Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Day at the Beach!

What a great life I lead, I know it's a tendency of airline pilots to complain a lot, as a matter of fact, that reminds me of a joke:

Q: What's the difference between a jet pilot and a jet engine?

A: A jet engine stops whining when it gets to the gate.

I just have a hard time complaining when not only do I enjoy my job immensely, but I get to travel for free, which obviously comes with the territory of being a pilot, but I still get a kick out of it.

This weekend I went to Miami, FL for a career fair. I had to go down a day early (because of flight schedules) and originally I was going to stay at a Holiday Inn Express by the airport but on the way down there I asked the flight attendant what the crew hotel was. She told me that there was a hotel called the Sherry Fronetnac in Miami Beach which is right on the water and limited to crew members only.

After I arrived in Miami, I called the Sherry Frontenac to see if I could stay that night and what the rates were. As it turns out, the rates were $40.00 LESS per night than the crappy hotel at the airport! So, I rented a car for $30.00 and came out $10.00 ahead.

The hotel was AWESOME!!!! I had an ocean view room and when I walked in to my room the blinds were pulled closed, I went over to open them and I realized how close we were to the beach! It was right on the beach, and when I say right on the beach I don't mean it was across the street from the beach, or the beach was a block away, it was literally on the beach. The moment you stepped out of the huge pool area, you were on the sand, and twenty feet later you were in the pond (pilot's term for the Atlantic Ocean).

In addition to being close to the ocean, the entire hotel is catered to flight crew members which means there's no kids running around, they have cleaning staff on all the time so when you need to check out at 6:00 PM, they can clean the room and check someone in at 8:00 PM to the same room (whereas at most hotels, they have to burn that room for the night because housekeeping has gone home already). They don't use powered vacuums, they use push vacuums so as not to disturb crew members who have just flown all night long. That along with a huge gym, salon/spa, pool tables, shuffleboard, etc., makes for a great hotel.

I didn't put on any sunscreen when I went out to lay by the pool, and thinking I was only going to be out there for 30 minutes or so, I didn't think it would be a problem. That was until, I dozed off laying on my stomach and now my back is a little crisp. Oh well, the joys of being "stuck" in Miami Beach.

After a laying at the pool and a cold shower, I had a great dinner at a bar down the street from the hotel followed by chatting with some other crew members at the hotel bar.

I got up the next morning, had a great breakfast and headed to the career fair. I saw who I needed to see and made my way home. All of this took place in just under 24 hours! Stay tuned for my next little adventure!

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