Life at 30,000 Feet

For a decade, I lived in a world surrounded with pubescent children with intense behavioral disorders. What I didn’t realize is how consistent my days were. Sure, each day came with new meltdowns, new interventions, new moods, and new celebrations, but for the most part, it was consistent. I knew where my classroom was. I knew who was next door. I knew my kids and their parents. I knew their disorders, their favorite foods, their triggers, and I knew all of the people I would interact with on a daily basis. I lived in a world that I thought was wildly inconsistent, but then I started a job where I travel for a large portion of my time.

I know what you are thinking- you live the coolest life! You go to New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago to name a few. You are right, to an extent. I live an amazing life. The reality of it is a bit different. I do go to these towns; however, it is typically a flight to said “cool” city, an Uber ride to the closest Marriott, a few hours of sleep in a white sheet laden bed shared by humans from all over the globe (gross),  only to wake up and Uber to a corporate office nearby and then scurry out to a flight that I nearly miss to get home and hug my munchkins one hour earlier.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE MY JOB. If you don’t know this, you don’t know me, but I want this blog to serve a few purposes:

  1. To make people laugh.
  2. To document the interesting people and things we experience as traveling business men and women.
  3. To keep me grounded when I am normally 30,000 feet about the ground.

When I think about my working days, the photos and stories I send my friends, the people I meet that leave me looking like the little emoji guy scratching his chin, I realized, it was time to start a blog. That being said, was born.

This blog will serve as a place to share stories about the interesting world we live in via Uber, airplanes, subways, hotels, etc.  Be forewarned, my postings will be inconsistent (I’ll blame the sales cycle). It will be stories, one-liners, emotional rants and more.

Safe Travels My Friends and ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR TRAY TABLES!


We Now Interrupt This Blog for a Word from My Guest

I love when people share their travel stories with me. My friend Becky has lived everywhere and traveled everywhere. She is an incredible blogger and photographer, and I will admit to often living vicariously through her for the past decade.

What enticed me the most about sharing this Guest Blog is that she incorporated my style of writing and speaking in her story.

Enjoy and remember, Always Clean Your Tray Tables…

I love to travel. And I love (almost) everything about airports. I travel often. Not for work but because currently I’m taking a year off from teaching to travel as much as possible. I don’t fly first class, I don’t get upgraded, I don’t have an airline I’m particularly loyal to. Basically if the flight is a good deal, the plane doesn’t have duct tape holding critical pieces together and it’s going somewhere I’ve never been…I’m game!

That being said I found myself with an annoying 12 hour layover in Seattle in route for 3 weeks in Hawaii in February. I know, I know. Poor me. Anyway , what does one do with a mere 12 hours? I’m too cheap to pay for a decent hotel just to shower and sleep in but also wasn’t excited for 12 hours in an uncomfortable terminal seat. Enter the good ole world of Facebook and Google searches. Within minutes of landing (and $45 dollars later) I was comfortably lounging in the Alaska Airlines Terminal C Lounge. No doubt I was the only person in the lounge who hours before had eaten her home packed PB and J sandwich on the flight. But now I was in the world of unlimited alcoholic drinks, soup, salad, cookies, cheese, hummus…what more does one need?!?

I quickly calculated how many glasses of wine I’d need to drink in order to “break even”. 4 was the magic number! No. Problem.  I found a seat, got comfortable and immediately began my favorite airport activity of people watching. The crowd was a mix of business men, regulars that got greeted by name, solo travelers, a single mom and her young daughter and low and behold..let’s call her Bubbles(bc I have never seen someone down that amount of champagne in that little of time).

When I sat down, Bubbles was deep in conversation on the phone with her Mom. Bubbles, I would later find out was about to turn 50 but could pass for 40 any day of the week! She had just been to El Paso for the weekend but lives in Alaska. Anywho, I was trying so hard not to eaves drop…ok that not true, but in my defense when one talks loudly, holds champagne and flips their hair and head  back with every “omg!” You are bound to take a listen. Turns out Bubbles was in Texas sending a “friend” off for deployment. She went into great detail how much “exercising” they did together before he left. After giving her Mom lots of overshared details of their favorite “exercise routines” she hangs up the phone and strikes up a conversation with me. I despise small talk.

As an introvert it’s literally painful for me to engage in such tasks but when traveling, I’m a little more game for chatting and when there is wine involved…I’m usually always up for chit chat. I quickly learned Bubbles is recently divorced. Her husband was cheating on her with her boss. Her boss arranged for Bubbles to get a year long job transfer in Alaska. Bubbles took the job only to learn of the affair shortly after. Over sharers make me uncomfortable, but at the same time, I tend to find them refreshing. Maybe it was the champagne talking, but this lady ,within minutes of meeting me decided to share very personal details of her life. She went on to tell me how it’s actually turned into a life changing, positive, and happy year for her. I admire her outlook under less than desirable circumstances. And apparently she was having sex and lots of it. This she also shared. You go girl!

