Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Santa Barbara Stole my Heart...Once I Got There

I was lucky enough to get sent to Santa Barbara on a very long overnight.  I knew about a week in advance that I would be going to this beautiful beach town on the west coast, and I excitedly went online and started to research the things to do in this southern California town.  I made my list and then counted down the days that I would soon be there.

It wouldn't be natural for me to arrive in one piece with all the bells and whistles.  My trip began by going to the town of Springfield, IL.  It's a quaint little town (and I hope to share my thoughts on it later in another blog post), but it was not setting well with me this time around.  A few weeks earlier I had started to get sick and was coming down with a really bad cold of some sort, or possibly a sinus infection.  It was so bad that my ears felt like they were going to burst every time I went into the sky.  Which is a lot, with my new career.  Arriving in Springfield on this hot August day the plane decided it was done.  The air conditioning unit went out on the plane.  So, my pilots and I sat.  We sat for two hours in a very hot and humid plane.  Finally they (the mechanics in Chicago) told us that we needed to ferry the plane back to Chicago.  That means we had to fly the plane back with no passengers.  My captain was a real gem and told me that he would like me to fly up front with them in the flight deck.  Score!  What he didn't tell me was that the plane would be unpressurised and there would be no air.  This flight from Springfield is a whopping 30 minutes, but on this particular day, and particular time it was THE LONGEST 30 MINUTE FLIGHT of my life!  I couldn't even enjoy the fact that I was sitting in the flight deck having one of the best views.  First of all I was sweating like a pig who just got done breeding, and second of all my ears were in the most excruciating pain that I was about to pull a Van Gogh and cut off my ear(s).  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity - seriously time has never gone so slow in my lifetime, we landed.  Thank goodness!  However, for me, it was several more long minutes until I was able to regain strength in my ears.  After parking the plane and shuttling over to a new plane I asked my Captain if that flight was a little bit odd?  He said, "Oh?  Did you notice your ears popping?"  Did I notice my ears popping, DID I NOTICE MY EARS POPPING, DID I FREAKING NOTICE MY EARS POPPING!!!  Well, let's just say I was hoping for a crash landing to put me out of my misery!  (Just an FYI none of that was said out loud.)  Because there was no air conditioning unit we had do fly the plane at a lower altitude, making it, like I said earlier, unpressurised.  Therefore, it really messed with our ears/head/whatever else goes berserk in our body with pressure.  As we are all dripping in sweat we hopped on our new plane, which happened to be larger, and I was now the first class flight attendant.  Just what these high paying people want to see, a flight attendant who is dripping in sweat and is possibly adding salt to their margarita via my forehead!  Gross!  Surprisingly, all the passengers were just happy to be on their flight and did nothing but complement me throughout the flight.  I mean really, what else are you going to say to the flight attendant who is sweating like a pig and then running around like a chicken with their head cut off?  Hmmm?

Three hours later we were finally done for the day and staying the night in Springfield.  One day closer to being in Santa Barbara.

The next day our journey to Santa Barbara began early.  We had to fly back to Chicago, then on to Madison, WI, through Denver, CO, and lastly into Santa Barbara.  Because I was with a Denver based crew I was getting a new pilot in Denver.  According to his crew picture this captain looked about my age and was very handsome.  I was super excited to pick him up.  After a two hour layover in Denver the time had finally come to meet this captain.  Time stood still when we met, and our gazes locked - I'm not sure the feeling was mutual, but I was in love.  I had met the man of my dreams.  His stature was strong, his head was full of hair, and his eyes...his eyes were like the color of a tropical blue ocean on the coast of Fiji.  I had found my blue eyed lover whom I would spend eternity with.  Ohhhh, how my time in Santa Barbara was going to be even more magical.  We would land, we would walk to our hotel shuttle talking about the plans we were going to do that evening, he would invite me to go to dinner, we would hit up some tourist attractions, then we would finish out the night watching the sunset together on the beach, and lastly, we would talk about our wedding plans...

