Sunday, July 25, 2010

Standby Flying-Pros and Cons

You ever flown Standby? You've heard the various ups and downs, I'm sure but I thought I'd add ours.

My hubby, Mr. Man, is an aviation mechanic and we fly for FREE, but on Standby Mode. It's better when we travel with him, but just slightly. Often enough, we have no problem getting to and fro, but there are days, especially during peak travel season...

Downside: : -(

From SALT LAKE, Ut TO PHOENIX, AZ we left super early. No problem, got our boarding passes and made it on the plane.

PHOENIX, AZ TO DALLAS, TX- No such luck. Everything was full-up the whole day! Nothing we can do but grab a hotel nearby. Money we didn't account for. No luggage meant no clothes!

PHOENIX TO EL PASO, TX (the next day)- No problem, got on the first flight out to El Paso. Arrived at 11:30AM

EL PASO TO DALLAS- Flights full until 7:25PM. Had to face possible split-up cause hubby had to work that night. More money spent. Hubby late for work.

Upside: :-D

After getting a room in the nearby Double Tree hotel, I was impressed with their courtyard and see-through elevators that can take in the great views, per floor!
This is the other great view outside of the hotel. We'd definitely like to come back!
Nearby, inside the Chinese Cultural Center within walking distance, we found a great restaurant.
Inside was a huge fish pond surrounded by a turtle enclosure. Beautiful!
We thoroughly enjoyed their selection of Dim Sum and Lunch Menu.
Though we didn't have any luggage, that didn't stop us from enjoying the hotel pool, so we hopped on the light rail and went to the nearby mall for some swimsuits! When we arrived, we walked to the mall that was a few blocks over. Then of course, we walked back to the light rail station.
Here's some of the great buildings we passed by in downtown Phoenix. Great architectural style!
Here we are walking from the mall...
We took this photo-op, while waiting for the return light rail, since it was a rare event.
We found this great fountain/waterfall feature in the middle of Arizona Center. They didn't have much store selection, but the atmosphere was just amazing!Arizona summers are hot, so before any swimsuit hunting, we stopped at Cold Stone for cups of ice cream. I had a Blueberry ice cream with roasted almonds topping! Delish!We met our friend Michelle at the hotel after we got back and she swam with us. Then off to dinner! Her and L-Infinity both had sandwiches, while the others had their own picks. I was good- fish, rice and veggies!We were full but very tired. Can't you tell? Here we are using the hotel computer to list us for the next day's flights.I took advantage of another great spot in the hotel, their main courtyard, for another photo-op with Mr. Man. Michelle snapped a great one! I love how we both had a great smile on despite our fatigue.
We took in the awesome night views the hotel offered. Like this one of their other courtyard.
This was at 8PM, isn't that a wonderful contrast? I just had to take a picture! Mr. Man made sure that it came out right, so he took the shot!
We decided to take a peek at the top floor and see the sights. We saw the airport and planes taking off. Before we came back down, I couldn't pass up a photo-op with my kiddos. L-Infinity was too tired to go up to the top veranda with us. J-Pony and I-Dude, I think, were just happy to lean on someone. They were soooo tired! Didn't bother me, I'll take what I can get!
And I made sure that Mr. Man and I took another great picture together!

The next day, in El Paso airport, we managed to find some comfy seating to pass the time.
The airport definitely played up the southwestern culture of the area.From the window of our comfy spot, we proved that the state of Texas is not entirely FLAT! El Paso shows off some beautiful mountain ranges.
Here we are finally boarding our plane to Dallas! Woohoo! It was a long day...We were so glad, tired and relieved when we finally were reunited with all of our luggage back in Dallas Love Field. It meant we were only a few minutes away from home!

What did we learn? With Standby flying, it is better when you are prepared for "come what may" situations. We made the best out of our situation, and came out having a great set of memories to relive.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Tomorrow, I will post with pictures, but for now, I just want to share how happy we are to be away from airport food, germs and crowds!

We are home! Back home where we can relax and think about what matters. Flying Standby is difficult during summer time!

But I can certainly say that we made the best of our situation.

Honey, I love you with all of my heart for having a career where we are free to experience all the airports we can. Thank you so much!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mid-Week Utah Romp

It started with an innocent text from our Utah cousin T-Giggles about visiting each other. Next thing we know, we were planning our standby trips to Utah and Texas every TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY for three weeks.

First, on Tuesday at 10AM, we hopped on a plane to SLC and we dropped off I-Dude and J-Pony to see the family and spend a week there. We, Mr. Man, L-Infinity and me turned around and went home very early Wednesday-left at 4:45AM!

While there, I & J spent time with family and going to my sis-in law's husband's family farm picking fruit and all kinds of fun things. They also went swimming, but got sunburned since they didn't put on enough sunscreen. Oh yeah, they also played a lot! Since my SIL K has a new baby boy, 4-mo old Gorgeous G; we all enjoyed his perfect company for at least half a day.
(Now tell me, if that's not a genuine smile of awe over someone divine and perfect... Ok, I was having my baby fix! LOL) Thanks, K and G!

I got to hold, change and help him sleep while my SIL and her hubby got to do some errands. T's other brother, Cool C, only 3, was so shy that I'll take a pic of his cute self the next time we're up there.

Then, the next Tuesday, again at 10AM, we went up to Utah again to pick up the kiddos including our cousin T-Giggles. We also celebrated her dad's birthday with some expertly tossed home made pizzas and German Chocolate Cake. My SIL is so talented! She tossed that pizza dough and put together some great toppings. No cardboard tasting pizza that night! I'll have to learn that tossing business, even just for entertainment purposes. He, he...

