A great trip to Amsterdam--and snow!

March 02, 2009 6 Comments A+ a-

I had a great trip to AMS this weekend! We had 11 Flight Attendants working on the 777 both ways--it was nice to be staffed well!

I worked the Business Aisle on the way over--we were full, with 49 passengers in Business. I worked the aisle with Mike, who, with the biggest smile on his face, is easily the happiest guy on the planet. He would start singing a tune to himself, and the next thing you know, we were all humming away the same tune. It was infectious, and we all got bitten! A few minutes later, he'd change his tune, and so would the rest of us! It was a tune-a-palooza in Business--and great to work with everyone who was in a good mood, for a change!

We arrived in Amsterdam around 7:30 in the morning--it was wet and drizzly, and not the kind of weather anyone felt like exploring the city in. We checked into our hotel, and a couple hours later, I was asleep. (Or dead. I can't remember!)

Later that afternoon, Karen and I walked down to the Food Plaza--we both love European grocery stores, and I enjoyed lookng at all the different food things. I bought a little package of salami-wrapped cheese bits and some fresh pineapple to have a bite to eat the next morning.

Some of us, including the pilots, met around 6 pm. for Happy Hour and to decide on dinner. The pilots wanted to go to a rib restaurant, but at 30 Euros a plate (around $38), and a 25 minute walk, we had to pass. I just can't imagine ribs being worth that much money! The rest of us ate at the hotel restaurant--we split an appetizer and I had some delicious tomato soup. The appetizers had cheese souffle balls-that were so delicious, and definitely not good for you!

We walked out the back of our hotel and there was an alley of sorts--a pedestrian walkway, with no car traffic. It was very cool and a little reminiscent of the Latin Quarter in Paris, with shops and restaurants, coffee shops and a sex shops. (Well, it IS Amsterdam!)


Out the door, this very nice man chatted us up--then asked me to take his picture, and he asked for money, of course. (He didn't get any, but he was still very nice.)



The 'erotic shop' right outside the hotel, and across from a McDonald's. Yeah, that wouldn't happen here in the States!


We ended up in a coffee shop--well, it was more like a hookah bar. We met the owner and had a drink. Of course, someone was smoking pot, but it was really no big deal there. But knowing we could be drug tested at anytime with our jobs, we didn't stay long-just in case!

The flight back was fun, too. Business and Coach were half full, and First was full, so I worked in First with two other Flight Attendants. We had a really nice service that was perfectly paced and all our passengers seemed happy.

When leaving the Schipol Airport, I purchased some flower bulbs to plant in my garden. I had to make sure the bulbs were certified for the US. If not, the expensive bulbs could be confiscated, and I could be fined. I listed them first on my "Crew Declaration Form" and the Immigration guy (the one who reads your passport) is supposed to see it and send me to the Agriculture line--but, he didn't even look. The Customs guy saw it, and reviewed the seal, which he deemed appropriate and did not make me go to the long, long, long Agriculture line! (Whew!)

While standing in the Customs line (after Passport guy) the Beagle dog walks by you and sniffs your stuff. He is looking for fruit and plants and things that you can't bring back into the US. Liz, one of the Flight Attendants I flew with, was "pulled over by the Beagle". She previously had a banana in her tote bag, that she ate while in the hotel, and the residual banana odor was still on her bag, so, she was searched. Just a warning to the wise! Avoid being "pulled over by the Beagle"!

I flew with a great crew-we had such a synergy-which just seems to be what makes the work a breeze. Everyone got along with each other, and there seemed to be genuine fondness among the Flight Attendants--it was unusual, and a joy to work with them! I hope the flower bulbs I brought back serve as a reminder of the fun people I have flown with!

And, that was my last trip, for a while. I have taken a three month Leave of Absence from my company. They are giving the LOAs out like crazy, in an effort to avoid furloughing Flight Attendants. I am looking at other options, as the Reserve system at my Company is insane and some days, brutal. (It won't change much for me over the next 10 years, which is how long I plan on flying) and I don't think I could hang with this Reserve system for that long. (At other airlines, Flight Attendants are on Reserve forever, I know! But, I have "been to the other side" of Flight Attendant life, and want to explore going back to that. More, later!)) I could still decide to stay there, and this time off will give me the opportunity to look back and decide what I want to do, while looking at my other options.


In other news...

Last night it snowed like crazy* here--we got about 4 inches here in Alexandria.

(I know that 4 inches of snow isn't that much, but, it is the most we've gotten this winter, and I can call it crazy if I want!)








I "threw" my girls outside on the deck to see what they thought of the snow. They were fine with it, until the wind blew. They wanted none of that and were quickly inside--Delaney to the fireplace and Emmie up on Norm's desk, where the lamp keeps her nice and warm!


I'm making soup and a salad for dinner tonight. It's a good day to be all nice and warm in our house--a very good day, indeed!

Blondie

Blondie

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DUNCAN
AUTHOR
March 2, 2009 at 6:58 PM delete

Enjoy your leave, I am sure you will. They just offered us 1 month leaves starting next month and I would love to take on but can't afford it. Whatever you do I am sure you will make the right decision for you. But think about it long and hard before you quit. I have a lot of friends who have left and now wish they hadn't. As you know it gets in your blood and stays there. It definitely is a lifestyle that we are accustomed to. Glad you AMS trip was fun. I am off on a 4 day tomorrow. And we even have a long Manhattan layover. They are my favorite. Hugs!

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March 3, 2009 at 1:27 AM delete

Wow, keep us posted on what you'll be doing for the next few months..how nice, enjoy! I took some leaves during my reserve years. I'm actually job sharing this month: )

It sounds like you had fun in Amsterdam, a great crew makes all the difference, doesn't it?! I miss international but I remembered exactly how it felt to wake up overseas, when I read what you wrote...not sure if I was asleep or dead! Boy is that the truth...nothing quite like that feeling!

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Katie
AUTHOR
March 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM delete

Sounds like you had a good time :)

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Anthony
AUTHOR
March 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM delete

Is it normal for you to reassign positions during a trip (i.e. working business out and first back?) We always keep the position we choose for the trip

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Lulu
AUTHOR
March 6, 2009 at 5:37 PM delete

Wow! We got 4 inches of snow here in Atlanta, but your 4 inches looks like more than our 4 inches! Your cats look buried in it!

Glad that you had such a great trip to Amsterdam! Enjoy your leave!

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Blondie
AUTHOR
March 6, 2009 at 5:49 PM delete

Anthony--I had the same position--I was the #11. So, I had the same safety responsibilities and same jumpseat--but there isn't an assigned working position. So, I floated to where the greatest need was (as determined by the flight load and Purser.)

We all kept our same posiitons both legs--only I changed what I did. Everyone else did the same thing both ways.

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