DavTravels: Season 1, Episode 12

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!

DavTravels: Season 1, Episode 9

Show Notes: 07.21.21 – 04.28.21 I’m working one flight to Boston and then back to Denver the next day. Then I road trip with Jeff, Dawn, T-bug, and K-bug for Russ and Darrien’s wedding! Then it’s off to Salt Lake City for a quick trip to visit the folks’. Next, I’m back at work where I get a surprise visit from my sister Karen, my niece Annie, and my great-nieces Missie and Pepper (whom I’m meeting for the first time)! This was my first time not only on a PWM overnight, but my first time to experience the state of Maine (bucket list items #74 and #99 are one step closer to being accomplished!

I just got back to my room at the Marriott Cancun Resort in Cancun, Mexico.

I took the advice of my “crashpad dad,” Jeff, and had the Surf & Turf. I’m thrilled that I did! The piece of prime rib that I just ate was probably the most delicious prime rib I’ve eaten since my first experience with Ruth’s Chris (see post). The lobster tail on the plate next to it was the perfect accompaniment!

If you know me- you know I don’t usually eat out this lavish. Since this is my first time in Cancun (well, my first “official” visit, at least), I thought it was worth it. The only other time I’ve been here doesn’t really count because I didn’t even have the opportunity to stop out of the jetway at the airport (see post). They give me “turns” like that just to tease me and mess with my mind. A “turn”, in my line of work, means you fly away from your base and then back by the end of the day. So you don’t get to stay on a layover/ overnight.

What does this mean? This means I can finally check off bucket list item number 13, which is to go to Cancun. I told the desk clerk that this was my first time here, and she gave me a great room that is right on the ocean! I am amazed at this beautiful view! I was so impressed, in fact, that I walked around and did a live Periscope! The video ended up begin just over 17 minutes long. It’s pretty long, yes, but it gives you a good look at the view a walk around the hotel and grounds. Click here to watch.

I wish I had a long time here, but my alarm is set, and I have to be up pretty early in the morning. Sadly, I’m coming back to the states first thing. I would mind coming down here on my own time and checking into the Marriott for at least a week.

The bad news: I threw up six times on this last work trip.

The good news: I’m not pregnant- also, after getting it all out of me, my stomach ache immediately went away. Now I just have to deal with the “squirts,” as I call them. This is what happens when I eat too much junk food. It’s the Christmas season! Passengers constantly bring me things. I’m very thankful, but this is what did me in. Throughout the night, I had to rush back and forth to the restroom, meaning I didn’t get much, if any, sleep. Soon, I was up preparing for my work trip.

The drive to the airport was very annoying. I usually do about 85 mph on the toll road, but since we had a big ole snowstorm last night, I think I maxed out at about 50. Thankfully, the other drivers were alert, and there was no slipping or sliding for two of my crashpad roommates and me. Michaela googled the temperature- with the wind chill factor, it was -6 Fahrenheit! This is the reason I’m so thankful for this next part.

More good news: I only had to work one leg on the first day! Then I found myself relaxing in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. This is my first time here! Another step to fulfill bucket list item number 74 is to have an overnight at every work location.

By the time we landed, I was pretty weak. It’s incredible how much energy you lose from tossing your salad all night long. The crew went to the lunch buffet, and I went straight to take a nap. I was worried that I wouldn’t fall asleep since I was so excited to be in Mexico. I fell asleep very fast, however. The buffet was closed for the afternoon when I woke up, so I crossed the street to a fish restaurant and ordered some fish and chips. The fried food wasn’t the best for my stomach because I seriously considered going to the restroom to purge. I ended up keeping it down, however.

The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the grounds of the all-inclusive resort where we stay. It was terrific, and I felt so spoiled. I didn’t want to venture out too far since this was my first time there, and there was some kind of drug-related hangings in the news lately. Plus, it was probably wise for me to stay closer to a restroom if you get my drift. Later, dinner was with my awesome coworkers, Deborah and Lome. We had such a fun chat! Since this was Christmas Eve, they really made it feel more like I was with family.

Day two of this trip was one leg to Los Angeles. We were done with our day by about 10:30, so we checked in to the hotel, rested for a bit, then met downstairs for lunch. We all ordered personal pizzas from the hotel restaurant since we weren’t sure which restaurants would be open if we would have ventured out.

