Change of Pace

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 21, 2013

2013 has “flown” by – pun intended.


In a little more than a year – 53 weeks, to be exact – we’ve managed to fly 25 different weekends. Of those weekends, 18 involved either a one way or round trip standby flight.

Most of the time, it worked pretty flawlessly. But nothing was guaranteed, and there were occasions where we had to get home to Phoenix from Minnesota by way of Charlotte and Orlando, from Chicago by way of Philadelphia or, in one extreme case, to Paris by way of the last two seats on a flight to London. That one was lucky, considering our only other option had been cancelled.

I calculated these statistics not to show how insane we are – though the five straight weekends in June and July were a little nutty – but to comment on what a ride it has been since we moved to Arizona and Bobby began working for US Airways. Remember this randomly crooked photo?

First Day - US Airways

Working for an airline allowed Bobby – and me, through Bobby – to experience firsthand that flight benefits can be pretty awesome (or pretty chaotic, depending on the trip). The catch is that they also require you to become more spontaneous.

Something that, up until 53 weeks ago, I certainly was not.

I’m a planner. Call me Type A, but the thought of not knowing whether you would be guaranteed a spot on a plane until 30 minutes before takeoff was at first immensely terrifying to me. Sure, there were those rare occasions where there were 50 seats available on the morning of the flight and you knew without a doubt that the trip was happening. But more often than not, those 50 seats quickly managed to drop to 25…then 15…then 10…and a couple of times, to zero.

Yep. Terrifying – and potentially frustrating. But when taking advantage of a benefit that had been offered, the last thing we ever did was complain. And as the weeks went by, we began getting the hang of the process and learning tricks of the trade: the best time of day to fly, best weekends to fly, cities to avoid standby on completely, alternate routes in case of emergency and so much more.

Dare I say it? I became good at being spontaneous. (Still afraid of flying, but that’s another story.)

Though sometimes this spontaneity meant having to leave at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning rather than the more desirable late afternoon flight, we began viewing the negative – having a few less hours to spend with family and friends – as a positive – well hey, at least we’re getting to see these family and friends more often than we ever would have otherwise. We also became experts at cramming as much activity into a 48-hour window as possible.

But the best part about the entire journey? Bobby has loved his job. Standby flights on the weekends have been nice, but having great people to work with and great projects to work on during the week has been even better. Which is why it was very bittersweet when a few weeks ago, he decided to accept a new opportunity that unexpectedly came his way.

With the impending merger with American Airlines, we knew from the beginning there was a good possibility that US Airways would ultimately move its headquarters to Dallas. We weren’t sure when exactly, but it was always looming on the horizon. Eventually, we would have to make a choice.

Stay or go? Go or stay? As you may have guessed by reading this blog, we’ve fallen in love with Phoenix and are very happy to be close to family. So when this particular opportunity came up, one that intrigued Bobby, was close to home and matched well with his skill set, he decided to take it.

Today, he began a new journey, one that he is equally excited about. And I’m so proud of him. I even managed to take a picture to commemorate the occasion that was right side up this time.

First Day - 2013

Though we may not have the benefit of being able to fly somewhere last minute on the weekends anymore, we’re excited to trade spontaneity for a bit more stability. Now we have the chance to explore all that the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. It’s going to be a nice change of pace.


Maybe, just maybe, not traveling on weekends will also translate into new recipe adventures, too.

One journey at a time. Congratulations, Bobby!



1 Kelli H October 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I didn’t even know that he worked for an airline! No wonder you were always traveling! I had no idea, but I was wondering how you did it. haha.
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2 Jenn (eating bender) October 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I would have been wondering, too! I never mentioned it publicly while he was working there but yes, there was definitely no way we would have been able to do it otherwise, haha. It’s nice to finally be able to share more details! :)

3 Jess October 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I was curious how you pulled off all the flying! I never thought one of you worked for an airline, which is so logical! Nice you got to enjoy those 53 weeks! And now for new adventures! :) congratulations to your husband!
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4 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thank you so much, Jess! We are excited about the new adventures, for sure. :)

5 Erica October 22, 2013 at 5:33 am

CONGRATS BOBBY!!! Glad you decided to stay in AZ- I know its truly where your heart is! Hope the new job is amazing. I have no idea how yall traveled so much ;).

6 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks, Erica!! Haha – yes we were a little crazy. πŸ˜‰

7 Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie October 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

Congratulations to Bobby on his new job!

I know you guys will miss all the spontaneous weekend travel, but it sounds like you were ready for this change of pace :)

PS – I was talking to Lance this weekend and told him that one of my goals for 2014 is to travel more around Arizona – sounds like you and I both had the same thing in mind!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I’m so glad to hear your goal is to travel more around Arizona next year! I’m always up for a road trip, so we’ll have to plan some things together. :)

9 Cara (Twinthusiast) October 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

So glad you utilized the perk — to the max! What a crazy year :) Can’t wait to hear how his first week went.
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10 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks, Cara!! So far, so good. I think he’s really excited about what he can do there.

11 Toronto Girl West October 23, 2013 at 12:11 am

Congratulations to your husband!!! On to the next big adventure!!!! πŸ˜‰
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12 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Yay!! Thank you, Karen!! :)

13 Melissa @Tryingtoheal October 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Congrats to Bobby!!! I’m glad you’ll be staying in AZ because that means I still don’t have to go too far to see you! HAHA. But You have definitely had a great year plus of traveling! I’m sure there will still be more of it in the future, but maybe you’ll get to sleep a little more with these…no more red-eyes or last minute flight catching! Yippee!!!
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14 Jenn (eating bender) October 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Haha so true!! No more red-eyes or last minute flights sounds like a dream. As does the possibility of seeing you for a visit…sooner rather than later! :)

15 Megan (Braise The Roof) October 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Congrats, Bobby!! Haha, and all that traveling finally makes sense to everyone. πŸ˜‰ I’m so glad that you guys really took advantage of the perk when he was working there!

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