Sunday, January 31, 2010
Today, I’m going to tell you some more about my adventures while traveling. One of my first out of the country trips was to the emerald isle, Ireland. Prior to that I had only been to places within the states. This was a fantastic trip. We flew into Shannon and spent the night there. That night we went to Bunratty Castle to eat and party.
The next day we left Shannon and started a lovely four day tour toward Dublin. My mom was with me on this trip, too. We met a lovely lady named Anne Yokim (not sure of the spelling) from Sask. Canada who was on a three month tour of Europe, which started in Ireland. We stayed in touch with her, and she came to visit us a few years later. One of the stops we made was in in Killarney. During our journey, Mom and I had pictures of us kissing the blarney stone. Could that be the reason why my hubby says I’m full of it? Grin. The countryside is so lush and green in Ireland, you can’t help but believe in leprechauns and fairy’s while there.
We visited Glendalough and stopped to see the monastery and the Round Tower. We took a one day tour through County Wicklow. This area is so beautiful it takes your breath away. It’s hard for me to remember the order in which we traveled through Ireland, but I believe these two areas were south of Dublin.
The next day, we took the train from Dublin back to Shannon to catch our flight home. On that train, we met a terrific Irishman, and we struck up a conversation about politics. At that time, Ireland was having a lot of trouble in the northern part of the island, and this man believed the communists were the cause of the problem. Back in those days, everyone blamed the communists for everything.
On our Ireland trip, we didn’t have any problems making our flights. It was just a lovely vacation, and we had a great time.
Mom and I took many wonderful trips together. We saw Germany, Switzerland, U.S. Virgin Islands, California, Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Hawaii and many more. My hubby and I also took many trips together. We went to Portugal, Spain, Australia, Jamaica and many other wonderful spots. His favorite place is Florida, or anywhere warm.
Trans World Airlines was a wonderful company to work for, and it gave me the opportunity to travel. Before that I had only dreamed of traveling by reading about those destinations in books. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had with this once great company.
I might also add here that if you ever come to Kansas City there is a historical aviation museum to be seen at the old municipal airport now named the Charles B. Wheeler airport. If you would like to learn more about the museum visit http://www.AHMHangar.com Also, the Amelia Earhart museum is not too far away as it’s in Atchison, Kansas. For more info, visit http://www.Ameliaearhart.net
Until next Sunday have a great week.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I know I said that I would be telling you more about my world travels today, but last week I managed to read a whole book, and I want to do the review while it is still fresh in my mind. Besides, I really need to read my mother’s journal before I write the next segment of our travels. Smile. The old memory is not as good as it used to be.
The novel, I’m reviewing is Divorced, Desperate and Deceived by Christie Craig. Although, this book is a mystery romance, Craig is so witty that she had me cracked up half the time. .
The two main characters, florist, Kathy Callahan and plumber, Stan Bradley, are not at all what they seem. These characters as well as the secondary characters are so well drawn that you are rooting for them to the end and many of those people you’ll recognize in your own lives.
It didn’t hurt this story at all to have a cute little pug named Goodwill as a secondary character in it. Even with the main characters running for their lives Goodwill was the one being with them all the time. When I finished the book I was very happy with the ending, but I still wanted to continue reading about them. To me that is the sign of a really good book when you don’t want it to end.
Christie Craig is being compared to Janet Evanovich and Harley Jane Kozak. I have never read those authors, but if they are as good as Craig I should. Her other books are Weddings Can Be Murder, Gotcha!, Divorced, Desperate and Dating, and Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I haven’t read her other books, but I’ll be looking for them.
You can find her books at Dorchester, http://www.dorchesterpub.com or at bookstores near you. You may learn more about Christie at http://www.christie-craig.com and I wish I could remember Christie’s blog because she’s hilarious there. Anytime you need a picker-upper that would be the place to go.
Until next Sunday have a great week.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Last week I told you I would tell you about some of my non-revenue travel adventures. My first trip I tried to fly to Los Angeles to visit my best friend from high school. With my low seniority, I wasn’t able to make it, and it was with bitter disappointment I had to call my friend to tell her I wouldn’t be out.
The next time I decided to go out and see my friend I took a two week vacation in October (the best time to travel for non-revs) to allow myself time to get there and back. This time I took my mom so she could visit with my friend’s mother. We had a lovely time. Not only did we visit with them, but they took us to the beach, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm among other sightseeing.
