Come On A Trip With Me {Solo}

My buddy bidders & I have parted ways! Just for a little bit, I’m sure. So the last 2 months I’ve been flying solo. Actually, next month I will be flying solo as well – super solo actually, as I have a chaser line which means I will not be part of a regular 3 person crew.


Let’s go on a trip!

*I am skipping all the “prep” that I usually cover in my blogs because it takes up so much space & also, I didn’t prep much at all this trip anyways due to my layover lengths. I figured I would be eating out during my 30 hour layover in Kansas City & I packed very lightly on the clothing BUT did include my laptop so I had a third piece of luggage anyway!

I am currently in Kansas City & will finish this post tomorrow when I am home. I am on a 4 day trip with a great crew! I am with 2 guys, one of which I have flown with multiple times & really enjoy flying with. We’ll call him “E”. One I just met 2 days ago at the start of this trip but I really enjoy him already. We’ll call him “M”. I have certain flight attendants that when I see their names on my pairings (pairing is another word for trip) I feel relieved because I know that I’ll be okay. I need flight attendants that I can feel safe with in the air – people who will not take shit, people who know their shit, and people who won’t panic & leave you hangin’ if shit hits the fan. “E” was already one of those flight attendants for me & knowing “M” from this trip alone…so is he. They’re both very funny & personable with guests & I could totally see either of them being able to diffuse situations if need be. A good crew means EVERYTHING when you’re 35,000 feet in the air! I chose to fly lead on this trip & felt very confident that this trip would be lovely, smooth, & uneventful, which it has been.

Our first day was one short leg – Orlando to Richmond, VA for a 16 hour layover. It was a night flight & we didn’t get in ’til after midnight. It was a perfect, smooth flight. The mask mandate has officially went away so flying is so much easier. With that awful mandate in effect, it felt like people were coming on the planes so tense. Like they were just ready to fight. Whether it was me or another passenger, they came on ready to throw down. My last trip was my first not wearing a mask & I’ll just say…,well, for a while now I’ve had anxiety before trips. I have a lot of fear that someone will attack me on the plane or that I’ll end up on the news or become Facebook famous…it was making me so nervous to fly. When they lifted the mandate, I felt that anxiety finally leave. I feel like lifting this mandate was the best thing that could be done for the mental health & SAFETY of flight crew. This is now my second Richmond layover, with my first being just a couple weeks ago. We stay in a really nice part of Richmond in an awesome location – tons of restaurants around & lots of shopping. I wanted to go out the next day and just walk around and get some sunshine but I couldn’t bring myself to wake up early enough! I slept until almost 11 AM, which is pretty unheard of for me since most of my showtimes are usually very early. I find that when I bid alone, I get mid-day to afternoon showtimes so I can sleep later.

Okay, I’m officially back in Florida & off for a few days so I can focus on writing.

Anyways, in Richmond I didn’t do anything. Again, I would like to go out & explore as I ,literally, go out as often as I can but sadly a couple weeks ago when I had a 28 hour layover in Richmond, some craziness went down & it shortened my layover to 11 hours & when I tell ya’ll I was exhausted…you literally have no idea. I was miserable. This time my layover was only 16 hours and I slept about 11 of those hours! When I woke up, I ate my meal prep & showered & got ready for the night’s flights.

Day 2 was Richmond to Orlando, Orlando to Kansas City, MO. I don’t know if anyone really remembers this about me but I actually lived in KCMO for a short period of time in 2015. I was there from Christmas 2014 to June of 2015. Maybe July, I’m not sure. I really love it as a city & was excited that I got approved for this trip. It was not on my original line (schedule) & when I saw that this trip included a 30 hour layover there, I hoped like hell I could get it…and I did! We had an excellent chaser on the first flight & once we got to Orlando, we changed air crafts to an A319 – meaning, we only need the 3 original crew members to operate. Both flights were fantastic with lovely passengers…midwestern flights tend to be so much better to me. The people are so lovely. The more north you go, the more I have no interest in flying there. New York City is my favorite city on earth but I don’t work LaGuardia flights. It’s for my sanity.

I absolutely adore flying to KCMO for multiple reasons – it is a small airport, it is a short walk to the shuttle pickup (some airports *ahem* Atlanta/Minneapolis/Denver/Pittsburgh take FOREVER to get out of!), and the shuttle is always there so you don’t have to wait (who really enjoys waiting at the airport when you’ve had a day of work?). We also stay in a very nice hotel downtown so there’s lots to do! Staying downtown is such an underrated luxury. It’s less you’ll spend on transportation because most things are walkable, things stay open later in case you get in late & need food, & there’s far more entertainment options in downtown areas.

I already knew exactly what I wanted to do while there – I have a lot of favorite food spots in KC! The best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life is from Joe’s Kansas City (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s when I lived there) – the first time I ate there, it instantly replaced Carolina BBQ for me. As a southern girl (and Carolina at that!) I take BBQ very seriously. Actually, while BBQ is not necessarily just a southern food, I take ALL southern food seriously. It really irks me to my core to see someone put actual corn in their cornbread. Anyways, I’m rambling (I could talk about food all day!) but I knew I had to make a return to Joe’s. All I could think about was those delicious little burnt ends! So, on day 3 of my trip when I wouldn’t be flying at all (remember, 30 hour layover!) I got ready & booked a $6 Lyft out to Joe’s. I went as soon as they opened because something I remembered well from 2015 is that Joe’s gets CRAZY busy! Joe’s is inside a gas station and I have seen the line to get in to eat wrapped around the side of the building! I my have had the time to wait but I certainly didn’t want to. It was already pretty busy when I got there but there was no line, I was the only person in line when I ordered. Shortly after I sat down though, the line grew all the way to the door! My burnt end sandwich was everything I remembered it to be from 7 years ago!