A few more downed glasses of champagne, and she was off to catch her flight (she got a notification it was boarding but stayed to finish her bubbly…I respect that). The rest of the time in the lounge was quite boring in comparison to the tornado that had been Bubbles. I succeeded in drinking my 4 glasses of wine (and perhaps more) and then was off to sleep on the airport floor for a few hours before my flight left.

Cheers to travel, small talk, and seeing the champagne glass half full!

Doctor’s Orders

Often times, I find myself trying to do as much as humanly possible in any small pocket of time that I have. Let’s be honest, not often times, all the time. Not too long ago, I was headed to Dallas to share a few ideas with some of our newer Account Executives. My flight was around noon which meant if I got up around 5:00 am, I had a little time to attend to my domestic duties and still make my flight. Clearly I was going to do this. 5:00 am rolls around, and I pop out of bed. I knew I had a small to do list of things I wanted to knock out while I was home. Weeding my flower bed was one of them.  Out I go to grab some pesky weeds. As I head back in I noticed that my hand was really itchy; however, there was no indication of any kind of sting or bite. At this point I ignored it, hopped in the shower and went on my way.

Over the next hour or so I, as made my way to my flight, I noticed my hand becoming increasingly more swollen. What is normally a veiny and boney hand quickly became a hand that looked like a latex glove that some 7 year old blew up like a balloon. When I landed, I knew I had to see a doctor. I truly couldn’t bend my fingers. Being in an unknown town, I decided use Google to help me decide which Urgent Care to go to. I found what I thought was the perfect one.

hand 1

I jumped in an Uber and headed to the doctor’s office. I walked through the door with my huge hand trying to grip my suitcase and awkwardly open the door for myself (if you travel you know the exact awkward, door and suitcase situation I am talking about).  As expected the door hit me and my suitcase on the way in. I walked up to the receptionist.

Upon check-in there was a note on an index card taped onto the counter “Ring Bell for Service.”  I was all in at this point. I rang the bell.  A few minutes later an older man came to the reception desk and asked how he could help. I showed him my hand and began to tell the story. He said “let’s just check-in and you can explain that to the nurse.”  As I am in the waiting room filling out my clipboard, I hear the man ask me again what the problem was. Only this time, he yelled across the waiting room. Granted, I was the only one in there, but there has to be some sort of HIPAA violation for asking for medical ailments from across the room. Rather than shouting, I walked back to the desk and quietly explained my massive hand. He again redirected me to the nurse. At this point, I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have minded my Uber coming back, getting door slapped again and heading to a new Urgent Care. Instead I forged on.

Upon completion of my paperwork, the receptionist asked me to be seated and told me the nurse would call me back. I waited approximately 15 seconds when I hear “Mrs. Foster?” in a tone of question as if there was anyone else in this establishment. The voice was familiar. “That’s me,” I said as I walked back to the open door. I was shocked to see The Receptionist. He walked me to the scale and said “we will be in Room 4.” He weighs me and asks for my height and then escorts me to Room 4. I sit down, decently confused. He says to me” what seems to be the problem?” I glance over my shoulders wondering if someone was playing a trick on me. He just stared at me waiting for a response. After I realize that he was genuinely waiting for a response, I said, “didn’t you want me to save these details for the nurse?” He said “I am the nurse.” Rather than inquiring more, I decided to go with it. After all, I work for a company that sells HR software than handles multiple position employees very well, so who am I to judge? I just wanted a stinking steroid so I could get the full value of my apposable thumb again. I explained to the nurse what happened. He jotted down a note or two, and told me the nurse would be right with me. He took his notes and my clip board and left. I could hear the clipboard go into the file holder on the other side of the door. You all know that noise. It’s the same one you hear when the doctor is grabbing it and asking the nurse what is going on before they walk in and consult you.

I wait about 10 minutes. Let me remind you, I am the only person in this place, and since I had been back in the room, there was no bell ringing indicating a new patient walked in. I hear the clipboard pick up and in comes the doctor. Get this y’all- it’s the same guy! No lie. I giggle a bit, but he is stone cold serious. “My notes tell me you may have been bitten by something making your hand swell. My jaw is dropped, but at this point, I decide to play along. “Yes, I was telling the nurse that I was gardening this morning and then on my plane flight, it just blew up. Do you see how big it is in comparison?” I showed him my hands side by side as if it were the first time I had done so. He analyzed them and then asked me what my sign was. I clarified, “as in my zodiac sign?” This was what he wanted to know. After telling him I was a Pisces, he got very theoretical about my life and choices and relationships and on and on and on. I reigned him back in, “so about my hand.” Eventually he determined that there was a 90% chance it was a spider bite, and I would be best treated with a steroid. He left the room and told me I could proceed to check out for my prescription.

Check-out and check-in were the same window. I waited patiently for my One Man Wonder to show back up with my script. As expected, he met me at the window with the bell. He said “I noticed you have a suitcase. How will you get to the pharmacy to get the meds?” I explained Uber. He was not comfortable with this so he demanded he drive me to the pharmacy. THIS IS A TRUE STORY.

