paid vacation.

Oct 8, 2012

Excuse the delay in posting about this trip, but I've been busy doing important things. Important things like stuffing my face with Thanksgiving food. Pumpkin pie, turkey, and stuffing make this one of the best holidays. How many days of the year do you plan for nothing but mass consumption of food? Since I'm now married and have 2 families to celebrate with... it's an entire weekend of excessive eating. I love this holiday.
Speaking of holidays.... my last layover felt a bit like a short vacation with the exception of having to work on the flights. On Wednesday I flew a couple of quick flights, ending up in Saskatoon.  Normally Saskatoon isn't a hugely exciting place to have a layover, but I'm fortunate to have friends there.  It was a short stay, designated primarily for sleeping. Despite this, I met up with my friend and former roommate Kimmy, along with her boyfriend Justin. They were in the midst of mid-term stress, so I treated them to their coffee and we chatted for awhile before I headed back to the hotel and curled up in bed.
The next day was an early, but an easy one.  It started out with free breakfast in the hotel. I'd packed so much food for this trip, completely unaware of the free meals available to me. Despite this, I took advantage of what was free, because like almost every other flight attendant I've met... I'm cheap.  My crew and I headed for the airport for my flight to Montreal. This flight was a deadhead, meaning that I was flying on another airline as a passenger, and not a working flight attendant.  It also happened to be via Edmonton, which was slightly annoying given that Edmonton is the opposite direction of Montreal.  I was not about to complain, because as it turned out, my entire crew had been upgraded to business class. The difference between business and economy class was like night and day. Sure, I've worked for a rather impressive airline with exceptional service in all classes, but I've sat in economy class my entire life and this was a first time experience for me. I was excited, but tried to maintain my composure so as to look like I fit in.  I'll be honest, it took everything in my power not to take photos of the menus, headsets, hot towels, and hot meal that were brought to my seat. All of these are standard service in the economy cabin of my former airline, but in Canada you pay extra for absolutely everything unless you sit in business or first class.  I enjoyed my meal, thinking of the poor people in the back who would not  be offered so much as a cookie on the 4 hour journey. I, on the other hand, was offered 2 cookies that were accompanied by a miniature bucket of ice cream.  I kicked myself for having agreed to the October no junk food challenge as I sadly declined the delicious treats that my business class ticket entitled me to. After being wined (or at least offered it, but I had to decline due to the fact that I was on duty) and dined for 4 hours, we landed in Montreal.  I checked into my hotel and was shocked at the size of my room. I had a kitchen, a living room, a separate bedroom and bathroom. All for me, all for a 14 hour layover. 
The other flight attendants were full from eating so much on the flight, but I wasn't ready to call it a night. I agreed to go find dinner with the captain, and we ended up at a restaurant close to the hotel. When in Montreal, it feels somewhat mandatory to eat French cuisine. I settled upon French onion soup. Delicious, cheesy, happiness in a bowl.  It was wonderful, and just what I'd needed.
 Returning to my room I popped a bag of microwave popcorn after confirming with my husband that it was allowed in our junk food free challenge. I realized shortly after making it that I wasn't in fact hungry and that it was more the novelty of having a room stocked with popcorn.  I took a bubble bath to relax after a long, ridiculously easy day.  I was feeling rather spoiled. I finished off my evening with a chat over Face Time to my husband and puppy, who was confused to hear my voice from the phone and not be able to find me at home. It was hard to force myself to sleep in a different time zone, but it had to be done. 
I woke up at 6 am, grumpy that it was actually 4 am in the time zone that my body was used to.  It doesn't matter how many early mornings I endure, I whine and think that my life is horribly unfair for the first 30 minutes of being forced awake.  Things got better as I remembered that there was free breakfast in this hotel as well... and not just a continental breakfast of muffins and toast. This time, I was having bacon and eggs and all in life was wonderful.  I actually do work once in awhile, as I was doing that day.  We flew to Thunder Bay, picked up more passengers and continued on to the Northern Alberta oil sands. With 6 hours between flights, we were bussed to the camp hotel where the workers stay on their rotations. It was a very strange place with long hallways and far too many corridors. I followed the rest of the crew, afraid of getting lost.  It was nice to nap for a few hours after such an early morning. When I woke up, it was time to eat again. I proceeded to the dining hall to load up on all sorts of delicious food at the buffet. If I work this pairing too often I may end up obese with all of the free food.  With full bellies, we proceeded to the airport, boarded our plane, and flew home. 
Home sweet home! It had been an easy few days with some of the best crew I've worked with in awhile, but it was nice to get back to my house, husband, and puppy.  I'll repeat this trip again next week!  


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