Friday, January 15, 2016

My 2015 in Review

This last year was pretty amazing sauce for me!

And, with that being said, I look forward to a wonderful 2016 ahead of me.

Highlights of 2015
  • Dad came to San Francisco with me on an overnight.
  • Visited Ireland for the first time ever...and started to show off my Honey Bunny a little bit more.
  • Saw Paris a second time. 
  • Had some dear friends visit Chicago, and let me play tour guide.
  • Saw the Cubs play an amazing baseball game, that later sent them to the playoffs.
  • Worked some awesome overnights with some awesome crews.
  • Euro-tripped it, again, to Amsterdam with Paul and his auntie. Was a first time for him in Amsterdam. Him and I made a great traveling duo.
  • Flew to Iceland, with Paul and my brother Flint, and road tripped the entire island on the famous Ring Road.
  • Saw the groundbreaking of a new LDS church in downtown Chicago.
  • Took a day trip to PDX for Paul's birthday - all in a day, and even got first class coming home!
  • Haribo candies sent me a gold mine of free Haribo gummy candies. BEST! DAY! EVER!
  • Watched my brother Cash marry his longtime girlfriend Kali. Funnest wedding all year!
  • Took an epic family road trip to Durango, Colorado with my whole family, and Paul.
  • Watched the airplanes land at SXM airport in St. Maarten. Then balled my eyes out trying to get out of that airport...
  • Jetted to Switzerland, for the most life changing event ever. I GOT ENGAGED! AT THE BASE OF THE MATTERHORN!
  • Had more visitors to Chicago - Flint, Paul, and my Mom. And had a few more friends that came to visit too.
  • Watched the Chicago marathon, and cheered on those runners.
  • Spent those major holidays surrounded by family.
  • Witnessed the CTA Christmas train - which was a big deal for me.
  • Said goodbye to dive of a restaurant, that will always have wonderful childhood memories. Long live the Cow, may you rest in peace Top Spot.
  • Saw Star Wars, fell asleep, and ruined it for those who hadn't seen it. Therefore, took a break from social media. (New Years resolution for the new year: shut up!)
  • Rang in the New Year surrounded by my family.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

25 Things I love about Paris

twenty five things i quickly fell in love with during my first trip to paris.

in no specific order.
  1. food.
  2. specifically crepes.
  3. and, also macaroons. YES, MACAROONS! (Side note, I had never really tried macaroons until I was in Paris. It only seemed fitting to actually eat a macaroon in the land, and city, they were created in. I was not disappointed. They were, what I feel, the food of heaven will be like, and taste like.  So many pretty colors and flavors. My heaven better have macaroons.) 
  4. architecture.
  5. the details in everything.
  6. the shutters by almost all the windows.
  7. people.
  8. the language, the accent.
  9. melting pot of culture.
  10. tower of eiffel.
  11. at night.
  12. with all the lights.
  13. in the day too.
  14. always the eiffel, always.
  15. history.
  16. a step back in time.
  17. public transportation.
  18. alleyways full of so much to see.
  19. cobblestone pathways.
  20. churches & cathedrals.
  21. notre dame.
  22. shopping.
  23. the fact they drive on the same side of the road as americans (cough, cough - london).
  24. the high end fashion, seen everywhere, not just in high end boutiques.
  25. being there with my tour guide, Paul.   

Friday, November 13, 2015

He Stole a Kiss in London, of all Places.

I (we) made it to London. Hit the ground running. After several hours we started to slowly tinker off. Not much more we could handle, so back to our apartment to crash, sleep, wake quickly, and then go see more sites. But, during a moments time, of regrouping and getting ready to leave, he stole a kiss from me...

It awkward. 

Wanted to say, it magic. Nope. 

More like, I don't think either of us have kissed anyone in a really long time, and we were just a boy and a girl on a trip to London. London! Why not take advantage of this whole setting, and steal a kiss from each other? (Plus, I figured, I would get it out of my system. I would know, right then and there, this Paul character wasn't for me!)

Paul had been chasing, or pursuing me for almost two months now. I finally agreed to some "interviews" with him. Then I agreed to a major trip across the pond with him. With him, and a coworker of his. How does one go about telling their parents they are flying over the Atlantic with a man they had only met a couple of times in passing, and been on maybe three dates (interviews) with? My parents were just thrilled that I was possibly seeing a man, so they quickly gave me their blessing to set out to London with him.