Undoubtedly, the only thing remotely close to my "dream plans" was that him and I did walk to the hotel shuttle together, we did talk about what MY plans for the evening were, and then I awkwardly asked what his plans were.  I kick myself now because I wish I would have invited him along for my long afternoon/evening.  All I had to say was, "You are welcome to join me."  Six little words, and I couldn't do it.  We walked to our hotel rooms, and I kept hoping that we would change our clothes and then serendipitously show up in the hotel lobby at the same time.  Did not happen.  I even tried to linger in the lobby hoping that he might show up.  If you are still reading this, you probably are thinking I am the most desperate single Mormon girl ever.  Well, I am!

Santa Barbara was to be conquered with or without my dream man, and the time was ticking away.  I saddled up my new trusty stead, my cruiser bike, grabbed a free tourist map, and hit the bike lanes in this very friendly bicycle beach town.  It was all downhill to this darling Santa Barbara downtown.  My first stop was the Santa Barbara Courthouse.  It was one of the tallest buildings in downtown and offered up a beautiful view of the city from all sides.  After seeing the views, I wandered around, via bike, just looking at the beautiful buildings.  Within time my stomach was starting to make some noise, so it was time to quiet it down.  Being a huge fan of Diners, Drive-inns, and Dives, I had picked one of the restaurants Guy had eaten at in downtown Santa Barbara.  Mac's Fish and Chip Shop.  This cool little dive was right in the middle of downtown.  It had great bar seating looking right out on the main street.  I ordered me up some fish and chips, and had a seat right in front of the window.  The fish was awesome, best I've had in a while.  However, the chips let me down.  I couldn't even finish them.  I can't say this is my favorite restaurant, but the fish did win me over.  Following my meal I moseyed around downtown window shopping.

View from the top.
If anyone watches Psych this is the building they use in the show?
I guess???
Fish and Chips baby!
After my window shopping got old I realized that I am just minutes from the beach.  I can't come all this way and not go to the beach.  Hopping back on my bike, I headed down to the Santa Barbara Pier.  The beach was beautiful.  I can't remember the last time I was at a California beach, but it was nice to sit in the warm sand, bask in the sun, and people watch.  All the while I'm thinking, why couldn't I be doing this with my beautiful blue eyed captain?  All I had do was ask a simple question..."You're welcome to join me?"  As the sun was starting to set I realized it was time I headed back to the hotel.  Once I stood up and started my walk off the beach it registered that I had biked a very long way from my hotel.  I was at least a good five miles from it, and the whole ride to the beach was downhill.  Oh gosh.  I have to bike uphill five miles to my hotel...this ought to be enjoyable, said the out of shape gal?  I gathered my things, and started my trek up hill (not in the snow, thank goodness).  As I was a quarter mile up hill I suddenly became very grateful I was not with my handsome captain.  I did not want him to see me as a sweaty mess huffing and puffing up the hill.  With what took me probably 15 minutes to get downtown was now going on an hour to get home.  Sheesh, I am clearly out of shape!  Not to get off topic, but it's a good thing I get out, explore, and walk around each area I end up staying overnight in.  This job could easily make a person gain weight.  Which scares me about the winter months.  Let's hope I get sent to sunny, warm, hot spots in the winter months so I can stay (kind of) active.
My trusty steed.  
California Beach.  Yeah buddy!
Just as the sun was beginning to set I had arrived back at the hotel.  I took a few minutes to wipe the sweat off me before heading into the lobby.  'Cause you never know who might be in the lobby at the exact same time I am.  He was not in the lobby, but you never know!  With my stiff legs I walk to my hotel room and throw myself on the bed.  I think to myself, and wonder if my captain went out as well.  The next morning as we meet in the lobby to catch the shuttle to the airport my hunky blue eyed captain asks how my day was.  I tell him all the exploring I did, and when I am done he tells me, he had gotten a bike, and went to the beach also.  Then proceeds to say, "Why didn't we just go together?"  What the!  WHAT THE FREAK!!!  SERIOUSLY!!!  Who knew, all my sight seeing could've been with the love of my life.

