Rudy in Singapore

Kingsley's friend and co-worker Rudy came to Singapore on an Amazon work trip.  Over the weekend we had a chance to spend some time with him.  We did a short walk around Marina Bay but in the afternoon it started raining so I convinced him to give the fish spa a try.  He was (rightfully) a little skeptical but was a good sport and gave it a try.

Later we met some friends for dinner at Blu Kouzina a Greek restaurant near Bukit Timah.

Then on to New Asia Bar to enjoy the stunning 360 night view of Singapore and for a bit of dancing.  It was ladies night which meant Jen and I got into the club free as long as we were wearing our masks (that made us look just a little bit like chickens!).  It was a fun evening of dancing - next thing we knew it was  2am. I seriously can't remember the last time Kingsley and I were out till 2am! Not sure if thats a clear sign that we are getting older or its just status quo after 5 years of marriage...nevertheless it was such a fun evening!

Kingsley Taiwan

Kingsley had a work trip in Taiwan last week, in-between work meetings he found a few moments to snap some photos of Taiwan for me.

Bike Sharing stations. Taiwan became the first city in Asia to start a bike-sharing program in its two major cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung. Looking into a way to reduce pollution, the Taiwanese government launched the service hoping commuters will ditch their cars and start using the thousands of rental bikes it has stationed around the two urban centers to get to work.

Love this video that Kingsley took for me. Doraemon was one of the cartoons my brothers and I grew up watching in Japan.

As an added bonus, here is the link to the full Doraemon theme song lyrics, in Japanese romanji with English translation too!

Doraemons favorite food Dorayaki (being made in the video below) is a bean paste pancake sandwich. 

Bali - Kingsley's 40th

We celebrated Kingsleys 40th Birthday with a Seafood Banquet at the villa.  The villa staff laid out a beautiful table for us and spent the whole day preparing for the dinner.

Made (villa manager) went to Jimbaran beach at 5am in the morning to pick out the best seafood fresh off the fishing boats.  In the evening he cooked baby lobster, calamari, prawns and fish on the BBQ. See menu below. 

Amazing to look around the table and see that John and Carly (Seattle), Roon and Bron (UK), Zimbo and May (South Africa) and Ervin (Seattle) came from all over the world and were able to join us for the birthday dinner.

After dinner we indulged in tropical fruit and ice cream sundaes along with a custom made chocolate mint birthday cake for King sley. 

The evening ended in the media room with a special surprise for Kingsley - a 30 minute video full of short clips from special friends all over the world wishing him a happy birthday.  It was an incredible evening and an unforgettable 40th Birthday for Kingsley.

Bali - Villa Windu Sari

Let me start by saying that the Villa Windu Sari reviews on trip advisor are unparalleled.  Out of all the 5 star amazing reviews there is only one person that gave it a four stars and that was for some lame reason like the sound system was not loud enough....seriously?  Needless to say I booked this villa with pretty darn high expectations.  And I have to be honest, I was blown away by our experience there.  

We had an amazing staff of 7 people who took such great care of us.  One merely had to think "a nice cup of tea would be so nice right now" and it would appear.  The staffs intuition and ability to exceed our expectations time and time again was unlike anything I have ever seen. 

The villa itself was also stunningly beautiful and immaculate. And I cannot say enough how cool it was to have our own pool and lounge space where we could swim anytime we wanted and play whatever music we liked.  I would say on average we were in the pool at least 2-3 times a day.  Before breakfast, late afternoon/before dinner and quite often in the wee hours of the morning as well.  There were games of chicken (Rooney and Bron were undefeated), throw someone/anyone in the pool, breath holding and (my all time favorite) synchronized swimming championships.  We had so much fun just goofing around and not having to worry about disturbing anyone or getting in trouble with security.

I recognize that staying in such a wonderful villa was one of those once in a lifetime experiences but I feel so fortunate that we were able to spend a week there with special friends.  

Bali - Uluwatu & Blue Point

Here we are exploring Uluwatu temple.  Also, according to our driver, known as the temple of the "naughty monkeys".  The monkeys at Uluwatu are very desensitized to humans and have learned that if they steal things that the humans will give them food to get the item back.  Flip flops, sun glasses, hats, cameras...pretty much anything that is not strapped down will be taken.  The main MO for the monkeys is the ambush strategy.  They pick spots along the path where there is good cover and the path narrows and then go for it.  Kingsley caught them off guard with his Go Pro on a pole - they weren't sure what to make of the situation so quickly disbanded.

Photo of the group with no sunglasses (no one wanted to chance it) and Rooney holding a big stick to keep the naughty monkeys away.