I finally crossed the pond.
  • Big Ben
  • Westminster Bridge
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Harrods
  • Tower of London
  • Piccadilly Square
  • Fish and Chips
  • Mushy peas
  • The Tube - Mind the Gap
  • Brighton, England
  • Lewes, England
  • Guy Fawkes Festival
(Just to name a few of the places and things we saw.)

After our nap it was time to go see more sites. There, on the edge of my bed, Paul quietly began to wake me. I was nowhere rested, and even though our time was limited in London I was happy to just sleep. As I slowly awoke I noticed that the room had grown dark, the blinds were open and rain was trickling down the window panes. As I sat up and tried to readjust where I was I noticed that Paul was sitting at the foot of my bed. This quickly made me set up. We talked for a moment, he, reassuring me, I was actually in London. After a moment I could tell a kiss was coming, but I also knew that I was not interested. Trying to remind myself that I was only here with him because he was going to be my new travel partner. What did he not understand about that? Kissing was not part of the contract! However, with the fact that it had been a while since I had kissed a man, and the men weren't lined up at the door for me, I decided to go in for the kiss, that he was so longing for. If anything, I wanted to clear up all doubts on my end. After what really seemed like several minutes of looking into each others eyes (I know, gag) we slowly came together and kissed. It wasn't terrible. But, I just didn't want to enjoy it. I did not want to give him the satisfaction that maybe, just maybe, he could be a very strong contender in my search for more than a travel partner.

You act surprised, he was a contender? Yes, he actually was. For some reason, unannounced to me, he was among three men I was starting to date, all at the same time. Shocking, I know! One, an old friend who was recently divorced, making his way back into my life. The other, a passenger from Canada I had met on one of my flights. Lastly, Paul, some guy who worked for Delta, and who caught me in the airport one day. Even on this trip to London I was still talking and planning dates with these two other men. Paul was just one of these guys that happened to reel me in quicker, by inviting me to London. Who is going to say no to London?

Back out to the streets of London, to cram in more site seeing. Nestled in a corner of the Tube, Paul's friend and I begin to chat about my "wants" in a man. Because of the current trend, I was head over heels for bearded men. I shared that my "must have" in a man is a nice beard. Who needs anything more? Not caring that Paul was intently listening in on all my "worldly" wants in a man. I was pretty sure he wouldn't really be able to meet up to my high standards, so I talked freely. (I share the beard comment because what happened the next day was quite humorous.) Early the next morning we were on a train bound for South England, to a small village known as Brighton. It was a lengthy train ride that gave us plenty of time to visit. At one moment, Paul and I were left alone as his friend wandered through the train cars. As I was enjoying the beautiful scenery of England, Paul was quick to take this moment alone to ask me what I thought...of his so called beard, day one of growth. "What do you think?" As he motions to his face. "Huh?" I'm so confused, and really am starting to wonder about this silly man... "What do you think of my face?" Again, motioning to his face. "Good?" I say, in hopes to get him to bug off. "You said you like beards..." Paul states. "Yeah?" So, what's your point? As I think to myself... Oh? Oh my. Great, he really does like me. He is growing a beard for me. Thats just great. Light bulb is slowly flickering on - okay, electricity is clearly working now.

The rest of the day was spent in a small English village, Lewes. Here they celebrate the Guy Fawkes festival every year on November 5th. We were there early to celebrate in the burning. During our time of waiting for the parades to start Paul was ready to get down to business, and figure out if the two of us could start to (potentially) date. Here I am floored that he is still on this kick to want to date me. Granted, I did give into the whole kiss. But, I was not interested. So I told myself. As the night carried on and heavy smoke filled the crisp England air it was time to pack up and head back to our hotel for the night. As we were getting set to leave the crowds of people had doubled. It was wall to wall people slowly moving about the quaint, tiny, cobblestone streets. Paul turns to me and tells me that he needs to hold my hand so that we don't get separated. Oh please! He's being all suave. Right! Like I am going to let him hold my hand. He held my hand. ONLY because there was actually a lot of people, I didn't want to lose him or his friend, and I was in a different country. If I have to hold his hand, we both had gloves on, so it wasn't like I was REALLY holding his hand.

