Work Trip

I travel for work about once, maybe twice, a year. I recently returned from a 3 day trip to the Philadelphia area.

I'm thankful I don't travel much for work. And at that, I am able to schedule my travel around Steve's work schedule. When his April schedule hit, I noticed the block of five days off, mid-week, and so I jumped on it.

When I made my way home that Friday afternoon at the end of my trip, one of the first things Steve said to me was that he has a lot of appreciation for me.

This, by the way, is what every pilot wife who is raising kids wants to hear.

I asked him to expand.

"You are just constantly on the go, all the time."

Um, yes! 

And he wasn't even working during the day like I do. He was reminded of how much does go on in his absence, and how it can be exhausting.

Steve will casually mention here and there about how easy it is to just do a load of laundry a day (to stay caught up). Yeah, easy if I weren't occupied with all the other things that I have to do as a solo-mom.

In case you missed this on Instagram, how fitting that Cici dressed up as Amelia Earhart for a school project while I was away. Steve went to the presentation, and send me this picture:
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Mom tip: those goggles are actually swim goggles from Target. Ben had a pair last year (and has since lost them), and LOVED them. So, I knew if I bought new goggles now, they would be put to good use this summer. Much better to buy something and use it, then buy it and store it.


I flew on two different airlines on this trip. I also took Amtrak, which was actually my first time. Having lived in Europe, I've taken many trains, but never in the states. Anyway, when I travel on a plane, I can be very curious about people's behaviors.

Like, gate lice. I will truly never get this. Truly. If you have an assigned seat, what is the point of standing in line? That is a serious question. Now, I understand if you want to stand before a flight to stretch your inseam is 36 inches, I get this...but otherwise? Gate lice can actually get in the way when it's time for people to board. Do you know how many times I've had to ask, "are you in this boarding group?" And the answer is always, "no." Ugh!

When we were boarding my flight out, the gate agent kept saying "to relax" since boarding was to begin in a bit.

That was on American.

I flew Southwest home. Their boarding process is different than other airlines. You don't get a seat assignment, and you board by group number. I was B 38. So, after all the A group boarded, all the B group got in line.

Well, when B was called I got up from my seat and went to the 35-39 stand. I was probably the last B to stand up, so I had to make my way through a sea of people.

I got to my stand and asked a man, who was basically standing on guard, if he was 35-39. He was B40. And I tell you what, he was rigid...totally standing his ground to make sure that no one would get in front of him. His body language was stern. It was like he was defending his position with all his might.

It's just a freakin' seat!

So, then I made a point to get RIGHT into my position. This is where my 6' frame, with heels, comes to my advantage. I played basketball and I know how to box-out someone. Given his posturing, I would have totally used my body to get in position if I needed to. I put my tall ass right in front of him, you betcha.

The gal in front of me asked my number, and then suggested I get in front of her because she was #39.

"That's okay. It's just a seat," was my response. I then established that my mentality isn't popular, but, again, it's just a seat.

Perhaps this is due to years of being happy with a seat, any seat, on a plane due to traveling non-rev. Or, maybe it's because I'm a nice person, a happy person, who wants to spread kindness and smiles, not walls towards others. Who cares if you sit in 12B or 13B?

I made my way into the plane, and it was quite full already. I didn't care if I sat in the middle (the flight was short), but I did care that I had space for my roll-aboard. I finally found room above row 11, or maybe it was 12. I asked the passengers under the overhead if I could move a jacket, and with permission I did. I heaved my luggage above, and sat down right next to the emergency exit above the wing.

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I really do feel pressure in the exit row. In the event of an evacuation, the weight of opening that door would be solely on me. You bet your ass I made a point to study that door, and read the safety card to make sure I knew how to open it. I take that shit seriously. People around me were all, "we won't need that." And fortunately we didn't.

You can never be too prepared. I always count seat backs to the nearest exit. I even remember flying First Class to Paris with Steve...he didn't take his shoes off (yes, he kept his socks on), until we were at cruise. Point is, when you are aware that shit can and does happen on planes, you make a point to be as alert and prepared as possible.


I was asked to travel again in May, but my flight home would arrive late Friday night...and Cici's 1st Communion is the next day. In my head, I was worried that the flight would cancel making me stuck in Florida for her First Communion. Because I know shit happens, flights get cancelled, and I wasn't going to miss such a special day for my daughter. I passed on the travel opportunity. It'll be a good while, I would imagine, before I travel again for work.

It's always good when I travel, I think. Mama gets a break from the daily ins-and-outs. And Steve is reminded that taking care of house and home as a solo-parent is a lot tougher than it may seem. I'm used to it. I have my routine/rhythm/habits so perhaps I make it look easy. But, it isn't always. And, it's nice when people recognize that.