SOME EXCITING NEWS!

I know I’ve been slacking when it comes to writing posts regularly. Life has just been so darn crazy lately, and I just realized I haven’t even explained the main reason why! It’s so exciting- are you ready for it? 

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!!

That’s right! My fiancé and I finally agreed on a house and bought it! I’ll admit, I was the one that was super picky, she liked just about every house we saw. It took us a little while, but it really was quite drama free when it came to closing on this house. It’s a beautiful ranch style house on the end of cul-de-sac, and we are in love! Took us 2 months, but the walls are painted, cabinets and doors are repainted, framing is done, and the new floors are put in! I will be the first one to say, my fiancé did all of the hard work. I mean ALL of the hard work. She somehow managed to work at home for 4-6 hours each day, painting, sanding, etc. and then went to work all night! I truly don’t know how she did it, but I am so impressed and appreciative of her. 

The house looks amazing, and as Chip and Joanna would say- she’s passed the baton to me! Now it’s my turn to find the furniture and other pieces for our new home. I’m still just so in shock every time I see the house- it’s really ours! 

I don’t have many pictures yet, but once I do- I promise you’ll be seeing them up here on the blog. But, if you follow me on Instagram you can see some before & after pictures on there- go check it out! 

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WHOOPS! 24 HOURS IN NEW YORK CITY!

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I was working a trip this week, and it somehow fell apart! If you’re not familiar with flight attendant schedules or legalities, let me explain. I can only work for a certain amount of hours per day (for safety reasons), and if a flight gets delayed, or cancelled, or there’s bad weather somewhere, my entire trip can change based on the needs of the company and how long I’ve already been working for the day.

I was supposed to go to Fort Myers, Florida but my plane was over 3 hours delayed in Newark, New Jersey. When I called scheduling to have my trip changed, they gave me 24 hours in Manhattan before I had to go back to work! Hotel and transportation included. DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I WAS?! 

The first time I went to NYC, I was definitely hesitant to get out on the streets and explore by myself. But not this time! All I had were ripped jeans, a tank top, and flip flops (I was supposed to be in Florida, remember?) but that didn’t stop me! There I was, typical California girl wandering through Midtown in flip flops. But I didn’t care! 

I got up early, threw my Florida clothes on, and headed out into the concrete jungle. I walked through a part of Central Park, stopping at the zoo along the way. Walked past Rockefeller Center, the NBC studios, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I wish I could have done more, but I only had limited time because I needed to get back to the hotel for a quick nap before I worked that afternoon. 

The funny thing is, I used to be the type of person that HATED change. Okay, I still don’t like change. But this time, it worked out. This change was much better- and I completely enjoyed myself. I can’t wait to go back to New York City, I’m already starting to plan my next trip. I can’t wait to share the pictures I took!

 

TO THE FLYING PUBLIC: WE’RE SORRY

We’re sorry we have no pillows.
We’re sorry we’re out of blankets.
We’re sorry the airplane is too cold.
We’re sorry the airplane is too hot.
We’re sorry the overhead bins are full.
We’re sorry we have no closet space for your oversized bag.
We’re sorry that’s not the seat you wanted.
We’re sorry there’s a restless toddler/overweight/offensive smelling passenger seated next to you.
We’re sorry the plane is full and there are no other seats available.
We’re sorry you didn’t get your upgrade.
We’re sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he “looks like a terrorist”.
We’re sorry there’s a thunderstorm and we can’t take off.
We’re sorry we don’t know when it will stop.
We’re sorry you’re crammed into a space so small that if you were an animal PETA would protest.
We’re sorry our plane has no music or video entertainment for your 3 hour flight.
We’re sorry we ran out of your favorite soda.
We’re sorry there are no more sandwiches.
We’re sorry that Budweiser costs $6.
We’re sorry we don’t have diapers for your baby.
We’re sorry we don’t have milk for same baby.
We’re sorry you can’t hang out by the cockpit door waiting to use the bathroom.
We’re sorry you can’t hang out at the back of the airplane.
We’re sorry you have to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.
We’re sorry you have to put your seat up for landing.
We’re sorry we don’t know when we’re going to land.
We’re sorry we don’t know whether your plane to (substitute any city in the world) will be waiting for you when we land.
We’re sorry we’ve been diverted because we ran out of gas waiting to land.
We’re sorry for these and so many other things that we have absolutely no control over but which we are held accountable for EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Please understand. Flight attendants are not the enemy. We share your space. More than anyone, we want to have a nice, pleasant travel experience.

