Clinton’s V-day date for me was for us to ride our motorcycle down to Fort Lauderdale & eat at the restaurant where we had our first date – Rustic Inn Crabhouse. A great idea!
Until you factor in that I have bad hips & he has a bad knee. I will cover my hip issues one day on the blog, mostly because I think people think I’m joking when I talk about them (“these old, crippled hips”) or when I say I need a hip replacement but no, it’s true. One day & preferably soon, I’ll need to have my left hip replaced again. Yes, you read that right as well…AGAIN. However, I’m absolutely petrified of having the surgery so I plan to suffer for as long as humanly possible. And as for Clinton’s knee, well if you ever read the post about his accident you‘ll understand.
He does better than I do on the bike. I do not do well. Having to keep my legs apart for him to sit in between them makes my hips lock into place and when I’m finally able to close them it hurts so bad that I just cry. I can’t control it, it’s instant. It feels like I’m being split apart when I have to flex them back into place after riding so long with them apart. They simply feel broken.
I love to ride the bike though – I really do. We have a gorgeous motorcycle. It’s a work of art. But since we’ve had it I have found out the hard way I just can’t ride the way we used to. Our old bike was far less comfortable and I could ride for hours on that thing! As my hips deteriorate, I can hardly tolerate a ride to Daytona and back.
By the time we made it to Port St Lucie, I was screaming in my helmet. When we stopped for gas, my thigh muscles were in spasm. When I got off the bike & took my helmet off I just started bawling. There was no fucking way I could finish this ride. The thought of having to continue made me miserable but I agreed because I really wanted some damn crab! Crab would make it all worthwhile.
So we continued (after having to explain to a FedEx guy who saw me crying at the gas station that I’m okay, not to be alarmed, I’m just in pain from the bike! I think he thought Clinton was abusive towards me…I had to clarify!) and finally we caved & decided to stop and have an early lunch at Troy’s barbecue in Boynton Beach.
Troy’s is one of my favorite places ever & with the promise of “We can stay as long as we need to to relax & be comfortable!” by Clinton, I was ready. Those last few miles on Federal highway absolutely killed this ol’ girl though so once again, I bawled like a baby when we got to Troy’s. I threatened to rent a car & drive back. I looked at hotels. I just couldn’t see myself finishing off this day at all! We sat at Troy’s for what felt like forever & enjoyed a wonderful lunch – it shocked me as much as anyone to know there’s truly delicious barbecue in South Florida. I just couldn’t believe it! But Troy’s is legit. They even invited us out to the smoker to hang out for a while and talk!
We called our friend Kristen who lives in the area but she was unavailable at that point but called us later when we had made it to Fort Lauderdale.
The drive from Boynton to Laudy wasn’t that bad really & for the first time that day I didn’t cry. I actually didn’t cry anymore at all! AND SPOILER ALERT – I made the entire ride home! I didn’t get a rental or check into a hotel or steal Kristen’s car haha!!
Lauderdale was beautiful that night. We had our crab dinner & enjoyed reminiscing over our old Boca Raton apartment, my days in flight attendant training, & my time being based in FLL. We only stopped one time on the way home and honestly, we deserved that because we got stuck in wreck traffic on I-95 & it was stop and go for almost an hour & it was just awful! The side of the bike was getting hot and burning our legs through our jeans & Clint was having such a hard time with the stop and go aspect of it with his knee. When we stopped we only had 98 miles til home and he looked at me & said “We will not stop again until we’re home because if I stop then we’re staying wherever we are. I can’t do it anymore!” I gritted my teeth and sucked it up buttercup!
Yep. We’re definitely old. 35 & 37 and our best days are behind us. One day when I’m not such a wuss I’m gonna have this old hip worked on & get back to being a bad bitch.
Not every one of our adventures turns out amazing. We loved actually being in SoFlo but the bike was a terrible idea. What wasn’t a terrible idea though was the next day when both of us plus Emma laid in bed all day & watched Hulu. I didn’t get out of my bed until 5 PM. It was brilliant! You can just call us MaMaw & PaPaw for now.
Clinton & I each planned a Valentine’s date this year. We are both “experience” people & while we may buy something small for each other (except for the year he bought me my gun, that was a BIG purchase!), we usually do dinner somewhere nice & have a proper date. This year, I was drawing a blank on what I wanted to do for him – I had been originally thinking of us going to the Kennedy Space Center for a day of nerding out over rockets (we are both big space nerds) but it also occurred to me that Clinton has never been to Disney. Not that he’s ever asked me to go but I’ve always wanted to take him! I think EVERYONE should go to Disney at least once in their life if for nothing else than to appease your inner child.
So, while on one of my trips a couple weeks ago I was flying with my sweet friend Eduardo & I mentioned it in passing to him – “I think I’m gonna take my husband to Disney next weekend! He’s never been. I think when we get to the hotel tonight I’m gonna check out tickets…” but then when we got to Newark that night and I actually began looking at ticket prices, I was SHOCKED! Now, mind you, the last time I went to Disney was 2018 & I went for a special event so my ticket was only $90. Well, how times have changed…
For Clinton & I to go to Disney for ONE DAY with our Florida resident “discount” PLUS I wanted to add on the park hopper option…it was going to cost us $488 total. Disney, I love you, but that is obscene. I said to myself “Oh hell no” & clicked off the Disney tab on my phone with a quickness but figured I hadn’t said anything to Clinton about my idea so it’s not like he had his hopes up for anything.
The next day on our flight home, Eduardo was gushing “So you’re taking your husband to Disney?!” to which I responded “NOT ANYMORE!” & explained the pricing to him. He said “Oh! I thought you had annual passes & were going!” and then he did the kindest thing – he told me that we could use his friends & family passes that he & his husband get yearly. Of course, I said no. He said yes. I told him we couldn’t possibly do that. He told me they don’t have a lot of family & friends local so the passes often go unused. I ask if I can at least pay him for the tickets. He says that’s not allowed & to just take them and enjoy. I’m starting to get worn down a little by his persistence. I’m still asking questions as he takes his phone out & shows me the booking process. Before I know it, he made us reservations! Only 2 parks had availability for a reservation at opening so it was between Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom – I’d never been to HS myself so we chose that one to start.
We were going to Disney! For free! I was so giddy to tell Clinton about this but was still totally humbled by Eduardo’s kindness so I was still offering to pay or at least take him & his husband to dinner. He refused all my advances and just told me to enjoy our day at Disney!
I would not call Clint or myself a Disney adult at all but we have Disney+ & enjoy theme parks, stuff like that, but as time ticked on, Clinton got super excited to go! Momma Kat kept Emma for us for the day & we left dark & early for Orlando! We had breakfast at a spot we like by our old apartment & then made our way to Hollywood Studios to meet up with Eduardo’s husband for the passes.
As soon as they opened the gates I pulled up the app to see which areas we should hit first – we decided on the new(ish) Star Wars area. Rise of the Resistance already had a 50 minute wait so we decided to knock it out first! The wait went by extremely fast & we really enjoyed the ride. Clint talked to everyone & their mother while we waited. We both like our rides a bit more extreme than anything Disney has to offer but as I kept telling him – ya go to Disney for the experience, not necessarily thrills. We walked around the Star Wars area afterwards & played with souvenirs, bought some of the cool Coke & Sprite bottles, & decided we were going to Toy Story land next!
I absolutely loved Toy Story land because it’s so dang cute. We took a picture with one of the green army men & she said “First time huh? Well, welcome to the backyard!” – the whole area had giant wooden fencing around it like you really were playing with toys in a back yard! Super cute touch! We got in line for Slinky Dog Dash & that took for-freakin-ever but oh what a fun ride! My favorite that we got to of the day! We stood in line for nearly 2 hours for that ride! Sadly, we were unable to purchase lightning lane passes with our friends & family pass. From there we found Woody, Buzz, & Jesse but decided against waiting in line for a picture with them so I just snapped some of them between guests.
We went shopping and I bought Clint his first set of ears – they are red & sparkly with a little top hat & feather on them for Dumbo. They are super cute & I can wear them too! I was wearing my Maleficent ears/horns even though they are my Halloween ears. I don’t think it matters really. We tried about a dozen different ears on him before he picked those. I was very adamant that he leave with Mickey ears before the day was done! I even bought them. Actually we made a deal – he bought all food & drinks while I bought the souvenirs. Somehow we came out even! We stopped & got 2 smoothies & watched a skit in the park with Donald and Daisy then made our way to a show with Lightning McQueen! That show was not only cute but a welcome break because it was inside, air conditioned, & sorta dark. As we were making our way to the Tower of Terror, we got suckered right into having a caricature photo of Emma drawn for us! We had them draw her as Belle from Beauty & the Beast because Belle is my favorite princess (she’s a bookworm like me & of all the princesses, she looks most like me haha) That caricature is the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever spent money on in my life. I told Clinton “Ya know. When people think of us, I hope they think to themselves – ‘wow, those 2 really live their lives 100% unapologetically themselves’ & if that means we’re out here buying weird caricature art of our dog then so be it”
Afterwards we made our way to Epcot for lunch at the World’s Showcase because it was finally time that we could park hop! We took the sky lift which was really nice. My first time on that as well! When we got to Epcot the first thing we did was have our photos taken with Minnie and Daisy! There were no lines for them & we literally just strolled right up! We were literally 2 children in those moments. They both hugged us & posed for tons of photos. Daisy was obsessed with Clinton & a bit smitten. I’d say the feeling was mutual – he kissed her hand. I was horrified! I shrieked out “BABE YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH THE CAST MEMBERS!” to which the cast member taking our photos said “If Daisy extends her hand to him it’s fine!” & as we walked away she told us “Donald is in Mexico (the Mexico pavilion at Epcot) – you guys go find him & tell him Daisy wants a ring!” I took her way too seriously & said “Okay we’ll do that!” It didn’t even click with me that she was joking!!
