2021.08.15 – 2021.09.16: Work brings me to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina- it’s been too long! Memories of visiting The Pavillion, so many years ago! | On my birthday, I enjoy some ice cream in Austin, Texas! Birthday dinner is an amazing kielbasa at Banger’s! | I end up in Long Beach, California, excited to prepare for my next visit to Hawaii!
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.
Sunday: DEN > PHX > ATL > PHL
When we finally landed in Philadelphia, we were about twenty minutes late. I’m surprised that we weren’t even later than that. All I’m going to say about this first day is that I’m thankful for those passengers who actually pay attention to what their flight crew has to say. Some of these passengers fly for work, so they’re on so many flights-they could probably quote our safety demonstration as well as a seasoned flight attendant. Still, they put down their book or their paper, they take their earbuds out, and they pay attention.
I laid in bed on Monday morning until about 09:30. Having slept only about two hours the night before, I will take whatever sleep I can get. Just before 11:00, I left the hotel to go to Jim’s, my current favorite spot for cheesesteaks, when I come to this city. It’s only the third or fourth place I’ve tried, so I’m not an expert. The sandwich is excellent, however, and the service is phenomenal! I recorded the visit live on Periscope so you can take a look- I’m sorry the video is so long- if you’ll jump to about nine minutes and thirty seconds in, that’s when I arrive at Jim’s- check it out!
After leaving Jim’s, I had an excellent experience- I had planned on heading over to Shane Confectionery on my way back to the hotel, as I had done the last time I was in Philly, and grab some sweets to take to my crew. Unfortunately, it started to rain- even though I love the rain, this was a heavy downpour! I had to hide in the lobby of a bank because I was getting so drenched. I thought this much water might destroy my phone. I don’t know about you, but I never travel with a bag of uncooked rice for such disasters.
I made it back to the hotel, and luckily my phone still works. Maybe God sent the rain to tell me I’ve been overeating junk food, and I’m probably going to lose my foot to diabetes one day. All because I chose to go back to Shane Confectionery. Oh well- I’ll stay dry for now.
Monday: PHL > ATL > DAL > OKC
When I got downstairs to the lobby, I found out that our first leg from PHL to MDW had been canceled. This sometimes happens when there is some sort of disruption to the normal operations of an airline. So- the crew split up with the promise of being reunited on the third day of the trip. Rather than deadheading us across the country to Ontario, where we were supposed to end up, scheduling decided to use all three of us as reserves. My day was long, as I had two deadheads and only was assigned to work one leg from Dallas to Oklahoma City.
This means that I didn’t actually have to work the first two. Some people like this, and even though it’s lovely to relax. Sometimes, this actually wipes me out more than actually working the leg does. It’s because I’m not using very much of my energy, and it seems to make the day seem longer than it actually is. Thank goodness I had a movie downloaded on my iPad. Oklahoma City was nice, but I really didn’t have time to do very much at all. My overnight layover was short, and before I knew it, I was off to the airport to work.
Tuesday: OKC > HOU > LAS > SJC > LAS
Again, deadheads! I was only asked to work two out of the four legs assigned, making my day seem very long. They had scheduled me for only 17 minutes between my Las Vegas and my San Jose flights. This means that as I hurried to my gate, all the passengers were standing there, lined up, just waiting for me so they could start the boarding process. Then during boarding, about fifty people asked me why I was late. Once everyone was on board, I announced, letting everyone know that the flight had been delayed out of Las Vegas due to air traffic control issues. This is normal for Vegas.
When our plane got back to Las Vegas, I had a message to call scheduling again. They told me that I was about to go over my maximum duty day, so instead of working back to Denver, they pulled me and put me in a hotel for the night. So my crew went on, and I went to the hotel.
Maybe I’m getting older, but Las Vegas seemed so much hotter than it had ever been in the almost year that I’d lived there. It was dark out, and it still seemed like you could fry an egg on the street! You probably couldn’t, but that’s what it felt like. I crossed the street to find a late dinner. I walked to an Indian restaurant that I really like and discovered that it was gone/moved. Luckily, I noticed an Asian barbecue place that I had never been to before. It was so delicious!