We finished our trip in Chicago, and my captain and I parted ways.  I told him it was a pleasure to work with him, and that I appreciated how helpful he was, and that I enjoyed his pleasant happy attitude.  He shook my hand and told me it was likewise, and that he enjoyed his time with me.  I'll take likewise!  It may not be the "L" word I wanted to hear, but likewise is pretty darn close in my book.

The captain stole my heart, but not as much as the beautiful beach town of Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kentucky is For Real!

I went to Kentucky - to which I richly adore that state!  Hello - Libby loves Kentucky.  Duh!  It's my home away from home.  I happened to have four days off in a row, and just needed to get away.  So, called up my girl Holly, and left the next day.  Just after hitting up church for about an hour I then hopped the "L" to O'hare, and then bound a plane to Lexington, KY.  An hour later I was in Lexington.  Just like that - poof!

Holly and I haven't seen each other in almost three years.  You would have never even know because it was just like we had seen each other yesterday.  It's crazy how you can just pick up where you left off.  Love that feeling.  The first thing on the agenda was to go get me some grub.  She knew of just the right place - a little southern home cook'n, and an ice cold Ale8.  Doesn't take much to speak to this girls heart.  We ate some meatloaf, mac and cheese, creamed corn, squash, and butterscotch pie.  Oh it felt good to be home.
We didn't have much planned - basically just wanted to catch up.  I did want to go see some Beattyville, and take a trip down memory lane.  How did I ever serve my mission in that sad town?  That's what I kept wondering the whole time we drove through the slowly dying small town.  As we were there we wanted to go eat at our favorite spot, The Purple Cow.  But, sadly, it has been shut down.  Even more sadly enough we ended up at Dairy Queen - gag!  The only thing it had going for it was the Ale8 on tap.  Bleck!
After a dinner of champions what better way to work it off then by going on a hike at the Natural Bridge State Park.  It was, of course, humid as ever, and the sun was beginning to set.  We pull up to a parking lot with a few lonely cars.  The surrounding shops had already closed down, a sign that maybe we should not start a hike this late into the evening?  Well heck, it's Kentucky, what's going to happen here?  Most people don't even know this place (Kentucky) is a state.  Just like some people don't even know Utah is a state.  Like that one episode of Friends where Joey and Ross are naming states and Joey say's, "Utah?  You can't just make up a state."  Something like that - you get my drift.  Digressing here.  Basically nothing exciting happens in Kentucky.  Tonight was different, tonight on a darkened path things happened in Kentucky!  A few steps on to the trail we run into a lovely little couple heading back to their car (BEFORE THE SUN SETS - like smart people).  I, naturally, stop them and start talking to them.  They are friendly and chat it up with me.  They also forewarn us of the encounter they had about 100 feet up the trail with a rattle snake and dead copper head.  Oh LOVELY!  Thanks for the heads up.  By the way - I HATE SNAKES!!!  Holly and I decide to venture on.  We came all this way we are not turning back.  Besides I need to work off that nasty meal I just ate at Dairy Queen.  Snakes shmakes - we are hiking onward and upward.
We pass the 100 feet where the apparent snake sighting was, and feel pretty darn good with ourselves for pushing on even though we are most likely surrounded by snakes.  We put them, the snakes, out of our minds.  We have a sunset to catch.  Making it to the top of the natural bridge we look around at the vast Kentucky rolling hills of green, and bask in the beautiful sunset to the west.  As we are enjoying the different arraying colors of the sky it soon falls dark, and fast.  Two blonde's are out hiking in the thick Kentucky wilderness.  Don't worry, we had our cell phones.  Guess what both our smart little phones have...they have a flashlight.  Woot!  Woot!  So, these two blonde's start their hike back to the car.  Cell phones in hand shinning bright like a diamond (had that stupid song in my head all day) we start our quick hike down the trail.  Holly in the lead we are moving at a fast pace.  With about a quarter of a mile left Holly comes to a very abrupt stop throwing her arm out to stop me when I happen to see movement.  Holy SH.......Holy S*%#!!!  Yeah I swore a couple of times - seeing a huge copper head snake will make anyone yell out words that should never come out of any ones mouth!  I am in a pair of Chaco's - well duh, and start running BACK UP THE TRAIL!  Because I am in Chaco's I immediately think the snake will bite my open feet.  That is why I WAS RUNNING BACK UP THE TRAIL...  Holly remains (surprisingly) calm and yells, "if you are going to run why don't you run to the parking lot - away from the snake?"  Don't misunderstand my storytelling here - Holly was just as scared as me.  She just was a lot more calm - not that it takes much for people to remain more calm then me.  I come back down the trail closer to Holly and tell her that maybe we should throw a rock at it.  Clearly I was not thinking straight...then I tell her let's get a stick and poke it.  Again my mind was a mess.  Because of our hurried pace back to the car our hiking/lights had startled the snake and it had slithered off to the side of the trail allowing us to at least pass it on the opposite side.  Holly saw that there was enough room to get by and said we should just go - we have no other choice!  She takes off.  Well, I guess I better too???  We pass the snake and are on dead run for the parking lot.  Good thing the rest of the trail was downhill, as it helped in making a quick getaway.  We get to the car and both are shaking.  Did we really just encounter a copper head?  Did we really just see a snake?  Are we certain it just wasn't our minds playing tricks on us?  If you are still engaged in this rather dramatic story I will tell you that, we really did encounter a snake!  Now on it being a copper head...we are unsure, but the presence of that slithery serpent was quite apparent.  It took a few hours to shake that image off, but after some junk food (clearly we had worked up an appetite, and Dairy Queen was no longer lingering) and the final stupid Twilight movie we were surprisingly able to sleep good.

