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

On The Roads!! 

  

Hello!! Today i write this post while in the car, on a road trip, from Munich, Germany, to Salzburg, Austria. And we are planning to drive around Europe this whole week (Seriously how exciting is it?!!) This is our first road trip with a baby, well it is actually our very first road trip together! I was super excited when we decided to do it, i love road trips, they remind me of my childhood, all those summers when i traveled with my family, all around Morocco (mostly to attend weddings of cousins)! On the other hand, i was a little worried about how will this little one behave, trapped in a carseat for hours. Knowing how poorly he handles our usual trips in the car in our hometown, i wasn’t very optimistic. Yet and as usual this little peanut never fails to surprise me, he was very comfortable in his carseat, always cheerful and happy! And it just melts my heart seeing him enjoy one of the things i did when i was a child and loved so much! So here we go with the radio on full volume, plenty of snacks and drinks, lots of smiles and giggles along with some very meaningful and interesting conversations with “Dada”. 
Knowing how stressed i was about this trip, i wanted to share with other moms, some of the tips that worked perfectly for us making our trip as easy as it could be.
1- Routine, Routine and Routine : i am very strict when it comes to Adam’s daily routine, his naps, meals and bedtime. It doesn’t matter where we are, i always make sure that nothing disturbs his routine. So if we were out and about, i just use the carrier for his naps. I cook his meals and prepare them before we leave home/hotel so he can have them on time. And we make sure we get back home right on time for his bedtime! 
2- Dress him in comfortable clothes, possibly Pyjamas!  
3- Plenty of snacks! They work wonders! It keeps little peanut busy for a very long time! I try to make them as healthy as possible : Fruits cut into pieces, some cheese on a toast, some yogurt, or simply some puffs and crackers. 
4- Water!! Your baby might be fussy simply because he is thirsty, so keep him hydrated at all times. 
5- Toys and books!! They are crucial!! I chose the ones that Adam likes, and borrowed some from Ana (Adam’s little friend!) this way it won’t be too boring for him. 
6- Be creative and make your own toys, stick some pictures of your baby or family members on a cardboard, it will keep him busy for a while. Or take some of your colourful scarfs, tie the ends together and put them in a box. Different colours and textures are always a good idea to keep a baby busy. You can also put some coloured (or just normal transparent tape) on a cardboard. Babies love to take the tape out and stick it in again ( at least mine does lol) 
7- Music! I am not sure if this will apply to all babies, but Adam loves music so we brought a CD with his favourite songs and it’s also a great way to wind him down for his naps. 
8- A couple of blankets might be useful if you need to cover the windows for some shade. 
9-  I had to sit at the back with Adam, so he won’t be too lonely. Beside it is easier to feed him or/and play with him. 
10- Time the trips wisely: it is always best for us to leave after breakfast, and right before it is Adam’s nap-time, so he would take his nap in the car. 
11- Take at least one extra set of clothes and keep it easy to reach. For all the surprises little peanut might have for us. 
12- Take breaks as often as possible. It is useful for changing diapers and to give the little one a chance to move around and stretch those tiny legs(in Adam’s case crawl)
13- Never Expect the trip to be a dream! However don’t stress much about it. You will be busy all the time, that is a fact, but it is totally worth it 🙂 
13- Finally: Don’t forget to take lots of pictures 🙂 
 It doesn’t matter whether we re taking a plane or a car, these tips are always useful and helpful. I do hope they help even a little bit with your next trip with your little one!! 
Ouiam.