I'm a former flight attendant who still likes to travel. I love all animals. Please be kind everyone, because you never know what someone else might be going through.
There Is Power in Numbers
Alyssa Milano revived a movement on Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. This was started about a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke. Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer and former film executive, who co-founded Miramax entertainment company, is facing sexual assault and harassment allegations. These accusations first publicly surfaced in New York Times at the beginning of October. Since then, many celebrities have shared stories about their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Alyssa wrote this on Twitter back in October:
Traveling with Children
You should always plan ahead whenever you are traveling with children. Make sure that you plan on being at the airport at least an hour before your flight leaves. Truthfully being there an hour and thirty minutes ahead would be even better, especially if it is a holiday. That way if anything should come up you are where you need to be already. When you are packing their suitcase, make sure that you have a separate suitcase for them that has fun things in it for them to do. You can also pack a small pillow and their favorite stuffed animal. Pick things that they like, a coloring book, crayons, maybe a word search. You can pack an electronic game, as long as it does not interfere with the navigation system. If the flight attendant tells you to put it away then you should put it away. If you have headphones, and a small DVD player you could pack that too. So often I see parents out with their children and they have brought nothing for them to play with. Children are not like adults, they cannot sit there and talk and do nothing. It is important to bring something with to keep them entertained. When my daughter was little we used to play tic-tac-toe with cereal pieces. I would make a board with a napkin. She loved that, and it kept her busy. We would also play "I Spy" with things on the airplane. Ask the agent if your child can have a window seat. It is fun for children to look out the window. Plus you can point out different things and talk about them. Make sure that you talk to your children about being respectful to other passengers on the plane. A plane is not a place to be overly loud on. Also they should keep their feet off the seats in front of them. Children should never be barefoot on a plane, because there are too many germs. If your child does not to wear their shoes then pack them their slippers. You should also make sure that they are wearing comfortable clothes and tennis shoes so it is easy for them to walk. Let them walk because it will make them tired for the plane ride, and then maybe they will take a short nap. Also let them pull their own suitcase. It not only teaches them that they have to be responsible for their things, but maybe this too will make them tired. When you get to your gate take them to the bookstore. Maybe there is a healthy snack that they can get, or maybe there is a find the words book that you can by them. Traveling with babies requires even more planning ahead. You do not have to take everything with you on the plane. Just think ahead, how long is the flight, and then add in at least another hour for possible delays, and getting your luggage. If you have a stroller bring it, but again if your child is old enough to walk let them. You can take the stroller on the jetway. The gate agent will tag it, and it will be waiting for you right when you walk off the airplane. Be patient, they are called children for a reason. Children just do not have the attention span that we do as adults. Do not feel bad if they will not sit still. Some people will be alright being near your children, and others will not. That is alright, because those people would probably rather have the entire airplane to themselves. It is important to make your children understand that there just is not enough room on the airplane for them to run around. If you are traveling alone with your child, or children do not be afraid to ask for some help. Most of the agents will help you, and so will the flight attendants. Tell them that you are traveling by yourself. Never leave your child, or children by themselves, yes even on the airplane. If you need to use the bathroom take them with you. They do not have to be in there with you, you can just as a flight attendant, or a passenger to keep an eye on them, but you should keep them close to where you are. You know children. It only takes a second and they are off doing whatever interests them next. Traveling with children is not easy, so if you remember these things they should help you out when you take your next trip.
When we are young, we do not need much sleep, and our attention level is still pretty good. Unfortunately, as we start to get older, we notice that things change with our health. Maybe our metabolism has changed, so it might be more difficult to lose weight. Maybe you feel more tired than usual, and your energy level is just not what it used to be. No matter how well we eat, exercise, take care of ourselves things just do not seem to improve. If that is the situation with you, then it is time to see a doctor. Your doctor can do blood work to make sure that your iron levels are where they should be. They can also check your cholesterol levels.
Anyone who has ever had a pet understands that they are so much more than just that, they are family to us. When we lose them, it is devastating. Whether it was a dog, a cat, a hamster, or a horse, or any other kind of an animal, they are always there for us. They rely on us to take care of them, feed them, walk them, love them, and we rely on them to be there for us too. Some people think that animals belong outside, that they are for working. Though those people respect animals, they do not understand what it is like to be attached to them.
In this day and age, we are all a lot smarter than we were ten years ago. We know that cigarettes will eventually kill us. Now I expect that there will be people who read this and say that I do not understand because I do not smoke, but I used to. Now this will probably surprise people who know me, but I did. I smoked on and off in college. It was not an everyday thing, only when we would go out. I am from that era where you could smoke on an airplane, and so I did. I worked for many years as a flight attendant, and many of my friends smoked. I worked back when you could smoke on domestic flights. I mean, just imagine being trapped in an airplane with the last eight, nine, sometimes ten rows all smoking. As it is, you do not have good circulated air on an airplane, and then let us add smoking to it.
Crossing a Line
Recently I was shown an article about a famous singer who was at a benefit concert. He was singing to a large crowd of mostly women. Yes there were men there too, but there was a huge crowd of women that were very close to the stage. As the singer often does when he performs he got very close to the edge of the stage. Many of the people there had their hands raised up in the hope that he might touch them. He also often takes flowers from them and other gifts. On this particular night like he often does he knelt down, and just as he did one woman grabbed his private part. Now this was not a brush of her hand, it was a grab. He quickly grabbed her hand and removed it. Because he was in the middle of his song he had to continue singing.
Our Tennessee Trip
We decided to take our first a trip to Tennessee. It was during the eclipse, and since they said that Nashville was one the best places to see it we thought why not go? We had planned the trip about three weeks in advance. Every hotel in Nashville was pretty much booked up, and if it wasn't they wanted a ridiculous price for a room. We decided to stay close to Nashville, since we were there to see the eclipse. We can get there by car, so it was not that bad of a drive. Well until we got closer to Tennessee, apparently a lot of people were doing the same that we were, so the traffic was just awful. Whenever the traffic gets like that we just stop and get something to eat. We stopped at our usual place, Cracker Barrel. Now if you have never been there you should go just for their store alone. The one thing is that you probably won't leave there without buying something. This time we ate breakfast food, but we usually get their chicken and dumplings. Their Coca-Cola chocolate cake is really good too. Yes that is what I said, Coca-Cola. It makes the chocolate cake really moist, almost like you are eating fudge. After we left we headed to our hotel to check in, we had planned on getting up early, because we knew that traffic would be just as bad. The day of the eclipse we had everything planned out, or so we thought, until we found out that they were closing off the park for their employees. We decided instead of risking us missing the real reason we had traveled to Tennessee that we were just going to find somewhere to pull off the road before it started.
Travel Before September 11th
September 11th is not an easy topic to talk about. When it comes to traveling, especially on an airplane, so much has changed since that day. It is completely necessary. Yet things still need to improve even more for our safety. When I first started traveling, and let's not get into specifics, I'm old, things were completely different than they are today. You did not have to schedule your arrival to the airport terminal, so that you could plan for long lines at security. You did not have to worry about the long lines just to check in your luggage. You could pull up to the terminal with your car, and someone was there trying to take your luggage from you whether you wanted them to or not. Many times I would have to say, no I don't need your help. I'm going to take my own luggage in. I was young, and did not have the extra cash to pay these guys a tip for helping me with my luggage.