Earlier today, I ended my workday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I just returned from a visit to Shane Confectionery, having scored some black licorice and a bag of chocolate-drizzled potato chips. As you can see, my diet is right on track. I’m even washing down the salty potato chips with Pepsi.

Shane Confectionery has been around since 1911, but there has been a confectioner on this spot since 1863. That makes this the longest-running confectionery business in the United States. Abraham Lincoln was the president! That boggles my mind! This is 13 years before the invention of the telephone! I don’t retain historical dates as quickly as my dad, but I love historical dates and facts.

I somehow found the strength to work two flights.

A Band Plays in Market Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Last night, I only got about two hours of sleep last (thanks to a loud housemate). Tonight I’m in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When I first checked into the hotel, I wanted nothing more than to take a nap. I tried for about an hour, and then I gave up. Have you ever been so tired that you couldn’t sleep? I think that’s what’s happening. Since I hadn’t had any solid food yet today, I was getting quite hungry. I got myself together and walked into the city.

I ended up getting a sandwich from Primanti Brothers. I’ve been here a few times, and am surprised that I haven’t talked about this place. The first Primanti Brothers restaurant opened up during the great depression. Joe Primanti would later be joined by his brothers in this venture- thus the name.

This restaurant started up during the great depression. It is known, far and wide, for huge sandwiches which all come with fries and slaw (both come ON your sandwich). Hey- don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! It is simply outstanding! My only criticism is that I wish they had wheat or whole-grain bread option. They don’t, but the sandwiches are still amazing! I usually get the corned beef, but I decided to try the ‘Rajin’ Cajun Chicken.’

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Once, when I was still based in Baltimore, my crew and I arrived at PIT after our workday. The hotel shuttle was broke down, so they sent a stretch limo instead. One of my crew members happened to be from the Pittsburgh area. She asked our limo driver how much time he had until he had to pick up the next group from the airport. When we found out he had some free time, she asked if he would take us by Sarris Candies. He told us he’d be happy to take us!

We pull up in front of Sarris in our stretch limo, and everyone around was looking to see what celebrity had arrived. Sadly, it was just us- nobody that exciting. It was funny to see the heads turn, however. Just a bunch of flight attendants and pilots who had a chocolate craving!

Travel Week 4

Sunday: DEN > PHX > ATL > PHL

When we finally landed in Philadelphia, we were about twenty minutes late. I’m surprised that we weren’t even later than that. All I’m going to say about this first day is that I’m thankful for those passengers who actually pay attention to what their flight crew has to say. Some of these passengers fly for work, so they’re on so many flights-they could probably quote our safety demonstration as well as a seasoned flight attendant. Still, they put down their book or their paper, they take their earbuds out, and they pay attention.

I laid in bed on Monday morning until about 09:30. Having slept only about two hours the night before, I will take whatever sleep I can get. Just before 11:00, I left the hotel to go to Jim’s, my current favorite spot for cheesesteaks, when I come to this city. It’s only the third or fourth place I’ve tried, so I’m not an expert. The sandwich is excellent, however, and the service is phenomenal! I recorded the visit live on Periscope so you can take a look- I’m sorry the video is so long- if you’ll jump to about nine minutes and thirty seconds in, that’s when I arrive at Jim’s- check it out!

After leaving Jim’s, I had an excellent experience- I had planned on heading over to Shane Confectionery on my way back to the hotel, as I had done the last time I was in Philly, and grab some sweets to take to my crew. Unfortunately, it started to rain- even though I love the rain, this was a heavy downpour! I had to hide in the lobby of a bank because I was getting so drenched. I thought this much water might destroy my phone. I don’t know about you, but I never travel with a bag of uncooked rice for such disasters.

I made it back to the hotel, and luckily my phone still works. Maybe God sent the rain to tell me I’ve been overeating junk food, and I’m probably going to lose my foot to diabetes one day. All because I chose to go back to Shane Confectionery. Oh well- I’ll stay dry for now.

Monday: PHL > ATL > DAL > OKC

When I got downstairs to the lobby, I found out that our first leg from PHL to MDW had been canceled. This sometimes happens when there is some sort of disruption to the normal operations of an airline. So- the crew split up with the promise of being reunited on the third day of the trip. Rather than deadheading us across the country to Ontario, where we were supposed to end up, scheduling decided to use all three of us as reserves. My day was long, as I had two deadheads and only was assigned to work one leg from Dallas to Oklahoma City. 

This means that I didn’t actually have to work the first two. Some people like this, and even though it’s lovely to relax. Sometimes, this actually wipes me out more than actually working the leg does. It’s because I’m not using very much of my energy, and it seems to make the day seem longer than it actually is. Thank goodness I had a movie downloaded on my iPad. Oklahoma City was nice, but I really didn’t have time to do very much at all. My overnight layover was short, and before I knew it, I was off to the airport to work.

