She talked for 5 hours straight

Somehow every time I come back from a trip I have annoying airplane stories. For my flights to/from Maui I think the worst was the woman sitting directly behind us on our way to Maui who literally (I am not exaggerating in the least) talked for the entire flight. How the poor woman sitting next to her made it through the flight I will never know. Chris kept offering me his noise canceling headphones but I do not think I should have to block it all out. Rather I think that individuals need to have more self-awareness! Especially when you have a high-pitched voice.

I did tell Chris that he can NEVER tell me I talk too much. I do not think I could ever talk for that long!

The next story has nothing to do with my trip but was an article I read last week about a man on a Portland bound Jet Blue flight that was sleeping and woke up and began peeing on neighboring passengers and their belongings. What, what, what? What is wrong with people these days? What has happened to the art of traveling, the luxury, and the excitement? We no longer seem to care about what is happening around us.

I definitely think a lot before traveling these days. What will my TSA experience be like? What will my overall travel experience be like, and how will the other passengers around me act? A colleague of mine’s spouse is a flight attendant, and they share horrifying stories about the things that people do on airplanes. We need to elevate our travel experiences both for ourselves and those around us.

random olio 2014

It has been a full year. I traveled to Shanghai, Chicago, Oakland a few times, to LA, Bend, oh the list goes on. I went to a few weddings, luckily no funerals. I worked countless hours in the office, and at home on my couch. I visited my niece, Facetimed with her and my sister, and missed them in between. We saw family, friends, and played on our own a bit in other parts of the country and the world. I went No Poo in 2014, and then started using loo poo shampoo and wash my hair a lot less often.

We tried new things, thought about the past, and planned and brainstormed the future. We laughed, cuddled, giggled, listened, gave advice, learned a lot, and cherished each other more. Like I said, it was a full year. Here is my list of favorite random olio posts of 2014. In no specific oder:

  1. No Poo
  2. Ten Things About My Dad
  3. Giggle ’til you pee your pants
  4. Want to Laugh Today?
  5. He is My Person
  6. Listen More, Talk Less
  7. My niece is da bomb
  8. I heart SH: Food Nostalgia
  9. She flies with her own wings
  10. A little dabble in wax…

Most read posts on Random Olio in 2014:

I hope you enjoyed all you read on random olio this year. Be grateful for all that you have done, all that you have, and all that you have learned. Life is good, we just have to see what is right in front of us. Thank you for continuing to read random olio. Here is to a full, alive, and adventurous 2015!

Look nice or be comfy?

I read an article yesterday about looking nice while traveling on an airplane, and my first thought was: “Hell No!” Apologies if you feel that it is kind to dress up for your fellow passengers. I think about the miles you sometimes have to walk to go from one terminal to the next, often running to catch a plane on a layover. I am amazed when I see women do so in five-inch heels. I can barely make it a few hours at an event while in 3 inch heels, I cannot imagine doing it while traveling. Next, you sit for hours. Whether at the airport waiting for your flight, and then to take off, during your flight, and often waiting on the runway once you have landed. Why, oh why should we be dressed up?

I for one feel like there is a happy medium. I want to be comfortable at all costs. Think about it. You are in a pressurized cabin, things contract and expand. All the more reason that I want to have an elastic waistband. The temperature goes hot and cold and you have no way to regulate it. I want breathable fabrics. Depending on the size of the plane your floor area might be freezing and the ceiling much hotter. I make sure to wear layers, and have a pair of socks, and a jacket if needed.

I think back to a recent TV show called: “Pan-Am” that truly showed and reminded us of the glamour associated with flying the friendly skies. This Boston Globe article brings that idea to life. Men in suits, women in their own form of suits. Dress codes. Can you imagine today if there was still a dress code to get on a plane? In some ways, maybe it is not such a bad idea (I know we have all seen a scary sight on a plane, even smelled some too), but if dress and style supersede comfort, than I would take comfort any day.

The Boston Globe article mentions how you dress is how you get treated. Yes, but remember we are not going into a five-star restaurant. An airplane is no longer a place to be seen. I am the girl with the flip-flops, and while I am not wearing my pajamas, I am wearing comfy tights. Should the conversation be more about hygiene than about clothing?

That just covers style, comfort, and clothing. What about the food?

PDX: my art home

Portland has my heart. Other than the small Indiana town I grew up in, Portland is the only other place I have lived for at least a decade of my life. From the ages of 15 to 25 I lived in a few different states while living away from home in high school, college, and my first few professional years. I never had a gut instinct of where I wanted to live my life, there was no city or town that captivated me. I can remember friends in college that could not wait to move to Seattle, LA, or New York. Not me, there was no place that I knew I would call home.

Portland is home now. Every time Chris and I travel, we exhale and breathe ahhh when we arrive back on NW soil. We are endeared by the creative food (not that we always partake, ahem, bone marrow on toast, elk tongue with beetroot, blue rabbit with acorn dumplings), the interesting people, the weather. Yes, we even do not mind the nine months of rain. One of our favorite things about Portland is the art. Last week I learned about a cool event called: Forest for the Trees, which is coming to PDX August 19 – 25, and includes artists from all over the world. It is a public mural project, allowing artists to collaborate for a week via outdoor murals. I am all for it. I can think of quite a few buildings that could use some lovin!

Be sure to check out the blog on their website. The artists have teamed up with a variety of companies to showcase their art. You’ll see videos from the artists mentioning creative sustainability, energy in old wood, and being conscious of your social environment. Another check mark on my list of all the things I love about Portland. I am looking forward to checking out the work that comes out of this week!

The Perfect Airport Experience?

I know this article is from almost a year ago, but the ideas are still valid. It is a Harvard Business Review article called: “Is Kindness a Strategy?” It is about how an American Airlines employee treated a customer (Frank) with kindness (read the article for his full story). The employee decided to help Frank, who was late for his flight. She made an extra effort to get him through security and onto his flight at the last-minute.

Ah, do you dream of that happening to you? Have you not wanted to go to the airport, have someone take your car and park it for you? You then go to security and get moved to the front of the line, walk to the gate and walk right on the plane, immediately they shut the doors and the plane takes off. There are no delays on the runway, and you are in the air and land on time. The plane goes immediately to your gate, you are at the front of the plane so you get off first, and someone has a car waiting for you when you get outside the airport. Is it a dream? Is it your reality? There are some that might valet their car, go through the First Class line in security, and go right on to the plane, but it is not the reality for most of us that fly the friendly skies.

I wish this could be the experience of all of us when we travel. Even though it is not, it does make me think about what is possible. Travel companies could definitely be more creative to find ways to WOW their customers. Which makes me think back to the title of the article: “Is Kindness a Strategy?” Maybe it should be. I agree with the author, American will now be Frank’s favorite airline. It would be mine, if I had Frank’s experience. What can travel companies do to make us more loyal? Surprise us. Give the upgrade when there are seats in First Class. Give a free rental car because they can tell we have had a rough day. Empower their employees to have more flexibility to make these types of decisions.

It may make a world of difference to their customers.