Catching up

June 11, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

Where does two months go?  Seriously?  Mea culpa!

Union work
Transatlantic cruise
San Antonio
Wedding planning

I haven't been flying much...with the big ol' merger of my company and another airline, there are two different Flight Attendant unions.  We're a "closed shop" so no matter where one stands on Unions, as a Flight Attendant, I'm required to pay dues.  And, it is a cantankerous fight for millions of dollars in dues revenue.  It is ugly.  The volume of mail that each Flight Attendant has gotten over the last couple of months is staggering.  Truly, that is not an exaggeration!  We can measure it in several inches!  (The two Unions have single-handedly funded the retirement program of US Postal Workers!)

I've been doing a little work on behalf of the one I think is best for a.) me and b.) my flying partners.   We are currently in the midst of voting, and the election will be over in a couple of weeks.  I think we will all be happier when the election is done.
I went to Recurrent Training in April.  Since the training is held in Chicago, the Company flew me in the night before, so I was ready to go at 8 a.m. the next morning.  The hotel shuttle drops us off at the airport and this year, this greeted us when we got off the shuttle at O'Hare (ORD):

I just post 'em, folks!  =)

My Recurrent was the first month of the new merger training and we were introduced to some of the other airlines' safety equipment (different versions of ours, some better.)  The FAA requires that we prove ourselves on every aircraft we are qualified on yearly.  There are mock-ups of each aircraft's doors that we train on--here are the Airbus and 777 doors.

Both Flight Attendant groups have had to re-learn commands.  Commands get so ingrained in our heads that unlearning old ones and relearning new ones is tricky:

Brace! Brace! Brace!
Release seatbelts, get out, leave everything!
Come this way!
You!  Help at the bottom, send people away!
Jump, jump!  Form double lines.

Now, SHOUT them.  LOUDER!  LOUDER! With 20 people watching you.  And, a stopwatch.  Knowing that if you cannot say it, in the time allotted, while performing the exact movements the FAA and company require (assess conditions, open door, pull handle, protect yourself) exactly, you can, eventually, lose your job.  No pressure, right?

It's not rocket science, of course, but, it can be challenging.  Fortunately, we all passed and go on to fly for another year.

Since my husband deployed to Germany last year, he earned a lot of comp time, along with his vacation days.  And, he intends to use every single one of those days, and I am a casualty of that!  =)  It certainly helps that I am partner-flying (sharing half a month's schedule with another Flight Attendant.)  In May, we took a 2-week Transatlantic cruise, from Galveston, Texas to Barcelona, Spain.  It was fantastic--my favorite ports were Ponta Delgada in the Azores, and Malaga, Spain.

Ponta Delgada was simply beautiful--a cross of that special green that is Ireland, and the
lush-ruggedness of the mountains in Kauai.

We rented a car and drove around the island.  The roadsides were covered in soon-to-be blooming hydrangeas, and azaleas just starting to peek out.  I imagine being there two weeks later and being overwhelmed by the beauty of these blooming bushes....they were everywhere!

We drove up to Sete Cidades...which is a town and lake inside a massive volcano crater:

The two different colored lakes?  Actually, only one lake...that is a bridge seemingly dividing them.  The lakes reflect what surrounds them... and the green lake reflects the surrounding trees!

Of course, I have to takes chip pics!  Ketchup flavored and "I have no idea" flavor.  It translates from Portuguese and Spanish to Rural Prescription or Farmer's Prescription.  I have no idea what that tastes like!

Last week I non-revved to San Antonio (SAT).  It was my sister Donna's birthday, and she wanted me to go with her to see Dad.  My family isn't one to hang around too long to wear out a welcome: we blow into town, visit, and blow right on out.  And, that's what we did in SAT.  We flew in Monday evening, shopped on Tuesday, and left Wednesday morning.  In between there, I had lovely dinners at the Thai Cafe (my 2nd fave restaurant in the world) and Sorrento's (my first favorite restaurant!) for some Eggplant Parmesan--to die for!  We were able to spend a little time with Dad, Donna bought some Lucchese boots (she always does) and we had a good time visiting with Joe and Jeanie, Dad's friends who are precious to both of us!

My beautiful daughter, Casey is marrying her love, Matt at the end of August.  They are planning a beautiful sunset wedding overlooking the beach.  In the last couple of weeks, I put together a website for the wedding and this week I'll be in Virginia Beach for a dress fitting.  She has an exciting summer...she moved into their new apartment last week; Matt will be coming home from his Navy cruise next month; and, of course, the wedding!


And, finally, my Little Prince Brendyn is going to be a big brother in September!

The Little Prince's Staff

And, presenting Camdyn, my newest Little Prince. (No worries, I will overload the blogosphere with pictures of him, too!)