Category Archives: Travel Thursday

Bali {Travel Thursday}

One of the most impressive things about Bali are their evening dance performances. One that was my favorite (we attended three or four, I believe) was about Ramayana. These dancers have been training from a very young age (more of those pictures in the next post), and can contort their hands, feet and bodies in ways I could only dream of! There is a way that they hold their hands that captivated me every night! The dedication they show is astounding. What brings it all together, however, is the gamelan music. The gamelan is somewhat similar to a xylophone, and when you get 30 or 40 of them together, it’s beautiful and exotic.

The thing to pay attention to, as you look through these pictures, is the fire. These pictures are from different nights, but in several shots you will see them kicking or holding/throwing the fire ball. I think it was a ball composed at least partially of newspaper, that was an integral part of the night’s story.

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Bali {Travel Thursday}

It has been really fun to look back through these old photos! Today I want to share a bit about each of the three places we stayed in Bali. Once we landed, we spent a few nights in Denpasar, adjusting to the major time difference and getting over the 31 hours of travel and jet lag. The hotel we stayed at was beautiful, and really the perfect place to rest and recoup!

We spent a lot of time in the pool, relaxing in the sun, and enjoying the markets and culture of Denpasar and Kuta. Jeff, the father of the family I traveled with, showed me around a bit and taught me how to haggle! Apparently in Bali, you always haggle. For them, it’s just how they do things. I would often find myself getting frustrated at the process, but they seemed to be much more light-hearted about it!

We also had a motorbike adventure one day when we’d gone out shopping. Motorbikes are EVERYWHERE in Bali, and I was blown away at how many people they fit onto one bike! One day, we saw an entire family of five on a single bike. Anyhow, Jeff and I rented a bike, and after shopping one afternoon we rode it back to the hotel. With little to no rules of the road there, and it being my first ride on something like that, I had fun and was terrified at the same time!

Did you see that picture above? Welcome to the Arma. Be still my heart. Do you see our private pool? And our little breakfast/lounge area. We had two of those. This was our home for the middle chunk of our journey, which was our stay in Ubud. Ubud is located closer to the center of Bali, and is the art and cultural center of the island. We spent our time in Ubud shopping the unbelievable market (really, one of the craziest, most awesome places I’ve ever been), eating really really great food (Cafe Warung, I miss you) and taking in the most amazing fire dances at night.

Jan and Terri (plus Max and Andy way back there) on the grounds of the Arma. That is a koi pond, that held the most giant koi I’ve ever seen!

Ok, one last picture from Ubud for now. This is our bathroom at the Arma. I have lots of favorite things from Bali, including fresh-squeezed lemonade, nasi goreng, the shopping… but the open air bathrooms definitely made their impact on me! All of our hotels/villas were set up similar to this. The bathroom is still totally private, while making it feel like you are showering/bathing outside… because you are. If I lived in a sunnier climate, I would totally make this part of my dream master suite!  This bathroom was particularly awesome, because the normal bathroom area and the “outdoor” shower were separated by a koi pond!

This beautiful beach was our third and final vacation locale. Sanur is south of Denpasar on the coast, and it was the perfect end to our whirl-wind trip! We took a few day-trips from here (Tanah Lot), ate really good food, and lazed around on the beach.

More travel fun coming soon!

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Bali {Travel Thursday}

I have decided to add feature to the blog, where I showcase some of my favorite travel photographs and some of the stories behind them. Between colleges several years ago, I had the great fortune to work as a nanny for an amazing family who took me on two of the best vacations of my life. Not long after I started working for them, we left for a three week adventure to what became my favorite non-home place on earth: Bali. Bali is an island in Indonesia, inhabited mostly by Hindus, and honestly one of the most beautiful places in this entire world, inhabited by some of the most gracious and sweet human beings I’ve ever met.

One of the first things that struck me about Bali is the juxtaposition between lush rice paddies and chaotic, motor-bike dominated city life. Both are equally as captivating… one invites you to stop and relax, and one invites you to hang on for the ride!

Keep an eye out for the next Travel Thursday post all about the three places we stayed in Bali.

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