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Finally, the blog about my holiday ...

01/28/06 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

Since 2006 rolled in, it seems that all my creativity has evaded me. One can say it is a writer's block. Although there is a lot to write about including requests to write about my great vacation in Australia, I face a blank wall. Words don't flow; sentences don't complete to be paragraphs.

Today, I endeavor to blog. It is a cloudy day outside. It feels damp though there is no rain and it is a perfect day to crawl under a warm blanket to read a book. But as I promised while I was in Princeton, I will write something about my holidays. Yeah, it is long overdue and people who have requested may have forgotten :>> ... But a promise is a promise. I don't like broken promises. So here is the abbreviated version of my holidays.

My holiday started with a long plane trip to Melbourne. What was suppose to be a 16 hour flight (San Francisco-Sydney-Melbourne) turned out to a 24 hour flight. My straight flight from SFO to SYD had to make a detour. After passing Hawaii, the plane had to turn around due to a medical emergency in the plane. So I got to watch the fire engines and paramedics await the arrival of our plane - the flashing lights, and all. Yup, it is like a scene from the movies. We were asked to stay in our seats but since I was in the aisle I got to watch them deplane the poor sick passenger in a stretcher.

Of course the detour made me miss my connecting flight. So, I had to go to the Qantas counter to get a new flight to MEL. From Sydney, I sent a text message to my brother-in-law so they know what flight I finally got on. While waiting in the plane in Honolulu, I sent my family a text message but I had no idea what time or what flight I can get when I reach Sydney.

Reaching Melbourne airport was great. I was tired from the long flight but I was so happy to see my sister, Louie and my brother-in-law, Joey by the gate. Yes, people can wait for passengers by the gate, unlike in the US where we are not allowed beyond the security check-in. My other sister, Ellen and brother-in-law, Pablo (who arrived weeks before from San Diego) and the kids stayed at home to wait for me there.

The welcome was great. I had a welcome sign in Athena's room where I have been designated to stay. Sophia made this heart-warming sign:

Welcome Sign
Click to view original size

Having been to Melbourne a few times, I did not go to see the city. We went to see Williamstown, Frankston Waterfront, Geelong and other places. It was nice to see the kids play in sand, build sand castles and enjoy the care-free days of being a non-adult.

Click to view original size
Click to view original size

We also rode the Queenscliff-Sorrento Ferry.

Queenscliff-Sorrento Ferry
Click to view original size

We did the breathtaking drive through the Great Ocean Road. We rented a house in Torquay. Drove to see the famous Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles1
Click to view original size
Twelve Apostles2
Click to view original size

Of course there is Christmas - the joy of seeing everyone open their gifts, share special moments and private jokes. There is New Year's eve too - partying and welcoming the New Year with sparklers and lots of noise.

Days went very fast and soon enough it was time to take my plane back. It is always hard to say goodbye. At the Melbourne airport, we shed tears and wished we can just all be together.

For reasons I don't remember, my plane to Sydney did not take off right away. Hence by the time I arrived in Sydney and went to checkin at United, the gate was closed! The United Airlines ground crew were very helpful and made everything possible for me so I don't miss my flight. A ground crew member ran with me from the check-in counter through immigrations and customs all the way to the gate. Yes in 41 degrees Celsius (105.8 degrees Fahrenheit) Sydney heat!

It was a great holiday. I wish my brothers and their families who were not able to join us were with us. The vacation was made even more special because of the love from the family and the sweetness of Athena, Sophia, Aletheia and Federico. Athena and Sophia composed and sang their song for us. The night before I left, Aletheia played her guitar with Federico singing. There are so many special moments that no words can describe. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Joey, who made DVDs of our vacation, I can try to recapture some special moments back here at home.

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This blog contains thoughts that range from non-technical to technical. Its name is derived from "Yakity Blah Blah" a column I once had that discussed a cornucopia of ideas. Who am I? I'm Clarise Z. Doval Santos, providing Project Management and Technical Leadership for data management and analytic, data science, IoT and sensor analytics ecosystems 37.652951177164 -122.490877706959


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