My last post has been my most viewed post! I was a little surprised by that because it was so incredibly long but good to know anyone reads this!
I decided to write another “Come On A Trip With Me” post because my most recent trip had me in New Orleans for 2 nights during Mardi Gras & I thought it’d be a fun read!
This trip was also a 4 day trip with all early showtime times. I was with both Karren & Wendy again for this one. We had 2 nights in New Orleans and 1 night in Myrtle Beach before getting back to base in Orlando early.
As stated before, prepping for the trip always comes first so the day before has Clinton & I driving our friends Nick & Megan to Orlando in the morning to fly home to Indiana. I knew this day would be busy for us so we stopped by Trader Joe’s while we were in Orlando so I could grab some salads & some pre-made TJ’s goodies. I’m currently in a mega food rut and I’m sick of all the stuff I usually prep (maybe another post for another day) and I just wanted some different things in my bag!
Clinton & I had lunch in Orlando and made our way home for all my pre-trip rituals minus meal prepping now. Because the temperatures in our layover destinations in this trip were much milder than our usual frigid spots, I got to pack lighter clothes & ditch my heavy coat. Thank goodness because my poor bags have had enough of me trying to shove heavy winter stuff in them. I’ve been flying nearly 5 years now and can’t pack for shit. I’m very organized but I never have exactly what I need. For instance, on this trip I had no socks. So in turn, I couldn’t wear my sneakers the whole trip & only wore flip flops.
Anyways, I actually cooked this night because I have been craving this pizza that I make and it doesn’t take much to throw it all together. I pulled a very risky move for someone who had to wake up at 2:30 AM & decided to stay up and watch the season 2 finale of “Euphoria” (RIP Ash Tray) so that put me at about 4 hours of sleep. Shockingly though, I wake up fine. I’m pretty much a zombie who has learned to function through the days.
2:30 comes quickly. I get ready, kiss both my babies, and head over to Karren’s. Insert the 1 hour drive to MCO.
This trip I will not be flying lead. I’ve been “up front” for the majority of February and I just don’t want to for a while. I get so burnt out being up there sometimes. So today, I chose to fly the C position & will be predominantly in the back of the plane aside from snack & beverage service, trash walks, compliance/seatbelt checks, etc. Karren chose B which puts Wendy as our lead for this trip.
We’re on an A321 today which means we will have 2 additional flight attendants with us but they’re based elsewhere so they’ll be coming in from their hotel and we will meet them at the aircraft. Today’s day 1 is simple – 2 legs. First leg is Orlando to Newark, second leg is Newark to New Orleans. We have a 17 hour layover in NOLA aaaaaaand it’s Mardi Gras so we already know our plans for the evening.
It’s terrible but I can’t even remember our flights so I’m sure they went well. Actually you know what? I do remember something. On the leg going to New Orleans I had a man WAVE ME AWAY as if dismissing me from his presence because I simply asked him to have his mask on. Rude.
We get to NOLA & walk to the hotel shuttle pick up area. We’re all very excited because for our first night we’re staying downtown! The other 2 gals had stayed at that hotel before but I hadn’t so I was super excited. I LOVE getting a hotel in a good location that you can walk places from! So many of our hotels are located near the airports (obviously) so having some convenience to enjoy the layover without getting an Uber or something is awesome. This hotel (all hotels that crews stay in shall remain nameless on the blog for safety reasons) was absolutely gorgeous.
During check-in at the front desk, something funny happened –
“Are you Ms. M*****?” – employee (he used my last name which I am so ashamed of, it’s my dickbag ex-husband’s last name & I never changed it out of sheer convenience for work)
“…Yes” – me, wondering how he knew that
“I know you!” – employee
“What?!” – me, knowing I’ve never stayed in this damn hotel before so whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?
“I know you! *he looks at Karren and Wendy* I haven’t seen this young lady in 15 or 16 years! This young lady saved my life once! You don’t remember me?! Ohhh I’m ‘bout to embarrass you good! *pulls his mask down* you don’t recognize me?!” – employee
“…no” – me
He then proceeds to tell us a story about riding a horse, complete with him getting choked up and tears coming out of his eyes. I’m standing there gobsmacked & wracking my brain for memories of the time I saved someone’s life in New Orleans while they were horseback riding!
Finally this man bursts out laughing & says he saw my name on my badge & decided to have some fun with me! He totally got me!
Since this was the last day before actual Mardi Gras day, we knew we had to go out. Wendy has friends in New Orleans & is pretty knowledgeable about the parades and whatnot and she wanted to go watch the Orpheus parade later. Orpheus looked so fun & had some celebrities on the floats like Harry Connick Jr, Nicole Scherzinger from Pussycat Dolls, & the actor who plays Loras on Game of Thrones! We got changed and started our journey, first stopping into a restaurant named Johnny Sanchez. It’s owned by chef Aaron Sanchez (I’ma big Food Network nerd & recognized his name immediately) & we decided to go in when Wendy spotted King Cake Tres Leches cake in the menu. They had a small but nicely priced Happy Hour menu so we ordered some queso, tacos, and I ordered a delicious (however quite sweet) King Cake Milk Punch. Wendy’s cake was absolutely delicious! Everything was really good & quite cheap – My 2 tacos & cocktail was only $13 before tip.
We then walked to a nearby bar called VooDoo Two. It was nearly empty and the bartender somehow talked us into 32 oz drinks to take with us to the parade. I’m just gonna blame it on her New Orleans accent. I’m a sucker for that accent.
