Tag Archives: transportation

Air New Zealand Review

Wonderful, as far as I’m concerned. There are several factors to this. In my adult life, I’ve used Air New Zealand twice to New Zealand, and both times it has been fantastic. 12-hour flights aren’t easy, but Air New Zealand definitely makes it easier. I’m surprised at the fortitude and endurance the flight attendants have for the whole entirety of the flight. Let’s go over the reasons why Air New Zealand rocks.

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

1. 75 movie choices. Yes, seventy-five. Usually you have to pay for even one movie, but here you get 75! They range from Despicable Me 2 to Whale Rider to 2 Guns. My goal is to usually watch one or two movies before attempting a sleep and then finishing with one when I wake up. Chris unfortunately watches like four our five and doesn’t get sleep. Go team.

2. Meals of decent to good quality. I know this doesn’t exactly sound like a compliment, but it is! Usually airplane food is blargh! But Air New Zealand does it well. I never had a stomach ache and everything tasted good, especially breakfast! Oh and both are free.

3. An epic safety video. I mean epic. It was completely Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-ed out! Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits galore! Even Peter Jackson made an appearance! It was such a good surprise. We were laughing the whole time. One of the few times I actually pay attention to airplane safety features. Last time I rode Air New Zealand it was Richard Simmons, which was of course hilarious.

4. No baggage fees. Yep. I couldn’t believe this one either. We did have to pay them going from America, but not back! It was so nice! Especially refreshing after Frontier now charges for carry-on items! Can you say rip-off!

5. Wonderful attendants. How would you feel serving a bunch of annoying Americans for 12 hours stuck in a small space high up in the sky? I would definitely not be cheery and helpful as all the Kiwi attendants were. They show that they care about the service you’re getting and want to help you best they can. Like the Kiwi people, they are friendly, laid back, and good-humored.

6. Wellington AirportI know this doesn’t necessarily count, but still. Check out the post. It’s awesome.

7. Free New Zealand wine. I can’t tell you how upset I was when I realized the wine was free and I didn’t take it! I couldn’t help but laugh when they were carrying the leftover bottles in the morning, saying “Wine, anyone?” Plus, New Zealand wine is among the best I’ve had. Before I didn’t like white wine, now I do! Yeah if this isn’t a perk of an airline, I don’t know what is.

DCIM100GOPRO

Those are just a few reasons why Air New Zealand knocks it out of the park. And yet another reason to visit New Zealand. If you’re going to fly to New Zealand, choose your Kiwi airline and you won’t regret it. It’s the best way to spend those 12 hours locked in an aircraft. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

The Coolest Airport in the Southern Hemisphere

Wellington, New Zealand, of course! No really, it is absolutely awesome. And that’s mostly because of Weta Workshop (which you will see in a later post), which created most of the props, weaponry and armor, and lots of the digital effects in Lord of the RingsAvatar, the Hobbit and more. They are truly amazing. More on them later. Tolkien fans will love this airport. I think the shock factor is a big part of this airport’s coolness. You just don’t expect what you’re going to walk into. And my family did a great job not saying anything (shocker there).

So when you get past checking and get into the terminal, you are first blasted with three huge eagles with Gandalf atop one of them hanging from the ceiling. I was totally amazed. I mean these are huge props, huge. We estimate 20 feet in each direction. Yeah it was literally awesome. Side note: recent earthquake in New Zealand (as in 2 nights ago) actually knocked one of the giant eagles to the ground! Nobody was hurt but…woah.

photo 2 (19)

And then you walk by more shops and restaurants, and then…boom. Gollum comes reaching in from the ceiling. And I don’t mean Andy Serkis-sized Gollum. I mean freaking huge–42-feet kind of huge! It’s Gollum’s head and arms reaching in for a fish, with bubbles about too! It’s really hard to describe how amazing it is. You have to see it in person to really feel the impact. Especially for Tolkien fans.

HE'S GONNA EAT ME

HE’S GONNA EAT ME

The rest of the airport is definitely unique too. All the shops are Kiwi-focused from Haka shirts to Kiwi poo to Merino wool everywhere! If you leave your shopping to the last minute, this is a perfect spot for you! Food options are also excellent, better than the average as far as airports go. Keep an eye out for awesome statues like dwarves and sheep. In addition, as far as security goes, it’s a breeze. Don’t even have to take your shoes off! Take that, America! Just kidding…kind of. Anyhow, if you’re looking for yet another reason to head to New Zealand, do not miss out on the Wellington Airport. 

One of a few there...

One of a few there…

photo 1 (18)

baaa

  • Question of the Day: What is your favorite airport?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading...always

Nymeria kneading…always

Techie Tuesday: the Waze App Review

Although we love our gadgets and gizmos, we don’t often write a post about them or review them. However, there are some that are exceptions to this and one of them is WazeI had downloaded this app about a year ago, but only recently started using it after my brother’s trip here. Waze is a travel/map app and it is incredibly useful and fun. 

