Monday, December 31, 2012

Mixing work and pleasure #4- Back to Monaco

As you have read in years past (20102011), one perk to my job as a college counselor is our annual conference usually in a fun European city. This past November we headed back to Monaco to get some warmer weather in the French Riviera. I was really looking forward to this year's conference because I was going to have a reunion with my former Frankfurt colleagues. Also I am lucky to have two girlfriends that work as counselors in Frankfurt and we would be keeping with our new tradition of making a girls weekend out of the conference in Nice, France.

Flying to Europe from Hong Kong is no small task and I am very grateful that my new school, DBS, was gracious enough to send me. After a whole day of traveling I arrived to the view below-not bad. I have to admit it was nice to be back in Europe. It felt familiar  probably because I had been to Monaco and Nice before, but I do get a little nostalgic when I am back. Just to warn you I didn't take my camera on the trip so all these pictures are from my phone and some are blurry and have bad lighting.

View from my hotel room

Representing DBS for the 1st time

Reunited with my office mate from Frankfurt, Roger.

My boy Buddy from ISF.

I really enjoy this conference and the time to connect with professionals in my field. Justin made a good point before I left, that it is nice to have a guaranteed reunion with all my college counselor buddies every year and I totally agree. Having met and kept in touch with so many colleagues throughout the year it is nice to actually have a time every year to see them. Especially since taking a new job in Hong Kong it was also great to update people and see my friends from Frankfurt. I really love what I do and it is always nice to be around people who feel the same way about their careers.

Girls Weekend with Jessica and Alison

It was so nice to see these ladies. I know when I am with them it is going to be a good time and this year was no exception. With yet another awesome apartment rental and a great location, we enjoyed many heartfelt and interesting conversations over fabulous food and wine as well as sunshine.

This was a funny scene. It was a cool morning in Nice and these crazies were stripping down to their bathing suits and getting in the water. It looked like a  long standing tradition or something, but I know that water wasn't warm.

Being back in Europe did make me miss some of the things I love about it. Especially random markets with fun knick-knack and amazing fresh produce. I had forgotten how good a tomato could taste, they just don't grow (or import) the same stuff here in Hong Kong.

The French Riviera in November is not a bad place to be.

Yet another successful conference and girls weekend. I really cherish this time and I look forward to it every year.

--Marisa
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