I survived a month of vacation



The weekend is rapidly approaching and I am falling behind in writing yet again. This time I am blaming it on returning to work.

Having a month off was perhaps a bit too much time away from the desk. I didn’t make any safety errors, but certainly was feeling a little rusty upon my return. It is wonderful how quickly our memory is able to retrieve skills and put them back into use. After a few small errors, I totally am back into the swing of things feeling refreshed.

The night shifts have been a bit more challenging to come back to. My sleep pattern has strayed very far away from staying up until 5am; and wasn’t helped at all by spending the weekend on time zone ahead in Winnipeg.

I had an amazing visit with friends, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my gay mama’s 50th birthday with his friends. On Sunday before I left, I also found myself able to enjoy a dinner party hosted by Désiré. Moving away was hard, but being able to take part in some of these events makes the experience that much more special for me.

I am also working on a new video project that you can look forward to being posted on YouTube as well very soon. I just need to take an hour to record the necessary audio component which is missing and then it will be ready to share with you.

I hope you all are amazing as always and I look forward to sharing the pictures from my vacation within the next few days with you. Until then stay fabulous.

Alberta Aviation Museum

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This past summer, Mike and I had the chance to tour the Alberta Aviation Museum located beside the Edmonton City Centre (municipal) Airport or YXD.  I found it while I was aimlessly driving around one day while he was at work.  As I passed the airport, I looked over and saw a retired Pacific Western 737 sitting behind the fence and knew that this was a place that we had to visit.

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Admission ranges from $6.00 for children up to $10.00 for adults, with discounts for seniors.  The facility features over 40 aircraft ranging in age from old wooden hulled prop planes up to military and comercial jets.

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It seems like the common trend in aerosexuals is that they are fascinated by military planes.  However, the Alberta Aviation Museum have a very neat collection featuring various sections and displays.  As you enter the museum, you will find yourself face to face with some of the original aircrafts to fly in and out of YXD.

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The displays then move into an entire wall dedicated to the various commercial and passenger airlines in Canada’s history.  With various cabin artifacts from playing cards and napkins to old flight attendant uniforms, this collection is one of the best I have seen so far.

There is also a large collection of various war medals and historical facts from both sides of the Second World War.  They also have restored several military aircraft in both indoor and outdoor displays.

The museum will take between 60-90 minutes to view and depending on the weather, you can also get up close and personal with several large aircrafts located outside the museum.  Groups can arrange guided tours by the volunteers that run the museum.

Happy Anniversary to Me!



Yesterday, WordPress informed me that my blog celebrated its first birthday!  I am a little disappointed that I didn’t remember that it was coming or planning a party, but alas one year of blogging has come and gone.

The last year has been filled with many changes and most of those I didn’t see coming.  I am lucky to be sharing a life and home with Mike in Calgary, I am glad to have accomplished my goal of returning to work for one of the two major airlines in Canada, I am happy to be driving bus again and seeing things that I wouldn’t have if not for this hobby made into a job, but most importantly I am blessed with amazing friends that I am able to share my story with.

I will admit that I had hopped that I would have been more dedicated to writing, but life got in the way and it is impossible to change the past.  Writing is one of my favourite creative outlets as it allows me the opportunity to organize my thoughts, share my experiences, and hopefully benefit you as the readers in one way or another.

Over the next year my blogging goals include to share more travel stories with you as Mike and I, along with friends, travel around the world and hopefully make some amazing memories together.  I would also like to be more dedicated to writing as I love sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with you.  Lastly, I would like to make time to create video memories along with the written ones to share with you.

I missed the one month mark again!

Well I should start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am so incredibly late. Life seems to be really good at distracting me from writing. I wish I had a valid excuse for it, but I don’t.

So much has happened since the last time I was online and actually wrote a valid post that I don’t even know where to begin. For the sake of getting this posted before next year, I am going to crack a bottle of wine and give you the Cole’s notes version.

Beginning of December brought a week of vacation which Mike and I used to go back to Winnipeg to visit family and friends. It was a rushed visit in which there were many hugs given to many important people in our lives. As always, there were friends that were missed, but we did get to share amazing food and gifts with both his and my families.

The holiday season is the busiest time of year in the travel industry, and as a result both Mike and I were working. We did have the pleasure of sharing dinner and way too many gifts even after we said we weren’t exchanging anything.

January brought more work as everyone tried to get home after the holidays. Luckily I was on days off for the majority of the Toronto ice storm so I can say I survived. Mike picked up a tonne of overtime this month and worked as many hours as he essentially legally could.

I feel like I have been working non-stop as well. I was dispatching almost every day it feels like in order to get myself 26 days of freedom from work. However, the bus driving has kept me busy and I feel like I am working full time for them even though I am supposed to be on holidays. I shouldn’t complain though as it will hopefully mean paying off Christmas and the last few pieces of furniture that we need for the house.

I did get the opportunity to go up to Edmonton for the last two days which feels like a bit of a wasted trip. Although I did get to see Mike, I was sick and felt like death. However, when I did venture out, I was involved in a minor car accident. I am okay and there is very little damage to my car, but I have to figure out how to deal with that tomorrow.

