Countdown to vacation starts now!

In three more weeks, I won’t be sitting at work and counting the hours to 6pm or swim through piles of paper. No more running around in the morning to catch the train or bus. If the little boy allows, I might even sleep beyond 7am.

‘Might’ is a big word, though.

We will be leaving Dubai for a while for a long-awaited vacation. It’s been 4 years since we pressed  that temporary pause button of break-neck pace Dubai life and hop on the plane to Japan.

This was taken at Dubai Airport in 2009. Pristine was only 5 and a half years old and we had no baby #2 yet. It feels so long ago.

Pristine is looking forward to it the most. She LOVES to travel. She always offers to hold my hand during takeoff when I feel my stomachs turn.

Pristine in the plane

She’s a very eager traveler, always on the lookout of our blankets on the plane, making sure everyone is comfortable especially mom. I can already imagine our future trips together. She will be a great travel partner as she is very relaxed and flexible during trips. I never had any difficulties traveling with Pristine (except the time we pretended to be smarty pants and did not bring a stroller on our Europe trip in 2006 – our arms almost fell off carrying her around, asleep and heavily jet lagged from the 9 hours time difference!).

Other than that, she is a travel rock star.

We miss Japan. The food. The menu boards at the street cafes.

street cafe menu board in Tokyo

I miss our hiking trails in the mountains of Nagano. The fresh air. The green surroundings.

Hiking trail in Nagano

The apples. I could be bias but Japan has got to be the place with the best apples in the world. Not that I’ve been to all places in the world. Or tasted all the apples in the world.

Apple farm in Nagano

Most of all, we miss Kono bachan, my husband’s grandmother whom we really looked forward to meeting after four years.

With Kono bachan

Unfortunately, we are too late. She passed away in her sleep last March 11. It’s sad we can no longer hug her and see her smile. Losing her was the first time we felt how tough it is to lose a loved one while living abroad, far away from them.

Meanwhile, on our coming trip, we have a new member of the family joining us: enter Benjamin, the 20 month old unstoppable toddler.


Right now, I’m not going to entertain thoughts like, “I might be tired even before my vacation starts!” or “How will I keep him still in the plane” or Google search things like, “How to fly with a toddler and keep your sanity” or things like that.

Like his big sister, I am hopeful baby Ben is a travel rock star. I am hopeful.


  1. I am so happy and excited for your upcoming vacation, Grace. You truly deserve some rest and relaxation. I am sorry to hear about Kono bachan; she would’ve been very thrilled to see Pristine and Ben.

    Start packing now! 🙂



  2. Magdagan dagan sa aisle, mosuong sa lingkuranan, that was my experience with our bunso when he was only 15 months…even now likot pa gihapon murag tag-iya sa eroplano….

    Good bless your upcoming vacation Grace…



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