Just as I thought, today was a struggle of needing to get things done and wanting to relax. I woke up before the sun and had planned on driving into Salt Lake City to give Lyft rides to the morning commuters, but on my way, it started to rain. I decided to grab some groceries and head back home. I was back home by about 09:30 and I soon fell back to sleep and got a nice, long nap. This was great, especially since I’d been going since 05:30 or so.

Tonight I’m packing bags, getting everything ready. I have a work trip tomorrow morning. The reason I didn’t commute to my base is because the first leg of the trip is a deadhead from Denver to Salt Lake City. My plan is to call scheduling tonight and ask them to release me from the deadhead, and just meet my trip at SLC tomorrow morning. I’ve never tried this before, but I know plenty of coworkers who have. I hope I’m with a great crew- I haven’t even checked who I’m working with yet.


Number 18 on the bucket list is to raft on the Colorado River. I remember about 18 years ago, or so, my buddy James surprised me with a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What I remember about that trip is going to a dinner show where the Bar J Wranglers performed, camping, and rafting down the Snake River. There were two parts of the rafting trip, one that was slow and serene and the other was more rapids. Somewhere in my stuff, I have a picture of us rafting in the white water. Once I come across it, I’ll have to post it. I remember it’s hilarious!

I’ve been told that the Colorado River has some of the best whitewater around. I decided that I’d love to have this experience. I have enough coworkers who live in Colorado that I don’t think it’ll be too hard to find friends who are interested. This could be an amazing trip!

I love the fact that I am sitting in my own home. I do love all of my travels, and it’s nice to stay in hotels (not having to make a bed), but I will never underestimate the comfort of my own bed! IMG_7318And just between you and I, I rarely make my bed at home. I don’t understand the point… I’m just going to mess it up anyway. Sadly I’m only in my own bed for two nights. On Friday morning I’ll wake up extremely early to head into Salt Lake City and join my work trip that will already be in progress. That’s the plan.

Usually, when I get home from working a bunch of trips in a row, I like to take most of the first day off and get some relaxation. You’d be surprised how your body just needs to shut down for awhile. I rarely feel what I would consider jet lag because of my work, but it still sometimes runs me into the ground. Normally, I’ll keep my phone off, at least for the first half of the day and just do light chores around the house- maybe even pop in a movie or something. Since I only have one full day off, however, this may be an interesting combination of trying my best to be lazy whilst simultaneously getting a whole lot done. We’ll see which part prevails in the end. I think I already know the answer.

Before I fall asleep, I want to discuss two more things on my bucket list. Number 22 is to attend 50 different state fairs. This is awesome. I remember growing up in southern Arizona- I would so look forward to attending the Graham County fair each year. This was even before my dear friend LaDawn introduced me to guinea pig night. Let me tell you- this changes everything! This is the first night of the fair, which was always a Thursday. You’d get to pay one fee and ride as many rides as you wanted. The other nights, however, you were required to buy tickets. The rider operators would take anywhere from one to four tickets, depending on how cool the ride was. But not tonight- tonight we are guinea pigs- but back to what I was talking about: this summer, I hope I’m able to attend a bunch of county fairs. I started to do the research a couple years ago, and most of the counties in Utah are involved in this.

Coming in at number 93 is to attend 10 different state fairs. Picture county fairs, but add way more rides and way more people. The entertainment is much, much better too. I remember once when I was in high school, a bunch of friends and myself road tripped three hours to Phoenix to attend that Arizona State Fair. This was so that we could go to a Vince Gill concert (Vince just so happens to be one of my mom’s country music singer crushes). There is just something wonderful about large gatherings of trashy people- I live for it.

My alarm is set for 03:25!

Even though it has been a long day, I thought it would take a few moments to post before I fall asleep. The pressure is on since I have been posting so frequently. Today I worked three legs, and this afternoon I ended up in Warwick, Rhode Island. It’s funny that yesterday I was in the sun of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and tonight it has to be 30-something degrees here in the Northeast. I was chatting with one of my coworkers earlier, and she told me that she always has a swimsuit, sandals, a jacket, and an umbrella in her flight bag. You never know exactly where you’re going to end up, and even when you think you do, that can all change in an instant. It usually happens right after you make plans for your family over. Somehow the scheduling gods know this, so they change everything up.