Hauling 4 kids of varying ages is its own challenge, but their excitement got us going in time though again on a Wednesday @ 4:45AM. Here we are waiting for our security documents at the Salt Lake Int'l airport. (L- R: L-Infinity, T-Giggles, I-Dude and J-Pony)
We got boarding passes pretty quickly so T was glad to be on board. Our flight was at 6:30AM.
Finally, after so many hours and three airports, we were back home! I was more excited to prove that T-Giggles was actually with us! It's been so long since the last time we got to spend quality time with her.
After resting a bit, we ate at our new fave Asian haunt called, Asian Bowl. So authentic, that their chow mein is the original veggie stirfry with white sauce, NO noodles! So cool!

T-Giggles is fairly picky, but she loved the Lo-Mein noodle dish and really enjoyed what we got. Here's the true Chow Mein below. Wow! It was soooo good!

On Thursday, we vegged out most of the day and did some Walmart shopping for insect zapper. But we can't seem to find the one we found last time! Oh well...

Of course, since it was hot, we had to make sure T got to experience what the northern Texans are into right now-frozen yogurt with all the toppings! We normally go to the Asian one called Yogurtland, but we wanted something different so we went to Yogurtville! I love their Belgian Chocolate!

Then on Friday, we took everyone to lunch at the Southwest Airlines HQ called, The Landing Cafe on the top floor.
Look at that vision of awe... Only Mr. Man and I have been there, so it was a real treat for the kiddos. Then it was off to grab lunch, it was a buffet for all tastes-it was funny to see the kids gravitate towards their favorites. Pizza and dessert!
That whole window wall looks out to the airstrip so the kids got to see planes take off and land, even a helicopter flew over!

Then we toured a bit and found this Hall of Shirts. We all had a great time taking pictures of this giant one.
J-Pony was short on attention, so she was trying really hard to look miserable. It didn't work though. :-)

On the way back, J-Pony realized she left her purse in the restaurant so Mr. Man and I took them home then we went back to retrieve it. It was found and we got a call so it was a quick trip back to and from Dallas. We took a detour for some Sears tool shopping then we picked up the kids for some Dollar Tree treat each while Mr. Man shopped for more tools at Harbor Freight next door.

Saturday evening was Interskate time! We all rented, but only they managed to enjoy some skate time as I could not even stay upright without holding on to anything! :-D

There's Mr. Man and T-Giggles off to try the rink.

Look at I-Dude going all by himself! It was his first time on real skates! He kept trying and trying. I was all smiles!
T-Giggles while resting from her skating fun...
And here's J-Pony going on those in-line skates! This would be her 1st time also after a practice field trip a few months ago before school got out! Oh what I would give to be able to be able to do that! (The first and last time I skated was back in San Jose, CA when I was 16. My cousin took me but couldn't stay with me the whole time since she wanted to skate, too. So I ended up falling several times on my own even while holding on. Eventually, a nice guy (who turned out to be an Army Weapons Specialist, over 20) ended up helping me go around a few times. The price for a bit of skating fun tutorial? My phone number, of course! He was the cutest guy there, even my cousin was jealous that he helped me instead. So flattered!) :-)
Here's I-Dude with L-Infinity; they both are novices, but are holding their own just fine on the baby rink. Mr. Man even took I-Dude to the main rink while L-Infinity tried her luck there as well. No one fell on the main rink! Yay!
Posing with their skates...
After about an hour, you know it was time to go when sweat was pouring down and an ambulance crew is in the middle of the rink. A lady fell and broke her ankle. I hope she's alright. It took a while to get her loaded on the gurney because no one could move her without her screaming from sheer agony!

(T-Giggles with Mr. Man after our church class)

Today, since it's Sabbath, it was just like always... Church, nap, some TV time and Breakfast for Dinner! I was a short order cook! It was fun but hot!

This Tuesday, we again will pack our bags and head back to Utah to bring Taryn home and be with my in-laws, until Thursday!

( The kiddos At Chili's Too at PHX Sky Harbor)
Til next time!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What a Wonderful Week...

... this has been! We got so much done and had tons of FUN, too!

As many of you know, we are busy:

Maintaining the exterior: foundation soaking, lawn trimming and watering plants. Mr. Man and I cleaned up the cuttings last Monday night. What a great alone time together though the buggies thought our legs were yummy... :-(

Organizing and decorating... (using Feng Shui of course)- still a work in progress as you can see. This past Monday, the kiddos and I tackled the Living room and waited out the thunderstorm by candlelights... I'm between finishing up the Family and Master Bed ROOMS, so here you go... Can't wait to put up some curtains to soften up this room! The color, still being decided on.

We changed our backdoor cover shade from green to red as this is our SOUTH-facing door (Fame and Recognition/Fire/Red wall)

Since it rained yesterday, we also baked some... (and opened all the windows to enjoy the cool, wet air- very nice to relax and do Sudoku by...)
I-Dude is concentrating- he wanted all that flour to be sifted just right. ;-)
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies! (My own recipe! Really yummy! Isn't that batter just delish?) L had an impromptu "scavenger hunt/movie" fun with her church friends so these were one of their movie snacks. They loved 'em!

Today, we watched the whole Book 3 of the Avatar series, J-Pony made lunch (the other two helped), we walked to and from the park and since we got caught in the rain, we decided to play for a little while longer!
L-Infinity took the picture but she was with us when the rain, lots of it, came. It was a great moment to share with my kids, as I used to look forward to those Manila rainstorms so I can play, just like we did today! (Mr. Man barely woke up and he was peeking from our Master bay window! lol

I wonder what next week will bring! I can't wait See ya then!