I only ended up spending about $20 and got utterly stuffed! Next time I know not to order as much. I recommend the spicy chicken as your protein (not sure if that’s what it was called on the menu). I was char-broiled, so it had the crispy texture going on. Amazing!
Wednesday: LAS > DEN
Being extended out to a fourth day on a 3-day trip means I could either get a prettier paycheck or have them pull a day from another one off my trips without pay. I chose the bigger paycheck. Finally- one more deadhead back to Denver. It’s a great feeling being done by about 07:30! This way, it feels like an extra day off!
Friday: DEN > PHX > BUF
After being off for [almost] two days, I had two easy, on-time legs to Buffalo. Even though I got along with the crew well, we didn’t do much on the layover, other than a quick meal. The Aloft, right across the street from the airport, has very nice, very modern rooms. My visit was just under eleven hours, and so I didn’t get to do much. I ended up only getting about four hours of sleep because I couldn’t clear my head. This happens to me when planning future travel.
Saturday: BUF > FLL > DEN
Today was another easy day. Some flight attendants prefer short/quick flights. I decided that the fewer flights I have to work in the day, the better. Since the only annoying part of my job is waiting for passengers to board the plane, the fewer boardings I have to witness, the better. Since I only had to work two legs today, it was a brief two-day trip like yesterday.
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
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.
I 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.
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.
Instead, 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.
Since Kerri, my crewmate (and fellow Utah commuter), hadn’t ever been to New York City, I felt that we needed to spend the morning in Manhattan- she agreed. We met down in the hotel lobby at 06:15 and got a Lyft all the way in the city to Ground Zero. New York City is so much fun, especially when experiencing it with someone who has never been. I’m by no means an excellent tour guide, and I don’t know tons, but I have been to the city quite a few times, and we were able to see some incredible things. I only wish we’d have had more time.
It was a cold (but not freezing) morning! I’m surprised that Kerri didn’t require a heavier jacket![/caption]
NYC 2017: Day 10
9.22.17 | Manhattan | 23:48
I’m extremely sad to report that this was my last full day in the city. These last ten days have been so incredibly wonderful! I’m so glad I chose to come here. This is perfect timing because now I need to go home and pay off my credit card. The bank has fixed the error that was made, so at least I have the money to pay off the card! A special thank you to Chase Bank for getting their act together!
Today was good. I probably walked somewhere around 4 or 5 miles around downtown, trying to fit as much in the day as was physically possible. I did some more shopping- don’t you know I hate shopping but managed to find some more shirts and another pair of pants to wear when I go out.
I thought the perfect end to a perfect trip would be one more musical. I highly recommend you see this one when you’re in the city. Anastasia was extremely good! It was much like the cartoon, only take out the magical Rasputin character and tell what was really going on in Russian history with the Romanov family. I don’t know how accurate the storyline was, but the woman who played the part of Anastasia was perfect! I will definitely be back to see this one again!
Tomorrow morning I will board a plane and fly back to Denver for a week of work trips and then head home to Utah for a few days. I am so blessed to get to have these experiences! I hope I never become a person who takes this life that I’ve been given for granted. I’ve met so many coworkers who often do! I hope they can find whatever it is that makes them happy.
I can’t wait to come back to New York City! Wanna come with?
Back to NYC 2017: Day 1 | The End
NYC 2017: Day 9
9.21.17 | Manhattan | 23:56
My downtown hotel is a sad joke. It is located right in, or maybe just outside of Chinatown. No big deal, that’s access to some great food, after all. I walk in the front door and there is a very long staircase leading up to the front desk. When I reach the top, I have to ring the buzzer to get the clerk’s attention. He buzzes me in. Makes me wonder what this neighborhood is like. Do I dare go out at night?
This definitely was NOT the picture on display when I booked the room via booking.com. Let me describe it to you- picture a twin size bed… and that is all I need to describe the size of the room. No shelves, no vanity, no desk, no window. There was, however, a fan bolted to the ceiling (who needs a/c?). Oh, let’s not forget the stains on the ceiling tiles, from a leak in the room above me.
The restrooms are shared ones down the hall. Each bathroom smelled like either urine, feces, sweat, or some combination of those smells. It’s the kind of hotel where you know beyond that shadow of a doubt that you will be wearing shower shoes, even if you decide to just stay in your own room. The only good thing about the situation is that I saved [some] money by staying here. I really don’t hang out in my room. Rooms are, for the most part, a place to sleep and a place to store my stuff. That’s it.
