Friday, January 18, 2013

A Jolly Bali Beachy Christmas

Christmas this last year was quite different, for a few reasons:
  • Kennedy stopped believing in the big fat man in red.
  • We weren't at our own house or sleeping in our own beds. 
  • We didn't have extended family gatherings/dinners/parties/etc.
  • We were out of the country. And in a foreign country that didn't really celebrate Christmas.
  • There was no Christmas tree.
  • There were no presents on Christmas morning.

But it was probably the best (and most memorable) Christmas I've ever had, for other reasons:
  • We were with my mom.
  • We were with my brother.
  • We were with my sister in law.
  • We were with my nieces.
  • Kennedy was with her cousins.
  • We focused on being with each other and how happy that made us.
  • We felt like we had everything we needed.
      ('nuff said.)

And 'nuff babbling. I can only be sentimental and serious for so long. Time for pictures.

On Christmas Eve (day), we went to the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Temple (I told you there were temples everywhere). It rained.

This seriously cool cave/temple was built in the 9th century. Do you know when that was? A long, long, long time ago.

The cave was pretty impressive. And large. And detailed. And I don't know about you, but if I'm going to go worship or take sanctuary somewhere, I'd probably choose somewhere a bit less.. um... creepy.

Notice my (and Jen's) colorful clothing? Well apparently they thought we looked like skanks when we strutted on in there, because they made us cover our bare shoulders and knees with clashing sarongs. (Most temples down there actually have that rule. No skanks. Also, women can't show their bare shoulders or knees.) Aren't we cute? And happy? Because we are. Both.

 After the temple, we went out to eat at a lovely restaurant. I forgot the name of it. But here we are. Trying to dry out from the rain:

And here is my fancy food.  Have I mentioned, yet, that food is uber cheap down there? Well it is. This fancy pork dish probably cost around $4. I nearly threw up when I came back to the US where they charged $12.00 for a salad.

That evening (yes, Christmas Eve), we exchanged presents.  The most well-received one (besides my mother's FOUR HOUR SPA TREATMENT), was Aysia's cute little baby. She was so dang sweet with that thing.  (Gol, I miss that little girl...*sniff *sniff)

Before we retired for the evening, we were bid goodnight from Bali by way of a gloriously colorful sunset. Wow.

Goodnight, little frog on the window.  (He and his friends sweetly serenaded us every night while we slept. It was darling.)

The next day was Christmas! And what better way to spend Christmas than with your family at the beach in Bali? No other way, I do declare.
The drive down there was an experience in and of itself. It was beautiful.

And full of statues...of cops. If they are there to make you think they are real, it worked.

We stopped for lunch at a cute restaurant which had a beautiful view of a pond.

Hi girls!

Kennedy requested that I take her picture, in her new sunglasses and in her swimsuit, in front of this entryway. "This would be a cool picture, mom! Take it!" 

After making a few wrong turns then finally asking for directions, we found the holy White Sands Beach. 

And because I don't think you can have too many pictures of a place this beautiful, I will post a few.


The classic 'sandy toes' picture.

Yes, the water was this clear. Yes, it was that blue (although the coloring in the pictures don't do it justice). Yes, I want to go back. Yes, I'm wondering why I still live in Utah. Yes, I'm going to go cry, now.

Man, I sure wish there were some place for me to worship while I am sitting at the beach... oh look! Another temple! 

And just in case you wanted to fly a kite, a guy would gladly sell one to you.

People will also come to your chair and offer to give you hour long massages for $10-15 dollars. Brandon opted for the $7(?) foot massage. 

It was finally time to leave the beach. (Sad.) But the drive home was full of laughing, talking, and singing every Christmas song we could think of.  (In many different accents, which made it more entertaining for the little girls.) We also made up words to Holly Jolly Christmas, which we performed and recorded for the world to see (here or here). 

I love my family so much.

That was, by far, the best Christmas ever.


the mom said...

Yes, it really was the best Christmas ever. Loved spending it with all of you in such a beautiful place.

Jennifer said...

Reading your blog is very good for my soul. I appreciate your sense of humor, exceedingly. I also want you to come back to us. I'm so glad the Balinese anticipated your need for a temple in which to worship at the beach. They are quite thoughtful like that, as you know. :)

Brandon said...

Such a fun day!!! You've captured it beautifully. Loved singing Christmas songs together, harmonizing, and making up words we didn't know. The beach was beautiful and the drive breathtaking. If you like the temples, next time you come, maybe we can make some offerings and participate in some temple ritual together. :)

Irene said...

Thanks for posting. You know I love the your humorous narrative . :-)
So fun to see all the pictues of my favorite people.

Kaija said...

2 things. I am SO jealous. and you are hilarous!
Loved it!

paul said...

I'm sorry I'm so late reading your blog. We've had some stuff going on.

It looks and sounds like you had a great time. It's sooo nice to spend time with family that you enjoy.

Your pictures a gorgeous.

Sara said...

Whoa, I'm jealous! What an amazing trip. And that water was absolutely gorgeous. The whole place was! What a fun, amazing memory to have made!