For my own safety and security, I usually don’t post in advance any information about the places I’m traveling to. If I do post, I never give out the dates of when I’m going to be there. I hope I’m not being overly cautious, but I’ve learned that often times, people are crazy. If I posted half the things that I happen to see when I’m riding some sort of public transportation, I’d have to start questioning my own sanity.

Most of the hotels for my work layovers are rather nice. They are nicer than anything I would ever pay. Not that I can’t on occasion afford them, I’m just far more frugal than that, when it comes to the bed I’m going to sleep in. My personal room requirements (whether I’m paying out of pocket or I’m there for work) are the following:

1. The bedsheets must be clean. The first thing I do when I get to a room is pull down the cover on the bed. If I see any marks, hairs, or even signs that someone had been in that bed, I’ll call down to the front desk and request a new room. Years ago, when I was a new flight attendant, I pulled back a blanket and found a condom wrapper. Should I just be thankful that I didn’t find the condom? New room, please.

2. The room may not smell like smoke. Not only do I hate that smell, but I don’t want it on my clothes the next day. Most importantly, I don’t want to get blamed for it. Many hotels charge anywhere from $200 to $500 for a cleaning fee if they think you smoked in the room. New room, please.

3. The shower has to be clean. We used to stay at one hotel in Las Vegas (which no longer exists) and on two seperate occasions, I found loose dirt in the bottom of the bath tub. LOOSE DIRT! That tells me that they didn’t even TRY to clean the tub. That could have been hidden by simply running the water for a moment. New room, please.

Other than that, I’m not very picky. Don’t get me wrong, I love the nicer hotels and I love well-planned decor, but those are just extras. I love a good fitness center, but I don’t include it in my must-haves, because I don’t work out as much as I should.

The other night, I found myself in College Park, Georgia. My airline put me up at a Renaissance Hotel right next to the ATL airport. This is one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in in quite awhile. So nice, that I took some pictures to share, including that picture of my dinner (Geechy Boy grits, done up right).

Travel should inspire!

Tonight I’m in Denver. Even though I’m based here, work has me staying at the Westin DIA tonight. Yet another beautiful hotel! Earlier, I took the train into downtown Denver to walk around and have dinner at The Avenue Grill. This is a great restaurant downtown that I used to come to, when I would get Denver layovers years ago. I hadn’t been in about 5 years, so it was good to get back.

I repeat: Travel should inspire!

My sister Melanie reminded me a couple weeks ago that I hadn’t updated the blog in awhile. Perhaps it’s time for me to check in. Today I worked with only half of a cylinder. This is what is also called zombie-mode. I am so tired that my head aches. Last night I was in Atlanta and was not able to fall asleep and then having my alarm wake me at 04:30. At first, I think I had too much on my mind- thinking about things I need to be doing and things I want to be doing. I have started to plan my next trip to Scotland and even though it’s about a year away. I’m already getting excited. You know when one of those lap dogs gets so excited that it has to pee? That is my current status.

Today I’m thankful for the gift of forgiveness and healing… I’m not focusing on myself being forgiven right now (which I’m also grateful for), but that I’ve been able to forgive a coworker for the most part after almost 8 months, I’m ready to move on. Many flight attendants have what we call a “No Fly List”. This is simply a list of crew members that we would rather avoid working with, if humanly possible. I worked with this certain person this past summer and at the end of that three-day trip, I really wanted NOTHING to do with him ever again. I won’t post any specific details, but just understand that I really thought he should have been committed to an insane asylum somewhere- I’m totally not exaggerating either.

We were recently assigned a work trip together, once again, and I feel that I am so blessed that we were both able to say hello, shake hands and work together without any problems or friction from our past. There’s so much more to this story and if I told you all of the details, you’d most likely agree with my original decision to avoid working with him ever again. No, he’s not my favorite person in the world, but now I know that I don’t have to give him the power to change my day.

Speaking of Atlanta, I had dinner last night at yet another Waffle House. It’s the small victories that feel so good. As you may (or may not) know, number 100 on my bucket list is to eat at 100 different Waffle Houses. Last night, I found one in College Park, Georgia, near our ATL overnight hotel. This is Waffle House #105, and the 11th location that I’ve visited so far. That’s 11 down and only 89 to go!

At the moment, I’m working a flight from New York City to Denver. Most of the passengers are fast asleep, so it’s nice and quiet! I’m looking forward to having 4 days off starting tomorrow. The plan is to be lazy, spend time with the old folks, watch General Conference, and get some things done around the house.