The best coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay

The Best Coffee shops in Alameda

Huzzah! It’s National Coffee Day and I’m on board to celebrate! I’m from Seattle, so of course I was raised to be a coffee addict. Coffee has been there during many important times of my life. For me, coffee is both comforting and fueling. When I was writing my books (that are now published) I walked to a coffee shop every day because it was the only place I could sit and focus and knock out a few thousand words on my manuscript. Not only did these coffee shops allow me to focus, but by sipping on a well-crafted drink, I felt like I was having a treat!

 

So in honor of National Coffeee Day, I’m celebrating with a run down of my favorite coffee shops in Alameda, an charming island on the San Francisco Bay!

Kite Surfers in Alameda, CA

Julie’s Coffee and Tea House

1223 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501

 

What I ordered: 16 oz latte (for here) and a scone (warmed) with Devonshire cream.

What I also recommend: Lavendar latte, ginger lemonade, one of their tonic lattes or anything on the menu!The best coffee houses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island town on the San Francisco Bay.

Julie’s is hands down, the best, or at least top two coffee shops in Alameda. I would argue that it’s one of the best coffee places in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, and that’s saying a lot. But I think it depends on your taste in ambience.

The Vibe

You’re actually going to get eye contact from your barista. Not only that, but the people that work there all come off as intelligent, creative and good at what they do! Being a barista doesn’t have to just be a job, it can be an art and this coffeehouse is a sanctuary for friends to get together, for artists to be inspired and for workaholics to get a fresh of breath air with their caffeine fix. The décor is Alice in Wonderland meets the Secret Garden, but in the most sophisticated way.

 

The Coffee

The Best Coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay.If you order a latte, it will be the smoothest, creamiest latte you’ve ever had, in a good way. And no matter what kind of milk or non milk you want, Julie’s had it for your specific needs or taste preferences. Julie’s Coffee and Tea is also the coffee shop where you’re most likely to find latte art in your drink, which I always enjoy. Back when I was in college, there was a tall, hunky, blonde man-bun barista (don’t judge me) and every time he put a heart in my latte foam, I secretly hoped it was for me lol. It wasn’t because it’s the most prevalent latte art installation. ;) The espresso at Julie’s is strong, in a great way! Even if you order a flavored latte, you’re going to be able to taste the high quality brew. Julie’s is all about coffee as it’s supposed to be. Order a machiatto and you’re going to get what you would have been given in Italy, not Starbuck’s impression of what a marketable machiatto would be.

*Tea* Although this post isn’t about tea, Julie’s gets an honorable mention because they have an entire wall of fresh loose leap tea. Even though I’m not a tea person, every time I have ordered tea here, it’s been amazing. I love the smoky black teas. Not ssure which tea you want? Ask the barista what they recommend.Best Coffee shop in Alameda. Alameda is a charming island town on the San Francisco Bay

The Food

Julie’s Coffee and Teahouse deserves a section for food because although the menu is small, it’s because they deal in quality. Quality, locally sourced ingredients, executed perfectly before it’s brought to you. Whether you want a soft boiled egg or a quiche or an amazing salad, you can’t make a wrong choice. My two must-haves when I come to Julie’s is either a scone with Devonshire cream in the AM with coffee or their toasted grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. When I was in college, I spent most of my income on scones with fresh Devonshire cream. My order was the same every day: Lemon ginger scones (with amazing flecks of candied ginger) and Devonshire cream, thick, and freshly made, a cold contrast against the lightly toasted scone. I love to bake, but I have never tasted a scone with such a perfect texture. When they stopped serving the Lemon Ginger scones and only offered other flavors, like currant, I was heart broken. The other flavors are amazing, but the Lemon Ginger had a special place in my heart. So special that I baked four batches of scones in two days trying to recreate the same perfect texture. But enough about the scones, I could probably dedicate an entire post to Julie’s scones. #SconeProblems Back to the grilled cheese. It’s the most amazing grilled cheese you will ever have. And the best part, you don’t feel like you’re going to have a heart attack after you eat it.

 

Wes Café

1518 Webster Street Happy National Coffee Day! The Best Coffee shops in Alameda!
Alameda, CA 94501

 

What I ordered: 16 oz Latte (for here)

 

What I also recommend: Tis the season for the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Wes Café has the most amazing pumpkin spice latte I’ve ever had. It’s so creamy and not too sweet. It actually taste like there’s real pumpkin puree in it!

 

Order anything you can dream up because they have syrups and flavors galore and aren’t afraid to use them. I hate sweet drinks usually but I walked up once and they had a cupcake syrup on the counter so I just had to try their Cupcake latte, and what do you know…it didn’t suck. 🙂 It was actually quite tasty. Don’t judge me!

 

The best coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay

 

 

Wes Café is one of my favorite places to enjoy a brew, along with Julie’s Coffee and Tea. I’d dare to say they’re both at the top of my list, I just enjoy strolling Park Street more than Webster. But both are great for a walk about!

 

National Coffee Day - The best coffee shops in Alameda!

 

The Vibe wes-cafe-window

 

Wes Café has an masculine feel to it that’s both earthy and modern. Think lots of wood planks (earthy) and marble and blackboards to keep things both modern and low key. The large art piece depicting a historical train is a nice nod to Alameda’s history.

 

 

 

 

Mosley’s Café

mosleys-cafe

2099 Grand Street Alameda, CA 94501

 

What I ordered: Large Iced Latte 

 

I couldn’t keep completely cohesive with my post and do a hot latte because it was too darn hot outside. I ordered an iced latte and was given a cold brew, but the barista assured me it was the same thing. I was dubious, but whatever, it was strong and tasty. I also had a breakfast croissant sandwich and it was amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

Mosleys Cafe, Alameda, California

The VibeMosleys Cafe, Alameda, California

Okay, can we talk about how charming this place is? Even if the coffee sucked (which it didn’t), this place would be worth sipping a day old cup of Joe if only for the view. It’s actually more of a stand than a shop, with only a bar and one table in the sun to sit. Definitely unplug at this place (no really, you have to) and enjoy watching kayakers paddle by and sail boats coming and going.

 

Happy National Coffee Day! Celebrate with the best coffee houses in Alameda! Mosleys Cafe, Alameda, California

Pictured left is the view from the bar. That’s right, you’re literally sipping your coffee right on the Marina.

 

Final Verdict

Come to Mosleys and soak up a quintessential Alameda view. You’ll remember that you’re on an island as you sip your coffee in the sun, watchers sailors leave for a day on the San Francisco Bay. Stick your thumb out, you might get lucky and hitch a ride around the most beautiful city in the world.

 

 

 

The Beanery

1650 Park St Alameda, CA 94501Happy National Coffee Day. Celebrate with the best coffee houses in Alameda.

 

What I ordered: 16 oz Latte (for here) and a Crème Brulee Bar

 

 

The Vibe

At eleven o’clock, I’m probably the only person under thirty, including the baristas. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but it gives you an idea of the clientele. Meaning there aren’t too many college kids monopolizing the coffee tables. Yours truly used to be guilty of that of course, but now I’m the twenty-something coffee drinker that doesn’t want to feel like an underachiever every time I go to a coffee shop. That’s one thing I immediately like about the Beanery. Many people here are enjoying a coffee together, socializing. It gives the place a certain laid-back, unpretentious air.

 

But what about the coffee?Coffee Beanery Alameda CA

It’s great! I’m a sucker for a well done latte. Although there’s no crazy latte art in my Beanery mug, there is a nice enjoyable micro foam and strong espresso flavor.

 

Food

The Crème Brule Bar I ordered is good, but I won’t rave about it and I definitely wouldn’t order it again. Although I can tell that quality ingredients were used, it’s basically a vanilla cheesecake bar. There’s nothing Crème Brule about it. This of course is coming from a bit of a Paris snob, but I don’t want to lead my readers astray either. There is a caramelized layer on top, but it isn’t crunchy as you would expect from anything crème brule. Since I fancy myself a decent baker, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have done a separate layer to keep that crunch that’s typical of a Crème brule. The flavor doesn’t harken to the traditional French dessert either, but it does have a very good vanilla bean taste. If they called this a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake bar, I’d probably have better things to say. Everything taste good with a good cup of coffee though, am I right?

 

 

The Blue Danube

1333 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

 

What I ordered: 16 oz latteThe Best Coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay.

 

My first impression

Each time I come here (usually it’s because somewhere else is full), I say I’m not going to come back. The place isn’t terrible, it’s just not the best coffee and it’s certainly not my scene. I’ll tell you why. The Blue Danube has the most potential out of all of the coffee shops in Alameda because it’s in one of the coolest buildings. Alameda, CA is known for it’s historical architecture, and the tall brick building has super tall ceilings (maybe fifty feet), a cool front door that’s almost nearly as tall, and old wood floors. That’s where the charm stops for me though. Well, I suppose that’s a bit harsh, I don’t hate the large wall chalkboard menu or couches toward the back of the place. I guess I’m just bummed because it looks like every other average coffee shop in Alameda. It’s obvious to me that the owners of the Blue Danube don’t have a passion for coffee or for the building they’re in. It’s almost like they thought, “Let’s open a coffee shop, it’ll be an easy moneymaker.” It’s true though, every single coffee shop on Park street is always packed. So it’s certainly not a bad investment.

