Tag Archives: layover

Chicago, Kicking & Screaming

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!

One Day in England

Working the flight to London was such a delight. I experienced working International Envoy for the first time ever (aka first-class, where we really do serve warm nuts & offer hot towels). I was really excited & maybe just a little nervous.
The crew was great, so helpful, so supportive & very encouraging. To top it off, my passengers were all fantastic. A few of them just wanted to sleep & the ones I did get to provide service to were so pleasant & friendly. It really was a great flight.
When we arrived in London, we rode a shuttle to our hotel. I sat up front. I just wanted to soak in all the sights. London is such a beautiful city. We were expecting rain, but it was clear & beautiful, and actually a bit warmer than the weather in Philly.


When we arrived to the hotel, most of the crew wanted to rest. I couldn’t blame them. We left Philadelphia a little before 10:00pm EST, and arrived to our hotel around 6:00am EST (11:00am local time). I, however, was set on making my day really count. This was my first time in London & I couldn’t miss a minute of daylight.
It’s been a life-long dream of mine to see the 7 wonders of the world. I’ve always loved stars, astronomy & astrology, so, naturally, Stonehenge has been at the top of the list. I’ve done some previous research. I know that it’s less than a 2 hour trip.
I head to my cozy room, drop my bags, change & head straight to the concierge desk. The young man at the desk is very helpful & is quick to get my tour booked. He says that tours usually must be booked a day in advance, but he’s checking to see what he can do. He notices that there’s a mid-day tour that leaves at 12:30pm. It’s 11:33am. He moves swiftly through the transaction, pulls out a map, and gives me walking directions to the Underground (metro) station.
When I arrive at my stop, I take a lovely walk to the Coach (bus) Station where I board for this journey with a large group of other tourists. We’re on our way to Stonehenge! I can’t even believe this is really happening!

Some shots from my walk…











The drive is beautiful & informative. Many of the houses cottages we’re passing remind me of The Secret Garden. They’re all so gorgeous. There’s so much to see…every structure, every bridge, every street. We’re passing a cemetery & I catch an airplane coming in for landing…it’s a powerful moment for me. I feel at peace, at one with The Universe…






As we approach Stonhenge, we also approach a storm. It’s quite chilly and when we exit the bus, the wind is so strong that it breaks my umbrella. The thing just snaps inside out, it’s beyond repair.
The walk to the monument is a bit of a struggle with no defense from the wind & pouring rain. It’s so cold that I’m hiding my face with my coat. Then, I look up & I can see it…Stonehenge is right there, straight ahead of me!
I make my way over & take a deep breath. I tell myself that I’m not going to let a little bit of water and cold air take anything away from this moment. It suddenly isn’t so cold and it’s almost as if the rain & wind have stopped…













Our designated hour & half fly by…it’s time to go. We head back to the bus, back on the road to London. I’m excited to get out & explore a little more.
I see a Starbucks up ahead & because I’m soaked & freezing, I pop in for some green tea (my favorite) & some wifi access…I’m excited to post a pic & share my Stonehenge moment with my loved ones.
The barista, Imtiaj, is very helpful. I’m asking questions about where I should venture next & he’s looking up directions for me to different areas. Then, I remember something else that was on my London to-do list…the famous Abbey Road!
After drinking my tea, touching up my make up & standing under the hot-air hand-dryers in the restroom for a bit, I muster up the courage to face the weather again. The sun has already set & the streets are lit by the darling street lamps. I hop back on the underground & start my 40 minute trip to the famous crosswalk & studios.







When I arrive at my stop, the rain has become quite violent. I ask for directions & the gentleman assisting me discourages me to take on the challenge against this “wretched rain.” I’m a little nervous.
I’m standing at the doors of the station, contemplating giving up & heading back to my hotel…it’s really cold & I’m still pretty drenched. The wind is whipping my hair & I rush to the restroom to warm up under the dryers again. This routine goes on for almost an hour…back & forth from the doors, to the dryers, second-guessing my attempt to experience a part of Beatles history…
I suddenly remind myself of the empowering attitude from earlier…Am I really going to let a little bit of water & cold air stop me? Ha! Nope.
I step out from the haven of the station, and, no kidding, the rain seems to lighten up. I jog part of the way there, stopping at any covering I can find.
When I get to my destination, I’m moved & overcome with joy…I’m seriously standing at the famous crosswalk of Abbey Road!
I walk across, singing “With Love, From Me to You…” (My favorite Beatles song) in my head & I make my way to the studios to sign the famous wall.
There are musicians in the doorway, leaving a session…I’m imagining what magic might have just taken place.
After I sign the wall, I look around for someone to snap a shot of me in the street.







It’s been about an hour, and the first had 3 strangers have taken a better picture of their finger than they did of me. It’s dark & raining, so, I don’t blame them. Then, I see a woman, luggage in hand…& even though I feel bad asking, I approach her for photography assistance. She’s a little irritated by my request at first, but she’s very understanding. We stand in the rain, run back & forth a few times as traffic passes by, maneuvers around & honks at us…& as soon as there’s a break, we rush back for what she says will be her final attempt. I agree. She snaps it…& my phone dies! I hope it’s a good one…

Boom! ūüėČ Edited by Jo Roth

After retrieving my phone & thanking my last photographer profusely, I’m ready to go back to my hotel for a warm bath. I was smart & packed food for the day, so, at least I’m well nourished. I’m satisfied from my trail mix, assorted fruit, cheeses, and pasta salad.
During my ride to the hotel, I notice the announcement for one of the stops… “Greenwich Park, this stop for Buckingham Palace.” I pop up out of my seat & rush out the metro doors. I mean, I’m on a roll…might as well make the most of my time here.
I walk through the beautiful park, and soon, I’m standing in front of the palace! When I look back the opposite way, in the distance, beyond the trees, I spot the famous Ferris wheel. I’m so grateful in this moment…for my life, for this amazing career & for all these wonderful experiences… and now I’m ready to say goodnight to London.
I head back to my room, take a hot shower & hop in bead. I’m beat & I know I have a busy work day (8 hour flight) ahead of me.

Until next time…

Thank you all for enduring this long post. I really hope you enjoyed it!