It is a crazy time to be employed by an airline! Thanks to COVID-19, many major U.S. airlines are getting ready to furlough or even fire their employees. Delta Air Lines recently announced that they would be furloughing up to 17,000 employees. American Airlines- around 25,000 employees, and United Airlines- up to 36,000.

One of the ways that my employer is trying to avoid this is by offering an extended time-off program. They are allowing us to take 6, 12, or up to 18 months off. In this program, the employee will continue to make a portion of his or her income. They will also get to keep all of their travel and health benefits. So far, Southwest has never had a single furlough- this is something that most airlines cannot boast. I hope it stays that way, so I’m going to do my part… tomorrow I will find out if I will be given the next 12 months off.

There is always a chance that those who are granted this time away will be called back. This is, of course, based on the need of the company. My guess is that this is going to happen. Once the pandemic dies down (perhaps one day after the election in November?), we will be filling our planes to capacity again. We have so many new planes ordered, and I know that the Denver base is about to grow. When this growth starts, those on this extended leave will be given a 30-day notice that we need to come back.

I will update again soon and let you know what I find out!

Hawaii 2020: The Conclusion

<02.29.20 | Home | 12:35>

I’m sorry that I didn’t write yesterday. By the time I landed in Salt Lake City, my body had been up for just about 26 hours. I had to stop at one of the airport stores and buy some caffeine so that I could make the drive home safely. Thank goodness the plan worked. I recall driving home last year after being up for almost 48 hours after my flights home from Scotland. I got pulled over doing 75 in a 35. I explained the situation to the officer, and he understood. He let me go with a warning.

When I got to the house, I fell asleep for about four hours. Later on, I slept again- another 6 hours or so. I was awake from 01:00 until about 05:00, then fell back asleep for another and a half. As of now, I would say that I’ve had plenty of rest at this point!

I need to say- I have a fantastic family! I feel like this vacation has brought us closer together. It’s not that we were necessarily far apart, either. It’s just that we all have our own lives and thing going on- I’m sure it won’t be long before I see them again, but this was time and togetherness that I guess I needed. We chose this location because of my mom’s life-long dream to go to Hawaii. I feel like this was a perfect choice!

I can now check another state off my list: 47 down- 3 to go. I’m sure I’ll find an excuse to go to either Alaska, North Dakota, or Maine soon enough. I can’t wait to blog about visiting those last three. I just need to get there.

This morning, I have been unpacking my bags and washing clothes, just so that I can take other clothes and put them into a backpack. Do you recall that at the beginning of Hawaii, I told you that it was just ‘Phase 1’ of my vacation? I’m excited to say that after being home for only a day an a half, ‘Phase 2’ will begin tomorrow. Come back and check the blog tomorrow!

Speaking of Scotland…

Scotland 7: Day 40 (conclusion)

04.11.19 | Home | 07:15

By the time my head hit my pillow last night, I was out. My body had been up, at that point, for 22+ hours. This is what happens when you ride the cheap seats: LGW > SEA > OAK > SLC. Shoutout to the most amazing Norwegian crew who brought me from Gatwick to Seattle. They made that 11-hour chunk of my journey, so nice! Again, I bribed my way into their hearts by bringing chocolates that I grabbed from the duty-free shop at the airport. It never hurts, people! I’m telling you it doesn’t!

I realized when I landed at SeaTac, that I had forgotten to factor in the time it would take me to get through international customs and then all the way to the ‘B’ gates to catch my second flight. Thank goodness for the Mobile Passport app that I have on my phone! This made it to where I could cut most of the people in the line. I almost don’t want to share this information, because the more that people know about this, the longer the line is going to be. At least this blog doesn’t have a whole lot of readers- let’s keep this information on the D.L.

After missing my train exit, and going to the wrong security line, I got to my gate with only moments to spare. Then I found out that not only was there room on the flight, but the plane was a few minutes delayed. For once, I was very thankful for a delayed flight! I was soon in Oakland, waiting for my last flight to Salt Lake City. Once again, there was plenty of space, so getting back to Utah wasn’t a problem.