This is when the raging hunger kicked in & we strolled around until we found somewhere without a crazy wait to eat! Barbecue in the USA pavilion. Go figure. All that food to choose from but honestly we were starving & in dire need of just getting to sit for a little while! We barely spent any time at Epcot (I love Epcot, we just had other plans) so we took the boat to one of the resorts & caught a bus to Animal Kingdom. This was our 3rd & final park today – we will just have to do Magic Kingdom another time but I feel like we went to the 3 parks Clinton would enjoy most!
We only had one thing on our agenda here – a safari. Then we could do whatever else! The safaris were set to stop in about half an hour so we booked it over there to get in line. Luckily there was nearly no wait! I think this was by far his favorite part & definitely one of my favorite things to do as well. We are both big animal lovers! We saw nearly all the animals, even the lions which I’ve heard can be a bit antisocial. Animal Kingdom is such an underrated park really. The Everest ride is such a good ride there too!
When all was said & done, we made our way back to Hollywood Studios to get the car & head back home. We were good & tired, tan, & one of us sweat through his shirt…but it was a truly magical day! I wish we’d had lightning lane passes so we could’ve rode more rides but the few that we did get under our belts were fantastic! I really do love experiencing new things with my man. I’m always thinking of new places we can go or new things for us to do – someone wrote on my Facebook one day that we’re always doing something fun. I’m proud of that! Life is so short & I just want to spend my time enjoying it with those I love. I spend so much time away from home because of my job that I truly covet my time at home with my man & my girl.
I am so beyond thankful to Eduardo & his wonderful husband for a fun day at the parks! We are very blessed!
We spent around $125 between the 2 of us for a full day including a meal, snacks, cold drinks, & 2 souvenirs! I call that a win!
Next Saturdaze post is about Clint’s Valentines date that he picked! It was a doozy…
I’ve been a busy little bee these last couple months & have been lapping it up on the weekends while I’m off! My Saturdays have been my favorite days lately so I thought, what a cute little blog series this could make?!
First up was Galentine’s.
Valentine’s but for the gals! As I have stated in an older post…I love Valentine’s Day. Not even because I’m in a loving, healthy relationship – I loved it when I was single too. I love the aesthetic of it mostly with all the pink & hearts everywhere but I also love love man! It’s a beautiful thing to have love in your life. There’s always some grumpy bastard who is all “Well you should celebrate the love you have in your life every day not just on Valentine’s Day” dude just eat the pink sprinkle cupcake I made you & enjoy. Let me live.
“So about our glamour times thing…” – Karren
“Glamour time?” – me
“Glamourtines?” – Karren
“…………glamourtines?” – me
“Do you mean Galentine’s?” – Clinton
“THAT’S IT!!!” – Karren
Since I have no friends that aren’t flight attendants, this Galentine’s was for the Fly Girls. I originally had plans for us to go to a Mexican restaurant in Orlando that our friend Jade has been dying to go to but as some people couldn’t make it (our out of town Fly Girls) we just decided to keep it close to home & I chose a new-ish rooftop restaurant & bar called Avanu. They’ve been open about 6 months now I guess so just in case they were still busy I called & made a reservation 5 days in advance. We decided to partake in their weekend brunch in lieu of dinner. Avanu’s menu has a largely Asian influence on their dishes & personally, I know Karren & I were for sure looking forward to trying them out!
The gals in attendance were 5 of our usuals – me, Karren, Wendy, Sandy, & Jade. The night before I went out and bought goodie bag supplies, candy, & mini bottles of liquor that fit the Valentines color scheme (Kinky Pink, a new pink lemonade vodka called Pink Karen , & Fireball). I also bought a can of vanilla Whip Shots (Cardi B’s line of boozy whipped cream) to have a little fun with once we made it back that day. Wendy made cookies & put them in cute boxes with the best little cakes from Trader Joe’s and attached a cute flight attendant themed key chain on each box. Karren brought a bucket of the most decadent truffles ever! Sandy & Jade brought their presence & honestly, that’s all we needed!
Avanu was pretty good – most of us started with the bottomless mimosas (started with orange & switched to cranberry) while Wendy & Jade tried some of their specialty Bloody Mary’s. Karren & I split their “Volcano Shrimp” appetizer which is bacon wrapped shrimp that had been stuffed with crab rangoon filling & served with a Fireball glaze. Absolutely delicious! I had their steak tips & eggs for my entree – I enjoyed their steak tips (which were more like medallions) but I’m just not a big enough egg fan to order them again. I’m no restaurant critic by any means but from my one visit I’m giving them 3.5 stars. Their ambience & location is 5 stars though – located on a rooftop overlooking Flagler Ave -our town’s main street leading to the beach- it definitely fit the vibe.
We laughed, we gossiped, & some danced once they were a few mimosas deep then we ventured down the street to see Karren’s son at the restaurant he works at. We stood by the kitchen door & shouted for him until someone came out to tell us he wasn’t working that day so we all scooted over to the bar for one last drink instead.
Wendy drove me back to Karren’s, Clint picked me up from there (he didn’t even let me drive myself over there because he knows my group so well!), & I got to be the embarrassing mom at the doggie salon when we went to pick up Emma from her haircut & bath & I had to pretend I hadn’t spent the morning drinking mimosas and squirting boozy whipped cream into my mouth directly from the can.
First annual Flight Attendant Galentine’s was a hit! Next up for the Fly Girls is the Taste of Spring Wine & Food Festival at our local wine bar, the Crimson House. Karren & I did this event last year together & we absolutely loved it, I can’t wait to attend this year as well!
Next up on my Saturdaze posts – my Valentine date day with Clinton & his date day for me!
I just came off a 3 day trip that included a 30 hour layover in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is a newer destination for my airline & I hadn’t flown there yet nor had I ever been to Memphis for personal travel so I was really looking forward to it! I LOVE going where I’ve never been!
So basically we only worked on days 1 & 3 on this trip as day 2 was our layover.
Answers to 2 popular questions –
YES – the airline puts us up in our hotels. We do not pay for our own hotel. Airlines have contracts with certain hotels for flight crew. You have the option to do what’s called “hotel buy-back” which is ,say, I have family in Nashville & I choose to stay with them on my layover, I can basically sell my room back to the company & I get $50. However, I don’t utilize hotel buy-back because I often don’t know anyone in our layover cities & I like the personal space of having my own hotel room.
YES – we can do what we want on our layover time. That time is ours to do with as we please. You wanna stay in & be a slam clicker? YOU CAN (a slam clicker is someone who goes to their room, slams the door, clicks it locked, & you never see them again for the duration of your layover) You wanna go out & see what’s around? Of course you can! Thus the beauty & main appeal of this job.
For a 30 hour layover you can bet your ass I’m headin’ out to explore! And I knew just the place to go…but first, the work!
I flew with my dear friend Brennan. Brennan and I met back in 2019 on what I like to call my worst flight ever. Our first trip together was so fun! We went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras & went to parades, caught shit loads of beads, ate po’boys, & drank hand grenades as myself & our other crew member “J” threw beads from the rooftop to people down on Bourbon Street. It was a blast…until the next day. We worked a trip to Baltimore then was flying back to New Orleans…we all wore our beads because we wanted to make it fun for our guests onboard. It wasn’t fun. It was a chaotic, stressful, mess of a flight that ended with me (who was flying lead) being absolutely ripped to pieces by a New Orleans police officer in front of our guests as they deplaned. It was mortifying. To this day, that is the one and only time I’ve ever went into the lavatory and cried. Whenever I see Brennan I always say that was my worst flight ever and he always says he uses it as an example when talking to new hires because it was such a flaming dumpster fire. Some may say we have a trauma bond, I like to call it friendship.
We worked 3 legs before arriving into Memphis :
It was a long night & we had a slight delay leaving Boston but overall it was a very good night. I flew in the back & on our last flight of the night out of Orlando, Brennan’s fiancé got on the flight to spend time in Memphis with him. I tried getting Clinton to come too but it was a last minute request and he was very tired & we live far from the airport. We decided that we would all go to Graceland the next day!