The Best Coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay.The Décor

But I personally feel like it’s a crime to be in a cool historical building like this and not show it off. Let’s see some exposed brick or traditional elements that I’m sure were in this building to begin with. Instead, it has gaudy green and orange walls that I can’t appreciate because it feels like it was supposed to be a part of a theme, but then got lost in translation. The only aspect of the décor I do love is the couches near the window and at the back. Very cozy.

 

The Vibe

The wall that stretches back through the shop is Laptop central. The Best Coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay.People are on their cell phones (annoying much?) and I can’t help but wonder if the owner of manager ever comes in this shop. I haven’t seen the high-school age baristas smile once. When I ordered I didn’t even get any eye contact. One thing about the vibe that I will say is positive, is that it’s definitely laid-back…obviously if people are on their phones right? Personally, I think that’s coffee shop sacrilege. 😉 But if you want to drink coffee in public and talk on your phone, The Blue Danube is for you!

 

But What About the Coffee, Jaye!?!? Who cares about the décor!

It’s…eh. It’s okay. My latte came in a nice thick mug, which I appreciate. The micro foam was…perhaps not true micro foam but close enough. It was a bit overly foamy for a true coffee snob, but I couldn’t do any better. Actually, that’s an apt comparison. This is the type of foam I can accomplish at home with my espresso maker. Not great, but not terrible. Definitely not latte art status. 😉 The flavor is good, but not super strong espresso taste. The milk taste light, not creamy like some of the other great coffee shops in Alameda.

 

The Bull Dog Café

3215 Encinal Ave Suite D Alameda, CA 94501

 

What I ordered: 16 oz Latte

 

First impression:The best coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming town on the San Francisco Bay

I’ve always loved this location, the coffee house is located on a corner in a cool Victorian building. I’ve been here before, but not under this ownership. Honestly, it seems like this location goes through new ownership every couple years. After I walked in, I almost walked right back out. I kind of wish I would’ve, but I guess forcing yourself to experience something is the only way you can give an honest opinion. So why did I almost turn tail and walk out? They have speakers, which sound like they’ve been blown out, blasting pop hip-hop. Honestly I could probably put up with the pop-hip hop, but not through muffled, static-booming speakers. The music is so loud that I can’t even drown it out with my head phones. I don’t have the heart to say anything because I’m the only person in here and I’m sure the barista (who was very nice by the way) was probably just jamming out.

 

The Vibe:The best coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay

Beside my extreme distaste for the music playing way too loud on blown out speakers, the interior is enjoyable enough and filled to the brim with local art. The tables and chairs feel like they were stolen from an out-of-business diner, and not in a good way. They definitely give the feel of a new owner trying to save money. I wish I could peel the linoleum table tops off and put anything else on top, whether it’s just sand and stain or tile, anything would be better. Positives though are the many, many local paintings and photographs on the walls, and the tons of light that spills in. They have live music in the evenings, which I wasn’t able to experience, but I love that they offer that.

The best coffeehouses in Alameda. Alameda, CA is a small, charming island on the San Francisco Bay

 

 

The Coffee:

I wouldn’t come back for it. It’s okay. The espresso tastes strong, it’s just not my preference. It goes to the bottom of my reviewed lattes on this post. For those that like lighter, fluffier higher foams, this might be the place for you.

 

 

 

So…are you thirsty yet?

How are you celebrating National Coffee Day?

Do you have a healthy espresso buzz or are you scoffing at the coffee drinkers and enjoying some herbal tea instead. 😉

 

Happy Sipping!

      XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

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It's National Coffee Day! Celebrate by checking out these charming coffee shops in Alameda, California

A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Reads

A Flight Attendant’s Bookshelf, The Best Travel Reads

A flight attendant loves to travel.

Which is why I have travel books out the wazoo on my bookshelf.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are still my own*

 

A Flight Attendant's book shelf - Travel Reads

 

The already full shelves got even more loaded with travel and aviation reads when my other half and I moved in together. Were both aviation nerds, if you don’t know us, he’s a pilot at Delta Airlines and I’m a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines, so our apartment is loaded with travel and aviation goodies. You’re ready to raid our bookshelf and sit in our first class seats to read now, right?

 

Here’s a glimpse into some of my must-own travel reads that you can pour over again and again.

 

My all-time favorite travel read is…

 

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Reads

 

You can read my full book review here. In a nutshell, it’s Newman’s memoir of her personal travels, mostly solo as a female. In real life, she’s a writer at many popular tv shows and her sense of humor dominates her writing in a brilliant way! What is better than travel AND humor. The cherry on top in her honest introspection inspired by her many travels. This book is the reason I have moved New Zealand and Argentina to the top of my travel bucket list.

Excerpt from Amazon: Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends’ weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed. Kristin introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests who helped her transform into “Kristin-Adjacent” on the road–a slower, softer, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home. Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports.

 

A Flight Attendant's Bookshelf - Must Read Travel Books

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Bookshelf - Must Read Travel Books

 

 For the History Buffs

 

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

What can I say, there is nothing that speaks to the spirit of travel more…This is basically the bible of being travel-minding and just going.

Excerpt from Amazon: On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, “a sideburned hero of the snowy West.” As “Sal Paradise” and “Dean Moriarty,” the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac’s love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance. Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than fifty years ago.

 

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell Flight Attendants Favorite Travel Reads

 

When I studied Paris at University, this was required reading. Orwell’s words were paint a vibrant picture of a different side of Paris than what is sold to tourists, but it’ll leave you with a knew perspective the next time you visit.

Excerpt from Amazon: This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

 

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway

 

A must-read for lovers of Parisian history. Down and Out in Paris gives you a glimpse into the historical expat movement in Paris where the rich Americans (like Hemingway) would come to Paris and live the life of the poor (the bourgeoisie) starving artist. Ever wondered what the Monmarte was like at the height of art in Paris? This book is a must-read, whether you love Paris as a city, or are a fan of art, or a history buff.

Excerpt from Amazon: Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized

 

For the Adventurous Heart

 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed Flight Attendants Favorite Travel Reads

Back when I was flying for Horizon Airlines, I was based in Medford (we called it Club Med) and I lived about twenty minutes from the airport, in Ashland. For those of you that hike, it’s a small mountain town right on the PCH. I came home one night from a trip and they had my street closed down because they were filming the movie “Wild”. Yup, Reese was there and everything. I even took home some props from the movie set lol. Too bad they didn’t need a flight attendant, I was in full uniform. 😉

Excerpt from Amazon: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

This popular read gives you a glimpse into three amazing countries and it’ll satisfy your wanderlust while at the same time, making you ponder life and spirituality, just as the heroine does. A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Reads

Excerpt from Amazon: In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

 

We’ll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn

 

I loved this book because the main character was my opposite. The mom is A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Booksterrified of traveling and hates to fly. She’s a bit neurotic. For me, that made her all the more endearing and it made me see another side of travel. Although I could relate to a couple thing, like wondering if that dicey bellhop was going to raid my luggage or almost getting arrested in Paris for stepping on the grass at a park…

Excerpt from Amazon: Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. So she decides to save up and drop everything to travel with her daughter, Katie, on a whirlwind European adventure before it’s too late. Even though her husband can’t join them, even though she’s nervous about the journey, and even though she’s perfectly healthy, Jennifer is determined to jam her daughter’s mental photo album with memories—just in case. From the cafés of Paris to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Jennifer and Katie take on Europe one city at a time, united by their desire to see the world and spend precious time together. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped vanquish her fear of dying…for the sake of living.

 

For the Romantic

 

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Reads

 

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this book being read on the airplane. I stopped what I was doing and pointed at the cover and exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s Cinque Terre!” At the time, Cinque Terre wasn’t a popular tourist destination so I was super intrigued about a novel that was set there.

 

Excerpt from Amazon: The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his  funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet: the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.

 

 

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

 

I always wanted to live in Paris, and this book made me feel like I got to. I’ve been to Paris many times, but the author transported me to areas I hadn’t known about. A Flight Attendant's Favorite Travel Reads I couldn’t put this book down. I think people that enjoyed Under The Tuscan Sun will enjoy this book.

Excerpt from Amazon: In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman–and never went home again. Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak’s pink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs–one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese-there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

 

Nothing beats laying on an exotic beach with a book in hand to keep the sun out of your face.

When I’m home, I love a book that’ll transport me to another world.

Did I miss any good reads?

 

What book gets you in the mood to travel?

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

Follow the Luv Aviatrix on Instagram

 

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The best travel reads according to this flight attendant. Fuel your wanderlust!

