Monday, April 8, 2013

YaHoo! The container filled with Balinese treasures has just passed customs and was delivered to Alexandria on Friday (4/5) 

Loved seeing these cargo ships on the Chesapeake before off-loading in Balto -- one of these have my container strapped onto it!

Sharing fond memories of our time in Bali with you all............!

Our container coming up the Chesapeake Bay!

In Bali -- Carefully packing our treasures into the container

A Balinese handicraft market -- loads of great stuff to pick from!!

Kim enjoying the company of the elephant man, Ganesha, in a garden setting.

Lynn shopping in the thick of one of my favorite markets in Ubud!

We're all dressed in sarongs and belts -- proper attire necessary for entering a Balinese temple.
 A tiny Balinese beauty!
Time for planting rice, again.  These fields are flooded as part of the growing process.   

We followed this top heavy truck filled with bags of rice & took bets if the bags would stay put -- they did!  

A tricky part of the river!  The rafting trip was a favorite event - we laughed & got soaked & laughed more! 

 Pam getting drenched under a 50'tall waterfall pouring over the cliffs above the river!

THis hand carved dragon is now at home in Maryland with Deb H.!

 She was waiting along with us to hear the mesmerizing gamelan music comprising of gongs & chimes

We were amazed at the locals who scaled this tough staircase in no time! It took us a bit longer to climb up the steep mountainside after our day of rafting!    
Artistry is everywhere in Bali!  Dozens of these adorable frogs were individually carved then posed on top of a stone wall.

 Everyone brought home hand blown glass objects d'art!  The Balinese collect old glass and repurpose it in wonderful ways!
We heard the cymbals long before finally seeing people from Suana's village on their way to the temple for the ceremony we were so privileged to watch.  

The lovely grounds at our resort -- tweeting birds heralded every morning :)   

The official temple entrance dressed for a special event

I'm having a nice chit-chat with a local warrior :)

We were treated like island royalty as we sipped fresh coconut milk and snacked on Balinese treat on Suana's front porch.

The girls said this fish massage really tickled!! 
 Ahhhhh......nothing that could be said would sum up this fabulous beach that was front of our resort!!

Drying rice in the hot tropical sun.

This peaceful respite is a typical family shrine and offering -- You'll see them all around the island.   

A hand carved stone buddha in a meditation mudra.  

Drinking the best Lychee martini to be had outside of Manhattan - so says Anthony Bourdain who just found our secret lunch location!!

...then we ate a delish lunch - yum! 

A local man preparing for a town festival.  His black & white plaid sarong represents the yin & yang of life.

Poolside at our resort -- a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

A stunning carved panel that is now part of Betsy's home decor here in the US! 

Mike and Deb H inspecting the enormous wall of carved Balinese characters. 

We were surprised by this loud and lively street parade -- it was actually a funeral!

Original Borneo fertility statues - a nice find!!

Why not go on an elephant ride??

Jimmy and Suana inspecting a cabinet. 

You just can resist taking more pictures of rice paddies as each one is more beautiful than the last one.

Wholesale furniture shopping at one of my favorite warehouses.

Drifting along enjoying the scenery during a calm spell of the rafting trip. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Bali!

Our privileged visit to Suana's village and bird's eye view of their intimate temple ceremony

Adorable but serious girls join in the ceremony.

Suana's entire village takes part in their temple ceremony. 

Speechless and trying not to be too intrusive, our group has the privilege get an look peek at this ceremony. 

Suana in his temple outfit - Mike smiling, too.

See our pictures from the famous Balinese Barong dance...then textile shopping!  The men could suffer through miles of fabrics, silks, and fabrics since they were promised an exciting day of rafting  ;)  Lunches and dinners have been absolutely delicious!  Everyone's taking full advantage of the Jayakarta's pools and massages after the day's activities....we'll share those images as our traveler's send them in!

These traditional Balinese dancers are in sync with their amazing timing, hand and eye motions! 

