South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Always Running 

This week has kept me moving. From working to Philadelphia to Denver, Denver to Los Angles back to Philadelphia. Then starting another trip that took me South, to Orlando. With a 19 hour layover I then came back to Philadelphia and out to Kansas City and back.

Within each of these two trips I found time to quick a run in, not as long as I had hoped but something I feel is always better than nothing. With early report times and some long work days you have to make some sacrifices to a) keep your sanity  b) you must get rest c) be active outside of work to stay healthy.

 

 

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My goal when I get to a layover I usually try to change right away and get a workout in. After a 4 hour flight to Denver I was ready to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. A fellow crew member even joined me on a jog to Cheesman Park. It’s located centrally in downtown Denver. Such a beautiful green space. I was hoping to get a swim in at a local public pool, but unfortunately it was only open for the weekends. So a nice jog from the hotel and back and a stop for sushi for lunch.

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After flying back to base, I repacked my bag for another two day trip to hot and humid Orlando. I had a sushi date with one of my girlfriends right when I landed because of her work schedule. I changed and met up with her and visited with some old co-workers ( I used to live in Otown). After digesting I told myself you have got to get in atleast a 5k, thats always the goal and minimum. I tried to pick a shady route that lead to Disney Springs, but the humidity was defiantly not on my side and I ended up finishing the run on the treadmill (aka dreadmill).

After a full week of flying, yes I did the unthinkable and hopped back on a plane after my last flight. But I still made time to get a run in on Saturday. I returned home today, Sunday, and I was determined to get a run in.img_1146 To me if you are determined enough and have the will, there’s always a way. I must say the times I had available to me were definitely not always ideal, but I had to make it work. Flying can cause a lot of fatigue and stress on the body, but I personally always feel better when I get out and exercise. It’s easy to not eat well and over eat lots of junk and snacks while working on the plane. I mean who wouldn’t want a hot fudge sundae with all the toppings. But I know I will regret it later. So I put down the spoon and stepped away from the ice cream cart in my first class. Instead I was determined to eat healthy and be conscious about what I put in my body to fuel it. 

It’s not about having time, it’s about making it!

xo

Leann

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24 Hours in Glasgow, Scotland

I am now home in Philly, but probably not for long. I go back on call at 6am tomorrow morning. But before I forget about the wonderful 24 hours spent in Glasgow let’s rewind and review what exactly I have been up to.

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Monday afternoon, I had a shift at the airport, to sit there for four hours. Yes, just sit there. I’m not going into details, but its for when there are last minute issues with crews and flights. I was one of four people on the shift from 3:45-7:45pm. By 5:45pm I was the last one left and then a little less than thirty minutes had passed and I was called to go to Glasgow!

Good thing I packed for all seasons because I really had no clue where I could end up. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Glasgow before so I knew what to expect. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland! Its a fun city with lots of shopping! I love going to the United Kingdom. Years ago I studied abroad in London and travel all through the U.K.

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After 6 and a half hours we arrived in Scotland and the crew was shuttled off to the hotel in the city center. We stay at a fabulous hotel thats only a quick walk from the central train station. My first stop is always Costa (a british coffee company). There I had to have a cappuccino and a bacon roll. The bacon roll is literally a roll with bacon on it, but its just not like American style bacon. Plus you have to put HP brown sauce on it! I’m drooling just thinking about it! With my belly full I was on to my next stop-shopping!!!

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Primark! Even though Primark is now in the US, its just so much better in the UK, with items that aren’t available in the US. Ok…I was picky this time I promise. I took in the local sites and shops, and my next stop, Boots. Hmmm….how to describe Boots, its a pharmacy, convenience store, beauty products, but they carry the best stuff!!! And even their store brand products are amazing and super cheap! The prices and quality of product do not compare to what we have here in the US.

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Next, I decided I needed to head back to drop off some of my purchases, but now I needed to stop in Sainsburys. Sainsburys is a grocery store and while you are probably thinking I’m crazy for going grocery shopping while I’m on a 24 hour layover in Scotland, you are totally wrong. While I lived in London, I constantly grocery shopped in Sainsburys and the food is top notch. While I can’t do all my shopping there now, I do pop in to bring back some of my favorite candy, cookies, and other treats that I can’t get in the states.

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Finally lunch time! One of my co-workers told me to check out Old Salty’s for fish and chips. This was probably the best fish and chips I had ever had! You can choice want type of fish you would like; hake, cod, haddock. I chose the haddock and it was out of this world! And what better way but to wash it down with a beer!

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I was now in the west end of Glasgow and headed up the street to the Glasgow Botanic Garden. It is free to enter and wander through the green houses and gardens. I was told they hold many concerts here too.

As I made my way back to the hotel I walked through University of Glasgow. This university is the fourth oldest in the English speaking world! I love how the old buildings are just surrounded by the newer buildings.