Tuesday: OKC > HOU > LAS > SJC > LAS

Again, deadheads! I was only asked to work two out of the four legs assigned, making my day seem very long. They had scheduled me for only 17 minutes between my Las Vegas and my San Jose flights. This means that as I hurried to my gate, all the passengers were standing there, lined up, just waiting for me so they could start the boarding process. Then during boarding, about fifty people asked me why I was late. Once everyone was on board, I announced, letting everyone know that the flight had been delayed out of Las Vegas due to air traffic control issues. This is normal for Vegas.

When our plane got back to Las Vegas, I had a message to call scheduling again. They told me that I was about to go over my maximum duty day, so instead of working back to Denver, they pulled me and put me in a hotel for the night. So my crew went on, and I went to the hotel.

Maybe I’m getting older, but Las Vegas seemed so much hotter than it had ever been in the almost year that I’d lived there. It was dark out, and it still seemed like you could fry an egg on the street! You probably couldn’t, but that’s what it felt like. I crossed the street to find a late dinner. I walked to an Indian restaurant that I really like and discovered that it was gone/moved. Luckily, I noticed an Asian barbecue place that I had never been to before. It was so delicious!

I only ended up spending about $20 and got utterly stuffed! Next time I know not to order as much. I recommend the spicy chicken as your protein (not sure if that’s what it was called on the menu). I was char-broiled, so it had the crispy texture going on. Amazing!

Wednesday: LAS > DEN

Being extended out to a fourth day on a 3-day trip means I could either get a prettier paycheck or have them pull a day from another one off my trips without pay. I chose the bigger paycheck. Finally- one more deadhead back to Denver. It’s a great feeling being done by about 07:30! This way, it feels like an extra day off!

Friday: DEN > PHX > BUF

After being off for [almost] two days, I had two easy, on-time legs to Buffalo. Even though I got along with the crew well, we didn’t do much on the layover, other than a quick meal. The Aloft, right across the street from the airport, has very nice, very modern rooms. My visit was just under eleven hours, and so I didn’t get to do much. I ended up only getting about four hours of sleep because I couldn’t clear my head. This happens to me when planning future travel.

Saturday: BUF > FLL > DEN

Today was another easy day. Some flight attendants prefer short/quick flights. I decided that the fewer flights I have to work in the day, the better. Since the only annoying part of my job is waiting for passengers to board the plane, the fewer boardings I have to witness, the better. Since I only had to work two legs today, it was a brief two-day trip like yesterday.

Tonight I’m in Philadelphia.

It’s so great when I end up with a fun and fantastic flight crew, and that’s precisely what happened! Very happy to be working this three-day trip with Anthony and Jeanette! I’ve worked with both of them in the past, but it’s been a while.

After we checked into the hotel, we quickly changed into our “normal people” clothes and met down in the lobby to find some dinner. Anthony suggested cheesesteaks (when in Rome…), and we ended up in some restaurant that starts with a ‘C.’ It wasn’t quite as good as Jim’s, which is where I usually go, but the fact that we were together as a crew made it even better.

Next, we walked down to a candy shop called Shane Confectionery, also Anthony’s suggestion. This candy shop was so excellent! It was like stepping back in time! I asked Chrissy, one of the girls working behind the counter, if she would sing to us like they do on Willy Wonka, but she wouldn’t. Even without Chrissy’s vocal stylings, it was such a great place!

All this goodness, and the only thing I bought was a piece of chocolate-covered bacon!

I recently got a new phone (Christmas gift to myself) and I wanted to go out and test the camera. As I suspected, the pictures look better on the phone than they do on my computer screen. Still, I think the quality is good enough that I don’t feel like I have to travel with a separate camera (even for bigger trips like Scotland). I decided to make a new game… well, maybe “game” isn’t the right word… a new activity. Today was the first attempt, and I think this will be a good excuse to explore more of the cities that I end up in while at work. I’m going to title this activity “100 Steps” and here are the rules:

1. Decide on a destination or goal. This can be a famous landmark, a certain amount of miles, or anything really.
2. Step out of my hotel.
3. Walk toward the goal/destination.
4. Within 100 Steps or less, I have to take a picture.
5. Post the pictures and the stories here.

Today’s goal was to go to Jim’s Steaks, one of the really great cheesesteak restaurants in this area. Many people swear they love this one the best, or they love another one better, but this is a great one that is pretty close to where I’m staying. Here I am in the historic district of Philly- I could practically hit Benjamin Franklin’s headstone from my hotel, not that I would want to. I didn’t even know the guy.

When I stepped out of the hotel, I felt the cold! It was in the upper-40s, and I was in shorts, sandals, and a short-sleeved shirt. Not my finest moment. I decided that rather than go back up to my room and change, I’d just try to walk faster than I normally do. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea for the <100 Steps thingy I was doing. Oh well, it was a wonderful walk!

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After this delicious lunch, I stopped by Starbucks for some herbal tea. I sat in the window to watch people pass by for about 10 minutes, then realized I needed to get back to the hotel to do some laundry. This is a great city. Next time I’m here, I’ll have to pick a different destination.

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