Here are some lessons I have learned over the last 40 days:

  1. Don’t bring a printed itinerary. It was a waste and I didn’t need it. From here on out, I will only use the TripIt App on my phone (check this out before you travel next time) and will keep a back up of all my confirmation information in an email folder.
  2. Just about every business in Scotland will take a contactless payment, therefore I can use my Apple Pay everywhere! This gave me so much peace of mind since I didn’t have to give out my card number a million times. I learned to go to a reputable A.T.M. (like a major bank) and take out about £100 at a time, but only using that for places that wouldn’t take Apple Pay, or I would use that cash to tip servers, etc.
  3. When booking trains/buses/transportation, factor in when I am allowed to check into my next lodging, that way I don’t have to lug around a heavy backpack while I’m waiting to check in. Some places will store a bag for me so that I can go out and explore, and some places will charge a fee for this.

Ok, I need to go get some things done before I return to work- no pressure, but there is only approximately 324 days until ‘Scotland 8’.

It’s time for my second TRAVEL WEEK post. I was hoping to do this more often, but the only one I’ve done thus far was way back in November of last year- whoops! This is a record of the places I traveled for work this past week. I’ve been working so many trips since returning from Scotland, that I hope to have some great stories to share, as well as the motivation to actually share them!

I’m working the “D” position on this trip, so that means I’m with a few different crews. I love this, as it gives me an opportunity to meet more of my [thousands and thousands of] co-workers.

Monday: DEN > MCO > IAD


Add A Fried Egg and Bacon!

Herndon, Virginia | 20:50

Day one ended at Washington Dulles International Airport. My overnight stay was in nearby Herndon, Virginia at the Hilton, which is only about a ten-minute ride from the airport. The afternoon was very overcast, and since I had to wake up so early, I really wasn’t feeling like leaving the hotel to do anything. I walked down to the restaurant/bar and grabbed a burger for dinner. I had them add a fried egg and some bacon- it was so yummy!

Tuesday: IAD > DEN > SLC

Salt Lake City, Utah | 21:57

A huge job perk is when I happen to get a Salt Lake City overnight stay. Normally, if my stay is more than about 15 hours, I’ll drive home and spend the night in my own bed. Today I decided I’d just stay at the hotel and spend some time in the city. When I first landed, I called to book a massage. They gave me a therapist who I’d never had before and the guy was amazing! I’ll definitely come back to him in the future! When the hour was over, I told him that I’d wished I’d had him for another hour, at least. I believe in massages! I love them- and they’re much more affordable, thanks to places like Massage Envy.

One of the places where we currently stay here in Salt Lake City is The Grand America Hotel. This is my first time here and this place is, without a doubt, one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in! One of my coworkers commented that this hotel shouldn’t be in Salt Lake City, but rather, New York City. That’s how nice this is! Definitely in the top five! I had no choice but to walk around the halls and grounds, just to take a few pictures.

IMG_1816I found dinner at Beto’s, which isn’t too far of a walk from the hotel. Truth be told- I’ve been spending too much money on food as of late, and this is a great meal for cheap! For my Arizona peeps, have you ever eaten at Filiberto’s Mexican Food? It’s that same vibe, in fact, somebody once told me that the recipes are the same, because Beto’s was started by the guy’s brother. I’m not sure if that’s true, plus I’m too lazy to do the research. You just can’t go wrong with a delicious fish burrito, however. I know it sounds gross- it’s so not gross!

Wednesday: SLC > BWI > DEN

Brighton, Colorado | 21:20

Today was good. I worked a couple great crews, including some Baltimore-base girls who I haven’t seen in more than ten years! It was so great to see them! The flights were pretty bumpy coming from the east coast, but we landed safe and on time at DEN.


Dawn Works the Grill

Tonight I’m back at the crashpad in Brighton, Colorado. I had planned on ordering some delivery for dinner, but Dawn told me that she was going to make barbecue for us instead. Once in awhile, she will surprise us and make dinner. One year, for New Year’s Eve, she even made us lobster and crab! Tonight she grilled burgers, sausages, and chicken- it was so good! I think I ate a bit too much!