 

 

Palenque , Mexico

Surviving the Road to the Ruins of Palenque

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque Ruins
Hola!
I’m super excited to tell you about my adventure in Palenque, some of the most amazing Maya ruins in Mexico, dating back to 200 AD. Those of you that know me are aware that I grew up wanting to be a flight attendant! I did want to get a degree first though (just in case my career airline ever went belly up) and I thought it’d be wise to have a back up plan. I wanted to study something I could use when I was traveling so I majored in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Maya Civilization Archaeology. I’m going to do my best to give you a flight attendant’s guide instead of an archaeologist’s guide to Palenque. What I mean by that is, I’m going to give you the basics of why to add Palenque to your travel bucket list. If I get enough feedback though, I’d love to write a second, more in-depth post, diving into some of the amazing artefacts, temples and inscriptions that you can find at Palenque.

 

What/Where is Palenque?

(For all you non-Spanish speakers, this is pronounced pah-leyn-kay)

Palenque is an ancient Maya site located in the Chiapas (southern) region of Mexico.

 

Why is it special?

King Pakal, once ruler of Palenqeue, was the longest reigning ruler in Mayan history, 80 years! You can witness the majesty of what he reigned over, the temples still awe-inducing in their majesty. Even more incredible is that Palenque has so many inscriptions and stelae that archaeologists haven’t even been able to decipher them all yet. That is absolutely mind-blowing! Inscriptions not your thing? Palenque’s white, limestone temples peek through lush jungle and glitter in the sun, demanding their greatness shall not be forgotten, making the Palenque temples amongst the most iconic and magnificent in the realm of the Maya.

 

I have been to many Mesoamerican ruins, Toltec, Zapotec, Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Palenque still holds a special place in my heart.

 

Why is it my favorite?

 

Palenque is much unreconstructed compared to other ruinsA Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque like Chichen Itza, which is cool, but disappointing as ruins because you feel like you’re walking onto the set of a postcard. Other ruins like Teotihuacan are mostly reconstructed as well, but still grand enough to demand a visit, check out my post on climbing the pyramids there.

You arrive at the entrance of Palenque, walking past locals trying to sell thing to tourists, and you catch your first glimpse of the Temple of Inscriptions. You’re transported. I don’t care if there’s one hundred other tourists there, or you have the place to yourself, it’s impossible to step on to the park grounds and witness that first sight of Palenque’s white temples peeking through the jungle, haze hugging the city like a mystical barrier, and not feel as if you’ve been transported in time.

 

 

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

Get past your awe and explore the park on foot. I recommend not visiting with a group because there is so much to navigate, including jungle where you’ll find more temples and buildings that haven’t even begun to tell their stories, held captive by hundreds of years of jungle, winding their tentacles around the limestone. Hike to the top of the temples and sit. Sit for a moment and listen to the monkeys clamoring in the surrounding jungles and wonder if this is where someone got the idea of King Louie, guarding an ancient city. Or imagine ancient life if you can.

Or take a selfie (preferably after said introspective wondering).

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

We’ve established that this place is incredible, but how do you get there?

 

Not easily. Unless you fly, but that’s no fun…said the flight attendant. ; ) Part of what makes Palenque so cool is that it’s in the middle of nowhere, surrounded on all sides by jungle. Rather than fly, (this was a backpacking tip after all) I opted for a fifteen hour bus ride from Oaxaca. That’s right… fifteen hours! Experience the real Mexico, I thought. Experience, I did!

 

Let me begin by giving you a bit of my travel background so that you don’t think

Getting to Maya Ruins Palenque
Getting to Maya Ruins of Palenque

I recommend this to everyone. If you are an experienced or at least semi-experiences traveler, I do recommend traveling by road or bus because it allows you to see more of the country. If you’re anywhere that has warnings or advisories (and sometimes Mexico does), and you are a novice traveler, air travel might be safer and less stressful for you.

 

I have been traveling forever since I grew up with airline travel benefits and had already done much solo backpacking across the world as a woman. On top of that, I’m semi-fluent in Spanish, so I was comfortable getting information when things went wrong and how to find my way. Also, some of my family live in Mexico and my aunt (who does humanitarian work there) keeps me pretty appraised of struggles in different regions. For these reasons, I felt comfortable back packing through Mexico for a month.

 

 

When things do go wrong, it makes for the best stories!

And so with my tale of getting to Palenque…

 

If you’ve read my post on a Flight Attendant’s Tips to Air Travel, you’ll know that I always have alka seltzer in my purse in case of a rough flight, or let’s face it- a hangover. I bet you can already sense the ominous tone and where I’m going with this. But Jaye, did you use your own air travel tips for the bus ride? *Face palm* That would be a no. There were so many flight attendant fails during this bus ride that I can not begin to tell you. But I will.

 

From Oaxaca, Palenque by way of San Cristobal de las Casa (also a cool place) is about fifteen hours. At least six hours of that is through mountains for those of you that get car sick (like me). See where this is going? Those of you that have traveled around Mexico much will know that quite frequently, you’ll see traffic stops and trucks full of men armed with gigantic guns. I’m not a gun aficionado, but they’re basic automatic rifles that you see in movies like SWAT. There’s no need to freak out if you see these on the road, and sometimes they’ll even come aboard. You do however, when traveling anywhere, need to be aware of your belongings because tourists are always victims of petty theft.

On this trip, I was traveling my grandma, a gypsy at heart, who had inspired all of her children to be travel addicts. Since we were traveling during the rainy season, she had her favorite yellow rain coat. Our family is from Seattle, so we take rain coats pretty seriously. We both wore our coats on the bus, and placed our backpacks at our feet so that we had all of our belongings on us. Halfway through the mercilessly bumpy ride, we were both exhausted (there’s no sleeping on this overnight ride) and feeling quite green around the gills. Finally, sensing disaster impending, I made my way up the bouncy aisle to tell the driver that my grandma (and probably I) was about to be sick. He then told me (in unimpressed Spanish) when the next stop was. Grand…

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Always travel with a sick sack 🙂

 

My grandma very discreetly removed her rain coat and got sick into the coat pocket in the most lady-like fashion that I’ve ever seen someone be ill. We then twisted up the coat so nothing could spill, and put it in the overhead bin. My grandma contested a bit, preferring to hold onto it rather than place it where someone could steal it. My reply was that it was only a rain coat and nothing was valuable in it so no one would take it. Feeling nauseous myself, I wasn’t super excited to have said coat on our person. Grandma looked at me with a calm expression that said something like, “I’ll probably never see this coat again.”  I on the other hand, assured myself that would not be the case, because the coat was right above us in the bin, and who would steal a bright yellow, vomit-soiled rain coat. By the next stop, my grandma’s favorite rain coat was gone. The next six hours of mountain-hugging roads were the most miserable of any road trip I’ve ever it couldn’t take away our excitement to arrive in Palenque.

 

But travel is magical…and wouldn’t you know it…the rain that trickled arrived at our destination, subsides not long after we stepped foot at Palenque. : )

 

As a matter of fact, you’ll see by my pictures that I was wearing shorts and a tank top and my cheeks look quite flushed. Being in the middle of the jungle at the ruins of Palenque is the sweatiest I have ever felt. The temperature probably wasn’t too high, but the humidity was nuts.

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

A Flight Attendants Guide to Palenque

 

 

Palenque Stelae
That’s my grandma 🙂

 

 

Flight Attendants Guide to PALENQUE


A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque, Mexicov

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque, Mexico

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to PalenqueBut it never once lessened the awe I felt at being there. Palenque is special because you can climb the stairs of the temples and walk through ancient tunnels and into dark, limestone corridors where locals, maybe even Kind Pakal walked. Temple is amazing. I’ll never forget doing that climb with my grandma and just resting on the limestone at the top, gazing over the ancient city.

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Beware of Monkeys and Bats 🙂

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

 

 

 

Wander the grounds, get lost in the corridors, and jungle paths. You’ll find colorful stelae, hidden temples and even waterfalls back in the jungle outskirts of the main landing at Palenque.

 

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Palenque

 

 

Final Verdict:

 

The Maya ruins at Palenque need to be on your travel bucket list because:

  • History at it’s finest! More stelae and inscriptions than archaeologists even have time to decipher
  • Many real ruins on site, left as they were found and minimally maintained
  • Not too crowded (compared to sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza)
  • You can actually walk through most of the corridors and hike the temple stairs for a view
  • Experience the jungle, howlers moneys and all!
  • Palenque has many amazing waterfalls and sacred cenotes

Getting to Palenque is not for the faint of heart, but experiencing this ancient city will be one of the most vivid travel experiences you’ll ever have. Add the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque to your travel bucket list. You won’t be sorry.

 

So, have you ever had one of those travel experiences where everything goes wrong, but it makes a funny story to tell after?

 

Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

Thinking of having a Palenque adventure of your own? Pin this for later 🙂

A Flight Attendant's Guide to the Ancient Mayan ruins at Palenque

The Only Time I Ever Went Viral (And What I Learned)

Most of you know me as a travel blogger and flight attendant, but today isn’t about flying, it’s about my embarrassing viral video. Let me begin by saying that when I went viral, it was a complete shock. Was it something I hoped would go viral? No! Am I a bit embarrassed that it went viral? Perhaps…

 

So what went viral and why?

