A couple weeks ago, I got called for a trip that had a layover in Tampa & Chicago. My friend, Jennifer, from Chicago, was assigned airport duty, so I called her to trade…I normally love flying…any trip. This was the first day ever that I just wasn’t feeling it. I had just gotten back to Philly from San Diego and my mom & little sister were planning a trip to visit me out East. I guess I was just homesick.
Anyway, I sat airport duty from 8pm to midnight & Jennifer took my trip. I met some really cool flight attendants during my shift….but I was too busy being a brat to really enjoy their company. I don’t know what was up with me that day…again, I think I was just homesick & I wanted my mommy. Lol.
The next day, scheduling called me & said they had a trip for me… It was to Chicago. Turns out, Jennifer & her crew got stuck in Tampa & scheduling had to re-crew the Chicago flight, so I had to work the trip that I didn’t want to do…especially the night in Chicago. I thought it was going to be cold & I just didn’t want to go. I sucked it up & got ready anyway.
Another flight attendant was looking to trade a trip to San Juan. I met him the night before during airport duty. I told him I’d trade him, but he was already working on trading it with someone else on my flight. He is from Chicago & preferred to work a flight home rather than to go to Puerto Rico. So, I just gave in to the Universe. It so obviously wanted me in Chicago. Lol!
I texted my friend, Adrian, to let him know I’d be in his city for a day. Adrian is also from San Diego & recently moved to Chicago for work. I hired Adrian at the bank years ago…he’s a great guy. He since has left the banking industry, as well.
When I got to the airport, Adrian was nice enough to pick me up. Adrian’s wife & children were actually visiting family back in San Diego, so, I got to stay in the kids’ room & not at my hotel. It’s always nice to stay with friends and family…
Adrian and I went out for a few drinks and we had a night of catching up. He’s doing great out in Chicago & I’m excited for him. We had a lot of laughs. He introduced me to a craft brew that tasted like pure root beer. Delicious!
After drinks, we went to grab a bite…at White Castle! It was my first time ever trying those steamed little morsels of yummy-ness. I totally broke my gluten-free diet that night.
The next day, we headed into the city. I had never seen downtown Chicago before, so I was very excited. We had a bit of a difficult time finding parking & our time together was running out.
So, after a few laps around the (beautiful) bustling blocks, Adrian dropped me off at Millennium Park so I could see the famous Bean! It was amazing! I had always wanted to see it. Being there, experiencing this immense work of art with so many other people was a great moment in time. I noticed some people in suits on their lunch break, tourists and families from other cities, states & countries…there was even a newly-wed couple taking pictures on their special day. What a great mix of life in action!
Adrian had another commitment so he dropped me off in Greektown, where I met up with another flight attendant who invited me to join her to march in their Independence Day Parade. I spent the afternoon surrounded by the proud community dressed in the bright blue (my favorite color) to match their native country’s flag. It was touching seeing all the children dressed in the traditional costumes and watching them practice their choreography as we waited in line.
I was introduced to all of my crew member’s friends & family. They were all so warm & welcoming. I felt like I was at home! I really enjoyed marching through the streets, smiling and waiving to the crowd as they cheered us on and snapped pictures.
After the parade we spent a little time congregating in the streets with members of the community…then, shortly after, we had to report to the airport for our flight back to Philadelphia.
I gotta say, all the kicking and screaming I did to “avoid” this flight was silly. It was a great trip, with a great crew…and the weather in Chicago was beautiful. It was a such an amazing layover. I had a great time, after all…!
On another note, my mom & sister couldn’t make it to Philadelphia. They were going to fly on my benefits (buddy passes) and that means flying stand-by. Since it’s Sprig Break season, flights were full and they didn’t get a seat. So, I’ve been missing my family for a couple weeks, now… And, at the same time, I know how lucky I am to have an amazing career that puts me around amazing people everyday, no matter what city I may end up in…
Thanks for reading along, everyone. Have a great week. Coming soon, another San Juan trip…and Barcelona!