Oct 24, 2012 by Krysta
Every job has it's share of ups and downs.... mine, quite literally. We all have our good days and bad. Sometimes I run around in the sky for 14 hours, ready to collapse with exhaustion. Other days, it feels like a bit of a vacation. The latter was the case on my most recent pairing.
With winter looming on the horizon, there were places in the world that I'd rather be flying to than cold, snowy, Yellowknife. However, when my husband made the last minute decision to join me on my trip, I didn't care where we were headed. He went off to the airport to list for standby travel... one of the greatest perks of being married to a flight attendant. He was given a boarding pass right away and we were both excited about our mini-holiday.
I was a deadheading crew member, thus sat as a passenger on the flight up. Once boarding was complete I spotted an empty seat next to Ryan and quickly swooped in to grab it. We sat side by side as the plane took off, for the first time since our wedding trip in April. We shared our snacks and played games on his iPhone until we landed in Yellowknife. It was cold, but still warmer than it had been at home. Ryan joined us in the crew shuttle and we headed to the hotel. It was late on a Sunday evening, thus not a lot of action in the northern city. We agreed to join the pilots for dinner and the 4 of us marched through the cold to the only place open... Boston Pizza. After some French onion soup, beer for the boys and a caesar for myself, we left with full stomaches and returned to our rooms. Exhausted (I'd worked hard, after all), we curled up under the covers and had a long, wonderful sleep. We woke the next morning with a full day of freedom ahead of us. Longing for non-hotel coffee, we bundled up and ventured into the cold. Our first stop was a popular coffee shop, were we sipped our morning dose of caffeine.
Heading back into the cold, we proceeded to walk towards Old Town. The wind gusts were bone chilling and I would have loved to have been indoors, but it was Ryan's first time in the north and I wanted him to enjoy himself. We walked up a tall hill with a great view of the city and the water. Shockingly, neither Ryan nor myself had brought our cameras in the frenzy to get packed and head to the airport. We settled for iPhone photos, which was a bit of a relaxing change. In the past, exploring meant spending forever trying to get the perfect shots.
We were both feeling rather chilly, so we decided to head back in the direction of the hotel and find somewhere to eat lunch. We decided upon a Vietnamese restaurant. Few things are more comforting on a cold winter's day than a giant bowl of pho noodle soup.
After lunch we stopped in a few stores in search of the perfect souvenir to bring home. We ended up making our purchase at a pet store, where we found the cutest Canada Goose jacket... for Niko. Now before you call me a crazy dog lady, understand that my puppy is a tiny little fur ball who can't cope with cool weather very well. Having a cozy jacket will allow us to take him outside so that he isn't stuck cooped up in the house for the never-ending winter in Edmonton. Oh, and did I mention that I have an identical human sized version? (Okay, now you can call me the crazy dog lady.)
We retuned to the hotel to drop off our purchases and throw on a few more layers of clothing before venturing out again. My favourite thing to do in Yellowknife is to walk the 7 kilometre loop around Frame Lake, and I was looking forward to sharing the experience with my husband. It's tradition for us to write in the sand on every beach that we go to, so we stopped along the lake shore and attempted to write in the frozen sand. After a failed effort, we gave up and finally decided to write the letters using sticks.... much easier than carving through icy sand.
Continuing on our walk, Ryan was able to see why I enjoyed the trail so much. We climbed up the pink rocks, carefully watching our footing so as to not slip on the icy patches. We walked and walked and walked, stopping for the occasional photo.
Ryan raced down the boardwalks, sliding through the snow like a happy little boy. He lives for winter, and I was happy that my job allowed us to both enjoy such experiences. It took us a couple of hours, but we'd finally made it back to the other side of the lake. We picked up some sushi to eat in the hotel room, and then after much persistence, Ryan agreed to stop at the cafe for some more warm beverages. I was stuck deciding between a chai latte or a hot chocolate, so I ordered both, drank my favourite, and gave the other to Ryan. It was a delicious, creamy hot chocolate that made my day complete.
We relaxed for a couple of hours before it was time to head to the airport to fly back home.
The flight wasn't full, so Ryan had no issue getting on with a standby ticket. I was crew on this flight, and for the first time in 3 years of flying, my husband was able to see me at work! Seated at the front of the cabin, he had front row seats to watch my safety demo, although he paid no attention so as to not distract me. After a quick service, I had time to spare before descent, so I sat down next to him and chatted to pass the time. I returned to work to secure the cabin before landing, and then we touched down in Edmonton. Home sweet home, where it was much colder than it had been up north! Ryan got off with the rest of the passengers as I headed for the employee parking lot, where I drove home and reunited with my furry little love, Niko.
For a layover that I hadn't anticipated to be all that exciting, it had been a great trip! Everything is better with good company, and I felt so fortunate to have been able to bring my husband to work!