Yesterday morning I woke up in Newark, New Jersey.

Since Kerri, my crewmate (and fellow Utah commuter), hadn’t ever been to New York City, I felt that we needed to spend the morning in Manhattan- she agreed. We met down in the hotel lobby at 06:15 and got a Lyft all the way in the city to Ground Zero. New York City is so much fun, especially when experiencing it with someone who has never been. I’m by no means an excellent tour guide, and I don’t know tons, but I have been to the city quite a few times, and we were able to see some incredible things. I only wish we’d have had more time.

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It was a cold (but not freezing) morning! I’m surprised that Kerri didn’t require a heavier jacket![/caption]

A marijuana delivery service! How convenient and disturbing!

Ground Zero

Not only was it Kerri’s first time in the city, but it was her first subway ride!

Breakfast at Bubby’s!

Bubby’s art

I love the eclectic feeling of this restaurant!

Hungry tourists!

Bubby’s heard my complaints (and the complaints of others) and brought back their sourdough pancakes!

We decided we were cold enough to swing by an H&M to buy gloves- and a new scarf for myself!

At the M&M store on time square- we decided to get some customized M&Ms for Tim, our other crewmate who couldn’t come with us due to a friend’s emergency. The chosen messages: Fly SWA, NYC 2018, and TimSUX.

The Christmas tree at Rockerfeller Center

I need a mop bunny from H&M!

Grand Central Station

Kerri craved salty!

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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!

NYC 2017: Day 1

09.13.17 | Denver International Airport | 07:10

I love my life so much and so I often I feel guilty that I need a vacation. I guess need is a harsh word. I want a vacation, that is. I would like a brief escape from my everyday, where I won’t have to set an alarm in the morning. I thought that it was time to check off another item on my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to spend a week in New York City, as I first mentioned here on December 10th. (Link: https://davsaddiction.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/2189/) As of today, this dream is becoming a reality.

Years ago, I went to New York City for 4 or 5 delays with my friend Colee and her friend Amy. Even though that’s close to a week, I haven’t checked off bucket list item #72. This is because it wasn’t a full week in the city and because we actually stayed on the New Jersey side, taking the Weehawken ferry over each morning.

I arrived at the airport way too early! That’s the thing- if I’m going somewhere that is fun or exciting, I don’t sleep very well. I woke up at 04:00 and after 45 minutes of laying there, I decided it was time to get up and get ready. My flight doesn’t even leave until 10:20. I remember the same thing happened last year when I was going to Scotland. My body woke up so early, long before the sun even came out. My flight wasn’t leaving until about way late in the afternoon but I want to get to the airport. I remember Dawn having to tell me to relax and go back to sleep. There is no way I’d be able to fall back to sleep! Why even try?

08:42

I’m having trouble staying awake in the airport. After I get my boarding pass, in another 38 minutes, my mission is clear: Find a Pepsi.

DEN > LGA | 10:54

My seat is 27 C. The girl in 27 A told me that she is an art student on a class trip. There are about 20 students in their group, and they’re going to spend a week in New York City where they will go to different galleries. She told me that she is excited, but a bit nervous about getting around in the city. I told her not to worry and that it’s very easy.

The guy in seat 27 B is a Yogi and he’s making his way to London where he is going to attend University for the next 18 months, this will be his first time flying internationally and he’s also excited. London is wonderful, and he’s going to love it! I’d like to get back there someday. I’m somewhat jealous. At the moment, he’s sitting cross-legged doing some kind of meditation. At least he doesn’t smell like he hasn’t showered. I sometimes worry when the person next to me has dreadlocks. It’s my understanding that you can’t really wash your hair with dreads. Yes or No? Who knows?

I’m watching Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on my iPad. I don’t think Angelina Jolie does a very good job with the Lara Croft character. I’m scratching my head wondering what caused me to purchase this movie in the first place. It must have been on sale for like $4.99 or something on the iTunes store. Perhaps I bought it because Daniel Craig is in it. That’s very likely- he’s a great actor!

Jamaica, New York | 18:42

img_8018I finally made it to New York City! After a 50 minutes Lyft ride (that only cost about $32), I’m happy to have found the first Airbnb. The neighborhood is very cozy and homely. It seems rather safe. My studio apartment sits above the family home. It’s small, but more than I need. I will post more tomorrow. It’s early still but I’m extremely exhausted!


Forward to NYC 2017: Day 2

…and now- the conclusion of Scotland 5

Scotland 5: Day 58

04.27.16 | Newark > Denver | 07:27

When we landed at JFK last night, I Uber’d my way into Newark, New Jersey. That ride was horribly expensive, but my body ached a little bit from not getting any sleep on the long leg. I found a hotel for about $110 but struggled with the decision to book it at first. I thought I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep since my body hadn’t adjusted to back to a U.S. time yet. Then, I decided that it would feel so good to lay down on a bed, rather than pull an all-nighter on the floor of the airport in Newark.

I laid down on the hotel bed and was probably out cold in about 24 seconds or less. Just like I suspected, three hours later I was laying bed, wide awake. This is probably going to be the case for the next three days or so. At the moment, I don’t have to work until the 5th of May, but once my body adjusts, I may pick up a trip sooner than that. I love the flexibility of my job!

09:00

I have had the most awesome seat companion on this flight! The woman sitting across the aisle from me had a cute little dog with her. This was her “emotional support animal” (don’t get me started on that subject!). I noticed that she looked tired and kept trying to fall asleep. Every time she’d doze off, the little dog would move around and it would wake her up. After watching this for awhile, I just told the lady that if she wanted me to hold her dog, I’d be happy to, so she could get some rest. She handed me over her “little girl” whose name is Kierrie.

