So... we've been busy. Joey hasn't been napping much. That must be why I haven't been doing this. And also he's been going to bed really late. (and by 'really late' I mean like 8:30)
Anyway - where to begin?
We'll go back...
July 3rd, 2014
Otherwise known as: the day Stuart learned to surf.
Kuta beach is known for its awesome waves and apparently pro surfers from all over the world come to Bali for exactly that. Lots of people that come to Bali and hang out in beach towns like Kuta are bound to end up in at least one surf lesson.
There are surf lesson advertisements all over Kuta ranging from 25-50 USD. Stuart found a local surfer who was willing to teach him for 50, 000 IRD (about 4.75 USD). All he had to do was rent a board. So it cost him a total of 10, 000 for lessons and a board for the day.
That, of course, left me and Joey to hang out for the day.
The morning was lovely as always with playtime and feeding out on the patio and a quick walk for coffee, followed by a long walk on the beach with little toes in the sand and little hands gripping my index fingers tightly. Perfect mornings.
Stuart and I tried out a new place for breakfast and had such good banana pancakes, fresh pineapple juice, and coffee. The coffee in Bali is not at all like the coffee at home. I don't really know how to describe it. It's very thick and dark, but not necessarily super strong. And sometimes there's sludgy stuff at the bottom. Not exactly what I'm used to. But hey, it's coffee!
The waiters at the restaurant loved Joey. They held him and played with him while we enjoyed our drinks and when the restaurant wasn't super busy.
After breakfast I put Joey down for a nap in the room and did a blog about Jimbaran Bay. Then, Joey and I decided to shop a little (didn't buy anything) and see how daddy was doing out in the water.
We had a long play time while Stuart finished surfing (I never knew how attractive surfers were until I saw the studliest one of all. Meow!) He got up on the board a couple of times. It was so fun to watch him try something new and enjoy it like that. It made me happy to see him be adventurous and it made me extra happy to play with a happy baby in paradise. It was such a nice day.
Later on, we went back to the room and hung out for a little while and ate nasi goering take out from our favorite warung. Joey went down for an afternoon nap leaving Stuart and I with some much appreciated r and r time to just chill and watch TV.
The late afternoon/early evening were spent once again on the beach with some friends we had made... actually, Joey had made, a few nights before. A group of local guys hanging around on plastic chairs on the beach playing music. They are there every night and love to play with Joey. We had a nice evening of them holding him, playing peek-a-boo, making him laugh, and watching the dogs and puppies play.
We tried to go for a little walk to get Joey to sleep so we could eat out somewhere. That dinner was the most frustrating night ever. Joey wouldn't go to sleep... actually, he did... but the minute we stopped moving the stroller he would burst out in hysterics. Poor guy. We had already ordered our meal to share at a nice restaurant, so we decided to try to stay and eat it in shifts while the other person walked down the noisy main street trying to get Joey to go back to sleep.
As always, the minute we would try to come sit back down, he would be crying again.
Anyway - it went on and on like that and was a very exhausting evening.
July 4, 2014
In the morning, Joey and I went out exploring and discovered a whole area of Kuta that we had not come across before. The rich people area.
A couple of days before, I was hanging out in the most boiling hot warung, waiting for my nasi goering, when an expat from Australia started chatting with me. He thought that I was a fellow expat, and when I told him that I was just on holidays he said, "Straight to the ghetto, hey?" hahaha I knew we weren't in the ritzy area. (the ritzy area is about 2 km away).
The difference, really, between the ritzy area and the so called 'ghetto' is nicer sidewalks, more expensive indonesian food of the same quality, more expensive hotels (and fancier), and 'western' restaurants, such as Starbucks, Tony Romas, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and the vendors selling crummy t-shirts/sun glasses are exactly identical... except for in the ritzy area, they try to sell you things for a heck of a lot more than in the 'ghetto'.
Anyway - seeing some of the nicer shops was nice, and I really wanted to go back there. I realized after some time that Joey and I had been gone exploring for almost two hours and I was working up quite a sweat so we decided to head back to the hotel and go out with Stuart for some breakfast at our new favorite breakfast place.