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Well, for those of you who know me, I tend to just go with things. After a little push back, I agreed to ride with the “Docurseceptionist”. Semi-nervously, I follow him to the back of the building. We load up into his minivan. It had seen better days, and he had SpongeBob rubber floor mats. I would like to think they were for his children, but he was well into his late 50’s. I went to sit in the back. He insisted on me being in shotgun. At this point, if he was gonna kill me, my minivan placement wasn’t going to prevent that. On the 7 minute ride, he went back to the zodiac breakdown of me.(This is where I secretly snapped the photo). We pulled into CVS where I attempted to say my goodbye. The One Man Wonder said he would wait while I got my steroid and then drive me to my hotel. Hmmmmm… This is probably where I should have drawn the line.

You guessed it? I went with it. As I go to fill my drugs, I make quick friends with the pharmacists. As she checks me out, I quietly ask her if the drug she is giving me seems to align with a spider bite or one that may make a female go comatose. Refreshingly, it was the former. The One Man Wonder drove me to my hotel, wished me luck with my hand, and sent me on my way. I was fairly certain he was going to turn up in my hotel closet when I checked in, but he was just genuinely taking care of his patient. You simply can’t make this stuff up.

Until next time, it’s Flu season so, Always Clean Your Tray Tables.

A Business Traveler’s Resolution 2018

A dear, dear friend of mine gave me the great idea of creating a Top Ten list of 2018 Traveler’s Resolutions. Some of them will be specific to helping me grow, and some will be beneficial to all of us who travel on a constant basis. I have learned in my life that it’s the little things in life that go the longest way.

As I always do, I will start with a story.

As I was travelling to Dallas on Thursday, I forgot my new Bath and Body Works lotion was in my in my check on bag (such a rookie move). Ugh! As I saw my little, unnecessary suitcase get pushed off to the rubber gloves attendant checking line, I was so frustrated. I knew what it was. Couldn’t I just take it out and chuck it and move on? Nope, I had to wait and wait instead. As I stood there waiting my turn to have the rubber gloves run all over my undies, I watched as people lost perfumes, lotions, wrapped gifts and hair products that were clearly expensive. Some would shrug their shoulders, some would beg, some would be rude and some cry. It was interesting to watch, as  I sincerely love watching people. The gal just before me was kind of an eccentric chick. You could tell she didn’t travel often, but she didn’t suck at it. She took off her boots knowing that that had the steel rods in the heels, and she didn’t wait until waved into the scanner to go through knowing it was meant to be a fluid flow. Rubber Glove Guy frisked her floppy, little, hippy-looking bag only to find a little, tiny body spray. You could tell it was cheap, and it was mostly gone anyway. He held it up to her and she smiled and said “Hey man, thanks for doing your job and keeping us all just a little bit safer in our times of travel.” She went on her way.

Clearly, it’s this kind of thing that makes me take my AirPods out and attempt to engaged in a conversation. I rushed through my frisking, and did all I could to end up next to her on the train. Seeing as I normally get my way,  this happened. I put my AirPods completely away, and I told her, “Hey listen, I am in an airport about 50% of the days, and I really admire the way you handled losing your spray to security. I have seen so many rude reactions to people who are just doing their job. After all, the rules haven’t changed in about a decade, right?”

The hippie chick went on to tell me a story, albeit short, it was quite inspiring. Immediately when I heard it, I thought to myself, this is awesome. There are only a few people in the world who care enough about other people to do something like this for someone else. I have a handful of friends who fit this category, but not many. I know in 2018, I want to be one of them.

She said, “I didn’t used to be that nice, but you will never believe what happened to me. I was traveling to see my sister in Austin last month because we were working an exhibit. We are both artists, and we were working on a project together. It had been forever since I had traveled, so I absentmindedly, packed my art supply in my large carry on. There was approximately $400 worth of NEW paint in there all of which were over 3oz. in volume. As soon as I saw my bag go in for checking, I knew what I had done, but  I couldn’t miss my flight to go check it because of the exhibit. My heart sunk, my stomach turned over and my eyes filled with the biggest of tears. The man found the paints and asked what I wanted to do. You could tell he felt terrible. I explained that all I could do was leave them. I know for some business travelers, $400 isn’t much, but for me it’s almost a month’s rent, and big hit in my budget.” I stood quietly listening and honestly, I was fighting back tear for myself as she told the story. All I wanted was to have a stack of Amazon cards to dump into her hemp bag.

She went on, “I returned to Atlanta early Monday morning, and saw a TSA gate attendant with a brown grocery bag waiting at the top of the escalator with my name on one of the white boards. As soon as I saw it, I knew. He handed me the bag and smiled. Not only did the agent save my paint, but he went the extra step to find out my return time and wait on me to return them to me. Ever since then, I simply find the best in each situation and realize that they are just doing their jobs. Anyway, this my stop.” Jaw dropped, I said “I am Meredith. Merry Christmas. You just made my day.” She said “Bye Meredith. I am Iris. Merry Christmas to you too.”

