Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HAVE YOU HEARD ?!?!?!


Source: MSNBC Media
Not sure if you've heard of Tom Stuker, but this man is my new inspiration! Tom just flew his 10 millionth mile on United Airlines...he joined United's Mileage Plus program in 1982 and has since traveled to Australia 200 times, made 30 trips to Asia and has seen every state. What I love most about this story is that Tom had a raging fear of flying. Oh, and guess what his pre-flight/pre-jitters drink of choice was---->Bacardi 151 and diet coke *a man after my own heart*. When asked about tips on getting over the fear he recommends you keep yourself occupied - distracting yourself with conversation (that would be me) or if you're flying solo, make use of an iPad or Kindle.Tom is also a huge advocate of mileage deals (obvi)...look out for anything that gives you miles: hotels, car rentals and credit cards (hell, if you're spending anyway, might as well rack up some miles). Perks of being the first to hit 10 million miles on United include:

- Titanium Mileage card
-Access and premium treatment at United and Star Alliance lounges
- Service that includes holding planes for him if he's running late
-A special phone number for United  flight booking and customer service
-A party at O'Hare International with news media and United senior management
-Boeing 747 named in his honor

Clearly I need to step my game up if I ever want to see TheGlamtrak on the side of a Boeing ;-)

Friday, July 15, 2011

JULY TRAVELS...



Oy vey peeps...it's been sooo long, right?! Trust me when I say I've been heavy on theglamtrak! For starters, I took my first road trip to Tampa for a family reunion over the 4th of July weekend. Fun times, although I have YET to see Tampa. As in no Busch Gardens...no Skyway Bridge...nada, but all is good because it's always great to see family and enjoy yummy food.







Jamaica: Well thank GOD Tampa was a laid back trip because Jamaica was NOT! I jam packed sooo much fun into 72 hours! The initial purpose of travel was for my best friend Ramona's mom's wedding (did you catch that), but clearly I turned this trip into an event. My god sister Tash (you may remember her from the Trinidad post) synced her vacation up with mine so clearly it turned into a party. After 2 heinous flights to Jamaica (remember, there is no such things as a good flight to me) I finally landed in Kingston around 130p, but only to spend TWO hours in immigration....I mean we were soooo on Jamaica time and these immigration agents obviously didn't care that I had plans to tend to...

Now, if I haven't mentioned before...I DO NOT CHECK LUGGAGE! I mean like I don't care where I'm going if it can't fit into a Pullman and travel duffel it stays at home and I always pack more than needed. * stay tuned for the pack efficiently post* So you can imagine how pissed I was when American Airlines snatched my Pullman as I was boarding due to no overhead space. When I got out of immigration to collect my bag, panic struck because I couldn't find my bag...oh and of course I was rolling with a black non descript Pullman, which I forgot to put a name tag on...oh, right, because I didn't plan on checking it! Meanwhile, my cousin is waiting for me outside bbming me on the status and trying to calm me down before I go ape shit on airport personnel. Low and behold, I glimpsed my bag peaking out of a corner...I asked no questions, snatched it and ran towards the exit.

In true form my pick up chariot awaits, my cousin Neisha is always there to scoop me as I exit customs, my vacation has begun! Per my ritual, first stop includes the cambio to change money at 85 JMD to 1 USD I'm ready to make it rain. Next up, it's time for an authentic beef patty, kola champagne and cupcake from Sugar & Spice to take the edge off the earlier alcohol consumptions (who flies without a drink or 3?). A quick stop to let my Aunty know that I landed safely, a meet up with Tash and then we're off to the famous Hellshire Beach. Now, personally I would never dip my big toe in the waters of Hellshire...it's just not that kind of beach, but the food stalls, or kitchens rather, produces some of the BEST food. Fried fish, steamed fish, festival, garlic buttered lobster tails, yummo don't worry if you a little sand gets in your fish it makes it all the better ;-) Next stop..my permanent Kingston residence in the cool Red Hills overlooking all of the city. After a quick nap and change of clothes we attempted a night out at Fiction, which was more like lounging for me because sleep was calling my name! If you're ever in Kingston, make sure you check out Fiction! It's a cute little loungy club, good cheap drinks and the music is always on point ;-)


