Saturday, April 30, 2016

The longest day

Day 11
After having an awesome last day in Bali, we were dropped at the airport to wait for our midnight flight to Seoul, Korea.  It was about a 6 or 7 hour flight there, then a layover for about 12 hours.  We slept as best as we could on the flight, then had to go through customs to get out of the airport. Customs took about an hour, then we had no plan to get to the city, Seoul. After wandering for about 30 minutes, we decided to just jump on a bus and get out and see Korea!  Korea is not my favorite place.  It was freezing there, and it smelled funny. No one spoke English, which made it extra hard.  We walked around for a while, and Brian stumbled upon a shop selling something called bubble tea. He was so excited and said we had to stop and get one! He had them in Taiwan and thinks they're delicious.  (It is some sort of herbal tea, apparently). It has weird jello chunks or something in it. I took one sip and the rest was Brian's.

Bubble Tea in Seoul, Korea
 We walked around trying to find a sushi place for me. I thought Korea was one of those places like Japan that made really good sushi. Sadly, I was wrong.  We found a little hole in the wall to eat at though. We got Ramen and Sushi. We ordered too much....
Brian's Ramen Dish

We really should have shared. I got my own Ramen though
 As we were walking around, we were able to see an extremely old gate that led into the city. We took an obligatory picture.  I pulled my hood down, but Brian was too cold to dare do that..
Gate into Seoul, Korea
I was so miserable and cold (so was Brian, I just complained more) that we decided to buy a $4 sweater for both of us to wear.  They are pretty hideous now that Im not cold, but they saved our lives while we were there walking the streets of Seoul.  We decided after window shopping a while that we should head back to the airport.  We hopped on our next 10 hour flight for the United States! One more stop though to Seattle for about 6 hours.  Jennifer was so nice to come up and get us from the airport and take us out to eat.  We loved being with her.  She is seriously the best. We were happy to see Brady too!! Here are just a few pictures of being with them!

We got to Boise around 9 pm that night, having started in Bali that same day, hitting Korea, Seattle, and flying 18 hours. It was crazy! We were beat! We were happy to see Brian's mom, and were happy when we got home to rest from our crazy adventures.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Kuta and a million dollar meal

Day 9
I am pretty sure we didn't get one picture of day 9! It was super fun though. We had a lazy morning, got breakfast from the bnb, packed up, got another massage, and had lunch. We then met up with our driver who drove us down to Kuta! We found our next lodging spot and moved our stuff in.  It was SO hot in the room. We knew that night was going to be absolutely miserable!  We hadn't been to the beach in Bali yet, so we got ready singing "Lets go to the beach, lets get away..".  We got to the beach, which was about a half mile from our hotel, and rented some surf boards!  We surfed for about 2 hours. We aren't very good, but both Brian and I were able to get up at the same time once and ride a wave in together! It was super fun because we were looking at each other as we were riding the wave in! Once we turned in our boards, I noticed that Brian was super irritated. I asked him what was wrong, of course knowing what it was, as it was bothering me while surfing.  The island is such a beautiful place, but they do not care for it.  There was plastic and other trash floating in the ocean.  I had more trash in my swimming suit after surfing than I did sand.  It was pretty upsetting, but obviously bugged Brian a ton more than it had me.  I asked what would help him get over it, he said a good Thai food restaurant would be nice...So we went on a hunt for Thai food. Eventually, after walking a while, we found one! It was soooooo good -and way more expensive than the places we ate in the North. We hit the tourist area....  That night, Brian had a lot of trouble sleeping because of the heat in the room.  

Day 10, our last day in Bali
That morning, we woke up, packed our bags and headed out.  We had a few places we needed to hit for some souvenirs!  We got our last lunch across the street before we started finding our little knick knacks.  It was so delicious and a great meal to have for one of the last meals there! I got noodles with an egg on top, and Brian got Banana Pancakes. I am surprised he didn't turn into a banana pancake by the end. He ate them every day!  Anyway, we found some magnets for family, and an amazing painting that we decided to buy and take home to remind us of beautiful Bali.  On our way out of there, we were asked by a taxi driver if we needed a ride. We decided he'd be perfect to take us for the day.  He agreed to take us to see a temple and an amazing spot for swimming in the ocean, then for dinner, and drop off at the airport. He agreed. We asked him if he would be willing to wait a little while longer while we kept shopping, and he could hold our bags in the car while he waited.