Once the Guy Fawkes festivities started to mellow out a little, and that's an understatement, we decided our time here in England was ready to wrap up. Naturally, we were to leave in the morning and catch a ten hour flight home. Paul was pretty persistent that I follow them home through the nonstop to Las Vegas on Virgin Atlantic, out of Gatwick airport in South England. I was feeling confident in making my own way back to London and then flying nonstop back to Chicago, via London Heathrow. None of that happened, and I took the ten hour trek back with the two of them. In hindsight, I am glad I did. Apparently I had this air to me, that I could do this trek back home alone. Maybe I could have, but it probably wouldn't have been my brightest moment. I was glad that I stuck with Paul and JR. We were able to get a row of seats together, and Paul was able to sit with me for ten hours trying to work his magic with me. Thinking about that ten hour flight home puts me in awe that him and I were able to sit through that entire flight, not watching a single movie, and just conversing with one another. I should've known right then that he was the one. Honestly, what guy could sit for ten hours just talking, and crammed in the seat of a ten hour flight??? That truly was probably the best part of this whole trip to London - just sitting next to Paul on our flight home, and really getting to know him. I wish that I could go back to that moment. If I could, I would just sit and watch the interaction between the two of us. Just thinking of us sitting on the flight, me by the window, him in the middle seat, makes me smile.

A kiss is wonderful. A kiss in London is truly magical. But, to find someone who has the same thoughts, feelings, and ideas as you, is truly one of a kind. And, the fact that he loves to travel, well that's a huge bonus.

Bill Murray said it wonderfully:

 If you have someone who you think is the one, don't just sort of think, your ordinary mind, and think, 'Oh, OK, let's make a date, let's plan this and make a party and get married.' Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And when you come back...when you land...if you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport.

I think I could've done that right there in Vegas, with that Pauly character. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, I had some playing "hard to get" to do.
Mind the Gap.
Best picture EVER! Such a great traveling trio we were.
Strike a pose.
My most favorite picture taken in London.
Mushy peas, and of course, fish and chips.
Guy Fawkes Festival - full blown!
Paul fraternizing with the flight attendants.
(Several times JR and I had to go ring him in...eye roll.)
Ten hour flight home - Paul and I talked the entire time.
(Except when I had to go find him up in the galley...)

Monday, September 28, 2015

The first interview, or as normal people call it - the first date.

"Never give up searching for the job that you're passionate about."  -- Warren Buffet

I have had many job interviews. Some were easy, some were nerve wracking, and some were downright sad.

Poor Paul, he wanted an interview with me so badly. But, I just did not want to set up the time to actually have a face to face interview with him. Going back to that fateful evening, as I flew into Salt Lake City, and a still small whispering of the spirit probed me to text Paul, or was it just bad indigestion? Whatever it was, it put his motivation to go on a date (as he calls it, and most normal people) with me into major go mode. And so, the asking to go on a date/interview began. Can you guess what I said the first time he asked me out? I said, No! Yeah, that's correct. I politely said, "no thanks, I'm not interested." I was nice about it, and I thought, he finally got the point.

A few days go by, and the guilt from a close friend and a couple of family members make me call Paul. I call and ask him if he would like to go to dinner. I had a decently long overnight in Salt Lake that following Thursday, October 2, 2014. After calling him and deciding that I would like to just meet up for dinner, at a restaurant downtown, he then asked me, "who was asking who here?" I'm asking! Only because I said no to his first attempt. So, I plan on meeting him downtown, getting a quick bite to eat, and then paying for his dinner. If I pay then it does not, in any way, look like a "date!" To even say date is a huge step because this was an INTERVIEW only. An interview only because I wanted to travel! Travel with someone who was in the industry, because that would make things a whole heck of a lot easier. Traveling with non flight crew is so difficult, and is a blog post in and of itself. Also, he seemed very competent in travel, and had basically traveled the whole world already, (minus Antarctica, but who really cares about going there? Ahhh, those seven continent junkies - he's six...still needs that seventh...) so my options were endless with him. Basically, I wanted to use him for his travel knowledge. (This is probably sounding so bad from my end. Maybe I'm a brat, stuck up, and picky. Well, I was.)