Meredith (and hopefully Other Traveler’s) 2018 Travel Resolutions

  1. Carry a stack of $5 Starbucks Gift Cards to give to service men and women and exceptionally caring flight attendants.
  2. Give up an aisle seat for a middle when I can tell it would make the flight extremely more comfortable for them.
  3. Find an opportunity to take a First Class selfie with everyone in it and post on the blog.
  4. Compliment three fellow travelers on every trip, but make them authentic. I know if I take off my AidPods and look and listen, there are plenty of compliments to give.
  5. Sing a song with a fellow traveler in a plane, a train, an Uber or a hotel.
  6. When I see someone crying from leaving someone they love at the airport, remember for a minute, that the airport isn’t always a place of business, but for some, it’s goodbye to their friend, spouse or parent. Perhaps it’s a trip to say goodbye to a lost loved one. Perhaps it’s for a joyous occasion to see a new baby or a wedding, but maybe from someone who can’t conceive or who has been looking for “the one” for years. Take time to look around and be willing to hand over a tissue, be more patient in security or just simply make eye contact and say hello to them. In a nut shell, just slow down for a second.
  7. Snap a photo with a pilot with the cockpit in the background.
  8. Don’t eat more than one pack of Biscoff cookies per week.
  9. Pack my backpack with a small toy or fidget for the crying baby or toddler and give it to them when they can’t be consoled by a parent’s love. When the parent’s look at me and apologizes, simply say “Don’t worry. I get it. You’re doing a great job at the hardest job on Earth.”
  10. Always leave an individually wrapped Lysol wipe in the seat behind me for the next person so that they may “Always Clean Their Tray Table”.

Cheers to great trips, fun people, time with girlfriends on the weekend, new stories, and clean tray tables in 2018! Thanks for following!



A Major Award- Miss Universe

Hotel Bars: This could be a blog all on it’s own. I do hotel bars completely opposite as I do life. For life, I am extra social. I don’t really need or desire “me time”, and I believe “me time” is also referred to as sleep. In social situations, I am normally the organizer and planner, and there is no shortage of wine intake or fun. For some reason, in hotel bars, I am the total opposite. There are several reasons I think that I am this way.

  1.  I love watching the night unfold as others come in and out and slug martinis and cabernet after work. Over the course of four hours, that gets pretty funny.
  2. Typically, I have work to do that I would prefer to knock out when I am on the road rather than at home.
  3. I don’t want to be one of the stars in the show mentioned in #1.

With all that being said, when I am in a hotel bar, I always find the corner either next to the service bar or on the opposite side. Whether or not I have work to do, my laptop is ALWAYS in front of me and my earbuds are always in. I don’t know why, but it’s just the way I roll in hotel bars. Sure, I could do room service and work in my room but I have a screaming aversion for popcorn ceilings and ambient light. More on that on (kidding, that is not a website, but a true statement nonetheless).

Now on to the story… When I travel to Pleasanton, home of my work’s corporate headquarters, I always stay my last night in the SF Marriott by the airport. It is my favorite airport because they have great food and the best views of planes taking off and landing over the bay. It has a HUGE lobby bar full of corporate workers, families and international travelers. It kind of reminds me of the SkyClub on Terminal E in the Atlanta Airport. It was a Thursday Night, and I was settled in to my corner. Well on this memorable Thursday, my normal “I have no desire to talk to you social clues” were not working. I spotted this guy from across the bar looking my way, and then he started to stumble over. Unfortunately my corner seat had an open bar stool next to it. Ugh. This dude was smashed.  I am not talking about chatty and liquid confidence smashed. I am talking about offensive and sloppy smashed. This is probably better for me because I am much better at being mean to sloppy drunk people than chatty drunk people.

“Hey thereyoulooksbeaubeautiful in your flowugh dress,” he said to me while leaning into my space. “Letstalktoeach other and close work top laptop.” He then shut my laptop. Bad move Sloppy Joe. I bowed up a bit, and verbally keyed him into my social cues. I was quite abrasive, and if you have ever crossed my condescendingly raging path before, you’ll know it’s not a fun place to be. Sloppy Joe continued. The situation escalated. I put my headphones back in, grabbed my laptop and moved to the other side of the bar. He followed. I chose to ignore him from here on out. He didn’t choose to stop. The bartender took his drink and closed his tab. Sloppy Joe hated that. He went off the handle. He screamed to the bartender “Are you seriously taking my drink? I am just trying to talk to this hot bitch.” Of course I chimed in letting him know that he needed to work on his charm. He didn’t like that either. He reached over and grabbed my wine, letting the bartender know that if I took his, he was drinking mine. At this point, all I could do is laugh and the huge bar was all engulfed in this scenario. Moments later, the cops came and he earned a nice escort back to his hotel room.