 

I wish I could boast that it was one of my travel posts, or even a post about the flight attendant life…nope. What went viral was a Youtube post. It was my first post ever on Youtube and I only made it because I was in college, and bored. If you read my blog you know that besides traveling like a fiend, I also love to bake. In this you tube video that ended up going viral, I was showing how to make pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins instead of using canned pumpkin.

It was my first ever video so the editing was hysterically bad. I wasn’t taking it seriously, my TV was even on in the background! So why did it go viral?

Probably because I was acting like a total dingbat!

No seriously, perfect videos don’t go viral. This video went viral because everyone had an opinion about it. Look at the comments and you’ll see I took a lot of shit…everyone hated me. Others got that I just wasn’t taking myself seriously (thank goodness) but most people just posted hat comments. Honestly, I thought it was funny reading all the comments.

Top 3 Lessons I Learned From Going Viral

 

1. Don’t post anything on the internet you’re not prepared to go viral

I honestly only thought my grandma would ever see this video. So it wasn’t a big deal to turn off the TV in the background. Do I wish the video had better editing and looked more professional? Of course! What I took from this is that I do my best not to post anything that I am not completely proud of and ready for people to see. I try to keep things more professional these days 😉

 

2. Only put yourself out there if you have a thick skin

I was just being a goober in this video so it didn’t bother me that everyone was hating on me in the comments. They don’t know me and they just didn’t “get it” so to speak. Had all these comments come from a thoughtful travel post that I had spent hours on, it probably would have hurt so much hearing some of the things commenters on the youtube thread said about me. As a blogger or anyone on social media, you have to be prepared to hear horrible things, because honestly, the internet makes it so much easier for people to be mean.

 

3. Let people in and they’ll want more

Being professional is great, but I honestly think part of why it went viral is because I was being a goober. The editing was bad. There were just so many quirks to the video that everyone had something different to say about it. Whether they loved me or hated me…it was creating a buzz.

 

So without further ado…See the video for yourself and witness college-age Luv Aviatrix in all her shameless glory 😉

 

 

To fully appreciate the video, I recommend reading some of the comments I got. Craaaazy.

 

So, have you ever had put something on social media and regretted it later?

 

Happy Fall Baking

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

A Flight Attendant’s Air Travel Tips

Flight Attendant Travel Tips to the Perfect Flight

Welcome aboard, it’s your favorite flight attendant! Your insider into the airline industry and it’s quirks.

Flight Attendants see a lot during their work day. It’s air travel…it’s crazy! Being in a pressurized aluminum tube for a certain quantity of time just brings out the most interesting aspects of personalities. Whether flight attendants work one twelve hour flight, or five short hops up and down the coast, you’d be amazed at what we witness passengers doing. But this post isn’t about passenger shaming, it’s about what I’ve discovered is the key to an enjoyable flight for passengers.

Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but honestly, I’ve had way too many passengers on  my flights not seem to understand these points so I’m going to put some of them out there even if they seem obvious to savvy travelers.

So here they are, the basics of air travel that every passenger forgets (but wants)! Remember these for a great flight!

This post contains affiliate links which mean the page administrator (moi) makes a small commission at no cost to you.

 

Tip 1. Never travel without headphones.

 

I think this is the most important key to a great flight. You NEVER know if you’re going to have a screaming baby next to you or behind you. Sometimes it happens and it’s no ones fault. Regular headphones will cancel out most of the noise, but if you have noise-cancelling, even better. Get lucky and there’s no crying baby? Headphones playing your favorite music can still set the tone for your flight, dictating whether you want to get pumped up to go once you land, or lull yourself into a restful sleep, blocking out the snoring passenger next to you. Want a sexy pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones? Yes, so do I. Maybe when I get my next royalty check 😉

Tip 2. You didn’t buy a neck pillow because it looks ridiculous.

Flight Attendant travel tips
Don’t judge me!!!! I can’t help it if I think this animal hoodie/neck pillow is cute 😀

 

No, you look ridiculous when you fall sleep and end up drooling on your neighbors shoulder. That’s right, you fell asleep upright, but now you’re slumped over against the person next to you, mouth completely ajar. I’m not joking or trying to poke fun, this happens all the time! A neck pillow won’t completely prevent slumping over onto your neighbor , but it does help! I recommend this one with memory foam. Buy it BEFORE you get to the airport because at the airport, I kid you not, it will be double the price. In most airports you can’t get a  neck pillow for less than $30. That’s crazy! If you’re a backpacker, opt for a slightly less comfortable, inflatable one like this one instead to save room.

 

Tip 3. Have gum handy, it’s the two in one life saver on your flight.

 

Gum is great for two things, stinky breath of course, but also, it can help when you’re ears are popping. On long flights I make sure to have a tooth brush handy, and if you’re in first class, usually you’ll have an amenity kit with one inside, but sometimes, it’s hard to get to the bathroom for a good brush. Gum will tie you over because whether you had too many garlic rolls (speaking from personal experience obviously, thanks Delta One) or you haven’t eaten at all and have that icky stale mouth feeling, no one wants to feel gross. And don’t get your hopes up asking your flight attendant, we’re not allowed to chew gum so most of us just have mints.

Want to know what I have in my pocket at all times? It’s not gum (since we’re forbidden to chew) it’s…Listerine Strips. I honestly think that Listerine should recruit me as their spokesperson because not only does it keep me incredibly fresh (I’ll probably fail a Breathalyzer test some day because of it) but I’m always touting it’s benefits to everyone around me. My other half is a pilot and back when we first got together, I gave him an in-flight care package that included a supply of Listerine strips. After all, the cockpit is basically a tiny bubble and if someone farts or has bad breath…you’re in big trouble. This brings me to my next point…

 

Tip 4. When nature calls and you need to brave the airplane lavatory Flight Attendant Travel Tips

 

What does every flight attendant carry in their bag? I’ll give you a hint, it’s because passengers are filthy…

It’s called Poopuri. No, that’s not a typo, I didn’t mean potpourri, the grandma’s solution to a fragrant room. I’m talking about Poopuri. It’s a squirt bottle (travel size of course) that you spray prior to going number two and no one will be none the wiser of your ill-timed deed aboard the aircraft. Picture it, you’ve got a line of people waiting for the lavatory, you’re doing something in the bathroom that you really didn’t want to do, the last thing you want to do now is make the walk of shame. Let me say this, no one plans on going number two on the airplane. And yet it happens all the time. Whether it’s the pressurization, too much coffee, eating something bad, or being hung over, people BLOW UP the lavatory. Don’t let it be you. Poopuri smells subtle, but amazing and I can tell you it works on the worst. Sometimes flight attendants will even squirt it into the bowl after an offending passenger walks out. The normal coffee filter pinned to the door trick only works for minor offenders.

 

Tip 5. Tip for my glamorous travelers, keep that hair lookin’ foxy and those lips looking’ glossy.

 

For my ladies (especially my fellow backpackers), Dry Shampoo is everything.

I keep this in my bag at all times as a flight attendant. The air in the plane will make your hair greasy. I’m  not going to lie, I love to look foxy when I’m on the plane doing my thing, untitledbut if I get in late at night and I’m flying out in the morning at O’Dark Hundred, I’m probably not going to wash my hair and restyle for my passengers. Dry Shampoo to the rescue! Not only does it remove the grease from my hair, but it revives the soft curves I styled the day before. Winning! I’m also a female solo traveler when I’m not working and love to go backpacking. When I’m traveling light like this and staying in hostels, I’m going to be real honest, I shower as minimally as possible. Dry shampoo gets me through the in betweens. Sometimes you think you’re going to shower, and then you see that fateful gross shower at your Amsterdam hostel and you think…no way in hell. It’s dry shampoo time.

My favorites are  Morrocon Oil Dry Shampoo (usually purchased right after I get paid), it smells amazing & the cheaper Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo (for when I’ve spent all my money on travel). Don’t forget, unless you’re checking your bag, travel size to get through TSA is 3.4 ounces.

Lipsense sold by Jetsetter Glamour

Let’s face it, flying can leave you both dry AND greasy. No one is going to notice though if you’ve got a perfect set of lips. Take my advice and keep lips moisturized and looking perfect with LipSense. I became addicted after realizing I could work a 14 hour day of flying and my lips would still be perfect and un-retouched. We’re talking hundreds of smiles, coffee cup proof, burrito-indulging proof, and passenger butt-kissing proof, you name it, this color stays on. My signature shade is BluRed. Try it out yourself and head to the Jetsetter Glamour online store.

Jetsetter Glamour BluRed LipSense

 

Tip 6. Bring a pen

 

This is such a no-brainer, but I get at least one person a flight ask me for one. International flights, make that twenty-plus. The previous airline I flew for did not stock pens, even on international flights, so the flight attendants did not have any to give out. Most airlines will at least have a few for international flights, but not enough for an aircraft full of hundreds of passengers. The plane that I usually work carries 175 people and we may have ten pens in our international packets. You DO NOT  want to be that person filling out their customs/immigration info at the last minute while everyone gets in front of you in the already long lines. Also for my ladies, pens make a great emergency hair pin. If you’re a major traveler, having a pen and travel journal is a must! Keep track of cool people you meet, where you stay, or amazing walks you found that your guidebook didn’t know about!

