While most people packed their bags to head home for the holidays, I packed mine and reluctantly said goodbye to my beloved house and fiancé. Somebody has to work the flights so that everyone else can be home for their Christmas festivities!
It was December 22, and the airport was chaotic. People and suitcases were crammed into every corner. Our flights were not surprisingly completely full. Day one sent me to Fort McMurray, back to Calgary, and then on to Vancouver. I got a short night's sleep before waking up to what was set to be the biggest day that my airline had ever experienced in terms of passenger volume. It was the busiest day of the year, and we were off to one of the busiest airports in the world... LAX. We landed in our little 737 as I stared longingly out the windows while we taxied past a total of 3 A30s. As much as I love my job, I can't help but to miss my big, beautiful, former office. We loaded some more passengers and returned back home. I was lucky enough to have a short layover in Edmonton, so while the rest of the crew went to the hotel, Ryan picked me up and took me home!
Christmas Eve began at 3:30 am for me. We flew to Vegas, on a flight full of families. Apparently Vegas is more of a kids destination than I was led to believe! With 2 hours on ground, we wandered the airport aimlessly, picking up a much needed extra-espresso Starbucks drink for the ride home. Back to Canada we went... on to Kelowna! I checked in to my hotel to find a chocolate Santa on the bed, courtesy of the hotel. I'd been so busy with work that it hadn't really dawned on me that it was almost Christmas! I was lucky enough not to have to spend the evening alone. My mom's friend Michelle, who has known me since the day I was born picked me up and took me to her house for an evening of food and fun. I had to call it a night quite early, as I had another disgusting wake up time the next morning.
When I woke up, it was Christmas! I snacked on my chocolate for breakfast, feeling as though working Christmas day exempted me from eating anything healthy. On the plane, my crew and I exchanged cards, chocolates, and small gifts... they were perhaps the greatest crew I've worked with to date. Just a short flight to Calgary, and we were done! There were hugs all around as we wished each other a Merry Christmas and headed to our homes! I felt so fortunate to have the chance to finally spend a Christmas with my family! An hour and a half later, I was at my mom's house! I spent the day with my mom, brothers, puppies, and later on in the evening we were joined by Ryan. It was a quiet day full of overeating, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I was surrounded by my family for Christmas!
On Boxing Day, I joined the shopping fanatics in waking up early... only I was headed back to the airport while they rushed out to score bargains. I'd never seen the airport so busy. Both of the parkades were full, and after 5 minutes of driving in circles I finally found a spot to park in the overweight vehicle lot. It was absolute madness, and I could only imagine the type of day I had in store. As it was a new pairing, I had a new set of crew. I wasn't ready to move on from the amazing ones I'd flown with the past 4 days, but I had no choice. After another day of flying I landed for another layover in Edmonton. Ryan and I met up with his family to exchange gifts a day late. I had to get to bed early yet again, so unfortunately there wasn't a lot of time to visit.
Finally, I'd reached day 6. After today, I'd be done flying until 2012! With 5 flights, each completely full, it was one heck of a long day filled with a decent amount of drama and delays. Eventually, we landed in Calgary and that was it. I'd survived the incredibly long 6 day stretch, and it was finally time to go home for real... not just on a layover!
I hit the highway and made the 3 hour journey back to Edmonton. It was so good to be home.
My Christmas gift from the lovely masses of passengers was a sniffly, sneezy cold to take home with me. I shared my sniffles with Ryan, because I'm just that kind.
It may have been busy (okay, absolutely crazy) but this Christmas season really wasn't so bad!