There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure.

We don’t just make stuff up. We don’t spend 8 weeks at the flight academy learning how to pour a Coke. There are many things that flight attendants are watching for constantly on every flight FOR YOUR SAFETY. It’s not because we’re bored or so controlling that we just enjoy telling people what to do. I, for one, would like to have one flight where I didn’t have to repeatedly tell people to put their seats up for landing. Seriously. Can’t you just do what we ask sometimes? Without the glares, eye rolling and disdain? For the record, putting your seat up for landing may not seem that important to your personal safety. However, it is very important for the person sitting BEHIND YOU. If you have ever tried to get out of a row where someone has their seat back you know it can be a challenge. Try grabbing your ankles (emergency brace position) or getting out of that row quickly with smoke in the cabin.

Understand a little better now?

Many of the things we ask passengers to comply with are FAA directives. Like carry-on bag stowage and exit row requirements. When we can serve drinks (in the air) and when we can’t (after the aircraft door is closed or on an active taxi-way). We are only allowed to move about the cabin during taxi out for safety related duties. We can’t get you blankets, or hang coats, or get you drinks. It’s not because we don’t want to. It’s because we are held personally responsible if we fail to comply with FAA directives. Meaning that the FAA can fine us personally up to $10,000 if we fail to comply or enforce an FAA Directive.

Like no bags at the bulkhead. No children in the exit row. No one moving around the cabin during taxi. Perhaps now you know why flight attendants get a little testy when people move about the cabin when they’re not supposed to. It’s not the company that gets in trouble for that. It’s us.

Personally, I wish the airlines would show worst case scenario safety videos. Like what happens if you walk through the cabin during turbulence. There could be a guy who has just fallen and smacked his face on the metal armrest and now has a bloody, gushing broken nose. Or an elderly lady who now has a broken arm because someone walking to the bathroom fell on her.

Maybe a passenger with a broken neck because somebody opened an overhead bin during turbulence and a suitcase fell out and onto the person sitting beneath it. These things can easily happen in a fast moving, unstable air environment.

Please just trust that we are looking out for your best interest and stop fighting with us about everything we ask you to do. It is exhausting.

Finally, please, please direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for CHANGE.

Think about it. Complaining to the flight crew about all your negative travel experiences is about the same as complaining to the office janitor because your computer isn’t working. It may make you feel better to vent about it, but it really won’t fix anything. More than anybody we are already aware of the lack of amenities, food, service and comfort on the aircraft. Please share your concerns with the people in the cubicles at corporate who need that information to make better decisions for the flying public.

It’s frustrating that so many people are in denial about what the travel industry is about now. The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company. So be prepared. If you are hungry, get a sandwich before you get on the plane.

If it’s a 3 hour flight, anticipate that you may get hungry and bring some snacks. If you are cold natured, bring a wrap. Think for yourself and think ahead. Otherwise, don’t complain when you have to pay $3 for a cookie and are left with a crusty blanket to keep you warm.

We hear often that the service just isn’t what is used to be. Well, the SERVICE we provide now isn’t what it used to be. When I was hired, my job was to serve drinks, meals, ensure that safety requirements were met and tend to in-flight medical issues.

Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist. 9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a person al responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone’s intentions.

It is difficult to be vigilant and gregarious at the same time. Especially when most of us are working 14 hour days after layovers that only allow 5-6 hours of sleep. Not because we were out partying and having a grand time on the layover, but because the delays that you experience as a passenger also affect us as a crew, so that what was a 10 hour layover is now 8 hours which doesn’t leave a lot of time to recover from what has become an increasingly stressful occupation.

Despite everything, I still enjoy being a flight attendant.

