There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling you get as you pull up to the staff carpark at LHR, clutching your neck for your ID to swipe, only to find theres nothing there. They will make you return home to fetch it, and they will put you on airport standby for 6 hours, and they will shove you on available for the following 2 days. No Philadelphia team trip for me. Oh well, lesson learned.
Despite this, October was actually pretty sweet. I managed to wangle a 4 day trip to San Diego for some Californian sun. Saying this, I didn’t spend much time there as I thought it’d be a great idea to rent a car and drive 200 miles to Los Angeles via Claremont on the wrong side of the road all by myself. After being conned out of who knows how much in added insurance by the Avis attendant, I was well on my way north accompanied by some prayer music on my radio that wouldn’t change channel. It was so worth it though because I got to see Ellen! We ate pancakes and rented roller blades in Santa Monica and sat in central LA traffic for years, but it was such a fun day. The following afternoon and back in San Diego, I ventured to Chipotle for some pre-night flight fuel, only to be chased out of there by a crazy lady with lipstick all over her face who was pushing an empty pram. Nearly as scary as the escaped hospital patient who stalked me for my Dominos in Houston. Maybe its not such a bad thing to have missed the Philly trip after all.
I also had a quick hop over to Chicago again; ate some good pizza (that’s more like a quiche), and started my Christmas shopping. We’re so central that it’s a super quick walk to the Water Tower Mall and luckily also the Cheesecake Factory (because Oreo cheesecake is now part of my staple diet).
The scheduling Gods also treated to my first Canada trip this month! I undertook the massive journey over to Vancouver which is a huge 8 hours behind UK time – a night stop trip which totally messes with your body clock. Being crew, we often get perks of discounts down route. Vancouver boasts a free bus and entry to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This is a huge park full of tree top trails and walkways on the edge of a massive gorge; plus the suspension bridge itself. It was the perfect way to spend a chilly, grey afternoon, especially as it is covered in fairy lights, which makes it seem extra festive.
Another one of my successful bids this month was Nairobi. I was soooo excited to visit the elephant orphanage and hang out with the giraffes. As always, I was mega unlucky, as it happened to be arriving on the day of the Kenyan national elections which had caused massive uproar and protests across the country. For this reason, we were moved to a secure hotel in the airport’s grounds, and weren’t allowed to leave for obvious safety issues. Turns out we weren’t the only ones, as during sophisticated evening drinks, our small gathering quickly turned into a hotel room party with over 50 crew from the RAF, BA and Etihad. Top tip – when security come to shut the party down at 6am, stick 2 burly flight crew on the door to act as bouncers. Worked like a treat. I came home to my late birthday present of the most beautiful dinner cruise on the Thames with James! It was the perfect evening to celebrate turning the dreaded 2-4, and London did not disappoint by providing us with a perfectly clear night to enjoy the glittering capital.