PP52 with my class of Virgins

I couldn't have dreamed two years ago that I would fall in love so hard with the people I was about to spend five weeks with.  It was the November training class for Inflight Team Members of Virgin America, and we were the largest class they had ever had; there were over eighty of us.  For 5 weeks, we sat in class together, played games together, took breaks in Mt. Whitney together, stressed out with each other, laughed and cried with each other, and created bonds that will last a lifetime.  Each year in December, we go to recurrent training, and even though we dread the two boring class days, we secretly (and not so secretly) get really excited to have our mini reunion with a handful of Novemberites, aka "the best class ever".  This year was so much fun, I forgot the government required us to be there.  All we did was laugh.  Our instructor Sam was part of the reason we had so much fun too, he's an absolute gem, and we all swear it would be suicidal if he wasn't the one spending these 2 days with us.  Paulina here is one of my very favorite people at Virgin because of her wildly true spirit, and her realness.  She's someone you can have a deep conversation with about life & love, and in the next moment spit your drink out your nose because of her dry wit and priceless expressions. Our 'office' life is different every day, but at the end of it all we know that it is more than just our own metal tube hurling through the sky:  We have each other out there, supporting one another and laughing with each other across the world, and knowing that there are 80+ people who are our extended family, even if we only get to hug them once a year in the jet bridge!  

 

Paulina.

Paulina.

Kenny's got crabs. #51

Every year, Kenny has a holiday party where he prepares massive amounts of magnificent crab & string french fries, throws down the brown parchment paper & crab crackers, and let's everyone act like savages and gorge themselves with buttery fingers! The house is filled to the brim with merry souls, drinking and sharing stories from their day, week, and year. It's one of my favorite nights of the year, going to the wee hours with a secret santa gift exchange that always ends with tears, mostly from laughter, but sometimes the from sweet sentiment between friends.  

This year, Kenny's crabs were shared in a more intimate setting.  There were just six of us, plus Elliot makes seven.  Kenny and Joe's beautiful son made the rounds with all of us, showing off his cuter than sin smile, running around with his Santa hat to greet guests, and making sure we knew he loves attention in whatever way, shape, or form we could give.  This sweet moment on the couch with Tall Paul was taken just before we carried him up to sleep, and then sat down for our own sweet moments looking at the people we love across the table and toasting to the new year ahead.  

Tall Paul & Elliot. 

Tall Paul & Elliot. 

Portrait of a sweet love: #47

The last time I saw these two, we were gathered together with a dozen others around the fire pit at our layover hotel in Boston.  I didn't know they were together...maybe they weren't at that point, maybe that was the night everything started.  All I know is that I already adored the daylights out of Tina, and Perry was fast becoming one of my new favorite pilots.  A month or so later, I saw Perry getting off the plane in Florida when we were getting on and gave him a huge hug.  "Oh wow, I just saw Tina here & thought of you!", remembering that last time I saw her.  Little did I know they knew the other was there.  It took one or two more run-ins like that to realize that two of my favorite people had become a couple.  In the airlines, it's a tricky thing, dating co-workers.  Everyone warns you against it, yet everyone seems to try it at least once.  I, personally, have never attempted the flight attendant/pilot mambo, but if I did, I would only hope that my match would be as good as these two.  Love and laughter, they've got the right combo.  

Tina & Perry

Tina & Perry