Christmas 2008 in Bali

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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!  I can’t believe it is 2009 already.  Time flies.  2008 has had its ups and downs but we certainly ended on a good note.  We travelled to Bali on Dec 20th for our Christmas holiday. We arrived late at night/early  on Sunday morning.  Our first excitement was entry into Bali. You can buy a visa to enter Bali at the airport. One of the requirements is that you have a passport that is valid for at least six months. The girls’ passports were only valid for three. We were asked to see the supervisor. After some negotiation, pleading and greasing of palms the supervisor was “kind” enough to let us in. We were very tired but once we saw our beautiful villa we felt relaxed.  The villa had three separate bedrooms surrounding an open living area with a kitchen. They all looked out onto a private pool. There was also common pool for 4 villas attached as well. No one was ever in that pool except us so it was like another private pool. Every morning we got a made to order breakfast and they would come cook it in our kitchen and serve it to us by the pool. One can get used to that quickly.  The first day, we took full advantage of the pool and beach.  The beach was a long sandy beach called Jimbaran beach. The InterContinental and the Four Seasons are on this same beach.


The next day we went north into the interior of Bali to see a traditional dance, mountains, silver, woodcarving, batiks, spices, temples, rice fields, mountains, lake, villages, monkey temple etc.  It was rainy so unfortunately when we got to the top of the mountain and we were supposed to have a beautiful view of the lake, it was so cloudy that we could not see anything. Oh well.  The trip reminded us a lot of India very tropical and green. We stopped at a rest area where we were served the local coffee and teas. We had ginseng coffee and some local chocolate which was incredible. Bali is known for these amazing rice terraces  which are like staircases built into a hillside. They have existed since the 9th century and they do not look like they have changed much. The rice fields were very pretty.  We brought some old clothes to hand out to the villagers and so when we stopped at one place we took out the bag and gave it to a family. They were so excited and appreciative.  It was a good feeling. At one stop to take pictures Lyndon asked these two guys to take our picture and asked if they were from Japan. They were and were Tokyo Metro train drivers.  Very small world. 


The next day we went back to the beach and got $10 massages on the beach. The girls had their nails done as well. They also purchased sarongs. Catherine and Emily are very good at bargaining. I know they have some of Mom’s DNA. That night we splurged and went to dinner at the Four Seasons Resort which was right next to us. It was dinner on the beach and a Balinese dance performance. It was some of the best food we’ve ever had.  The dessert bar had crepes with chocolate sauce, homemade strawberry-basil ice cream, a chocolate macadamia nut soup, tiramisu, mango-berry truffle, chocolate mousse. We tried everything at least twice. The next day was off to white water rafting.  The ride was spectacular. We went down the river, swam under a water fall, saw some amazing carvings into the rocks that lined the river.  Nobody fell out although Catherine had to be flipped into the river to swim.  It was very fun. Much calmer than the Nantahala in NC but great for the kids. 


Christmas day we woke up to stockings filled by Santa but presents left in Tokyo. After breakfast we went to Nusa Dua. Another beautiful beach area.  Most of the resorts are in this area. We all went parasailing. Very cool.  Then the kids went tubing on a banana boat.  They had a great time.  We hung out at the beach for awhile then went back home to get ready for church. It is a great feeling to go to church anywhere in the world but still feel so at home.  We ventured off for Mexican after that. A different Christmas. On Friday we hung out in the morning. In the afternoon we went to the Royal Temple at Mengwi and Tanoh Lot in the late afternoon for the sunset.  We stopped for some great Indian food on the way home.


Saturday was another beach hang out day and then to a great highly recommended restaurant LaLucciola in Seminyak. The food and atmosphere here were great. It was another pretty sunset.  We could not believe it when Sunday rolled around and we had to think about packing up and heading home.  We headed down to Ulawatu Temple. It sits beautifully on the edge of a cliff.  It too has monkeys. They were so cute. We actually enjoyed this more than the monkey forest. Then we went to the beach there (Dreamland Beach). It was very rough and not our favorite beach. When we got back it was to pack and get ready for church and the airport.


The whole trip was peppered with intense games of Shanghai rummy and President. We have been fine tuning our skills, so watch out Sandy. Also taking full advantage of the exotic location, there were extensive photo shoots for America’s Next Top Model. We had a great time.  So sad to see it end but we were ready to get home back to our own place.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Lyndon and Mary
    Jan 01, 2009 @ 23:07:33

    I LOVE BALI!<3<3<3<3


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