Bali Oh Bali..!

 

 

Few weeks ago, we packed our bags, booked our flights, and with a dancing heart and a warm smile, headed to the land of a thousand temples, and a million smiles: BALI, in Indonesia.

Now let me tell you, the journey is not for the faint hearted, nor for parents of small kids either (unless you are very very brave, or crazy lol). We took a flight from Bahrain To Muscat Oman, which is 1hr30 min long (They just inaugurated the new airport, and it’s so beautiful and very artistic), we then took another flight from Muscat to Jakarta (Indonesia). Then we had to go through customs and go collect our bags (they can’t send the bags all the way to Bali, for some reason, so you will have to collect your bags and then check them in again in another terminal), then we had to leave the airport, walk with our 2 suitcases, get up and down escalators, and finally take a Skytrain (it is about 5 minutes away, the ride is another 5 minutes and it takes you to the terminal of domestic flights).  The whole thing took about 1hr30 minutes, so if you are planning flights, make sure you have enough time before the next flight (we had 3 hours and it was perfect!). We then took a 2 hours’ flight to Bali! We reached around 7 pm and we were so ready to have a nice warm meal, and just sleeeeeeeeep.

My husband chose “Westin Nusa Dua” Hotel in Bali, and I seriously couldn’t be happier with his choice!  It is in a gated community, surrounded by other 5 stars hotels, the beach, and beautiful nature. Very calm and quiet if you wanna recharge and relax. Next to the hotel there is a great outdoor mall, called “Bali Collection”, with tons of amazing restaurants, cafes and shops, there is also a supermarket, and many ATMs. The hotel also has an amazing Kids’ club, very spacious and has so much to offer, the staff are so lovely and very helpful –but hey the whole population of Bali is, they are so peaceful and very kind!

 

 

Our trip was about 10 days, so we decided to do some fun sightseeing as well as to spend some time relaxing by the pool and the beach, this way we will still explore Bali, and also have time to relax, and it was a great decision!

 

Uber, and Grab, are not very popular in Bali, I’ll even dare to say that they are not safe to use, as the local Taxi drivers do not appreciate the competition, but you can always find kind drivers that will take you around and not charge you an arm and a leg. We had the chance to meet a lovely friend/driver: Mr.Lanos , he was so knowledgeable, helpful and so very kind (message me if you want his details, I can’t recommend him enough!). He took us to many places, and told us tons of stories about Bali’s culture and traditions. He has 3 kids so he is very sweet and good with kids too (always a plus when you are a parent).

One more thing about transportation in Bali, you can also use their local Taxi company which is called:” Blue Bird”, they always use the meter, and you can download their app and just order cabs from there anywhere and anytime. However, be aware that there are many similar taxis: similar color-Blue- similar logo-a blue bird- and even a similar name (sometime Blue Biro, or Blue Bir…etc), so you think they are Blue Bird, and take the cab and then be charged a little fortune since they do not use the meter, so just be careful.

 

 

We visited many places like:

  • Tegenungan Waterfall: You can book your tickets online, or just buy them at the door. It is a great spot for nature lovers. Before you reach the entrance of the waterfall, you’ll find plenty of art and souvenir shops. There are bathrooms, snacks and ice cream shops too. The falls are only few minutes’ walk down the trail beyond the shops. The water’s volume is impressive, and you can even enjoy a little dip in the water, if you want.

  • We loved visiting Ubud, a very lively “village”, with lots of shops and restaurants. Great for walks and if you wanna get some exquisite souvenirs

 

  • The Monkey Forst: Yes as the name suggests it is a forest full of monkeys. It was amazing to see that great amount of monkeys lol. Just a small advice, do not leave any food in your bag because MAN  they will steal it, even if it is just a bottle of water- which might of might not had happened to us hahaha.

 

  • Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan : An amazing temple on the beach. Such amazing scenery that will take your breath away, and if you are lucky –as we were- you would witness the most magical sunset ever! No better place to witness the glory of God. You will also find many many shops there, for art and souvenirs and with great prices.

 

 

  • Kuta village: such a beautiful place with great big malls, and a whole neighborhood filled with amazing furniture, clothes, and souvenir shops, it also has a great beach. A stroll in Kuta village will probably take a whole day or at least a whole afternoon.

I also really enjoyed the Balinese food and the very cool and stylish restaurants and cafes. You can also find all sorts of cuisines you like: Italian, Asian, …etc.

 

 

Some of the restaurants I really enjoyed are:

Bale Agung in Denpasar- Pemecutan Kelod:  For Balinese cuisine.