Typing that feels surreal. 7 years. It’s so bizarre to me that it’s been that long. I actually struggled to remember quite a bit about KCMO while I was there. I remembered the restaurants I liked to eat at & where I liked to shop. I can remember my address from there as well. I remember a little about my job & my gym I went to – that’s about it. I don’t really remember what I did for fun there! I wish I would’ve documented more while I lived there.

I sat at Joe’s for a bit just sipping my drink & enjoying being solo & being in a place that feels familiar. When I finally decided to head back, I purchased a couple bottles of BBQ sauce & some seasonings to take back home with me. I was going to head on to Country Club Plaza to go shopping but changed my mind when I realized how heavy the bag of BBQ sauce was! So I went back to my hotel to drop my souvenirs off. My crew had all went their separate ways – “E” stayed in because in his own words “I’m broke. I packed sandwiches & my VR headset”. I bumped into “M” in the hotel lobby and he was on his way to the Jazz museum. I had changed my mind on Country Club Plaza & decided to just walk the 20 minutes to City Market instead. I had always wanted to go to City Market when I lived there because I love farmer’s markets & food halls but never did make it out there. I had nothing but time so I changed clothes and made the trek to the market. It was such a perfect day to be out walking and being in the sunshine! Not a cloud in a beautiful blue sky.

Absolutely love this branch of the KC library…it’s set up to look like books on a shelf!

At the market, I stopped in a boba tea place & got a green apple boba tea & a couple macarons to go, walked around the backside of the market where there is a small park, grabbed an empty bench and just hung out. My tea was delicious but the macarons were mediocre at best, but it was fine.

For dinner, I had Cupini’s. Cupini’s is the most delicious Italian restaurant I have ever been to. I only ate there once while living there & it was enough to make me a fan for life. Years ago, I had seen them on Food Network. “Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives” I believe. They make all of their pastas by hand & their lasagna looked to die for, so when I lived there I made it a point to try them & they are truly amazing. I had lasagna and tiramisu. It was a great day to stuff my face in a city I used to call home.

That night I was absolutely exhausted & needed to be up at 4 AM. Our shuttle was leaving for the airport at 5 so that gave me 50 minutes to get ready (I go down to catch the shuttle 10 minutes prior to shuttle time) but as soon as my head hit the pillows suddenly I couldn’t sleep! My eyes & throat had been bothering me (allergies!) so I swapped my pillows for the ones that went unused on the double bed in my room & cleaned my contacts & case really well in case I had any allergens clinging to me. At this point, I was getting anxious at the thought of how tired I was going to be! I just knew I was going to be miserable the next day (I was…I cannot stress this enough, I hate mornings. Waking up is traumatic as hell for me on some mornings) but on day 4 aka Go Home Day, I try to shrug it off & power on just for the sake of – I’m going home! I had 3 hours of sleep. ON A 30 HOUR LAYOVER! Unfrigginbelievable. Leave it to me.

Day 4 was our longest day – Kansas City to Orlando. Orlando to Pensacola. Pensacola back to Orlando. We changed aircrafts once arriving into Orlando even though we were still on a 319 so that was annoying & the aircraft we were switching to was coming in from Indianapolis. That flight was delayed ,so, as they say, “shit falls down the ladder” which in turn meant our next 2 flights were going to be delayed. The Orlando/Pensacola flights should have been a very quick turn & it was the only thing keeping me going through the day – the sheer thought that these flights would be about an hour or less. They went by pretty quick, the people were awesome, & our pilots were are able to make up some time in the air but it didn’t matter at that point. I was exhausted. I LOOKED exhausted!

Once back in Orlando, we split up our credit card applications that we’d had submitted to us from the last 4 days & went our separate ways again. We all live in different directions of the airport – one in Tampa, one south of Orlando somewhere, and I’m an hour north east of Orlando. I called my mom on the way home since I don’t often talk to her during my trips & when I got home, Clinton ordered me a pizza for dinner & he left for work for the night. I stayed up just long enough for a shower & to eat some pizza before taking a shot of my new favorite TikTok find – Mary Ruth’s liquid magnesium, which is supposed to be an excellent sleep aid if you can’t do melatonin (I can, Clinton can’t…gives him weird dreams & makes him really groggy the next day) & I knocked out until 8 AM the next morning when I was still so tired that I couldn’t form words. However, Emma had a vet appointment in Ormond Beach at 9:45 so I had to straighten up fast!

We had a quick breakfast & her appointment went well (she’s such a good girl!) so now that I was a functioning human AND we were already in Ormond, I convinced Clinton to drive up A1A to the dog friendly stretch of Flagler Beach just for a fun walk on the beach. It was windy, the ocean was rough, there were Man o’ War everywhere, & Emma hates the beach so we didn’t stay long! I’ve officially went over the timeline of the actual trip so I’ll wrap up here.

My perfect girl

My next trip starts in 3 days & I’m heading to Los Angeles, Cleveland, & Latrobe (Pennsylvania) as my layover spots. If I do anything cool, you’ll be the first to know.

– Autumn

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