The evil spirit jumps onto the stage and men bow in submission! 

Debbie & Mike enjoying a relaxing moment.

John's ecstatic look conveys his wonder at all of the sarongs there are to see.....

Deb thinking about a silk jacket...Suana not :) 

Jimmy at home in a royal setting!

Roma trying her hand at stone carving!

beautifully chiseled stone!

A road side scene of a newly planted rice terrace



“Fabulous!!”  Exclaimed John Corrigan!

Rafting down a mountain stream through steep gorges, under waterfalls, and squeezing between huge boulders resulted in just enough excitement, rough waters, scenic views, splashing, and swimming to make this an amazing experience!!!  We saw miles of exotic stone carvings along the river’s edge and lush tropical greenery  made the long 500ft upward climb worthwhile!   

We recuperated with a delicious meal at a restaurant carved into the side of the cliff.  We learned the fantastically yummy martinis were supposedly the best outside of NYC according to Anthony Bourdain! We liked the lychee martinis best and just had to take a few roadies to the dirt market…..

Then we went back to shopping full force! The old crowded & hot local’s market was a shopping heaven for the brave!!  The gang quickly learned how to bargain to get the most for their rupiah!  I don't think anyone's quite figured how to pack it all to get it home - oh!no!

This morning we're off to see an authentic Balinese temple ceremony.  We're properly clad in long sleeves and sarongs, where we'll experience a portion of a day long event that is supposed to bring good luck to Suana's village for the next 6 months........ 

Saturday, 11/11

We've all made it to this little gem of an island.  Bali is just as fabulous as I remembered it -- it's great to be back! Jimmy Sag and I are sharing what local knowledge we've collected over the years especially any secrets as to staying cool -- or should I say to not be soooo hot!

This morning, our first day together, began with a lovely pool side smorgasbord (wonder what the Balinese word is for that?!)  Then we jumped into our vans with our trusted friend, Suana, and were on the run. We quickly realized that the tropical sun and humidity were trying to wilt our spirits, clothes, and any semblance of an intentional hair style.  But the whole group braved the heat to our first artisan's furniture warehouse - did I mention it was all housed under yards and yards of hot tin roofs??!

Cold bottled water and Bintang beer from our travel coolers helped with overheating, but when it came time to browse through rows of furniture and select pieces, everyone momentarily forgot dripping sweat!  Lynn Meyers and Kim Hancock were on a mission to collect all of the small accent tables! Deb Houseworth contemplated a few pieces large and small while Roma Kaplan satisfied her furniture itch with 4 custom chairs. John Corrigan & Phyllis Kass will have 2 elephants joining them in the states by way of a carved settee.  With dozens of custom pieces ordered and shopping complete, the pool was calling to some while the die-hard shoppers trekked on to an open air antique store.

Mike Kelso and Steve Grossman bravely trudged on with us women shoppers......Happily, more treasures were quickly found at the Antiques store :)

Then......the wholesale silver jewelry store beckoned us! Getting through the door with my super secret code ;) the girls AND guys circled around stacks of small shiny objects and began filling baskets. Finely crafted pieces from rings, to bracelets, to earrings, chains, pearls, semiprecious stones and more all set in silver were too much to resist! I think Pam & Laura Barnard have adornments to outfit everyone they know! I'm sure everyone left very satisfied with their bags of treasures :)        

Hopefully, we've acclimated to Bali weather by now!  Tomorrow brings another adventure as we travel across the island to a stone carving village in the AM.......maybe the pool and a massage will be tempting us by early afternoon......
"Larger or smaller?" Barbara Barris wonders 

Elaine Demars is very pleased with her antique work table!


Ahhhh.....time to cool off with a beautiful Balinese sunset viewed from poolside.


Only one week 'til we're in the tropical paradise called Bali!

