SkyWaitress.com

You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Tag: travel

The road trip that was more road than trip

The day before New Years Eve Joel and I were sitting around the house. We had talked on and off about going to Denver to see our favorite band Five Iron Frenzy play with Project 86 and Showbread. Normally getting to Denver is a piece of cake as it’s only a free, three hour flight thanks to my benefits. The issue with my benefits is the free ticket is standby. Trying to fly standby around the holidays is a giant, stressful, ridiculous headache at best and completely impossible at worst. It just wasn’t an option. Then, when we calculated the cost of gas, car rental and hotels for the several days we’d need to stay to make the drive worth it we really couldn’t afford the trip.

Except Sunday rolled around and Joel kept sighing and commenting about how Project 86 was filming a music video and how it would have been so cool to go. Sigh. Mope. Sigh.

(I may be exaggerating the sighing. A tad.)

And then I’d had it. I could tell he was super bummed about not going so I just said screw it. We can take our own car. We only have to get a hotel for one night. AND my mom had given us a gas card for Christmas. Plus, we’ve done last minute, crazy trips before (hello, flying to Australia to see a movie) and never once have we regretted it. In fact, those are always our favorite memories.

It took a few hours of back and forth, should we shouldn’t we, convincing before I got Joel on board. And then we threw a few things in a suitcase and walked out the door.

After dropping the dog off at puppy Disneyland Joel’s mom’s house we were on the road by about 8pm.

And by 8:40pm I was sound asleep. In theory I was going to take a quick nap so I could keep him up when he was tired later but other than bathroom breaks I basically slept through until 10am.

Sleeping

Road trip companion fail.

Well rested and perky I took over driving for about 2 hours and Joel dozed for about 30 minutes. I try not to take the fact that he can’t sleep while I drive personally. *side eye*

We finally rolled into town around 2:30pm and crashed in our amazingly comfortable king sized bed in the suite we paid $8 for (thank you Hotels.com credit!) in as much time as it took us to rip off our gross travel clothes.

Two hours later we were up and at the show, me quite well rested after a billion hours of sleep plus a nap and Joel… well he had lots of caffeine.

Joel Red Bull

The show was fantastic.

FIF NYE

Joel and me NYE

It’s a bit weird for me going to concerts pregnant since I have to hang back. Normal me is right down front in the crowd rocking out but pregnant me has to worry about accidentally getting bumped wrong and speaker volume. I still had a lot of fun and everyone at our table had the bonus of someone to watch their phones and coats while they jumped around. They even bought me a drink to thank me.

drink

And by drink I mean water in a Bud Light cup. But sipping on it with my big belly amused me.

Since Joel has worked with Five Iron I’ve gotten to know the band members and they are just such genuine, amazing people. I’m so glad I can consider them not just a great band but also friends.

Leanor and me

We finally got back to the hotel around 2:30am, immediately requested a late check out and passed. out.

The drive back I was a much better travel companion. I also discovered that driving through Iowa and Nebraska is only fun if you’re unconscious. Barely any phone signal, lousy radio… luckily Joel bought me Adventures in Odyssey CDs for Christmas and between that and conversation we kept each other pretty well entertained.

roadtrip Joel and me

Seven months pregnant, 23 hours in Denver, 39.5 hours of traveling, 2,000 miles, 8 gazillion potty breaks.

Worth it.

When we were debating going I posted about it on Facebook and lots of people said to go because soon you’ll have a baby and you’ll never do fun things ever again.

Or maybe they were slightly less dramatic but that was the idea.

I know that is the case for some people but we are lucky enough to have some role models in our lives that have shown us that our life does not have to be over just because we reproduced. Obviously I expect our life will change. I’m not completely naive. However, when Baby Boy is a bit older I plan to go back to flying full time. I also plan to have Joel and Baby Boy come with me as often as possible.

Life is as much of an adventure as you make it. I want to raise my son to love adventure and plan to show him the world his whole life. It’s a big world, it’ll take awhile, so I’ll need to start early.

Why do I do this?!

I procrastinate. And I freaking hate it. I leave for India tomorrow.

TOMORROW!

Guess how packed I am at 8pm the night before.

(not at all)

Guess how many blog posts I have ready.

(still have a bunch to write or get ready to post)

So yeah, I’m freaking out just a little.

I’ll get it all done. I always do. Will I get a decent night of sleep? That is very questionable.

So this post is a little phoned in. Sorry. I just have to concentrate on other things right now. Because I’m already tired and am hours away from being able to go to bed.

Ugh.