We took our drinks (in my case, my 32 oz cup of rum) & made our way to Saint Charles street to set up for the parade. Proteus krewe was coming out first and by the time they got to where we were standing it was well over an hour later. Karren went back to the hotel room because it was chilly out but Wendy and I stayed to watch.
At this point, most of the evening became about the misadventures of my phone –
“Guys my phone is gone. MY PHONE IS GONE” – me
“SHUT UP” – Wendy
“No fucking way” – Karren
*pats all my pockets, opens my purse, pats my chest*
“OH THANK GOD IT’S IN MY TITTIES!!!!” – me
That last line would go onto being the slogan of our whole trip. It was said…oh, I don’t know. Often. And a lot. And probably only that one time was it said by me!
During the parade my phone fell out of my bra twice as I was trying to catch stuff from the parade floats. The second time it fell into a freaking drain while I was trying to grab a cup (A CUP!!! I have a million cups at home! But I just haaaad to have this cup) that one of the floats was throwing out. If you know ANYTHING about New Orleans at all it’s that I should have thrown the whole damn phone away after that but I could see a few inches of my phone sticking out so I knew I could reach down and retrieve it. I screamed out “WENDY!! DON’T MOVE!!” as if she was a threat that would somehow make the phone continue into the drain and into the hands of Pennywise. I promptly put it into my purse and did not touch it again till I got to my room where I could clean it.
“Wendy I swear if my phone went in that drain…I’d walk into oncoming traffic” – me
We tried our damndest with each passing float to catch beads and the other goodies but just didn’t have a lot of luck. Every float that went by I’d look to Wendy and say “JUST ONE MORE!!” and we’d wave and yell and get nothin’!! We had an early morning so made our way back to the hotel when Wendy found a massive pile of beads draped over a fence.
“I want them. Give those to me” I said.
Famous last words of someone who later compared carrying those beads to lugging a toddler around. They were so heavy! I kept dropping things but couldn’t bend over to pick them up because then I’d drop more! Luckily, Wendy or a kind stranger was always around to hand me my stolen street beads. I went to my room and dumped all my beads out and sprayed them with spray sanitizer. Look. I love New Orleans very much…but it is an absolutely disgusting city!! And I felt that way pre-Covid too. One of the first bits of advice I learned for NOLA was to never, ever step in a puddle. Noted.
First came clean up, then came some sleep. The next day we were working a San Pedro Sula turn out of New Orleans so we’d be back.
The SAP turn went very well & we were back to NOLA in what felt like no time. Clearing customs was shockingly a breeze too, thankfully. We stayed in a different hotel this night which was a huge bummer because it was Fat Tuesday & we wanted to be downtown again!! Honestly, I think the airline planned it that way (haha) to keep us out of trouble (kidding of course)
We met some pilots that work for our airline on the shuttle to the hotel & the Captain decided he’d like to go get food with us. We all went to change and put on our beads (I gave the Captain a strand of beads from my previous night’s finds so he could fit in with us) and walked to Louisiana Purchase Kitchen, a Cajun restaurant Karren has been raving over. Closed. We walked to Tavern on Vets. Closed. We walked to Joe’s Daiquiris…aaaaaaand CLOSED. Everything was closed for Mardi Gras! We passed a lovely British couple that recommended a bar across the street called 3rd Rock Tavern so that’s where we ended up. As soon as we walked in my attention was drawn to this old lady, obviously hammered drunk & parading around the bar – after about 2 minutes, she fell & smacked her head on the floor. The bartender was more concerned with what we were ordering. That bartender has probably seen some shit in her life.
For dinner we ate at a Mexican restaurant across the street, mostly because it was one of the few places actually still open. We had so much fun that day! We had the Captain as well as our chaser that day, Dana, with us. The dynamic was just there. We laughed so much! Most of the time at my expense. Afterwards, we met up at hotel pool where the other pilot was. The Captain kept trying to bet me money to go jump into the -very cold- pool but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it so I was a big ol’ wuss. Even when he pulled out $150. Actually if he’d have put his money where his mouth is and jumped in with me I maybe would have done it.
As usual it was early to bed, early to rise. The next day we had a showtime of 0440 so I was up at 0330 getting ready with bleary eyes & hoping like heck that I looked halfway decent. We worked a flight to Boston and then had a deadhead to Myrtle Beach. We love us a good deadhead (flying as a passenger but being paid for duty) & even managed to doze off just a little bit. I hadn’t been to Myrtle Beach since I got stuck there during irregular operations last year and was there for a week! However, the hotel we stay at there was so nice to me (as was the airport staff) that I actually still love going there.
At this point in the trip, I was exhausted. I had no desire to really go out anymore so I changed into my swimsuit and hung out at the pool alone for a little while which was so nice. I love my alone time (as stated in my last post) but did end up meeting up with my girls at 4 to go have an early, light dinner at Beach Bummz down the street. It was just an okay dinner & I get annoyed at the fact I sometimes spend money on mediocre food. However, Bummz is right on the beach & it was a gorgeous day (the whole trip was gorgeous!) so the setting makes up for the food.
We crashed super early that night for our 4th early showtime but y’all should know the drill by now – day 4 is go home day! I barely wore any makeup & wore my hair in a bun. We had one super short flight to Orlando that went absolutely perfect & made our way home.
I laid in bed once I got home & hung out with Emma. Later that evening, Clinton took me to dinner & we rode down to a little beach access point and sat by the water for a little while. It was just one of those beautiful Florida evenings. I’m off for 6 days now and I’m so looking forward to it.
Next month I won’t be with my girls as we bid for separate schedules instead of together and I’ll miss them terribly! However, if you know me at all, you know I’ll still be out and about adventuring on my layovers!