We got to Memphis super late & the hotel no longer had shuttle service available to us so they told us simply “Find a cab & we’ll deal with it when you get here” Umm, great (the hotel pays for our cabs, then our company pays the hotel) but we found us a minivan & we all loaded up to head to our hotel at ,like, 1 AM. The van made crazy noises if the driver sped up, slowed down, & one of the seats wasn’t properly installed so our crew member who was sitting in it would randomly spin around BUT we made it safe & sound to the hotel!
As promised, they paid the driver & we got our room keys. That hotel was poppin’ for that time of night which immediately made me think I wouldn’t be getting any sleep that night but the exact opposite occurred and I slept amazing! I totally pre-judged a Memphis right off the bat & it didn’t help that I have someone who posted on my Facebook that Memphis is “ghetto” – can I just say I loathe the word “ghetto”? I feel like that is such a derogatory term AND an unoriginal way of describing a place you don’t like. I believe everywhere has its own charm. I also believe I’ll form my own opinions instead of listening to someone who doesn’t go anywhere! I can’t stand travel ignorance.
So anyways, the hotel ended up shockingly quiet considering all the people up and about that night & I woke up refreshed & ready to roll early that morning. I still hadn’t heard from Brennan & his man about what time we were going to Graceland so I hopped on the website to go ahead and check out tour times. The earliest available was 1:30 PM & I thought that sounded pretty good so I went ahead and bought my ticket & texted them via CrewChat to book that tour time when they wake up. I got up, got moving, & decided to walk over to the Whole Foods across the street to grab a few things to have at the hotel & to replenish my lunchbox with.
While at WF I got a message back from Brennan saying there were no longer any tickets available for 1:30 so they had to buy the 3 PM tickets so…that’s how I ended up going to Graceland alone!
Now, if you know me at all, you know I don’t care AT ALL to take off alone! I actually prefer it! So, at 12:30 I booked my Lyft & made my way to Graceland.
Graceland has been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember! I told Clinton that it doesn’t matter if you’re an Elvis fan or not – this place is true American history!
My Lyft was an awesome man who gave me sooo many restaurant recommendations in the area around the hotel & he dropped me off at the main entrance by the museums and ticket office. I jumped in line, had the lady scan my ticket, & joined the other 1:30 group members. The place was PACKED!
After about 10 minutes they took us into a theater to watch an 8 minute long video about Elvis and Graceland & then the Graceland ambassador spoke to us –
She got the job as ambassador because she was the first tour guide they ever hired for Graceland in 1982. Before that she’d taken care of the horses at Graceland & still to this day considers Priscilla Presley one of her “nearest & dearest girlfriends” & said that she can “call her anytime, day or night & she’ll be there” which I think is just amazing. This woman truly knows the Presleys!
The next step was heading outside to have a photo taken against a backdrop but since I was alone I asked if I could skip that part & they said yes. Once the photos are taken they issue you an iPad & a set of head phones for the audio portion of the tour. Then we boarded shuttle buses & rode across the street to Graceland, the home.
My first impression was that spoken out loud by a young girl a few rows behind me on the bus ::
“I thought it’d be bigger”
I did too! However, it’s a beautiful home. It looks very “attainable” by todays standards, it looks like something an upper middle class family could afford.
The inside though…
We pressed “play” on the iPad & began listening to John Stamos narrate the tour. The tour began in the living room & wound it’s way around the dining room & kitchen, downstairs, outside to numerous little rooms such as a small shooting range, his father’s office building, & a racquetball court. It ended with the meditation garden where the family is buried. I got choked up at seeing poor Lisa Marie there next to her dear son. So terribly sad.
The house was insane to see! So many funky colors, patterns, and textures! Fabric ceilings? Check! Hunter green shag carpet on the walls? Check! Glass stairwells?! CHECK! The only area that was off limits was upstairs which was Elvis’ private space when he was alive & is kept private out of respect for him now. Or it could be as someone in my tour group said…he’s still alive & living up there. Who knows?
You could stay as long as you’d like at the house but I turned my iPad & headphones in & boarded the shuttle to go back across the street to the museums and to the planes. Not all tickets included access to view the planes but as a flight attendant, I really wanted my photo made with the Lisa Marie!
On the way out, our driver pointed out some of the signed bricks on the brick wall around the property – celebrities such as George Jones & Ray Liotta were ones that I spotted! He also told us that once he picked up Jon Bon Jovi from the airport ,because he also drives a limo part time, & before dropping him off wherever he was heading, he (JBJ) asked the driver if he wouldn’t mind swinging by Graceland so he could sign a brick! How fabulous! He said there are probably thousands of celebrity signatures scattered around on those bricks!
My next stop was at the Lisa Marie. There is something so cool and chic about this plane to me. It had gold sinks & real towels in the lavatory. Velvet furniture (carefully preserved by having clear plastic covers over everything) & leather chairs. There was even a bed with a giant seatbelt around it! There was a recording stating that the seatbelt was an FAA requirement which cracked me up because ,well, who’d have thought of that?!
There was a 2nd plane to look at as well but only 2 people were allowed in at a time for that one because it was largely blocked off on the inside. After viewing the planes, I made my way up to the museums back near the ticket office…these may have ended up being my favorite spots! There was one for all his gorgeous cars (all restored to their original glory by professionals & car enthusiasts), one for all the “toys” – the motorcycles, boats, go-carts, tractors, etc. One that was a tribute to his time in the military (I missed this one because I had been there for 4 hours, was totally starving, & my feet were throbbing), one dedicated to his influence on other musicians/celebrities, and my personal favorite – just one dedicated to him. It showcased his personal items, his gold records, and his iconic tour outfits. The displays were STRIKING! Walking into the section where they displayed his tour outfits was awe inducing! They displayed each one in a single light box – everything was very clean & pleasing to the eye! The craftsmanship in his outfits was truly amazing as well – all those gems and stones! I bought my postcards & magnet (my 2 souvenirs I always make sure to buy) & decided to call it a day.
I was sore, a bit chilly, starving, & could officially mark some things off my bucket list! I absolutely loved Graceland & can’t wait to go back to Memphis to venture off to Beale Street, eat amazing BBQ, & visit a few of the museums (Civil Rights museum & Rock & Soul museum are high on my list!)
My Lyft back to the hotel was a few dollars more expensive but was a lovely lady who offered me tons of suggestions on where I should go the next time I’m in town. My night ended with the rest of my meal from Whole Foods & some self care at the hotel. I had a fantastic day exploring somewhere new & hope to be able to return soon!
Graceland – 5 stars, do recommend!!
**Ticket to Graceland home + plane access was $79. Ticket prices do vary but that was the one I purchased and it was totally worth it!
A few days ago while on my last trip, I had a 3 hour sit (a 3 hour block of spare time before my next flight) in Fort Myers. My dear friend Drea & her precious daughter picked me up from the airport to squeeze in a quickie lunch. It was awesome. Within minutes we were already cracking up over Drea’s driving & the weird noise her car makes. It was so refreshing to be with a friend & do something that felt like real life for a bit than sitting in the airport hiding from passengers (did I say that out loud? I don’t do that…). By the time I got back, I didn’t want to leave & had no interest in working the flight to Boston (of course I had to) – that’s the power of a good friend.
I typically don’t do friendship very well. There’s a multitude of reasons – I’m a shitty texter so I rarely do, I’m a huge bitch sometimes, and I’m BUSY. However, I feel like my biggest reason is this – the minute something pushes me to a breaking point, I’m quick to cut someone off. I feel like I need to mature & explain why they’re being cut off & why I’m ending the friendship but at the same time – I don’t care. I know I should do that for my own emotional growth but it’s like…people know what they do. I’m not hand holding a grown adult to friendship.
Once I became a flight attendant, these ideas changed. I have cultivated a strong circle of ladies (& a few gents) who I trust, who I love dearly, and who I will genuinely work hard for to maintain our friendships. I never thought I’d see the day. I think it’s because they understand our lifestyle & they have similar interests (heavy on the travel!) so they understand if I’m super busy one month because I’m working back to back trips and simply don’t have time for life.
My group is the epitome of “if they wanted to, they would” – an idea mentioned in my last post that became very important to me over the last year. I know we’re all busy, I just stated above that sometimes I simply don’t have time for life, but I used to have a friend who didn’t work. She lived about 25-30 minutes from me & I realized last year that it was a one sided friendship. I always went to her, always chose places convenient for her to eat at or if we got our nails done I went with a salon local to her instead of my own. I always made the drive up…to her. It’s not like it was FAR or anything & when you truly value someone’s presence in your life, you’ll go to them! Which was not a problem…until it hit me that every single time I invited her to come to me, it would never happen. I tried to make things easy – no spend days or movie nights at my house. I’d even have stuff available for her child (like snacks) if they came too. I’d get texts at 11 PM the night before saying she couldn’t do it or put in another excuse. Once or twice, I totally get but after a while of constant rejection & broken plans? I’m just gonna stop asking you to do anything at all. At that point it’s very apparent you have an issue with something you’re not telling me about. Ladies & gentlemen – IF👏🏼THEY👏🏼WANTED👏🏼TO👏🏼THEY👏🏼WOULD!! Don’t let the internet trick you into thinking it’s selfish to want time with your loved ones – it is if you expect it constantly because ,well, life, but if you’re pouring into a cup that’s overflowing and no one is helping yours replenish then there’s an issue there.