This was one of the weirdest parts of the trip.  We realized we needed to pull out a little more money to get through the rest of the day.  We were looking for an ATM when a boy asked us to come in and look at his shop.  We told him we literally had no money on us and that we were looking for an ATM.  He took the liberty to go and show us a place to go to an ATM.  That place didn't work to get any money for some reason. While we were at that ATM, I told Brian I didn't feel very good about that kid following us around and showing us ATMs...then knowing we have money on us. Anyway, we came out and the boy was like, now you come to my shop? We explained that the ATM didn't work for us and that we needed to find another one.  He helped us find another one by pointing down the road a little way.  He said there was one on either side of the street.  We went and got our money pulled out.  On the way back to our driver, we tried to avoid the kid who showed us the ATM and wanted us to go to his shop.  Brian, being the kind person he is, was tracked by the kid once again who waved to him to come in and see his shop.  Brian turned to go look at his shop. I followed.  We went down off the main road into an alley of more shops.  We turned the corner and there were about 6 shops at the back of the alley. The kid had shirts for sale.  I wouldn't go into the shop..It felt weird. So I looked a little at other shops trying to avoid the kid and his shop.  I found some pants that I had already purchased for my sisters.  I wanted to know how much they were at this place so maybe I could get some for my nieces.  They were charging TRIPLE what I got them for! I told the guy, oh, then never mind.  He was like - why not, negotiate with me! I said that I already had some and wanted more, but that his price was too high.  He asked how much I paid for them. I told him 70K for  3 of them.  He was asking 80K for 1.  He said, no way...thats not possible, and asked where I had purchased them.  I told him in Lovina (the northern most point of the island that we first stayed at). He seemed to back off muttering something under his breath. Meanwhile....Brian was taking on 3 people in that kids shop asking him to purchase a shirt that Brian didn't even want.  I called for Brian saying that we needed to go. I started yelling at him to come out of there. The kids were pointing at me with a 1 saying 1 minute while they looked at Brian -totally had him blocked in- asking how much he would pay for the shirt they had picked out for him to buy. I said to Brian again "LETS GO!" and "HE DOESNT WANT A SHIRT!" They pointed at me again and looked at Brian and said "how much?" Brian, forgetting how the money system works, said 5K rupiah (This is about the equivalent of 50 cents or less in America). The boys got SO mad! --They know the exchange rate, and know that foreigners have money.  Brian meant to say 50K which is $5, but it was too late.  The boys were pushing him and telling him to get out of their store.  Brian bolted out of there, grabbed my hand and we briskly walked as fast as we could out of that crazy alleyway.  Brian talking/muttering about how these Bali people were all so dumb because of the trash in their Oceans. It took a few minutes for Brian to cool off.  Once he did, we hopped in our  taxi, and took off for the Uluwatu Temple. 

The Uluwatu temple was beautiful! We had to wear our sarong for the first time. Let me tell ya though, this was the hottest day we were there. Putting those sarongs around our bodies was instant sweatiness.  We were able to walk around the temple for about 45 minutes before we couldn't take the heat anymore.  We had to get out of there! On the way out the gates though, we were walking through another little monkey forest! It made us slow down and take more pictures of the cute animals!
Uluwatu Temple walk

My oh my, it was beautiful!

Amazing sights on this walk, but oh so hot!

The Temple entrance!

Little monkey with Brian!

It was seriously so beautiful!
When we got back to the car, we bought a huuuuge water bottle from the shack right next to the car. We downed most of that water! It was SO hot.  He took us to the beach to cool off. On the way to the beach, he asked us if we wanted to go to an amazing place for dinner and see the sunset.  We actually were planning to stay on the beach until sunset, but decided we'd go where he recommended.  With us trying to get rid of all our Rupiah, we needed to know for sure if the place took card, just in case we ran out of Bali money. He said they did. No worries then!  We hit the beach, and relaxed for a and swam for a couple hours. Brian loved it as we sat under an umbrella and he read his book. I just watched the waves, and a couple taking engagement photos.  They almost got taken down by the water so many times! It was very entertaining! Ha.
The perfect Bali Beach! Not even dirty!

Beautiful Bali with Brian :)
After finishing up at the beach, we walked up to the car and got our clothes so we could shower up and get ready for our long flight home.  