This Chinese couple got married at the Blue Point hotel - post wedding we all stood and clapped for them as they came down to the pool to take some photos.  The guy was very friendly and shook the hands of all the guys as he walked by.  Everyone was congratulating him and he kept replying with (I'm guessing the only english phrase he knew) "thanks man".

They were doing some cool but slightly scary poses right on the edge of the infinity pool.  I can only imagine the drama that would have ensued had a drop of water landed on her wedding gown.

Bali - Ubud daytrip

The whole gang took a day trip up to Ubud the cultural center of Bali to:

- drink Luwak (poop) coffee
- immerse ourselves in holy water temple culture
- find our "center" in the terraced rice patties
- order a (show-stopping, jaw-dropping) non-vegan lunch in front of the (uber flexible, dreadlock wearing) yogis at Kafe in the heart of Ubud.

John and Rooney were both brave enough to try Luwak (poop) coffee and both were happy to say that item was finally checked off their bucket list!

This contraption is the device that is used to make the coffee.  Very scientific.

There is just something so special about Ubud.  This was my third trip to Ubud yet I don't think I could ever get tired of it.  I found it very fun to share some of our favorite spots with the group and everyone was incredibly patient with my role as the (sometimes bossy) tour guide.

Bali - Rock Bar

The Rock Bar which opened last July is one of the new trendy spots to hang out and watch the sunset. Its located at the south end of Jimbaran beach and is part of the Ayana Resort and Spa which used to be the Ritz Carlton.

As you can see from the photos, it is right on the water's edge. We were there as the tide was coming in and, the waves explode just feet from where we were sitting.
The style of the bar is cool, chic and modern. The sunset views are fantastic and as the club transitions into evening and the lighting takes over it turns into a chilled, romantic spot.
Access to the Rock Bar is from a cable car that takes you down the rock face to the base of the cliffs around the resort. In addition to seating at the main bar, there are tables at a variety of seating levels and locations near the water's edge.  
We were also lucky to be there on a night when Mikes Apartment an acoustic band from Jakarta was playing.  They were awesome and set the mood perfectly for this amazing spot. 

Bali - Timbis Paragliding

No Bali trip would be complete without at least one day of paragliding.  Kingsley, John  and Zimbo had an excellent day of flying around the cliffs at Timbis while the rest of us went to the spa and shopped around Seminyak. 

I think Bali is one of the most scenic areas Kingsley has ever flown,  the water is so crystal blue and the view of the seaweed farms below is stunning. 

Bali - Cam and Bron 10 year Anniversary

Another great reason to celebrate while in Bali, was Rooney and Bron's 10 year wedding anniversary.  Often I feel proud thinking that Kingsley and I (who are a month shy of our 5 year anniversary) have been together FOREVER we are still so happy.  Then I see couples like Roon and Bron who have been together twice as long with 3 beautiful children and I am humbled and also happy that we have such great friends who are still so much in love.   

To celebrate their anniversary I booked a reservation for the group at La Lucciola an delicious Italian restaurant on the beach about 5 minutes from our villa. 

Kingsley and I getting ready for a night on the town!  Yes he did chose this outfit without "pre-approval" from the fashion director/coordinator of the family.

For a special surprise at the end of dinner I had a "happy anniversary" dessert plate brought out for the special couple!

Post dinner and dessert we went a few minutes down the beach to the newest cool spot in town - Potato Head Beach Club.  We grabbed a comfy couch by the infinity pool overlooking the beach and chilled out with the music and the sound of waves crashing on the beach.  Of course it didn't take long for Kingsley and John to make a splash...

Overall it was a great evening with special friends and hopefully a memorable 10 year anniversary for Rooney and Bron.

Bali - Pan Pacific hotel

Kingsley, John, Carly and I all arrived in Bali a day before the rest of the crowd so we could be at the villa before the rest of the guests and just to have an extra day to relax and enjoy beautiful Bali.

The Pan Pacific has beautiful grounds, lots of pools, great restaurants, a ping pong table and the best resort waterslide I have ever tried!

My first time trying snake fruit which was in the fruit basket in our room.  The outside of the fruit looks and feels like snake skin.  The inside of the fruit is the texture of a mango but is very sweet like a peach. Its easy to peel and not very messy, I would highly recommend giving it a try.

This had to be one of the most bizarre moments.  The Pan Pacific has "the best golf course in Indonesia" so evidently people come from all over to play at the course.  They also provide the golfers with girl golf caddies who wear matching sea green sweatsuits and were very sweet.  I can't imagine a more tedious job then having to cheerfully watch mediocre (at best) golfing in the hot sun pretending that you are interested in the game.

Beautiful sunset view from the main pool.

Look closely and you can see a little black dog preparing to fish in the koi pond at the resort.

Main lobby at the hotel had a beautiful infinity lotus pond that overlooked the Tanah Lot temple.