The year I moved to Florida I chose to part ways with my best friend at the time for totally different reasons. Some of you may remember her from my old blog posts (from Me, You, & Emma Lou the original version) or on social media. I may dive into that story another day but it’s been so long ago now that it almost feels irrelevant. After her I kinda felt a little lost – WHO is my friend now? WHO can I talk to? I was new to Florida and didn’t really know anyone so I was just floating around all lonely. It’s taken me some time but I got there. I can truly say that even if weeks or months go by, I feel at peace knowing they’re there. We’re all going to be scattered around the world…but we’re all here for the others. And when the time comes when we’re all camping out at the springs, on a layover together, on a girl’s trip, or even just having lunch on the beach you’d be hard pressed to believe any time at all has passed between us.
This was evidenced at our wedding. They all came & one was actually on a layover in Vegas and spent 2 nights with us! At the reception dinner one of my aunts had said “Autumn it’s so nice that all your flight attendant friends came to celebrate with you!” And I’m like “Yeah it is!” But later on it hit me a little deeper…OF COURSE THEY DID! I knew THEY would be there far before I expected ANYBODY else to! Those girls (& a few guys) are my family! I’m actually closer to them than my actual family to be honest. I even sat with THEM at dinner!
I just love them. Since the original start of this post I’ve got to be with Lindsey on a layover in Charlotte & I got to see Wendy for the first time since September in Austin! I can’t wait to see them all together again, aiming for next month. I’m attempting to plan a Galentine’s Day! I guess we’ll see what kind of planner I am but I am thinking of tacos and margs because there’s nothing better in the world!
I truly believe I’ve found my people in this crazy world & I’ll sign off with this…in the words of the Golden Girls (theme song) – Thank you for being a friend ♥️
Clint & I stayed home for NYE because everyone we knew was sick except for us. This year seems about the same!
I explored Milwaukee for the first time…so cold but I enjoyed it! Can’t wait to go back (I actually go back at the end of next month)
I had a fabulous New York layover with my friend Sandy. We went to the Magic Hour rooftop bar which was so cute & aesthetically pleasing & later got caught in the snow.
Clint & I took off to Texas to visit his dad & step mom. We flew into Austin, got comped an upgrade to a Genesis for our rental, had an awesome visit, & left out of Dallas.
I was back in Austin for work a week later & explored solo. I fell in love. Austin is great!
I was back in Manhattan with my girl Wendy! We hit a couple little bars & ate at the cutest little pink restaurant called Pietro Nolita.
On that same trip, Wendy & I worked with our first all female crew. Female Captain, female First Officer, & 5 female flight attendants with me working lead. The future is female!
My merry band of buddy bidders got together again shortly after & we went to Detroit where our dear friend Catherine picked us up at our hotel & took us out all around D-Town.
Clint & I started noticing problems with Emma. Her behavior, she lost a bit of weight, & most obvious…her mouth smelled. We soon learned she had loose teeth that needed to come out ASAP. My aunt got us into the vet she uses since I didn’t care for Emma’s current vet & we scheduled her dental work as soon as we could. She had 2 weeks worth of antibiotics to take first…they helped her dramatically! Her new vet is fantastic.
We helped our dear friend Nick & his girlfriend plan a surprise visit to Kathy (aka “mom” – Nick’s actual mom but Clinton calls her mom too & she definitely considers him hers as well! She snow birds & stays in our town during the winter) to tell her wonderful news – they were having a baby & Kathy was getting her first grandchild!
I went to the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, spent Super Bowl Sunday in Tampa, spent Valentine’s Day with my buddy bidders in San Juan, visited St. Louis for the first time, & had the best Mardi Gras in New Orleans!
We hit Bike Week in Daytona! My husband’s bike is soooo sick. It attracted a lot of attention & we were even told he had the nicest Indian that came through Daytona. I can’t say I disagree. On the last day of Bike Week we took Emma so we had to drive an actual car but Emma was also a hit! She loves motorcycles.
We dog sat for Kathy & her husband Allen while they went on a cruise. We took Emma & their dachshund, Perry everywhere! We went to the dog beach, the manatee observation deck, Chick Fil A, Daytona to visit my family, everywhere.
Emma had her surgery, which absolutely broke my heart but it totally reinvigorated Emma! She plays harder, she’s more vocal, her energy levels spiked. I miss her little toothy smile a lot but it’s also adorable seeing her with just her little canines sticking out (she has her canines + all her back teeth still in tact, only her little bitty front teeth were pulled)
I didn’t work a lot this month & couldn’t afford personal travel after Emma’s surgery so the only place I really went out in was a layover in Columbus, Ohio. We had switched hotels there & I’m so obsessed with where we stay there now that Columbus is one of my favorite cities…there’s something I’ll bet you never hear!! But seriously, I absolutely love it there. I used to hate it but it turns out, I just hated where we stayed.
Karren & I went to Taste of Spring for a wine tasting at the Crimson House in New Smyrna Beach. I loved it! So much fun & great wine.
We had Easter at my sister in law’s house with my niece, nephew, & Clint’s grandma in tow.
I had fantastic trips to Myrtle Beach & Kansas City, where I got to re-visit my favor BBQ from days past when I lived there.
THE MASK MANDATE ENDED!!!!!
……Aaaaaaand I promptly got sick twice in 1 month.
Emma recovered beautifully from her surgery! We felt awful for her for that first week afterwards. She would whimper & moan. We took her for a post-op check up with her doctor & he gave her the all-clear & suddenly she was a-okay again! Been a total crackhead ever since!
First Fly Girls camp out or the year!! Lots of drinking, eating, swimming, sunburn, gator hunting, & karaoke. I live for those weekends!
I was invited by Caesars in Vegas to come check out some wedding chapels…This was the start of my Vegas wedding planning! I viewed 4 chapels with Caesar’s & included a visit to the Cosmopolitan as well while on a Vegas layover for work. This was the month I believe that we chose the Paris for our venue.
We went swimming with our dear friend Randi, her son, & her sweet niece.
It was Clinton’s birthday! We had gift time at home & then drove up to Jacksonville for a nice dinner at Fogo de Chao. We were joined by my best friend Lindsey & her niece Bella. I learned around this time that “If they wanted to, they will” & this is exactly why I consider Lindsey my dearest friend. She drove from Valdosta to JAX to celebrate with us when there’s so many that wouldn’t drive 15-20 minutes.
We had a stay-cation for Clint’s birthday as well since I had taken the time off for it. We spent days at our beach, the springs, & our favorite wildlife reserve.
I spent more time in Vegas wedding prepping.
My cousin Jena & her boyfriend Seth came to stay with us as well! They are definitely more of the “if they wanted to, they will” kind of people. I love these 2 so much o& appreciated our time together.
Clinton started a new job this month thanks to a couple of good friends of ours, Angelie & Mark.
We spent the 4th in Port Orange for their fireworks & celebration in the park.
We celebrated Randi’s son’s first birthday at Big Tuna’s in Daytona! We got to see other friends like Jackie & Shawna as well.
I had my first scary event happen on an aircraft. I can’t disclose details due to my company’s social media & blogging policies but obviously all ended well.
I went to visit my favorite cousin, Sara, in Nashville! We went to see Hanson together at the Ryman Auditorium! It was childhood all over again. Around this time is when I started thinking with the mentality of “do whatever the fuck you want because life is short”. We had a great time.
I had a great 4 day trip with my friend Megan. We went out in Austin to a couple places including a taco place that was *chef’s kiss*
Lindsey & I had our girls trip to Paris & Morocco!!! We both busted our asses to make that trip happen & ,well, I blogged about it. Y’all know what it was like! It was insane! I loved it, I struggled, I sweat my ass off, I damn near stepped on a cobra but it was all totally worth it. Travel is LIFE.
Travel IS life but it’ll also give you stomach problems so once again…I missed some work. Dropped one trip & called out sick for another. It was a rough go for like 2 weeks once I got home from Africa.
Since I didn’t really relax on my trip to Paris & Morocco, when I had time off I was begging everyone to please just let me relax so that’s what we did. We went to the beach, my aunt let me use her pool while she was traveling so I could have it to myself, and we had another camping trip at Wekiva with Karren & Jade.
I actually spent a lot of time with Karren this month. She had a very hard, traumatic summer & needed extra love.
I went to Salt Lake City for the first time!
My father in law visited us for the first time in this house! AND in a surprise turn of events, while he was here Clinton had found out through 23&me that my father in law had a sister he did not know! She flew to Florida & we met her together for the first time during his visit!
Emma Lou turned 13 years old. My baby girl is a teenager.
