Hooked on Phoenix

Here goes nothing, here goes everything!
Hello readers! I am so honored by the overwhelming responses of support and encouragement as I start this new adventure in the wide blue yonder. In response to multiple requests, I have added an email subscription option to my site, so you can have my updates delivered directly to your inbox rather than checking the blog location for the latest post. It should be right at the top above the posts as a header, and you can enter your email in directly.  As they say, instant gratification takes too long. 🙂
Thanks so much again for your interest in my little exploits around the world!
As I’m typing this first part, I’m sitting on flight 1507 from Charlotte NC to Phoenix Arizona. The jet is an Airbus 321; a mighty behemoth of an aircraft, and it feels like a small city of people floating along at 32,500 feet. I felt a surge of pride when I saw the shiny fleet of  jets taxiing down the runway on my connecting flight. It feels like, for the first time in my life, I’m doing something truly ambitious and of my own choosing. One could argue that graduating college is ambitious, but at the same time, when I started my college career I didn’t really know what else to do with my life. It more or less happened because I didn’t know what else to do for the betterment of my life. Now, I’m forging my own path with the machete of my imagination.
The lady who was sitting next to me threw up into her purse when the plane took off, and so I have the pleasant scent of stomach acid looming in my nostrils as I sip my coffee and type. It would seem flying makes her nervous. I was clandestinely sorry for the flight attendants who had to help clean up the mess, and had an abrupt moment of truth about my future job. Still, I’m excited. Pushing myself out of Chattanooga and starting a career beyond what I had ever imagined for myself feels far more rewarding because it is a decision made entirely by my own volition.
Yesterday was a whirlwind of events, and trying to recall even 24 hours ago feels like holding a handful of water while trying not to let it all seep through my fingers. Darcy and I woke up to go to breakfast with some old friends of his/new friends of mine who wanted to catch up and see me off. This took the edge off the whole “last day in the Noog” effect, and it really humbled me how these kind people who barely know me were so eager to deepen our acquaintance. We talked about all the beautiful places to hike and explore in the Arizona area, and as a huge outdoor enthusiast I took note. I’m not sure at this point how much logistical freedom I’ll have outside of training, but if it’s at all possible I plan to do some exploring—even if its just around Phoenix itself.
Afterwards I went to the mall, where I picked out the perfect shade of red lipstick— a required part of my future uniform. In fact, reading the persnickety appearance requirements in the employee training packet is really amusing. Your makeup has to be just so, and your hair length and style also has to fall within very strict parameters. They only allow certain color hair ties and clips, and your clothing has to be approved every day at inspection. It really drives home the point that we, as representers of the airline, must demonstrate a carefully tailored image. Very glamorous, yet a little intimidating. As trainees, we may be asked to change our personal appearance down to the last detail or go home.
Later that evening, Darcy and my friends surprised me with a going away party. It wasn’t a complete surprise (I tend to catch on to hints and surreptitious glances between my friends when me leaving was mentioned in conversation) but I was utterly blown away by how many of my buddies showed up to send me off with gusto. We had a fun dinner, dancing and general merriment. A couple “posters” with well wishes, advice and random drawings came home with me, and they’re going to be proudly displayed in my hotel room for the duration of my stay! I love you guys!
3 airports and 2 time zones later….
After landing in Phoenix, I found my luggage and somehow managed to not get completely lost on my way to the hotel shuttle. The enduring impression I had of myself was having only a vague idea of where I was supposed to be, but acting like I was on top of it. I walked with purpose, and by that I mean busted  move all over that airport. Airports in Phoenix and Charlotte are not at all like airports in Tennessee. These are like small cities within themselves with luxury haberdashers, restaurants, massage parlors and even shoe shiners. My mind has been blown.
When I arrived at the hotel, we were informed by the general manager that the airline has provided for our every need during our stay. We get two free meals a day, and very comfortable accommodations.
The hotel shuttles will take us anywhere we need to go for shopping or tourism, and we are free to do as we please when we’re not in training. In addition, we get to keep the rewards points for staying over a month at this brand of hotels, which amounts to a free weekend anywhere in the continental US for the future. I plan to use this wisely.
Today is mainly for getting settled in and rested. I’m currently writing post cards to loved ones (watch your mail!) and will probably go down to the lobby to socialize. Or maybe I’ll just sleep the night away. A 6 hours flight really takes a lot out of you, and how my fellow classmates are talking about going on a Target run already boggles my mind. Right now the weather is beautiful, but slightly rainy and I’d rather reconnoiter the town with fresh energy. Tomorrow I start training and my new life as a flight attendant trainee officially begins. We’ll get pick out and get fitted for our uniforms, receive text books, and meet all our fellow classmates.
Anyway, I think I’ll end here for now, but keep your eyes open for new posts about training very soon. It looks like we have Sundays off every week, so that looks like the best time for updates.

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