Ireland 2: Day 22

05.01.18 | Belfast, Ireland | 09:48

I woke up at 06:00 and went downstairs and ate an overpriced breakfast buffet. Can I tell you- the absolute worst part of a breakfast buffet is the scrambled eggs. They always add milk to the eggs so they can stretch them further. Now the eggs don’t even taste like eggs. It’s more of a rubbery-textured egg-ish dish. Not good. Nothing against the hotel in particular, as the cooks do it all over the world.

So- I wasn’t sure I would tell this part of the story because I guess what happens in Belfast stays in Belfast, right? Last night, before I went to bed, I was scouring the internet to find a massage for this morning. I wanted to get something in the early morning because I would have time to get back to the hotel to get my things ready before leaving for the airport. I couldn’t find any massage businesses that were open that early. The one I did find was all booked up for the entire day. I decided to check Craigslist (what could possibly go wrong?).

Not to sound sexist, but when I look for a massage, I try to find a male therapist. This is because I really like deep pressure. Most of the massages I’ve gotten from female therapists felt good but were not as deep as I prefer. The ad I found on Craigslist was for a Doctor named David [I don’t recall his last name]. The ad said he was certified in Swedish, Thai… blah blah blah…. years of experience… great client reviews… blah blah blah. So it seemed legit to me.

I respond to the ad, asked him where he’s located, and ask about his availability. He said he was, quoted a price, and gave me the coordinates of his “office” and his cell phone number to text him when I got there… this seemed odd to me. I left the hotel to find his office at just after 08:30. Google maps told me that it was about a twenty-minute walk to arrive just a few minutes early.

I get to the coordinates, and there are no offices, just a bunch of houses. So I automatically think that the guy operates his business out of his home. No big deal. I text him, and he sends me the actual address of the house, which is just down the street from where I stood. I find the place, and as I approach, the front door is open. I ring the doorbell. He texts me saying he’ll be right there, I can just come inside.

By this point- I have all these red flags going off in my head- everything from I’m-going-to-robbed to I’m-going-to-be-raped-and-robbed to I’m-going-to-end-up-in-a-bathtub-full-of-ice-after-this-guy-harvests-my-liver. So I ignored the red flags and just figured that I’d keep the front door open until I can get a look at the place and see if this is all legit. The door opens into a hallway, and I’m standing there… it’s wide open. Then an entry into a room on my left opens up, and this middle-aged woman steps into the hall, wearing the black leather boots that lace up to her knees.

I look at her and say, “Oh, HELL NO!” and turned around and leave the house. So the moral of this story is this: Please be careful! I lucked out because I could have easily knocked her out if I’d have needed to. It was a smart move to leave that front door wide open. The other moral of this story: If you’re ever in Belfast, Ireland, and find yourself looking for a massage… I don’t know where you can find one, but a slightly plump African/Irish middle-aged S&M-looking prostitute is open for business at 35 Tates Avenue BT9 7BY Belfast.. bitch’s cell phone number is available upon request. You’re welcome.

18:27 | Warwick Hotel | 18:27

I am now back on American soil! Thank goodness I had the perfect flight from BFS to PVD. However, the best news is that my old crashpad roommate, Kyle, happened to be one of the flight attendants working it! To be honest, I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. Thank goodness that it’s a small world, after all.

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Once, Kyle was a flight attendant for Republic. After with them for a time, he decided it was time to find work with another airline. He was hired for the reincarnation of Eastern Airlines and based in Ft. Lauderdale (or maybe Miami) for a while. He didn’t like that experience and later got hired by Norwegian and is based somewhere in New York.

Tonight I booked a cheap hotel near the airport here in Warwick, Rhode Island. My flight from Belfast got in late enough that there wasn’t really an option of getting all the way to Salt Lake City. I could have either made it to Baltimore or Chicago, but hotels are cheaper in Rhode Island. It’s so good to be back, but I confess that I already miss Scotland. I obviously have a problem.

05.02.18 | Home | 14:41

It’s good to be sitting in my own home. I’m catching up on some stuff for work, replying to emails that I’ve been ignoring, and getting ready to unpack my bags.

I had a little bit of stupid drama when the Lyft driver dropped me off at my house. You see, I knew I didn’t bring my keys with me to Scotland. I remember explicitly telling myself to leave them hidden in my truck, under the floor mat. So, when I went to open my truck’s door, I realized that I had accidentally locked my truck doors. These keys are the only way I have of getting into my house.

After a few phone calls, I found one of my neighbors who owns a slim jim. He was able to come over, and after about 15 minutes of failed attempts, he could unlock my door. The first thing I did was check under the floor mat. No keys. I then check the center console and the glove box. Nope!

I was upset because I really don’t want to pay for someone to come out and get me into my house. Plus, I live out of town a bit, so I’m sure the guy would charge me extra for the drive. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

I used my garage door opener to get into my garage, and thank goodness I hadn’t locked the door from the garage to the laundry room. I was able to get into my house! There, sitting on my kitchen table, was my keys. I guess I was so excited to leave that I just didn’t bother grabbing them.

I look forward to the day when I start to remember things and possibly act like an adult. That day is probably way off.

For those who have followed this adventure, I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to Scotland 7 (plans and preparation have already begun). I’m not sure when I’ll be back for Ireland 3, but perhaps that will happen on the same trip? We shall see!

The End

Scotland 6: PreTrip

My plane from BWI to PVD landed just after noon- two legs down, one to go. When I turned on my phone, I had a voicemail from the Anne Arundel County police. Apparently, I butt-dialed 9-1-1. Whoops! I’m sure they got the wrong guy. Weirdly, the call isn’t showing up in my call history, though.