Whew! When this ended, the bartender inevitably brought me a new unSloppy Joed chardonnay, granted me 2,500 free Marriott points, and I attempted to slip back into my reclusive hotel bar world. No such luck.

I turned to my left and there stood the nicest man, Chris Kyriaki. After some research I have found, that he is a legit dude who crowns people around the world for random reasons. Feel free to find him on social media. He is a stud. He had experienced the whole situation with Sloppy Joe, and he said that based on my response, I had earned “Miss. Universe- Kyriaki,” and with much ceremony, he presented me a sash and a crown to recognize the new honor. As much as I wanted to smash my face into my  laptop, go upstairs and fall asleep staring at popcorn ceilings, I decided the world was telling me to reload. I shut my laptop, loaded it in my backpack and enjoyed the evening with my new title and my new found friends. It was nice to feel like a wildly undeserving and made up princess for a day. Oh the people we meet and the things we do.


Cheers to hiding behind laptops, but also shutting them down from time to time. Remember, always clean your tray tables. Happy New Year my friends!


Gettin’ Drunk on a Plane

I am going to start this blog off by saying; I am not innocent to drinking in the airport. In fact, I normally have a wine or bloody on every flight that is not on the way to a prospect meeting. That being said, I also don’t get rip-roaring wasted when I am traveling. Today marks the second time in six months that I have experienced someone who is truly wasted at the airport. I’ll tell the stories individually.

The first one was in Dallas at Dallas Love Field. I finished a meeting and headed to the airport about 2 hours early to knock out some work and grab a salad of some sort. As I settled into my spot, I noticed a table of friends around 25-30. They were knocking them back one after another. The gal in the group, probably only weighing in at about 120, had three empty shot glasses in front of her and a glass of red wine. Their volume continued to increase collectively by the half hour. I excused myself to the Ladies Room to slap some new curls in my hair and kill some time. As I was curling, Little Miss 120 stumbled in. I knew this was going to get good.

I tried to keep to myself, but all I could hear was hurling noises coming out of stall one. What do I do? I am a big helper to people. I know when I am in a mess, I want help. On the other hand, I knew she was wasted, and I was flat out tired. After about three rounds of what I am sure was hot, acidic and painful barfing, out she comes. “Wow! You have great curls. Great dress. You are so pretty. I love you,” she said. “Heavens for Mercy, “I thought. I went with it. She had vomit in her hair, tears in her eyes and ketchup on her shoes. It was a mess. We worked through it, cleaned her up and got her some water. I went on to finished my curls and load up on the plane. It was 11:45am on a Tuesday.

Now for drunken experience round two. It is actively happening right now. As per norm, I arrived at the Baton Rouge airport only to discover my flight was going to be delayed. In Baton Rouge, they like to delay in 30 minute increments until the grand total exceeds 4 hours, and then they start doing hourly delays. It is awesome. I arrived at 7:30 and went to “The Restaurant”. There is only one. The bar was closed with the lights off, but I sat there anyway because I needed an outlet to charge my laptop. I was plugging away at work when a gal stumbled upon me, literally running into my back as she plopped down in the seat next to me (right next to me). Mind you, there were 18 other available seats, the lights were off and the bar was closed.

She began talking/slurring to me with a sideways mouth. “Where is the Fu@%ing bartender?” she asked.  “Well, its 8:30, so I think they may not be open. I grabbed a coffee and grits from next door and decided to sit here to work and use the outlet,” I said. She continued to rant about Delta being late and there being no booze. She explained that she knows how to make drinks and was thinking about whipping one up. For entertainment purposes, I sarcastically encouraged her. Without any verbal notice, she got up and walked away. I thought she was going to mix a drink, but instead she just left. She left all of her stuff on the bar; phone, purse, suitcase, boarding pass, passport, all of it. I will say, I was entertained, but I was also busy and not in the mood to make a new drunken friend at 8:30 am in Baton Rouge.

Five minutes later, she returned. Get this, the chick went a found a bartender. Lights on and here we go. It was the same gal who made my breakfast, and she was just as sweet as could be. Drunken Monkey ordered not one but TWO double Titos on the rocks. Strong breakfast order for sure. The “bartender” looked at me and asked what I would like. I passed seeing as my coffee was still hot, and I knew I had a long day ahead. Drunken Monkey’s response to the “bartender” was “This woman is all professional, not wanting to get wasted this morning, sitting around doing her work on her fancy laptop with her fancy little dress on and her professional little phone. She probably even has business cards. Work work work.” The “bartender” looked at me and smiled. I just winked and continued working. For the next 4 hours, she never left my side. She called me “professional woman” by name for the entire day. When we finally boarded a measly 7 hours later, she quickly passed out and went on her way.

Remember, Always Clean You Tray Tables.

Traveler Question’s

1. They make such a big deal about not smoking on planes. Why do (even on new planes) have ash trays in the bathrooms?

2. What do you think about when you are landing? I think about how many snakes are in the woods? I also think about why businesses don’t sell their blank rooftops for marketing purposes. 