Afterward, we went to see the movie Coco together. This is the second time I’ve seen this new Disney, and both times I got tears in my eyes. I didn’t outwardly cry since I was with the girls and had to hold my ultra-macho status, but I wanted to. This movie has such a great message! It also teaches the importance of families and shows you what the Mexican tradition Dia De Los Muertes is all about.

Again, the three of us had a meal together (it’s rare that this happens more than once on a three-day trip, but this was our third meal!). The meal wasn’t the best (the service was horrible, for the most part), but it was, once again, delightful company.

The following day, I got a text from Lome. She said she’d been sick and throwing up all night- it seemed to be food poisoning, possibly from the seaweed salad that she’d ordered for her dinner. When I checked with her last, she was on her way to see a complaint doctor; still, I’m hoping she heals fast! What a horrible way to end such a perfect trip! It was bad enough that she had to call my work’s scheduling department to be replaced on the trip, so Deborah and I were forced to work our last two legs with other flight attendants.

Happy to share (brag) that I just got back from Costa Rica!

Even though this was a shorter overnight, and I didn’t have much time to explore, I’m still happy to be able to check this overnight location off of my list! I only wish I had more time there. It’s rather annoying that this is one bucket list item that isn’t totally in my control. Usually, one sets achievable goals, and I’ve blogged about this before. Bucket list item number 74 will be fulfilled, more or less, by my employer. The goal is to get an overnight layover at every work location. The reason this may be unattainable is that not all overnights are offered for all of our bases. This means that I may have to get creative and start picking up trips out of some other bases.

When we first arrived last night, it was dark, so I could not see the countryside. The hotel we stay in, however, is lovely! Probably one of the most excellent hotels in the system, in my opinion. That’s saying a lot because my work often spoils me, putting me up in hotels that I would never want to pay for on my own. By myself, I’d be all about the Super 8 or the Motel 6. That’s just how I roll.

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As you can see, this Doubletree is nice! They even had Costa Rican Sesame Street for me (which I was very into for some odd reason, not that I enjoy Sesame Street or speak Spanish)!

On the ride to the airport the following day, the sun was out, so I could finally see some of the landscape. It is breathtaking here! And this is what leads me to a problem. Whenever I get the mere taste of a new location, I tend to become a little bit obsessed. Suddenly I must plan a fun trip to Costa Rica. I’ve heard about a company that will come to your hotel, pick you up, take you zip-lining all day, even provide you with a decent lunch on your adventure. All this for somewhere around $85. How cool is that? Will have to do more research, though.

I discovered that my old friend and coworker, Spencer, lives in Costa Rica, about 10 minutes from our hotel. He sent me a message on Facebook and let me know that he’d show me around the next time I’m in town! How cool is this?! Maybe he even has a couch that I can crash on for more extended trips?!

On our flight from San Juan to Houston, we had some of the coolest passengers. Among them was a gal named Molly, who has been a flight attendant with the company for just about 6 months. She was with two of her friends, Kyle and Tyler. We got to chatting in the back of the plane, and I told them that I would require them to take the “True Lime Challenge.” I stoled this idea from Jeremiah and Tamara, two of my awesome coworkers (you guys wanna buddy bid?). True Lime is a lime substitute that is actually made from limes. The creation process causes it to where we’re not bringing fruit across an international border, but our passengers still get lime to put in their drink. Basically, it is powdered, concentrated Lime. So without further ado, here is The True Lime Challenge (I hope you enjoy this as much as I did):

It’s been a great couple of days! Tonight I ended up in Austin, Texas. I want to shout out to my niece Annie and my nephew-in-law Easton who live somewhere in Austin. The only reason I didn’t let you know I was here is because I totally spaced the fact that you live here. Whoops! Next time I’m here, I’ll let you guys know and even take you out to dinner!

Life is good!!

Every Southwest Overnight?

So much has happened in the last few days- I hope I can do this story justice. First off, I’m happy to report that I am another step closer to checking bucket list item number 74 off (which is to stay at every single Southwest overnight). I will admit that this is one bucket list item that I may never check off wholly. The reason why is because my employer constantly changes what overnights are available to the flight attendants. Since I’m based in Denver, there are some places where we just don’t go. Now, if I were still Baltimore-based, there would be some other places that I would not be able to go- layovers that may be only available to Denver-based flight crews. Does that make any sense? Regardless, it’s good to have goals and reach for dreams, even if they may never come to fruition.

