Hello, and welcome back to your annual story time of Ben and Sarah’s international adventures! Keeping with the tradition of the last few years, Sarah and I visited with her family, this year going back to Scotland.
Saturday, 21-Dec-2019 through Monday, 23-Dec-2019
I think those dates are correct… right? Probably?
Traveling days are strange. I doubt I’m the first one to say it, but it absolutely bears repeating – Travel days are strange, and time doesn’t quite seem to flow normally.
That was especially true for this trip, because our flights didn’t quite go as planned…
I thought I was being smart. I forced myself to stay up late Friday evening, putting myself a bit to the East in terms of time zone… which should have helped me adjust to Scotland time, in my mind. However, when our flight our of San Francisco was delayed, it meant that I wasn’t what you would call “awake and aware”… much less feeling ready to battle with the airlines and their confusing rerouting plans.
We worked through it though, and were able to get new flights scheduled – direct from San Francisco, this time, which we figured would be a nice bonus. Long flight, lots of things to work on… good deal, right?
Our original plan was to fly to San Francisco, then on to Dallas, then Heathrow, and then to our destination in Aberdeen. We ended up flying to San Francisco, staying overnight, then flying straight to Heathrow and then on to Aberdeen. Not a huge difference, and it did give us a chance to walk around the city a bit, and even see my cousin Emma!
I’m jumping all over the place on this blog… But bear with me. So we flew to SFO, then got delayed. We made a few phone calls, rebooked our flights, and then tracked down a place to stay. We could have stayed with friends or family, but in all respect to us… we were a mess at that point. All we wanted was a soft bed, some food, and not having to think about anything at all.
The airport hotel did perfectly for all of those needs. We did price-check, of course, and it was roughly the same price as the “preferred budget options” that the Airline told us about, so good deal, right?
We got there, checked in, rested for a bit, and then headed downstairs for some much-needed food. I’ll admit that the trip back down from the hotel room was much more difficult than it had any right to be, most likely due to a combination of being tired and hotel beds being strangely magnetic… but we did make it down, finally.
Was it worth it?
I don’t think I can say “yes” emphatically enough.
The Grand Hyatt is a lovely hotel, and that’s cool and all, but the restaurant is where it’s at. The food was glorious, and the waiter was quite possibly the best that I’ve had, ever. He was friendly, accommodating, and very relaxingly positive. The menu looked awesome, but I just wanted a comfort-food hamburger… so he asked the chef, and they brought out the best (yet most chill) burger ever. THEN, on top of it all, he brought out glorious desserts, compliments of the house.
Yeah, it was pretty good.
Anyways, enough chanting the praises of the food – it was a good way to end a rough day, and we slept like logs afterward.
The next day, we had some time before we’d even be let back into the terminal – so we explored San Francisco a bit more! Nothing exceptional, but we kept quite well to the theme of relaxed chill times… we had a nice cup of coffee at the hotel, then had an early lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in the city (Kiki’s Japanese), walked around Golden Gate Park, and then got the chance to visit with my cousin Emma for a few quick hours before heading back to the hotel to get our bags, and then mosey onward to the terminal, and Scotland!
The flights across the pond were quick and simple in comparison to the start of the adventure, and we landed in Aberdeen without too much challenge. The only touch and go part was in Heathrow, trying to find out information about our checked baggage… but I’ll leave the whole checked bags story for another time.
For now, all we need say is that the flights were beautiful and that first-class is an amazing experience that I’m hugely thankful for!