After our visit with them, we went to San Francisco to see my favorite aunt and one of my uncle’s (he was a favorite but not my very favorite). We did more sightseeing there, Fisherman’s Wharf, took a ride on the trolley cars, and went up to the mountains to see the mammoth red wood trees. These were just a few of the things we did in California.
One of my most exciting vacations was to Guam and Hong Kong. My mother had a friend whose husband was stationed with the military in Guam so I planned a trip there and on to Hong Kong. Mom had another friend who wanted to go, and she paid full fare. Since the flight was such a long one we planned to spend four days in Guam, five days in Hong Kong and a few more days in Guam on the way back to break it up.
In Guam I learned how to surfboard (I must admit here that I was off the surfboard more than on lol), went to the USO dances, visited and went sightseeing around the island. We reassured them we would be back for a couple of more days and headed to Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong we had a problem with our hotel and they wanted to move us to another hotel. At three o’clock in the morning, I was not willing to be reasonable. I had paperwork showing them our reservations and insisted I wanted my room. There was a man a few people back in line from us who quietly said, “You go Tiger.” We finally got everything straightened out and made it to our room to get some much needed sleep.
The next morning, we went to the restaurant for breakfast. We were ready to be seated when a strange man walked up to saying, “I’m glad to see you got everything straightened out with the hotel.” He introduced himself, (can’t remember his name now) told us he was a businessman from Connecticut, and he invited us to a table with some other people.
After that one meeting, we arranged to eat all of our meals together when we were at the hotel. To me the people I meet on a trip are a major part of the travel experience, so I’m going to tell you about them. The gentleman who introduced all of us was in Hong Kong on business. He owned a company which sold what I call knick knacks (ceramics and other items), and he was here to check the order from the factory making these things for him.
The other woman at the table besides us was a retired school teacher who had been traveling for two years. She and her husband had always dreamed of traveling when they retired, but unfortunately he died before they could full-fill their dream. She had decided to do it for both of them. She’d traveled all over Europe, the Mediterranean, and was going on to China from Hong Kong. She’d kept in contact with her children and even met them from time to time in her journeys, but she was starting to get homesick so she was going home after Singapore and Japan. She had wonderful stories to tell of her travels. I thought she was a brave woman to travel by herself for so long.
Another person at our table was a blind professor who was on sabbatical for a couple of years. He’d just spent time out in the desert camping. He told the story about one night there had been something in his tent with him. He could hear it slithering around bumping into things. He’d been told about these huge snakes that would sometimes crawl into a tent at night. The poor man lying on his cot didn’t dare move for fear whatever it was would find him, so he laid there all night listening to the movements. The next morning it grew quiet, and he carefully got out of bed. Can you imagine how fearful you would be if you couldn’t see and didn’t know for sure if the thing was gone? Not only that, he was going to be teaching at a University in a desert (can’t remember which one) for six months.
We did a lot of sightseeing in Hong Kong but my memory has dimmed some, so I’ll just give you the highlights. We took a tour to the other end of the island where we could see the tip of China, the stretch of water between them, and a portion of the great wall. We walked in the old portion of Hong Kong where the people sell food, clothing, etc. The buildings had clothes and other things hanging on their balconies to dry. We went to the harbor in Kowloon where you could see luxury boats and little fishing boats side by side. Even on the little boats where people lived you could see TV antennas. Their roads were more modern than ours at that time. The whole island was a fascinating mixture of smells and sights, and old and new.
The last night in Hong Kong was a bit somber because we had to say good-by to our new friends. We exchanged addresses and promised to write to one another (we did for a bit), but I told them that my mother and I were on standby, so there was a possibility we might be back to try to get our room back. Lol We had no idea that we would be back three more days to stay at the hotel and visit with our new friends.
Each day we went to the airport to see it filled with standby passengers. On the third day, I ran into a friend of a friend who worked at TWA, too. We were talking, and she said her husband and she had decided to buy 50% tickets to Hawaii so they could make the next flight. I told her I was starting to worry about money, and she gave me $300.00 and told me I could pay her back when we got home. (Perkie, that was your friend, Pat.)
Back at the hotel we met our friends for the last time because the next day we were able to make our flight due to a big group in first class deciding to stay in Hong Kong for a few more days. Yep, we got to travel first from Hong Kong to Guam and on to Hawaii because when we got to Guam, the airline wouldn’t even open the doors. They just filled up with fuel, took on more food, drinks and took off.