We all have been through the frustration of Google Maps. Perhaps it led us in the wrong direction or forgot to tell us a turn. Hey, I’m a big supporter of Google Maps–more than most folk anyhow–but I’ve got to be honest, Waze has it beat. Let’s start with a little description so I can show you why it’s better than Google Maps. So you start Waze as a noob, an amateur with an avatar that has a pacifier. This is motivation to use the app more and more to gain points and discard that rookie-telling pacifier. For the avatar portion, once you get enough points, you can choose what “mood” you’re in which is basically your avatar. I’m pretty sure mine was “sleepy” yesterday (no surprise for a Monday, huh?). And there are leaders in each area in terms of points, so there’s always motivation to use it!

Thaaat's meeee

Thaaat’s meeee

So how do you get points? It’s pretty easy. You gain points simply by having the app on and driving. You can also gain additional points by reporting different things, which is getting to why Waze is so great. You have the ability to report hazards like stopped cars, accidents, weather, traffic, and even hidden police officers. Everybody works together in a community-like setting. As you are driving along and Waze is open on your phone or tablet, you can see all the hazards or traffic coming up on your route. This is really nice not only to be able to avoid it, but for safety reasons to. You can even see the other “Wazers” on the road which makes it feel even more like a community. I love that part. All working together to help one another.

photo 2

This app is also excellent at setting routes. First of all, you can input your “Home” and “Work” addresses so it’s easy to plug in. When you type in whatever address you are trying to get to, it will give you several routes, their mileage, length of route concerning time, and ETA. And for each route, it shows you all the “reports” aka the hazards, traffic, accidents, and so forth. In addition, along the route, if traffic is slowing down, it will show you the average speed at which traffic is flowing. Pretty neat.

Vroom vroom, night mode

Vroom vroom, night mode

To sum, this app has Google Maps beat with its sense of community and foresight with traffic and planning routes. Hungry and Fit gives Waze a big thumbs up. Use this smart traffic app to stay hungry and fit! 

  • Question of the Day: What travel app do you use?

BONUS KITTY PIC

 

Precious is all I can say

Precious is all I can say

Rollerblading Gets Radical

We may not be full-time skaters, but we have had some experience in the past. And we learned even more about it this past weekend. If you thought that inline skating was just about gliding at a leisurely pace through the park or along the boardwalk, then you haven’t been keeping up to date with extreme sports. While rollerblading can be a gentle activity – about as much exercise as going for a walk – there are lots more exhilarating ways of going skating if you are looking for thrills and a heart-pounding workout.

rollerblading-gets-radical1

Image source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lujcm5IZH31qel33so1_500.jpg

 You’ve probably seen rollerbladers performing the same sorts of tricks that you expect to see on skateboards and with free runners. This is known as aggressive rollerblading, where the focus is on performing spectacular moves, such as spins and grinds. You will see skaters spending their time defying gravity as they fly through the air. While it’s not for everyone, aggressive skating has a huge following, and it’s guaranteed to get your adrenaline running.

If aggressive rollerblading interests you, there are two different types that you can try. Street skating, which is also called freestyle skating, uses the urban environment as the stage. Street skaters jump down flights of stairs, grind down rails, and leap over obstacles at high speed. In many ways, street skating has a lot in common with other extreme street sports, such as parkour.

If street skating seems just a little too much for you – and it can be pretty intense – then you can try park skating. As the name suggests, this form of aggressive rollerblading takes place at the skate park, with skaters focusing more on technical tricks than on the freestyle moves seen in street skating. Not only do they try to perfect individual tricks, they try to connect them together into a fluid series of moves known as a line. This can include tricks on features such as pipes and curved ramps, which just don’t exist in a street environment. If you are looking to try park skating, ask around for a good park – the best parks have a flow to them, and have good lines that make it easier and more enjoyable to perform tricks.

Of course, if you are going to perform all those tricks, slides and grinds, a regular in-line skate just isn’t going to do the job. What you need is a pair of aggressive rollerblades, which are specifically designed to take all the impacts and strains. Not only are they tougher in general than regular skates, they also have specific features designed for aggressive skating. For example, the frames are specifically made so that skaters can grind on them, and some include grind plates. Street variants may also omit the inner two wheels, giving a huge area for grinding.

As well as aggressive rollerblading, there are a number of other types of in-line skating that you can try. For example, freestyle slalom skating is incredibly technical and involves performing tricks as you weave around cones that are laid out in a line. Vert skating is another variant, and is basically park skating on steroids – skaters perform acrobatics as they zoom up and down the sides of a half pipe, carrying out complicated aerial stunts such as spins and flips that can take them 10 feet above the sides of the pipe. There are also inline sports that mirror traditional winter sports, such as hockey, speed skating and off-road skating – this last one is basically the equivalent of cross-country skiing on rollerblades.