I am writing this letter because I do still care about my profession and about the public perception of flight attendants. In the increasingly challenging travel world it is becoming more imperative than ever for people to just be decent to each other. I can go through an entire day without one person saying anything remotely civil. I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back.

I will try to serve someone a meal who can’t be bothered to take their headsets off long enough for me to ask them what they want. Most of the time the only conversation a passenger has with me is when they are complaining.

Is it any wonder why flight attendants have shut down a bit? After suffering the disdain of hundreds of passengers a day it’s difficult sometimes to even smile, much less interact. We are human. We appreciate the same respect and courtesy that passengers do.

The next time you fly, try treating the flight attendants the way you would like to be treated. You may be surprised how friendly your flight crew is when they are treated like people.

Author Unknown

LOSING THE WEIGHT, GAINING THE STRENGTH

I’ve never been the type of person to really worry about my weight. I won’t lie, I’ve been fortunate to have been born with a fast metabolism and relatively petite body shape. (Thank goodness for my parents!) I eat like I’m 6 years old, I’m talking chicken strips, french fries, pizza, and lots of bread. A LOT of bread. When I was a teenager, I could eat whatever I wanted, worked out for the track team, and never gained a pound.  But as you get older, your body starts to change and I’m really starting to notice that change. Have I gained weight over the past 7 years since graduating high school? Yes, but who hasn’t?! If you were to look at me now, you wouldn’t notice the extra pudginess I have on my tummy, or the way my thighs are starting to touch when I’m standing up, or even how my cheeks have gotten bigger over the years. But I notice. I’ve noticed and my self confidence has definitely started to dwindle because of it. Now let me state for the record: I do not care about the number on the scale. i really don’t. I just want to be able to fit into my jeans, without having to unbutton them when I sit down. I want to not be winded when I run up a couple flights of stairs, I want to feel confident in a bikini. 

I know how to lose the extra weight, and gain the muscle. I was an athlete. My dad was a professional athlete, and he taught me how to train. How to take care of my body from the inside out. I know my way through the gym, I can create the meal plans, I know how to do it. But it’s just so darn hard to stick to it! I figured if I talk about how I’m feeling, what I plan on doing, and my struggles/successes, maybe this blog and you readers can help me stick to it! I would like to lose some of the weight, and I know it’s almost all from what I eat. 

It’s hard eating healthy when I’m constantly gone from home. But here’s my plan. Before I go on trips, I will start making myself sandwiches. Now I know what you’re thinking: I just said I eat a lot of bread, and now I’m suggesting sandwiches?! But hear me out: when I don’t pack food for work, I end up eating out whenever I can find food that I like. This includes pizza, chicken strips, burgers, french fries, etc. If I were to stop eating this type of food as often (I could never completely stop with the burgers) and started eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese sandwiches I would start to notice a difference. If I packed almonds, raisins, craisins, fresh fruit, carrots, granola bars instead of Cheese It’s and chips, I would notice a difference. Just these small changes alone, will help me not only drop a couple pounds, but start to break the habit of always eating unhealthy. 

Now the sweaty part. Working out. It’s best (for me, personally) to work out when I’m on trips. All hotels have some type of fitness center which could include free weights, cardio equipment, pools, saunas, even free yoga classes. If I spend 30 minutes a night in the gym on my layovers, I will start to see a change in my body. I don’t have to start running three miles every day (I hate running long distances- but if that works for you, more power to you!), I could start off walking at an incline. This will not only help my cardio, but it’s a great way to clear my mind from a long day. I’ve already started this 30 day Squat challenge where you try to squat 100 times each day. Sounds easy enough, and it is for the most part. But sometimes you’re just so busy running around, you don’t even have alone time to squat. I find myself jumping up and squatting during commercial breaks, when I’m waiting for the water to warm up before my shower, and before I get dressed in the morning. I’ve even had to get some squats in pubic restrooms because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t make it to 100 that day. The first couple days were HARD. By day 3 my legs were hurting so bad. But by day 6 I started to notice it wasn’t so bad. Now I don’t do all 100 squats at once, although you could, I try to space it out throughout my day so it doesn’t get too repetitive. 