Someone hit me at a red light in Daytona. It was me & Emma & we were in Clinton’s car. We were stopped at a red light when I heard a loud noise, I looked into the rear view mirror & thought to myself “my God they’re not stopping!” And they didn’t. Slammed right into us. It wasn’t that person’s fault though…it was the person behind them!! So yeah. It was a 3 car accident. While the police were helping us, I heard another loud crash & ANOTHER 3 cars smacked into each other at the EXACT same red light. I started freaking out, I could not believe that happened. But Emma & I were fine, Clinton’s SUV was still drivable, it was covered by the person who hit me & the other man gentleman, & we got a nice rental for a month.
I turned 35! Clinton took me to Limoncello for dinner & bought me flowers & new books.
I had my 5th recurrent training for work (where I get certified to fly for another year) & the girls and I had our annual beach study date at Sea Vista & Chases’s.
I explored Seattle for the first time & had 2 days in Salt Lake City because…
HURRICANE IAN! Thank the good Lord above us, we fared well. I was in SLC absolutely petrified of what was happening at home. Our street flooded but luckily our home was spared. Most of our loved ones fared well also but we had a few friends & loved ones who flooded & lost quite a bit.
Time to put in WERK honey! Our wedding was coming up! Invites were sent out, deposits paid, wedding package needed paid off in a month, etc. I put in HOURS this month!
Karren and I took a newbie out in Philly & we also had 30+ hours to spend in New Orleans so that was definitely dangerous. Our day in NOLA was everything. We had mimosas at Curio & Hotel Monteleone at the carousel bar, lunch at Music Legends Park/Cafe Beignet, hit a few bars, & finished with dinner at Tavern on Vets which has the BEST burgers EVER.
We attended the Chili & Craft Beer challenge in New Smyrna in Flagler Ave. 4 of us split a $40 giant mimosa & I went home and passed out on my couch!!
I spent a solo day at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Absolutely stunning resort & so hope to be able to stay there one day!
Got to have dinner with Lindsey & Phill in Charlotte.
Clint & I had date night at the beach & ate dinner at Crabby’s
We had dinner at River Grille in Ormond Beach with my whole family for my daddy’s birthday (Halloween) – such a great time & it makes me question…why don’t we plan nights like that more often?!
HURRICANE NICOLE!!! Once again, absolutely petrified but we fared well. I got stuck in Detroit, Kathy & Allen were back at this point so they came & stayed with Clint & Emma. We prepared the best we could but luckily it wasn’t super needed.
Emma met a cute Yorkie friend at the beach. Emma never makes friends. I had to document this rare occasion.
Once again, I had back to back sickness. Lost my voice for 3 days, coughed like I’d smoked all my life, got better, then turned right around & got a stomach bug. My health has struggled this year!!
Had Thanksgiving dinner with Clinton’s “new” aunt (see August) at her Florida home.
Had a second Thanksgiving with crew in Myrtle Beach!
Finished paying off everything regarding the wedding.
GOT HITCHED!!! And alllllll that that includes!! Y’all read the blog, you know how it went down.
Had the work trip from hell that ended on Christmas Eve. Luckily passengers were lovely. Lots of Starbucks gift cards!
Flew with my dear friend David during this trip from hell. Froze our asses off on all of our layovers due to Winter Storm Elliott. Had minimum rest. Got locked out of my hotel room in Nashville because the key pad died to my room. Just an overall trash trip.
Had a decent enough Christmas. My heart wasn’t in it this year. I was too busy & broke as hell from the wedding. It was fine. I made a great meal, we skipped gifts, & just went for a cold night at the beach & looked at Christmas lights.
‘22 really wasn’t that *great* of a year but it was good. I know people think that because we got married it’s the best but that was just a highlight. Aside from the wedding & my trip to Paris & Morocco, I feel that ‘22 was largely mediocre & stressful! I look forward to 2023 although I know circumstances don’t change just because the year does. We have a honeymoon, some personal things we’re working on regarding family, whatever my yearly trip with Lindsey may entail, etc! I think we’ll be back in the game & in for a wonderful time!
What a totally fabulous, beautiful, stressful, and incredibly fun time it was out in Las Vegas!!
I’ve been debating how I write this blog because I wrote a rough draft on the flight home & hated it so…I don’t know how I want to tackle it so I think I want to do a “Good, Bad, & Ugly” type post.
So because I don’t want to end on an ugly note – that’ll be first. Even though honestly, nothing ended bad or ugly, everything ended up a-okay.
The Ugly ::::
I’m the only dumbass in the world who would believe that flying 6 people standby on her flight bennies would be a good idea to and from her own wedding! The flight to Vegas was perfect. Literally perfect. The day we were supposed to go home though? We attempted 3 flights that we didn’t make before giving up and going back to our hotels (my dad & aunt stayed with my other aunt who was staying a day longer than everyone else, I had a free night I gave to my mom and Gary at Bally’s, Clint & I got a free night from his sister at her hotel) – We tried again the next day & ,while we made it on by the skin of our teeth & the fact TSA was so insane that 27 people missed the flight, it was not without tears on my behalf, incredible nausea & nerves, and my dear friend Jade offering up her own standby seat to ensure we all made it. We did. Including Jade & her boyfriend. Life was good.
My dear friend & bridesmaid Lindsey (remember Lindsey from my Germany, Paris, & Morocco posts?) & her boyfriend Phill got threatened with a knife by their Lyft driver. I think this affected me more than either of them but y’all, what the fuck? Her flight delayed so I knew she would miss cocktails at Vanderpump’s but while she was finally able to be on her way…that happened & they got stranded on the side of the road. She called while we were having drinks but someone was giving a toast so I told her to hold on a minute – little did I know, she was literally on the sidewalk abandoned by a psycho Lyft driver. She was a trooper though…she made it to the show we went to see that night totally unscathed. That’s my girl!!
The reception venue. Now, don’t get me wrong, I largely enjoyed the venue but it was just physically ugly. Staff was fantastic, food was great (aside from dessert) but yeah…I don’t care for celebrity pictures & TVs but, that’s life. I chose what I could afford & hoped for the best judging by other bride’s reviews. But at least the food was good!!
The Bad ::::
My Maid of Honor, my cousin Jena, unfortunately did not make it. She had flight issues & it just snowballed from there. The first night we were in Vegas I had went to bed extremely early because I was exhausted…I woke up at 5 & checked my phone to see 6 missed calls & a few texts. I already knew this could not be good. When I learned officially she would not be coming, I messaged my girl Karren who y’all know I love so dearly, & simply said “Curl your hair & tuck in your titties, you’re walking as Maid of Honor” She looked gorgeous & all was perfect. We did miss Jena incredibly though. I love my girl!
Lindsey’s bridesmaid dress broke apart ,like, 10 minutes after she put it on. Poor girl really had it rough this weekend. Our awesome friend Jamie (and seamstress superstar) sewed her into the dress.
While at the Orlando airport I got chosen for a random search at KCM (crew security) & had to go through regular pre-check. Well, they made me empty my pockets which had my passport & drivers license in it & I shoved them into my bag so I could pass through the body scanner & never thought about them again until we went to the Marriage License Bureau & needed a form of ID! Luckily for us, they accepted an old drivers license tucked deep in my wallet that had our Orlando address on it so we were back in the game & walked out with a marriage license!
I didn’t win a dime.
The GOOD ::::
Dude fucking everything. Seriously, where do I start?! I’ll start with the fluff. I felt like a gorgeous bride. I had the dream team of people making me feel beautiful. I have them all listed on a photo of me on Facebook & would recommend ANY of those ladies to anyone at any time. I didn’t look super bridal as I DID wear black but whatever man, I was glam & glam is what I wanted. Kallie, Taylor, Drea, Ellen, Katie, Michael, Kathy, & Amazon…you are rockstars.
Vanderpump at Paris. The PERFECT spot for a bridal event. I am feminine to my core – I love being a woman & this place was just so…sexy & girly. The drinks were fantastic (I had the “French Poodle” & a chocolate martini) & the truffle appetizer Karren ordered was divine. I was just so thrilled with that location. I will never be that type of woman that shits on being girly because they act like they prefer Busch Lite…I want the pink cocktail that has the cotton candy in it, thanks. So aesthetically pleasing, 20/10, would recommend.
Our flight to Vegas was perfect, we all made it on, we all got spoiled by the crew (I spoiled them too though! Expensive chocolates, Starbucks gift cards, & I gave them shuttle bus tip money for their layover), my daddy got his Bloody Mary’s, my aunt got moved to a window seat all because I mentioned she wanted one, and they made a beautiful announcement for us at the end of the flight (take note, Linda from my last blog post!) I adore my work family!!
