PictureLe Reve performs at the Wynn Theater.
LE RÊVE, French for "the dream", is the perfect name for the water and acrobatic performance featured at the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas!  The show's plot is simple: A young woman must decide her answer to a marriage proposal.  She falls asleep and as she dreams her thoughts take her to a colorful world filled with mythical creatures, stunning sights, and passionate emotions - all of which reveal her inner struggle.

LE RÊVE is distinctly different from other Vegas shows because the actors (or should I say, athletes?!) perform on a moving stage in a pool of water.  The technical side of the show is absolutely mind-boggling.  A team of scuba divers are under the stage directing traffic, helping the actors, and sending up props.  Actors all have diving experience and must breathe through regulators sometimes when waiting underwater for their cues.  You can learn more about the show's technical side here:
LE RÊVE is a show you could watch a hundred times and still find something new and interesting you didn't notice before!  There is so much happening all at once!  You want to keep your eyes on the endearing water sprite character, but then your eyes dart over to catch someone's backflip and then you're entranced by a flock of angels that just dropped from the ceiling!  I sat in shocked silence. I laughed. I cried. I almost fainted at one point because of a dangerous stunt!  It truly is the best show in Las Vegas and it is well worth the ticket price.  Go see it!

Photography (without flash) is allowed during the performance.  Below you'll find some photos my husband took during the show we saw on January 16, 2015.  Which one do you like best?  Are there other Vegas shows you recommend?  Write me a comment in the space below!

Safe travels and happy flying!
~Jenn Grahams

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Fire dancing on the water!
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Will you marry me? = The show's driving question.
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We were so close to the stage! The theater is circular so every seat is a good seat!
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I want those red shoes!
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These suit-clad gentlemen were the "clowns" of the show and they were hilarious!
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It was easy to forget you were sitting in a crowded theater because the lights would hide audience.
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The timing has to be perfect or he could sit another swimmer.
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You can't tell, but this globe is twirling around and there is NO safety net, just water below.
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See diver? See water? I wasn't sure if this stunt was going to work, but he made it!
 
 
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Photo Credit - Adrian Snood
I noticed him right away.  He sat in an airport wheelchair, the overly wide kind with my airline’s logo stamped on the back.  He was hunched over, the shoulder blades beneath his shirt pushed high into the air like a kid portraying Quasimodo in a school play, but his “costume” of neon orange sunglasses and a lopsided beanie hat made him look less like the hunchback bellringer and more like a certified beach bum.

“Punk,” I thought, as I crossed the airport lobby, disgusted.  A thousand people were crisscrossing the area, scurrying and panicked, getting checked in for their flights out of Los Angeles.  Most didn’t notice him, but I did.  Even though I wasn’t in flight attendant uniform, just being in the LAX airport awoke my instinctive need to plaster a smile on my face while simultaneously putting my brain on high alert, looking for suspicious activity.  That is my job after all and despite being on vacation, I couldn’t just set aside my training and NOT notice this punk kid sitting in that wheelchair, pathetically pretending to be an old man just so he could have a comfy seat next to the one and only wall outlet in the lobby!  I couldn’t help but peer closer and see his fingers poking away at the cell phone tucked between his legs.

Part of me could empathize with him. There’s never enough seating in airports.  I too was hoping to sit down and the airport lobby was like a barren desert when it came to seating.  Fortunately, the hubby and I found a place to rest; a ledge near the escalator that led upstairs to security.  At its base was a young lady, probably only in her early twenties.  She stood at her full-height, chin held high, and eyes fierce as she demanded the tickets of everyone who approached her. 

“The Gate Keeper,” I observed.  A very young woman, entrusted with much authority.  I didn’t envy her position.  A minimum wage job, probably.  A job with plenty of confrontation, certainly.  As the Gate Keeper, she was in charge of turning away passengers who had oversized bags.  She was in charge of telling them to “make it fit in the bag sizer” or go back to the ticket counter and pay hundreds of dollars. 

“She’s just a kid, really,” I decided, feeling that early twenties still warranted a “kid” title.  Behind the bag sizer I saw a fabric sling purse, something I would have owned back in high school.  It was colorful and bright and probably what the Gate Keeper would wear after work.  I could just imagine it.  She would sling the cute purse with its stripped blue and white print over her left shoulder and trot down a California beach with her friends, looking like a completely different person once she had changed out of her black slacks and hideously maroon airport vest.  She would be smiling and happy and certainly not resemble the type of person who could stop you from going up an escalator.

I tried not to stare too long, but I found it fascinating to watch her and think about her life, to imagine me being one of her friends and how we would hang out at the beach together later.  It was probably during one of these musings that the punk came over.  I glanced at him warily.  He was just a few feet away from me now, dragging behind him a rollaboard suitcase as if it were Linus’s filthy blue blanket.

“What are you up to?” I wondered silently.  “Trying to find a way to sneak past this girl?  Trying to find a way to get up the escalator without her knowing?”

It was strange.  He was just standing by the bag sizer and looking at her.  Waiting.   

