The last time I was in San Francisco was over 2 years ago, and I have to admit I didn’t get up to much on that layover! This time I was ready to explore this beautiful city once more, and happily found another English girl to spend the day with.

With such a big time difference from Dubai (12 hours!) we were up bright and early and ready to head out. Unfortunately our crew hotel is right by the airport, which means it’s a bit of a journey to get to the city. 

View Post

In January I was finally rostered a new destination – Houston!

Since I’ve upgraded to working in business class I’ve been solely on the A380, and with only around 30 destinations it’s easy to get rostered the same places each month. Houston only switched over to the 380 at the beginning of December so I was excited to be going somewhere new!

The flight is I believe the longest we have (along with Dallas) and clocks in at over 16 hours! That’s a very long time to be on a plane – not counting the hour or so before that we’re preparing everything onboard!

IMG_9370

On most US flights the route takes us over the North Pole, and the view is always incredible. I’ll never get sick of seeing beautiful snowy peaks and sunrises and sunsets.

The flight itself was a tough one. A full cabin with lots of demanding passengers, wanting to eat everything and anything we had onboard, meant that we didn’t stop for the entire time. We do get a break in our CRC (crew rest compartment; tiny bunk beds enclosed in a tight space in the back of the economy cabin) but what with babies crying, people talking loudly and toilets flushing constantly, it’s hard to get much rest even with earplugs and eyeshades!

I always wonder just how many steps I walk on these never-ending US flights!

We landed into IAH late afternoon, and even after being awake for hours and hours, most of us managed to make it down for dinner. Luckily we didn’t have to walk too far and although it was Saturday night I was far too exhausted to stay for more than one glass of wine!

The next morning we had arranged to meet bright and early to explore NASA, which is located not too far from our hotel. By the time everyone showed up we’d been hanging around for nearly 2 hours and at a total of 10 people, were 6 more than originally planned! Nevertheless, we booked 2 big hire cars and off we went.

IMG_9386

View Post

My very first work trip to America took me all the way across America to Seattle! After a very long and  very bumpy flight (14 hours to be precise) we finally landed and made our way to the hotel. Since it was the first time going for quite a few of the crew, we made plans to meet for dinner an hour or so later, and spend the whole of the next day sightseeing and exploring.

For dinner 8 of us met up and walked down the steep hills (and when I say steep, I mean really really steep!) towards the waterfront. One of the girls didn’t realise how hilly Seattle is and only brought heels with her….we ended up pretty much carrying her the whole way! Once we were down by the water we decided on a restaurant called The Crab Pot. The queues outside were huge, but for some reason they managed to squeeze us in straight away! 

ImageImageImage

4 people ordered this mixture of prawns, mussels, clams, corn on the cob, potatoes (who knows what else was in there!) and they bring it in a huge bucket and dump it on the table! 

After dinner we were all feeling pretty exhausted so walked back (uphill!) to the hotel. Once I was in bed however, jet lag hit and I lay awake for hours! The next morning we had agreed to meet around 9 to make the most of the day. 5 of us girls headed out and our first stop was a little cafe not far from the hotel called Cafe Abodegas. One of the girls had heard some good reviews about it and suggested we go there for breakfast. It was an excellent choice! Delicious coffee, and lots of real bacon!

Image

After breakfast we decided to walk around the city. It was the first time for all of us so we just strolled around to see where we would end up. We may have popped into a shop or two on the way …. 😉

ImageImage

Walking towards the water we went to visit one of Seattle’s famous landmarks, Pike Place Market. Every other stall was filled with beautiful bunches of fresh flowers, or piled high with fruits and veggies. I wish there was something like this in Dubai! I wanted to buy some bunches of flowers (they were all so cheap – 5 or 10 dollars for huge bouquets!) but I’m not sure how well they would have lasted on the flight home 🙁

ImageImageImage

The market also has a downstairs area, which we had a good explore of. It was full of quirky little shops selling the most random things ever!

Image

We came out of the market from one of the downstairs entrances, and happened to spot a sign for the Gum Wall. So of course we had to go and check it out, and it really is as disgusting as it sounds!

ImageImage

A whole wall covered in multi-coloured pieces of chewing gum! You can even smell it before you see it!

ImageImage

After a quick detour to everybody’s favourite American shop, Target, we headed down towards the very first Starbucks. We had a quick browse inside but there are no seats/tables and it was extremely busy, so we carried on walking to find somewhere to have lunch.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Trees! Autumn leaves! So exciting!

Image

We decided on the top level of this area next to the ferris wheel and had a yummy lunch overlooking the water. The weather was so lovely, I was expecting it to be rainy and windy all the time, but it was nice and sunny and just a little bit cold!

After lunch we decided to go and see the space needle. 3 of the girls decided they were feeling a bit tired so they walked back to the hotel to catch up on some sleep. However I was not finished exploring! We got the monorail to the Space Needle, paid the entrance fee and took the lift up to the top. The view was incredible. We got there just as the sun was starting to go down, and the sky was constantly changing colour as we walked around the observatory.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Afterwards we got the monorail back into the city centre and popped into Macy’s for a little browse. My bank card was not thanking me after the “browse” turned into a “buy”! By this time we were both feeling pretty worn out so walked back to the hotel. While we were checking in the day before the concierge had told us about some dinner thing going on where lots of restaurants were offering a 3 course meal for just 25 dollars, and we had originally made plans to go and eat dinner somewhere, but we ended up all falling asleep really early and not leaving the hotel!

The next morning our wake up call wasn’t until lunchtime, so I decided to go and have a typical breakfast somewhere. After much consideration I decided upon the most American place I could find, IHOP! The hotel had actually given us a list of 24 hr restaurants (they must realise how jetlagged we get coming from all the way from Dubai!) and IHOP was on there, with directions. I double checked on google maps and it was a straight walk down the road in the opposite direction to where we had been the day before. After a quick stop at Rite-Aid (can never resist all that American make-up for half the price of what it costs in Dubai!) I was there! I have to admit I was holding on to my handbag quite tight, as the area did seem to be very dodgy! Never mind, pancakes were calling! I ordered the most enormous breakfast ever; I’m sure it had thousands of calories but I couldn’t even manage half! 

ImageImage

All too soon it was time to go back to the hotel, put on the uniform and the red lipstick and get ready for another 14 hour flight. Luckily it wasn’t as turbulent as the flight coming, and with a nice little break in our crew rest compartment before we knew it we were back in Dubai. 

Seattle, thanks for having me, and I will be back ASAP!

 

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!