Puppetry of the Penis. Yep. That’s the show we went to! It was held at the Erotic Heritage Museum, it was a bit sketchy when we got there and we were the only group there (more eventually showed) but it turned out to be as funny as promised. Absolutely ridiculous concept but ya know what? It’s Vegas baby. Did I need to see 2 men playing with their dicks for an hour? Did I need to know that a penis could be shaped into a hamburger? A sombrero? A pelican? Well, apparently I did & I do!! After the show I texted Clinton “Get ready buddy you’re in for an educational night!” & then passed out while he was in the shower. I am doing stranger and stranger shit with my friends but honestly if you can’t ogle a couple of penises with your friends…are they even your friends? Also, shout out to “Glasses”, Jade’s boyfriend who took Jena’s unused ticket & was one of only 2 men at the show – I truly think he enjoyed it & he even wrote on our guestbook the next day that he will think fondly about all the hamburgers we shared. Yes, so will I, & I will remain mildly traumatized that one can do that with their genitalia.
Our groomsmen did a replica photo of a scene from “The Hangover” – it was amazing.
My wedding had the most gorgeous cast of characters I’ve ever seen. My groom? Fucking perfect. Me? Flawless (except for the fact I got laced into my dress incorrectly, exposing more of my back that shouldn’t have been exposed but oh well I didn’t even notice until I saw pictures). Our parents? Lovely. I didn’t make my dad wear a tux to walk me down the aisle because I wanted him to feel like himself & to be comfortable & having him in a tux or suit would not make him comfortable at all. I didn’t give a dress code, I didn’t care what color you wore, I just simply asked that you didn’t show up in pajamas or wear anything that could be confused with a wedding dress. My bridesmaids were gorgeous. My groomsmen were hotties. My niece & nephew made me so proud. I was just so thrilled with how lovely everyone looked. It was a gorgeous group.
The food at Cafe Hollywood really was good! I was so worried about that but the pasta dish & the beef were both very good! I never tried the salmon. The cake was not impressive & quite dry though. Not a fan of the cake but I was so stuffed I didn’t even care. The staff were so kind to us & the waitress told Clinton I was the most beautiful bride she’d seen.
Jade broke a glass at the table which means good luck if it happens on your wedding day!! The waitress pulled her sleeves up & proclaimed “Look! I have chills!!” when it happened!
The speeches! And the fact that more people kept getting up to make speeches! We had 5 total.
Clinton’s bachelor party experience! The groomsmen gifted him a super car experience so he raced a Ferrari F430 F1 edition (he had to walk me through what this car’s name was because I don’t know shit about cars) around a track. Then they rode some kind of super fast go-karts that you need s license to drive. They also went to Fremont for pizza at Evel Pie & drinks at Dicks. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him that night after racing the Ferrari – I honestly couldn’t bring his high down to tell him I just watched a man pull his foreskin down to where his junk resembled the Eiffel Tower so I just let him talk till he showered & again, I passed out. We have our whole lives for him to hear about the horrors I saw while he was living his best life.
I loved seeing my friends and family meet and mingle with my other friends and family! I loved introducing my parents to my flight attendant friends. I loved the group that went to the show and to Vanderpumps! I loved having people like Long & Phill there! I loved watching Karren give Clinton’s cousin Peggy a big ol’ hug in person because they’ve only ever talked on Facebook. I just loved watching my loved ones meet & hopefully make new friends.
Our wedding coordinator Megan, minister Vaughn, and photographers Candice & Catherine. There was not one single person working with us who I didn’t enjoy. I really enjoyed them. Megan especially, poor girl dealt with a lot from me.
I had dinner with Karren, Clinton, & a good friend of ours named Cat at Cabo Wabo on Thursday. All us girls started crying because we were all in our feels but let me elaborate…5 years ago, we were little baby Flight Attendant trainees in Vegas. We were just getting to know each other. I was single. I believe Cat was too, I’m not sure. Life was so different then. I had literally just turned 30 in Vegas – they made me feel special, all my flight attendants did actually. It’s 5 years later…we’re back in Vegas. They’re still making me feel special & loved. Those are my people. My season 1 cast. It was such a full circle moment.
My groom. My man loves me. I will never have to worry that he doesn’t. There is not one day that goes by where I feel anything less than worshipped. That man bawled when I walked down the aisle (I laughed like a fucking hyena but not at him, nerves I suppose) He shook my daddy’s hand & hugged my momma & told her he loved her & finally my laughter stopped and the tears started…we found someone that loves us. Not someone who tolerates us but truly loves us all 3 & is willingly accepting us as his family unit. Actually it’s 4 of us but as you know, Emma had to stay home. He loves her so much, sometimes I think he truly believes he gave birth to that damn dog.
My momma & daddy walked me down the aisle together. It was quite an entrance. I don’t care. I don’t think any of us care for attention but it is what it is, I had to get to the front somehow!! My mom & dad both deserved that opportunity. They are mine, I am theirs. They have raised me & taken care of me both in their own ways. I pray every day that I make them proud & that they don’t feel like I’ve messed up too bad. I wish I could’ve flown us first class instead of on standby, I wish I could’ve booked luxury suites at the Bellagio for all of us, & had the reception dinner at Guy Savoy or even Carbone…but I can’t (yet) but what I can do is have them walk me down the aisle, in an amazing city that I flew us to for free, to a man that loves & honors all 3 of us.
1. The party walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, I walked down the aisle to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and we left to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. I was so anxious I didn’t even notice the music.
2. Clinton did a shot at dinner thinking it was Jager but was instead…a cup of soy sauce.
3. The Bellagio Christmas display was absolutely stunning! Jamie & I only had a brief visit but we loved it!
Sometimes I’m just like…I did it, man. I’m good. I can breathe now. It’s over. I can sleep again! Maybe I’ll stop waking up from panic! My stomach can return to normal. My wallet may recover…”may” as we’ll eventually have a honeymoon in a few months. Details on that, maybe never. I almost want to plan it in secret and just do it privately. Pop in on Facebook when we’re back & be like “surprise! We’ve been in the Maldives!” But for now, I’m glad it’s over. I’m happy to be home & out of the Vegas decadence.
Oh yeah, remember Linda from last post? The one with the batshit crazy announcement? Well she really WAS in Vegas & she worked our flight home to Orlando! She walked through the aisle telling people that Clint & I just got married 24 hours ago (it was longer) & that we were already fighting (we were talking about what we wanted as our snack) & then she offered to make an announcement for us…
I just got back from a 3 day trip that fell exactly one week before our wedding. Let’s explore what’s been going on the last little bit and play catch up first…
About 2 weeks ago on a 2 day trip I’d picked up, I got sick and lost my voice. I lost it for about 3 days and every day I started to feel better, I’d cough all night and reset my progress. Urgent Care told me I’d waited too long to come in & that by that time I was at the end of it so they only gave me something to alleviate the coughing but told me they believed I’d had an upper respiratory infection/chest infection. It was a frickin’ blast 🙄
I ended up having to drop a trip because of my voice being out (imagine possibly having to shout emergency evacuation commands to passengers when you can’t even speak) & once I’d started to feel better, BAM! random stomach bug or food poisoning or demon possession in the middle of the night. I still a little shaky on Thanksgiving but managed to have a great time at dinner in Lakeland this year with Clinton’s family.
I left for my 3 day the next day – day 1 was a very simple one leg to LaGuardia. I chased on this trip which means I was not part of a set crew – I flew solo, literally. My crew from that day was going on to Miami while I would be laying over in New York. I love a New York layover if they’re long enough to go into Manhattan (however, I hate working New York or Newark flights…If you know, you know) but this night I only had 12.5 hours so it was enough time for me to eat, shower, and sleep. I didn’t pack any food with me on this trip because of my stomach issues & my laziness so I decided to just change clothes once I got to the hotel and walk to the Dollar Twenty Five Tree down the street and just grab a few things to have in my bag. Yes folks, the glamorous life of a flight attendant – buying cans of Chef Boyardee & some Sour Patch Kids at a Queens Dollar Tree. In an odd way it was nice though. Our hotel we stay at for LaGuardia layovers is really nice & is set up like suites so it feels like a mini apartment. Carrying my paper sacks of shit back to the hotel in the blustery cold weather made me feel like a local which is all I ever want when I’m in New York. I went back to my room, ate canned ravioli from a paper cup, & watched “Home Alone” from the living room part of the suite. I had the lights dimmed & my curtains pulled open because I could see just a tiny bit of Manhattan in the distance. It was nice. I got to feel like I lived there for just a tiny bit.
Soon it was time for a hot shower & an early bedtime because I had to be up at 3 AM the next morning for a 4 AM van to the airport. I couldn’t sleep for shit that night – my anxiety is at an all time high & the only thing that is going to make it go away is everyone making their non-rev flights to & from Vegas, our guest count being more manageable that it currently is, winning $50,000 in Vegas on a penny slot, and our reception dinner food being better than what I’m afraid it may be. I tossed, turned, sweat, and panicked my way through a couple hours of sleep until it was time to get up.
