Ubud is centrally located and the cultural capital of Bali, so of course, everyone said we HAD to spend time there. It was beautiful, and though we didn’t take in any of the cultural dance shows, the architecture and art museum were enough to convince us that they take art seriously. The one thing I will always remember about Bali is that it is beautiful. Ubud is full of tourists and the types of shops and activities that cater to them, and this is both good and bad. The biggest benefit was that we LOVED the food. One day to escape a particularly bad downpour on a thoroughly rainy day, we ducked into this little hole in the wall music cafe, and WOW!!!! We actually ended up going back again the next night because the fish and vegetables were just grilled and seasoned to perfection, and their ginger tea and ginger fizzes were heaven.

Christyn and I knew that though we wanted a cultural experience, but we were also super interested in lounging by the pool for long periods of time reading our books. To accomplish this end, we rented a little villa with a  private pool – good choice. It was a bit difficult to pull ourselves away from our pool for large periods of time. I did, however, overdo it on the sun (just while walking around Kuta), so I did try to limit my sun exposure by sitting on the shadier side of the pool. I know that my life problems aren’t real life problems.


our pool!


lounging by the pool with book = heaven


our front porch and fish pond


our bathroom


I liked the little pot at our front door.


the view from the lobby of the hotel where we ate breakfast every morning

Aside from the food, our visit to the ARMA, an art museum, was a highlight. The grounds of the museum were absolutely breathtaking, and the intricate detailing of the carved doors and the structure of the buildings was stunning. Of course, the art was nice too, but sometimes I was just to enamored with the setting to care about the art. Though there was a painting that told a story of two sisters, Onion and Garlic, that Christyn and I would love to find a print of to gift to Meg and Dani.  I will have to do some investigation.


some of the grounds


every door and doorway had intricate carvings – this one was stone


this one was wooden with paint and gold leafing


I was even obsessed with the shapes of doorways, which I didn’t capture particularly well


all around Bali, even in the museum, there were offerings to gods as thanks for the bounty that abounds on Bali


there was a closet for dance costumes in the museum – I found some of the costumes a bit scary


more wooded carving


fountains outside a gallery


The canopied bridge leading to another part of the museum – everything in Bali was this green. I can’t get over it.


It was a rainy day


Sometimes there were little umbrellas set up over the plaques you might want to read in the gardens


beyond the wall of trees that formed the museum’s border was a rice field and then some houses


Christyn near the entrance

I should also tell you that I had predetermined that my Bali souvenir was going to be a specific type of quilt that I had seen at a friend’s house. I had to have it. Apparently, it is a souvenir of old because I swear, after looking in almost every shop in Bali, I got the last one. Luckily, I only had to pay the equivalent of less than $50 for this stunning, hand-made quilt, but unluckily for Christyn, it was the mission of almost an entire day with lots of walking in the hot sun. I hope in 40 years when she sleeps under it on the guest bed of my house, she will be so glad we made the discovery of the last quilt on the island with the square patches that I so desired. She didn’t understand why I disliked the idea of triangles joining to form squares, but I just did in this instance. I really should have gotten a picture with my quilt and the owner of shop where this rare treasure was found. I got lucky.


On our last night, we stopped for dessert across the street from our hotel on the way home, and it had some great signs. This one out front was hilarious; what a selling point.


This one was nice too.


This is what all our plates looked like over the course of the week!

So after a week of exploring Bali, it was time to head back to Saigon and show Christyn a bit of my life. Ideally, Jason would have arrived just hours behind us and we all could have returned home together, but the storms in DC had caused delays that ended up stranding him in Japan overnight.  Poor guy. So Christyn and I ended up with a day to ourselves once we arrived home. I mostly used the day to sleep in and putter around my house doing some errands and reading. How entertaining for a guest? However, we still managed to make it for a yummy brunch at a new restaurant in my neighborhood, Eden.


The serenity garden in the Singapore airport.


The sunflower garden at the Singapore airport – you can go outside and still be considered in the terminal

So, all in all vacation was a success. Christyn felt guilty about being so idle, but I had no such qualms. I never did work as hard as her. As far as I am concerned, any vacation where I can read 5 books and see greenery is a success. More to come about our Saigon adventures with Jason.



  1. Finally caught up on your travels. The lush green-ness is culture shock for the winter-weary folks around here. We missed most of the last storm Cindy mentioned – it stayed just south and east of this part of Centre Co., but cold again. Had 17 days with frozen water line, two with it back on, now off again for another two. Supposed to get into 40s so theoretically I’ll be back to having running water by Sunday. While the line was frozen, uncle Jeff put in a replacement faucet. Maybe that will stop the dripping line I’ve had most of the twelve years been here. Thanks for the tree house photo within a little distance to get the feel of the location.

    Thon was another PSU success with over 13 million raised.


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