After a teary eyed morning of good-byes and a last coffee at Cafe Mama, an airport drop-off, lunch and a Starbucks, I arrived to my gate to board to Bali to meet my dearest friend of 21 years from the states. Back to Bali. How lucky am I? To explore my heaven on earth and share it with my friend! The best feeling!
Our first stop was the village of Ubud. Nestled among the rain forested mountains, our homestay was quaint and had the cutest balcony for viewing the starry night sky, feeling the breeze above the orange rooftops, seeing the sunrise, and hearing the morning roosters! We started the day with power yoga at the Yoga Barn and cooled off with organic juice and energy snacks. Our early afternoon walk took us through the town and to Monkey Forest, where a monkey climbed my leg and stole my water bottle! Naughty monkey. (Third water bottle gone in about a year! Sorry Lori…) Later in the day we shopped at local stands, ate Indian food, and got pedicures. Let’s not talk about our awful waxing experience.
The next day we woke up early to call a taxi to drive us to Sanur. We had arranged for our very first…SURF LESSON. After some instruction, we paddled out with our instructor, Eka. Amazingly enough we popped up and each rode our first wave! We continued to do well…granted the waves were only 1-2 feet, but both of us do yoga and work out, so am thinking that helped our surfing success. We are basically pros now you know. 😉 Cheers with a Bintang at 11 a.m? I think so! Off to snooze a bit before grilling freshly speared fish with my friend’s brother-in-law and his guests on the beach. Met a lovely Dutch couple and a surfer from Hawaii. Great company and Great food—and I don’t usually eat fish. But this fish. No words…so delicious! Spices and lime, vegetables, rice with the waves splashing against the sand at a local beach bar.
We headed to Padang Bai the following morning and took a fast boat to Gili Trawangan, where we stayed for two nights at Tir Na Nog hotel. A delightful, comfortable room with a cute patio and a bar that had fabulous drink specials. We met a couple Canadians and Dutch travelers and spent the day hanging out with them and watching the sunset. Sweet Sea Sunset Serenity. My favorite thing…watching the sunset with a cool cocktail in hand. We left the group and went back to freshen up before dinner and meeting an Australian friend who we talked with the rest of the night. Cheers mate!
Rode bikes around the island of Gili T before our snorkeling adventure. Laura had never been snorkeling before, what an experience in the clearest teal waters! We headed to the Pearl Beach Lounge for happy hour and beach relaxation before our seafood dinner at Scallywags. Yum!
|we couldn’t decide on a drink… 😛
|CHEERS TOS ETC!
The next day brought a round of sickness after watching the sunrise, before boarding the fast boat back to Padang Bai. We arrived and went back to the Lemon House, a place I previously stayed over Christmas. They welcomed me back and were happy to meet Laura too! We got coconut and coffee scrubs at Bloo Lagoon Spa and ate at Naya’s Warung. The lady recognized me too…it was so sweet! Her husband also was able to be our driver for the next day’s trip to the airport. A chill night for us.
Set our alarms for sunrise. Beautiful and calm. A stunning site to see to end our last day in Bali. Headed to the beach for coconut pancakes and pineapple juice. Wonderful to see my Warung friends there too; how special it was to introduce them to Laura and chat with them again! Perfect beach sun and waves. Scouted for shells before having a coffee by the port and packing up to head to the airport.
And just like that. 8 hour flight from Bali to Doha (Qatar). 8 hour layover. 15 hours from Doha to Dallas with me at the window and Laura on the aisle and an empty seat in the middle. Thank goodness. 2 hours to get my bag and go through immigration and customs in Dallas. And an 1 1/2 later I landed in Dallas about 8:30 p.m on Thursday May 28th after 7months of teaching and exploring Indonesia. My life just went from 100mph to a screeching halt.
I’ve been home just a week now. The summertime freshness of rain and green grass fills my senses. I can feel coolness again. There are no goats. No slamming metal doors. No calls of “mister.” No street stands. The quietness and peacefulness against the past craziness soothes my soul. I need time to stun, to swing on my porch swing. To slow down. But I miss my friends. The colors. The random things that caught my eye. Home is sweet. Home is wonderful. It is also disorienting. Like I don’t know what to soak in…my eyes are adjusting to the surroundings I have always known but have become unfamiliar with as my time abroad increases. For lack of better words…it’s weird. I’m grateful to have a home to come back to, a family who loves me, and friends who support me. I know that I am blessed. and loved. So thank you all. 🙂