 

Tip 7. Bring an external charger for your electronic devices

 

Most planes have charging ports for each seat, but not every airline and not every aircraft. Say you’re flying Delta Airlines, and you remember from your last flight that you had a charger at your seat in coach. But now you get to your seat, expecting a similar plane, but you find there’s no charging port! Halfway through your flight your devices are dead. No one wants to land and not have a cell phone, ect. I recommend traveling with an external charger, whether it’s for a flight or if your traveling as a backpacker. I know that I use my cell phone a lot for pictures, ect so I don’t want my battery going dead while I’m halfway across the faerie pools in the middle of nowhere, Scotland in the most amazingly beautiful place I’ve ever been. Disclaimer: DO NOT purchase a cheap or aftermarket external charger because these have been known to catch fire during flight. It’s getting so bad these days with batteries catching fire that even the Samsung 7 phone is required by the FAA for flight attendants to make a PA that the phone can not be powered on during air travel. Lithium Ion batteries are very dangerous to have on planes and never leave them in a checked bag.

 

Tip 8. If you get motion sick, here’s what you need to do

 

Travel with Alkaseltzer or Dramamine. I personally prefer Alkaseltzer and bonus, it’s also good for hangover. Not that flight crew get together and drink way too much on layovers, that doesn’t happen. 😉  If you don’t have either of those things with you, but find that you’re still feeling air sick, don’t hesitate to ring your call button and let you flight attendant know. Ask for a glass of ice chips because chewing on the cold ice will make you feel much better without putting too much in your stomach. Make sure to tell your flight attendant that you’re not feeling well and she might have extra suggestions or things on board to make you feel more comfortable. Also, if you know you’re a traveler that gets air sick, try to plan your seat in advance to seat over the wings. The back of the aircraft is the worst place to sit because it gets the most movement. Instead, sit over the wings where the wings are designed to flex and take the movement upon themselves to ensure a more stable ride.

Flight Attendant's Air Travel Tips to the Best Flight

 

But the tip that most people forget is… wait for it…

 

 

The most important tip is…

 

Tip 9. For a guaranteed great flight, remember that the flight attendant is your best friend!

 

Your flight attendant can console you if you’re sad, reassure you if you’re scared or nervous, feed you if you’re hungry, bring you a drink when your thirsty and give you a memorable flight. When passengers have shared a part of their life with me, I have done my part to become part of their story they tell when they land.

Are you flying to start your honeymoon? Tell the flight attendants when you first board so that we can order you champagne because we may or may not have it onboard.

Traveling to someplace for the first time and finally crossing a destination off your travel bucket list? I’ve made an announcement before in that situation and asked any locals or return visitors to jot down their must-dos for that travelers visit. I passed out cards and pens and told them to hand them to the flight attendant before the flight was done. By the time we landed, that passenger had a stack of unique ideas from his fellow fliers. He was so grateful and it’s an experience he said he won’t forget.

Not everyone travelers for happy things. If you’re on your way to a funeral and not in a good frame of mind, it might be helpful to let your flight attendant know. Whether you need a stiff drink to cope, or just a little extra patience during the flight, your flight attendant is there to help you through that flight.

 

Final Verdict

TheLuvAviatrix

Don’t forget that flying can be fun! Flying can be glamorous! And if you’re scared of flying, don’t forget, you’re flight attendant’s are there for you. If something does go wrong, your flight crew, the flight attendants and the pilots, are extremely well trained. Please always remember that flight attendants are not just on the airplane to serve peanuts. We are the last line of defense, but also we’re your friend, your nurse, whatever you need us to be to make your flight the  best it can be.

 

Have any questions about flying? Don’t be shy and leave them in the comments. I promise to get back to ya.

 

Happy Flying

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

Like these tips? Pin this image for the next time you fly.

A Flight Attendant gives her air travel tips for your best flight. What to bring to make your flight easier

 

My Books

The Immortals in Alameda Series

Published by Crimson Romance

 

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When the dryad Tera’s friends inform her that the portal on Alcatraz Island is buzzing with an arrival, she thinks her goddess mother has come to visit. When Tera arrives at the portal to welcome her, she doesn’t find her mother, she finds a gigantic otherworldly warrior causing mass destruction among the San Francisco tourists. Being a forest dryad born from the Goddess of the Hunt has its perks, and kicking ass is one of them.

Sabin is six-feet-six of hard-bodied soldier, used to subduing demons twice his size. One day after chasing an elusive smoke demon through a portal into the human realm, Sabin is brought to his knees by a beautiful woman, literally. After arriving at a pier full of dead bodies, Tera issues a passionate smack-down before Sabin can explain that he’s the good guy. He’s just in time: an an ancient grudge has come to life. Eris, the Goddess of Chaos, has held a bitter hatred for Tera’s mother, Artemis, for over 400 years – and now she’s ready to destroy all dryads – including Tera. Sensuality Level: Sensual

 

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Sparrow Reed might look like an angel, but she’s a witch with a back full of enchanted tattoos and she’s not afraid to use them. When her best friend’s life is threatened by an evil Goddess, Sparrow joins an epic battle against the demons sent to destroy her home. She never realized that the night she almost died, her life would truly begin.

Rowen Aerion of the Knights of the Fog was sent to the human realm to tip the balance in an unfair fight. But when he arrives on Alcatraz Island to aid the mortal humans, he sees an angel fighting demons. But she’s not an angel, she’s human. And according to a soothsayer, his love for her will mean her demise. Sparrow is thrust into a world she never imagined existed, yet nothing thrills her like the handsome warrior who refuses her seduction.

When Rowen’s rejection sends Sparrow into the arms of a dangerous rebel, Rowen must decide which is more dangerous, the oracle’s grim warning, or forsaking his heart’s sole desire. Sensuality Level: Sensual

 

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Michelle looks like the girl next door, but she can grow some wicked claws and fur, too for that matter. Hiding out in a small island town, Michelle guards her secret – that she’s a were-jaguar.

Duncan had spent the last eighty years being eternally young, and eternally lonely. Being a vampire has meant a meaningless existence, so when he discovers a were-jaguar in town, Duncan sees her less as a freak, and more like a gift.

Throughout her life, Michelle faced constant betrayal, but Duncan refuses to leave her alone. Together, they venture to Mexico where the ancient Mayan past holds the key to her existence. But when Duncan realizes an Aztec army of vampires needs Michelle’s blood to perform an ancient ritual, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her. But falling in love could be the most dangerous game – for Michelle, it could mean the greatest betrayal.

What I Learned My First Month of Blogging

This is a tale of woes and wins.

This is what I learned during my first month of blogging.

 

I purchased my domain August 20th, so my blog is almost a month old! I’m excited to tell you about some of my aha moments and what I learned. Be warned, I had no idea when I started writing this post, but it’s my longest blog entry to date! Eek! This post also contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission, bonus! It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe by Month 2. I’ll keep you posted!

 

My Background As a Writer

 

Although blogging is new to me, I’m not a complete newbie to writing or the blogosphere. Let me give you a quick run down on how I got here. I grew up traveling a lot because I have family in the airline industry and I always wanted to be a flight attendant and a writer. I thought I’d want to major in journalism, The Luv Aviatrix Travis Blogbut I quickly realized all the legal studies involved were a major buzzkill. This led to a complete 180 into fiction writing. I majored in Cultural Anthropology at university, hoping all those history and archaeology classes would serve me well during my travels.

 

By the time I graduated, I had my first book deal for a steamy romance novel trilogy, available here, from an indie publisher. Not long after, I got another romantic series I had written published, this time by a bigger publisher. Although let me tell you, a bigger publisher does not equal bigger royalties. But having my books published taught me a lot about writing and the publishing industry and most publishers wanted me to be active on social media. These are all things I tapped back into when getting my travel blog going. It would have to be a completely different audience since some of my novels are of the steamy sort. I did have an author website, but it was an easy website for idiots as I call it, hosted by Wix. I’ll tell you more about Wix below and if I recommend it.

 

Back to the travel blog. What made me start blogging if I have steady income as a flight attendant and a couple feet in the door of the publishing industry?

 

Honestly? I got injured at work, flying, and was told by the doctor that I’d have to be on bed rest for two months. No travel or anything for two months! I’m rarely home for more than three days at a time so two months (without travel privileges) was nuts! I tried to write more of my current work-in-progress, but the pain meds made me feel…well, not very able to write cohesively. I wanted to maintain my writing schedule (and I just NEEDED to write) so I decided to write some travel posts on a free WordPress site.