Our driver drove quickly for us to hit the sunset at his recommended restaurant.  When we pulled up, someone opened our doors, and we immediately knew we had hit a really expensive restaurant.  As they were leading us to our table, we decided it was our last night...Lets splurge a little. We splurged A LOT by the end of it. We were led to a table right on the beach. We had a waiter who taught us how to order the seafood we wanted.  Basically you can pay a ridiculous amount to pick out a live few fishes to eat, or pick from their already dead section - which was cheaper. We picked out a nice big dead tuna fish to split and then prawns for both of us. We also got some virgin daiquiris, which were delicious.  It was worth the money -a lot of money- for the most amazing sunset, and for the awesome band that played at our table. Here are some pictures:
Our Daiquiris

My man

I just love this picture.  It is beautiful 
Our Million Dollar Meal
Our last selfie in Bali!
That view though!
We loved them singing to us! What a fun dinner!
It was a great day to end an amazing trip to Bali. We got to the airport, and began to go through the process of traveling home.  

The day that had no end - flying out of Bali, a stop in Korea, and a stop in Seattle, then home to Boise all in one day - Day 11.


Day 7
We woke up for the last time in Wayan's home.  We had an amazing breakfast from Nyoman, and then packed up and headed out for our next stop in Ubud.  We were dropped in the center of town where we walked down a narrow alley for about 50 yards.  It was cool to go down the Alley way because we were in the middle of town, but by the time we walked the 50 yards, it felt like we were nowhere near the city.  Our airbnb was so cute. It had 3 rooms total. A Green room, Red room, and Blue room.  We stayed in the Green room.  The bathrooms were awesome and made of stone.  When we checked in, the guy cleaning our room said he would be finished in a few minutes and gave us complimentary drinks while we waited.  This is when I discovered how good Papaya juice was!
Us waiting for our room. Spoiled
Once we dropped our bags, we decided to go immediately to the monkey forest! Right before Wayan dropped us off, we drove past it.  There were Yellow diamond signs with monkeys on it that said "Caution". I looked left and right for the monkeys! They were all over the place to our left! I told Brian I couldn't wait another day to go to the monkey forest.  Even though it looked like rain, we took off for the forest.  Once we entered, it was 3-4 hours of amazing little (and big) monkeys running around near our feet! There was a sign before we entered that said that it was bad to look the big monkeys in the eye as it is a sign of aggression. It also said that if the monkeys grab any of your belongings from your hand, let go, and walk away slowly...  At the beginning, I was kinda terrified every time a monkey looked at me!  

Brian next to a recently fed monkey

This is about as close as I could get at the beginning...
There were people selling bananas for people to buy and feed the monkeys.  I watched as they held a banana over their shoulder and a monkey would jump onto their shoulder, grab the banana, and eat it! It made for an awesome picture.  We walked around the park admiring all the little monkeys. I saw this really cute looking family and wanted a picture with the family. 
Do you see the monkey closest to me? My red bracelet looks like berries......
Once Brian took the picture, he said.. "uh oh.."  The monkey JUMPED on me and started climbing my legs.  I was being attacked by a monkey!  The monkey got to my wrist and started pulling and gnawing on the red beads.
Brian asked what he should do, and I said...."take. a. picture"
Of course you have to document something like that, then worry about the monkey afterward.  I was slowly starting to freak out when Brian said to take the bracelet off and drop it.  I started taking the bracelet off when the monkey lost interest and hopped off.  Scary! - and worth it.... We walked a little further into the forest, and Brian said "Oh I want to have one jump on me like that".  We made it happen....
Coaxing the monkey
It worked!

I sat down by Brian because there was a small little monkey and his mom on the edge behind him.  I took a selfie, and quickly realized I really needed to take my red bracelet off! I was once again got macaque attacked! 
Add caption
Luckily we captured the moment again.
And he got down my arm to the bracelet. Good thing he didn't want my phone.
It was really cool to be in the monkey forest. We walked a lot, saw an awesome bamboo swing, saw more monkeys than I could even count.  The monkeys were jumping from trees into pools of water, and onto people to steal their crackers, or checking humans for lice. It was quite the sight! Here are just a few other pictures we got in the monkey forest.

The swing we found..

This tree grew into the ground! It was insane!

A little baby monkey

Baby and Mama
Awesome bridge we crossed with the trees that grew into the ground.
Needless to say, the monkey forest was a success! 

When we walked out of the monkey forest, we noticed the rain was coming! We decided we needed another massage.  Brian got a back massage, and I had my first ever facial! It was so nice!  We both enjoyed it.  Brian was frustrated at the heat in the room.  He was sweaty and hot and couldn't relax as well being that hot.  That night, we walked the streets of Ubud and found a delicious spot to have dinner.  We then went to sleep at about 8 pm!  It is interesting, I didn't adjust as well as I usually do on trips. I went to bed early, and woke up super early every day. Its probably good that way, but it was just weird to me.