It was so great to just jet set to Kentucky and see my friends/family.  It was a much needed trip even if we didn't do anything too exciting.  Who says seeing a snake isn't exciting?  Kentucky is FO REAL!  Libby still loves Kentucky.  Always.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hello, from the past two months of my life!

Libby loves Chicago.

I am loving life here in the biggest city in the Midwest.

There is so much going on right now that I don't even know where to begin.  I hate that I am behind in my blogging.  It bothers me so much.  I miss this outlet, and I miss reading other peoples blogs.  I just haven't had the time that I thought I would...

Trying to get my priorities straight so that I can actually get back to my blogging ways.  For now, I will just post all the pictures from the last two months and hope that they can tell the story for now.
As I waited to find out where I was going to be based
I spent some time with family over in Moab.
My tour guide, Klinton J. York did a wonderful job of showing
me around his home town.
In complete shock that this would be my
form of transportation.  My first sighting of
it was nerve wracking...now I'm a pro.
Came to Chicago on a quick trip to find an apartment.
The Cubs were playing and we decided - let's
go out to the ball game!
As we were out looking for apartments my two friends
saw "my peeps."  I yelled down the Elders...
we chatted it up, and found out that my now church
was right around the corner.  It was meant to be!
Small in size, but big in stature.  Not your typical Mormon Church.
Had a BBQ with our dear friend Alvin.
Met up with some other friends from class and had dinner
at a Vietnamese restaurant.
Two friends from California came through St. George,
and it just so happened that our schedules matched up.
We went and ate at the fancy Painted Pony.
Had a lovely going away party thrown by my awesome cousin
Anisa.  Had all kinds of good food,
and Chicago style hot dogs.
A water fight almost got started and poor
Anisa got hit right in the face...it was supposed
to be that I got hit.  Poor thing.
My first trip as a Flight Attendant sent me to Eugene, OR.
Beautiful city.  I also got to see a friend, Rashelle who lives there.
Moved to Chicago - started sleeping with a guy...
We all had the day off - so it's time to start exploring
the big city.  Gotta eat some deep dish Chicago
style pizza...so sick of the stuff now.
Enrique and I had the day off and went to spend time in
city.  First thing to happen...bird pooped on him.
I, of course, peed my pants...
The Bean.  Ya gotta see the bean...I've seen the bean
far too many times already.  Still not sick of it!
Hanging out at the Magnificent Mile like I own the place!
The start of hopefully many run ins with friends from afar
at the Chicago O'Hare airport.  Glad I got
to see Erin on her layover home from Italy.