He never agreed to just meet me downtown, he said he would like to pick me up and go together. This was starting to sound like a date, and I did not want a date. I'm not sure my plan was going to work with this guy. I hardly knew this man. I knew he worked at the airport, and he at least had to have a background check to work there, so he was safe in that aspect. But, I still didn't feel confident in sharing my hotel details with him. However, I gave in, he could come pick me up for this non date/interview thing.

When I travel for work, I pack my bag with the bare minimums, and want to travel lite. I knew this trip was just two days, but I also knew I had this "interview" with that Delta character, Paul. So, I packed the bare minimums, throwing in a somewhat decent outfit for the evenings interview. I had a nice pair of slack like jeans, a white undershirt and a pretty peach cardigan. Spiced it up with red flats, and a scarf that had some red, blue, and peach in it.

We land in Salt Lake for the evening. Get our luggage and head to our hotel, downtown. We had decided to meet up quickly after I arrived. I had about 30 minutes to get ready and look somewhat presentable. For some reason I took great care in making myself look good, as anyone would for an interview. Although, for this interview, I was actually kind of nervous. As much as I didn't want to call this a date, it was the first date I had been on in a REALLY LONG TIME.

I told him I would meet him in the lobby, and to have him call when he was at the entrance. In the lobby when he calls, I see him drive in and park. Okay, here we go. He immediately gets out of the car, and suddenly, I'm in complete horror. He looks great, very casual, with jeans, and a button up shirt, and those cute glasses of his. The blood drains from my face when I look down at my clothes, then look back at his clothes, and see that we are both wearing the identical color of peach! No chance of me running to my hotel room to change - I only brought the one outfit. Nothing I can do now, so I take a deep breath and just walk out to meet him. Leave it to me to make some awkward comment regarding our match-y clothes - something was said, but I just can't remember what. However, the horror of us matching is still there. ;)

Right from the beginning he was a complete gentleman. No! I don't want this to go anywhere! I am just looking for a travel partner! Nothing more! This is not a date! This is not a date! Interview, interview, interview! I am only doing this because I need someone to travel with!

We drive to the City Creek shopping center and he asks me if I could help him find a phone case for him before we head to dinner. I told him that was fine, and we go get him a phone cover. I am pretty confident when it comes to dating, granted I don't date often, and they were never lined up at the door to go out with me. But, I have been on plenty of first dates, and blind dates to know a thing or two. As the phone cover shopping went on, I played it pretty cool and casual. I was hoping that most people wouldn't look at us like we were on a first date, and that they would just look at us like we were two friends. Just hanging out, and buying a phone cover. Exactly what future travel partners do, and nothing more.

After finding him the right phone cover we walked to dinner. I had made the choice beforehand, of where we would "meet" up. I had chosen a hip downtown (As seen on Food Network) restaurant, Maxwell's. As we walk to dinner, we chat, like anyone would on a casual interview. Through dinner, we continue to chat, again, like any relaxed interview. The conversation was wonderful and easy, I was very pleased with where this was going with my future travel partner. I could see a future bright with travel, and having a fabulous time with this man. As dinner concluded I made the strong attempt to pay for our meals -- since this was NOT A DATE! Only a mere interview. He insisted he pay, and that I should let him bask in his manly duties, he stated. Little did he know I was hoping he would pay. One, because I'm a flight attendant and poor, and two, he should pay, it is his manly duty!

The conversation continued easily, and naturally. We walked the downtown of Salt Lake, ending back at City Creek. I was starting to get a little sad that our evening was quickly coming to an end. This Delta character suggested some dessert as we were passing by a candy store. He decided that we could share a caramel apple. Ahhh, how romantic, insert major eye roll from me! Suddenly, I was quickly brought back to my main purpose of this evening! I took my women's liberties to insist - I WILL PAY FOR DESSERT! Therefore, this is no longer a date, but the intended interview it was meant to be! Now you can take me back to my hotel!

Shortly after our shared apple he drove me to the hotel, walked me to the lobby, asked for a hug, thanked me for a lovely evening, took his trusty white horse (or car) and drove off into the sunset (or darkness - it was dark by this point).