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I truly love the European lifestyle and how friendly people are. Every time I am in U.K/Europe I just totally embrace every second I am there. I love the experience, the foods, and the people.

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You really just have to go experience it for yourself with an open mind!

xo

Leann


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Chicago-Chi Town-Windy City

Another day another flight to a different destination. This morning I left bright and early from PHL (Philly) headed to ORD (Chicago). I’ve been here before, but every time I visit it seems to be a different season with different things to experience in the city. The hotel we stay at isn’t far from the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The last time I stayed in Chicago the cubs won the World Series!


With my triathlon this weekend I decided today would be a great day to get a run in and do some carbo loading! Chicago has tons of great running and biking paths through all of the city’s parks. I ran down the shore line to the end of Navy Pier to start, then to the Field Museum, through Grant Park, to Buckingham Fountain, and ended at the Bean in Millennium Park.


From there I was starving, hot, and sweaty. I realized I needed to eat and hydrate!! Be careful out there people, the heat is no joke! Being in Chi Town, I seized the opportunity to have freshly made pierogi. For those who do not know what a pierogi is, the best way to explain it as the polish version of a ravioli or dumpling. They have different fillings varying from meat to sauerkraut to potato and cheese. They are boiled, served with fried onion and sour cream. And if you can get them freshly made not out of the freezer aisle I suggest you eat as many as you can!



I found a place called Pierogi Heaven. I opted for 3 sauerkraut and mushroom and 3 potato and cheese with a cup of broscht soup (a beet based soup).  And for dessert I took some fruit filled Pierogi with me!!!! Amazing!!!!!! I fully suggest you give this place a try if you are in the Windy City.


Chicago is a beautiful city with so much to offer every individual no matter what you are looking for. The shoreline of Lake Michigan is stunning. This is just a peak of what I was able to squeeze in today, but there’s so much more to see and do. Don’t forget the deep dish pizza or watching a game a Wrigley Field!


Until next time safe travels!

Xo

Leann


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Roma wasn’t Built in a Day 

As a flight attendant when I meet new people I frequently get asked if I work international flights or just domestic. The simple answer is yes, I work international. Honestly it just depends on the time of the year. The Summer is the busy season and with more international destinations it is more likely to get called out for an exotic location. I will spare you the flight attendant lingo, because trust me it has its own language. Rome was not built in a day, but I only had one to explore the city.

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Friday evening was my last day on call when my phone unexpectedly rang, the voice on the other end from crew scheduling sounded completely exhausted and thrilled that I answered. She asked if I could make it to the airport in an hour and a half, that I was going to Rome. With our call out being a minimum of two hours, I said it would be close. Luckily I had not really unpacked from the previous trip I came back from! I got ready as quickly as possibly and jumped in an uber and off to the airport I went.

On a sidenote, Rome, always seems to go to very senior flight attendants. The trip is considered high time because the flight is so long. I’ve never been lucky enough to get called to go to Rome so you could imagine I was beyond excited. 7+ hours later we arrived at Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci International Aeroporto or FCO for short! With a 26 hour layover I pretty much hit the ground running. I wanted to eat my way through the city. img_8845

A fellow crew member was kind enough to play tour guide. First stop, get a slice of true Italian pizza. First, things first, pizza is supposed to be square or rectangular, round pizza is American! Wrapped in some paper I was off to the colosseum! It all felt so surreal! As I was walking down the streets and seeing so many historic sights, it almost felt like a movie set. I’ve read about these building in books growing up and now I was here to actually experience it.

The weather was almost unbearable. It was extremely hot reaching over ninety plus degrees and the sun was shining bright. What better way to cool off then to have a cold glass of prosecco with a delightful view!

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The architecture in Rome is amazing and nothing short of it. Thousands of years old and preserved so well! Being half Italian, I was just trying to soak in every bit of the atmosphere. The winding, narrow streets twist and turn and lead to so many unexacting shops, eateries, and history.

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One day, just gave me a taste of what this city has to offer. The cobblestone streets are enchanting and lets one imagine what life would be like thousands of years ago. There are so many sections of the city I still need to visit, but my first visit was a success. I found the locals to be friendly and most spoke English if you attempted to speak some Italian. The flight back to Philadelphia was completely full and took over nine hours! But I would happily do it all over again!

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Roma sei bellissima!

xo

Leann


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Trust Me! I’m a Flight Attendant. 

I’m officially back to work!!!! Hooray! I’m in the middle of my first trip back and it’s going great. The first day, yesterday I worked Philadelphia to Charlotte to Sacramento, California. I’ve never had a layover in Sacramento so I was really looking forward to seeing what the capital of California has to offer. I was also super lucky to snag a spot on this trip with a friend of mine, Korey!

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Great crew!