Free concert in the park.  Don't mind if I do.  Best part about
it was the weather, the music, and the new found
love - Goose Island Spicy Ginger Ale.
I got to work with Dena on an overnight trip to Salt Lake City.
We were so excited!!!
Took her on a tour of Temple Square!  She loved it!
Over nighted in Milwaukee, WI.  Beautiful city.
Had some good tasting cheese!
Just another night out on the town with these Hoohas!
Always have to eat sushi when the four of us our together...
That same night the Blackhawks (Chicago Hockey Team)
won the Stanley Cup.  The town turned into a major
riot - a good riot.  Things got CRA CRA!
Took a trip to a free zoo - Lincoln Park Zoo.  Was a long trip
and Enrique fell asleep on the train...
After exploring the zoo we had to eat.  We found
this awesome Peruvian restaurant a few bus stops
away.  My first time eating Peruvian food.

Just before we moved from our hotel there was this
restaurant I had been dying to try almost two miles
walking distance from where we were staying.
The burgers were awesome - dripping in fat!  Can't beat that!
Guess who I happened upon as I sat ready at the airport.
My dear friend Tara.  We spent the whole day just chilling at the
airport.  Wish all my days of just "sitting" could be with her!
Spent the weekend in West Lafayette with family.  I am
so sad they HAVE to move back to Utah.
No airport in West Lafayette, so I had to take a two hour
train ride up to Central Station in downtown Chicago.
 Would take a train any day!
My new found love - fried cheese curds!  Since I fly to WI
all the time - this is a staple found just about everywhere!
Spending the 4th of July in Winnipeg, Canada.  Good thing
I had an awesome crew to spend it with.  Also
met a Minneapolis crew too!
The first officer had me stand by the plane and take pictures.
Was a little bit odd, but I'm glad we took them. 
Got to spend a little time back in Utah for the remainder
of the 4th of July weekend.  Started off with a bang -
falling out of a chair...
Missed my summer days in Cedar eating Tiki Shack sno cones!
Got to see a few friends:  Erin, Lisa, and Auntie Camee.
A rare moment with all the Williams kids.
Got to meet the new addition to the family - precious little Braylee.
Even got to be at the blessing - SCORE!
Also got to see this bugger.
Following the 4th of July my dear Aunt Debbie passed away.
Timing worked in my favor for once, and I was
able to make it home for her funeral.  It was also
a huge blessing that I got to see her the previous weekend.
Just another beautiful day at the O'Hare airport.
Birthday lunch at the White Palace Grill - turning the big 33!
HOLY COW!  Getting old!
Got to play tour guide for Jo Jo's family.
And, we had to take them to The Bean!
I love Filipinos! 
Had another run in at the O'hare airport.  Got to see my dear
friend Tony from Victoria, Canada.  He had a quick layover,
and it just so happened I was picking up my sister.
The sister decided to come stay the weekend with me.
I took her on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.  Rode the
water taxi from the pier to Sears tower, and just walked
all over downtown.
Cousin Libby Sr. showed up and the three of us spent the day
exploring the city.  Had to go to the free zoo.
I've been wanting to eat at restaurants found through the
show "Diners, Drive-inns and Dives."  This is one of them -
Glenn's Diner.  I will so be coming back to this one.
Glenn's Diner has a cereal bar - you can't beat that!
Had to stop by Goose Island Bar for some awesome drinks
during happy hour.  Cream soda, grape, and spicy ginger ale!
Of course we had to see The Bean.
I have been busy, as you can see.  Loving every moment thus far, and I look forward to more adventures here in the big city.  Also looking forward to more family and friends coming to visit.  And, I have major hopes I can get back to my blogging routine.  Wish me luck!