Speaking of Albuquerque, one of the things on my bucket list that I failed to mention in last night’s post is bucket list item number 83: I’d like to ride on the Sandia Peak tramway! This is one of the things that our Lyft driver who took us to the restaurant told us that we simply had to do. I didn’t mention to her that this was something that was already on my list.

I leave you tonight with a picture of my dinner. I don’t want this block to become all about food, but since food is something that I am rather passionate about, I guess it works. Yet another addiction of mine- I’m surprised that I don’t weigh a lot more than I do.

Pork Osso Bucco: braised pork shank served with roasted root vegetables and mashed potatoes

This afternoon, I ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What’s my favorite thing to do while in New Mexico? I’m glad you asked! Eat! Duh! One of our passengers told us that her favorite restaurant here is called Sadie’s. She told us that she’d been gone from Albuquerque for 5 days and desperately needed to “get her green chile on”. I concur! My coworker Kendall and I decided to do just that. After checking in at our hotel, and changing into normal-people clothes, we grabbed a 13-minute Lyft ride. Since a picture paints a thousand words, here is a thousand words for you:

IMG_7308.JPG

Chile Rellenos at Sadie’s

Whenever I am in this great city, I think about the time when my parent’s gathered up some of my nieces and one of my nephews and drove them 8-hour from southern Arizona to see the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival. When they finally arrived, they found out that the festival had been canceled, due to excessive winds. My mom tells me that they took the kids out to eat, and then turned around and drove all the way back home. Ugh!

Number 101 on my bucket list is to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Along the same lines, number 51 on my bucket list is to ride in an untethered hot air balloon. I did get to ride in one when I was younger but unfortunately, it was tethered to the ground, so I don’t count it.

kp0ungu

Image Credit: imgur.com

IMG_7306.JPG

This was my chicken-warming gift to Dawn. Chicken-warming is a thing, right?

Tonight I’m back in Brighton, Colorado. I think it’s going to be a good evening- most of the loud roommates are out of the house, and hopefully they won’t be back anytime soon. We all get along just fine, but you can tell that for some of them, this is the first time they’ve lived away from their parents.

For some of them, this flight attendant gig is the first real career they’ve had- it’s taking them a bit longer to grow up. They’re young and they get to travel for their job. Some of them work for a horrible airline, that treats the employees like dirt, but it’s all they know, so they love it.

Here’s the rule: If you’re going to live in a shared living space you need to pitch in every once in awhile. At the very least, make sure you pick up after yourself. I will be the first to admit that sometimes my house gets messy, but there’s a lesson that my dad taught me when I was young- DON’T LEAVE YOUR CRAP OUT FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO HAVE TO CONTEND WITH… or something along those lines. So this is why I do clean house often. You never know when you may have unexpected visitors. Just kidding- nobody visits me. Still, it’s good to clean.


Ok, on to something worth reading: Coming in at number 99 on my bucket list is to visit every single state in the United States. This one is only a matter of time since I only lack 4: Alaska, Hawai’i, Maine, and South Dakota. This has very little to do with my job- growing up, we would drive ‘cross-country from Arizona to South Carolina and each year my dad would drive us to different places. It helps that he was a history professor and needed to hit many of the civil war battlefields.

 

Last night’s sleep in Fort Lauderdale was not that best.

At 23:40, the fire alarm went off- for about 20 minutes. I went down to the front desk, and they told me that it was a false alarm and that everything was OK. After that, I really wasn’t able to fall back into a deep sleep, just a little snoozing now and then. Pretty soon, it was 03:30, and my alarm was going off.

We worked three legs, but when we landed, my body had felt as if it had worked about seventeen legs. This is partially due to my lack of sleep last night and partly because we happened to have two medical emergencies on our very first leg. I’m happy to report that both affected passengers walked off the plane when we landed- there’s nothing more I could ask for! Not fun at all, but an essential part of this job that I love.

IMG_7298

When we checked into our hotel, I wanted nothing more than to lay down and take a long nap. The only thing that kept me from doing this was because I was long overdue for a haircut. I was starting to look like Wolverine, only without those really excellent blades that extract from my knuckles. I googled where to get a haircut, and even though I just needed something cheap, I ended up at Roosters, a Men’s Grooming Center.