3. Do people really still read newspapers, like that home, or is that just an airplane thing? I’ve never understood newspapers on plane. It’s such a large and awkward reading material for such a small area. 

It’s Not You, It’s Me.

One day I realized that my blog posts might actually be more about me and my personality (um how do I say this nicely) ”quirks.”  So a friend offered to pen an autobiography.  We’ll call her Debbie because she nailed it like Dallas. I can’t believe how well she knows me or maybe I am just that obviously weird.

I follow my own (kinda crooked) arrow.

I started this blog because I notice things like how Holden was observant to the world around him.  I find humor and wonder in the goings on of every day.  I love people and their nuisances.  However, I’m also self-aware enough to know that my “observations” could also be a by-product of my OCD. I think I’m a bit OCD but not the kind where people say they have OCD instead of just calling themselves what others call them; anal.  Is asking for an airline blanket to be able to put your backpack and shoeless feet on anal or OCD?  Sure, some people make their hotel bed (only on an upper level floor – not a bed in a ground level room with exterior doors and definitely not in a room with adjoining doors) before the cleaning crew visits but do they also clean the shower, wipe down the toilet, recreate the first tissue box tissue pretty poof and then check all that three times before leaving the room?

So here are a couple of details about little ‘ole me.  Yep, I’m kinda little.  Sometimes I need help hefting my suitcase into the overhead bin.  I’m strong but, well, not tall.  And I’m not quite that ‘ole yet.

I was raised in the south, close knit family and all which accompanies that.  I think nowadays it’s called dysfunctional.  My people owned a meat and three in Bodunk, North Carolina.  My waistline didn’t like it but the primary recipe ingredient growing up was Crisco, we are talking white gravy-white biscuit-deep fat fried southern.   I grew up with what I like to call three brothers but technically only one pain in the neck of a brother and two similar cousins, so I was a bit of a tomboy.  “Hey watch this! Ouch!” was my motto growing up. I still got that attitude. By the way when you lose at anything in my family you will get heckled by goat sounds coming from the mouths of all of them so I’m now a tad bit competitive.

I used to be kinda big, um lb number started with a “2” at some point, but I’m not anymore.  That experience has shaped me (smaller dresses means more of them, neatly, in my suitcase next to my travel steamer) and gave me insight into the adage, “everybody’s going through something.” So I like to think it also helped me to develop, at least my old weight’s worth, in empathy awareness.

I’ve been lucky to have a bunch of life experiences from surfing on the coast while getting a couple of college degrees to being a ski bum in CO.  That has helped me become a gal who likes steak tartare and Russian River Valley chards (I do like the wines) as much as chicken wings.  But I don’t eat chicken wings so much anymore because we have some chickens in our backyard at our house, you know the kinda house with the fence in the front yard?  I love my chickens but I also love that we are five minutes from a metropolitan area where I can play tennis in a competitive league and whoop some stay at home mom ass.  My friends give me a bit of grief every occasionally.  I buy cute tennis outfits and then get on the court and grunt when I serve.  But, in my defense, it takes a lot of might for a short gal to get the ball over that net.  Some of that grief from my friends also comes from belting out Patsy Cline tunes when I get a little tipsy. “Tipsy” is what us Southern gals call drunk.

My favorite TV show is Jeopardy.  I kinda got a thing for Alex Trebeck, c’mon who doesn’t like an ageless, witty, sometime mustachioed Canadian? I love being able to answer all those questions in the comfort of my own home where people don’t think I’m showing off by being a smarty pants, I just like the game of it all.

While I used to be all about hemmed jean shorts, some kind of athletic sandal with unnecessary amounts of Velcro and shaved bangs (thank Heavens I was funny otherwise I would have had zero friends) I’m now as comfortable in an Ann Taylor Loft suit in a boardroom as I am getting spider bites planting peonies in my yard.  One day, I’ll write about the time my finger swelled up so big from a spider bite I had to visit an urgent care directly after getting off the plane and the 67 year old urgent care doctor insisted on giving me a ride in his Subaru to my hotel all the while explaining to me the virtues of dream catchers and zodiac signs.

My work takes me all over the country where I give presentations to a bunch of guys in suits in boardrooms but I also have audiences of people with their “feet on the street.”  My favorite parts of my job are working with my team and helping to try to craft creative, audience specific, presentations and messaging.

I travel so much I’m referred to as “Norm” in the Sky Club, Baggage Claim Carousel B Restaurant, every Marriott lobby bar,…….you get the point.  My life experiences and my desire to escape a little bit, I don’t have the attention span to read novels, compels to me write this blog.


Backpack on a blanket- come on!


