Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bali 2010 - The extremely tiring second day

It's a good morning on our second day in Bali! We had to be up early as we were scheduled to meet our driver guide at 9am and getting kids ready is you know...never easy ;)

The nude milk-drinker

Our breakfast prepared and cooked in our villa by our lady butler :)

We met Pedro, our driver guide and headed northwards to a temple which housed a holy spring, the Tirta Empul Temple in Tampark Siring. It was a really long car ride there and I was stuck at the back seat keeping the kids entertained. By the time we got there, the small one was grouchy (check out his pout) and the big one lost his enthusiasm.

I think the Mr Grumpy shirt should go to Dylan ;P

It was also at this temple that Dyl had a fall and scraped his chin but as we will find out later, it's nothing compared to the many mosquito bites he will suffer! Strangely the kid's blood must be sweeter because us adults got just one or two bites, go figure! We asked Pedro to help us take a family shot in front of the temple, he decided to include the sky so in the picture we had the very beautiful blue sky and all of us in sillouette hahahaha! Attempt at family picture #2 fail!

Next stop was the volcano. Pedro was engaging us in conversations with him so we won't be bored. He's a father of a little girl about Dylan's age but she's 3kg heavier :p He wants a son next as it is hindu custom that the son looks after his parents. Another fact we learnt, the majority of Balinese are hindus! We thought Indonesia was a nation of muslims but no, Pedro explained that in Bali, almost everyone is hindu.

Along the way we passed many villages, Pedro tells us that each village will specialise in a particular handicraft. We saw one that makes beautiful kites! Many were stone and wood carvers and there were also a few that make jewellery. There were also many shops that sold synthetic rattan furniture, very nice to have by the pool area IF I lived in a bungalow *dream dream* Pedro says he's from a village of wood carvers. I find it really interesting that every Balinese will specialise in a certain craft and it makes you wonder how all of them are born creative?

Ta dah! We arrived at last! Here's the view of the volcanos. We also had the worse lunch ever at a restaurant here. I think the only thing keeping it in operation is the view :p

We had another failed attempt at family picture #3 here, both kids having been woken up were not in the least bit happy.

Pedro next suggested the Ubud market for some shopping, hurray! But damn, it was crowded and there was no parking plus the kids had already dozed off in the car so we decided to give it a miss and started our journey back down south to Uluwatu. Along the way, Pedro stopped us at a scenic rice paddy field. He said he will watch the kids while we took some photos. I love this shot of these girls trying to lift the heavy basket :D

Eventually, their father or uncle had to take over the job hehe :p

We arrived in Uluwatu just in time to to see the beautiful sunset plus a free show of two frisky monkeys doing IT right in front of us! :p They were notorious for snatching caps, sunglasses or anything off you if you are not aware so Kayden was screaming for me to stay away from the wall where they were seated as I jostled for a better spot to get my shot. Sometimes this boy worry too much!

It's been a really long day, we were all beat when we arrived back at the villa. We bade Pedro farewell and had a really nice Italian dinner at Trattoria before walking back to the villa to call it a day.

***read Day 1 here***

***read Day 3 here***

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bali 2010 - The Villa, Cafe Bali & Sharkey's

Our last family vacation was September last year in Oz (good grief I just realised I've not blog part 2 of that vacation yet!). We have never been to Bali before so I was very excited about it. A few hiccups for the trip though, our travel companions who would be sharing the lovely 2 bedroom villa with us stuffed up their flight booking so they couldn't get on the plane. We tried to downgrade to a one bedroom villa unsuccessfully as they were fully booked. So you can say that we ended up spending a bomb on our lodging but seeing how much the boys enjoy themselves, it was worth it.

We stayed at Bvilla in the Seminyak area. Bvilla is owned by one of my clients and I love the contemporary design of the place while still incorporating Balinese accents. Very chic ;) We checked in, had a refreshing welcome drink while gawking at our private pool before setting out on foot to grab some lunch.

We ended up at Cafe Bali, lovely lovely interior! The lamps in the restaurant were the work of lighting artist Robert Nollet and his gifted team of Balinese craftmen.

Naturally I wanted a nice picture of us here but the boys were cranky from waking up so early that morning for the flight and the waitress who took the shot didn't focus the camera correctly so we were one blurred blob of colours in the picture, arrgh... failed attempt at family picture #1. Reminder to self, bring the LX3 next time, not all service staff knows how to use the D700.

The difference between the two, one wears his heart on his sleeve showing me his grumpy tired face, the other acts silly to hide the fatigue :p

yes yes, I am aware that he needs a hair cut.

After lunch it was back to the villa for a dip in the pool. That certainly perked the big one up!

Treating the deck chairs as a trampoline was a genius idea ;)

We tried to make them take a nap but it was quite impossible. So we decided to go for an early dinner so we can turn in early. Friends recommended seafood dinner at Sharkey's which was at Jimbaran Bay. The tables were set out near the beach front and you get sand on your feet as you enjoy your dinner and the sunset was lovely to behold. Just that you get the "smell" of the sea as well which may spoil the ambience for some. But it was small issue for a great meal and view.

Dylan was so sleepy (the both of them did not have their afternoon naps) that he fell asleep at the table with his mouth still full with rice. Poor baby.

It's been a long day, we bid the sun and Sharkey's farewell to hopefully a great night's rest at our villa :)

***read Day 2 here***

***read Day 3 here***

Sunday, August 8, 2010


It's exactly a month to go before Kayden turns 5 years old. Whilst I busy myself planning his party and reflecting on this past year, it's hard to ignore his vastly improved language skills. He even has witty comebacks for everyday dialogue.

Scene - A cold rainy day, driving home after picking Kayden from daycare
Erwin: Kay, later go home you bathe in hot water ok?
Kayden: No daddy, I want to bathe in warm water, hot water will burn me!

Scene - After dinner at a shopping mall, the boys were still munching on cookies and bean curd
Erwin (to me): Look at these two piglets!
Kayden: Then you and mummy are Daddy and Mummy pigs? (followed by a hearty guffaw!)

What a cheeky fella! But I am happy at how he has progressed. We also started him on Chinese enrichment classes this year. His teacher wrote in his report card that his Chinese has improved by "leaps and bounds"! How impressive! More so since we hardly speak the language with him. All of Erwin's tuition with him is paying off! He does Math and Chinese with Kay on weeknights. And of all things, we realised that he is now lagging behind in reading English! He can recognise words and make the phonic sounds of individual alphabets but he just can't seem to put the letters together to read the word :(

Kay, I hope your English reading improves in the next month so you can read this on your cake: Happy 5th Birthday! :)