“Part I: Sydney, Australia 2019”

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(Video above is of Sophie at Cleveland Hopkins Airport on departure day)

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Meeting Kay and Simon upon arrival at Sydney International Airport

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Luncheon at Marcelle and Bassam’s on Sydney Harbour where we met Dolly Diab for the first time. Get this: Dolly’s mother’s brother George was a groomsman at our wedding!!! No kidding!!

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Luncheon at Marcelle and Bassam’s

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Luncheon at Marcelle and Bassam’s

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John and Sophie enjoying the view of Sydney Harbour

Lisa:  Hello friends and family!  For those of you unaware, we had the incredible opportunity to travel to Sydney, Australia and just returned three days ago.  It was truly the trip of a lifetime!  While there, we spent the first half of our trip in Sydney being treated like royalty by our dear friends Kay (Ishak) and Simon Abou Antoun.  The latter half of the trip was spent with my first cousin Michel (ibn Khaltee Faridi) and his sweet wife Saada in and around Blacktown, New South Wales.  I had never met Michel and Saada before, and it took all but five minutes for us to bond.  I got to know their children Lisa and David (Phillip, sorry we missed you!) and Michel’s sister Samia’s family:  husband Naji and sons Michel, Mark, and Emile.  There is a saying in Arabic:  “Dam ma byi-loub miy;” i.e. “blood is thicker than water.”  And it’s true.  So wonderful to get to know my extended family.

We found Australia to be incredibly beautiful, organized, and clean.  And it has become a Lebanese mecca with more than 250,000 taking residence there. What an adventure it was!  We will be posting several photos and videos from our trip in the upcoming days.  Stay tuned.

Sophie:  I love Sydney. The flight was long, but we arrived safely. I had a great time. Thank you to Kay, Simon, Michel, and Saada for letting us stay at their homes. Goodbye folks!