(Nyepi festival on Legian Beach)
(botanical Gatden bali)
Matt had to go back to work on the Monday, so he had an early flight Monday morning at 5.45am (sorry babe), so on the Sunday we swappe accomodation to the villa I was staying at with my folks and Coops. Directly off the main bar strip in Seminyak, we found the villa (surprisingly quickly) down a side gang. It was very different to what I am usually used to in Bali, however I loved the feel of being with the locals and away from the hustle and bustle of the strip. Opening the door to the villa opened up a new world inside the villa. The interior and decorations were funky and up to date with a separator between pool area and open living area. The lady who rented us the villa is a designer in Melbourne who also stocks a boutique store in bali which is why she has the villa. It shows that it is a designers second home.
My folks and Coops arrived pretty late, so we showed them around the villa, had a few Bintang's and turned in at around 12.30amish. Whoops. I love all my family together (Matt included) so it was great to just sit around and catch up on the last week. Next morning Matt was up bright and early (and to much to my disgust to) and hopped in the taxi we had pre-booked with a taxi driver the evening before.
First day we went to our seasonal favourite day spa - Bali botanica's Day Spa in Ubud. Honestly if you haven't been please do. For $99 Aussie, you get a 7 hour day spa including a 2 hour relaxing massage (I think I dozed off a couple of times), your choice of a body scrub (I got the spicy body scrub that promotes blood flow) and a 20 minute relaxing spa with a freshly squeezed juice overlooking the beautiful Ubud Rainforest. Note: the spicy scrub comes with a bath filled with whole pieces (I'm talking major chunks) of ginger, leaves from the Forrest and whole cinnamon sticks. You get a little but of a surprise hopping into a tub filled with these things, but I assure you it feels and smells amazing. That a little different to the usual milk and flower baths right?
You then are treated to a 2 course menu at Bridges restaurant; either a entree or a dessert with three choice for your main. Please please please, if you are a couple, one order a entree and one order a dessert. Our favourite choices are the rice paper rolls with this refreshing and cool chilli sauce on the side, the seared Tuna and Asian slaw (holyfrickenyum) and the lemon slice (you actually get the lemon slice, as well as some kind of homemade sorbet and caramel Cannolli (I think they are called).
Back to the spa you have a few things left; a facial that you have the option to use steam to really get all that dirt and grime from under your skin (expect break outs - it promotes it all to the surface) and you also choose what kind if facial you would like - we all chose the tightening and anti ageing facial with clay.
And you also get a hair treatment (a little disappointed this time as it was not the avocado treatment that we had last time (Made with real avocado - I guess they aren't very cheap at the moment?) and if you haven't been massages enough it includes a head massage and hand massage. Ohhhhh NAND the ginger tea is the bomb.
Did I say that Tim joined us on our day spa? He he.
Always trying new things in Bali - Mum decided that we should do the ropes course as a 'family bonding' activity. Well, not that I mentioned it.... But I am fairly afraid of heights so I was the thrilled with the idea, but I decided to be a team player and go along for the ride (I'm not sure where this phobia started; I think it started when I was about 10ish when we went to Pemberton on our way down South to Busselton where they have the land of the giants - trees). The drive was pretty long to get there from Seminyak, and Cooper (and I) was getting pretty restless the entire trip. It was however up the top of the Bontanical Gardens, which was fairly close to the clouds and it did have a kind of beauty I hadn't seen in Bali before. Coops and Tim were a lot quicker, I was at a cool and calm snail pace and NO ONE could talk to me when I was on the course, no sir-e. I was a lady on a mission and I couldn't have anyone stuff up my mojo! Sorry Mum.
It was a cool little system - you clipped yourself on to each of the courses and each place had a sign of either one or two pieces of tape to ensure your full safety - given you followed the rules and listened in the demo. They also ensured that you finished the whole course, mind > matter shit. Once you started you couldn't turned back because it would have been against the traffic, and you couldn't go down... At any stage until you got to the end. Cheers. Ohhhhh and it rain, sorry correction; it pissed down pretty much the entire course which made me feel even more uneasy about doing the courses because I was in converse chucks (let me tell you there ain't much traction going on there) and the ropes felt slippery also. My upper body started to ache from purely holding in for dear life. But I got through it. I won't say I loved it, but any dare devil looking for a bit of an adventure would. Throw me out of a plane, let me hike up high stuff, roller coasters. High ropes courses, hmmmm.
Sisterfields (Seminyak) - GET IN EARLY - Matt and I tried to get in here for a lazy brunch a few days before and there was a line out the door so we gave up and went elsewhere. Lucky Cooper is an early bird, and the family wakes up early - even on holiday. Sisterfields is in a prime location just off the main restaurant and bar strip heading towards Motel Mexicola. It has a funky interior, and delicious menu to accompany its great service. The breakfast menu was pretty broad and being horrible with any life choices, it took me a while to decide on what to have. Mexican eggs with chorizo... Eggs Benedict with bacon and avocado... Muesli and fruit... It was tough. I ended up going with the Acai Bowl with granola and fresh fruit and a passion fruit and raspberry smoothie with passion fruit pulp. I was chockers. Great staff and free wifi to top it off. Yes.
Bridges (Ubud) - see me rave on above ^^^^. Totally affordable fine dining with a great view.
Oceans 27 (Kuta) - has been a favourite place since we started hitting the Bali shores. You can find this right behind the massive Discovery Shopping Mall on the beach front. Two options; snag a day bed at the front overlooking the beach and sip cocktails all arvo (I suggest the Disco Biscuit (or something like that) - it's a cookie crumble cocktail with Baileys and vodka mmmm) or snag a table that literally lets you chill out, take your shoes off and cool off in the tables IN the side pools. Probably needed after a long day in the Bali sun getting cheap cheap bargains.
I cannot for the life of my remember the name of this bar/restaurant (Kuta) - I will search high and low and try and find the name of this place. Mum and I have been here before for happy hour and tapas and it is soooo yummy and pretty cheap considering. You will find this place right on the corner near the Zara shop in Kuta. There are a few restaurants along this strip (I remember a Starbucks in the middle of them all), but it is the one at the very end! Happy hour finishes at 5pm so get in quick for some cheap drinks, and man are they yummy. Then ride the night out with tapas, mains and shisha with many different flavours. The staff here are great, and they all love to interact with the kids.
On to the next adventure - Hawaii