Luggage and other packing type dilemmas

One week and one day from tomorrow we leave for India. Holy moly it’s coming up so fast. I’m so excited but also nervous. The thing I’m nervous about? Packing. I feel totally lost.

First of all I’m going to have to raid some thrift stores for clothing because I’m pretty sure I have next to nothing that’s appropriate to wear there. Either I actually like it and don’t want to risk it getting ruined or it’s not culturally appropriate. I’m hoping I can find some cute-ish, cheap skirts and a couple tops (although not really sure what I’m looking for in the top department) and then I’ll just buy a couple things in country. From what I’ve read stuff is really cheap and easy to find there. So I may be better off only packing an outfit or two and finding the rest there. We’ll see what kind of treasures the thrift stores around here hold.

I also want to look into buying some sandals. From what I understand that’s the footwear of choice there. All I really have are some cute but fairly uncomfortable ones or flip flops. Hiking sandals that I’ve seen around here are kind of pricey so I can’t decide if they’re worth buying or not. Blah.

Then there’s the whole luggage situation. See, I can pack pretty light if I need to. Actually, it’s more I can fit a whole lot into a very small amount of space. I never take anything but my airline issued rollerboard and tote bag. No matter the length of the trip I can fit everything in there.

Except, we’re not really going to be in the same place the whole time. The last thing I want is to be dragging my rollerboard around on dirt roads and on and off buses. Or worse, rickshaws! That would never work.

So the plan is to take backpacks. Joel and I have one that I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to fit his stuff into. Then there’s me. The idea of fitting everything for the trip into one tiny little carry on sized backpack seems impossible. We looked into hiking packs but all of them are technically too big to carry on. The ones that are regulation size seem so itty bitty. I mean seriously, I’m positive I’ve seen people carry on way bigger bags than them. But we measured and I even checked Lufthansa’s website. So now I don’t know if I should just buy a non regulation size and hope I don’t have to check it and if they make me then hope they don’t lose my bag. I hate the idea of checking luggage. Not because it costs money (which I actually think on Lufthansa you can check one bag for free) but because I hate that it could get lost. I like to be in control of my stuff at all times. I may have issues.

Everything else we’re pretty good on. I’m going to look into some dry shampoo since I’d like to take as few toiletries as possible. I’m not sure if it works very well though. Anyone know anything about it? I also have to find some sort of very small travel towel. I’m thinking I can find something like that in some outdoor store.

And…. I think that’s all. Is it crazy to take such a small amount of stuff? I am a chronic over packer and never ever use everything I take. Still, the idea of only taking a small backpack makes me really anxious.

It’s probably because I’ve never actually been anywhere like India really. I don’t know what to expect or how easy it will be to get things I need if I forget/decide not to pack them. If it were Europe it’d be no problem. I know what to expect in places like that.

All of this is part of the adventure though and I know it’s going to be amazing. Not knowing what to expect is part of the excitment. I feel like I’m clicking up the first climb of a giant roller coaster. I have butterflies in my stomach and I almost want to scream at someone to stop the ride.

I know it’s going to be a great ride though and the butterflies are just part of the fun.

Alone

As a flight attendant and traveler in general I have taken trips in groups, with one other person and completely alone. Being alone can be scary. It can also be wonderful. I’ve been in so many foreign cities by myself that it hardly phases me anymore. Most of the time I prefer to be with other people but sometimes the ability to make your own decisions and spend hours one place and five minutes somewhere else is so freeing.

So, this video speaks to me in a deep way. It’s beautiful and inspiring and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Faraway Friends

We picked up our passports with shiny new Indian visas in them today. Well, they’re not actually shiny but in my head? Covered in bright, Times Square like lights. So pretty.

Also, remember how I was concerned about the number of pages left in my passport? The Indian consulate was nice enough to use those “extra” pages in the back that aren’t squared off for stamps instead of taking up two whole pages. Two pages that I didn’t really have mind you. I counted, I have 15 spaces left. Not pages, spaces. Should be plenty for this trip since they used the pages I thought were useless. Such nice people.

While in the car I got a phone call from a friend of mine who lives in Arizona. They are not only in town but were wondering if we had plans as they unexpectedly had two extra tickets to a White Sox game and would love it if we could join them. Um, yeah! Not only were we free but we were like ten minutes away. Perfection.

Jenny is one of my oldest and dearest friends and it was amazing to get to see her unexpectedly.

Seriously love this girl.

We didn’t stay for the whole game since tomorrow is going to be an early morning. We didn’t even actually stay for half the game. In fact, as we were walking to our car a parking attendant was all “You’re going the wrong way, game’s that way.” Thanks dude, the giant stadium with bright lights and screaming fans was not enough of a hint.