Tonight was more musical theatre. I can now say I have seen the live version of Sweeney Todd. The set was a carbon coby of Harringtons, a pie shop that exists today in London. It was more like a dinner theatre, the way the cast used members of the audience in their act. Very clever! For an additional fee, they offered “pie service” where you showed up to the theatre early and ate some pie. Very clever, it being Sweeney Todd and all. I didn’t want the pie service as I’m already not eating as healthy as I should. This is an excellent movie to see for Halloween, by the way- well maybe if you’re a mature adult. The whole premise makes me hungry.
NYC 2017: Day 8
9.20.17 | Bronx | 23:47
New York City really isn’t New York City unless you stop to buy a hotdog from a guy on the street. For me, it’s always the same: a sausage (they’re larger and spicier than a regular dog) with sour kraut and mustard. There is simply no better way to eat a dog on the street! Your argument is invalid.
Today was a day for two musicals! Months ago, I bought tickets to Waitress, but it was for a matinee’. I had the night free and decided that it was best to go see another musical. I discovered this terrible app called TodayTix. The reason it’s terrible is that it takes the unsold, or returned tickets to events and sells them to you at a fraction of the price. It’s usually a good deal, but I noticed that some of the prices weren’t really deals at all. A few clicks and swipes and I was also finally able to see Miss Saigon!
Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant that was decent at best. You can always tell if the food is going to be good by how the chips and salsa taste at the beginning. My salsa was weak, probably closer to ketchup than an actual salsa. The main course was a little better, it was some kind of fish with plantains. I would order it again, but I just wouldn’t get the chips and salsa there. No, I don’t remember the name of the restaurant.
NYC 2017: Day 7
9.19.17 | Bronx | 22:41
I don’t have much to report on today. This was more or less a day of rest. It took about 4 hours to get from Staten Island to my next stop, which is the Bronx (Walk to the train, train to the ferry, wait for the ferry, ferry arrives and then breaks down for about 45 minutes, ferry ride takes about 30 minutes to Manhattan, then finding the right train that would let me transfer to another train that would take me all the way up above the Bronx zoo- it was exhausting!).
This is the first time I have stayed in a hotel on this trip. When I was booking, this seemed like the best option. After my long commute, I thought the best thing to do when I arrived was to try to take a nap. That didn’t happen, as they’re pounding away next door, building or renovating something. I was so tired, I didn’t even think about putting in earplugs.
I gave up and hopped back on the train, went down to Chelsea and walked around until I found some Mediterranean food for dinner. It was ok- some kind of lamb shoulder, I believe. Nothing worth blogging about, but here I am blogging about it.
Later on, I was looking for the right train to get back up to the Bronx but finally gave up. Come to find out, the train I needed wasn’t in service because they were doing some construction on the line. Instead, I got a Lyft ride back to my hotel. My driver took me via the upper east side, which reminded me that I really need to explore that part of the city as well. So much to see, so little time! That will happen on another trip.
NYC 2017: Day 6
9.18.17 | Staten Island | 09:27
I just finished breakfast at Mike’s Place, a restaurant that has been here for at least 20 years. The food is diner food, but it’s really good! Sort of like Denny’s but better. My Airbnb host, Ritaanne suggested that I try it since it’s only a few blocks from the house (and her son works there). One thing I didn’t realize last night is that the house here is about half a block from the shoreline! It’s so great! She told me that there once was a nice walkway and wall, but it all got wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, a few years back.
I decided to take the train and ferry back over to Manhattan and explore a little before having dinner at Mirandi. This is the first this year that has felt like autumn is coming because of the overcast weather. I came to the ground zero, the 9/11 memorial site, and I was very pleased to discover that they’ve removed the wall, so you can now walk up all the way to the fountains without having to wait in line or pay any fees. I noticed that you only have to pay to get into the museum. I’ll have to check that out another day. Also, nearby there is a new mall. The area has changed so much!
This is what I’ve been waiting for! The ferry ride back to Staten Island was perfect with the night view of the city! What a wonderful view! I have to give myself kudos, these pictures turned out rather nice, even though they were just taken with my iPhone 7.