Armed and NOT Dangerous

Just when I thought I had seen it all. I will go ahead and warn you that I did not capture a photo of this experience because honestly I enjoyed being in dry clothes, but after reading you will realize that even my weird and wonky brain could not make a story like this up. Here we go…

I board my plane and walk my Only Fancy Because of Work Perks Self up to the  front row of First Class. I am sitting next to a nice little lady. She is of African American descent, likely in her mid to late 60’s,  dressed in a long flowy skirt and a very prim and proper blouse. In her lap, she held her purse. She was in the aisle seat, and I was in the window. All was well. It was an evening flight so I partook in my glass of headache inducing airplane wine as we all settled in. The lady next to me passed on the beverage while boarding. Atypical for this time, she simply sat during boarding. She did not sleep. She did not talk. She did not look around. She only stared forward at the safety card in the pocket; thirty minutes of boarding and the same ole stare. She communicated with the staff when they asked her questions, but that was it. There was no texting, no napping, no reading, no airplane magazine sudoku, nothing. Just a good ole 30 minute stare.  Let’s call her Stare Bear.

I, on the other hand, was looking around to see if there was anyone interesting on the plane while sipping on wine, checking texts, emails, Facebook, Workday Learning, Insta, LinkedIn in cycles to pass the time. It’s very millennial of me, I know and related to my ADD affliction.  Stare Bear to the left of me was my polar opposite. I outnumbered her by 100% in the freckle contest #winning! and she would beat me 50,000 times out of 50,000 in a staring contest.

All things continue and we take off as expected. Now this is where the plot thickens. For those who may not know, in First Class, your beverages are served to you in wine glasses. In a restaurant setting or even your home, they would be less than average stemless glasses, but for some reason on a plane that make you feel all Fancy Schmancy.  I’ll admit, deep in my heart, it’s these glasses that are my favorite part of First Class and partly because they actual contain wine!

As the flight attendant comes by I, of course, order another wine; par for the post 5pm First Class flight home course. At this point I am astonished when I hear Stare Bare ask for something. She orders politely in a very volume appropriate voice, “May I please have a cup of water with no ice in a plastic cup not a glass?” The flight attendant obliges, but I am so confused. It’s like saying no to the unnecessary but kind of fun hot wash cloth you get when settling in. “Why would she want plastic?” I thought.

The flight attendant served her the water as requested, and Stare Bear reached into her purse and out she pulled a small water gun!  It was one of the clear green ones, like from the Dollar Tree, not one of the ones that looked anything like a regular gun. I say this to note that I don’t feel she was using this to deter anyone from hurting or attacking her. She takes the iceless water in the plastic cup and she opens the little plastic hole stopper. In goes the lukewarm, First Class, plane water. She gently plugs the water gun, discards the water cup and places the water gun in her right hand, finger on trigger. Now that she is armed and dangerous, she crosses her fictitious-weapon laden arms around her purse on her lap and proceeds to fall asleep for the next 3 hours until we land.  I can’t wait for the moment when another Frist Class passenger attempts a mid-flight purse snatch!  They are going to get…..soaked!!!!  Well, that doesn’t happen; go figure.  As we land, she asks for another cup but no water. She removes the plastic stopper, poured the now even warmer water into the cup and discards it with flight attendant. Since the great First Class cabin holdup didn’t happen, I begin to envision a fantastic water gun OK corral type  shootout with an awaiting grandchild when we disembark.  I’m get so excited thinking about Stare Bear maneuvering behind airport hallway columns as she takes down a 5 year old in an epic water gun battle!  The aircraft door opens, this is going to be so exciting!  She exits and is gone, slips into the airport crowd uneventfully.  So, no shoot-out dang it.  But, I at least know, ‘ole Stare Bear is out there walking around, armed and dangerous, with a green plastic water gun from Dollar Tree.

This one leaves me without a summarizing sentence. Jaw dropped, head scratching, I can only leave you with advice. ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR TRAY TABLES.

Own Up, Dude.

What the heck is the matter with people?

First thing this morning, I arrived at the Atlanta airport for my 7:00am flight to DFW. I’ll be honest, I still wished I was in my pajamas snuggled up around my body pillow, but I wasn’t. I was at the airport with other grownups. Some were traveling for business and some for fun. As I walked to the Sky Club to knock out a few last minute emails and somehow resisted a 7:00am Monday morning Bloody Mary, I looked at a plane that was boarding. Boarding the plane (too far onto the tarmack for a photo) was a group of ADULTS all of who were wearing pajamas. Listen y’all, I am not talking about yoga pants and hoodies. I am talking about the kinds of pajamas that families get around Christmas time, the ones with the pants that match the button up top. Mind you, they were adults. As mentioned in line three, I would have loved to be in my pajamas but we are in public for Pitty’s sake. What in the world?

For this trip, it was a quick turn around, and I was flying back from DFW around 3:00 pm. As I looked around the First Class cabin, I noticed nothing bloggable. There was a cute little family in front of me, who I happened to go to High School with, and a nice man next to me who lived a few miles from my Alma Mater. The rest of the rows were Plain Janes.

We started to roll back and the safety demonstration got interrupted. We were still moving in the right direction but the flight attendant came on the intercom to tell us that someone left their bag in the aisle in First Class  but they were not in First Class. This normally would have been okay but they ran out of space and the plane can’t take off until “all carry-ons are stowed properly.” Clearly, a suitcase in the middle of the aisle is not “stowed properly.”