rollerblading-gets-radical2

Image source: http://0.tqn.com/d/inlineskating/1/0/s/5/-/-/fabiola_da_silva.jpg

 Whatever type of inline skating appeals to you, it’s incredibly important to take the right safety precautions, otherwise the sport can be hazardous. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are slightly more than 400,000 rollerblading and skateboarding injuries every year. However, given that over 11 million Americans are into these sports, that means that you have a less than one in 20 chance of getting injured in any given year – and most of these injuries are preventable. Buy quality skates that fit you properly and support you, so that you avoid injuries like twisted ankles – and make sure you keep them in good working order. Also, it’s inevitable that you’re going to fall from time to time, so learn how to fall without hurting yourself – if you don’t know how to do this, ask someone who does. And of course, proper protective gear is essential, starting with a helmet that meets or exceeds government safety standards. Other things you will want are quality wrist guards, along with knee and elbow pads. If any of this protective gear gets damaged, replace it – it’s already done its job. 

We’re Baaaack (Sorry!)

We have just arrived back from a nice 5-day vacation on the magical East Coast! We went out to visit Chris’ family (he’s from New Jersey/New York) and also see some friends. We had planned to prepare posts for each day ahead of time…but obviously that didn’t work. We have a little pathetic excuse, that there was no wifi we were able to get onto in the house…but still, sorry! I hope this post of deliciousness and friends will help you forgive us. It will be picture-heavy and text-light.

It was an early start to the Wednesday of us flying out–6:30am flight called for a 3:15am wake-up. We drove the car over to the airport and had a nice smooth ride, stopping briefly in Minneapolis before arriving at Newark. Since everyone who could pick us up were working, we decided to take it slow and just take public transportation back to Chris’ town, Midland Park, New Jersey. We got to the train station, his mum picked us up and we had an early first dinner of some good Chinese food. Two hours and a chiropractic appointment later, we had another dinner with his brother at a great thin-crust pizza. We finished that night off with some great Van Dyk’s ice cream and played video games all night with a good friend, Po.

photo 2 (15)

Po & Chris, ice cream buds

On Thursday, we wake up bright and early (not getting much more than 5 hours sleep…who sleeps on vacation, right?) and pack in the car with Chris’ mum to visit Chris’ sister in Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. And grabbed delicious bagel sandwiches on the way! It was a great day of relaxation, visiting Chris’ niece, adorable puppy, spending quality family time, and watching movies like Hotel Transylvania and Puss in Boots. We didn’t get home until around midnight and collapsed right to sleep.

Chris and his niece on a walk

Chris and his niece on a walk

Puppppyyyyyy

Puppppyyyyyy

On Friday, it was another early-wake-up day for us because we were visiting the city–New York! We had a great day seeing lots of friends from college. We found our way to my friend Mary Kate via bus and had a great breakfast with her before she headed into her super awesome 60 Minutes work. Then we took the good old 1 train uptown to the college where we met, Manhattan College. We got to meet up with some friends who still are attending, some who drove in for the day just to see us, and our old bosses. Chris got to fit in a leg workout while I hung out with my old JustPeace (a social justice club I led) club while they held an event. I got to see Kathleen and Hilary here.

Times Square, crazy to be back

Times Square, crazy to be back

Yum

Yum

hi!

hi!

Roomates 4 lyfe

Roomates 4 lyfe

My boss (Lois), Kathleen, and I

My boss (Lois), Kathleen, and I

Quad livin'

Quad livin’

Sweaty buds

Sweaty buds

After that (still Friday), we grabbed Kathleen and kidnapped her back downtown where we forced her to see The Grandmaster (review coming soon), which was pretty epic at one of our favorite indie theatres at Lincoln Center. We walked around Central Park for a bit before walking down to the famous Halal Cart which came from humble beginnings but is now 3 carts deep. We chowed down on some platters and then met up with Allan to go to the Yankee game. It was a lot of fun and we got great seats! Pretty good game too–2 of Chris’ favorite players hit homers. We then got a ride back to New Jersey, had some ice cream, then went to sleep.

Central Park walk

Central Park walk

Chowing on Halal--thanks for the pic, Kathleen

Chowing on Halal–thanks for the pic, Kathleen

DROOL.

DROOL.

Yankee game

Yankee game

On Saturday, we actually slept in! All the way until 9am! I know–crazy. While we waited for our friend, Allan, to wake up, we went and visited Abma’s Farm for some baked goods and sheep humor. After that, and he still wasn’t up, we went to the local Wildlife Conservatory which has beautiful paths and only animals that need rehabilitation. We finally met Allan, Jane Kim (a friend of Chris’) and her boyfriend at a new place in town for “brunch” (…at 12:30pm). Although we were wary about prices and reviews, it turned out to be delicious and a great time! We walked around town afterwards, got some boba, and hung out at the Ridgewood Park. We then grabbed a Tony’s Pizza to eat the next day (because they would be closed on Sunday). Later that night, Chris’ whole family went out to hibachi and it was delicious! Then after, we of course got more ice cream and went to sleep.