“Oh, no. Please don’t make a run for it when her back’s turned.”  I groaned inwardly.  I didn’t want to get involved, but it was too late now that I was conscious of the pending situation.  What would I do if he tried to sneak past her?  As an airline employee, heck, just as a concerned citizen, I felt obligated to stop this guy. 

I tried to shake off my paranoia, but then during a break in the passenger traffic, the Gate Keeper turned her back.  In two giant steps, which to me were the size of football fields, she walked away from her post even and then to my horror, turned her gaze around the corner and starting addressing another airport employee!  That’s when the punk moved.  I caught my breath. He stepped forward and completely surprised me.  Instead of making a run for it, he stepped forward and then simply bent down, picked up his rolling bag, hugged it to his chest like a teddy bear, and walked away.

“That’s right.  Keep walking,” I growled at him, narrowing my gaze and feeling quite certain that somehow my powerful mind had deterred the punk from doing something terrible.  Of course, after ten minutes had passed without incident, the punk now completely out of sight, my earlier judgement seemed silly.  I had been completely overacting.  In fact, I ought to feel a bit sorry for the guy.  Here I was, calling him a punk and completely judging his appearance because –

“My bag!” I looked up. The Gate Keeper was looking straight at me, the fierceness from her eyes replaced by a wide-eyed look of distraught.

“Did you see my bag?” the Gate Keeper asked me and for a moment, I was completely thrown off guard.  I had been watching her from a distance almost as if she were on a television screen and so, for a brief second, I had forgotten she could see me too.

“Your bag…” I repeated, as the invisible wall between us faded.  Then, it all became clear.  The bag, her cute fabric sling purse that had been discretely hidden behind the bag sizer, was gone.

The girl lost her wallet, a phone, and car keys.  She was devastated.  We talked with the police.  We rattled off the details as if we had rehearsed it, like actors in a skit.

“Caucasian man.”

“Probably late twenties. He was wearing, um..”

“Neon colored sunglasses!”

“Yes! That’s right.  They were orange.”

“Bright orange!  Neon!  And he was sitting in a wheelchair earlier…”

“Yes! The ladies over there had to kick him out of it.  He was a real jerk about it.”

We had paid attention.  We had done our jobs.  We had both noticed the most suspicious person in that airport lobby, but in the end, he got away with it. 

This time, I failed.  Next time, I won’t dismiss my instincts. 
=========

The type of crime I witnessed is known as Slider-Theft.  Learn more HERE.

Stay safe out there!
Jenn Grahams


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Many of my co-workers cringe when they hear the words Minneapolis Layover!  They would rather sit on a sunny beach in Miami than face the chilly weather of Minnesota.  I, on the other hand, was delighted to pick up a few twenty-four hour layovers in Minnie this past February!  The weather was surprisingly comfortable!  I had a chance to visit family and was able to explore The Mall of America!

The Mall of America is probably best known for its indoor amusement park.  When I visited the Mall as kid, this playland was known as Camp Snoopy
and the attractions were decorated with themes from the Charlie Brown comic.  Today the amusement park is called Nickelodeon Universe and the rides feature characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer, and Transformers.  My co-workers highly recommend trying the
SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge!  This rollercoaster sends you flying toward the ceiling at ninety degree angle, careening toward the carousel ride (see photo!), and then zooming back along a closed-loop track.  You can see a video of the ride HERE.

I enjoyed my time at the mall doing some serious window shopping with my sweet mother-in-law!  We marveled at the Crocs store.  Did you know that Crocs makes sandals and even dress heels?!  I also had my eye on a funky tanktop with a print of a sloth climbing the Empire State Building (see photo!).  Of course, Mom and I had to stay hydrated as we walked so we made a trip to Caribou Coffee (a must-see while in Minnesota!) and later, the Tea Garden to get bubble tea!  



There is just so much to see and do around the Mall of America!  They even have an indoor aquarium and a wedding chapel for marriage ceremonies!

Here are some fun photos from my visit to the largest mall in the United States.

Happy flying!
~Jenn Grahams

 
 
"Must be willing to work holidays."  Every flight attendant job application will include these words in bold font.  There's no getting around it.  If you're going to be in the airline business, you're going to miss family gatherings.  It's unfortunate, but someone has to be there to help other people get to their loved ones.

Growing up, my family hardly ever celebrated holidays on their calendar date.  With dad working as an airline pilot, we learned to be flexible.  We might celebrate Christmas the weekend before or even as late as the first week of January.  We couldn't reschedule the
 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but our Thanksgiving meal featuring mom's delicious cooking and our cousin's famous mashed potatoes - that we could rearrange for a time when my father was home.  The only celebration we couldn't reschedule was the 4th of July.  (The city's fire marshal wasn't keen to let us shoot fireworks weeks well past our country's Independence Day celebration.)

Now I'm grown up and married and somehow being away on the holidays is much, much harder than I expected.  The holidays don't stop or rearrange themselves when I'm gone.  There is enormous guilt in knowing that your loved one will be home alone going to Easter church services or that your spouse is unwrapping gifts Christmas Eve with his family while you're stuck doing a Miami turn.  Working on the holidays is certainly one of the LEAST glamorous parts of being a flight attendant.