But can you actually blame him? Who leaves a game before the 4th inning?

Us, apparently.

Stamps in my passport

I have quite a few of those. Before you think I’m bragging remember when I was stuck in The Netherlands? And then I ended up getting home via Brussels? Yeah, that added a whole lot of stamps. The rest are mostly from Germany because they’re very picky about knowing exactly when you entered and left the country.

One time, as a working crew member, they apparently didn’t stamp my passport. I found this out as I was trying to leave because the customs officer starting yelling at me about the fact that I didn’t have one. I wasn’t aware I was responsible for supervising German immigration. ::eye roll:: Thankfully he let me leave since I was standing there with a crew badge in uniform. And I said I’d only been there for 24 hours. Likely a liar would say slightly longer. I assume. I’ve never lied to immigration. Really.

Since, in my first six months of working, I was assigned trips to Frankfurt no less than 9 times you can imagine how boring it is to look through my passport. A whole lot of AMS and FRA, a French and Chinese visa and a few US stamps just for good measure. This has left me with very few pages left. Thankfully I have just enough room for my Indian visa which I will be applying for next Wednesday.

Yep, you read that right. I’m 90% sure this trip is actually going to happen. I’m in shock and shaking from excitement at the same time. Despite the fact that I’ve been hoping and praying to go on this trip since I was 12 years old I still feel completely unprepared. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t raise enough money to buy tickets from the US to India. We’re going to have to fly standby to Europe and fly out of there.

Considering my last standby experience to Europe that kind of scares the crap out of me.

The cheapest tickets we found were out of Frankfurt which as I mentioned earlier is a city I’m quite familiar with. The only concern I have is I realized it’s right smack in the middle of Oktoberfest. Now, Oktoberfest happens in Munich but it still worries me that we might not be able to make it.

Our next option is Amsterdam which should be a breeze to get in and out of. The only problem is it’s going to cost like $700 more. ::sigh::

We have to decide soon but we need to get visas before we buy non-refundable plane tickets because the last thing we want is to be denied visas and just throw money away.

And now you can see where I’m stressed.

Not to mention I have barely any room in my US passport.

There’s plenty of room in my Swiss passport but something about the fact that I live in the States means I can’t use it. Lame.

We thought we could get extra pages put in but it turns out it costs almost as much to do that as to get a new passport. Super lame!

But we’re going.

I think.

I want this so bad it makes my heart ache. I wish we had raised enough to buy our plane tickets all the way from ORD but I guess that makes it even more about faith.

All I know is I’ve already heard about the children we’re going down there to help. And it makes me want to cry thinking about them. I can’t wait to play with them and read them stories and make their home a better place.

We’ve already sent money down to the home ahead of us. Today I found out what they’re using it for.

Toilets.

They’re putting in toilets so that they’ll have them when we arrive.

I told Joel I don’t need a toilet! I’ve used a squatty-potty before and we’re going to be in the middle of the jungle, I honestly didn’t expect anything other than a hole. Joel said it was already part of the improvement plans so I don’t feel guilty.

Imagine being exited about getting a toilet.

I can’t tell you how badly I hope to make it there. They are anticipating our arrival already and I know they will be very disappointed if we can’t make it for some reason. This is one of my biggest life dreams and it just seems unreal that it may actually happen.

Please send good vibes as we apply for visas and finally purchase plane tickets.

I’m so nervous but I’m starting to think we’re actually going to make it.

As always you can find out more about our trip at our HelpSend.Us site.

Inspired by Iceland

I’m always day dreaming of trips I’d like to take. As long as my list is, it would probably take me three lifetimes to complete. It probably doesn’t help that I’m constantly adding new places to it.

This video is probably one of the best tourism commercials I’ve ever seen. Iceland was never very high on my list of places to go but after watching this video it’s moved way up my wish list.

Also, the song is so fun and catchy. One of my new favorites.

What’s on your travel wish list?

Memo

Dear Body Clock,

I can’t be too harsh with you because I can definitely see where you might have gotten mixed messages. With all the travel between time zones across the country and around the world we’ve done in the last couple of years, even the best of body clocks could have easily been thrown off. I’m actually not sure what time zone you believe us to be in. So, to clear up any further confusion, we now live in Chicago which is in the Central time zone. I’m not going to lie, we won’t always be in Chicago, I plan on continuing to travel as often as possible. However, that does not give you permission to pick and choose any time zone you please when it comes to sleeping time. It’s very simple: Night time = Sleep time, Day time = Activity time. Thank you for your understanding and prompt cooperation in the matter.

Your should-be-sleepy-but-isn’t friend,

Abigail

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén