ReWind – Balinese Temple Hopping

Monday, February 20th, 2012 | Posted under Bali, ReWind

Another oldie from our time in Bali…

We saw a whole ton of sights while in Bali. Since I wasn’t sure what Husband J’s inclinations were going to be re: sightseeing, I just figured that we would do most of it in one jam packed day. We were escorted around for the day by a great guide, Marco Dewa (or Dewa Marco, Balinese names confuse me…although Marco is definitely not a Balinese name!). We loved hanging out with him. He is very friendly, super knowledgeable, a good driver and an overall cool guy.
It was fun for us to just have someone all to ourselves for the day. For a list of great private tour guides, check out the Bali Forum on Trip Advisor. It is a treasure trove of info on traveling to Bali (especially if you’re Australian…just kidding! There are a ton of Australians on the forum as they are the largest group of travelers to Bali.).

One of our first stops was to Gunung Kawi. Before I get there I should warn you that often you’ll see us “dressed up” a bit in our pictures. Many of the sites/temples we saw are used daily by the Balinese, and we needed to adhere to temple dress meaning we needed to have our KNEES covered. For those of you who end up going to Bali, sarongs are almost always provided at many sites. People will try to sell them to you. If you’d like to buy one, by all means do so, but you’re not required to buy anything. Some sarongs we got from the temples were better than others.

I think Husband J makes a good model.
Gunung Kawi is split into two parts. It’s believed that this portion pictured below is a set of tombs made by King Anak Wungsu for his four favorite concubines. I wonder what the others got? 🙂 They are stone reliefs chiseled from a rock.

The temple at Gunung Kawi

Many of the temples and sights in Bali are in the middle of some gorgeous scenery.

One of my favorite sights of the day was the Taman Gili (Island Gardens) at Semarapura (the town formerly known as Klungkung).

Bale Kambung (Floating Pavilion)

This area represents the remains of the former Semarapura palace. Bale Kambung was used primarily for important ceremonies.
Another bale next to Bale Kambung, Kerta Gosa, is believed to be an area that was used as a criminal court. On the ceiling, there are intricate drawings depicting what many think are the cruel punishments that awaited criminals way back then.


The view from Bale Kambung was picturesque in itself.
Bale Kambung’s ceiling depicts Balinese astrology.
Taman Gili also has a small but not to spectacular museum that you can walk through rather quickly. One thing the museum was helpful for was understanding the Balinese resistance to Dutch colonization. As Husband J said, between Manhattan and Bali, the Dutch had to give up some great islands.

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Best of 2010 – Food

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 | Posted under Bali, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Top Ten

When I thought about doing a Top Ten/Best Of series for this year, I thought that it would be totally easy. Yet when it came to food shots, I didn’t realize how hard it would be. How I can distill a half year’s worth of food blogging into ten pictures. Should I go with pretty food pics or my favorite experiences? Decisions, decisions, decisions….I just decided to throw in a little bit of everything: some of my favorite dishes this year, some new food experiences that I had and stuff that was just plain pretty (if I do say so myself). Again, all of this is in no particular order. Good food is just good food. Isn’t that right? 🙂

Burger from Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, DC

The Sweet & Salty Cupcake from Baked, Brooklyn, New York
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think about these cupcakes all the time.

Breakfast fruit platter, The Samaya, Seminyak, Bali
Yes, I know that this is a plate of fruit, BUT it’s a PRETTY plate of fruit!

The “Special” at Babi Guling Ibu Oka, Ubud, Bali

Peach Tatin, Colicchio & Sons, Manhattan

The Rijstaffel at Chandi, Seminyak, Bali

Marinated Sea Scallops, Pickled Swiss Chard Stems and Aji Dulce Peppers
Gramercy Tavern, Manhattan

The lamb burger at The Breslin, Manhattan
This made me believe in meat again (sorta).

The Indonesian breakfast at the Samaya, Seminyak, Bali

A lobster roll from the Red Hook Lobster Pound pop-up restaurant at Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, New York
I hope Red Hook Lobster Pound does this again next year. This time, I think I’ll need more than one trip over there.

Do you have a favorite meal from 2010? Where did you eat it, or what did you cook?


Best of 2010 – Travel

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 | Posted under Arizona, Bali, Las Vegas, Top Ten

Hi, everyone!!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. For those of you on the U.S. East Coast (or traveling towards or from there), I wish you safe travels. Getting home yesterday was not as harrowing as I thought it would be, but I am still amazed at how businesses choose NOT to shovel their sidewalks. I was climbing over some major snow just to get our building’s front door. Yikes! Rant over…
I’m still pretty shocked that 2011 is really staring us in the face. One of the fun things (to me anyway) about this week are the year end reviews of the past year, so I thought I would do the same for this blog. I was lucky to be able to go to a few new places this year: Las Vegas, Bali and Arizona. I thought I would show you some of my Top Ten favorite pictures from these trips…in no particular order.
The fountain show at the Bellagio

I was glad to finally see this in person after way too many viewings of “Ocean’s 11.” There was no DeBussy playing in the background though.

