Tag Archives: crew

Punta Cana with nothing packed

My first trip of 2018 was one for the books… or one for my favorite book – my passport. I got a new stamp thanks to a huge storm in Philadelphia that was causing a declared “state of emergency” in the city.

I received a call at 8am and had two hours to get to the airport. I was supposed to head to Punta Cana & come right back… but after a long delay, a busy flight down, and a cancelled return, we got “stuck” spending the night at an all-inclusive resort. Because of the short notice (and the fact that I was not supposed to layover), I didn’t pack much. On my way out the door, I grabbed some joggers, my favorite Selena T-shirt, and my bikini “just in case.”

I had never seen the Dominican Republic, other than from an airplane window before. So, of course I had to make the most of my short time there.

I’ve mentioned my friend, K, in a previous post about fun times in San Juan, and as you remember, we love to defrost on a beach when winter comes. Between all the food, the perfect weather and clear water calling our names, we spent our layover thanking the Universe.

Sometimes storms work in your favor… and when they do, don’t worry about if you’re packed for it, just count your blessings & float away.

Thanks for stopping by… I’m going to go wash the sand off.


Bilingual Got Me Barcelona

I had a couple days off & I was feeling “stuck” in Philadelphia. Flights back home to San Diego were all full and I was a little homesick. Since I couldn’t get back to California, I volunteered to work during my off days. I was hoping I’d get called on a fun trip.
I’m woken up by my phone… It’s Scheduling calling me. I guess something opened up… I jump to answer. The voice coming from the other end sounds absolutely angelic when he says, “Cecilia, we have a four-day trip to Barcelona tonight. Are you interested?” Ummm, heck yes, I am!
I joined the seasonal “language of destination” program to practice my Spanish and to see if flying to Spanish-speaking destinations is something I want to continue to do on a regular basis.
I’ve always been a little embarrassed to speak Spanish because I didn’t learn the language until I was 12 years old, and I never felt like I mastered it.
One day (in San Diego) my dad asked me to bring him a hanger…but he asked me in Spanish. When I didn’t do it, he approached me to ask why. I told him I didn’t understand what he said. I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face…he looked heart-broken.
That day, he told my mom that we’d be moving across the boarder to Mexicali. So, while all my friends were off to Jr. High, my younger sister and I were to attend a private school in Mexico to study the language until we were fluent. It took about 3 months before I was awarded “Student of the Month” and with that came the opportunity to return to school in California. Back then, I was pretty upset about the whole ordeal, but now, I’m so thankful for the opportunity. Learning Spanish has definitely opened doors for me…

Now I’m on my way Barcelona with a great crew. Since we have two full days in the city, we’re all making plans to go out. So many different personalities, so many different things to do. I’m excited.
I can’t even sleep when we get to our hotel. It’s beautiful! The room is very contemporary & the accommodations are great. I shower & lounge around in the plush robe & slippers provided while I wait on a couple of the ladies. We’ve agreed to meet in the lobby in the afternoon.
At the top of our list, is the famous Sagrada Familia, just one of the many masterpieces by Gaudí. When we step up out of metro station, we take in the scenery… Then, we turn around, and we’re stunned by the massive work of art that stands before us. It’s absolutely breathtaking.



We walk around the entire building. Each side of the church has a different look to it. So many intricate details. I’m in awe.
Unfortunately, due to a private concert that evening, the church is closed earlier than normal. We can’t see the inside. Bummer.
After some walking around & a light snack, we meet another flight attendant back at the hotel. One of the ladies has other plans. So, we say bye & continue our day.
Another of the ladies is retiring this year. She’s committed to seeing as much as she can see before she hangs up her wings. She’s so much fun. She’s been out with me all day.
The flight attendant we’re out with now, travels to Barcelona regularly & is proud to show us around. She’s also originally from California. She’s such a great tour guide.
We walk to Las Ramblas, the popular street in Barcelona where you can find just about anything. It’s full of families, tourists, locals, shops, restaurants, markets, etc.






The area is just full of life. We make a few stops along the way. One of our stops is at the local market. We pick up fruit & cheeses to snack on.