This sheep had the deepest voice ever...creepy

This sheep had the deepest voice ever…creepy

Beautiful nature walk

Beautiful nature walk

 

My delicious breakfast burrito at brunch

My delicious breakfast burrito at brunch

Friends

Friends

Best pizza I've ever had

Best pizza I’ve ever had

Hibachi!

Hibachi!

We have another late morning wake-up on Sunday, this time around 8:30. I decide to go for a easy-paced run in the morning while we get started on the day. We basically spent the entire day visiting Chris’ many aunts and uncles–it was really nice to meet all of them as I hadn’t met many before. That night we met up with Pablo and Brit (Chris’ close friends) and we drove 15 miles to go to East, a restaurant with sushi on a conveyor belt. Delicious! We then watched Here Comes the Boom (surprisingly awesome movie) and, of course, got some more ice cream.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Now it’s Monday, and we’re wondering how this vacation is already over! However…our flight wasn’t until 7pm so we had a good amount of time to spend with friends before we took off. We had a nice breakfast with Pablo and Brit that morning while we waited for Allan and Po to roll out of bed. I got way too much food…brie-stuffed french toast, eggs, home fries, and toast! We then meet up with everyone else and to everyone’s disappointment, Chris coerces us to go see the Percy Jackson movie. Okay maybe not coerced, but reactions were definitely amusing. After that movie, we all piled into cars and rushed to Mitsuwa (which will be getting its own post), which is a magical place that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Japan. Once we gobble down some delicious foodAllan is nice enough to take us down to JFK in Labor Day traffic. We owe him a big one.

Brie-stuffed french toast. yup.

Brie-stuffed french toast. yup.

And that was our trip! We had a pleasant flight and watched Great Gatsby (review coming soon) to make the 4.5 hours go by quickly. We are still catching up on sleep, and apologize again for the lack of posts, but here we come on full throttle! I’m probably forgetting a lot in this post, but I did what I could from memory! Make sure you travel to stay hungry and fit!

Thunder storm below us

Thunder storm below us

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Kathleen and I ^.^

Kathleen and I ^.^

Fit’s Food Review: La Vecchia (Santa Monica, CA)

La Vecchia has always been a “treat” or “very special occasion” for my family and I. Most of you know I grew up in Santa Monica, California, and that’s where this gem is located. Whether it was birthday dinner, graduation dinner, or someone special from out of town visiting. I always have fond memories of being so excited and sitting in the restaurant devouring their delicious warm perfectly-cooked bread. It’s my mum’s favorite Italian place in town.

On this day, our last day in town during Memorial Day Weekend, my mum wanted to take us somewhere special for lunch before our flight. She would take no refusal on HER paying for lunch and she decided on La Vecchia’s. So we went RIGHT at opening–11am. It was hard to even get in because tree cutters were blocking the entrance. Finally, we got seated (first ones in so we knew everything was going to be OH SO FRESH). Chris didn’t know what he was in for but I was so excited, basically drooling for what was to come. The waiter came right up to us and gave us water and…yes, you know it, BREAD. And their amazing dipping sauce. I was in heaven.

photo 1 (39)Each slice was as warm, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside as ever. Just as good as I remembered it. And that garlic-basil-olive oil dipping sauce is out of this world. Basic ingredients, but they do it right. Now another food I always remember from La Vecchia is the fried calamari. My mum really wanted to treat us so we got the calamari and a tuna salad. The calamari was just as good as I remember and the tuna was fresh. Awesome appetizers.

Calamari

Calamari

photo 1 (38)

When I was little, I would always always always order the angelhair pasta. It was the only pasta I would eat from here. With olive oil and garlic. Mmm! However, I wasn’t in the mood for that today and actually had a really tough time deciding. Eventually I landed with the margherita pizza which I of course could not finish. My mum got fish and roasted vegetables and Chris got spaghetti and meatballs (classic Italian dish–he always has to go for this or chicken parm to try new Italian places out).

My pizza

My pizza

photo 3 (30)

Spaghetti and meatball

Spaghetti and meatball

Close-up!

Close-up!

Overall, we were very happy with each of our dishes. The veggies were roasted to perfection for my mum and the fish was seasoned beautifully yet subtly. The pizza had a nice thin, crisp crust and the cheese wasn’t overwhelming. Great balance of flavors. Chris really enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs because it was fresh, the flavors were wonderful, the tomato sauce wasn’t too heavy, and the pasta was cooked just right. The only tragic thing about this meal was that we couldn’t eat our leftovers since we were going on the plane! I’m still regretting that. If you’re in Santa Monica, stop by La Vecchia on Main St. for a bite to remember and a great way to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

The only way of seeing Nymeria in pictures at night is with the flash on

The only way of seeing Nymeria in pictures at night is with the flash on

Exciting Changes and Renovations

Some of you might have noticed while some of you may not have. We hope that you have because recently we have been putting more time into Hungry & Fit’s website to make it better. You might have noticed the overall change in format, addition of colors, change of fonts and some new options on the home page. We have also added many pages that are somewhat lacking but will be getting filled out in the near future.

handf

The about page is obviously the same for now and has very short bios about our family. The credentials page is a professional page for our business partners and interested clients that want to see what makes us worth their time and money. The giveaways page is a new feature where we give one or more new prizes away every month. Sometimes, it will be to random individuals and sometimes we will offer contests. Check now to see the contest to get Moosejaw red sunglasses. They are really nice and comfortable and have great UV protection.