Saturday was the day of la boda (wedding...for those of you that took French). Ramona's mom looked gorgeous and the wedding was great! Congrats again Aunty Verna and Uncle Dennis! Later that night, Neisha, Tash and I opted for a low key or what we thought was going to be a low key night over at a friend's house for drinks and food. Well, we were met with shots of Patron XO Cafe (last count was 3), rum and cokes, Johnny Walker DOUBLE Black (as if the black wasn't smooth enough) and a spread of food fit for a king: jerk chicken, jerk pork, fish...you get it. The night ended with me 3.2 sheets to the wind ;-)



They don't call it Sunday Funday for no reason! Sunday was all about my pre-bday shin dig on the beaches of Ocho Rios. I took the trek with my cousins and Tash. "Ochi" as we call it, is a good 90 minute ride from Kingston, which could feel like an eternity with all the winding roads, but the road trip went by super fast with the "name that song" game (thanks Sami) and Tash's "omg I feel car sick moments". We got to Ochi and quickly procured TONS of food for the beach lime (clearly we rolled with our own drinks). Shortly after, the rest of my crew arrived: Ramona, Ryan and Jodi! With Ramona fresh off a study abroad trip to Brasil, it should come as no surprise that she had Cachaca on deck (actually two bottles-one for me to take home wooohooo) she also had 3lbs of sugar, a bag of limes and a raging pestle to make sure the mix was just right! GOD I love that girl ;-) I was as happy as a pig in shit..and just when I thought the day couldn't get any better...I make a quick trip to the bathroom, come back and there stands my friends in a semi circle with a freaking cake box. Neisha did the honors and unveiled the most fabulous cake donned with my logo! It took everything for me to not start the ugly Oprah cry. You have no idea how hard it is to surprise me. Shout out to everyone that was in on the surprise and especially Neisha who always knows how to make a girl feel special. The ride home...I barely remember because like a kid that played all day I was knocked out!











Tash and I were airport bound Monday morning dreading the long day ahead of us...I was anxious the whole time remembering the last time I flew out of Kingston on Air Jamaica...ok ok, quick story: last time I flew Air J I got to the airport 2 hours before departure only to be told that my seat was reassigned, apparently it's first come first serve and then I was told I could try for a flight the next day. So you can understand why I was freaking out. We waited in line for 45 minutes (across from Beenie Man...random,right?) before we checked in. Our flight was called for boarding at the scheduled departure time...(with Air Jamaica's track record) obviously this couldn't be good. After my random search at the gate and protecting my bday cake (of course it was in tow) we sat on the plane for 90 minutes waiting for the rest of the passengers to board the flight...when have you EVER waited for people to catch a flight...grrrr. We ended up taking off when our flight should have landed in Fort Lauderdale. I winced and held Tash's hand through most of the flight...hey, did I mention we were on a random leased plane called Miami Air...I had all rights to be scared. We get to "Forty" late as hell and wait another eternity for our bags to drop. Oh and to make matters worst, by this time we've already missed our connecting flight to Atlanta ;-( After scooping our bags we packed our duty free liquor (most important) and ran over to Delta, it was confirmed that we had missed our flights and were now on standby for the last flight of the night, which happened to be full. Greatttttt...clearly it was time to make the "can I crash at your place" calls. Luckily for us, we made the flight and after a full 12 hours of traveling we were back in Atlanta...home sweet home! Siiighhhhhh...talk about a whirlwind weekend, minus the traveling antics, I wouldn't change a thing about it. Bob Marley..you were right " Come to Jamaica and feel alright". My bday kick off week, one word #success

 
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