I need to pull out cash, so, I stop at an ATM where I meet (& briefly chat with) Kyle Bryant, an American artist who is spending his time capturing Barcelona in a very unique way… Watch here.

The ladies & I are headed to dinner & a flamenco show. We join another crew member for dinner at a restaurant that is a crew favorite.
The flamenco show is in the same square, so, it’s a short walk to the venue. When the dancers & musicians take the stage, the room is captivated. The movements, the sounds, the storytelling…it’s such a great show. I even consider moving to Spain & learning the art, myself!


The next day, I meet up with my fellow California girl again. She and another one of the ladies are spending the day in Sitges. I decide to join them.
After our train ride, we arrive to the gorgeous beach town. The weather is perfect & the beaches are full. The water looks amazing.














We didn’t plan to spend time in the sand. We want to walk around & see the area. We hit the streets & take in the sites. Then, we stroll along the water before stopping for a drink.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon, and it’s a warm 70 degrees out. We’re sitting outside with a great view of the ocean. Each of us is enjoying a glass of wine…and one of the ladies reminds us that we’re getting paid to do this. What a life!



I have plans to visit another one of the Gaudí sites. So, after a few hours in Sitges, I hop a train back to Barcelona. Then, I take the local metro to Park Güelle .
I didn’t really know a whole lot about the park, I just knew I wanted to see it. I have to stop for directions along the way.
Once I see what’s up ahead of me, I know I should’ve planned ahead, and worn more sensible shoes. That’s ok, though. I used to live in five inch heels…I can do this.
After my hike up what seemed like never-ending stairs, I make it into the park. There’s so much to see.






There’s a line to enter the part of the park that houses all the well-known exhibits. So, I walk around the the surrounding area before I buy my ticket.
*Note: Purchase your entry before exploring the outside area. Then, it should be your assigned entry time and you won’t have to wait in line to enter. Also, wear comfy or athletic gear. You can make it a day of hiking. You might even want to pack a picnic to enjoy in the park. There are so many great views.










When I make it inside the park, I’m stunned by all the beauty. The attention to detail and the creativity that went into the project is out of this world. My eyes are feasting on all the colors of the mosaic work. I’m walking around in awe… talk about jaw-dropping!































After my big day out, I’m pretty pooped. When I get to back to my hotel, I run into one of the ladies that visited Sagrada Familia with me. We begin to recap our trip. We both decide we want to hit the town one more time before bed.
We stroll down Las Ramblas one last time before calling it a night. The city is alive. It’s hard for me to leave. But, we have a big day ahead of us…we have to work.
I wake up early, to catch the sunrise at the rooftop pool before getting ready for our flight. It’s beautiful. I love Barcelona & I can’t wait to be back over & over again all summer.


Thanks Mom & Pap for sending me to school in Mexico to learn Spanish all those years ago… Being bilingual got me Barcelona!

Stowaways and Strangers in San Juan

The infamous B and I had the same (4 consecutive) days off last month. We knew we had to go somewhere fun! We planned on heading to Amsterdam, but the flight got full…so, when my friend, Noel, invited us to join him in San Juan for his long layover, we knew we couldn’t turn it down.
I met Noel a couple weeks prior, while out with other flight attendants. We had an immediate connection. We became friends instantly.
Sometimes we (flight attendants) invite each other on our trips to ensure we have someone to spend our downtime with. Every time we fly, we’re assigned a whole new crew. Often times we don’t even know who we’re flying with until we’re actually on the aircraft, before boarding. So, it’s fun to have friends come along so that you can explore the city together.
Noel was nice enough to let us share his hotel room. As you all know, B and I have stayed there a few times… & we love it. We love the staff, we love the location & we love visiting frequently.
Our flight to San Juan was awesome! We got the royal treatment. Noel & his crew took great care of us. I actually knew another girl working the flight…so, bonus! We inevitably made friends with the entire crew…one of the ladies was also from San Diego & a huge music fan. We discussed our love for Jim Morrison & The Doors.