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Denver > Salt Lake City | 13:01

After a quick jaunt to my crashpad in Thornton to grab my house and car keys, I’m back on the plane. Excited to be home and sleep in my own bed! I’m feeling a little bit emotional and exhausted (and emotionally exhausted!). I am so thankful to have had this experience. Yes, I have been to Scotland a few times, but each trip only gets better. I love building on what I’ve learned about this culture, these places, and these people. I am by no means an expert, but maybe I will be someday.

I’m not sure when it will happen, but I’m looking forward to planning “Scotland 6”. I’ve been keeping notes about more places I’d to go, and favorite places I want to keep experiencing. Until then…

The End


Back to the beginning of Scotland 5

We didn’t have to report to the Newark airport until 17:30.

This morning was great! I had time to run around in New York City for a few hours. Last week, when I realized this was a possibility, I knew I wanted to go get breakfast at Bubby’s, located in Tribeca and home of some darn good sourdough pancakes!

During work yesterday, I really talked this place up to the other two flight attendants. After all, another coworker had told me about Bubby’s, and I feel the best thing to do is pay it forward by spreading the culinary love. I called Kristel, my coworker, and told her she had 20 minutes to get ready. I tried getting ahold of our other flight attendant, but she didn’t answer her phone. Her loss.

Kristel had her mindset on taking the train over, but I didn’t want to take an hour-and-a-half getting there. I talked her into splitting an Uber fare with me. It was perfect! Our driver was amiable and was able to drop us off right in front of Bubby’s.

We sat down, and the very first thing I said to our server was that we’d be having the sourdough pancakes. She told us that they no longer made them! I’m generally not a colossal sourdough fan, but these were something different! It was nice when I voiced my opinion, and she told me that she would grab me a comment card. A FREAKIN’ COMMENT CARD? I had to settle for some sort of pulled pork, eggs benedict meal, which, although very delicious, just wasn’t my sourdough pancakes.

Soon we were joined by Thomas, one of Kristel’s childhood friends from Texas- she hadn’t seen him since about the first grade. Thomas is a very nice guy who now lives on the upper west side and works in Manhattan real estate. I told him that I’d have him find me a pied-a-terre someday. I heard that word in the movie Baby Mama and always wanted to use it in a sentence. I’m not even sure what that is.

Thomas walked with us to find a good shopping area (I needed to buy a new coat- all I had was a jacket that was part of my Flight Attendant uniform), and on our way, we took us by the firehouse that was used in the movie Ghostbusters back in the ‘80s. Way cool!

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We stopped at one store, and the jacket I wanted to buy cost $220 (eeeeek)! I was actually tempted to get it, but thank goodness they didn’t have one my size. We left and soon found an H&M where the prices were much more reasonable. I ended up purchasing a wool coat and scarf for a lot less!

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Thomas had to get to work, so he left us to explore on our own. We walked around for a couple hours until working up an appetite for lunch. Naturally, we ended up at my favorite restaurant in the city, Morandi. Seriously great Italian food! A trip to NYC without eating there wouldn’t be half as nice!

We got back to our hotel just after 14:00. I managed to take a pretty awesome hour-and-a-half nap before having to get up and get ready. We only had to work one leg from Newark to Denver, and all except one of our passengers were extremely kind. I’m not going to bash the one guy who seems to have some personal issues. Bless his heart.
This afternoon I happened to run into one of my friends from my days at Utah State University! I was walking in the terminal, and I heard someone call my name. I turned around, and it was Allyn Shaw! I haven’t seen that boy in about 13 years or so! He looked good! I should have gotten a picture with him but didn’t think about it until later.

Tonight I’m back at the crashpad. We have a houseful of roommates, so I guess that means I will get little-to-no sleep tonight. That is usually the case with a houseful of young flight attendants who don’t know how to share a house with others. I don’t have work tomorrow, so maybe I’ll drug myself! I think I have some expired Zzzquil in the drawer.

Today I ended up in Newark, New Jersey.

Since we have a longer overnight, I thought it would be a fun idea to run into New York City for the afternoon. I got a ride using the Lyft app. Lyft is much like Uber but seems to cater to a different class of people. My driver, who drives for both Lyft and Uber, told me that this is the case. The services seemed comparable from my experience, but one thing I like about the Uber app is the fact that I can get a fair estimate in advance and send my location to a friend who can follow my journey in real-time on their own smartphone. I think that this makes Uber a little bit safer as well. Also, Uber has the option to split the far with another passenger that you may be riding with, right from the app itself. Lyft, on the other hand, lets the rider tip through the app itself (although I always tip in cash because I don’t think tips should be taxed).

I had an early dinner/ late lunch at Morandi, one of my favorite downtown restaurants. It was perfect. Since I’ve been losing weight, It had been a while since I’d had any pasta. Being back in the city was reason enough to “cheat.” It was an overcast day, but the threatening rain hadn’t started yet, so I thought I’d sit outside. I love to people-watch, especially in lower Manhattan.

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After a meal at Morandi, the server brings a postcard with your bill. This is an excellent idea!

I walked down to the SoHo Apple Store on Prince Street. This was an excellent way to try and work off some of that pasta and dessert. I needed to pick up a new external charger since I accidentally left mine on a plane a few weeks ago. This was the first time I’d been to this particular Apple Store, and there were so many employees and customers, it seemed as if it were some kind of grand opening or something. Nope, just another day at a New York City Apple Store.

I got back to the hotel just before 17:00, right as it started to rain. Perfect timing! I noticed that my room overlooks downtown Newark. One of these times, it may be fun to ride into Newark and explore. It seems to pale in comparison to the size and energy of New York City, but I’ll have to let you know for sure when I finally get there.