Flight Plan.

Year Two. Month Seven. #PNW.

I was supposed to be strolling the streets of Brooklyn this morning, hungover from a night of drinks and catching up with my New York best friend. There were supposed to be New York bagels and crisp fall leaves and sunglasses and shopping. There were supposed to be last minute redeye flights, (hopefully) first class seats and coast-to-coast jetsetting.

But my flight plan didn't play out exactly how it was supposed to.

Whidbey Coffee = island livin' :)

Rewind back to Saturday morning. I woke up late, luxuriating in the fact that I was actually sleeping in my own bed on not only a weekend morning, but a holiday weekend morning at that. Coffee at my kitchen table, my cat purring on my lap, I worked on my schedule bid for next month and looked at flights for Sunday night.

I was going to work a quick, easy two leg trip (with a poolside California layover) and then jet off for the Big Apple. Easy, right?

My Saturday morning zipped by and suddenly it was time to pack up and head out for work. My drive was about two hours, normally a breeze, but on this particular morning my breezy drive had whipped up into quite the gall. Torrents of rain and high winds slowed my drive and by the time I got to the airport, I was running behind schedule.

Best flight attendant friends go to Japan together.

Luckily, I found my best flight attendant friend on the employee bus. Working in a small base means that you can often just work with your best friends and favorite pilots. We got caught up, and then set up our plane for passengers.

After take-off I went about setting up our beverage cart for the service. Before pushing back the cart, I checked my lipstick, hair and uniform in the tiny mirror in the corner of the galley. All good. But wait... What was this strange piece of fabric doing hanging down off my backside? ...oh, no.

Can you say wardrobe malfunction?

After a bit of frantic whispering to my friend, we managed to dig out my suitcase, find an extra skirt and I snuck off to the bathroom to change out of my embarrassingly ripped pants. Back out in the cabin, I felt flustered and off kilter.

"This flight attendant life, right?" my friend whispered, grinning. I couldn't help but laugh.

The flight landed in Fresno and we headed to our normal crew hotel, a nice, comfortable spot with a great staff and a fun little back patio area. Our crew stayed up late talking by the pool and by the time we headed to our rooms for the night, we were yawning. I noticed that my friend was on a different floor, in a different section of the hotel but didn't think much of it.

CrewLYFE ...amirite?!

"G'night, don't let the bed bugs bite!" I thought as we parted ways.

Several hours later, in the early hours of the morning, I woke up to a text from my friend.

"I woke up with bed bug bites!!!! Had to switch rooms, this is miserable!" the text read.

Even the nicest hotels get tiny "out of town visitors." Sometimes these creepy crawlies hitch rides on suitcases and shoes. It's always a good idea to check up the sheets, look at the headboards and check hotel reviews online for infestation incidents. But it's impossible to avoid everything, and my poor friend got a visit from the worst kind of pests.

After getting the texts, I searched my room from top to bottom to see if there was any evidence of pests in my section of the hotel. There wasn't anything I could see, but I couldn't fall back asleep. The rest of the day I spent obsessing over my clothing, terrified that a bug would hitch a ride in my suitcase. Gross.

Not about that bed bug life.

My poor co-worker was a wreck by the time it was time to leave. Without sleep and with swollen bites all up and down her arms, she was just ready to go home. I was also anxious, scrolling through flights to the East Coast, watching the loads fill up as the time got closer to my New York City adventure. And then we got a call.

The plane was delayed. Mechanical. Two hours late.

Ugg. So much for an easy trip.

By the time the plane pulled in, we were rushing to make up for lost time. The plane felt like a mess, the previous crew not having the time to clean as well as they normally would have. As I rolled up my sleeves and took out the overflowing trash, cleaned up the galley and prepared to board, I caught a glimpse of myself in the tiny galley mirror. So much for glamorous, I thought.

The flight was a grumpy one. Passengers, having missed their connections. Me, with my missed flights to New York. My co-worker, with her swollen arm and itchy skin. The plane had a malfunctioning coffee maker and nothing seemed to be in order. When I tried opening a beer for a passenger, it was frozen, exploding all over me.

Almost home. So close.

This was not my day.

By the time we landed I was exhausted from just one leg. I wearily thanked passengers and cleaned up the plane. I checked my watch. I had missed at least two flights. There was one more flight in twenty minutes, but it looked full. I sighed.

I just wanted to go home.

Sometimes, your flight plan changes and you just need to go where the wind takes you. I needed my own bed, my cat, my sunny backyard and my cozy little town. I needed rest. It was time.

I left the airport, went to my car and got on the road.

Halfway home, I stopped at a gas station for a snack. Sitting in my car for a minute, I looked at my phone, which had been buzzing ever since I left the airport. It was the app for the airline I had been trying to jumpseat on to New York, but had given up on because I thought there were no more seats.

Parking lot selfie feels.

As it turned out, not only would I have been assigned a seat, but one in first class.


And then I laughed. Here I was, eating candy in a dark parking lot when I could have been reclining in First Class with a glass of champagne, on my way to New York City.

This flight attendant life, I thought.

Today I'm home. I'm currently in my pajamas, making cookies and homemade soup while my boyfriend digs around in the garden. We weren't expecting this time together, but my flight plan changed.

And that's okay.

Happy flying!


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