This flower turned 30! Finally!

This weekend we celebrated the 30th birthday of our dear friend CJ. They had organised a fancy garden party & BBQ with vitello tonato & côte à l'os. And there you have it, the reason why we are friends. No, just kidding! CJ is the easiest friend I have ever had, we just feel so comfortable with eachother. We can talk about anything and everything and we love, love, love food! SO happy you are in my life! Have a great birthday today, mosselke!

The truth about Gili T

After Ubud, we took the fastboat to Gili Trawangan to spend some days at the beach on this island.
I have some mixed feelings about this island, in fact. It is known as the party island but when we were there, luckily no big parties were held since it was still Ramadan and the island is mostly muslim. (Am I getting old?)  But that has nothing to do with my feelings because we weren't there to party. I was just so disappointed with how dirty it was. The beaches are nice and they try to keep the frontlines clean, but from the moment you go 'inland' (which is a big word, since it is such a small island), the garbage and rubbish is everywhere and it is such a pity. It's like everything is thrown onto the open land, because no other solution is provided.

There are no cars or motorcycles on the island, so everything is done by bike or pony taxi. A welcome breather after the traffic in Bali. We rented some bikes and discovered the island that way (auw my behind) But we didn't like the touristy center too much so we mostly stayed at our north end of the island where we had the beach to ourselves and where we had a bit of the private island feeling. But if you want to swim on this side (and on most sides of the island) you have to get up early this time of year, because from 1 PM you cannot get into the sea anymore, because it is veeeeeery low tide and it is a walk on rocks and dead corals. 

What I did like were the sunset bars on the beach, the sea views, the bike rides on the sand, the pitch dark at 6 PM, the beach dinners, the night swimming, the food market, watching my girl sitting behind her dad on the bike, the weather (sunnier and warmer than Bali), the chill vibe, the dirt roads and the organic magic mushrooms (just kidding). Oh yes, and everybody is high, even the staff at the hotel.
So it was still a good trip, maybe my expectations were just too high.

If I would go to the Gili islands again, I would go to Air or Meno. But hurry!

On the fast boat back, things got a little bumpy (it went crazy fast) and the small boat (30 people) danced up and down the waves, and the poor kid got seasick, poor Olivia, poor husband. One Tshirt and 1 dress were lost in the battle, luckily my outfit stayed safe:) 
I'm a pro in avoiding vomit!


Ubud - I lost my heart again

I want to start my Bali travel diary at Ubud, because for me it was the highlight of our travels.
We rented Villa Blessings, a beautiful house in the middle of the rice paddies in a little village (some 15 minute drive outside of Ubud) and we were so happy there. I would recommend it to everybody willing to spend some time around Ubud. In the morning Wayan made us banana pancakes and fruit platters. He took care of everything we needed. We rented motorcycles and drove around for hours between the rice paddies, the jungle, the temples, smelling the food at the warungs (local restaurants), honking at the dogs on the street, to end our day at the pool at our house. At night, we would listen to a concert of frogs, lizards, crickets (and others I cannot identify) we lay on the daybed and just read our books and enjoyed to be in the moment.
I loved seeing the real side - women carrying things on their head, a family of 5 people on the motorcycle, people working in the rice paddies up to their knees in the mud, men bathing in the river, women washing their clothes in the river, girls getting ready for the traditional dances, the music, the smoke at sunset (they burn their rubbish), the offerings in the morning, the odor of the incense, the kindness of the people, the smiles, the 1€ mie goreng, the numerous Bintang with my love, massages and flowerbaths with my girl.
Olivia drove on the motorcycle with Laurent and she was the happiest girl in the world.
I love how she is always in for a new experience, she is really becoming a citizen of the world and I love it!

By Lisa