I left two Fridays ago to head to Bali (which was also the day that the family we were sponsoring on the island were arriving sad day) . Garrett was a trooper (as was our amazing neighbor, Cassie THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION CASSIE!!!) about getting the kids where they needed to be and attending Thanksgiving parties at school. He had ballet/tap, two separate Thanksgiving parties, hip-hop, hosting a BBQ for some friends, and helping our sweet friends, the Bonds, get acclimated to their new home. Our friend Tiffany was amazing as well and stepped right in to help out with the kiddos so the Bonds could go car and phone shopping kid free. YOU DA MAN TIFFANY!!
Garrett also took the kids to their second coffee festival here.
All the while, I was on my 10 hour commute to the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia. I went with three other girlfriends, and I STILL feel guilty saying this; but it was the best vacation I’ve ever been on. It was the perfect mixture of culture, activity, conversation and relaxation. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity and extremely grateful!
We arrived in Bali around 1:30 AM on the 19th, where we quickly discovered our luggage did not make it :(. Slight hiccup, but the airline was great to send our luggage to our resort as soon as it arrived the next evening. We stayed at a hotel next to the airport the first evening because we didn’t want to mess with driving all the way to our resort. We stayed in a beautiful 5 star hotel for less than $60 TOTAL (so this was two, interconnecting rooms). The rupiah to dollar conversion is about 13,500 – every US dollar…which made for some super fun money conversion the entire trip ;). Yen to US dollar is much easier as 100 yen is equal to 1 US dollar. We also got to experience some Hong Kong dollar to US dollar conversions. I paid $61 for a pastry and a coffee at Starbucks in Hong Kong…which of course converted to a more reasonable amount, but it was funny seeing the total after I ordered.
Left picture below, we were working through the language barrier to figure out the luggage situation. Right picture below; one of the many beautiful statues in the airport. Although Indonesia is mainly Muslim, Bali is primarily a Hindu country which made for THOUSANDS of beautiful temples, statues, and other carvings.
We got settled into our hotel around 3 AM, and got our first wake up call about 5 AM for a call to prayer. Honestly I wasn’t even angry, it was SO beautiful. We didn’t get up and move though until around 7:30/8 where are WONDERFUL driver Nyoman picked us up to take us on our first day of exploring.
We got our first taste of what being an American in Bali is like at breakfast. There was a beautiful mural in the courtyard where we asked our driver to take our picture. 20 minutes later we finally got to leave, because people began trickling out of the restaurant to take pictures with us. Americans don’t make it to Bali very often, simply because of the flight time. I do have SEVERAL friends who have visited, but I believe most of them have taken vacations for weeks-months at a time and see a lot of Asia, Indonesia, Australia etc. so Bali was one of their stopping points. We eventually just had to let everyone know we needed to leave and run out of the restaurant.
Below are our pictures in the courtyard, with our driver Nyoman.
He was nothing short of amazing! He brought us fresh fruit and water every day. Mangos, he grew on his mango tree outside of his home, pineapple, dragon fruit, and even a new fruit none of us had ever tried before called snake fruit. His car always smelled so wonderful too because his wife had made beautiful flower arrangements used in their worship services/prayer services.
We spent our first day at an elephant sanctuary where we got to ride elephants, hold sun bears, and make our own chocolate after touring a bean to bar chocolate factory. I was so nervous about the chocolate because we have been to a bean to bar factory before and the chocolate was very bitter. However this chocolate was the best I’ve ever had!
We also had the opportunity to visit a monkey forest called Sangeh. There are a ton of monkey forests and temples around Bali but this one was just perfect for us. The monkeys were all super sweet. It was shocking at first though when you would just be walking around and they would jump right on top of your head. At one point I had 4 (technically 5 because one had a baby on her) monkeys on me and they actually get a bit heavy after a while.
I could write and upload pictures for days but we actually have to head out for brunch with some friends, but I will write more tomorrow!
We love and miss you all
❤ The Butlers