Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Houghton, Boston, Houston - I love the USofA!

I love the USofA!  I am seeing the states one flight at a time.  One of the perks of being a flight attendant is, of course, seeing the different cities throughout the United States.

Houghton.  As of recent I have gotten to know the small town of Houghton, MI very well.  It's (one of) the farthest north places you can go in Michigan.  Home to one of the top schools in the US - Michigan Tech.  And, has some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen...next to Alaska, Utah, and parts of Canada.
This small little town features a main street with some quaint little shops, restaurants, and fascinating old buildings.  On this particular overnight I ventured out and walked amongst the shops.  During my stroll I found myself at a historical old building claiming to once be the library in this small town.  It had now been turned into a museum.  I walked in and saw that the small building had a few pictures on the wall. A sweet little lady, named Debbie, sat at the desk and offered me some information.  Before I knew it time had quickly gone by and I was almost in tears in the history she had shared with me about this old fashioned little town of Houghton.  She left me spellbound as I took the rest of the time to walk around the small room and look at the pictures she had just discribed to me.  Almost 100 years ago this Christmas (day) a tragedy struck this copper mining Finnish town.  As the town was having a Christmas party in the town hall someone screamed out, "FIRE!"  Just over one hundred people partying inside the building fled the building, running down the very small staircase to escape the "so called" fire.  Making the rush to get out of the building many were killed.  Mostly children.  And when all was said and done, there was no trace of any fire.  I was in shock to hear this story, then to see the black and white pictures strung on the walls really made my heart ache.  Who would've ever known this small town housed such a dark past.  I needed to leave this museum, and lighten my heart.  I walked through the town looking at the old buildings, walking across the bridge that goes across the Portage Waterway, and enjoyed the beauty of this small town.  I spent three weeks in a row coming to this town, and was happy to do so.

Boston.  Oh, how I deeply have fallen in love with Boston.  Boston, MA is my new favorite city in the USofA.  Seriously, how did I not get there sooner.  I was given the trip to Boston a week in advance.  However, after seeing that I would have a very long overnight in this city I knew that it would be taken back by the flight attendant who dropped the trip in the first place.  After arriving to work and meeting my crew I told them that I probably would not get to enjoy the last overnight in Boston.  Much to my surprise the flight attendant I was working with said, "it's all yours.  I know the flight attendant who dropped this trip and she is stuck in the Phillipians, so you'll get to see Boston"  I was shocked, and excited.  I was getting to go to Boston!

We arrived late that night, so off to bed I went.  I had planned to get up early and hit the train first thing in the morning, so I could get into the city and see what I could with my limited amount of time.  Our hotel is a quick five minutes from the nearest train station.  Luckily the hotel was kind enough to drop and pick us up at the train station.  I was dropped off and hopped on the train to head downtown.  I was amazed at how quickly I figured out the train system.  (I feel like such a pro since moving to Chicago and learning the public transportation here.) Within a few stops I was in the heart of downtown Boston.  I came up from the underground stop and looked around being whisked back to the 1800's (or 1700's) by the look of all the old buildings, and cobblestone roads/sidewalks.  Seriously, cobblestone was everywhere.  Seriously, I was in love from the moment I saw the cobblestone.  I also realized that my walking would need to be careful - seeing as I am sort of a klutz, this could be problematic.  However, I am happy to report I did not trip once during my strolling through Boston.
A wonderful crew to go to Boston with:  Jarroyd, Daniel, me and Adrian.
I had been wanting to get to Boston for some time.  This trip was finally allowing this.  My first and most awaited stop in all of Boston was to go eat at the famous B&G Oysters where I had watched from TV in small town Utah, about this particular restaurant talk about their famous lobster roll.  I always said, if I ever get to Boston I am going to this very restaurant and having one of their famous rolls.  So with my trusty smartphone set up with google maps I set out.  In no time at all I had reached my final train stop, walked up the escalator and was back in the city, now southern downtown.  I took to my right and walked down the cobblestone streets for about four blocks, when I finally made a left and headed one more block when to my astonishing eye, I beheld the restaurant I had been wanting to eat at for some time now.  This was all so surreal - it was like I was in a dream.  The time was just after eleven, and I suddenly panicked that maybe I was too early.  Walking up to the door, it was closed, saying continue to the back of the restaurant.  As I made my way around the very old building looking through the windows the restaurant looked very quiet and unopened.  I kept going.  Once inside I noticed that I was the first customer of the day.  Even so, they were open, and that is all that mattered to me.  The host seated me near the bar, and I didn't even hesitate to tell her I was here for one of their famous lobster rolls.  She quickly took my order, and I basked in my surroundings of their very quaint and swanky little restaurant.  I was in complete astonishment I was finally here.  Patiently I waited for my roll to arrive.  After some time the waitress brought me my much anticipated roll.  I didn't want to eat it, it was so beautiful.  Of course, I had to have a picture with it...  After one bite I was hooked.  If I were to die today I would die happy.  This lobster roll was everything I had ever dreamed it would be.  I savored each bite, and didn't want the roll to disappear. (Then I cam back to reality when my bill came - almost $40.00 for the thing.  SHEESH! )

Time was ticking away and it would soon be time for me to return to the hotel and go back to that thing people call work.  With my limited time I tried to see some major highlights of downtown Boston.  I saw the sight of the Boston Massacre, saw Paul Reveres home (from the outside), and stopped at the famous Mikes Pastry (where I was glad I actually had cash on me since that's all they take).  With the amount of time I had in Boston I think I did pretty well on seeing what I did.  I couldn't have asked for such nice weather, and the size of Boston did not even intimidate me.  I guess after living in the big city of Chicago I feel like any other city I go visit is just like a little town.  There is much more I would love to see of the beautiful city of Boston again, but for now, this visit was just perfect.  Look out Boston, I will be back!