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That being said, I finally spent my first night in Memphis. After checking in at our hotel, Ashley, Will, and I changed into “regular people” clothes and had the hotel’s van driver take us to “the best Memphis barbecue.” We ended up about a mile away, at a restaurant called Central BBQ (map). Ashely and Will (who happen to be my roommates at my crashpad) got half racks, but I opted for a full rack! It was so delicious! The sauce was incredible, and the meat fell off the bone pretty magically! And just like that- bucket list item number 66 is checked off!

The Civil Rights Museum: Across the street from the restaurant is the Lorraine Motel- this is the place where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed as he stood on the motel’s balcony. It was such an unimaginable experience to be there. The motel has been preserved in the same condition that it had been back on April 4th, 1968, the day of his assassination.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot while he was standing right beside room 306. 

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This is the marked path of the assassin’s bullet.

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Next, we headed up to historic Beale Street, stopped in a few gift shops, and then sat down to hear a live blues band play. It was incredible! The perfect day, with the ideal weather- the upper ’70s and not too humid. Later, I walked back to the hotel by myself, wanting to see more of the city. Ashley and Will weren’t feeling it, and they opted to call the shuttle driver back from the hotel.

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Voodoo Shrine

Now- to report on two nights ago. We ended up in one of my favorite places: Nashville, Tennessee! Before our last flight landed in Nashville, I logged on to our plane’s wifi signal and checked to see if there were any tickets left for The Grand Ole Opry. Thank goodness- there were a few left! I asked Will if he was interested in getting tickets, and he wasn’t. I then walked to the after galley and asked Ashely and Lori the same question (Lori is our “D” flight attendant who wasn’t with us yet in Memphis but had worked with us this second day and would be staying with us in Nashville). They said they were indeed interested!

After checking in at our hotel, the four of us Uber’d into Nashville and found dinner at Dave & Buster’s, adjacent to The Opry House (map). Will was with us for dinner, but we said our goodbyes since he didn’t want to go to the Opry. He headed back to the hotel, then Ashley, Lori, and I went to the show.

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This was my second Nashville overnight, where I attended the Opry (the first time having been at the Ryman downtown- see post). Some of the artists were the same, but I was also introduced to a few new ones. Unfortunately, there were no surprise visitors, as there had been on that first visit. Maybe this is a good thing since we had to head to the airport this morning at 05:00. When Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood showed up that night, that stretch things out pretty late, and even though it was a fantastic experience, I was a zombie the next day.

Still, the show was incredible, and I need to research and find out if they do some kind of Opry season pass. I will love to get one of those if they’re not too expensive (and if they even exist).

Tonight I’m back in my own home, getting ready to sleep in my own bed. I was supposed to work another trip yesterday, but unfortunately, I have something going on with my throat that I hope doesn’t turn into laryngitis. The last time I experienced this (that I can recall) was back in December of 1996. I can remember the experience so well because I was required to sing in Handel’s Messiah over the Christmas break, and even though no sound would come out, I stood there with the choir and mouthed the entire thing. Good times!

When I worked back to base yesterday morning, I had no voice left and even had to ask the other flight attendants to make my required announcements. Today I’ve been sipping on herbal teas, and unfortunately, I can now am being bugged with a headache and sore throat as well. I hope I’m better by Wednesday when I’m planning on commuting back to work.

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!

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This afternoon I ended up in San Juan, Puerto Rico! This is the first time I’ve ever been here, and this helps me check off another overnight location from my list (see bucket list item #74). It just so happens that our crew hotel is a pretty lovely resort that sits right on the white, sandy beach! I feel spoiled right now! The only complaint I have is that we’re only here for 12 hours. I heard that the overnights used to be longer here, but those ones are hard to find, primarily since I’m based in Denver.
Once we were off the plane, we walked through the maze that is the SJU airport. After a bit of a wander, we found the shuttle that would take us to the hotel. A quick change of clothes, and my crew and I met back in the lobby. We walked down the street to Plato’s Restaurant. I ordered a dish that was pork inside of fried plantains, covered by cheese. It was incredibly delicious, even though I’ve never really been a fan of plantains. I may have been converted to loving them! One of the front desk clerks suggested this when we asked her if she could suggest some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine that wasn’t too expensive.

After dinner, we returned to the hotel, changed clothes, walked behind the hotel, and stood on the white-sand beach for a few minutes. We ended up sitting and chatting in the hot tub for about an hour. It was incredibly relaxing, but I don’t think I’m relaxed enough to fall asleep yet. Tomorrow morning we have to go back to the cold country! I’m not looking forward to having to wake up at 04:40 local (that is 01:40 to my mountain time zone body).

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