Here’s the problem I am now faced with: My flight doesn’t leave until 21:35 tonight, so I need to fill up the time doing something. How early is too early to check-in for an international flight? I texted Jonny, and he told me that he wasn’t looking forward to sitting around for five hours until he can catch his flight. I just wish I only had five hours here!

I asked a Delta baggage-office agent if there are any decent restaurants near the airport, and he sent me to Legal Sea Foods, which happens to be located right across the street. I had some clam chowder, followed by some dang good fish tacos. I fought the urge to order dessert. I rationalized that since I’m on vacation, it’s ok. Then I realized that I’m most likely going to eat too many desserts soon. I will remain strong (for now).

After lunch, I caught a Lyft to a nearby shopping center to get some chocolate for the flight crew and try to get a haircut. The chocolate that I found came from a place called Sweenor’s. I wanted something better than M&Ms, but not too expensive. I ended up spending about $30 on a 1 1/2 lbs. assortment. Since I’m flying Norwegian, I asked my friend and former crashpad roommate, Kyle, who now works for this airline, if he knew the crew. He said he didn’t, but that most of them were based in Edinburgh. I hope they appreciate the chocolate. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the haircut I was seeking. The lady told me that they did take walk-ins, but every stylist was fully booked for the day. I’ll have to get one on the other side of the pond.

Now I’m sitting at the Starbucks outside the Security checkpoint at the airport. This is awesome because my large 12.9 inch iPad is in front of me, and since I’m typing and sipping a venti-sized drink (an herbal tea, if you must know), I can pretend I’m one of those wanna-be screenplay writers who live in Los Angeles and hangs out at Starbucks to use their free Wi-Fi.

PVD > EDI | 21:35 (Eastern US Time)

21:35 was when we were scheduled to depart, but Norwegian actually pushed back from the gate about 25 minutes early. This was good because we’re already up in the air before our scheduled push time. I love it when this happens! I guess if you have everyone, you have everyone- let’s go! Jonny sent me a message right as I was turning off my phone. His flight was slightly delayed, and we were leaving about the same time. Perhaps we’ll land closer to the same time- he was initially supposed to have to wait for a couple of hours for me once he landed.

The crew really appreciated the chocolate, and they were terrific! I will definitely continue to look for a flight on Norwegian in the future. They impressed me from Copenhagen to New York City last year as well. They thanked me several times, handed me three bottles of water, and told me that there were empty rows in the back of the plane if I want to go back and lay down. I hope to get at least a little sleep in the next six hours and forty-five minutes. I doubt it’s going to happen, however. I’m “as giddy as a schoolboy.” I believe that quote is from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

23:40 (Eastern US Time)

I don’t know why I even try to sleep on the plane when I travel. I’ve never been able to rest. I think I may have mental problems. Perhaps it’s the fact that there are other people around? There are a few times where I’ve come close to dozing off, but I never get any rest. It doesn’t really matter how tired I am. If I don’t at least get some rest, tomorrow will be a long, headachy kind of day. Bless the flight crew who have reserved some vacant seats in the back so I can go lay down. I really don’t think it’s going to do any good. Just over four-and-a-half hours to go.

Tonight I am extremely tired!

I think I got about 20 minutes of sleep last night, but somehow I could fake it through my workday. Last night, my roommate Kyle and I decided to go see the movie The Fifth Wave. I thought it was a pretty good film, but it did lean a bit heavy on the teen-drama spectrum. While at the cinema, I had Kyle get me a large Coke Zero. This is a huge mistake, as I have recently discovered that caffeine gives me energy like it does the rest of the world.

Even though I’m already lying in bed in my hotel room in Oklahoma City, I do have a tiny bit of energy left. I think I’ll use up said power by writing about three more items on my bucket list:

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit that of the 59 U.S. National Parks, I’ve only visited 7. This is horrible, I know. So here’s bucket list item number 70: To see every U.S. National Park. I found a list of all the parks on Wikipedia. How many have you visited?
  2. Coming in at number 80 is to ride on 50 different roller coasters (starting now). This is one that I had to really decide if I wanted to do. I just know that all that jostling of my brain will give me some kind of brain aneurysm.
  3. I have only been to downtown Seattle one time so far, and that was a few months ago, while I was on a work overnight. It is a beautiful city, and I have so much to learn. Number 90 on my list is to go up the space needle.

Today I have been enjoying my second day off of work. It’s been a good one and I’ve spent at least part of it working on future blog entries, and some bucket list organization. I also managed to watch the movie Stranger Than Fiction. Interesting film but took me a little while to get lost in. It was pretty good, I guess.

I just got back from having dinner with Harrison and Kyle. It was Chinese food tonight and I had the kung pao chicken. It was quite delicious! I am proud of myself for sticking with my food budget this month. I even have $20 left for tomorrow to stay in!

I thought I’d write about a few more items on the bucket list tonight:

  1. There’s been a time or two when I’ve commuted home on Delta and since they happened to have an empty business class seat, they were more than willing to upgrade me, knowing that I am a flight attendant. I have found myself in full Southwest uniform, sitting in a Delta first-class. I guess that would make a good commercial for Delta, huh? The dream is to fly first class on purpose… this is bucket list item number 40: To pay full price for the seat and just pretend like I’m used to it. haha! I won’t show my crew badge and I won’t tell any working crew that I’m a flight attendant.
  2. Item number 54 is to go to Jerusalem. I think this could be an incredible experience! I wonder if BYU has a course I can take to learn about it, but not have to be a student at BYU- I was never smart enough to even apply for BYU. I really need to do some research on that. Is anyone aware of this?
  3. I’m told there is a place on a mountain or hill on the coast of Maine that is the very first place that you can witness a sunrise within the United States. How cool would it be to do this on New Years’ day? To be one of the first people to witness this at the start of a new year?! This is the fodder that bucket lists are made of, and is number 65 on my own list.