Friday, April 27, 2012

They deserve it...

Posted by Dawn at Friday, April 27, 2012

Finally after going through the grueling competition for the past few days and the horrendous training for the past 4-5 months, my students can finally relax and enjoy. I was somewhat their guide for the next few days as I planned where to take them. We had 3 days of R & R. So I thought of bringing them to Disneyland on the 1st day (since its near our hotel), San Diego on the 2nd and LA City on the 3rd day.

Woke up the very next morning after the competition for a swim in the hotel pool. I was excited to jump in as I needed some outlet to de-stress after all that competition. I just had to have time all by myself..

In Disneyland, we split ourselves up into 2 groups- the dare devil group and the chicken group! Ha..Of course, I went for the rides with 4 other students while the rest went for the kiddy rides!
I had an awesome time with my group as we played and talked..even shared meals together. I really felt like their mum..in a close sense. One of them actually commented that I am just like an older version of them. I take that as a compliment!
After the rides, we met up with the other group for dinner and to watch the floating parade. Having been to Disneyland for at least 4 times, I still enjoyed myself. Its probably the child in me that sees everything fun and exciting. I took pictures of the float just to show my children when I go back home.
We stayed on for the fireworks which took place at 930pm. Before that, we had Macdonalds for dinner as we sat on the road to eat. We actually went out of Disneyland to take away and eat in Disneyland.Yes, we had many stares but who cares.
The fireworks was well worth the wait. It was much more exciting than the ones I have seen before as Tinkerbell flies around the castle with the fireworks in the background. The music and theme of the various segments were awesome as well.
On our 2nd day to San Diego, it was about 1.5- 2 hours ride.We first went to Carlsbad Outlet Shopping on the way there. The students simply love shopping!
Most of them slept through the journey..I was mostly awake as I just wanted to soak in as much as I can wherever I am to enjoy the scenery and the sights. Spotted many wildflowers along the highway. Its awesome!
Then we dropped by San Diego Bay..just to take some pictures
Also spotted interesting trees which we just HAD to take a picture with it. Here are the guys trying to get on it!
Check out the amazing roots. Looks so abstract..so artistic.
We did a short city tour of San Diego which the students were not interested in. On our way back, we dropped by at Walmart for more shopping. For dinner, I made a reservation near our hotel to Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant. This restaurant is run by Roy Yamaguchi who is a famous chef in US, since being a James Beard Award Winner. He has 31 restaurants all over the world. So to reward them, I brought them here and I had great steak and red wine for dinner. Here's what a couple of my students had.
After dinner, we packed our luggage to see how much space left for more shopping the next day. After that, the students wanted to swim. It was 1130 pm then already and when we went down, we discovered the pool was closed. So we ended up talking outside the pool for a while . It was very cold by the way, if you cant already tell.
Next day, we went to LA City for a short tour of Hollywood Walk of Fame. But before that, we dropped by at Santa Monica Beach.
Dropped by Apple Store which most of them were dying to go! So I made special arrangement with the van driver to take us there so as not to disappoint my students.

Most of them came out of the shop with a new set of beats headphones which cost US$300!! Cant believe it!

Anyway, as long as they were happy! Sightseeing in LA was definitely more fun than San Diego.

Again we split ourselves up into 2 groups and at a certain time, we would meet back at our starting point. I went out with the guys this time round and whoever I am with, I would always make sure we had a good time and we did! We walked quite a bit before settling down in Macs for a snack and drink!
After walking along the Walk of Fame, we went to Santee Alley, Fashion District to take a look as recommended by my ex-student who migrated to California. Its something like our version of Pasar Malam where they sell cheap stuff.
After that, we went to Citadel Outlet shopping before heading back to our hotel.
Check out the colourful M & Ms in the candy store! So nice!
For dinner, I brought the students to the Cheesecake Factory. Don't think they only sell Cheesecake. Its a huge restaurant with a huge menu- lots of varieties!
I ordered deep fried calamari to share as starters and a herb crusted salmon for my mains.
My student, Sharmaine had a miso glazed salmon which looked really pretty on the plate.
After dinner, the students had to gather in our rooms to pack up their robots and luggage as it was our last night in US.
The students packed real fast as they wanted to swim before the pool closes. I was too lazy to swim with them but I went along to accompany and see them enjoy themselves in the pool
The next day, we went IHOP for breakfast.
I just had to go IHOP before leaving US to reminisce the time I ate there before in the past. I had the most healthy meal at IHOP as we have been overeating. SO I purposely ordered something healthy and lesser.
After breakfast, we packed up and checked out of our hotel. While waiting for our transport, it was actually our first time experience the heat in Anaheim as the weather had been quite cooling throughout.

The flight back was good as my students all slept throughout. I was awake watching movies after movies and playing my ipad games.

I was looking forward to going back home and see my family as I miss them so much but at the same time, I know I will really miss these guys as well as it will be my last time with them on an overseas trip as I will be moving on to another robotics system besides Vex. So I wont be working with these guys anymore. Sobsob.

I really salute and admire them for their hard work. They truly deserve every bit of fun and enjoyment we had in US after all that they had gone through--blood, sweat, tears..LITERALLY!

Thanks guys for teaching me so much and being an inspiration to me!

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