The flight attendant came on the intercom to ask about the bag. “We have a bag without a home. Please claim so we can all make our layover.” So we waited, and waited, and she made the announcement again. We waited longer. She made the announcement again with a little sass in her voice this time. Seeing as I am in 2D, I got to hear the calls with the travel police as we rolled back to the gate. We were truly going back to the gate in what was an early flight because some knucklehead didn’t want to own up to their bag.  At that point, the flight attendant made one last plea. She walked down the aisle, looking every passenger in the eyes, holding the bag over her head (photo proof below) and asking, “is this your bag?”

Busted!  The man in 15C is the culprit. He confusedly removes his headphones and wonders why in the world the flight attendant is doing shoulder presses with HIS bag?  The Air Marshall stands down, door opens, bag gets checked and we are off and away! Thankfully I had taken the necessary precaution of asking for two wines in case this bag “situation” turned out to be something more serious.  The safety demonstration resumed, and the witty flight attendant said “people you have to listen. If you miss your connection, talk to the guy in 15C, not your follow up survey. Take your headphones out for a few minutes. This is how we feel when you quietly order your drinks.”

Hats off to the pretty and sassy flight attendant on the Delta flight from DFW to ATL!

Own Up

Xanax Snacks

Admittingly, I trust Delta a little bit too much. I actually feel like I have a personal relationship with Delta. For example, it sort of bothers me when people fly other airlines. Weird, I know. I like them for many reasons and one is that I believe that they will not fly me somewhere if the conditions are not safe. That being said, I drove all the way to the airport and walked up to the gate on the Monday when Hurricane Irma was rolling through. I trusted that they would cancel if the conditions were not safe. As I got all the way down to D1, they cancelled.  See? Good relationship.

This situation reminded me of another bloggable flight I had a few months ago on the way to Knoxville. It was a pretty rainy day, but planes were still taking off successfully. Being the short flight that is was, we loaded onto one of the little baby planes, the ones with no first class, four seats in Comfort and two seats on each side of the aisle. I was in a window seat next to what appeared to be a fairly normal lady. Let’s call her Scaredy Catherine. As we settled in, I did my normal OCD tray table, seatbelt buckle and arm rest Clorox wipe down. As I finished, I noticed that Scaredy Catherine seemed a little bit panicky. Though I wasn’t in a chatting mood, I am still empathetic by nature, so I asked her if she was ok.

She looked over at me with tears in her eyes and told me she was scared to death to fly in this weather. I tried to reassure her and tell her it would be ok. I referenced back to my personal relationship with Delta. I also reminded her that she could hop off the plane and rent a car. In three short hours, she would be in the Big Orange. Instead she decided to tough through it. Bad Decision.

As we take off, Scaredy Catherine is gripping the arm rest. Thank Heavens I wiped it down for her. You could see her veins bulging through her meaty little hands. In her defense, this flight was pretty intense. The pilot came on the intercom moments after take-off and told us that we would not be able to get above the clouds so the trip would be rocky. When she heard this, she about lost it. I decided to pull out my notebook and start handwriting a script in an effort to make her think everything was all good. Deep inside, I was a little spooked myself. We hit a big patch of turbulence and she let go of the armrest and gripped my hand. Scaredy Catherine’s hand was soaked. This gal was genuinely terrified. The gal across the aisle from her, we can call her Xanax Girl, was a bit scared too. She took out her Xanax and decided to take one.

This is where they story gets good. Scaredy Catherine spots the Xanax, and I felt like I knew what was coming. She looks over to Xanax Girl and asked if she could have some. Still holding Scaredy Catherine’s hand, I asked her “do you normally take Xanax?” “Never,” she said. Hmmmmm….. I opted to keep my opinions to myself on this one. Xanax Girl tips the bottle of pills out for Scaredy Catherine and I see two little white pills in her hand. She looked at me, looked at the pills and looked in her bag for water. I said “I don’t have any water. Sorry.” She said “me either”. I was fired up to see what was going to happen next. She does one final look around before she pops the pills into her mouth and starts CRUNCHING them with her teeth. I asked her if it would have been more reasonable to build up some saliva and attempt to swallow them in that manner. She looked at me squinting from the extreme medicinal taste that comes with chewing Xanax. She said “I am hoping that by chewing it, it will work faster.” She actually had a decent point. For 15 minutes more she held my hand tightly while I attempted to write my script with one hand and a mechanical pencil. The flight continues to be insanely uncomfortable and I notice her hand loosing up just a bit. I turn my head and notice she is snoozing- passed straight out. We finish the flight with a terrible landing which abruptly woke her up, but again Delta got us there safely. Sweet Scaredy Catherine hugged me as we off-boarded the plane. She said “thanks for your help. I don’t fly often.” This was not shocking news to me.

Remember to always clean your tray tables!