There were several other interviews following this first initial interview. A month later I finally agreed to go on a trip overseas. With the intentions of us just being travel partners. However, he snuck a first kiss. In the city of London, of all places. How dare he ruin my plans! We were only suppose to be travel partners. I was not suppose to even remotely like him, fall in love with him, and now marry him.

This was just suppose to be an interview.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We meet, he was persistent, and I was not interested.

This evening, as I talk on the phone with my Honey Bunny we realize that almost one year ago, this week, we went on our first date. Or, as I liked to call it, our first "interview." What a year it has been -- now we are engaged and starting a whole new chapter to our lives. A chapter I don't think either of us thought we would ever get to.

It was a Sunday morning on August 3, 2014. My Mother's birthday. A week before my sisters wedding. I had just flown into Salt Lake City International airport from Chicago. We had about an hour layover before we were to travel to our next destination. I got off the plane and went quickly to my next gate. The plane wasn't here yet, so to waste time I was on my phone. The other flight attendant was standing next to me, but neither of us were really conversing. Next thing I know there is some Delta gate agent, in a suit and cute glasses talking to both of us. Neither of us were real thrilled with him. I, however, gave him a tiny bit more attention then the other flight attendant, but only to be nice. We began to converse some. After a quick introduction he found out I was from Southern Utah, and Mormon. He shared that he was Mormon and from Salt Lake area. Still not impressed, and still didn't even believe that he was even Mormon. Our conversation continued some, mostly about travel, and going on different trips. Next thing I know I am getting invited on some trip, to some island off the coast of Guatemala, Honduras, or some exotic place. Oh please? Sure? Who is this yahoo? I'll just pretend I'm interested so that maybe he will leave me alone. Is our plane here yet? Why are you still here talking to me? Don't you need to work? Finally, the plane is here and I can escape this guy and go get ready to board. Not so fast, he pulls out his business card and hands it to me, with the hope that I'll call him later, and we can talk more. Yeah right! Within a few minutes, as soon as I was able to get to the nearest trash can, his card went into the trash faster then a passenger handing me their child's dirty diaper.

Two days later, I am traveling back through Salt Lake airport, finishing my trip to Chicago. I had completely forgot about this Delta gate agent, who annoyed me on Sunday. As I am quickly walking to my gate, in a different terminal, and at a completely different time, this man (the Delta gate agent with cute glasses) spots me, and comes running over to me. Why I ever thought I wouldn't see him again was very naive of me. He immediately asks why I haven't called him. Little did he know I chucked his card. Of course I made up some lie, and tried to brush it off. In the hurry that I was, he keeps the pace with me, and hands me another business card before I board my plane to go home. This time I keep the card, but toss it in my bag, to only get lost, and forgot about.

One month later. We're into the second week of September. Life is good. I'm loving this job, the people I'm working with, and the overnights I get to go on. September 13, 2014 I am finishing a trip, flying from Salt Lake City to Chicago. As I am with my crew walking towards our plane, I see that Delta gate agent. I had completely forgot about him, and his two business cards he had given me. I cannot believe this man even remotely remembers me. Let alone even wants to speak to me, even after it was clear I wasn't interested in him. My crew looks at him funny as he acts like him and I are dear friends. I want to tell my crew I have no clue who he is, or why he is so interested in me! I keep walking and just slightly acknowledge his presence as I head down the jet bridge. He is still on my heels, asking why I had never called him from his second attempt. He calls me out on throwing away his business card -- which I did. The first time! I tell him the truth, and tell him I did throw it away, but that I had the second card...just wasn't sure where it was. But, I knew I had it! He decides to take matters into his own hands and asks if he can have my number. I hum haw around looking for a way to get out of giving it to him. No such luck. I cave in and give him my number. I'm not too worried though, I really don't feel like he will actually call me.