Below is a photo journal of the working holidays I've taken since beginning my career as a flight attendant almost a year and a half ago.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter this past Sunday!  
Jesus Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!

~ Jenn Grahams

Easter 2015
I got stuck with in Washington D.C. with an afternoon Chicago turn assignment.  In the morning, I went to a church service before heading out.  I found these beautiful cherry blossoms on my way to the church! 
Jenn Grahams
Easter 2015. Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.
Jesus Cross
Easter 2015
Christmas 2014
I was assigned a two day trip with a San Diego layover.  My co-worker and I decorated the beverage cart with Christmas lights.  :)  Unfortunately, I can't post any pictures of myself in uniform, but here are a few snapshots from that trip.
Flight Attendant Insert
The galley flight attendant who used the aircraft prior to me was nice enough to leave a fully stocked insert. :)
Chicken Florentine
My sister-in-law left me a delicious post-Christmas dinner in the fridge! She even had it gift wrapped for me!
Thanksgiving 2014
I had a pretty amazing three day trip with a LONG layovers in Miami, Florida and Vancouver, Canada!  Since Canada's Thanksgiving is celebrated on a different date than in the United States, all businesses were open!  My co-worker and I splurged for a delicious steak dinner on the water at the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill.
Jenn Grahams
Thanksgiving 2014 in Vancouver!
Easter 2014
This was a very depressing day for me.  I was stuck in New York City at my crashpad sitting "on reserve" which basically meant the only reason I couldn't go home was because I was the "back up" flight attendant on call.  I wasn't even assigned a trip.  My flatmate tried to cheer me up by buying me some chocolates.  :)
Chocolates
Easter 2014 at my crashpad in New York City
Christmas 2013
I was on reserve in New York City, but I had company!  My dad snagged a NYC layover and my mother and sister flew in standby so we were able to spend the day together!  We attended an amazing Christmas Day church service at the Korean Church of Queens.  Even though the songs were sung in Korean, we could recognize the tunes of the classics such as "O' Come All Ye Faithful" and "Joy to the World".  Also, the pastor included a translation of his sermon on PowerPoint slides.  In was actually a really amazing experience!  That night we visited the Christmas market in Bryant Park!
Korean Church of Queens
Christmas 2013 - Korean Church of Queens in NYC
Christmas in New York
Christmas 2013 - Empire State Building in New York City
 
 
Flight attendants don’t need clothes. 

(crickets)

(My mother’s voice tentatively whispers in my head, “Dear, is that what you really meant to type?”)

I know it's not an entirely accurate statement, but it’s a thought that popped into my head today.  Now that it’s written out in bold typeface font, I realize that I’ve made a very confusing and somewhat suggestive-sounding declaration!  I’m not saying that flight attendants don’t need uniforms.  Goodness, no!   No, no, no, no, noooooo.....

No, I’m quite happy wearing a dozen layers to keep my figure conservatively covered while the eyes of over 150 passengers gawk at me during the safety demonstration, thank you very much.  (Hmm...now that I think about it, I’m not sure if even Superman’s x-ray vision could pierce all the layers I wear!  Outer sweater, vest, shirt, undershirt...)

Okay.  Let’s start over.  I’ll try this again.

Flight attendants hardly need clothes besides their uniforms.

Much better!  And, it’s true

I’m going to get personal with you about my dirty laundry!  (YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)  So, here’s the deal.  In the last month I’ve lived on two pairs of jeans, three sets of gym clothes, two nice shirts, and one cute “going out” getup.  That’s it!  (Well, besides the undergarments, but yeah...not going there. )

It’s really kind of sad, isn’t it?  I used to LOVE dressing up and looking nice.  In my former life, when I had a REAL job, I would start my day thinking, “What sort of look should I put together?”  Then, flicking through the hangers in my walk-in closet I would murmur, “Maybe something cute, something comfortable, something preppy...” 

Those days are long gone!  When you live out of your suitcase and your free time is limited to a handful of hours during which you hibernate in your hotel room like a squirrel during winter, there’s hardly any motivation to mix and match!  (The hibernation may be part of my problem...)  In fact, for the past month I’ve been stuck in a vicious cycle that goes something like this:


So you might think, “But won’t society judge you for wearing the same clothes all the time?!  Wouldn’t peer pressure motivate you to swap out your stuff?!”

NO!  Why not?  There is no peer pressure!  My airline is so large that my co-workers are different on every flight!  If they spot me on a layover, they have no clue I'm wearing the same v-neck shirt I wore on the last four layovers!  To top it off, I’m in a different city every trip so not even the hotel staff knows my dirty secret!  Thus, my cycle of laziness continues!  I figure, the only way to end it is a public shaming.

I AM ASHAMED OF MYSELF!

(bows)

And now, with my public shaming complete, I will finally go clean out my suitcase and find a new set of clothes for the month of February.  :)

Happy flying, readers.
-Jenn Grahams


 

    Jenn Grahams

    is a flight attendant and an aspiring writer.  She lives in the Midwest with her husband, many pet fish, and two chinchillas named Kuzco and Pancho.

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