I’m hoping that in the next few weeks I can really start to see some changes in my body, maybe not looking at it but at least feeling a difference. Wish me luck! 

 

CRAZIEST HAWAIIAN VACATION!

The last two weeks in January, my fiancé and I planned an amazing trip to Honolulu. It was her very first time to Hawaii, and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect for her. But let me just tell you – this trip was a complete nightmare. Buckle up because you’re in for a bumpy ride. 

It started off with me flying on a redeye from San Francisco to Chicago. My fiancé, who lives in Wisconsin, had to drive three hours to Chicago to meet up with me after working all night. Her flight became overbooked (we fly standby because of my flight benefits. Perks of being a flight attendant!) This part wasn’t so much of a disaster, just trying to set the scene. Once we were both in Chicago, we were able to get an entire row of 4 seats to ourselves for the long 9 and a half hour flight to Honolulu. This was perfect because we were able to take turns laying out and taking a nap. By the time we landed in Honolulu, we were more than ready to explore and just truly enjoy our first vacation as an engaged couple. 

Well…. this is where everything went wrong. We got in the shuttle to the hotel, and as soon as we started driving away, my internal warning light started flashing. We ended up leaving my laptop on the plane. Completely panicked, I started calling the airport, the airline, customer service, baggage claim, lost and found. But of course by the time I called, everything was closed in Honolulu and wouldn’t open until 8am the next morning. I left plenty of messages and just prayed that someone would find my laptop over night. We ended up having a great first night, just walking to the beach for the sunset, picking up some groceries, and heading back to the hotel. Ordered from UberEats, and they forgot some of our food! It wasn’t the end of the world but it was our first meal in Honolulu and it would’ve been nice to actually try all the food we had ordered and paid for. 

The second day we went out to the pool several times (the sun kept playing hide and seek with the clouds) and found a great luau for that night. The luau was amazing! Delicious food, drinks were alright, the hosts and hostesses were amazing, and the entertainment was perfect. When we had our picture taken as well, we nailed it! It’s hard sometimes getting the right shot the first time around for us because she’s 6’1 and I’m 5’4, not to mention we are completely different shades and lighting can make one of us completely disappear (she’s white, I’m black). Photographing us is not as easy task, so bravo to the photographer that night! 

The next day we decided to change our hotels just to get a different view of the island. The hotel we first stayed at was nice, but we wanted to get a bit closer to downtown Waikiki. The second hotel was perfect! They checked us in early, gave us an upgraded room, and even had free continental breakfast each day we stayed. But this is when everything started going downhill FAST. 

Be prepared, this may be TMI. I got my period the third day. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but I’m on vacation. The last thing I want to do is worry about all that going on, especially considering I want to go swimming in the ocean! My plan was to spend the entire week in my bikini, and I just felt gross and my stomach was hurting. Also, she started getting sick. At first we just thought maybe it was from too much sun or she had picked up a little cold. But overnight, it went from feeling tired to full on sneezing, coughing, body aches, and fever. Poor thing! I felt so bad, but I was miserable too. 

We both weren’t feeling well, and just ended up snapping on each other for the rest of the trip. We tried salvaging the trip by going to the zoo, going out for lunches and dinners. We even tried paddle boarding. Now this is where our vacation just got to be so ridiculous. After laying out on the beach for a couple hours, I finally convinced her to try paddle boarding with me. I’ve done stand up paddle boarding several times and I absolutely loved it. I thought she would really enjoy it because it’s a great exercise without really feeling the burn. Well, she didn’t enjoy it. Granted, neither did I but it was just a bad idea from the beginning. The company we rented from only had one typical board left, and gave her a thinner but longer board. We started out just fine, but by the time we got out a bit the waves were a little rougher. As sick as she was, she just couldn’t handle the waves. I looked back at her, and she was on all fours dry heaving into the Pacific Ocean. After getting over the bought of sea sickness, she couldn’t figure out exactly how to work her board and we were drifting apart LITERALLY. Next thing you know, we are SCREAMING at each other 50 yards away. I’m trying to convince her to just go back to shore, and she’s trying to convince me that she’s fine and we can stay out longer. We eventually just made it back to the beach and called it a day. 