Thank God day 2 was just as easy as day 1 of this trip – easier, actually. We only had one flight again, it was to Myrtle Beach, & it was mostly turbulent so the Captain had us sit most of the -already short- flight. Not to mention we’d be done at 7 AM with a 23.5 hour layover & I could take my happy ass back to bed for a few hours. OH! AAAAND I was flying with one of my class mates this day! AND he invited me to his mother’s house who lives in Myrtle Beach for a late Thanksgiving dinner! All 4 of us went (the 3 crew + me) and we had the best time! Before that came a 2 hour nap though…It was needed. We left for Scott’s mom’s at 1:45 & had wine & appetizers. His mother , Carol, is amazing. She’s 88 years young, cooked us a full meal of turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, butternut squash, corn pudding, applesauce bread, & pumpkin pie! She’s also a world traveler with no plans of stopping! We talked about everything. We talked about how I had the most fun ever at Oktoberfest in Munich while Momma Carol said she was disgusted. We talked about her bucket list destination was Antarctica & how she believes she could still possibly make it happen as long as someone could help her while on the boats she’d be traveling on…I volunteered. I want to be a Carol when I grow up. I so enjoyed my night with Momma Carol & the crew! One of my most enjoyable layover experiences so far because honestly, it felt like being home with family. We helped Momma Carol clean up & it was time to go back to the hotel to rest up. For some reason the airline split us up so I was in a different hotel than the other 3 so they dropped me off first.
I got some decent rest & was up at 5 AM the next morning (yesterday) for my 2 leg day. This day was go-home day so I was , of course, ready. We were flying back up to LaGuardia for the first flight & down to Orlando for the 2nd flight. I was flying with an Atlantic City based crew & I actually knew one of them (Linda, my lead FA in this crew) We had a great day but it was one of those days where it felt like if it was possible that it could happen…then it was going to happen to us!! I found out later that that’s pretty much the standard for Linda. I loved this crew though! We laughed so much. At one point I was in tears!
When we made it to Orlando, I was obviously back in base & going home & they were going to their layover hotel. We were taxiing in & Linda was making her “Welcome to…” announcement & ,well, this is how it went…
“Ladies & gentlemen welcome to Orlando!! Wasn’t that a great landing?! *claps* Ladies & gentlemen I have another announcement to make…we have a flight attendant up front that’s getting MARRIED!! Yes, Flight Attendant D up here…SHE’S DOING IT AGAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME!!! She’s gooooin’ to the chapel & she’s goooonnnna get maAaAriiied…okay fine nobody wants to sing with me, OH!! And the overhead bin that has her luggage in it is jammed & she can’t get it open! Oh my goodness she’s 6 shades of red up here ladies & gentlemen!!! Congratulate her when you exit the aircraft would ya?! ANYWAYS, please remain seated with your seatbelts fastened….”
When she was done with whatever the hell THAT was I muttered -very quietly of course- under my breath –
“Linda what the actual fuck was that?!”
“Girl I don’t know once I started it just all started flowing out of me!” was her response.
“We have pre-written announcements for this exact reason!!!” I said
We had row 1 absolutely dyyyyying with us because they could see my reaction firsthand. I was absolutely mortified at first but honestly it’s fine…ya gotta laugh at yourself!!
We laughed the whole way off the plane about that crazy announcement until we finally had to separate for me to go to the employee parking lot & they went to hotel shuttle pickup.
Linda actually has a Vegas layover on the 3rd (wedding day) so she said she’d stop by & give a speech since she’s obviously very good at it. I told her maybe during this one she can tell everyone my weight & social security number.
I started a 4 day trip this morning & as the Captain was giving me his briefing he asked me – “Where are you from? Where’d ya get that accent?”
People love guessing where I’m from but I was 98% sure I’d flown with this Captain before so I went with it – “Kentucky!” I said only responding with half my usual spiel.
“Which part? I’ll bet I can guess!” he says back.
“The Eastern tip…right before you hit West Virginia. It’s ,um, Pike County” I respond
Apparently that’s all he needed to remember me as well because he blurted out “YOU’RE FROM BELFRY!”
“Well Phelps/Freeburn but close enough and YOU have an aunt there…” I started
“THAT WAS A DOCTOR!” he says excitedly
“And a cousin…” I start again”
THAT’S STILL A DOCTOR THERE!” he finishes for me
It was the most Pike County meeting ever. I think everyone loves bumping into someone from their home town especially when it’s some place like where we’re from.
Pike County is by no means small. However, all the towns that make up the county are quite small.
Anyways, just as I was answering the question of “Where’d you go to high school?” the gate agent came onboard to tell me that boarding was complete.
Before I stepped out of the cockpit to begin my announcements to our guests the Captain asked one more question –
“How in the hell did you wind up here at ‘Sunshine Airlines’”?
*I’m using a fake name here because you don’t need to know who I work for unless you already know*
I wanted to look at him and say “Well buddy I could ask the same of you!” but I didn’t because it was time to work. The question wasn’t asked for a serious answer but as the first of our three flights went on, I started thinking about it anyways – how in the hell did I end up here? Not at my airline exactly, but here, in the sky with my Karren who just walked me up a dish of pasta salad that she’d made us to eat while on our trip. This morning I was kissed on the forehead by the love of my life as he went to work only to turn around and kiss the other love of my life on her tiny little fluffy forehead as I left for work. I left our beautiful, safe home in the state that I love most & came to work with one of my best friends doing what I love most – flying & traveling.
How did a Pike County girl get so lucky?
It could’ve went so differently.
I left Kentucky when I was 7. My parents chose to move to North Carolina – Alexander County. The smallest county in North Carolina. They moved for a fresh start in their marriage & for better jobs – our county in NC was known for furniture factories. They quickly got jobs at Bassett furniture – my mom stayed with Bassett until I was 18 years old. My dad…did not. I started school at Wittenburg Elementary & only went there for a year before we moved again to a neighboring town (same county) called Hiddenite. I lived in Hiddenite until we moved back to Kentucky after I graduated high school (Alexander Central, to answer the Captain’s question. Although it wouldn’t matter because he would have no idea where that was because he thinks I graduated in Kentucky) All of my formative years were spent in Hiddenite, North Carolina. When people ask me where I’m from I always say “Kentucky but I was raised in North Carolina”
I thought there was nowhere better than North Carolina. I thought growing up there made me a more worldly human than if I would have grown up in Kentucky. This ,of course, is not true as my small town in NC is about as down home as you could ever get (not to mention worldly humans come from all walks of life) BUT you didn’t cross any mountains to get to Walmart like in Kentucky so clearly ,to a child, it was a thriving metropolis. It was bigger though & I do feel that growing up there gave me a far better shot at success than if we would’ve stayed in Kentucky. I’ve often wondered what would’ve happened if we’d never moved…would I have been okay growing up in Freeburn or Phelps, Kentucky? That area is both totally beautiful but bleak.
I moved back at 18 & felt sort of trapped at first. However, if I would’ve stayed in Hiddenite, I would’ve been seriously trapped. You must choose your version of entrapment I suppose. I felt weird being in North Carolina then…life was total shit in my house at that point. I always say I’m transparent on the blog & don’t care to say whatever, but it’s not my place to out my parents’ business, however long ago that may have been. Life at home was awful. I didn’t feel safe there, to be honest. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t have a reliable car. I didn’t feel comfortable bringing friends or guys to my house. My only option was start applying to basic skill set jobs & get to work. I never dated except for 2 losers so I didn’t even have any relationship options that may bloom into anything.
I’d always felt like NC was the clear, superior choice for me but Kentucky ended up being fine. It sorta even saved me from my funk that I’d gotten myself in. The trapped feeling only lasted so long once I’d made some friends, met some guys, and worked my ass off. For a long time I worked 2 jobs (I actually still sorta do…flying, Uber Eats, & Instacart. I have a lot in life I want to do & gotta finance it somehow!!) My mom helped me get my beloved little Pontiac Sunfire that I drove the shit out of, then my ex drove the shit out of as his work car back & forth to Chicago, then we finally sold it to a college kid who I hoped also drove the shit out of it. Things started to get easier.
I’ve lived in North Carolina again since…Charlotte, this time. Charlotte is a wonderful city & if I ever moved back to the Carolina’s, that’s where I’d go. I don’t see a lot of Carolina in me now but I still love it, it’s a fantastic place to raise a child because I personally feel that I had a great childhood there. I was raised around 3 great girls who were either my age or slightly older, they were all great friends to me (I was often the shit head brat, if you’re reading this…I’m sorry), we played outside & I never felt like we should’ve been concerned for our safety, & I went to good schools. I can’t knock it, really. As for Kentucky, while I love it & I’m proud to be a Kentucky girl, I couldn’t move back again. It IS hard to live there! It takes a strong, resilient type and while I feel that I’m both of those things, I like my conveniences!