Moosejaw

H&F’s Friends has links and information to all of our business partners and favorite places. Hungry & Fit Nation has links to all of our other social media outlets and services including Bodyspace, YouTube, Twitter, and many more to come in the future including NationBuilder. Our Services includes all of our free and paid for online and live services that we offer. This includes online personal training and consultations, in person training and boot camps, and also our dog walking and sitting services. Testimonials are a professional page similar to credentials that will help those interested in our services see who and how we have helped people in the past in our time in the industry. Finally, The Gallery is a collection of all of our favorite pictures that sums up who Hungry and Fit really are. Some include us, some include animals, food, fitness and a whole mix of everything we love. Please feel free to stop by any of our new pages and show some support. If you’re interested in our services, email us at hungryandfit@gmail.com or just keep reading our free blog posts to stay hungry and fit!

bendingwood

alanaplacidbison

Our Saturday Adventure

We decided to utilize our apartment to its fullest and with our trip to New Jersey coming up at the end of the month, we wanted to free up some space. We are driving back to Colorado with some more of my stuff from back home, so the extra large futon that takes up our whole living area needed to go. It was our first piece of furniture here and we dragged it in from the garbage for something to sleep on our first night. I had serious lower back issues for the first month we lived here as a result.

futonbye

It’s a Saturday and there is a winter “storm” going on (but it ended up just being a miserable wintry mix the entire day). It’s snowing, but not sticking, so it’s just incredibly wet. So it all boils down to us going to the Salvation Army store early in the day and seeing that everything was 50% off. We chose a love seat, our of four options, that only cost $35. However, we needed to get it home and the Taurus (our car) is not big enough. I decided, with permission from a boss, to use a van from work.

Post-"storm"

Post-“storm”

The winter has been harsh and the van has been seldom used, so after just a few blocks… it died. It was in the 20s/30s and there was a wintry mix of large wet snow flakes. It wasn’t sticking to the ground, but the ground was soaked and, by the end of the day, so were we. As the van’s battery (or alternator) died in the middle of one of the busiest and largest intersections in Boulder, I had to push it out of the intersection. It weighed at least a ton but a nice mother and son helped us push it to the Target parking lot.

Then, since it was out of gas, we walked a half a mile to a gas station and they let us borrow a gas container so we could give it enough juice to help it get going. Then once filled back in the parking lot (we’re soaked and Alana is cold) we ask a nice man to help us jump the car. We jump it and get it back to the shop’s parking lot. Here we push the van in reverse while steering past tight turns to get it back into its parking space. Game over.

filling

fillingtank

That took about three hours, and laundry ended up taking five hours, costing $10.50, and leaving all of our clothes wetter and dirtier than when we started. Tough way to spend our one day off during the week, but we got to spend it together and we love adventures, even bad ones. We want to thank those two nice people that helped us push, the gas station attendant that let us borrow the container that we returned, and the man who helped us jump the car. We want to say thanks for nothing to the people who turned and sped past us while we pushed the van, and the people in the Target parking lot that cut us off while trying to turn a dead vehicle.

me sad

Cold Alana during the process

In the end, after some more struggles with stairs and the futon, we got the futon and all of its padding to the garbage (along with an old pillow), and the new mini-sofa in the apartment. The clothes are laid out everywhere air drying (I want my money and time back, Realty Company) and we got one tough workout so the muscles are sore. The apartment has a lot more room, we saved about 13 inches in length and 18 in width, and now we can move some new things in at the end of month. We’re aiming for a cardio machine like a spin bike and our PowerBlock adjustable bench for some home workouts.

outside

New couch with laundry everywhere

New couch with laundry everywhere

How to Stay Loose and Fit During Travel

It’s the holiday season. Yes, it’s January, but plenty of people are still on vacation, currently making me jealous. However, with vacation, comes travel (usually). You gotta get from A to B to enjoy family or fun locations. That typically includes flying (as the most common), car, train, and/or bus. And usually, these take between 2-6 hours (domestically). Could even be more if you’re going out of country. That is a lot of sitting, laying, being crunched up in a seat that’s too small for you. I want to offer a few tricks to stay loose during travel, so you don’t exit the airplane or car swearing with uneven legs. So try these tips next time you fly, drive, or commit yourself to some type of travel:

1. Drink water. Now I’m guilty about this one. Usually, I take a window seat on the air plane–half for viewing pleasure, half for sleeping pleasure–and I try to avoid drinking water so I don’t have to ask everyone next to me to get up so I can go pee. Don’t follow my example. Get a cup of water (not Coke, not Vodka) every time the steward(ess) offers and even haggle them for more. This is going to keep your body flowing and running, rather than get cramped up and dry as would be normal in an airplane seat.