De Verdant Kuma, in Badung – Benoa: For Vegan, organic food.

The Pirates Bay, on the beach in Nusa Dua: International food, you eat in Tree Houses, surrounded by the beach, beautiful scenery, and cute squirrels.

 

 

 

As there are many beaches in Bali, expect to be surrounded by mosquitos, so be equipped with mosquito repellents and creams for mosquito bites, especially if you have kids.

In the whole of Bali, there is an impressive number of squirrels! They are everywhere! Friendly though, they will never jump on you or anything like that.

Our trip was fabulous, just like we have expected, and more. We loved each and every minute of it.

 

Terima Kasih (Thank you in Indonesian)

Ouiam

The Story of Belle and her Mama Bear

It is funny how once you become a parent, your mind naturally becomes a constant search engine, that is automatically wired to look for and focus on what’s right and good for your child. We are always on a hunt for ways to talk to our children, for how to make them smarter, kinder, and more patient, for how to make our “mom guilt” a little less, all the time.  Becoming a mom also makes you profoundly aware of other moms, the way they parent, the way they talk to their kids, the way they live their life. As a mother myself, I always make sure to give a warm smile to the mom struggling at a supermarket aisle, with a 2 years old throwing a tantrum, because two years old are supposed to throw tantrums. Or give a pat on the back to my airplane seat neighbor, whose child is cranky, crying, and having a hard time, because airplanes are not fun for children, period! Or tell that mother sweating, and turning all red, at the park trying to get her child out of that slide, and go home. Tell her that she is doing great and that one day she will look back and miss all these sweet days!

The other day I was by the pool with my family, and there was another mother with her little girl Belle -what a sweet name-  and of course even though I was busy having a blast with my family, I couldn’t help but over hear the one way convo that was going on between the mom and her daughter: “Belle Stay away from the sun”, “ Belle, eat your banana”, “Belle get into the pool”, (if she was getting out), or “Belle get out of the pool” (if she was getting in), “Belle don’t throw the ball in the pool” -the beach ball that was designed to be in the water, “Belle don’t touch the squirrel” –the cute little squirrel that was passing by-….. and a whole lot of reasonable requests –from the mother’s point of view, yet not so practical for poor Belle. Saying those commands is a whole different story than hearing them, because as mothers we all say them –or similar ones- at least once a day, but listening to them felt almost like the mother didn’t want her daughter to have fun!  The mother’s voice kept on taking over the serenity and tranquility of the pool, and Belle as any other 3 years old wasn’t complying with all those above requests.

As a mama, I totally knew and understood where that sweet mama was coming from, she was just looking after her sweet Belle, however for a change, I put myself in the toddler’s shoes, and all I could hear is: ORDERS!  There was a total absence of connection between mother and daughter and sweet Belle wasn’t having any fun so of course she was being cranky, she was crying and screaming her lungs out, she was acting out and giving herself and her mama a hard time. Not that the toddler is controlling her mama by acting this way, it is just that she is frustrated and she has no clue how to face her big emotions.

So while sipping a cool drink, I did what I always do, I reached out to the tired and so pissed off mama – whom I found out later was pregnant, in her first trimester and was completely drained. I told her that she was doing a great job –because she totally was! All moms do- and I just started talking about the weather, about the beautiful pool , about where they were from…. Etc, you know small talk just to get her mind off Belle, and give the mama a chance to step aside and see things from a relaxed point of view, which usually always works.

Sometime being a child is really difficult, their curious minds are put into the test, there is so much novelty in their daily lives, yet and even though they are eager to touch, feel, learn, and investigate, we -grown-ups- don’t allow them to, because we are concerned about their safety, which makes total sense, so meeting somewhere in the middle does sound like a safe solution: Making their environment as safe and secure as we can, for them to explore and expand their little brains, and for us to say less and less ‘NO’s, how does it sound? Instead of forbidding them to go out, to touch something, to jump or to simply be a kid with a curious mind, let’s walk after them, as they explore; let’s scan the room/park/house, for potential danger and stand by it making a human shield, so they don’t get hurt. Let’s explore with them as they go, touch, jump…etc, making sure they are safe. Obviously no mom in the world has all that free time to be after her child –or children-  every second of the day, but we try our best, right? Instead of saying NO 100 times a day, let’s limit that to 60? Think of how many tantrums you will avoid; think of how much time you’ll save.

At the end we all do things differently and we all love those little rascals more than anyone can imagine, and that’s all that matters!

Ouiam