids out to eat, and then turned around and drove all the way back home. Ugh!

Number 101 on my bucket list is to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Along the same lines, number 51 on my bucket list is to ride in an untethered hot air balloon. I did get to ride in one when I was younger but unfortunately, it was tethered to the ground, so I don’t count it.


Image Credit: imgur.com

Tonight has been a great evening! One of my friends sent me a link to a song on YouTube and told me that I just had to listen to it. The one he showed me was good, but not as powerful for me, as it had been for him. The next thing I know, I’ve been sucked into the internet, looking for meaningful music videos. I love a live performance where the artist sounds every bit as good as he/she sounds in the studio. This has been going on for about an hour and a half now.

Tonight I’m thankful for the gift of beautiful music. I have no idea where or what I’d be without good music in my life. Actually, when I think about it, I know exactly what I’d be without music, and let’s just say that it not good. Music has saved me more times than I know. I’m thankful that my mom putting me in piano lessons at such a young age.

I thought I’d post a performance that touched me. On Kelly Clarkson’s album, her song Piece by Piece is much more produced- sometimes I pay more attention to a song when it’s stripped down to a simple, beautiful accompaniment, and a pure lyric. A full orchestra or studio production isn’t needed. Hope you enjoy!