The mock Statue of Liberty outside of the New York, New York casino, Las Vegas

I’m still not sure how I feel about Las Vegas as a whole. Going there as a married 30-something that doesn’t really stay out late anymore is probably a lot different than going when I was in my single, hard core partying 20’s. The most fun part of being there for me was meeting many of my blogger friends from Weddingbee, but I enjoyed the over-the-top architecture and scale of the casinos.

Bale Kambung (Floating Pavilion) of Taman Gili in Semarapura, Bali

Lake Batur, Bali

Goa Lawah (aka the Bat Cave), Padang Bai, Bali

While this is not the greatest picture, looking at this and remembering the low hum of all of those bats clustered together and the smell (OH, the SMELL) has to be one of the more memorable moments of our trip to Bali.

Seminyak Beach, Bali

Religious celebrations are a part of everyday life in Bali. From the small offerings at the doorsteps of homes and businesses to the temple celebrations lasting well into the night, religious observances are everywhere and inescapable. I enjoyed learning more about Balinese Hinduism and often being able to experience it first hand.
Sedona, Arizona

My first trip to the Southwest was so worth it. Seeing these majestic red rock formations was definitely one of the highlights. I’d love to explore this part of the country again.

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

More of the Grand Canyon (Can you tell that I loved it?)

There were lots of pictures to choose from, and I am sure that I am missing something in this list. I am glad to have been fortunate enough to have these experiences this year. Here’s hoping for an even more adventurous 2011!
What were some of your favorite moments travel or otherwise of 2010? If you like any of these pictures, I’d love to know your favorite.
Next up: My Top Ten Food Shots of 2o10.


Bali High – The Ebb & Flow of Seminyak Beach

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Posted under Bali

Hey, all!

I’m having some major computer problems lately, and I’ll also be going away soon for the next several days (Viva Grand Canyon/Arizona!), so posting will be light. I should be tweeting quite a bit though (are there cell phone signals in the Grand Canyon?), but I thought I would leave you with some images from Seminyak beach in Bali.
Unlike some places, the beaches in Bali are public for the most part. Even in our pretty darn nice resort, we got to see all manner of people doing everything from swimming and playing to praying and selling.
Here’s a sense of what we saw each day on Seminyak Beach.
Leisurely horseback rides on the beach. I hope the horses are treated humanely. They did seem to be chilling out.

Can you see the rainbow in this picture? Lots of early morning rain would eventually clear to perfect skies. One morning we got a rainbow.

A newly married couple taking pictures on the beach. They actually got married at our hotel.

One of my favorite pictures that I took the entire trip. The temple next to our hotel was having a three day festival. We could hear drumming and chanting from our room (luckily not too late into the night). I’m the type of person who likes hearing and seeing things that remind me that I am somewhere different experiencing someone else’s culture.
I sometimes got uncomfortable taking pictures of people praying. I’m not sure how I would feel about it myself. My camera’s zoom lens is pretty great. I find the beach calming and a deeply spiritual place. I can see why these worshippers chose to come here.

A perfect sunset

I’ll post soon when I get back (maybe prior to my trip), or when I get a new computer. Whichever comes first!

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Thinking Back in Pictures

Friday, September 24th, 2010 | Posted under Back Trackin', Bali, Brazil, California, Ireland

I’ve been in a contemplative mood this week. I pretty much cut out the internet yesterday. For me, that’s a pretty big deal! 🙂 I’ve got a lot of my mind. A lot of it makes me want to just get up and go somewhere. I’ve got traveler’s itch (That didn’t sound so good, did it?), and I feel ready to head off somewhere really, really, really far away (Don’t tell Husband J!). Anyway, here are some pictures of places that I’ve been to during some of my past trips that tend to calm me down.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Muir Woods National Park in Northern California

The ceiling of the Catedral Metropolitana in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

A rice paddy field in Bali

Home #2 (well not this particular spot) – Cocos Resort, Valley Church, Antigua

What kinds of places make you feel calm and serene? Mountains, beaches, being in the middle of a city? Actually I am the weirdo who feels calm in the middle of Manhattan. You can take the girl out of the city….. 🙂 I’l definitely be talking about some of these trips some time in the future.
Happy Weekend to all!


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