2. Get up and move. No matter how long the flight is, 1.5 hours or 7.5 hours, unbuckle your seatbelt and stand up. Find a quiet time when the stewardesses aren’t giving out drinks. You don’t even have to put your shoes on. Slowly walk down the aisle as far as you can and come back.

3. While you’re up… You got up. Congrats! Now once you’ve taken that lap or two down the very narrow aisle, stay up. Find a place where you won’t be bowled over–say, pretend you’re waiting for the bathroom. Now take a big stretch up, reach your arms high, and then swoop down to stretch to touch your toes–a hamstring stretch. Really reach down and enjoy this stretch. If you can, spread your legs out a little bit and reach to each side. This is really going to engage a large part of your legs, making you feel more refreshed and vitalized. Go ahead and throw a quadriceps stretch in there, and pull your ankle back to your hamstring.

4. Don’t forget your arms! Since you’re up and you stretched out your legs, you might as well give your arms some love too. This is all to wake up the blood flow and keep your body from stiffening up too much. Grab your elbow and pull it across your body, giving the shoulders and arm a good stretch. Don’t forget the other side. Now pull your elbow up and back, focusing primarily on the triceps, but will get your shoulders too.

5. Stretches while seated. So you stood up and got some good stretches in, or maybe you didn’t have the chance at all (because you’re in a car)–here’s where seated loosening comes in. Sit up straight and place your hand on the side of the head and pull it gently towards the shoulder, giving your neck a beautiful stretch. Go the other way. Now bow your head, then rotate it back and look at the top of the plane. Do this several times. Now, without bothering your seat buddies, roll the shoulders back and forward–do this for at least 20 seconds.

6. Keep your shoes off! You may feel embarrassed about this, but a great way to stay loose and comfortable is to take those pesky shoes off. It will allow your feet to breathe and be flexible. It will also allow you to do foot exercises: (1) scrunch your toes up as if you are picking up marbles and (2) bend your foot left and right.

Those are just a few tips and tricks to save you during travel times. I would say do this set of stretches and instructions once every three hours in order to preserve freshness! Happy travelling!

Boycott United

Even though our heads are still pounding, we’ve been feeling guilty every day about breaking our streak of posting so I’m dealing with the headaches to get this out, even though it’s more of a rant and less of an informative post. But these can be fun, right? Especially if, or rather when, you can relate.

 

So we recently flew back to Denver from Los Angeles, a non-stop flight from LAX to DIA. We took United Airlines, and we will never fly or let anyone we know fly with them again. Before I get into this in more detail, I’m going to throw some of my flying experiences and how I grade airlines down to establish that I do have a basis for being allowed to evaluate their performance. Alana was going to help but she feels like someone is hitting her inside the head with a hammer so she’s in bed.

 

 

We’ve been to North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania (or what some people call Australia) making a grand total of six of the seven continents in the world. Sorry Antarctica, not quite yet. We’ve been to South Korea, North Korea, New Zealand, Tanzania, Sweden, Peru, Canada, Bermuda, the United States, etc. We’ve spent a fair amount of time on planes, with my longest flight being a little over 15 hours, Alana’s about 14 hours if I’m not mistaken. We’ve flown on the monster planes with three stories and the huge engines on the top, and we’ve flown on little planes that hold less than 20 people and only know the meaning of turbulence. So we have a fair share of experience for people our age.

 

 

Here are my reviews for airlines: Anything with a positive review comes first, then anything with a mixed review will probably be neglected because I’ve only flown it once or twice and can’t even remember it, and lastly the negative reviews.

 

 

Virgin: A-
Who cares about paying a few extra dollars when you feel like you’re the most important person in the world? That’s how I feel whenever I fly Virgin. And they haven’t always had the most expensive flights, you can always find a deal. From the cool atmosphere inside the plane, to the great customer service throughout the process, the practical personal screen that allows you television, games, movies, and ordering food with just a touch, flying Virgin is my number one choice for domestic flights.

 

 

Continental: B+
Continental got me to South America and back on eight hour flights without any issues. Good customer service, reasonable rates, and smooth flights. Amenities were good on both flights and never any significant delays. Functional terminals and everything else I could ask for from an airline. Overall top choice for international service.

 

 

Delta: B
The only issue I ever had with Delta was actually United’s fault. So I still am docking points from Delta, but they don’t even deserve it. Delta got me across the Pacific Ocean, while I had food poisoning from another source, without a hitch. The flight was over 15 hours long, but it didn’t feel like it with the non-stop meal service and consistent flow of good movies and television shows. The stewardess was very nice in dealing with my stomach problems, even allowing me to use the bathroom when the seatbelt light was on. Would fly again without any hesitation. Top choice for long international service.

