St. Louis today, A-List in 2018

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Once you go A-List, you never {want to} go back. I’ve enjoyed the Southwest Airlines A-List Fly By in security for the past few years, aisle seats, and drink tickets, I wasn’t going to let one ore flight stand between me and this sweet-ass deal for 2018. Now, being a bit cash-strapped myself at this point (job contract ended and it’s the holidays, and we just got married…) extravagance isn’t in the cards. Last year I took myself to LA, rented a car to go see the beach, and enjoyed high tea at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

This year, $55 got me to and from St. Louis, and a $7.50 MetroLink rail pass got me there I needed to go, plus 6.12 miles on foot – which does a body good. First, I found a fabulous restaurant that was entirely gluten-free called “New Day“. And for those who suffer from sensitivities or celiac disease, you feel me on this. No outsidefood at all, and everything is delicious and free of that nasty little bitch called gluten. Need me to get descriptive on my symptoms?! Let’s not, but ask if u need to know. So for the good stuff, I went big with an Italian sandwich and lemon cupcake. I let go of my fears, and dug into this beautiful, carby delight. I was not disappointed.

Next, back on the train to  head to see the St. Louis Gateway Arch. This monument symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States – thus encompasses many things I love: My country and exploration. I got there a bit late in the dayand started my tour about 4pm, rushing through the exhibits. I hightailed it to the line to ride the cable cars up I to the arch tram – which to me, resembled a Lady Gaga-esque egg compartment. Two word, Super Awesome. I still can’t figure put how the people who were in the compartment to my left, then ended up on the compartment on my right but whatever… I am not that kind of scientist. Never-the-less, the view near sunset were incredible.

To round out my day and not miss my flight home, I his a brewery recommended by a friend, and and Irish pub. The brewery was not GF, and as a fairy ute tic pub. They did have acceptable dining options.

I took the train back to the airport only to discover my flight was delayed. Oh well, make he most of it and work on my blog.  Other than holiday travel, I am happy to close this year out and spend some time at home.

They call me a Jet-Setter…

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The grass is always greener on the other side… Or so it may seem.

I travel A LOT. While most of the time it’s my choice, and lately it’s been more for pleasure than work, and it seems glamorous… It’s still exhausting. This post is coming to you from high over the skies on a flight from Phoenix to Kansas City. And this was a work trip, my last work trip. No, not last for now, my contact is up and it’s the last with this job anyway.

I appreciate the fun comments and people following my adventures because I make the most out of it all, work or not – I’m going to squeeze it out and maximize the time. I have been home about 10 days total since the end of October. I am tired.

  • October. Tampa to see family, friends, and my new hubby enjoyed some golf (more on that new development later).
  • November. We eloped on the beach in Key West and took about a week to adventure in the Keys and in Miami.
  • Then we came home for 1.5 days and headed off to Texas for Thanksgiving.
  • Then we came home and another 1.5 days later I left for El Paso to finish out my contract and say a proper goodbye to the Wild West.

Again, not a  complaint, but I am ready to crash and live in my house, with my husband, and our pets for the foreseeable future… Until the Chritmas travels begin. Super excited to unpack my toiletries, wash my clothes and camp out in sweats for a few days. I do have a on easy trip next week,but hey – a gal has to keep her A-List on Southwest. I’ve tasted the sweet life and can’t go back. One flight and $55 was all that stood between me and my status for 2018:)

Now, let’s back up a tick. I LOVE to travel and experience new cities and see what makes them unique. I want to eat their food, see their sites, and meet their people. This particular trip has been to shut down my project and walk away with a good relationship, dignity, and respect for the people I have serve on the past five years. I will always have love for UTEP, and for those I have worked with, but El Paso will always have a special place in my heart. So much of my life changed there – I met lifelong friends, earned a master’s degree, grew as a leader in my career, and while it would have been revealed to  me until many years after I moved out of the region, I met my future husband there. (Again, totally another story).

Over the past five years I have worked for UTEP, but in my unique role I worked in five states and traveled a lot. So a few years into my job I moved back to Florida to be closer to family. I traveled at a minimum of once a month, but visited as many of m sites as I cold during that time. And, after six months of long-distance dating my (now) husband, I moved to Kansas to be with him as I had this flexible job that didn’t need me in one particular physical location.

So that all brings me to today. Heading home after my last work trip – my contract ends in a few days and it’s time for the curtain call on our work over the past five years. It’s the nature of grant work, and I knew this would happen someday. no while I knew it would happen, and I knew I wanted to go out on a high note, I’m a sensitive soul and have never been good at drawing a line between work and personal life. I’m passionate about this project and never felt the need to get it out of my head. Anyway, I can’t help but be a little crestfallen – it’s the end of an era.

So on this last trip, my last travels to my beloved Wild West, I tried to take it all in. I hit some of my favorite restaurants.

Exercised at some of my favorite spots . And hugged a lot of really wonderful people that I know I’ll see again.

I am tired. I am thankful. And I am full of love for those I have been so fortunate to call co-workers and friends. Goodbye for now. Adios, El Paso.