(Written on August 30, 2017)
I am writing this while lazing around on the super cozy sofa in the balcony of our room in Nusa Dua, Bali. Lying on my tummy, feet up in the air behind me, taking in the sights, sounds, and distinctively sweet smell of the tropical ocean air.
Pretty close to sheer bliss.
Why only “pretty close”, you ask?
Well. We are almost at the end of a loooong vacation in South East Asia. Our travels took us to Bali, Java, Singapore, and we will catch a bit of Taipei (especially, Din Tai Fung) before we head back to JFK. Suddenly wonder if the “F” in JFK stands for the word that I am now thinking, as I briefly consider all the work that awaits us at the other end of a different ocean.
But first things first. Vacation was absolutely glorious. We did so many different things, some of which were quite a stretch for me.
• Rode electric bikes through the streets and through rice terraces in Ubud
• Made batik art work and silver jewelry (both of which didn’t come easy to me)
• Played with monkeys at the Monkey Forest in Ubud
• Watched four live performances and learnt a ton about the local culture
• Ate insanely delicious food at almost every meal
• Pined and searched for Indian restaurants everywhere (ok, that was just me)
• Visited our friend A and his family in Singapore (thanks to A’s wife N for the yummy thayir saadam that hit the spot!)
• Braved the AWD ride, and intense dust and sulfur smells to visit the awe-inspiring Merapi volcano
• Oohed and aahed at the achievements of Singapore after talking to people there and visiting the National History Museum
• Rode the cable car, the zipline and the Segway at Sentosa (no more Segway for me, my friend, ugh!)
• Bought several over-priced books at the amazing Kinokuniya
• Bargained like a pro at the little markets in Bali (and got majorly tsked-at by two disapproving munchkins)
• Squeezed through the crushing crowds in Little India, Singapore to visit Murugan Idli Kadai (super yum!)
• Visited numerous temples, including the stunning Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Java
• Celebrated two birthdays (little N turned 15 and I turned 29 years older than her)
• Enjoyed lingering over late dinners and animated discussions with the munchkins
• Lounged by the pool soaking in the sun (Vitamin D!) while little A swam (and little N worked in the hotel room – after all, she is a rising high school sophomore, and not an idle snidle like the rest of us)
• Fought and bickered a few times, especially in Singapore (jam-packed days and hot, humid conditions don’t do wonders for your good-humor, I have discovered)
• Cuddled and quickly made up too
I know that I am leaving out many other things. Like I said, it’s been a glorious vacation. Hard to capture everything in words.
We are now spending the (almost) last leg of our trip at a fabulous beach resort. Our days here are lightly packed. Mostly relaxing and taking in the room service and ocean air, yes, but also, unmistakably, getting ready for what’s coming. If August has been awesome, September promises to be super busy. Little N is already revving up, little A starts middle school (serious OMG!), and our busiest (and most fun) festival, Navarathri, falls in September this year.
I feel refreshed and ready to get back to our “real life” after this vacation, which has been one of our longest ever. But am also super thankful for the next few days that will give us that much needed pause between vacation and work, as we prepare to hit the ground running one more time.