I have attached the video of the dashboard camera in my car. I am fully aware the date on the film is WAY off, but I sure am glad that I have it since she backed into me and I can prove it.

Hope you all are well!

XOXO

-Matt

Flying into the Future

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Today has been quite an emotion filled day as I said goodbye to my coworkers who have become friends. This was my final day of employment with Canadian North.

It was difficult to end 13 months of employment with an amazing company with such awesome employees. Walking up the stairs for the last time this morning brought me into a reality I wasn’t prepared to deal with at 5am.

This weekend now holds a new adventure as I start training to be a coach bus operator. I’m very excited to be back behind the wheel.

Sunday is moving day into our new apartment. I am also looking forward to celebrating my first Pride in Calgary. Brian is flying in tomorrow from Vancouver for the celebration. I can’t wait to see him.

Shannon is also driving out from Winnipeg for her road trip to the Rockies. I am glad that I have been included in her travel plans!

Tuesday is the beginning of my new adventure with a new airline. I have to make it through 6 weeks of classroom before I get back to flight planning.

Mike has successfully completed his flight attendant training and will be leaving me for the weekend. He has been assigned to walk to Mexico and back twice this weekend.

Hope everyone has an amazing long weekend. Stay safe and HAPPY PRIDE!

Where has the time gone?

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My goodness life has become busy and chaotic for me. It has been so long since I have time to sit down and write that I am actually not sure where to begin with the changes in my life.

I guess I shall start with the fact that it is no longer just me sleeping in my bed. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of moving my boyfriend Mike to Calgary from Winnipeg. We had a lovely party with our friends on Thursday evening. Thank you so much to Kim for opening her home, yard, and pool for us all to share a wonderful evening together before I stole Mike away from the city.20130812-203837.jpg

Thankfully, two weeks after I posted the ad, we were able to sign the lease on his condo and rent it to a lovely young couple that have “a fat old cat.” They will be moving in October 1 which gives us the time to finish the renovations that have been going on for far too many months. It is all beginning to take shape and actually looks like the home that we both dreamed that it would have become for us to share. However, we are now sharing a new adventure in the west and hopefully the new tenants will enjoy as many memories as we have enjoyed there together.20130812-203917.jpg

We took last Friday to finish up some random projects before heading over to Club 200 for happy hour with the gurls. I haven’t had the chance to attend as many Friday afternoon beverages with them as Mike has, but none the less it was wonderful to see everyone before hitting the highway.

Saturday morning the alarm clock woke us at 6:00 am to pack the car prior to meeting Mike’s parents and grandmother for breakfast. I was shocked at how few tears actually were shed by everyone.  I would have put money on it being quite a tear jerking “goodbye for now.” One of the perks of working in aviation is that we can travel back to Winnipeg as often as we like.  We then made a quick stop at Safeway to get road snacks for Mike and KUB rye bread for my friend Jeff (Winnipegers and their food) which, to my pleasant surprise, was on sale.

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It never ceases to amaze me at how long of a drive it is across the prairies, but it was much more enjoyable with a driving buddy as we were able to trade off, nap, talk, and point out various attractions to each other. Mike and I are complete opposites though when it comes to the preferred portion of the drive. I much prefer the portion between Winnipeg and Regina as it is shorter and I think there is much more to see as there are small towns and more farms. Mike, on the other hand, prefers the portion of Regina to Calgary as he enjoys the beauty of the rolling hills.

Mike also completed the first day of flight attendant training today. I am very excited for him as he starts his new adventure ironically the same day that I started my adventure in Calgary 365 days ago. I can’t wait to see where this new opportunity takes him, but I am pretty sure the sky is the limit.

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Oddly enough, on his first day of work is the same day that I have handed in my resignation for my current position as a flight dispatcher. I am very excited to announce that I will be starting with another larger airline as a flight dispatcher starting on September 3. I can’t wait to start the 6-week classroom training program for them as I will have the opportunity to do international flights as well as ETOPS (extended-range twin-engine operations or in much simpler terms flights over large bodies of water).

That is all that I have time to update you about now, but I promise that there are many more stories to come. Hope everyone is well and having an awesome day!

Calgary Flood 2013

Deerfoot & Southtland Drive Dog Park

Deerfoot & Southtland Drive Dog Park

Hey friends,

This isn’t how I expected to blog with you today, but Alberta is being devastated by flood waters.  The cause is heavy rain fall from the mountains.  Calgary has declared a state of emergency and many people are being evacuated from their homes.  Downtown Calgary is underwater, but words can’t even begin to describe what is going on here.  The worst part is that it is still raining and we are under a heavy rainfall warning.

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Luckily, I do not live in a flood zone. Homes as close as 3 blocks away have been evacuated, but I live up hill from them so we should be safe.  Thank you to all the friends that have contacted me to ensure my safety.

People that have evacuated are asked to put an X on their door so that emergency crews know that no one is left in the home.

Take a look at the video below from Global Calgary’s helicopter as they fly over the city.  It took my breath away.

Stay safe and have a great weekend!

Raw Video: Downtown flooding | Global News Video