I walked inside and asked the receptionist if they had an opening, and as luck would have it, they did! A girl named Serenity walked me over to her chair, and after telling her what I wanted, she gave me an adorable haircut. She asked me what I would do with my facial hair, and I told her that I would probably trim it up when I got back to my hotel. She said she would fix it up for me.

tumblr_ml7fpbcpk21s4rha3o5_250

Suddenly, she leans my chair back and starts to give me the most incredible facial massage. I don’t know what lotions or oils she was putting on me, but it was nothing less than excellent. This thing lasted about 25 minutes too! If you’ve ever had a great massage when you were particularly stressed, you may have been close to tears- this is what I was feeling. I didn’t cry in front of her, but I really wanted to! This was just what I needed for my stressful day! I also kept thinking: I wonder how much this is going to cost me!

After a hot towel treatment, she shaves my sideburns off. This is done the old-fashioned way, with a straight razor and soap. It’s how I imagine this was done in barbershops log ago. I decided to keep my goatee just so I don’t feel totally naked in the face. She places a cold towel on my face to close my pores- without any warning. Woah! That woke me right up!

I found an excellent smokehouse restaurant for dinner called Epic. Get the ribs- they are phenomenal! It was the perfect finish to this roller coaster of a day! I just set my alarm for 04:00. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! I am so blessed!

When I was leaving Colorado early this morning, a late winter storm was pushing through Denver.

IMG_7279

Not a bad view from my hotel room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

On the news, they told us that they could experience up to 6 inches of snow. We took off a few minutes behind schedule since we had to wait in such a long line to get de-iced. That was this morning- this is now- one work leg, and now I’m sitting in a beach-side hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

After a failed attempt at a nap, I decided it was time to go find a late lunch/ early dinner. I ended up across the street at Bahia Cabana, a marine-side outdoor restaurant. A coworker introduced me to this place a few months ago, and I was happy to return and order the fish tacos, just as I had the first time.

IMG_7282IMG_7280IMG_7281

IMG_7283When I traded into this trip yesterday, I envisioned a fun swim in the ocean. Today, however, I was faced with the reality that Fort Lauderdale is quite windy and even a little bit chili. Yes, Florida is cold today- I thought I’d never see the day. Still, I needed to get at least a walk up the shoreline. It felt like incredible therapy and a welcome departure from stormy Colorado.

IMG_7287I walked about a quarter of a mile, but since most of it was through beach sand, it felt more like a mile and a half. I could definitely feel the burn in my legs! I soon found one of my favorite treats: ice cream.

It was a nice little walk, but now I’m back at my hotel, hoping to fall asleep before too much longer. I have a feeling that my 03:30 alarm is going to sting, just a little.

IMG_7257I had the day off of work, and rather thank spend one whole day at home, I stayed at the crashpad. Today Jeff, my crashpad dad, and I pretended to be farmers. Next to the barn, behind the house, there is a chicken coop. It needed some fixing up, so that was today’s activity. After a quick ride on the tractor with Tatum, we were off to the farmer supply to pick up some chicken wire, some wood chips for the floor of the coup, six chicks, and two ducks.

IMG_7260IMG_7261IMG_7262IMG_7263

IMG_7265Adrian was right out there working with us. This means so much to me since there were a few other roommates who chose to stay inside and not help. He actually made the job more fun, with his sense of humor. I’m enjoying getting to know him a little bit better. You really know who someone truly is when and if they show up to help.

In his own words, “I feel like an underpaid Mexican.” Funny because he is a second-generation U.S. citizen whose parents came from Baja Mexico.

IMG_7273Whiz came out after awhile to inform us that he was there to supervise. The only reason he hadn’t come out earlier is because he was resting from a rather vicious work trip.

Even though we were almost finished by the time he arrived, I still commend him for at least showing up. I know that if we’d have needed help, he would have put on some shoes and helped out. It’s just the kind of person he is.

IMG_7271

Jeff is Dawn’s husband and therefore the “Dad” of our crashpad. The more I get to know this guy, the more I appreciate him.