Thursday: DEN > ABQ > DAL > DTW

Romulus, Michigan | 22:13

My day was good but seemed long. This is probably because we had over three hours of ground time at DAL. Other than one rude passenger on our first leg, everyone else seemed to be in good spirits- it was a great day! I even got to flirt with one of our elderly lady passengers. She was a hoot! I’m working with a great crew, too! One of them is a former crashpad roommate.

Tonight I’m at the Four Points Sheraton in Romulus, Michigan, very close to DTW. I just had some overpriced soft tacos, and am hoping that I can fall asleep soon. If I can fall asleep in the next half hour, then I will actually get seven hours of sleep tonight! This is a worthy goal, but it’s not going to happen.

I think I’m going to lay in bed and watch Forensic Files. Such a cool show!

Friday: DTW > ATL > PBI > ISP

Hauppauge, New York | 18:14

This may sound ego-driven, but my crew and I definitely earned our paychecks today! Nothing demands patience like working a full flight from West Palm Beach, Florida to Long Island, New York! We were like a flying senior center! Every New Yorker has a sassy/ spicy attitude- they all have something to say, and every passenger will demand your undivided attention.

The passengers in my section were actually very nice. Yes, they were loud and demanding, but the best part about working a plane full of New Yorkers is the fact that I can be just as loud and sassy. They don’t care- this is just how they communicate. We had quite a few good laughs.

Tonight I ended up at ISP and am staying at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. If I had a longer time, I would be tempted to jump on a train and head to Manhattan. Unfortunately, I have to be awake so early tomorrow (like 03:45!) and so I’m hoping to fall asleep in the next hour or two. Again, it’s probably not going to happen.

IMG_1821Instead, I went downstairs to have an early dinner with my coworker, Kevin. He had a burger, and I had a French dip sandwich. This was possibly the most delicious French dip sandwich I’ve ever had. I can’t even describe it- it was like melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This may be because I was extremely hungry when I sat down to eat. That’s what happens when the only food I’ve had all day is protein shakes on the plane.

Saturday: ISP > BWI > ORF > DEN

Home | 21:48

Today was an amazing day! As the passengers left the plane (at every stop), we received so many compliments- many of them told us that they had never been on a better flight. I love it when a passenger gives me a compliment like that. It means so much!

Three legs back to Denver! When my plane landed, I rushed to the other side of the terminal for my commute flight home. Thank goodness I was there before any other employees (only one other coworker showed up) because every seat had been taken. Never underestimate the power of one night in one’s own bed. Yes, just one night. Tomorrow afternoon, I fly back to Denver to start another travel week.

fullsizeoutput_643eIt’s time to discuss bucket list item number 78: Record an Album. The reason for this is because plans are already underway to accomplish this. Just know that I have no idea what I’m doing. I have been chatting with John Carter of Thirth/Eight Productions, up in Logan, Utah. He and his wife Karen are musical geniuses- I was blessed to record with them a few times while I was attending Utah State University, years ago. I love them and miss them!

So here’s my plan of action (if you’re musical and have spent time in a recording studio, I could use your advice):

  1. Find a studio- √ Done! See the first paragraph of this entry.
  2. Find an accompaniest- √ Done! My awesome buddy Robert Stephenson has agreed to ‘tickle the ivory’ for me. He has accompanied me a few times, years ago. He is amazingly talented! Bonus: He already lives in the same zip code as John’s studio, so I don’t feel quite as horrible for disrupting his family life.
  3. Pick out some songs- I’d like there to be about 10 songs on the finished product. I have about 12 song ideas at the moment, but we’ll have to see what vibe this project takes on. I’m sure some songs will be eliminated and other songs will be added throughout the whole process. I wish I had more original songs. Sadly, I may have only one original on there. I’m just not that talented.
  4. Find a board of directors- This will be a group of people who know my voice and I know will tell me honestly what songs belong or don’t belong on the album. Also, I’ll have them listen to the tracks and ask for feedback.
  5. Organize and prepare songs. I’ve found much of the sheet music already, but there are a couple songs I need to have lifted since the sheet music for those songs doesn’t exist or was never published.
  6. Practice time with Robert.
  7. Studio time with John and Robert.
  8. Ask John to produce the crap out of recorded tracks to make me sound better. 😀
  9. If recordings are good enough for an album, then figure out distribution method. Should we do a physical CD? Should we just do digital? Should we do both? If we do a CD, figure out the artwork and all that… I have a guy in mind but don’t want to ask him until we decide what we want to do.

