Call me crazy, but those are all the airports I’ve visited in the past 10 days…a fair old bit of flying!
So I originally had 5 days of leave allocated at the beginning of April, but somehow I managed to get 4 days off before and 2 days after, leaving me with 11 days of leave! Joey and I had originally planned on going away for a few days but unfortunately he’s got a lot of work at the moment and couldn’t take any extra time off. So I decided to do what any sane person would do and fly halfway around the world to Albuquerque, New Mexico! Ok, there was a reason behind this…my sister has just moved there, so I thought I’d go and visit her and her boyfriend.
However once I’d decided where to go, I just needed to work out how to actually get there. Flying on standby is always a bit of a gamble, and all the direct flights to America from Dubai are pretty much fully booked every single day. So with a little help from my dad (who is a pilot with a different airline, so can also get staff travel), I flew Dubai – Hong Kong, and then Hong Kong – Los Angeles. From LA it was just a short hop over to Albuquerque.
Once I arrived at the airport Lizzie and Jarett came to pick me up and we headed on over to their apartment. Our first evening was spent catching up, eating and I soon fell asleep very quickly after around 30 hours of travelling!
The views over LAX and Albuquerque
I brought Lizzie and Jarett some chocolates from my trip to Osaka!
During the week Jarett had to go to work and uni, so we could only meet up with him at lunchtimes when he had a little bit of time to spare. Lizzie and I spent the days exploring Albuquerque, doing lots of eating and generally having a lovely time! One evening we bumped into one of Jarett’s friends and decided to go to dinner at a Mexican place called (I think) Zacotecas.
Skulls on the wall at the restaurant
One morning Lizzie and I cycled down to the Rio Grand. It was such a windy day, we honesty thought we were going to get blown off our bikes!The (not so) beautiful Rio Grand.
We stopped of at the Old Town and had a wander around.The most amazing chocolate and sweet shop ever! We couldn’t leave without getting some fudge.
The next evening we met up with Jarett’s sister and her partner and daughter and went to an Irish pub/restaurant for dinner. They did the most amazing fish and chips, almost as good as in England! Afterwards Lizzie, Jarett and I headed over to a rooftop bar (thankfully they had an indoor section as well, as it was pretty chilly outside!) for a drink.
On my last day, Lizzie and I took the train to Santa Fe, which is about an hour and a half from Albuquerque. The landscape is beautiful, lots of desert, mountains and quite a few horses along the way!
Stopping off for a salted caramel chocolate. So good!
The main square area of Santa Fe was pretty similar to the Old Town in Albuquerque, with lots of quirky shops and art galleries.
We spent the day wandering around, having some more Mexican food for lunch, and then hopped back on the train to Albuquerque. That evening the 3 of us cooked dinner (actually Lizzie and Jarett cooked, they refused to let me help) and had dinner with Jarett’s sister and her family. Before we knew it it was time to pack my suitcase again. A lovely 5am start the next morning and I was once again off to the airport.
Thankfully the standby gods were on my side, and I made all of my flights; I actually got the last seats on two of them!
Mum, Dad and Harry were waiting at the airport in Austria when I arrived and we headed home for a nice catch up. I was only home for 2 days but I managed to squeeze in some time with my friends as well.
Delicious coffee and cakes with my friends Iris and Claudio who were in Klagenfurt for the weekend.
We also had a stroll around the Easter Market and cuddled some of the fluffiest bunnies EVER! They were so soft!
The next day I met up with my lovely friend Simone who I hadn’t seen for a while and we sat outside in the sunshine catching up. Somehow I even managed to squeeze in a haircut! After my last experience I don’t trust the hairdressers in Dubai!
All too soon it was time to head back to reality and tomorrow I’ll be back to work again. It was a lovely break and it was so great that I managed to see all of my family even though we’re all in different parts of the world!
And now for some other exciting news….next week I’m moving apartments!!! FINALLY after nearly a year and a half of living out in the desert, practically in Sharjah, I’m moving in with my friend Kirsty onto Sheik Zayed Road! I’m super excited, as I finally feel like I’ll actually be living in Dubai now! I’d probably better start packing soon, as I have a feeling I’m going to have accumulated quite a bit of stuff….!
P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!