Old Friends, New Tricks



Yesterday I mentioned a dinner meeting in Santa Monica. When I arrived at my destination, I walked around the block and saw the building shown above – The Huntley Hotel. Talk about a blast from the past…


Back in my flight attendant days, our layovers were often at The Huntley (I was based in Boston at that time). Only we called it “The Hauntley,” as it had not yet been refurbished, the elevators were rickety and the interior was a little on the shabby (sans the chic) side. But it was clean and safe, and in a great location for flight attendants.


Anyhoo, looking up at that now-beautiful, old hotel really made me smile. You see, I was in Santa Monica to meet up with a dear friend. And I’ve known her for 20+ years. We met as flight attendants.


Carolyn is still in the travel industry. She is the founder and CEO of “In-Flight Insider,” a travel resource site based on her vast experience (“over ten million miles in the air”!) and expertise. She focuses not only on safety and preparation, but also on luxury and glamour. And believe me, she’s just the gal to do it! She doesn’t rest on her laurels and is constantly researching and learning about the wide world of travel. I trust, admire and respect her. And I am blessed to call her my friend.


So Carolyn was by the beach to review a luxury hotel, its amenities and restaurant (she is a travel writer/editor for “Fairfield County Look” and “Westchester Look”). As her food dork friend, I was invited along to experience dinner at “Fig.” And it did not disappoint.


Though we each ordered a starter and an entree, we were treated to course after course from the chef. Y’all, I’m not a girl to leave good food on the table, but I couldn’t finish anything placed before me. It was a feast! I’d love to show photos, but alas, they all turned out too dark…



At the end of our meal, Chef Ray Garcia stopped by and spoke with us a bit. He pointed out that a lot of what we’d eaten had been procured that very morning at the Farmer’s Market. (Carolyn had accompanied him on his market rounds.) He answered questions and his passion for food was obvious. As he and Carolyn spoke, I observed this new person my friend has become.



It had been a 3 1/2 hour meal. Carolyn, on East coast time, was surely as exhausted as I. We hugged one last time and I ventured out into the rain and made my way home.


Old friends are beautiful things. Not only do we get to look back at the people we were, at where we were, we also get to marvel at who we’ve become. To me, Carolyn looks exactly the same as when we were flying together. But she’s certainly grown, matured, evolved. She continues to open my eyes to facets of life I would never see without her guidance. And I absolutely love watching her as she blazes her trail through this all-too-short adventure.


My own face seems completely different from that flight attendant of all those years ago. I think my soul is different, too. And though I’ve parted ways with the travel industry, I still consider myself to be a traveler. A seeker. Those are the ties that bind me to my old friend, Carolyn. Those are the ties that bind me to myself and to this world. Once you grow wings, you never lose them.