I’m not really sure how long this will take, but I look forward to learning more about the process and seeing what happens.

Here’s a little #ThrowbackMonday for you. Yes, I know the official hashtag should be #ThrowbackThursday, but today is Monday, and since this happened exactly seven years ago today, I wanted to post it now. Here’s the story: My buddy Dan asked me if I wanted to go skydiving with him for his birthday. It just so happens that this was the very first thing I’d written down when I was brainstorming on setting up my own bucket list. I had wanted to do this for as long as I can remember.

Dan, myself, and some of his BYU classmates met at the skydiving facility in Ogden, Utah. Before you can jump, you have to go through a little training/lesson. As I was learning how to properly jump out of a plane, I wondered how many times someone had chickened out while learning this. I probably would have also wussed out, if Dan hadn’t been there to peer pressure me.

Years ago I posted the video of this skydive on my blog, but when I was going through some stuff this morning, I realized that I hadn’t yet re-posted to this new blog. I was going through my videos and also realized that I never actually posted the footage that leads up to the jump. So, for the first time ever, here is the whole experience.

Today I’m extremely thankful for Apple Music.

I have discovered so much incredible music- and if we’ve ever met, you know that my life pretty much revolves around music. People tell me that there’s more music on Spotify, but I choose Apple Music because I’m an Apple guy. I always have an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook Pro with me, and when I’m at home, I have my iMac and my Apple TV. I do use Spotify on occasion, but not enough that it warrants paying another subscription fee. I subscribed a couple years ago, and it’s been well worth the $10 per month that it costs.

This morning I am listening to Christmas music. Before you chime in about it being too early for Christmas music, please note that we’re past October 1st, and so I’m allowed! This has been my rule for years now. October 1st through January 31st is the window that I’ve given myself. Outside that window of time, I’ll skip over a Christmas song that comes up in the music shuffle- I would listen to it year-round, but I don’t want to ever become one of those people who takes Christmas music for granted.

Speaking of Christmas- bucket list item number 112 is to spend Christmas in Scotland- we all saw this one coming. Perhaps one year, I can fulfill bucket list item number 50 simultaneously to celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh.

It never fails… I just finished making this year’s birthday video, and I’ve been watching it over and over again, unable to hold back the tears. I’m pretty sure that Heavenly Father has given me the absolute best family and friends! He has filled my life with so many amazing people!

If you’re not familiar, this is my yearly I Scream, You Scream video. It all started 7 years ago (if you know this story, feel free to skip it)- I was stuck at my Baltimore crashpad, as Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on Maryland. I remember wanting to be with friends for my birthday, but that was impossible. I sat there wondering how we could celebrate together, even though we were far apart. I came up with a brilliant plan (if I do say so myself): I asked all my friends, via Facebook, to go out and buy their favorite pint of ice cream, and to take a bite at precisely 21:00 (eastern time). When each of them took a bite, they were told to take a selfie (or have someone take their picture) enjoying the ice cream. Next, they’d send me the picture and I’d turn all the pictures into a slideshow.

So here is this year’s offering. I want to thank those who took part. I hope you know that this means so much to me! I love you guys!


Every Southwest Overnight?

So much has happened in the last few days- I hope I can do this story justice. First off, I’m happy to report that I am another step closer to checking bucket list item number 74 off (which is to stay at every single Southwest overnight). I will admit that this is one bucket list item that I may never check off wholly. The reason why is because my employer constantly changes what overnights are available to the flight attendants. Since I’m based in Denver, there are some places where we just don’t go. Now, if I were still Baltimore-based, there would be some other places that I would not be able to go- layovers that may be only available to Denver-based flight crews. Does that make any sense? Regardless, it’s good to have goals and reach for dreams, even if they may never come to fruition.