Houston, takes me back to last January as I was there for one of the many flight attendant interviews I was attending.  I hadn't been back since.  Now after finishing flight attendant training and met so many new people who quickly became my close friends I actually have people I know who live in Houston.  I was so excited for my 24 hours in this concrete city.  Immediately upon arriving I called up my two favorite people and we set out for dinner at a famous Tex-Mex restaurant.  Now if you know anything about Houston, it's intertwined by lots of freeway.  It's not my favorite city, but I didn't really care.  I was there to see friends and have me some good American Mexican food.  We sought out only the best in Houston, and I was not disappointed.  In fact, I can't get those chips and salsa out of my head.  They were the best I have had in a long time.  Mmmmmmhhhhhmmmmm!  I also found a new favorite restaurant in the Houston airport called Bullritos.  Another Tex-Mex.  Every time I have a layover in Houston I get all excited.  I don't eat a lot of airport food, but if i'm in Houston, oh I'll be eating this airport food.  It's cheap, good, and makes for more than one meal.  SWEET!  I still feel like I haven't seen much of Houston, but it's not really the most accessible city.  You have to have a car to really get around.  And, last time I was there I saw the temple, so what else is there to really see. ;)
Enrique, white girl, and Miss Angela.  (Holding their drinks.)
Jennifer and I.  One of my new favorite flight attendants I had the pleasure to work with.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Party Like it's 1998 or 2002?

My high school days were pretty sweet.  I had some great times in high school, and I had some awesome friends too!  I am trying to think back to one of the last times we were actually all together.  I know for sure when we graduated high school ('98) we were all together.  Then one last time in 2002 at my mission farewell we were together.  My little gang of friends consisted of me, Alisha, MinDee, and Leah.  We were inseprable, or so it seemed.  Soon after high school, one by one the three of them met the man of their dreams and were wisked away into that thing called marriage.  This marriage thing did not stop us from staying together.  Over the last fifteen years we have been able to stay connected.  Whether it be phone calls, texts, emails, or even regular mail we have kept our friendship going.
(I think this photo was taken in 2000 - I look horrible in this picture!)
Umpteen years later - like nothing has changed...except for the fact
they have a bunch of kids.  And, I'm still single?
Now that I have finally got my dream job (Flight Attendant - WOO HOO!!!) we decided it was now time to get together.  I have the means to get my girls on a plane, so let's meet up in the awesome city, my new home, Chicago.  And that we did!  

Seeing as my girls are all stay at home mom's with a bunch of kids to tend to all day it seemed easy to come to the city on a weekend.  After all arriving early saturday morning we immediately hit the streets and saw the sites.  There was no rest for these busy mom's...if you come to Chicago don't expect time to rest and relax.  Nope, we be out seeing all the major attractions and eating plenty of awesome food.  Eating so much that you will want to be out seeing the sites trying to walk it off!  That is how I roll here in Chi-Town.

First order of buisness was a stop at Mindy's Hot Chocolate.  After all my girls arrived it was that time of day to either eat breakfast or have an early lunch.  Mindy's Hot Chocolate was the perfect place for brunch.  The hot chocolate was amazing!  It was filled to the rim kind of a cup, big enough to serve more than one sipper.  Topped off with a very square homemade marshmellow.  The dip of the spoon left it coated in chocolate.  Oh gosh, I think we just died and went to heaven.  After almost getting full on a huge cup of thick chocolate we ordered up brunch.  All us girls chatted over hot choclate and delightful food, it was like we just saw each other last week.
One large cup of hot chocolate that will knock your socks off!
And, break the bank...
After checking into our swanky hotel downtown, in the heart of the city, it was time to hit the streets of the big city.  We hit all the major sites, Michigan Ave, Navy Pier, the Chicago river, the famous flamingo structure, and ending the day with dinner at Giradonos.  I think I might have wore these girls out, kind of need to after all the food consumption.  Back to the hotel, where I completly knocked out - first one to go.
Riding the water taxi through downtown Chicago.
Gotta have Chicago style pizza.  (I'm so sick of this stuff!)

The next morning I was called to work, but was sort of blessed to have a late show time.  Still was not happy about being called in to work though.  I knew it was a possibilty, but I didn't want it to happen.  It happened.  Up and at 'em we went.  Trying to do as much as possible before I had to leave the girls.  We ended up having an awesome breakfast downtown at an old classic diner called Lou Mitchell's.  Breakfast was worth the wait.  After the scrumptious meal it was off to church.  Not with much luck...we showed up just in time to hear the closing remarks of the final speaker.  Oh well, we tried.  Lastly, they dropped me off and bid me farewell.  Then with my recommendations and directions they continued to play in the big city without me.  I was upset, and distraut.  But, what was I to do?  I will look at it as being grateful I did have a little bit of time to play with them in my new home.
Me not wanting to leave...It was really quite sad.