I’m kinda lame because I rarely visit either of these places. I go to Kentucky more than North Carolina as I have no family left there plus the fact my mom is in Kentucky, she’s gonna win every time. I still talk to a few girls from high school on Facebook but it’s not like we’ve ever made plans to hang out so I just don’t go. I think about it sometimes – even back in 2020, Clinton & I are making the trek up to Kentucky to see my mom & Gary for Christmas & we spent a night in Asheville. I started getting giddy with anticipation seeing familiar road signs and I asked him “Would you mind when we leave tomorrow if we swing over to Taylorsville & Hiddenite? It’s only like 2 hours from here! I can show you where I grew up!” And of course he had no problem with that so that’s what we did! It was a quick passing through but we drove down Liberty Church road in Hiddenite & there on Tarheel lane was our old, brown, single wide trailer. The porch was still 2 different colors. I couldn’t believe it was still there & a functioning home for someone. I figured for sure the landlords would’ve hauled that bitch off somewhere. That was the first time I’d visited my home town since 2006.
But long story long, it’s that. That trailer, those trash boyfriends, the red water we had in Kentucky, Shoe Sensation, the Sunfire, the moving back & forth & all around, the sometimes not having all of the utilities turned on at the same time, my mom working 2 & sometimes 3 jobs, the fucking hip surgeries I had to have as a child at Shriner’s Hospital in Lexington, the ex husband, Norfolk Southern… alllllll that got me here. To Clinton, Emma, Lindsey, & Karren. To Florida, to sunshine, & the ocean. To flying the friendly skies. To doing exactly what I want to do in life & doing it exactly on my terms.
** Petition to get Clinton to finally break & allow me to name our next 2 dogs “Kentucky” & “Carolina” coming soon.
** Cover photo is not my own, I found it on Pinterest.
I got divorced at 29. It was relatively amicable. Bitter, but I’m no crazy ex, so besides some anger there wasn’t any burned houses or sugared gas tanks. I moved to Florida from Alabama peacefully & wanted to be left alone (of course, I didn’t get that wish for about a year) but I digress. It was easy. It felt like I’d lived in Florida my whole life. I was home.
After a few months in Daytona, I decided to try a dating app although I felt like they were beneath me. Meeting people organically is not easy though. I met a few guys & in general, decided that men repulse me now more than ever & as a whole, Daytona’s stock in men was absolute trash. There was the guy who was using photos from a whole different decade so when I met him I was unsure if it was even the same person. There was the guy who talked about how hilarious he was & how everyone told him to do stand up comedy but he was the quietest, most boring human I’d ever met who never got even a chuckle out of me. There was the fucking insane freak from the Daytona Hyundai dealership who I actually DID meet organically that scared the living hell out of me when he refused to leave my condo building. And then there was the one who I actually expressed interest in who told me “don’t get attached, I’m just looking for a distraction from my shitty life” – he dropped off the face of the planet for 4 days only to come back & admit his ex-wife had him locked up over the weekend because he threw a toy during an argument that belonged to his kid & it nearly hit her. I mean, I guess I respect the honesty but respectfully…no.
Once in Fort Lauderdale I thought my luck would change. Surely being so close to Miami would bring me some luck. Instead, once again I got catfished. I got cyber harassed. And I got ghosted. Again. I got to thinkin’ “Man I must really be awful” so I decided…no’mo. I’ll be a crazy Schnsuzer lady & that’s it for me in this life.
Then one day, as you well know, I got a random add on my socials. Clinton David. Or as I knew him at the time…Nightmare 😂 His Snapchat handle. I’ve never changed it. He’d found me on the dating app but couldn’t take the chance of waiting around for me to swipe right for him. I spent some time talking to this mystery man, which turned into all day. After nearly a week of canceled dates, we finally met for our first one at Rustic Inn in Fort Lauderdale. I almost didn’t go. I was coached into going by my friend Allison who told me it could be something great or I might just meet someone who could be a friend and at the very least, I should go for the free food. My crashpad roommates did my makeup, I wore Candy Yum Yum by MAC, and I needed an accessory so I found a choker in my car that I’d bought for $1. He still had earrings & a chin strappy beard thing. I don’t believe in love at first sight but I do believe in amazing first dates & it was the best I’d ever had. He ordered peel & eat shrimp…I didn’t know how to peel them so he taught me. He ordered crab…I didn’t know how to crack them so he taught me. But night’s end, I’d flung crab across the room while trying to work the little tools & had butter & juices running down my arms like an animal…and he didn’t care! We had so much fun that I passed on my rule of “Don’t Get In Cars With Strange Boys” & I got into this strange boy’s BMW & rode to the beach with him to continue this awesome date (my roommates were tracking my location anyways). We really did have the best time. He was a perfect gentleman.
I remember getting back to the crashpad that night & one of my roommates was asleep in her bunk. She heard me come in & sleepily asked me how my date went. I was genuinely shocked to hear myself say “It was perfect!” So I figured it was only a matter of time before this guy also ghosted me because I’m actually ugly or boring or maybe it’s because during most of the date I had a visible booger I didn’t know about until I went to wash the crab off my hands. I didn’t know the exact reason but surely this guy wouldn’t really be into me.
Oh but he was. Not long after this first date, I stayed at his apartment (judge me, I stayed in a house with 9 other girls at the time so he couldn’t visit me where I “lived”. I also figured if he was crazy & decided to murder me, he had a roommate who I hoped would be a helpful witness so my parents would have closure on what had happened to me) – he had dinner ready, a bottle of wine, little chocolate mousse cakes, and a dozen roses for me. We would watch Christmas movies in our jammies & eat pizza in bed. He put up a Christmas tree in his room for me even though at the time, he could not have cared less about Christmas. He bought me the Harry Potter DVD gift set & after much coaxing, watched them all with me. I would come in from long trips & he would have a hot bath ran for me with a single candle lit & he would sit ,pretty much in the dark, on the edge of the tub & rub my feet while talking to me about my trip.
It was disgusting.
But it was pretty perfect.
I have never felt loved the way Clinton made me feel. I don’t think anyone ever did. I may have been tolerated at best, absolutely despised at worst. But not anymore…I had someone who when I would pull in, would walk outside to help me with my luggage (there’s something most guys would feel is weird…the fact I’d show up with 3 pieces of luggage for sleepovers!) & would smile the biggest, cheesiest grin while waving to me like a maniac. Like that clip of Forrest Gump waving to Lieutenant Dan from his shrimp boat. I would think to myself “What is this guy’s deal? Why the hell does he like me so much?!”** Ahhh, trauma. It has been 5 years & I’m still unlearning so many trauma responses from my first marriage. Emotional trauma is a real mother fucker.
Life has brought us so far since then. We broke up for a few months in 2018 & it was actually one of the more painful things I’d been through. I cried daily. I was more hurt without him than when I got divorced & had my whole life altered. A few months later he was in his terrible accident. I’ve never left him since much to the disapproval of some folks who ,in the words of my beloved Britney Spears, can kiss my lily white Southern Louisiana ass. I’m from Kentucky but still. We went from living in Boca Raton to staying in Texas on and off during his recovery to Orlando to our current home, location withheld. We do something fun every day we’re together. He has never left me hanging if I need him. Take my dad to the doctor? Done. Air in my tires? K. Take Emma to the groomer? “I’ll remind them to give her the kissy lips haircut that we like!” He would beat anyone’s ass for me & he is always on my side. I’ve never felt like my partner wouldn’t defend me. And I try to do the same for him. I’ve definitely almost attacked an old man who made a nasty remark about Clinton in a wheelchair one day when I was visiting him in Texas. Seatbelt came flying off, my door swung open, and I was off. However, Clinton grabbed me and pulled me back into the car so I just yelled at said old man from the window instead. I love differently than Clinton. His is very soft & traditional…mine is harder. I’m not mushy – this blog is about as mushy as you’re gonna get & it’s sprinkled with sarcasm & humor because that’s how I am in reality. I’ve never wanted to be a princess-in-love type – ironically, Clinton calls me his queen all the time & I fucking hate that too. It’s almost like I’m too serious for love but not really. I just like it on my terms. Beating up a dude in defense of my man is me showing love.
We were never gonna get married but here we are. 4 years in, he asked in Savannah, Georgia while in Forsyth Park. I never thought I’d see the day but it came! I remember people going “It’s about time!!” and being shocked because originally we were never getting married at all! That was laid out from the get go. Living in sin? K, sounds fun. Gettin’ hitched? No thank you. I still think we did it right by waiting so long. Couples who get married within ,like, a year are weird. No damn wonder divorce is so common.
Speaking of divorce. I had my cards read in New Orleans a few days ago on my last trip & the card reader had some interesting things to say. The card reader ,Jonathan, held my hand & with closed eyes he asked me “Divorced once, yes?” I usually don’t give these folks any information to feed on but the man asked me a question so I had to respond “…yes” & with his eyes still closed he said “Well you don’t have to worry about that ever again. No more divorce. No drama here. You can breathe easy in this relationship”
He’s right. I do breathe easy in this relationship. This has been the best time of my life. I will say, Jonathan was shocked to find out I’m a Virgo & Clinton’s a Gemini & we’re actually living in harmony but I think that’s enough to shock anybody if you know the both of us.
We are down to 46 days & on our 5th anniversary we will be married.
**Sometimes I still think to myself “why the hell does he like me so much?!”