 

 

Jet Blue: C+
I want to give Jet Blue lower because I had the worst pilot of my life on a Jet Blue flight. He started the descent into Miami around Washington D.C. and it felt like the longest roller coaster ride ever. It was the only time I’ve ever been nauseous on a plane. It was misery. However, the flight crew on all my Jet Blue flights have been the most entertaining and personable individuals I have ever flown with in my life. Jet Blue also rivals Virgin for in-flight amenities ranging from viewing selections to functional eating. Good terminals and online booking make Jet Blue my number two choice for domestic flights. One time the televisions weren’t working on the flight so they gave everyone an eight dollar credit for their next flight for a free movie. Never used it, but it was nice of them.

 

C: A good grade because average is good in this industry nowadays thanks to certain airlines. Here we can throw in all the airlines that I totally forgot about because they were short flights or no longer exist so thank you all for providing me with good service.

 

 

American Airlines: D+
Nothing memorable except delays nearly every time for at least thirty minutes. Not the best pilots or smoothest flights. Bad or average amenities. I always try to avoid if possible. I might have slept through these flights, sorry LAN and AirTran, etc.

 

 

Frontier: D
Frontier flew us to California without any delays and plenty of leg room, but they lack in customer service and their pet policies are absurd. They were not willing to negotiate with us at all, despite contacting them weeks ahead of time to try to exchange flights so we could fly with our cats. It would have been $500 round trip for the two (three pound) kittens, non-negotiable. Customer service was not helpful or understanding in any way, so we will not be flying Frontier again.

 

United Airlines
United: F
I will never fly United again, and will do everything non-violent in my power to make sure no one I know uses United. They are very cheap, compared to some of the choices above and offer more flights than most providers but that’s like eating Hershey’s for the same reason. I will cover the cost of friend’s tickets to use other airlines because United employs some disgusting individuals, Carlos Menendez, Service Director at Denver International Airport, I am talking about you mainly. United has no sense of responsibility or pride in what they do. I cannot believe the lack of communication, respect and customer service that they have. to put this into perspective, this was arguably the absolute worst service I have EVER received in ANY form of business whatsoever. It was worse than purchasing products at the mall or online, staying at hotels or eating at restaurants, and any other service… and I am talking about ALL OVER THE WORLD. When I couldn’t speak Korean, I had servers in restaurants in Seoul that took me into the kitchen to show them what I wanted because we had trouble communicating. This was the opposite effect. Here’s the general narrative:

 

Friday, Alana and I are incredibly sick and have been for a full week, most sick I’ve ever been, and we have a 5:47 p.m. flight PST from LAX. Being responsible and knowing that it’s a busy travel time of year, we decide to go to the airport nice and early, leaving Santa Monica at 3:00 p.m. There isn’t too much traffic and we’re at the airport checking baggage at 3:50 p.m. We check two bags for the regular rate with a nice LA lady working for United, then head through a very easy security process and we’re actually at our gate waiting at 4:00 p.m.

 

Boarding is around 5:20 p.m. so Alana goes to get something to eat so she can take her medicine to feel a little better because flying with congestion and head pressure is the worst. When she gets back I find it a little funny that the plane hasn’t shown up, the service crew isn’t at the desk, and the digital board isn’t displaying anything about our flight. I take a walk to the departure board a few gates down and it says that our flight, is “awaiting aircraft” and is “departing at 8:20 p.m.” But that can’t be right because that’s almost three hours after its departure on our newly printed boarding passes from checking in our baggage. Alana checks her mail, and at 3:47 p.m. she received an email simply stating that our flight was delayed but we should still show up in time for our 5:20 boarding. Weird, no? We checked baggage after that and the boarding pass didn’t say the time had changed, none of the employees throughout baggage check said anything, our gate didn’t have a service member appear to say anything. Do they assume everyone has a smartphone and checks it every five minutes? But they still said show up on time in that awful email.

 

Ridiculousness

 

Now it’s about 5:00 p.m. or a little later and the flight has arrived, so our plane is here, fueled and ready to go. A United member who was not part of our flight crew out of her own kindness and she was very nice decided to call in to see what was going on since United didn’t feel they were obligated to tell a hundred people with connecting flight and ground transportation plans about their mistake. Apparently, the plane was here and ready but there wasn’t a crew for the plane. Specifically, there wasn’t a pilot, but we could see that no crew was here. I check the departures board and see that there is another Denver bound flight that leaves at 7:29 p.m. but when we check it only has standby seats so they’re not willing to help us there since people with connecting flights get the first standby seats.

 

So we wait for an hour and still no United employees show up to tell us what is going on, no surprise at this point. Hours later, two United people show up to work the desk and they get a flood of people who will be missing connecting flights, etc. At this point, we realize that we are totally screwed (forgive my language) for ground transportation. Our ride we had set up shouldn’t have to stay up all night for us with dangerous driving conditions and the Skyride only runs until a certain time. So our two affordable means of getting home are now gone. We were supposed to land around 9:00 p.m. There are Skyrides at 9:20, 10:20 and 11:20 p.m. Now, after another delay because United can’t find us a flight crew, we are departing at 8:50 p.m. and we land around midnight. The flight itself was quiet, empty because so many people left the airport. A few families re-booked flights for the next day because they didn’t want their whole day ruined. United ruined our whole day. So now, it’s past midnight in Denver and we need to get back to Boulder because we’re sick and the kittens are at home and we need to rest so we can work.

