Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I had the opportunity to recently travel to Bali, Indonesia and meet up with a couple of very good friends. The purpose of the trip was primarily help or at least slightly assist them in purchasing home wares and accessories for a showroom they have down in Punta de Mita, Mexico just north of Puerto Vallarta. In addition, we all took the opportunity to also pick up items that would enhance both of our properties as he has a all inclusive villa nearby on the beach called Casa de Mita(casademita.com). The goal was to finish filling up one container and that quickly turned into another 1/2 size container after the first full day. My friend loves to shop and bargain, you never just get 6 of something, we came a long way, so make it worth it.
The people of Bali as so nice and warm. It is a primarily Hindu culture on the island in a country that is overwhelmingly Muslim. All the homes and shops have at least one location that they can fulfill the practice of giving an offering a number of times a day. I never found out the exact reason that some offering went onto the sidewalk instead of the offering shrine so you kind of have to watch your step as you shop. The offering was usually a bamboo leave weave small basket about 3 inches square and usually has a small spoon full of rice a little piece of wrapped candy, a flower(usually a frangipani which have a beautiful smell and are all over the island).
We were fortunate enough to stay in the guesthouse of a friend of a guest who has become a friend over the years from staying with us here at the Bacon Mansion. It worked out well as it was in a village or sub-village about 10 minutes south east of Ubud. The pool was very nice and refreshing and the accommodations and hosts made us feel at home yet gave us our own space. Had dinner with them a number of nights in Ubud and met a number of members of one hosts family who all lived next door on both sides or near by. Even went to the beach with the village one afternoon for the cleansing ceremony that I believe they do twice a year. We had on our Balinese attire of sarong, white linen shirt, flip flops and head piece loaned to us. It was fun, but thank god it was overcast because the black sand beach was hot enough as it was. I think we were the only non natives at the event. They caravan down to the beach in cars, truck and whole families on motorbikes. Everyone in white tops. They had drums playing and chanting,recited prayers, release a duck and chicken in the sea for the younger boys to catch. Anyhow, my point is, I am glad we staying where we did instead of a resort on the beach. Waking up to the sounds of the jungle and temple chanting and gongs was much more interesting. We do go to the monkey forest in Ubud and had lunch north of Ubud at a place that overlooked a valley of rice field terracing that was beautiful.
Back to the shopping, I tried to keep in mind while shopping that not everything or even a lot of the things that were for sale are in keeping with the style of the house. No art work of tropical beach scenes and the sort. I have purchased things for the house and rooms on visits to Mexico in the past and had to keep by the same sort of guidelines. On the other hand, I don't have a set of ideas that means that everything in the room has to match. If you are expecting a guestroom to look like it was decorated with one and only theme done all at once, we are not the place to stay. Rooms evolve over time and as I add something to one room, I often end up moving something it replaces to another room and another and another.
I also had to keep in mind that you can only take back two back that weigh 50 lbs and news to me carry on only 15 lbs. I had a very nice person who checked me in at EVA Airlines that overlooked both rules by making be transfer close to 20 lbs from my carry on to my already at weight checked bag. I think only because the flight was only 1/2 full if that.
Anyhow I purchased for the guest room really cool facial tissue boxes, a couple new soap dispensers and dishes, some throw pillow covers, and two pictures of sunflowers for the Capitol Suite sun room. For the library I found four little paintings of frangipani, runners used in the dining room and entry way, stone coasters for living room and a flying Balinese. I tried to add picture, not sure if it will work.
Also got a nice piece of art for kitchen with bright sunflowers and I bought a number or big, medium and small bowls and some others onyx stone items that I can't remember that all went into the container and is now on its way to Mexico. I hope to bring those home over the next year on my trips down there to visit. Also, a good excuse to go done and visit my good friend. I also number of things that included some soaps for friends and family and of coarse a couple things in the clothing department for myself.
Overall, the trip was fun and relaxing even though I was getting a little tired of the shopping. The one time we walked on the tourist beach it was very warm, almost to much so even under an umbrella. Was more comfortable sitting by the pool at the house as it was always a little bit cooler up in the hills. The weather in Seattle while I was gone was more than bad, heavy wind and rain nearly every day so glad to miss that.
Here is to a better 2010 and happy travels to everyone.