When arrive in San Juan, we ride to the hotel with the crew & make plans for the night. It’s Monday and as I recall (from my trip with Kalani), Mondays are great at La Respuesta .
We get dressed, grab some drinks at the hotel, and then, we head out. The club is just as fun as I remembered. The music is great & we don’t leave the dance floor until they kick us out…


In the morning, after breakfast in the penthouse, we agree to spend the day at the beach. We all want some color on our skin & some relaxation in the sand. We all pitch in & grab a bottle of rum & we sip in the sun.
We notice a young man passing…he was at the club with us last night. We call out to him & invite him to join our party. It turns out, he’s visiting from San Francisco and it’s the last day of his vacation. He’s happy to spend it with us.



We play on the beach (and in the water) for hours. Later, we walk with our new friend to pick up his rental car & we take a nice drive around San Juan & we stop for lunch at La Cueva Del Mar (a popular restaurant with crew members) for some of their delicious fish tacos.





After lunch, we head to Old San Juan. We’re in the mood to explore & play. Our SF friend needs to get ready for his flight, so, he drops us off & bids us adieu.


B, Noel and I notice a darling café, Finca Cialito, & decide to pop in for a little boost. The place is quaint & cozy and the owner is very welcoming. He grows & harvests the beans & he takes pride in his work. We sit near the window in our decorative & comfy chairs as we people watch & engage in story time. Noel has the floor. He’s sharing about his journey, from childhood to how he became a flight attendant. His positive energy is just radiating. It’s empowering to be around him.
After our chat, we walk the cobble stone streets of San Juan & stop occasionally for a drink, a photo op or simply to take in the view. Our great conversation continues.






A few hours in Old San Juan has led up dinner time. We’re ready to return to to the hotel to freshen up & grab a bite.
After dinner, Noel is ready for some downtime, since he has to work in the morning. B and I stay out a little while longer. We’re just enjoying each other’s company & discussing life. The more I get to know this girl, the more I love & respect her.
We go back to our hotel & meet up with the other crew members from our flight in (including the other flight attendant I know & the San Diego gal). They have a different flight itinerary than Noel, so, they get to stay out tonight. We have a blast getting to know each other better. The night is full of laughter…
In the morning, I have breakfast with Noel before he leaves. I’m so grateful for such a wonderful trip. B and I are staying one more night. After a morning nap, we walk to the beach for more fish tacos. The weather has taken a turn; it’s pouring out. We don’t have any rain gear…but that’s ok. It’s still warm out so, (as the saying goes) rather than waiting for the storm to pass, we just dance in the rain.
As we’re sitting at the beach-front bar, watching the downpour, we seem to get the same idea at the same time. We want to swim in the ocean, while it’s raining. Neither of us had ever done it before and we both love trying new things… We’re excited that we have the same thought so, we run to water like maniacs. Nothing but joy & laughter surrounds us as we jump with the waves.






We spend our afternoon outside, even though the weather isn’t ideal. When we return to our hotel, we stop for a drink in the lobby bar. There’s a gentleman near by who initiates conversation. He’s in town with his buddies & one of his buddy’s soon-to-be fiancé. Yes, one of his friends is going to propose on the trip! They’re napping & he just wanted to get out. Even in the rain.
Our casual conversation turns into plans for a fun night out with their group. We meet the other guys & the bride-to-be. We start with dinner at our famous taco spot & they love it. Dinner leads to drinks at a near-by lounge. The lounge leads to a club that’s close by. We get to know the group & exchange travel stories and we stay out all night…
Meeting such genuine, interesting people is what I love most in life. Making friends out of strangers is practically a hobby of mine. This was my perfect kind of night. It was the perfect kind of trip.


Next time you’re out somewhere, I invite you to initiate a conversation with a stranger…see what opens up. You don’t have to wait until you’re on vacation or in a new city. Get out and meet people in your local community… I bet you’ll discover something great!

