It’s been so many years since I’ve been to downtown St. Louis.

Travel Week

Monday: DEN > BWI > STL

When I was a new flight attendant, one of our hotels was so far into the downtown area that you could practically throw a rock and hit the famous arch, not that I would ever do such a thing. Then, for years we weren’t even close to downtown, one hotel in Westport, and I don’t remember where our other hotel was.

One of my favorite downtown St. Louis memories: I walked around the city, looking for breakfast. I came across an old-looking diner that was somewhat run-down and looked like it hadn’t been updated since the 50s or 60s. I walked inside, and one of the servers even had a bouffant-style hairdo. I thought that I had discovered some kind of throw-back, 50s-themed diner. On further inspection, I realized that this was just who these people were. This wasn’t a show or a theme restaurant.

There was one long grill that sort of reminded me of the setup of a Waffle House kitchen. The oddest part of this whole experience was that the lady standing behind the grill held a spatula in one hand and, on the other hand, a lit cigarette. She’d flip someone’s pancakes and turned to take a drag off the cigarette. Next, she would turn someone’s eggs and again take another puff. This was seriously like The Twilight Zone in my mind. The best part of this story is the fact that I couldn’t taste her cigarette smoke in my grits and eggs.

Dinner tonight was at a restaurant called Charlie Gitto’s, Italian food that has been here for over 30 years. I told the hotel concierge what I was craving, and this is the place that he sent me to. I ordered some muscles and order of lasagna.

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The muscles were just ok. Nothing wonderful, though.

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The lasagna more than made up for the lacking muscles! Next time I’ll just get the lasagna.

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A beautiful scene on my walk back to the hotel. See the famous arch in the background?

ZL0eTD%uTbWbtXzkFWJXlwOn my way back to the hotel, I stopped in the hotel lobby Starbucks for some herbal mint tea. I think that we really underestimate the power of herbs. This is perfect since the nights are getting colder, and I really wanted to sip on something terrible for myself. This is actually how I show supreme control over my cravings since I really just wanted a hot chocolate.

Tuesday: STL > TPA

TPAWhen I got to my Tampa hotel, it had just dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten any solid food yet that day. That explained why I had a horrible stomachache and had the shakes. To be honest, I had such a great morning working with my crew on our flight from St. Louis that I didn’t even think about eating.

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Legendary flight attendant Jacky (taken in 1977)

This was a Dallas-based crew and among them was a gal named Jacky, who was hired in 1976, or in other words, when I was one year old! The company wasn’t even formed until 1971, and so as you can see, she is one of the first! She is such an awesome person! Unfortunately, she has run into some hard times in her life recently, and all I’m going to say is that I am so glad that I can count her as a friend! We had a long and heartfelt chat.

I feel that sometimes too many meetings and interactions are dismissed as mere coincidence. Both Jacky and I feel like this meeting is more than happenstance. I plan on keeping her in my life!

6UG0ZoDbQDSrNAB9NgqILQMy pain of hunger was soon relieved, and I walked down the street to the Waffle House. I have been to this location before, so I’m not allowed to count it as a new one for number 100 on my bucket list, which is to eat at 100 different Waffle Houses. It was still delicious, and I got my usual fiesta omelet with a side of grits.

After filling my belly, I walked to a nearby cinema and saw Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic! It was pretty different than I thought it would be. My only complaint is that so much information was thrown at me all at once that I will probably have to go see it again. I guess I’ll wait for it to get to Redbox.

Wednesday: TPA > PHL > DEN

One of my favorite burger spots is Bad Daddy. It was great to grab 4 of my crashpad roommates and drive to Thornton for some “family” bonding. Sometimes life in a crashpad is stressful and makes me want to pull all of the hair out of my head. I’d swear that some of my roommates have never lived away from mommy and daddy’s house. I’m not going to mention any names because I know a couple of these offenders occasionally read this blog.

On the flip side, there are these times where we’re really bonding as a group, and it does feel more like a real family.

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Thursday: DEN > MCI

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it- I love days where I only have to work one leg. It makes this P.M. shift a little easier to handle. Passengers are less likely to drink in the mornings and are therefore less likely to make stupid choices. I ended my day in Kansas City, Missouri. Thursday night was a slam-click since I was dog-tired.

Friday: MCI > AUS > EWR

We finished our Friday, just before midnight. My co-worker Brooke and our first officer (whose name I don’t recall) met for a late dinner at the hotel bar. It’s always great when crews get together off the plane, although it’s weird seeing them in regular clothes. I ordered a Cuban sandwich.

This morning I set out in a Lyft to go to the mall. The four-mile drive literally took my driver 40 minutes. He was getting so into whatever he was talking about that he kept taking the wrong turns and the ride ended up costing me so much more than it would have. The kicker: His G.P.S. was right, but he wasn’t paying any attention to it! No tip for you! I complained, and Lyft gave me most of my money back.

When he finally dropped me off, I walked around for a bit (this counts as a workout). I bought some new shoes (I may have left a shoe in one of my hotels last week, and I need two, you see), and I saw Justice League. Turns out that this may be the best D.C. Comics movie so far… at least I think so.

It’s time to get ready for work. I’m posting this now since I’m not done until late tonight, and I’ll probably forget if I don’t. Here’s to hoping for safe/quick flights and passengers who don’t want to drink, only sleep!

I don’t post an entry every day.

Even though I don’t post every single day, like a real, disciplined blogger, I’ve decided to start a weekly post letting you know where I’ve been traveling to. Often, one boring layover isn’t substantial enough for its own post, but I do have people ask me where I’m going and what I’m doing. Maybe a week’s worth of activity will justify a post. So here goes-

Travel Week

LAS

On Monday night, I ended my workday in Las Vegas. It’s been a few months since I’ve been to this city. I’m constantly reminded of when I lived there with my cousin Mike. We lived out in Henderson, but it was a quick drive to the Vegas strip for work.

Las Vegas is filled with good memories. At that time, I was working at The Monte Carlo as a spa attendant. My short overnight meant that there wasn’t enough time to run around town and make questionable decisions. On this particular stay, I had just enough time to get 8 hours of sleep, an hour to get ready the following day, and a few extra minutes to cross the street to the CVS and buy a new toothbrush and toothpaste.

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Celebrity sighting: On my flight from LAS to BNA, I recognized Hunter Hayes! He was such a nice and cool guy. I love it when celebrities aren’t full of themselves!

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I was very privileged to work with Rachel. She is a funny girl! I’ve never met anyone who loves country music as much as myself! She lives in Nashville!

SAT

On Tuesday night, I found myself in San Antonio, Texas. We stay at the perfect hotel, in the ideal location, but my overnight was just too short to do anything fun. It was pretty much a slam-click kind of night (this is a term that flight attendants to describe those who don’t want to go down and be with their fellow crew members, as in-you slam the door closed and click the lock… one who does this a lot and isn’t social on the overnight is labeled a “slam-clicker”).

Wednesday night was back to DEN, and I enjoyed all of Thursday off. I stayed at the crashpad where I have forced myself into my dear friend Dawn’s family. It’s great having this second family- where her grandsons are being raised to know that I’m an uncle. I’m pushing for “Favorite Uncle” status, but I feel that the kids will have to decide this independently. I will do my best to plant that seed.

ISPOn both Thursday and Friday night, I ended up on Long Island in New York. The first night I found a haircut, and on the second night, I managed to find a pretty good burger for dinner. Also, on the second night, the hotel was hosting a Dr. Who convention. It was hilarious to see all the funky costumes that the attendees were wearing. It was actually more scary than hilarious.