The SSW Getaway

Trump is President. It was certainly an experience being in the USA for the vote results last night. It’s been a big surprise for everyone I’ve spoken to on the Microsoft Campus.

Every year our family gets a few Americans who come down and visit us in Sydney. This year I expect the number of visitors to the Cogan’s to double 😉

Which brings me to this month’s blog post…

Once or twice a year the SSW guys and their families (these days this includes lots of kids!) escape Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to attend the SSW Getaway and spend some time together outside the office.

During these getaways, we do a bunch of fun activities together – usually something competitive (like tennis or chess), have a hearty and delicious meal, and take an epic walk someplace beautiful. However, my favourite part of these trips is the presentations. Each SSW-er in attendance puts together a 5 to 10-minute talk about projects they’ve been working on, the technologies used, and lessons learnt. You’ll have to wait for my yearly wrap-up blog to find out what they said. 😉

This year we went to Gerringong on the south coast of New South Wales, where we stayed at the Mercure Gerringong Resort, just near Werri beach. It was still too cold to go for a proper swim, but it’s always nice to be by the water.

Figure: One of my favourite things about the resort was how green it was

Figure: One of my favourite things about the resort was how green it was

On arrival to the Mercure, we had planned to check in, stash our bags and then play a few matches of tennis before getting stuck into the presentations, but our rooms weren’t ready yet. 🙁 We had to skip the tennis entirely, but I’m fairly confident I would have won 😀

The Dinner:

After the presentations, we stayed on site and had dinner in their beautiful restaurant. The dinner was awesome – really nice food, and of course, the company wasn’t too bad. 🙂

Check out these photos by Raj:

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Figure: The steak 

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Figure: the chicken

Figure: Oysters, beef and chicken – all the food groups were represented!

Figure: and scallops – all the food groups were represented

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Figure: This was the table with the responsible people 😉

Figure: Danijel, Ruby, and Uly

Figure: Danijel, Ruby, and Uly

After dinner, those who weren’t too full and sleepy stayed up to socialise and play card games before calling it a night – we had a big day ahead.

The Walk:

After breakfast at the hotel, the group set off to go for a walk along the Kiama coastline. We went from the lighthouse by the Kiama blowhole and headed south to the Little Blowhole and then back again. The sun was shining, we were all well rested and cheerful, and the views were glorious. All up it was about a 5km round trip, though with so many little people in tow the walk was taken at a leisurely pace.

Figure: all my girls

Figure: all my girls

Figure: SSW Sydney General Manager Ulysses Maclaren, Jasmine, and 2 girls (one’s still cooking)

Figure: SSW Sydney General Manager Ulysses Maclaren, Jasmine, and his 2 girls (one’s still cooking)

Figure: Eric Phan, Michelle and kids (little Edie Walker wants to be adopted!)

Figure: Eric Phan, Michelle and kids (little Edie Walker wants to be adopted!)

Figure: SSW Melbourne was represented on the trip by State Manager Stephen Carter and Solution Architect Anthony Nguyen

Figure: SSW Melbourne was represented on the trip by State Manager Stephen Carter and Solution Architect Anthony Nguyen

Figure: The whole crew, happy but exhausted

Figure: A great day, the ones who finished were happy but exhausted

The next SSW Getaway is only a few months away in January. We’ll be heading to Pelican Waters in Queensland. Can’t wait!