Our trip ended earlier than we would’ve liked and instead of going back to California for a couple days to spend time with my family, we decided to fly back to Chicago so I could get her home and feeling better instead. We got another row of 4 seats together, and she slept the entire flight. Once we landed in Chicago, I drove us home to Wisconsin and spent two days trying to get her better. 

Now let me get back to the first disaster of our trip. My laptop. I called and called every single day, every couple hours, trying to get ahold of anyone who could help me find my laptop. And, nothing. Every phone number I was given just went to voicemail and I was slowly starting to lose my mind. When we went back to the airport to fly to Chicago, I stopped by baggage claim lost and found, hoping that they found something. They didn’t have any news for me, but did say they would call as soon as they found it. Well guess who got a call the night we got back to Chicago. Yup, they found my laptop. Except they couldn’t confirm that it was mine because it was dead and they needed the serial number for the laptop. If you know me at all, you know I’m one of the most organized people in the world, but guess who didn’t have the serial number to her laptop. Once again, yup- no serial number that I could find. After stocking up on NyQuil and cough drops, I had to leave Wisconsin and fly on ANOTHER 9 and a half hour flight to Honolulu to try to get my laptop back. I get to baggage claim lost and found, walked in and found my laptop (WHICH WAS STILL CHARGED TO 90% BY THE WAY!!!!) and then flew on a redeye back to San Francisco. 

End of nightmare. 

Even just saying the name Hawaii makes my stomach churn. What was supposed to be an amazing, romantic, blissful vacation turned into a complete disaster where we argued and slowly lost our minds. I can say this though, even though both of us were completely miserable, we still laughed with each other harder than we ever have before. After we got home, talked out our silly arguments, we knew that this vacation made us stronger than ever. If we can get through a disaster trip, we can get through anything. This was the first of many tough times for us to get through, but the fact that we got through it together, still loving each other, taking care of each other even when we both felt yucky, just proves that we really are supposed to be together. 

It might be quite awhile until we go on a vacation again, but when we do, we’ll be ready for whatever the world throws our way. 

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS

It’s the beginning of February, and I’m just now coming up with my goals for this year. (Please don’t judge me!) Here are my goals, in no particular order: 

  1. Move my life to Wisconsin. It’s about darn time! I spend about half of home time, in Wisconsin. (When I say home time, I mean the few days a month that I’m not traveling the world.) It’s not going to be easy, especially with my schedule and her schedule, but it’s getting harder and harder to be away from her and our lives are coming together quickly. It’s going to be really hard to say goodbye to California, to my family, to everything that I’ve ever known. But I’m excited for what the future holds for us. 
  2. Working harder on my blog. I want to revamp this whole thing! Instead of focusing on my depression, I want to focus more on my everyday struggles and life changes. This is a time in my life where nothing is staying the same, and I want to be able to document those changes, share my feelings, and show other people that it’s okay to not be okay with change. 
  3. Continue with my education. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I have started taking classes to (FINALLY) finish my college degree. I decided to take a break from school during the holidays, and honestly I need to continue that break. Working and spending half of my time in California and the other half in Wisconsin just doesn’t leave much room for studying, papers, and actually focusing on my education. Once I move, I plan on picking right back up where I left and hopefully finishing my degree in a couple years. 
  4. Stop stressing myself out. I’m not perfect. I need to remember that. There are going to be times where I just can’t do everything. I need to learn how to ask for help and stop being such a control freak. The best part of having a partner is that I don’t go through anything alone, and yet I’ve been pushing her away because I think I have to be the one to handle everything. Definitely not the case. 
  5. Enjoy my life. I’ve had so many years of struggles, frustrations, and just being downright sad all the time. I can’t control life’s curveballs, but I can control my reactions. It’s time for me to start living, to enjoy the little moments, and just be happy. 

What are your goals for 2018? What are you willing to change to make this year your best year yet?