 

When I wasn’t passed out or writing a travel post, I was on Pinterest just scrolling. Pinterest became my best friend on bed rest because it doesn’t require many brain cells. Pinterest is what caused me to consider getting a domain and starting a legit WordPress site that I could monetize. Because why not? I’ve got nothing but time, and it was pretty cheap. And some bloggers out there are making big bucks. And obviously I would have to do a travel blog because it’s all I do. And who knows, maybe I can put Harlingen on the map. 😉 *Sorry, insider Luv Crew joke*

 

So here I am with a blog, one month in and I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned.

But Jaye, you’ve only had a blog for a month, you can’t be an expert! I’m not, far from it, but you’d be amazed at all you will learn in your first month AND all you can accomplish.

 

Which host do I use?

 

I purchased my domain www.theluvaviatrix.com, from GoDaddy, just because at the time it was cheapest. I’ve also used NameCheap for my author site and never had a problem with it. At first, I had planned on pointing that domain to a BlueHost hosted site. It was a slamming deal, 2.99 plus a bunch of advertising bonuses, or 1.99 a month without. I started signing up, and my stupid computer froze. This computer is the bane of my existence and if I ever make money with this blog I’ll use it to get a new one. Anyway, my computer froze and by the time I got it working again, the deal supposedly had expired. It hadn’t even been a day! I immediately contacted Bluehost and explained what happened and that I had already put in all my information and was at Paypal when my computer froze. They would not honor the deal and instead wanted to charge me 5.95 and no advertising extras. Bluehost was the worst customer service experience I’ve experienced.

But why do so many bloggers use Bluehost? Bluehost has a stellar referral/affiliate system. For every referral you send to Bluehost through your blog, you get $$ *cough* So obviously I’m going to include a link right here just in case you feel so inclined. I’ve told you my opinion and now you can make yours 😉 Besides, maybe you can get that deal I missed out on

 

Wix Website Hosting - What I learned my first month of blogging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So who did I go with after Bluehost gave me the shaft? I went with Ehost because it was pretty cheap (not the cheapest at the time) but it came with $200 in advertising extras like Google Adwords, ect. so that was a nice bonus. At this time, I haven’t used the advertising bonuses yet because I thought it would make more of a difference after I had gotten more established and possibly approved by Google AdSense. So far I have had a good experience with Ehost.

 

The author website that I have for my romance novels is hosted by Wix. Do I recommend Wix? Yes and no. Wix is great for a true beginner. Their templates for website design are basically idiot proof and come out looking very professional. However, if you want to monetize a site, or think you might want to monetize in the future, a self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. If you’re just trying to tell people about your product, whether it’s a book or home made jewelry, Wix is an easy, affordable one stop website shop.

 

 

Concerns of a Newbie Blogger

I finally started getting visits and comments, but are they legit? Is this spam?!?

 

Unfortunately, my early comments were indeed spam. My high of “Huzzah, I finally have visitors!” turned into a “Aww, man…I should’ve known I couldn’t have legit comments already.” In my defense, the comments looked super real and as a blogger, you may have gotten the same ones already. Things like “I love your blog, what is the theme?” This seems like something a normal person might ask, right? But the link at the end did make me leery along with the Mail Catch email address. I googled mail catch and found that it’s a temporary email system. Suspicious much?

 

As the month progressed, I realized I got multiple comments with this same exact message. Seemingly innocent comments like “I love your blog, what theme do you use?” Or even better, this next one really got my heart rate up, “I love your site so much, but I didn’t see a subscriber list…” This comment too had an iffy link at the end and a mail catch email. My word to the wise is, be very cautious with comments and emails proposing anything with a link or included file. You can never be too careful about malware and viruses. Even before I was a published author I encountered this. I would search Google for things like “publishers” and “editing tips” and “how to get published” and before you knew it I was getting contacted by supposed “boutique publishers”. Luckily, I was smart enough to know that you should never be required to pay for publishing services. That’s what a legit publisher is for.

I have real comments, but I’m locked out of replying. Do I have a virus!??!The Luv Aviatrix Travel Blog

 

This was literally my first reaction when I tried to reply to someone’s comment and got a creepy error message. My reply failed and I got a red message that said, “Sorry. You lose!” OMG I freaked out. Doesn’t that sound like something a hacker would say? Everything else seemed to be working, but I was terrified that I had a virus. I do have software to prevent and scan for that, but I was still scared. My website said that I had no virus or malware, but the comment elements still weren’t working. All comments, even the ones that had already been approved, now said spam check pending. So what happened? I finally noticed a tiny error message that said I hade to reactivate Aksimet, my spam monitoring software. Once I fixed this, everything was right in the world!

 

Wait, I had comments, but where did they go?!?!?

 

Okay, this lesson I learned is not just about comments, but about content in general. Always make sure you are backing up your wordpress site. When I transferred my free wordpress site to my self-hosted domain, all my blog posts came through, but I lost the few comments that I had. No big deal since I only had one or two posts, but if you’ve been blogging for a while, I don’t want you to be surprised and have your hundreds of comments disappear. About two weeks into my blogging journey, I had begun to accumulate comments and visits (which I was thrilled about) but I noticed that two posts had lost all their comments. I still don’t know what caused this, but I do know that at the time I hadn’t backed up my site. So back it up, people!

How did The Luv Aviatrix finally get traffic? Organically?

 

Hell no. I wish. I had to work for it. Week One of my blog I joined a couple FB groups for bloggers. Both of them were set up as support groups, but ever so often they have threads where you can post a link to your site to get visits. This is my number one tip for new bloggers, join a bloggers support group. Facebook has tons of them. Personally, I joined Bloggers Corner and Female Travel Bloggers. I quickly learned what blogging hurdles or wins other bloggers were having and was able to learn from them as well as share questions of my own, such as “Is my paragraph font too small?” I also met other bloggers and was able to see what works for them. Not only that, but I honestly feel like I’ve become invested in meeting these great people with so many interesting blogs! It definitely made me feel less lonely while on bed rest. There are some very inspiring people out there in the blogging community. Want to get to know me better? I’m on Facebook and Instagram more than is good for me 😉

 

But did The Luv Aviatrix get any organic traffic at all?

 

Yes! Thank goodness. Let me tell you where most (pretty much all) of it came from… Pinterest. Right now, if you look at my page views, it’s almost 50/50 from Facebook and Pinterest with a few stragglers of google search, ect. The difference is, Facebook is not really organic because it Starting a blog is easy, check out what I learned my first month!comes from me posting a link to my blog in a few FB blogging groups. Pinterest however is just from people scrolling through and becoming intrigued by my image. If you have a good image designed, it’ll make the person that sees it, want to click on it. I have a post on Pinterest here. So facebook is good because any views are great, but I think it’s worth it to put more effort into Pinterest, because it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Don’t have endless time to spend on Pinterest? I recommend Tailwind App, it’s a site where you can schedule your pins ahead of time and see how your boards are performing as far as repins and clicks. There is a free version where you can only schedule so many pins and have basic features. You can also pay $100 a year for unlimited pins. As a beginner blogger, I’m using the free version right now and I think it’s an amazing app. By scheduling my pins in bulk, I have more time to write and do other things. Tailwind makes social media easy and Pinterest has been my #1 traffic driver by far. Sometimes I’ll have a tweet retweeted 100 times and might be lucky to get one click to my website from that. Start your free trial here or start using the basic, free version.

 

Want to learn more about the Pinterest Pins I created to drive traffic? Check out this post for beginners.

 

How much traffic did you get your first month?

Enough to get approved by Google AdSense! I’m celebrating this as a major win because it makes my blog feel legit! There are requirements that Google has before it’ll approve your site and most bloggers say to wait at least 45 days, but I applied after three weeks and was able to get approved. I know that Google AdSense doesn’t mean I’ll be rich (I learned to have low expectations after getting published lol) but it does make me feel that I’ve created a professional blog, which makes me proud.

 

What was the most embarrassing lesson I learned?

Okay, so remember how I mentioned Facebook group threads? I’m not on witter much, so I decided to try to get on a retweet thread and see if I could get some traction. The idea behind the group Tweet thread is that all the users share the love and retweet each other. I carefully crafted a Tweet that I thought would pull readers into my site. It was retweeted quite a bit and then I realized something…In only 140 characters I had somehow managed a typo! &*%$ How embarrassing. I finally get a bunch of retweets and my credibility is shot as a writer. *headsmack* What did I learn? Edit and then re-edit. I’ll include the humiliating tweet below so you can see what escaped me.

 

What am I hoping to learn next?

 

Okay, so now that I’ve been approved by Google Adense, I need to actually learn how to use it to my advantage. I was terrified this morning when I logged on to my website and saw an advertisement with a huge butt on it with underwear riding up the crack. It was an advertisement about butt health issues. Really!?!? OMG, I was humiliated and I haven’t figured out how I go about changing it. Why can’t I have a sexy Bora Bora hotel ad instead?

 

So are you a new blogger or have you been around the block? Thank you for stopping by and hearing about my first month blogging. It’s been such a learning process and I’ve had amazing support from other bloggers.

 

Happy Blogging

XOXO The Luv Aviatrix

 

Too much info to take in at once? Pin this post for later  🙂

 

 

The Luv Aviatrix, What I learned my first month of blogging. Helpful tips.