 

 

While in LAX we asked the United employee, a man whose name Alana doesn’t remember, how we should get home because their mistake turned into no ground transportation. We felt they should pay for it and we let him know that. He said to go to the United Customer Service desk in Denver and that they would get us home, we wouldn’t need to worry about the cost. I wish we recorded that because United is full of lies. When we land we ask the United members what to do and they say go to the people at baggage and they’ll help you get home. We get our baggage, no serious damage, and Alana who has a better temper goes to the two ladies at the desk while I sit. The nice ladies tell Alana that we don’t usually do that but we’ll check for you on your ticket and reservation and then they call over Carlos Menendez who says no we don’t do that our contract got you to Denver. Alana gets mad claiming that they screwed up and he just walks away, the ladies say sorry he is the boss and Alana comes back to me. May I add that this guy was checking baggage (scanning barcodes on bags that are just lying around) twenty feet from the desk and when they page him he shouts angrily let me finish this first before he comes over. Alana tells me that they said they fulfilled their contract and we can get no compensation. Now I enter, here comes the rant.

 

 

I come stomping over, face half paralyzed, eye dripping water from the Bell’s, head pounding, voice thick with phlegm, and aggravated as all hell that this guy treated Alana so poorly. I walk past him like he’s nothing because he truly is nothing, muttering under my breath, “you didn’t fulfill your contract, I’ll get my compensation and then some.” He tries to bump me (good thing he missed) with some cocky look on his face and in his tone, says “what you say?” I stare over him in the eyes and repeat exactly what I say and he says we got you to Denver as our contact states, you get nothing else….

 

Chris: You didn’t fulfill your contract actually as you can see, and now we have no way to get back to Boulder. Can you tell me how to get back?

 

Carlos: No, United does air transportation not ground.

 

Chris: Well you work in an airport, you must know something or somewhere I can go to get information.

 

Carlos: We don’t do ground transportation.

 

Chris: I need a way back to Boulder and compensation because United screwed up. Now.

 

Carlos: I can’t help you. File a complaint online.

 

Chris: Do you have a manager or someone that has knowledge or authority?

 

Carlos: No.

 

Chris: So you have the most authority of any United employee in this airport and that authority is nothing?

 

Carlos: Yes.

 

Chris: Well you don’t know anything at all, so I’ll ask your employees where I can find a way home.

 

Carlos: Do not talk to them.

 

Chris: I NEED TO GET HOME.

 

Carlos: If you give them a hard time I will call the police. (Goes for the phone)

 

Chris: I’ll give them whatever time I need to find us a way home. Our phones are dead because your airline did such a poor job.

 

Carlos: Then I’m calling the police to have you removed from this airport and arrested.

 

Chris: NO. (FULL ANGER) I’m calling the police right now because you’re harassing me, maybe they will know how I can get home. (Starts dialing)

 

At this point, Carlos knowing he’s a useless little man who should have never been given a position in customer service let alone as a supervisor or director walks/runs away never to be seen again, leaving his employees there. I never even talked to the two women because I knew it would do nothing since United put a  man in charge who should not even have a job in customer service. Customer service meaning he deals with customers. He should be loading baggage onto the airplanes, if anything, never to be seen by people. He had no tact, no diplomatic skill, no patience, no information, he had nothing. He was the worst employee I have ever seen and if he wasn’t there or if he handled the situation in any other way, we wouldn’t have this problem.

 

I don’t know the airport well but I saw signs for ground transportation. It was right next to the United desk, so Carlos was truly useless or the biggest prick ever. The guys working there were nice and gave us our options. All very expensive. We ended up splitting an independent shuttle with a random guy that flew in form Atlanta to Boulder for the first time. It was about $100 for the trip to Boulder. It would have been free, or $26 if United hadn’t screwed up so in my book they owe us at least $70 in compensation just for that, let alone ruining our day, making us sicker, and putting us through that hell and web of lies. You have some employees telling us it will be covered just go to the next desk and the end of the road is Carlos, who offers no help.

 

On a side note, the man who drove us to Boulder did a phenomenal job. If you want to know the best shuttle service from Denver, please email me or leave a comment for information.

 

I just will never get over how poorly Carlos dealt with the situation. He could have simply told me to go to the ground transportation desk and then ask for compensation after because he doesn’t have the means to pay for it at the time. That would have been enough. But he didn’t, he was aggressive and cocky and did the worst possible thing, threaten me.

 

I’ll be filing complaints with United about the situation, trying to get compensation because of their mistake, and trying to remove Carlos from his position. He should not work in customer service, since he isn’t able to do his duty.

 

Anyways, never sacrifice your morals or values for a few bucks. Pay the extra money for the better flight, for the money to go to the right people! Do the right thing, as we will never fly United again, no matter what.