Day 8
We woke up the next morning, had a delicious breakfast (noodles with an egg on top for me, and a banana pancake for Brian..) and headed out to find a taxi driver to take us to the Safari about an hour SouthEast of Ubud.  As soon as we walked out the door, we found our driver for the day!  About 5 minutes from the Safari, I got a really sick feeling in my stomach. I knew Brian didn't bring his credit card... The whole time in Bali, we used cash, but for this park, it cost so much money to get in that we figured we would just purchase our tickets with a card instead.  I asked Brian how much money he had, and realized we may be a few thousand rupiahs off to get into the park.  The other bad part was...we would have to pay for our driver when we dropped us back home.  When we stopped at the park, our driver told us where to go to purchase the tickets. I told Brian we couldn't do it! It wasn't possible without the credit card, or our debit card so we could pull out more money.  We decided we had barely enough to get into the park. We told our driver what we had done and explained that when he dropped us off later that night, we'd run to get cash out of the ATM to pay him for driving us.  Brian even said, we will pay you an extra 50K Rupiah. He quickly agreed for the extra cash. (sigh of relief..) We bought our tickets and went in.  We had less than 50K, which wouldn't buy us hardly anything for lunch.  Oh well, we will just starve. Haha! When we entered the park, they gave us a guide to the shows for the day. The first one was a welcome to the safari park type of thing.  We decided to go. It was so fun! We saw an orangutan come out, wave to the audience, and peel some sort of fruit. I can't remember what it was.  The lady announcing then asked for an audience member to help bring in the next guest.  Brian's hand shot straight up! He was called up to hold a huge bird that had flown in!
I can't remember the name of the bird, but it was beautiful!
Brian won some "poo paper" that they make at the safari park out of elephant dung. Haha.  After that show, we ran to see the elephant bath!  Brian and I got HOSED by the elephants that were being washed and fed. It was fun and worth it. We learned that Bali has Asian Elephants, which are the 2nd smallest elephants next to the smallest - the Pygmy elephant.  After that, we ran to another show with tigers! It seriously was like the day was slipping away from us when we had to see the Elephant show still, the Komodo Dragon, and the Alligator feeding! We had so much fun running from place to place to see the shows, the feedings, and all the other animals in the park.  

My pal, and favorite part of this day

Not sure what Brian is doing. Had to put it in here!

Here were Brian's favorite things to see!
Whole chickens on a string for these Alligators!

My adorable, excited husband at the alligator feeding

The Komodo Dragon! Best pic we could get..

We met some new animals that I didn't know existed. This is the bearcat
I got to hold the Bearcat!
After realizing that this zoo didn't charge to hold/touch the animals, we began to have a party touching/holding the animals! Here are some of the pics.
Brian with the Lion!!

Yah, It was crazy..I barely touched it, but I DID touch it! haha

Orangutan with the monkey. :)

We could take a pic of this guy, but no touching. I think he was irritable from being touched all day.
We took a small safari drive where we saw a few more animals that weren't in the park.  They'd just walk around the vehicle, and watch us.

It seriously was such a fun day! After the safari ride though, it was about 3 in the afternoon, and we were in starvation mode. We noticed a noodle shop that was within our price range! We grabbed some noodles, spending the last of our money indulging on the yummy food! We decided we were about ready to go, so we started wandering to the front to find our driver.  We went through the aquarium, and noticed a sign that they would be feeding the pirañas at 4! We stayed the extra 10 minutes and watched them throw meat in to the pirañas.  They are fast little buggers.. They ate all the chicken thrown in there! No pictures, too crazy! haha.  

We made it back to Ubud, and I stayed with the driver as Brian ran to get his wallet to pull money out.  I told the driver, I will stay with you so you know we will pay you. He then said something that just describes the people of Bali so well.  He said "I know you guys would have come back. You could have gone with him.  I would have just waited for you here. If you never came back, well then, karma would be much worse on you than not paying me".  Everyone in Bali believes in multiple gods, they believe in karma, their culture is so crazy! I loved being there and learning all about it.  While waiting for Brian, we decided that he would be our driver for the next day to get us down to Kuta for our last place before flying out!  He agreed to do it! We decided to meet a little later the next day so we could have a lazy morning - and maybe fit in one last massage.

Speaking of massages, Brian got another that night, and I got my nails done! It was fun. I think Brian got hurt though. He got a deep tissue massage and it hurt him pretty bad.  Side note: the night before, there was a woman on the street begging.  She would send her daughter up to the foreigners and she would stick her hand out for money. They seemed to follow us around the night before. We didn't fall for it, but were really tempted to give them money.  While getting my nails done, the woman from the night before walked in! She worked there! It was super awkward. I just thought...Oh karma..its so real!