 

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

The Road To Hana, Maui’s Epic Drive.

The Road to Hana, Maui needs to be on your travel bucket list

Aloha!  If you read my blog, than you’re probably a travel addict with a travel bucket list a mile long. The Road to Hana needs to be at the top of that list if you haven’t already checked it off. What is the Road to Hana? It’s basically Hawaii’s answer to the scenic Highway 1 along the California Coast. Are you ready for this…quite possibly sacrilege coming from a California girl…but I think the Road to Hana surpasses Highway 1, making this Maui drive one of the most scenic drives in the world.

 

 

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

 

Flight Attendant Tip: You’re going to need to get a rental car to get around the island and I highly recommend an SUV. Don’t forget, if you’re flight crew, check for discounts. I got an insane deal for five days and the guy at the counter was stunned. I call that a win. Anyways, make sure you get an SUV because on the Road to Hana, not all roads are paved. 🙂 You’ll see in one of my pictures below. It got quite rough and I’ve very glad we weren’t in a tiny convertible.

 

 

 

If you're headed to Maui, Hawaii, the Road to Hana needs to be your priority!

 

Anywhere you want to stop along the Road to Hana, you can explore and hike back to a waterfall, you might have it to yourself if you want to swim around. Just be sure to bring bug spray. I recommend this one. The beauty of Hana is to stop along the way. That’s why I say at least a full day but up to three days depending on how many hikes you want to do.

 

Waterfalls along the Road to Hana

 

My absolute must-do hike on the road to Hana is the Bamboo hike. That’s what I call it, but there so many waterfalls on this hike I guess it should be called the Waterfall hike. 😉 The hike begins at the Seven Sacred Pools, several waterfalls that flow into each other and during certain seasons you can swim in. Keep on trekking up the path though and eventually you’ll get to a bamboo forest. It’s absolutely magical, like being in another world. Check out my pics if you need a little inspiration 😉 I wish I could fill this entire post with the bazillions of pictures I took.

 

The Road To Hana needs to be on your travel bucket list

 

The great thing about the Bamboo hike on the way up from The Seven Sacred Pools is that it’s a very easy hike. As you can see in the pictures, much of it is flat trekking. The incline (when there is one) is quite gradual. If you want to get close to the falls or swim in the pools (which is seasonal), make sure you wear a swimsuit or bring waterproof clothes. When I was there, no one was allowed to swim in the pools, so no cute bikini waterfall pics this time. Just a cheesy one of me with my jacket wrapped around my hips. 😉 I’m such a cool kid…I’ve even been known to travel with a fanny pack from time to time.

 

Hike back to this amazing waterfall on the Road to Hana.

 

The bamboo hike is just one of hundreds of possible stops along the road to Hana where you can hike, gaze, or simply fill your Instagram waterfall quota. If you’re an aviation nerd like me (or if you’re a flight crew on a layover) consider putting a visit to Charles Lindbergh’s grave on your Road To Hana pit stop list. The aviation legend (first solo flight across the Atlantic) loved Maui and wanted to be buried on the island. It took us forever to find the church (because it’s so small and there’s no signs), and once we did, we were astounded at how low key it was. I guess I thought there’d be a gigantic airplane sculpture or something. Instead, it was an incredibly non-descript grave. Lindbergh’s still got an amazing view though, and the tiny church and cemetery overlook the ocean.

 

 

Aviation addicts can visit Charles Lindrave in Maui, Hawaii

 

Flight Attendant Travel Tip: Start from Paia and drive toward Hana. Paia has an assortment of restaurants and a grocery store if you want to purchase picnic items or road trip food. I recommend that you not arrive too hungry to Hana as it is quite a sleepy town and I was not successful in finding good food there. No one wants a hangry road tripper. Since I had wanted to get an early start to the Road to Hana, we stayed a couple nights in an airbnb. *If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $35 towards your next stay* Not familiar with Airbnb? No worries, check out my latest Airbnb post here about my wonderful stay in Paris, The Coolest Airbnb in Paris.

Tip #2. Start early and don’t even think about doing this drive after the sun goes down. Sight-seeing all the glorious flora on both sides of the road is what makes the trip so magical. Not only that, but some of the roads so get quite bumpy and treacherous. Not dangerous, but you definitely want 100% of your faculties. Diminished eyesight on unpaved roads isn’t something anyone wants to deal with on a vacation road trip.

Another tip: I mentioned this in my other Maui post, but when I’m on the island, I would be lost without this book. Especially if you’re doing the Road to Hana, bring a great book with you that will detail many of the waterfalls and beaches you are seeing on the drive and it will tell you exactly what mile markers to look for if you want to hike or pull over for a selfie. 🙂

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Final Verdict The Luv Aviatrix on the Bamboo HIke along the Road to Hana

The winding road, lush jungle scenery, cascading waterfalls and turquoise ocean water make this drive incredibly unique. Throw in a rainbow every few miles and you’re experience the ultimate Hawaii vacation. The Road to Hana is the best of Maui. Stop wherever you like, hidden beaches, waterfall hikes, bamboo forests…the possibilities are endless on Maui. So get on a plane to OGG, rent a car and set out on the most amazing drive you’ll ever take, Maui’s Road to Hana.

So, have you done the Road to Hana? What were the highlights for you?

 

 

Haven’t been to Maui and done the Road to Hana yet? Put it on your travel bucket list and pin this image for later 🙂

 

The Rooad to Hana in Maui Hawaii is one of the most scenic drives in the world

 

The Eiffel Tower, Oaris - The Luv Aviatrix's Airbnb Review

The Coolest Airbnb in Paris

Bonjour! If you know me, than you know I love Paris. It’s my favorite city in the entire world, and I’ve done quite a bit of traveling. Perk of the job. There’s just something about all the history, all of the art, and the slow way in which the locals enjoy a coffee or a meal. As a writer, I love meandering the same cobblestone streets that Ernest Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde, and countless other writers have called home and been inspired by. Or if you prefer art, what artist did not live in and love Paris?

 

The Eiffel Tower, Oaris - The Luv Aviatrix's Airbnb Review

 

But I’ll not get too carried away discussing the hundreds of reasons I love Paris in this post, instead, I’m going to tell you where to stay. My goal today is to enlighten travelers about the unique option while in Paris, of staying at an “Airbnb” instead of a hotel. I like Airbnb, although I’ll be honest, I have had hit and miss occasions. This occasion in Paris was a hit, and I’d love nothing more than to tell fellow travelers about my unique experience.  But wait, you haven’t heard of Airbnb?

 

Airbnb for Dummies.

What is Airbnb?  In a nutshell, Airbnb is accommodation via personal homes and apartment rentals. Via the website, the user can choose to rent only a room, or an entire apartment or home. You can search for homes all over the world, some Airbnbs renting for as little as $7 USD and some as expensive as thousands of dollars per night. This is because Airbnb offers everything from a camp rental or room rental, to giant beach front vacation homes. Generally, I don’t rent anything over $200 a night.

 

My Favorite Airbnb in Paris

There were two key reasons why this apartment is amazing.

1. Location. In the heart of Le Marais, the historical heart of Paris with winding, cobblestone alleys and quaint bistros. The apartment is located right on St. Catherine’s Square and strolling distance to Place des Vosges. You can walk everywhere in Le Marais, but if you do choose to venture farther, a metro stop was less than two minutes walk from this Airbnb. Some of the best food I’ve had in Paris was less than a block away from our stay at this wonderful Airbnb. If you want quintessential Paris, then to be able to stay in Le Marais is a must accommodation-wise. Having a metro stop is even more significant, because the transit system is super easy to navigate and can get you everywhere in Paris.

2. Unique Parisian Feel. Let’s be honest, the only reason to avoid a chain hotel, is because you want a unique experience and homey feel. When you stay in Paris, you want to feel like a local. What better way than to rent a local Parsian’s home or apartment. Everything about this Airbnb screamed Paris, but also artist. From the winding staircase up to the apartment door, to the giant wall-size map of Paris in the living room, you’ll be transported. Don’t even get me started on the Absinthe shop beneath the apartment. So cool! The quirks continued inside the partment with lighting in the shape of…well scroll down and you’ll see 😉 My favorite touch beside the giant wall map of Paris would have to be the wood beam ceiling. Just magical and as you can see by my pictures, this Airbnb was full of Parisian charm.

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of charm - A Luv Aviatrix Review

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of charm - A Luv Aviatrix Review

 

This Paris Airbnb is full of Parisian Charm - a Luv Aviatrix Review

 

I never met the host (as in some Airbnb cases), but I was given the location of the key to let myself into the apartment. All of the normal amenities were available, such as shampoo, conditioner, ect. Another perk of an Airbnb, is having a full kitchen in the apartment. The kitchen was complete with everything we need and we made quick use of the wine opener to celebrate our arrival into our cozy Parisian nest.  Our bed was incredibly comfortable (or maybe it was the French wine) and we slept in late into the following afternoon. Nothing beats a lazy day in Paris!