Thanks for reading along, friends. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now break out of your comfort zone & go dance in the rain! 😉

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

April 9, 2013, exactly one year ago today, I was in Phoenix, Arizona, interviewing to become a flight attendant for a major airline. It was one of the most exciting days of my life…
It’s 4am when my alarm goes off. When I was working at the bank, the buzzing was always such a dreadful sound…& my mornings would typically consist of a long battle with the snooze button, but not today. Today, I’m excited…before I can even think about hitting that snooze, I jump outta bed & say, “This is it! This is my life. I am a flight attendant. I wake up before the sun comes up, because I have a plane to catch!”
*I learned this technique of “living into the future,” from my work with the Landmark.
I get ready & dress myself in a skirt, a nice fitted peplum blazer (camisole underneath) & some black pumps…I am a flight attendant, after all. 😉 I already have my (carry-on sized) bag packed with all the required items, so, I grab it, and I’m out the door. I’m driving to the airport now…just a typical day for this flight attendant.
I walk through the terminal, looking around at all my fellow airline crew members. When I go through security, I use my passport for ID, because I’m an International Flight Attendant! I board the plane, and I’m off…just another day at work.

I took this picture in-flight on my way from San Diego to Phoenix & posted it on Instagram exactly one year ago today. This is now “the view from my office!”

When I arrive in Phoenix, a shuttle picks us (other recruits) up from the airport to take us to the interview site. It’s a day full of assessments, activities & interviews. We work in groups, one-on-one & there’s even some down time. After about 8 hours of proving ourselves, and, of course, getting to know each other, the ones who make the final cut are surrounded by crew members, as they welcome us to the airline.
It’s one of the greatest moments in my life! The room bursts into a celebration of screaming, jumping up & down, and even tears of joy…it’s a beautiful moment. The recruiters ask one favor of us, and one favor only, “Please, always remember how excited you are in this moment and take that with you everyday to work.”
After flying for almost 10 months, & one year after my interview date, I know how fortunate I am to be in this position & to live this amazing life. People say that the sky is the limit…and I get to touch the sky as part of my job! 🙂

This is my photo on my crew badge (my ID for work) they took this after we signed our HR paperwork…you can see how happy I was…& how happy I still am…

I’m posting this from San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s a beautiful day. I swam in the ocean & danced in the rain. I’m here with a great friend (fellow flight attendant & crew member) & making new ones. I love my life & I love what I do for a living…!

Across the Country Twice in a Day

My trip from Los Angeles got me back to Philadelphia at 6am EST. I had two full days off…so, I decided to catch a flight back to San Diego. I mean, why take the bus & walk in the cold Philly weather to sleep at my place here, when I could sleep on the plane and wake up in warm, sunny San Diego? Sure, I’d only be home for 27 hours…to me, it was so worth it.
I caught a 6:50am flight to Phoenix and I’d continue on to San Diego from there. I slept the entire flight to Phoenix. It felt great.
My connecting flight to San Diego was full, and since I fly stand-by, I didn’t get a seat. The next flight on my airline didn’t leave for 3 more hours. Another great perk of being a flight attendant is that we can actually fly with other carriers for free, too. So, I called to check flights and there was one leaving in an hour.
As I make my way through the terminal, I text my friend, Valerie to see if she’s available to pick me up. She is. I say I want to go on a hike when I land. She says I must have read her mind…
We head to Cowel’s Mountain from the airport. Valerie & I usually hike beautiful Torrey Pines, but today, we wanted a little more of a challenge. This is her first time. I’m excited to show her something new. Valerie’s fairly new to San Diego, so I love introducing her to different parts of this beautiful city.
Our hike was amazing. We got a great workout & the real reward was the beautiful view when we reached the top.





After our hike, we’re in need of a nutrition break, so we stop at San Diego Blenders for some fresh juice & an acai bowl.


Now, we’re off to meet Valerie’s brother & sister-in-law. They’re a cute couple. They welcome me into their home. We have some good laughs & share some travel stories. It’s a beautiful day out & the sun is shining & lighting up the living space. It’s these simple little pleasures that I love so much…It’s good to be home.
Later, my sister picks me up. We have dinner plans. Our friends are always raving about a mariscos restaurant in National City called Rincon del Mar…so, it’s time we try it. My friend Joe agreed to take me. My sister, Monica, and her boyfriend, Chris are joining us.
Since Joe is the expert, we let him order. It’s the right choice. He did one heck of a job at stimulating our pallets.