After being out of work for nearly 3 months I have been eager to get back to flying. Traveling and being a flight attendant is a huge passion of mine. Take away your passion and you just seem to feel completely lost! I was a bit nervous on the first flight to see what changes have been made while I was gone, but eased back into things quickly. Our plane came in late and we were delayed out of Charlotte because one of the airplane tires had to be changed! They wear out just like car tires!

 

Having never been to Sacramento I reached out to my running teammates at Rabbit to find out what people from the West Coast would suggest as far as a location to run.  They did not disappoint. I got many suggestions to check out the American River Trail- mainly used for biking and running! This trail runs for 32 miles and is just beautiful! So glad I got to check some of it out on foot. After my 6.5 mile run it was time to catch back up with Korey and explore Old Sacramento and the capital building!

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Old Sacramento as you can imagine is the historic district. It is here where you can visit the California State Railroad Museum. Many people settled here during the Gold Rushe era because it was a main traffic route for supplies.

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Our next stop was to the Wells Fargo museum where we tried our hand at being railroad messengers. Wells Fargo’s history dates back with the transportation and communication technology sending telegraphs!

 

The old Sacramento one room schoolhouse was our next location, showing education in the early days. Last, but not least we made our way to the Captial building.

 

California is defiantly one of my favorite states to visit. Every city in Calirfornia has its own specific culture and things to visit. I enjoyed my time in Sacramento and now it’s time to rest up and take a nap. I work the red eye from SMF to DFW tonight. Have about 12 hours before I work another flight back to Philadelphia!

Come fly the friendly skies with me!

Xo

Leann


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When Injury Ensues

Well it’s not the end of the world, but when it happened it sure felt like it. After returning from work, I was sent to the doctor. I sprained my left ankle. It is completely swollen, bruised and very sore to touch or put pressure on. I left the doctors office with a boot and feeling discouraged. I was going through a range of emotions, being mad at myself, sad, angry, and extremely frustrated.

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I’m not an elite athlete, but being active allows me to feel like I’m living a fulfilling life. I’ve seen my own growth and progression of improvement. Each week, month, and year I can see my progress and give myself new goals. A large part of my identity is allowing myself the freedom to be active whether it is swimming, biking, or running. When I am exercising I can put aside all of my worries and anxieties and focus on a happier and healthier me.

Now that I am forced to have my foot up and stay off it as much as possible for recovery I am looking at other ways I keep my mind quiet and stay fit. I’ve considered some other exercises to while I can not bike or run. I think I will still be able to get in the pool if I use a pull buoy to keep my legs still and focus on my arms and breathing. Eventually I think I will be able to focus on more core and upper body exercises as long as I stay off my feet.

I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I look forward to my return to running and biking at full force. I’m visualizing the best possible recovery and being healthier than ever! This time off is going to give me extra time to do research and reading on training plans!

Here’s to the future!

xo

Leann


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Jet Lag is for Amateurs, but Fatigue is the Real Deal!

Yesterday I finished my 4 day trip. It wasn’t so bad! I worked with great crews and the crazies were to a minimum (I’m talking about passengers). I had overnights in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Boston. I arrived back in Philadelphia around 9am-Thursday morning. Wonderful, I have the whole day I thought, I can run errands, do laundry, go to the gym, and get myself organized for the weekend (because you know I’m always on the go). Well after getting to my car I was struggling. So tired. Need more coffee. But I already had my normal one cup I usually limit myself to. There was literally and physically no way I was going to stay away without another cup of caffeine.

I stopped at good ol’ Dunkin Donuts before heading to get some groceries. Ok, my second wind kicked in. Grabbed what I needed at the store and headed home. Plan of action, get the laundry started, take a shower and head to the gym. I never even made it to the gym! I did get (most) of my laundry done. After taking that shower I had a pep talk with myself, ok maybe you just need a quick little power nap. I NEVER nap! I had just travelled across the country and back in a span of four days and the time changes and long days literally were kicking my butt.

Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion, or stress. Jet lag, on the other hand I can deal with pretty well. Monday I wrote I only had a few hours of sleep, but when I got to Vegas I felt ok. I drank plenty of water, took my vitamins, and tried to eat “normal healthy” meals. Every morning I had van pick ups of 5:30 am so that meant getting up super early to be ready, packed, and downstairs. 3 of my 4 flight days were pretty long. 12 hour duty days are tough. Interacting with maybe 600 or more passengers a day.  17 hours of being awake is the equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.  Your IQ is lower and you are easily distracted, both of which are not helpful when working as a flight attendant, as alertness and focus are crucial, especially in the case of an emergency.

As disappointed as I was yesterday that I could not get myself motivated to go to the gym I knew my body was telling my to chill out, which I rarely listen to. As I fully try to recover from this sinus infection it was best that I just try to relax and get back on my normal routine. I’ve got a long run planned for this weekend as the weather is supposed to be beautiful in Philly and pretty sure I have to work at my part time job, while finishing the rough draft of the dissertation chapters. LOL.

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xo

Leann