'The Balcony' set menu of fresh juice, coffee, and banana pancakes with real maple syrup was just 30, 000 IDR (about 2.80 USD).
I told Stuart about how nice it was down there and how we should do some more exploring/shopping and so we all went back after breakfast and walked around for a couple more hours while Joey napped in the stroller. When he woke up, he was still happy and we had a nice time back in the room until it was time for another nap. He did so well napping yesterday!
I went for a nice long run after Stuart and I ate some lunch. It was soooo stinkin hot I thought I was going to die.
When I got back, Joey was awake and we all went down to the beach to walk, look at the moon (Joeys favorite thing on earth) and say goodbye to our friends. It was such a beautiful night all together and Joey was in such a good mood, which of course made Stuart and I in such a good mood.
After that, since it was our last night in Kuta, we really wanted to go to a nice restaurant for dinner. We thought we'd try our strategy of taking Joey in the stroller for a long walk to get him to sleep, then sit down at a restaurant and enjoy a meal.
What happened in the following two hours was not at all what we had planned.
After frusratingly trying to maneuver Joey through a myriad of motor bikes, buses and taxis on busy streets and having him scream, cry, nurse, eat, poop, and get a diaper change all on the sidewalk, it was time to call it quits. We were both dead tired, starving, and more than exhausted. I felt like my leg muscles were ceasing up!
Joey went down in a blaze of glory while Stuart and I sat in a dark room wondering what to do next.
Stuart finally went out and foraged for food. I ended up with our 'ghetto warung' food, and Stuart got himself some carbonara from a real restaurant. It was a frustrating and exhausting evening, but when we looked back on it at the end of the night, maybe from delerium, it all seemed kind of funny.
June 5th, 2014 (aka today. aka a really long and fun and hard day)
Today we said farewell to our beloved, chaotic, frantic Kuta.
The morning was spent saying goodbye to friends we made along the way (locals that loved Joey), packing (actually, Stuart did the packing while Joey and I went for a long walk), and having a heck of a time on a van ride to Ubud.
Picture, if you will, a man with a gigantic hiking backpack full, a pack n play crib, a stroller, a smaller backpack that weighs roughly the size of a sumo wrestler, and a woman with a gigantic rolling bag, a baby strapped to the front of her, a gigantic hiking backpack, and a smaller backpack dangling from her arm.
Now picture them on the worlds craziest street unable to use a sidewalk trying to hail a taxi cab.
That was us this afternoon.
Somehow we made it to the tour company where we would receive a ride to Ubud in a non air conditioned van with 13 strangers.
We could have gotten our own driver for 300, 000 IDR, but instead we got this for 100, 000 IDR. We figured we'd save the money. Besides, doing things this way gave Joey some entertainment (the people sitting behind us), and gave the people sitting behind us some entertainment (a peep show). Oy.
It was a little hard because obviously Joey was without a seat belt, let alone a car seat which meant that I was without my sanity.
Somehow we made it. I think all of the antics and the trying to maintain calm and distractions for Joey made the 1.5 hour journey feel like it was just a hop, skip, and a jump.
Luckily, the bus landed up going right across the street from our pre-booked accommodations, so it was easy breezy from there.
Everyone was so polite at our hotel entrance and even took all of our luggage for us! It was a nice treat! They brought us some iced tea and let us rest while they took everything to our room for us.
Our room is AMAZING here! It's totally huge. Like maybe 2.5 times the size of our place in Kuta with plenty of space for Joey to crawl around, which is a huge bonus. It has a big balcony, free room service, and looks out onto the rice paddies. We can get breakfast in bed for about 2 dollars us and there is a spa on site that costs 9 dollars for an hour massage! What a dream!
After hanging out in our room for quite a while getting organized and playing, we ventured out for dinner. Joey conked out the minute he got in the stroller because of his lack of nap in the afternoon (from the long van ride).
We ate cashew chicken at a restaurant and had some cake at a bakery across the street while Joey woke up and I held him and showed him paintings, lights, and wind chimes.
After a family evening walk, we came back to the room and showered and got Joey all ready for bed.
He's sleeping now and here we are!
Will try to update again tomorrow.
I can't post pictures because the internet is too slow here. sorryyyy.