Tag Archives: crewlife

Starting At 31…?

I wrote this post over a month ago and just stumbled upon it… I was hesitating posting it, but here it is… Hope it explains some stuff, hope you enjoy it…

As you all know, this blog is my documentation of me “Starting At 30…” With a new career, new city, new life, etc. I must say, this past year has been a roller coaster ride. It wasn’t easy, and at times it was pretty scary, but it was all worth it. With all the lows, also came the highest of highs. This has been one of my most difficult years financially, and at the same time, the richest one when it comes to experience.
I promised you in my first entry that I’d be honest & share the “not so glamorous” side of flying… Well, because of how busy I’ve been, I’ve really only focused on fun times… I mean, who doesn’t want to focus on the positive stuff?
Well, let me recap a little:
On my 30th birthday, I went home for a little over a week. I visited friends & family all up & down California. I was showered with love & gifts & delicious food. I had three birthday celebrations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I saw so many loved ones and even visited my place of birth (and family there) for the first time in over 20 years! This took place during my beautiful drive down California’s famous Highway 1.
When I returned to Philadelphia, the weather was cold & I was about to experience my first east coast winter (cue suspenseful music). Living with four roommates was about to be a bit of a challenge. We were all going to be home more often, as flying demands slowed. It felt like a reality show. You know…when people stop being polite & start getting real…?! There were good times… and… there was drama. Five personalities from different walks of life in one house during (what’s been said to be) the worst winter in I dunno… ever, put us all to the test… I’ll just leave it at that…
For the first time in my life, I had to work on Thanksgiving. Working at a bank for the past 10 years, I was guaranteed to have holidays off… But, working in the airline industry meant that I got the chance to get people home to their families for the holiday… Not just any people, either. My flight consisted of military men & women who were coming home for the first time in years, after being deployed. It was the most rewarding day on the job to date. I look forward to working the holidays this year.
Once I made it through the brutal winter and all the snow storms, I joined the Spanish-speaking program with the airline. When spring rolled around, I’d only be assigned to fly to Puerto Rico, Madrid & Barcelona. The first day that I had to make Spanish announcements, I was so nervous. I only read from our handbook, word for word. I was terrified when the captain made announcements & I was put on the spot. Now, the (extended) season is coming to and end & I can read my English book & translate the words in my head. I’m proud of how much my Spanish has improved & how confident I’ve become.
Working transatlantic trips opened so many doors for me. I was able to pick up other European destinations from senior flight attendants who met me along the way. This summer was the best summer of my life! I’ve seen some of the most beautiful places & been to some wonderful concerts. Like the time I went to Paris, got paid overtime, got into a show for free & was assigned a hotel room with a view of the Eiffel Tower. I mean, that’s like every girl’s dream, right? Right… Then, I came home to Philadelphia & had to set up a mouse trap…& when it did it’s job, I had to do away with the fury casualty myself. I’m telling you, people… Highest highs & lowest lows.
It wasn’t only Paris, though. This year I’ve also seen Italy, Scotland, England, Ireland and so many other breathtaking places (some of them are still pending blog posts). I’ve been so busy living life & exploring that I haven’t dedicated my time to writing like I’d really like to. It’s not a bad thing, it’s not a good thing… It’s just the way it is.
I have some wonderful posts sitting in my drafts, waiting to be published. I have amazing pictures that I can’t wait for you to see… And most of all, I have so many life experiences that I want to share with you…

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Stay tuned…!!

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A Big Weekend Back Home

I was recently home for a weekend visit. As I mentioned before, the plan originated when I got an invite for my friend, Ryan’s, baby shower. I met Ryan in 2008, at new-hire orientation for a bank we worked at. We’ve been friends ever since. She’s a world traveler and always inspired me (and encouraged me) to see the world. She had a huge influence on my decision to become a flight attendant. Now, she’s having twins, a boy and a girl. It’s exciting!
I wanted to make the most of my time in California. I knew that I was going to be reunited with lots of my girl friends at the baby shower and I wanted to make time for family, too.
I have a lot of family in Northern California. Growing up, I was raised with my mom’s side of the family who live about an hour and a half east of San Francisco in the city of Modesto. As for my dad’s side of the family, many of them live about an hour and a half south, in Watsonville – where I was born.
Recently, thanks to social media, I’ve reconnected with some of them. We’ve been making an effort to reach out and to get know each other. So, we planned a gathering for the day after the baby shower. I was looking forward to reuniting with some of them…& meeting some of them for the first time.
Other than a quick stop on my drive down Pacific Coast Highway, back on my 30th birthday, I hadn’t been back to Watsonville in over 20 years.
My trip started with a visit back home to San Diego. That’s when I had the chance to take my mom and my little sister to their first ever hip-hop show
The morning of the baby shower, I catch an early flight to San Francisco. When I land, I discover that Ryan’s having a bit of a busy morning. Something’s aren’t going as planned, but that doesn’t stop her. She’s expecting friends and family from all over to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Ryan’s house is beautiful! It looks like those homes you’d see on the cover of a magazine. The decor is equally as beautiful… our friend, Aimee, is a master of design.
The party plays out in such a lovely way. I’m reunited with friends (who started as co-workers at the bank) and I get to make new ones over yummy drinks and delicious food.

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That evening, a few of us head into the city & grab dinner. Then, a couple of us head to a show.

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The next day, most of us reunite for a delicious Sunday brunch at Bin 38. (I’m reminded of the fun tradition we used to have when we all lived in San Diego…good times). We share recaps of our night and indulge in wonderful conversations…& mimosas.

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After brunch, most of us will leave San Francisco to return home. For me, it’s family time…

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My two (very generous and patient) cousins offer to drive me. They live in Watsonville & make the trip just for me. They’re awesome!
When we get to my family’s ranch, I’m greeted by cousins, aunts, uncles…and amazing food! It’s great seeing everyone again…and it’s nice to finally meet some of them. They’re all warm and welcoming…and they make sure I’m well-fed, as they continue to bring food from the grill to our table. I’m surrounded by cousins, laughter & great stories. I gotta tell you, I have some amazing cousins!
The party moves inside & I share a bottle of Puerto Rican rum from my travels. We continue to bond & catch up…it’s great getting to know them all better. We take some pictures… well, lots of pictures (on lots of cell phones) before everyone heads home.

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A few of us cousins stay up for girl talk with my aunt. Later, we interrupt one cousin’s study session to go on a fun late-night run for coffee & donuts. It’s the perfect way to end the night!
I have to catch a flight back to Philadelphia in the morning. A couple of my guy cousins have offered to pick me up at the ranch & drive to the airport…in San Jose! Again, a very generous offer.
Before we hit the road, my aunt makes sure that we all have breakfast. We take our places at the table as she brings over course after course. It’s quite the spread. I’m humbled by the hospitality & I’m really enjoying this wonderful meal with my family. I feel like a kid again…
In San Jose, we stop to visit my godparents. I haven’t seen them since my age was in the single digits. We visit briefly, chat a bit and play around on their mini motorcycle. It’s great being a kid again!

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As we prepare to head to the airport, I realize that I’m missing something…my uniform! I left it in Watsonville, hanging in my cousin’s closet. Luckily, a couple of my cousins are heading our way. So, after a delicious cup of Phil’z Coffee & lunch at the famous Falafel’s Drive In (& maybe just a little panic attack) I’m off to the airport.
In the end, everything worked out…I had a wonderful visit back home. I got to see so many people that I love, meet so many new ones, and reconnect with distant relatives. Such an amazing trip!

Thanks for reading along, everyone. I really hope you enjoyed this post.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! ūüėČ

Stay tuned to see where I go next…