That being said, I finally spent my first night in Memphis. After checking in at our hotel, Ashley, Will, and I changed into “regular people” clothes and had the hotel’s van driver take us to “the best Memphis barbecue.” We ended up about a mile away, at a restaurant called Central BBQ (map). Ashely and Will (who happen to be my roommates at my crashpad) got half racks, but I opted for a full rack! It was so delicious! The sauce was incredible, and the meat fell off the bone pretty magically! And just like that- bucket list item number 66 is checked off!

The Civil Rights Museum: Across the street from the restaurant is the Lorraine Motel- this is the place where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed as he stood on the motel’s balcony. It was such an unimaginable experience to be there. The motel has been preserved in the same condition that it had been back on April 4th, 1968, the day of his assassination.



Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot while he was standing right beside room 306. 


This is the marked path of the assassin’s bullet.


Next, we headed up to historic Beale Street, stopped in a few gift shops, and then sat down to hear a live blues band play. It was incredible! The perfect day, with the ideal weather- the upper ’70s and not too humid. Later, I walked back to the hotel by myself, wanting to see more of the city. Ashley and Will weren’t feeling it, and they opted to call the shuttle driver back from the hotel.


Voodoo Shrine

Now- to report on two nights ago. We ended up in one of my favorite places: Nashville, Tennessee! Before our last flight landed in Nashville, I logged on to our plane’s wifi signal and checked to see if there were any tickets left for The Grand Ole Opry. Thank goodness- there were a few left! I asked Will if he was interested in getting tickets, and he wasn’t. I then walked to the after galley and asked Ashely and Lori the same question (Lori is our “D” flight attendant who wasn’t with us yet in Memphis but had worked with us this second day and would be staying with us in Nashville). They said they were indeed interested!

After checking in at our hotel, the four of us Uber’d into Nashville and found dinner at Dave & Buster’s, adjacent to The Opry House (map). Will was with us for dinner, but we said our goodbyes since he didn’t want to go to the Opry. He headed back to the hotel, then Ashley, Lori, and I went to the show.


This was my second Nashville overnight, where I attended the Opry (the first time having been at the Ryman downtown- see post). Some of the artists were the same, but I was also introduced to a few new ones. Unfortunately, there were no surprise visitors, as there had been on that first visit. Maybe this is a good thing since we had to head to the airport this morning at 05:00. When Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood showed up that night, that stretch things out pretty late, and even though it was a fantastic experience, I was a zombie the next day.

Still, the show was incredible, and I need to research and find out if they do some kind of Opry season pass. I will love to get one of those if they’re not too expensive (and if they even exist).

Tonight I’m back in my own home, getting ready to sleep in my own bed. I was supposed to work another trip yesterday, but unfortunately, I have something going on with my throat that I hope doesn’t turn into laryngitis. The last time I experienced this (that I can recall) was back in December of 1996. I can remember the experience so well because I was required to sing in Handel’s Messiah over the Christmas break, and even though no sound would come out, I stood there with the choir and mouthed the entire thing. Good times!

When I worked back to base yesterday morning, I had no voice left and even had to ask the other flight attendants to make my required announcements. Today I’ve been sipping on herbal teas, and unfortunately, I can now am being bugged with a headache and sore throat as well. I hope I’m better by Wednesday when I’m planning on commuting back to work.

Since I’m finally back in town, I was able to go pick up my recently framed picture of Victoria’s Street that I bought while I was in Edinburgh last year (see post). The guy who did it is a man by the name of Jason Potter (the only reason I’m posting his full name is because I think he did such a great job- that maybe some of my neighbors and friends may use his services in the future). He not only makes frames with his art business, Silverstar Art, but he is a police officer for the city of Tooele. This is one reason that I knew I wouldn’t’ be cheated- he more or less has his reputation on the line as a cop. It ended up costing me $84. I gave him $85 since I didn’t have any smaller bills, and before he could find change I told him to just deduct it from my bail, in case he ever books me in jail. I didn’t know I could prepay for future bail.



“Turning Right On Victoria Street, Edinburgh”



The photographer’s name is Josh Vogelsang. I think he has some breathtaking prints- definitely worth checking out his site: I hope to get more of his work in the future. Perhaps I’ll run into him again on High Street in Edinburgh- you never know. I noticed that his site has some limited edition, signed prints available.