We were still in first class and we became the party class. Lol We ate and drank like kings and queens to Hawaii. My mom and I were seated together, and across the aisle was a guy who was a banker in Los Angeles, and he was so funny that he had us roaring the whole trip. When we reached Honolulu we had to go through customs, and that’s where the funny guy got into trouble. Lol He made a joke about drugs, and customs whisked him off to a room by himself where they searched his bags and his body. Poor guy, I’m sure he learned a lesson then, but it still didn’t dampen his spirits. Once, we were free of customs and back in the air again he was fine.
I will add here that my mom and I weren’t in first class again. The funny man wasn’t either because even though he was paying full fare it wasn’t for first class. We all made it to Los Angeles, and my mother and I caught a flight to Kansas City. That was a twenty-four trip straight through from Hong Kong to Kansas City counting the layovers.
We were so glad to get home, but it was an adventure I will never forget. I have a lot more adventures to tell you about, but I’ve already bored you enough this week. You’ll get to hear more next week, I promise. Lol
Have a great day.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Many of you who have visited my website, http://www.skaymarshall.com and read my bio know that I worked and retired from Trans World Airlines after 36 years. A while back, I had a friend ask me to blog about non-revenue travel. So that’s what I’m going to do today. Turp said everyone thinks airline employees have it so good because they get to travel free, but someone needs to tell them that there are a lot of problems for non-revs when they fly.
Turp is right there are difficulties to flying stand-by even for those who have paid full fare but missed their flight, and then are placed on a waiting list for the next flight. If that flight is full they could end up waiting for the next one or the next one.
Standby is not the same as non-revenue travel so don’t get confused here. Standby is usually a paying passenger who didn’t show up on time for his flight, and he’s not allowed to bump other paying passengers off their flight so he can get a seat. All non-revs are subject to being bumped by anyone even by other non-revenue travelers.
When I worked for TWA, we were allowed to board a flight by seniority. Some airlines use the first come first serve method for allowing non-revs on a flight. No matter what method is used, we are the last to board, and if the plane is full we are left sitting at the airport for the next flight.
Some airlines have agreements between one another where they honor tickets from other carriers. These tickets are discounted by 50%, 75%, or 90%, and all of those people would get on the flight before a TWA non-rev. Also, military always go before non-rev flyers and sometimes even before paying passengers depending on the situation.
Another thing, I must remind you of is that airline personnel have the same expenses at the other end of the flight as any paying passenger. Like everyone else, we have to save for our trips.
The longest I’ve ever had to wait for a flight is three days, but that’s another story, and I’ll tell you about it next week when I talk about my travel experiences while working at TWA.
One other thing I want to add is that I haven't heard from my contest winner, RobynL, and I need her address to send her prize.
Next Sunday, I’ll return with my adventures as a non-rev. Have a great week.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
As I look out my office window watching the snow fall, I can't help but wonder what the new year will bring. Will our economy get better, will the health care be changed for the better, will we be safer; all of these questions enter my mind and more.
The new year brings new hope, and we all look forward to something better in 2010. Some of you can remember the tough times of the fifties, the sixties, the seventies, and every generation thinks their decade was the hardest to get through. My parents grew up in the twenties, thirties, and the forties. All of these decades were difficult.
The last decade is no worse than any other. Every generation thinks theirs was not as good as the one before them. This is not true. Each group has its' problems to face, and each one of us can survive them if we just realize that all we have to do is keep going. It may not be easy, but it does get easier at times. Never despair so much that you lose hope.
That's enough philosophizing for now. Those of you who have been reading my blog every week know that I posted two questions on November 9, 2009 for a contest to start December 1st. I'm posting the questions with the answers below.
1. Give description of young woman at the Regional Laboratory.
Answer: Inside the regional laboratory, a young woman with hair parted in the middle and black ponytails at either side of her head greeted them. Andy handed the note back to the Goth-looking young woman with black lipstick and fingernails.
2. What did the tautness of Jake's arms tell Jolene?
Answer: He didn't buy what he was selling either.
Although many of you got part of the answer right on the first question. It was obvious only one person read the entire excerpt and got the correct answer. Wink! RobynL, you're the winner. lol I need your snail address again. Yep, that's right folks, this is the second win for Robyn L. She won the contest at my interview with Books by Pickles. RobynL, I hope you'll be as please with this gift as you were with the last one.
For the second contest that started on December 6, 2009, which was to be given to the commenter who came by the most frequently, I have a three-way tie. lol The winners are Elle, Amy M. and Robyn L., and all I'll need is email addresses. For those of you who have already bought Addiction, please let me know so I can send you something else.
May there be peace and prosperity in 2010. Hang in there folks.