 

Le Marais, Paris, Airbnb Review

Perks of Airbnb

I stay in hotels a lot as a flight attendant, and it can feel quite stale. Every hotel looks similar. You walk in and out like a tourist or business person. Airbnb lets you live like a local! Not only that, but there is the perfect Airbnb for every personality. I loved the very unique and Parisian feel of this Airbnb, but maybe you’re into a sleek, modern look-Airbnb has so many hosts that there is a home for every style. Are you a cook back home and you want a gourmet kitchen in the middle of Paris? Airbnb will help you find what you need. There’s just something more personal about staying in an Airbnb and no matter what city I’m in, the accommodation definitely makes my stay all the more memorable. Just like hotels, Airbnb accommodations get cleaned, and probably better than hotels because they rely heavily on reviews. Sometimes you will see this small cleaning fee either included, or on top of the apartment/home charges.

Airbnb not your thing? Start pricing hotels in Paris. After all, planning is half the fun!

 

 

The coolest Airbnb in Paris    Final Verdict

This Airbnb has got to be the coolest place to stay in Paris. And it cost less than $100 a night! It’s so unique both inside and outside the apartment and full, from floor to ceiling, or Parisian charm. You’ll feel like a local when you step outside onto the quaint cobblestone street, only minutes away from bistros and the metro. So go to Paris, stay like a local, and cram as much macaroons and cheese into your suitcase as you can 😉

 

New to Airbnb? Get $35 USD in credit when you sign up or stay using my reference code here. It’s free to sign up.  Get on the site, but prepare to get addicted! There are so many amazing places in the world to stay and so many incredible Airbnbs!

 

 

Happy Travels

xoxo

The Luv Aviatrix

 

This is an honest review done of my own will and opinion and was not paid for by Airbnb or it’s host although this post does contain affiliate links which I may make a commission from.

 

Start planning your next trip to Paris and pin this image for later 🙂

 

The Coolest Airbnb in Paris - Stay like a local!

 

P.S. Want the travel book in that photo I took at the café? It’s one of my favorite walking guides to Paris. There’s no better way to get to love Paris than to walk. I’m not sure if they still make that specific books anymore, but Frommers is always putting out new editions.

P.P.S. Prefer fiction? Check out my post A Flight Attendant’s Bookshelf for my favorite travel reads!

 

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The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

Tokyo is for lovers…Sushi lovers!

I’ll never forget the first time I visited Japan. I wasn’t a flight attendant yet, I think I was eighteen, and I joined a family member on her Narita layover. I had a little over twenty four hours in Japan and in that time, my culinary desires were to have gyoza and teriyaki. When I think back, I cringe at this because I know how much I was missing out on. Although, I definitely was onto something regarding the idea of consuming as much gyoza as possible while in Japan. But at the time, I claimed to hate sea food. I know, sacrilege coming from a Seattle, girl. Perhaps because I grew up watching men toss around fish at the Pike Place Market, the thought of eating it just never did anything for me.

My culinary experiences in Japan greatly changed during my second visit. That fateful trip to Tokyo changed my life…and my taste buds…forever. Let me tell you how it happened.

My trip to Tokyo by way of NRT (Narita), started off grandly. I was able to get a seat, which for us standby folks is always a good sign. Of course, my Delta crew treated me like a rock star, which on a ten hour flight is so appreciated. I enjoyed cocktails, amazing food and four in-flight movies! Needless to say, I was sleepy, but pumped to explore Tokyo once again.

 

Luv Aviatrix goes to Tokyo via NRT

 

Yay, I’m back in Japan!

 

For this trip, I said that I was going to eat anything and be completely adventurous. Since Japan is an island, they obviously have amazing fresh fish and the Tsukiji Fish Market is famous world wide. So of course, it was my first stop. According to my travel guides, it’s important to get to the Tsukiji Fish Market nice and early. I didn’t necessarily need to see the first catches being brought in, so I didn’t show up before the sun, but I did plan on having an early lunch there and carousing most of the stands before any tourists showed up.

 

I was amazed at all the goods offered at the market, including fresh catches of squid, octopus, and fish I’d never even heard of. I was definitely inspired to pop into one of the Tsukiji Fish Market sushi shops. After all, if anyone could convert me into a sushi person, perhaps it would be Japan. I stepped inside a tiny establishment within the market and felt good about the number of locals that had already come inside to enjoy sushi. A conveyer belt wrapped around the tiny room with plates of beautifully crafted sushi and sashimi concoctions.

 

Tsukiji Fish Martket, The Luv Aviatrix's Guide to the best Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

Although nothing was in English, I decided to try everything, even if I didn’t know what it was! I decided my method was simple, grab the pretty sushi plates as they passed by. Although my Japanese was iffy at best, it didn’t matter because the Sushi house was self serve and even included spigots of tea at every station. Just being in this environment was super fun because I’d never eaten at a place like this before!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Every plate of Sushi was so beautiful, it was obvious that the Sushi chefs took their time in creating these culinary masterpieces. The beauty in these dishes definitely made me feel brave to try new things and I quickly grabbed my first plate from the sushi belt.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to the best sushi in Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Since I had always been anti-sea food, I have no idea what fish were on my sushi plate. I was eager to taste one of the mini art pieces though and quickly discovered something…it was amazing! That’s right, I didn’t know what it was, but it was probably the most amazing thing I’d ever tasted. The sushi melted in my mouth as if it had never been whole. That’s how fresh this fish was. Utterly amazing. I was convinced. Sushi, so far, was amazing and I’d definitely be having more than one plate!

Flight Attendant Tip: Although I was a sushi newbie, Japan taught me that traditionally, you’re supposed to eat the entire sushi in one bite. I found this hard believe and impossible at first (there was a very unflattering photo to prove it), but I soon got the hang of it. I definitely understand that by consuming the sushi in one bite, all the flavors are absorbed at the same time. And because good sushi melts in your mouth, the large bite is rendered palatable quite quickly.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

It took all of my travel courage to take the above plate off the sushi belt, mainly because it had a face. But it was so unique to Japan, almost symbolic as a dish, I just had to. This little guys sacrifice wasn’t in vain and I salivated for moments after finishing this amazing dish, contemplating all I had been missing during my seafood-free life.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: I still don’t know what this is or what different things are in it…but it was amazing. A trend I noticed eating all this sushi is that every bite melted in my mouth. And despite all my preconceived notions, nothing tasted fishy. I was told later that fresh fish shouldn’t smell “fishy”.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

Above: This plate ended up being my absolute favorite. The slight sear on top was like the icing on the cake, but um, for sushi. Since I was so Sushi illiterate, I had no idea until later that it was Unagi, also known as Eel! Who knew that this anti-sea food gal from the Pacific Northwest would go to Japan and get hooked on Eel? Not me, but to this day, my go-to date night dinner is Unagi from our local sushi joint. I <3 Unagi!

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

In all honesty, although Tokyo has converted me into a sushi lover, the above dish was the only one I didn’t love. I finished it, but the fish eggs were a bit salty for my taste. I definitely think if you’ve never tried them before, that you should. The texture is very interesting. They’re soft and squishy like Jell-O, but have a bit of a crunch as you bite into them.

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

How Much Will it Cost?

You will be amazed when I tell you that even though this was the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had (and since my first visit I had sushi just about everywhere) the plates of sushi were about $1 US dollar each. Isn’t that amazing? How it works is that different colored plates equal different prices. At the time of my visit, plate started as low as .50 cents. That’s right, you can get one of those beautiful sushi plates pictured for less than a dollar! The most expensive plate I had was $2. That means that the Tsukiji Fish Market has sushi for every budget. Heck, I ate like a queen at this amazing place! Look at all those plates I went through and it was less than $10 USD!

 

For my fellow flight crew, it’s cheaper to fly to Tokyo (including zed fares) and eat at Tokyo’s fish market than to have sushi at some restaurants in the states. No joke, a similar plate to what I got in Tokyo would be $24 USD at Los Angeles Sushi house, Katsuya. For one person to eat there easily racks up to over $100 dollars, and you’ll leave hungry if you’re not rich and famous. On my budget, I can’t even afford to step in the door. For less than $100, flight crew can nonrev to Tokyo and take a train or bus to the Tsukiji fish market area of downtown Tokyo. Even if you need to purchase a zed fare, it’s usually not more than $6o round trip. So why not hop over to Tokyo for an amazing lunch as just fly back? I did 🙂

 

The Flight Attendant's Guide to Japan, the Best Sushi in Tokyo

 

 Final Verdict:The Luv Aviatrix, a flight attendant, enjoys the Tsukiji Fish Market

Absolutely, anyone that visits Japan needs to visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and have sushi while you’re there. Even if you’re like me and think you hate sea food, when I finally gave it a chance, the fresh fish blew my mind. Sushi really is an art form in Japan. Although Tokyo has many different areas to explore, do not leave without experiences the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world! And isn’t that what traveling is for?

So, are you are a sushi addict or are you ready to be converted?

Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to the best Sushi in Japan. The Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

 

Ready to plan your trip to Tokyo? My bookshelves would be empty without all my great travel books to get me ready!