As my routine goes, when I return from a trip: I say my goodbyes, head to the train, sit in my normal train car, take a deep breath, turn on my phone, put in my music, and unwind on the forty five minute train ride to my apartment. Once my phone flickered on, and became adjusted I noticed I had a text message from a phone number of someone who was not saved in my contacts. It was an "801" number, so I knew it was someone from Utah. I check the message, as it read, "Hey Libby. I hope this is your real number, and not a bogus number. Pauly with Delta." I sit on the train at a complete loss. Pauly with Delta? Who could this be. Seriously, several minutes went by when the light bulb finally flickered. Oh! It's that annoying gate agent who works for Delta! Okay? So...Do I text him back? I didn't have much else going on that evening, so why not at least let him know that I did NOT LIE about my number. I text him, I tell him that I gave him the correct number. Pauly with Delta doesn't skip a beat. He immediately texts back with much excitement in his message. We text for the next fifteen minutes or so, and then I quit texting him. I gave him enough attention to know that I am not a complete jerk. But, I did my part, and I don't need to text him back. Ever. As I type this I realize I was playing hard to get. Not my intentions at all. I was not interested.

About two weeks later I decided to travel to Salt Lake City. I had a few days off, and wanted to see some of my friends. It was a late Saturday night when I decided to hop on a plane and head west. I was flying in to Salt Lake on United, (not Delta -- just so we're clear) my sister and new brother in law were going to pick me up. I had completely forgot about this Pauly with Delta character. As we are coming into Salt Lake and getting ready to land we were coming in from the south and I could see the beautiful city all lit up. It was beautiful, just like any city is at night. As we are just getting ready to land I had this small feeling, maybe the spirit, or bad indigestion, but whatever the feeling, I decide to give this Pauly with Delta a text message. Just to let him know I am flying through Salt Lake, and again, that I'm not a COMPLETE JERK. I figured it was late, that he was probably out with friends, and wouldn't even remember me. My little plan backfired. He was up, he was working, he remembered me, and he was super excited that I did text him. Great? Can open - worms everywhere now. And I hate worms.

One thing led to another, we meet up for a brief fifteen minutes, we talk, I seem completely uninterested, and yet, he still just didn't seem to get it. Basically, the rest is history. I fell for this Pauly with Delta character. (But stay tuned - the first date is coming next...)

Marriage is something every girl wants. I've wanted it a long and on, but honestly, who doesn't want to get married? To say I'm happy that I'm engaged and getting married is true. But, I was okay with being single too. I have had a wonderful single life. My life has been filled with many great friends (married and single), it's been full of amazing adventures, and most importantly, I conquered a mission and an education, which were two extremely difficult accomplishments in my life. As I think back on the last fifteen years I can only see the positive things that have happened in my life. There have been many negative, but why dwell on them? I'm so thrilled to find someone who compliments me so much. It's crazy how much we are truly meant for each other. I am so EXTREMELY glad we meet on that fateful August 3rd. That Paul was as persistent as he was, even though I wasn't interested, I'm glad my interest changed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm here, I'm alive, and I have two new blogs.

Hey all my fellow blog followers.  I seriously want to get back into blogging.  Are you sick of hearing me say that?  I am sick of hearing me say that!

I will try to make this brief, ha.  I have a few blogs that I have started, and feel I have put more of my attention (if any attention) to these blogs rather than my first and favorite, Libby Loves Kentucky Blog.  I feel like you all should start following these new blogs (and keep following my "old" blog - because I will get back into my blog...especially with the news I have to share.  A guy is involved, and a great guy he is). Okay, what are my other blogs?  I mentioned one a couple of months ago, about my little gummy bear, Harriet the Haribo.  That blog is known as, Adventures of the Haribo.  It's pretty fun and sweet, plus she is quite the traveling bear.  She also has a boyfriend, Harold.  (Maybe some of you can "read between the lines" when she talks about Harold...)  I also have another blog about food that I started when I first moved to Chicago (almost two years ago - whaaaaa?  So crazy it's been almost two years!).  However, I changed the blog to something a little different, Food Lover Follows Guy Fieri.  For most of you who know me you know I like me some food, and good food!  I also like the Food Network, and the famous show Diners, Drive - Ins, and Dives.  Turns out I have eaten at a lot of the restaurants Guy has eaten at.  Also turns out that if you eat at 100 restaurants and document them all you get a small little cameo on his show.  Hello!  I have got to document, and I have to get on his show!  So, as you can see, when you check out my new (food) blog, I will be starting over and documenting all my favorite eats.  Hope you will follow along.

Here is your assignment:  Follow Harriet, and follow the Food Lover.  (You will probably see more action on those blogs then you will on this one.  I mean really, let's be honest!)