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.

Travel Week: 3

My assignment for my two-day trip was to fly from DEN to BOI to MDW, and finally, I was to end up at CVG. I was looking forward to this since I’ve never flown into Cincinnati. Day two was supposed to work two legs back to Denver. This got me to Denver with plenty of time to kill before my 13:40 check-in.

Low and behold, my first leg to Boise had been canceled. They still had me scheduled, however, to fly the rest out of Boise. The only problem: I’m in Denver, not Boise. Sure enough, they fixed my schedule. Instead of working two two-day trips back to back, they changed it into a three-day trip.

Sunday: DEN > GRR

Other than a slight delay, we landed in Grand Rapids without any incident.

Monday: GRR > RIC > BWI > DEN

With all of the delays and reroutes happening this week, I probably had a change to my assignment at least five times. When I woke up, the plan was to go GRR > BWI > MCO > PHL. Coworkers tell me that you should never make plans because once you do, the scheduling gods know, and they end up changing your trip. It’s like a Murphy’s Law thing. I jinxed our day because I was excited to take two of my crew members to get cheesecakes in Philly.

About forty minutes into the flight, we were rerouted to Richmond, Virginia. The result was 141 upset passengers. It would have been good to be finished there for the night, but an hour-and-a-half later, we were on our way to BWI. I reminded the passenger several times that we always try our best to be on time, but safety is our biggest concern. When we finally landed in Baltimore, I walked from the ‘C’ terminal to the ‘B,’ just in time to work the last leg back to Denver- which was the latest change to my assignment.

Both of the crews that I worked with on this two-day trip were just amazing. We had so much fun laughing and joking around with each other. It almost made it worth working a late shift (not quite, but almost). I got back to the crashpad at about 02:30 and was fast asleep about fifteen minutes later.

Tuesday: DEN > FLL

Another change! When I left the crashpad, the assignment was to work two legs to San Jose, California. Instead- I was to work one leg to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This 18+ hour overnight on the beach was just what my soul needed! I was scrolling through my pictures, and then it appears that the last time I was at the beach was back in January.

I stayed at B Ocean Resort-like last time. This is located right on the water. The only thing that I don’t like is the fact that the food there is so expensive! I know this is a vacation town thing, but still. Paying thirteen dollars for a waffle on Wednesday morning was a bit much. Not waffles (plural), mind you- one waffle.

After eating, I hit the beach. The hotel has a private beach area where those staying can use one of their beach chairs for free. If you want to fork out some cash, you can upgrade to one covered with a shade. I sat in the sun for about five minutes before deciding it was time to swim in the ocean.

We didn’t even have to head back to the airport until 18:30, so I had almost a full day of relaxation and enjoyment. I only headed back inside when I was starting to turn pink. I didn’t want to get sunburn like I always do.

Wednesday: FLL > BNA > DEN

Wednesday’s workday was very easy, as we only had to work the first of the two legs. The second was just a deadhead back to Denver. It was great to see my friend and coworker Linda, who happened to be working that flight.

Now that I’ve had the mental reset from some beach time, life is good again. Not that life wasn’t good before, but this particular beach visit was just such a welcomed surprise!

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.

Finding Flint

Today I am one step closer to crossing an item off of my overly ambitious bucket list. Number 74 on the list is to stay at every single overnight that my work offers. Flint, Michigan, can now be checked off of that list! This is one of the many locations that Southwest Airlines decided to keep after inheriting it from the AirTran Airways acquisition.

After checking into the hotel and changing clothes, I thought it would be a great idea to venture out and find something suitable for dinner, this being my first Flint experience. I asked one of the girls at the front desk if they knew of a good, non-chain restaurant better than fast food but not too expensive. She said she knew just the place and suggested that I go eat at Sandals Grill & Chill. I wrote down her walking directions, and it wasn’t too long of a walk. I found an empty parking log and a ‘For Sale’ sign out front when I arrived. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

As I walked back toward the hotel, I saw a sign for Redwood Steakhouse. I went inside and immediately noticed a sign that read: Proper Attire Required. I worried that my running shorts, t-shirt, and Chaco sandals weren’t going to cut it. Thank goodness they didn’t mind. I guess they just wanted to make sure all my private parts were covered.

Chicken Valpolicella: Breast of chicken, dredged in seasoned flour, sautéed with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, pesto, butter, parmesan cheese, and finished with Valpolicella wine. Served on a bed of pesto-flavored linguine. I agree that the picture sort of makes it look like vomit-on-chicken with green stuff, but it was actually very delicious!