After dinner, Joe and I grab a few drinks. We head to a local neighborhood bar, where I run into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a while. Then, my cousin who lives near by stops to visit briefly. It’s such a fun night.


The next morning is not as fun. Haha. The night catches up to me as soon as my sister wakes me up. I want to sleep more, but I have to get in action & prepare to fly back to Philadelphia. We stop for a lovely breakfast before she drops me off & heads to work.
My younger sister, Angie, has agreed to drive me to the airport. I get to visit with her & my beautiful niece for a bit. I hear all about their fun two-day trip to Disneyland. My niece, Valentina, will be turning 3 tomorrow…It’s nice being able to deliver her birthday gift in person.


The three of us have a very satisfying lunch – Pho, one of my favorite dishes. After lunch, it’s time to the airport…
This is the hardest part of flight attendant life…saying bye to my family. It never gets any easier…my eyes water every time. There’s something about airports and tears….right?
I go to get my last 2 year old kisses from my niece “while they’re hot,” as Angie says. Then, I hug, kiss and thank my sister for a wonderful afternoon.

I’m on my way back to the east coast for the second time in the last 48 hours…back and forth across the country, as I commute back to base to report for duty. At least I don’t have to worry about traffic! 😉

Stay tuned to see where I go next…

Cancun Teaser

Today I was assigned a trip to Cancun and back. This is what we call a “turn.” These flights are always fun because we fly passengers to a vacation destination and see them all excited & ready to party (today’s case was a bunch of young people on spring break). Then, we turn right back around and see another set of passengers returning from vacation, burnt out, and ready for a vacation from their vacation. It’s pretty fun to see.
The crew I worked with today was so much fun…these turns are usually that way. I can always expect a day full of laughter.
My favorite part of today’s flight was that I got I meet April Margera, Bam Margera’s mom, from the MTV show, Viva La Bam.
I used to watch the show all the time and April was my favorite. She always had a great attitude & the best sense of humor to handle her wild son and his crazy pranks. This is the first time I’ve ever asked a passenger for a photo… I can’t promise it will be the last…


Back to San Juan

When I landed in Philadelphia from London, I turned my phone on to find a text message from my roommate, Kalani, asking me if I was still at the airport… He says “I’m going to Puerto Rico, come!” Kalani had just gotten back from Minneapolis & he’s “too cold to sit around in the snow.” I totally agree…& since I packed my bag for airport duty when I was assigned London, I was prepared for warm weather too.
Some of our classmates from training worked an earlier flight to San Juan for what we call a “re-crew,” when the entire crew must be re-staffed for a trip. A couple of them said that we could share their rooms. Sweet. I’m in!
I literally walk off the plane from London, go through customs, and go right back through security to meet Kalini. I see him coming up the walkway & we head to our gate to board. I’m looking forward to defrosting on the beach.
The crew on the flight over is so much fun…(especially a woman named Wendy). They take good care of us after we ask if they need any help. Kalani & I are both in uniform, so, it only makes sense to offer assistance. They tell us to just sit back & relax.
We share their shuttle from the airport, since we’re going to the same hotel. We all freshen up & meet in the lobby for drinks. Because it’s still early, and they have a late departure, a couple of them come out with us. One of them even has a relative in San Juan & our party grows as he & his girlfriend join us.
We head to industry night at La Respuesta. It’s supposed to be a lot of fun…we quickly discover that it is. The music is phenomenal! They’re playing Latin hip hop and reggae. Everyone in this club has great moves. We seriously spend all night on the dance floor & making new friends…

20140312-133605.jpgKalani and I with the captain of the crew…he shared some great stories with us all night.

20140312-133707.jpgI love street art!

20140312-133827.jpgUs with Wendy, a fellow flight attendant. She’s an Aquarius, like my big sister. No wonder we hit it off. I’m so glad ad she came out and let loose with us!

20140312-134029.jpgI saw this guy when we first entered the bar…I was looking for him all night. I wanted a picture with his hat on. I never found him. Kalani & Wendy took this for me when they caught him outside.

