Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quick USA recap

In April Little O and I had a quick trip to the USA so I could attend the wedding of a good friend of mine from University. We were also there for Easter and had the chance to see a lot of friends. I did not take as many pictures as I normally do, so here are a few highlights from our two week trip.
Waiting to find some candy! A side note, my mom made the purple bunny the 80's, at least I think that it when it was.
I didn't get many pictures on Easter, but I love this one with my best friend.
A trip home would not be complete without a play date with our PEPS friends.
Throwing rocks into Capitol Lake never gets old
I did not get enough time with these beautiful ladies.
Museum of Flight
Pointe Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
A little gardening with Grandpa

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016: Bali, the Flowers

I am definitely my father's daughter! Where he takes pictures of every interesting door he sees on vacation, I do the same for flowers. Or at least I did when we were on our trip to Bali, Indonesia.  But really they are beautiful and very different than the flowers I see every day.

Since I took a few (possibly too many) I decided they deserved their own post. So here are the many flowers and plants of Bali!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016: Bali - Part 2

On one of our days on Bali we visited a few of the tourist sites around the island. It was a busy day, but really good. Our first stop was to see a traditional Indonesian dance. The performance we saw was the Barong and Keris dance. Barong is a mythological lion-like creature, he is a good spirit. Barong has an enemy, Rangda, she is the demon queen. The performance features a battle between Barong and Rangda.  The Keris dance is a popular scene where Rangda wreaks havoc with black magic, causing soldiers to commit suicide by stabbing themselves with their own kris'. Barong and the priest are able to cast a spell to protect the men.

It was a really fun show to watch. Little O felt that it was a little longer than necessary. He did enjoy playing the metallophone after the performance. (I think this is the correct name for the instrument.)
After the dance performance we went to a few shops to see traditional Indonesian arts and crafts. These stops "conveniently" had large gift shops to purchase the craft you had just seen.
Ikat weaving
Batik - Hand painted fabric using, wax for the outline and natural elements to dye.
Our next stop was gross and tasty all at the same time. We got to taste some traditional teas and we had a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee. The teas were very nice and the view was enjoyable. Kopi Luwak coffee is coffee that has been partially digested and defecated by a civet (a cat-like animal). Yup, basically we drank a cup of poop coffee. It was just a very strong cup of coffee to me, but I am not a coffee connoisseur.
The coffee!
We visited a few temples as well, Bali has a lot of temples! Unfortunately I do not remember the names of the temples, but here are a few pictures from what we saw.
Our last stop of the day was to the bat temple, I am not sure if that is the official name, but that is what I am calling it. The next picture is part of the bat temple
Now let's zoom in a little above that yellow umbrella to see what is really going on in that cave...yes those are bats and yes there are hundreds of them! Yuck! 
While visiting Bali we also took a cooking class. It was really fun and the food was delicious! It was a little bit hard to do with Little O because he wanted to be involved. He did like to eat the 'fruits of our labor'! I was too busy cooking to take any pictures.

Overall we had an amazing trip to Bali. I hope that we are able to go back some day and explore a different part of this beautiful island.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016: Bali, Indonesia

This year for J's Chinese New Year break (February) we headed to Bali, Indonesia. It was one of the best trips we have taken so far. We LOVE Bali! We stayed at the Griya Santrain, and it was a great fit for us. The location was perfect, there were three pools to choose from and the beach was just steps away as well. It was also close to many restaurants and shops. As usual I took a ton of photos so I'll be breaking up our trip into a few posts so that you aren't overwhelmed with all the pictures.
Our first day was spent checking out our surroundings, a quick trip to the beach and an unexpected show with dinner. We had dinner at a hotel that was down the beach from us. We happened to be eating when a Balinese dance performance started. Little O loved it! He wanted to go out on stage and join them.
Little O discovered 'dip' (aka Ketchup) on this trip. He is a big fan!
A couple of days later we headed to the other side of the island to visit Deus Ex Machina. This place was really cool, there was a kids area with a small table, crayons and a few toys. They also had a large outdoor lounging area, but it was a bit too hot to enjoy that on the day we were visiting. Deus Ex Machina rebuilds and customizes motorcycles. J was very excited to get to visit one of their shops a they don't have many.
It was too bad it was on the other side of the island from where we were staying. It was totally worth the long (45 minutes) and expensive cab ride. It is definitely a gathering place for people with great food and events like movie nights and bands. I'm sure if we had been staying closer to it we would have gone back at least one more time.

Stay tuned for more from our Bali trip!