IMG_7276

6 Chickens

IMG_7275

2 Ducks

You know that horrible feeling that you get when you forget or lose something important?

It can be something as simple as placing my phone or wallet in the wrong pocket. When this happens, it sometimes feels like someone kicked me in the gut. I may as well have been robbed at gunpoint. I’m pretty sure that it would think about the same.

This morning, as I was stowing away my bags on the plane in Boston, I realized that my backpack was missing. I was overcome with that instant panic. At first, I wasn’t sure where I had left it. My guess was that I had set it down when I’d come through security. I told my captain that I’d be right back and ran as fast as possible through the airport, back to the security checkpoint. I then discovered that nobody had seen a bag left behind.

That was horrible! I figured that I had left it back at the hotel! All of a sudden, I’m incredibly thankful for two things. The first is that we stayed at a hotel that is right next to the airport- I wouldn’t need a cab or a shuttle to get me back there. The second is the fact that my first flight was only booked to 37 people. This meant that I just might have time to sprint all the way back to the hotel, find the bag, and make it back to my plane before it was too late. It might be possible.

Let me tell you this- if you would have been inside Boston’s Logan Airport this morning, you would have seen the absolute fastest mad-dash out of the airport and to the hotel. I can only imagine that I had a look of dread on my face. Here’s the thing: As a flight attendant, if I am the cause of a delayed flight, that could result in disciplinary action, which could turn into suspension or worse. I’m over 12 1/2 years into this career, and I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.

Now you’re beginning to understand why I was in such a hurry to find my bag. A bag, which by the way, contained my electric flight attendant manual, an item that I’m illegal to fly without. Not to mention my personal iPad, laptop, and wallet. If I’d have left any other bag, it wouldn’t be the end of the world- Walmart can provide most of what I need when I’m on a work trip.

I get to the front desk, show my i.d., and ask for another room key. I make it to my room on the 5th floor, only to find out that my missing bag isn’t in there. I run back down to the desk clerk and ask if any black backpacks have been turned in. She calls security, they tell her they have my bag! I’m so thankful, but now, as I’m waiting for them to bring my bag, I’m looking at my watch. The time was now two minutes past when I was supposed to be on the plane to start boarding.

I realize that it took longer for security to bring me my bag than it took me to run from the plane- all the way back to the hotel. I’m relieved that the bag is on its way but very worried I’m about to cause my first delayed flight. My mind starts to wander- I’m wondering which airlines are hiring right now if this all goes from bad to worse. British Air or Emirates would be a blast! Delta would let me be based in Salt Lake City or Seattle- now there’s an idea! Finally, my bag arrives, and now comes another sprint back to my plane.

I made it back to the plane about 15 minutes late, but with plenty of time to board 37 passengers and still push back from the gate early! I am incredibly grateful that a potentially harmful situation was avoided and that I made it back with time to spare! Sometimes I’m such an airhead!

Tonight I ended up at Dulles International Airport and am staying in Herndon, Virginia. I just finished some fish tacos (pretty good, not great) and am looking forward to a night of deep sleep. Before I nod off, I thought I’d talk about another item on my bucket list.

Coming in at number 16 on the list is to attend a circus. I’m not sure how or when this will happen since most U.S. circuses are now gone. I’m not sure if it’s an animal cruelty thing, but I think this would be cool to have this experience. Perhaps I’ll have to attend a Cirque Du Soleil event and call it good. Or maybe they still have traveling circuses in Europe? Time to do some research!

Since my last post, I’ve been on a couple of work trips. Sadly, I have to be in a certain mood to update this blog. Whatever the opposite of writer’s block is- that’s the mood I have to be in. Hmmm, I’ll call it writer’s flow. Tonight I’m in Brighton, Colorado, at my crashpad and am feeling a little bit of the flow, so I’m going to take advantage of the situation and here is an update for you.

Coming in at number 87 on the bucket list is to ride on the Silverton Train. One memory I have from when I was young is listening to my cousin Carrie’s C.W. McCall album for. I’d close my eyes and these songs would transport me to another place and time. They remind me of home. Sadly, Carrie has since passed away but I’m happy to have found C.W. McCalls’ Greatest Hits album on iTunes.