20140312-133855.jpgThis is Willie, also a flight attendant. He has family in San Juan, who you’ll meet below. They were a fun group. They took care of me…they took me swimming in the ocean after the club, fed me & got me back to the hotel safe and sound.

20140312-133920.jpgI loved the bright colors in the ladies room…perfect photo op!

20140312-133929.jpgI was so excited to find Jim Morrison in the ladies room! 😉

20140312-133943.jpgMaking new friends…

20140312-133953.jpgMore new friends, more street art

20140312-134002.jpgThis is Addie. She’s Kevin’s girlfriend (pictured below). This girl is a beautiful soul & a free spirit. She had me on the dance floor all night. I even danced in the middle of a circle when I heard, “Let’s see what you can do, California!” Addie is an amazing dancer…I can’t believe the things she can do with her body…! After the club, and our late-night/early-morning swim, we were in the car, picking up food, when Addie turned up a song that she clearly loved. I was watching her from the back seat as she sang the lyrics to Kevin. She was so happy and so full of life…her curls were being tossed around as she danced and performed in the passenger seat. It was probably my favorite moment of the night. I love being with people and watching them in their element. It’s beautiful.

20140312-154133.jpgThis is Kevin, Willie’s brother, Addie’s boyfriend & my new friend. He’s a great guy.

In the morning, we meet with the crew for complimentary breakfast in the Penthouse. A woman at the pool recognizes one of the flight attendants & she greets him with a hug. We over-hear her saying she decided to have a spur-of-the-moment trip & that she just got in. Since the crew is on their way out, Kalani and I invite her to the beach with us. She’s excited & joins our party.
We spend all afternoon sun-bathing, drinking cocktails, playing in the ocean, and of course, getting to know our new friend, Sandy. Sandy also works for the airline, as a gate agent. She’s such a free spirit & she absolutely loves her two sons. We learned a lot about them, too.
20140312-164143.jpg Our view from the Penthouse

20140312-164200.jpg Condado

20140312-165042.jpgAsk…and you shall receive


20140313-033634.jpgThis is (us with) Sandy. She’s a widow, a single mother of two, and she has a wonderful outlook on life. I was truly inspired by her views on love, family, work, travel & just living, all together… Life really is all about the context you put it in & Sandy has mastered keeping a positive one. She constantly refers to herself as being “lucky…” she has a lot of evidence, too. I feel lucky to have met her!

When the sun starts to hide behind the buildings & shade covers the sand, we head back to hotel to enjoy appetizers (again, at the Penthouse). We continue our wonderful conversation & share stories with each other. We are laughing a lot. It’s great. We have a few drinks by the pool & it’s starts to rain a bit, so, we head to our rooms to get ready for the night.


Sandy decides to stay in tonight, so Kalani and I make plans to meet her for breakfast tomorrow. Kalani wants to go to a gay club tonight, and I’m game. It’s Fat Tuesday & Circo Bar is celebrating. We get beads at the door & we’re ready to hit the dance floor.
It’s another night of meeting great people. We’re making new friends all night…people from all over world. Kalani & I even find dance partners that are teaching us some new moves. We salsa & merengue the night away…

20140313-050337.jpgMardi Grad, Circo Bar style

20140312-180915.jpgKalani is great at making new friends…these guys were from Germany & Brazil. They were so much fun & made for great dance partners.

20140312-182246.jpgTyson, a flight attendant for another airline. Great guy, great spirit…we’ll plan a trip together soon!

20140312-182253.jpgI introduced myself to Henry because of his awesome shirt…and I quickly discovered how awesome he was! He lives in San Juan & I’ll be back to visit him soon…

20140312-180840.jpgKalani…my roommate, crew member, dance partner, drinking buddy, part-time taxi driver, fellow foodie, friend and so much more. Love him so much!

20140312-182336.jpgOn the dance floor…

The morning is rough…we sleep in & miss breakfast with Sandy. We meet her for lunch, instead. We have traditional Puerto Rican food to satisfy any future craving we might have. We share details of our fun night with Sandy, and have some more laughs. After we eat, we have to run. It’s time to head back to airport, back to Philly, back to work. Until our next adventure…