 A typical Balinese sunset :)
 Jimmy Sag & Lynn Meyers & Stephanie, my niece, exploring a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" warehouse full of hand made furniture!
 Bali is known for it's rice terraces -- this is a beautiful one on a mountain side.
 Me and a gigantic buddha head which ended up living at David Copperfield's Musha Cay resort.
 Following a village group to a sacred place in the outreaches of Bali.

brick, mud and stone temple facade
 A volcanic stone carving road side business
 Ahhhh....a relaxing afternoon at one of the pools at our resort!
 ....later, a visit to the beach in front of our resort!
 A typical Balinese road filled with artisan's wares and crafty treasures!
 My favorite rice paddy scene!
 Huge pots for outside decor -- I could fit into the big ones!
 Rafting down a mountain stream -- notice the fabulous frieze carved into the stone bank!
 Adorable little girl with her Mom :)
 A pair of  Javanese soldiers.
 Taking an elephant ride through a jungle....
 A resting buddha after a big lunch!

 Shy, cute girls posing for a picture :)
 The famous floating palace a midst lily pads
 having fun getting splashed under a waterfall!!
 .....the rest of the mountain stream after the waterfall!
A wonderful rainy spell under the palm trees!
Surprise street events happen all the time!

Bali Itinerary Friday Nov 9 Thru Friday Nov 16

FRIDAY: 6PM Evening Arrival
Pick up at airport, straight to Yutz’s for arrival dinner then on to Jayakarta Resort!

MORNING:  Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Then wholesale furniture shopping

LUNCH is at Lanai Beach Bar Restaurant. It’s located on the same beach as the resort so it’ll be easy to freshen up before afternoon activities.

AFTERNOON: Wholesale jewelry and textile/silk shopping jaunt   -OR-   Get lost in Balinese history at the Denpasar Bali Museum  (Just the pavilions, bell towers and grounds are worth the trip!)  -OR- spend your first afternoon swimming/surfing/lounging/massage at the resort or checking out the sights beach side in front of the Jayakara.   
MORNING:  Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Then start your day right with a morning Barong dance to chase away evil spirits in Batubulan! We'll also see an amazing array of statuary while visiting this traditional stone carving village.

AFTERNOON:  Tanah Lot temple tour.  Ancient temples perched on ocean cliffs afford fabulous vistas.  Surprising waterfalls, beautiful scenes and small shrines along the way offer peaceful respites and great opportunities for photos! 
Beach side 

DINNER together at the famous La Lucciola!
MONDAY:  Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Then mountain river rafting trip

LUNCH in Ubed at a fantastic restaurant overlooking a deep gorge carved into the side of a steep, green ravine. 

AFTERNOON:  Off to the Sacred Monkey Forest  -OR-  to Sukawati open air market packed with local good where you'll find lots of haggling and souvenirs!

TUESDAY:  Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Then day trip to Ubed Artisan's enclaves & streetshops via rustic villages & winding roads.  

LUNCH enjoy international cuisine beneath thatched roofs above breath taking tiered rice paddies!

(We just heard from Suana and he’s invited us to a special event at his village’s temple early Tuesday morning -- anyone can come along!)
WEDNESDAY: Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Then a free day! Our drivers will take you anywhere you want and accommodate you in any way!  If you're all shopped out we can arrange an elephant ride, help you check on your custom orders, schedule a spa day, or an island tour to a Pelangi village with 40 working looms, or simply take a dip in the Indian Ocean!  

DINNER at Warung Bonita and Pasta in Seminyak

THURSDAY: Breakfast poolside at the Jayakart.
Then a trip  of sun & fun!  A boat will take us to Nusa Lembongan Island where we'll snorkel and explore!  

LUNCH is included!
FRIDAY: Breakfast poolside at the Jayakarta.
Free to do what you fell in love with while in Bali!  We kept the rooms for the night so you can shower, pack in leisure etc. before our 10:30pm flight out.

NOTE:  All meals listed are included as part of this expedition.