January 24th (Tuesday): Arrive to Bali, Indonesia late in the evening. Walk to our “hotel” in Kuta and quickly fall asleep.
January 25th: Check out of our hotel and meet with our wedding coordinator. After this meeting in Kuta, we commute to Ubud where we will spend the next couple of days. In the afternoon we walk to the Ubud Palace and Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary).
January 26th: We rent a moped and head into the hills of Ubud. Our first stop is the rice-terrace village where we walk up and down the terraces. Next two stop are the major Hindu temples in the area (Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul). Our last stop with the moped was lunch on the hilltop overlooking a rice terrace and then a Luwak Coffee Plantation. Here we tasted eight different kinds of coffee/tea, and their specialty, Luwak Coffee. We end the night with one more walk by the Monkey Sanctuary just to say “Hi”.
January 27th: In the morning we attend a jewelry making course where we make rings for one another out of sterling silver. After this class, we grab lunch, check out of our accommodations and head to our next hotel in Seminyak. We get checked in and then catch a ride to our dinner reservations at Single Fin. After dinner we briefly walk around the Uluwatu area, but leave shortly thereafter due to the epic wind.
January 28th: Wedding day! We start with wedding preparations and we are picked up for the ceremony at 3:30pm. They shuttle us to “Hidden Beach” (Pantai Tegal Wangi) where we have to climb down a cliff side to our ceremony location. The ceremony takes places on the beach and we conclude it with an hour photo shoot on the beach and surrounding cliffs. We are then shuttled off to our dinner date at Jimbaran Puri. After an amazing dinner on the beach (and sheltered from the wind), we catch a ride back to our hotel in Seminyak.
January 29th: We check out of our hotel in Seminyak and relocate to our bad ass villa on the south end of Bali. We spend the morning/afternoon obsessing over our accommodations, swimming in the private pool and settle in for an amazing couple of days. Eric has one of the employees scooter him over to a restaurant to pick up food, and bring back for movie time.
January 30th: After breakfast, we rent a moped to take us around for the day. Our first stop is the beach town of Pantai Pandawa. We spend an hour or two on the beach and then make our way east. To the east we check out the resort town of Nusa Dua, beaches and the ‘Water Blow’…a unique reef clif formation were the tides crash into the reef and erupt into the air. At the end of the day, we grab an awesome $4 dinner (enough food for the both of us) and head back to the villa.
January 31st: We anticipated spending most of the day in our villa just relaxing. Luckily for us, most of the day it rained, so no harm, no foul. We spend the day swimming, watching movies and a quick walk to dinner when the rain stopped for the evening.
February 1st: Spending our last morning in our unforgettable villa and then shuttled off to the airport around noon. Our flight is at 9pm, so we spend the majority of the day at the airport.
The most incredible thing came out from our Bali trip. I was fortunate to be able to share wedding vows with Giovanna. Shortly after our engagement almost two years ago, Giovanna would always tell people she was going to have a beach wedding in Bali, and I always shrugged it off thinking that was impossible. Well with a little determination, anything is possible. Now giving credit where it’s due, Giovanna did all the planning, organizing and coordinating our trip to Bali, and she did a great job of it. Everyday was an unforgettable experience. The highlight of course was our commitment ceremony, but we also filled our time with walking around a sacred monkey forest, hiking rice terraces, making silver jewelry for each other, driving the country side on a moped, exploring some Hindu temples, beautiful seaside dinners and many more. We had a lot of fun adventures, and only a few of them were impacted by the relentless wind and rain. Bali is such a beautiful country, and if we had good weather while being there, we might not have ever left. In addition to the beautiful land, all the natives were incredible friendly. I would say of all the locations in SE Asia that we visited, the Balinese people were by far the nicest. Everybody we delt with was out of their way nice and once we were out of the touristy area, they were even nicer! One thing will always overshadow this trip and it was the production of our ceremony. The stage was set, “hidden beach” for a secluded beach ceremony. Well when we got there, it was not very secluded. We ended up having a large crowd watching and taking pictures of our ceremony, which somewhat detracted from our moment. But on the positive side, it was not pouring down rain on us, but the wind was kinda wicked. In the end, I am truly humbled at the experience, making the impossible…possible, and marrying the love of my life. What more in life could I ask for?
OH MY BUDDHA! *insert heart eye emoji here* Bali is where Eric thrives the most & I fell in love a little harder with him and this crazy adventure we are on. However, not all of Bali is amazingly blissful but Ubud is where it is at. *why do the Aussies chose to vacation on the disgusting beaches in Bali when theirs are rank some of the most beautiful in the world? #mindblowing* Ubud, Bali has all the good vibes that I need in life *insert praying hands emoji here* Before visiting Ubud, Chiang Mai was my favorite blissful destination but after visiting Ubud there is no comparison between the two. Ubud is good vibes, great food and amazing scenery creating a very blissful experience. Let’s talk about the good vibes part first… The Balinese people are so friendly, welcoming and spiritual creating good vibes every where. *Prima: “Bali is very close to God”* There is also a large monkey sanctuary on temple grounds in Central Ubud making for very furry good vibes. *who doesn’t want to pray with monkeys? Add “monkey” to list of wild animals Eric has been bitten by* Ubud is in a rural jungle area meaning veghead heaven. The food was so fresh and organically produced, making for a very delicious vegan diet *ginger everything makes my body happy* All of the gardening in Ubud makes for a very beautiful scenery. The rice fields are world famous and now we know why *so pretty & green* In all honesty, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Bali if it weren’t for Ubud BUT we did go during their wet season which I now understand why it’s also the off season *Note to self, dont ever go to Bali during the off season*. It didnt rain every day while we were there but the wind coming off of the beach shores make the southern part of Bali impossible to enjoy. For example, one night we had dinner at the famous “Single Fin” in Uluwatu which is on a cliff overlooking the ocean *beautiful scenery + entertainment from expert surfers riding the with waves = famous for a reason BUT there are several other bars/restaurants on the cliff so no need to pay for the expensive terrible food from Single Fin*. Eric ordered a coffe to drink and when he went to drink it the wind blew it all over his face & upper body. Better part, Eric order fried rice for dinner and when he would try to take a bite the wind would blow the rice all over me right before Eric got the spoon in his mouth. It was hilarious then and just as funny now. This trip we learned to laugh when things aren’t going as planned since there was a whole lot of that happening. This trip was supposed to be the most memorable for us and that it definitely was but unfortunately not for the reasons we expected and that’s okay. They say everything happens for a reason and all works out in the end. So maybe this trip’s series of unfortunate events was just preparing us for something more memorable in the future.
“As you go through life you’ll see there is so much we dont understand, and the only thing we know is things don’t always go the way we planned.” -The Lion King