Bali, An Unexpected Journey.

Hello World!

I got to spend 10 days in Bali. It was something that’s for sure. I wish I could say it was magical and changed my life but unfortunately it was no Eat, Pray, Love for me. I did enjoy myself though.

P1010931A group of 9 of us rented a house.  We were very excited but upon getting there we realized it was going to be an adventure. The living room, kitchen and two of the three bathrooms were outside. There were two workers who came with the house and ended up babysitting us the entire week. They were quite obnoxious and didn’t seem to like it when we cooked. We had geckos as pets all week and got to watch TV in the rain!  So definitely perks! Shauni and I got to share bunk beds. Who can say they got to build a pillow fort on their trip to Bali? I can!

Our first full day we went to the grocery store, I definitely spent a little too much money on food but it was the first time on tour we have had a full kitchen! P1010954Later, Shauni and I headed into the main part of Seminyak called Kuta. We met Sam, another Barbie stage hand, at HardRock Café. Man that burger was great and we got to watch the tide come in. We then walked the beach and realized that it is unfortunately as trashed as everyone says it is, we also got harassed by locals to buy stuff like you wouldn’t believe. Later we went and met the rest of our group at a bar on the beach where you get to watch the sun go down while sitting on bean bags. And what a sunset it was. I rarely see Sunsets that can compete with the Phoenix valley’s sunset but this was amazing. It had been overcast most of the day but as the sun was P1010983setting the clouds started to break apart so we were blessed with this gorgeous colorful sunset and easily the best of the week. We had a photo shoot in front of it of course. Then Amanda and I did the romantic, mushy thing and wrote our boys’ names in the sand.  Yeah, we’re cute like that. After we went to the house got to, wait for it…..COOKED DINNER! It was so  nice to get to actually make our food for once! We had pasta and bread with balsamic and olive oil. So Good!

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The next day was Thanksgiving! It was upsetting not getting to be with my family and friends on the holiday but I at least got to talk to them for a little bit. Courtney, Amanda and I started out the day with a fun morning at the beach!P1020037 Definitely turned into a lobster….sorry mom.  But I also got some shopping done! The shopping wasn’t as cheap as I was hoping but we have a nose for the deals. After a couple of hours we headed back to the house to help cook dinner. P1020051We had burgers, corn on the cob, mash potatoes, MAC & CHEESE, steak and guacamole! Yes siree it was good. It was definitely a challenge to get the grill going. We bought charcoal but not lighter fluid…but thanks to  the efforts of Keir and Cameron we got it going and had an epic dinner. If we couldn’t have dinner with our families we at least got to have it with our tour family. The rest of the night was spent doing dishes, warding off the mosquitoes and fighting the ants. Then we watched Love Actually. Nick had never seen it and decided that all the women in it are harlots. His words not mine! LOL

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Next day we went on our first day trip. Brenna and Rebecca found this amazing guide/driver, Surya. P1020087He took us to the temple of fertility on the lake. It was beautiful but there were a lot of rules. If you are honeymooners, pregnant, recently had a baby, or were on the monthly time. It was beautiful, none the less. It was raining unfortunately but in a way that made it more gorgeous. Kier rented a bright yellow umbrella, cause of course we weren’t prepared for rain on our vacation to Bali. The alter was literally in the bay of the lake. Next to the temple we found a bright green field with flowers and a little bridge that connected a little strip of land and the field. On the way our we stumbled across a group selling pictures with exotic birds, this included giant bats! I took on with a cool owl. Kier with a toucan, Breanna, P1020108Shauni and Rebecca took one with a bat. It was so much fun and totally worth the $3.  Surya then took us to a great buffet lunch, it was delicious and there was wifi so I was able to call my parents on their Thanksgiving. On our way to the next stop we stopped at a rice patty field to take pictures. So beautiful and we happen to catch white storks flying over it. The next stop was the monkey forest, which really wasn’t a forest at all, it was like a small park with a concrete court yard. The monkeys were funny and prevalent. We also ran into another place to take pictures with bats and that is exactly what I did…But this time we got to feed it like a baby! P1020317I thought I was going to freak out a little but they were so cute! The bat just latched on to me and almost cuddled. It was furry and soft and its wings felt like silk. Beautiful animal. Their were shops on the way out of course and I bought this beautiful mask that I could turn into a Christmas ornament. Our final stop was the Temple on the sea. It ironically reminded me of Monterey, California. It was on these black cliffs with waves crashing on to them. We walked down to the shore. We wanted to wade out to the island with the temple on it but you can only do that at low tide. After lots of picture taking and buys some postcards and a magnet we were off. We all decided to go to a Mexican restaurant we thought we had seen on the main strip. We asked the drivers to drop us off after Shauni had looked up the exact address on her phone…We it was a great Mexican restaurant just not where we thought. It ended up being just off the main drag on this incredibly small, not built for cars, side road. The car barely fit down it and definitely got hit by scooter…Surya was amazing and got us there with grace and relative ease. We had a great dinner with laughs and a great Balinese fajita plate!P1020342

Saturday we decided would be a relax day. Keir, Nick and I went surfing after some shopping. Now its been a couple of years since I’ve gone surfing but I would like to state that I got up on my first wave!! Yes I did. I then caught a couple by myself and a few with the instructor. One of the coolest and most obnoxious things about Bali is that you can walk down the beach and find anything you want but that also means the vendors are trying to sell you everything you could possibly want. But we were able to negotiate $10 lessons for two hours! So much fun! Nick got up on his first wave ever and Keir got up on his seventh…I would like to point out that I got up on my first wave and then caught a few by myself….yeah, I still got it. After we went and watched another beautiful sunset and planned our day trip for the next day.

Sunday we did another day trip. First stop was Abud. They have different villages there that are known for different types of crafts. We stopped by where they make all the silver. They showed us what goes into making some of the beautiful jewelry and I tell you what I don’t think I would have the patience for it. These women will spend weeks on one project. They not only make jewelry but they also build these incredible sculptures that look like they are spun from string. That’s how thin the pieces of sliver are.  There were pirate ships and horse drawn carriages, just beautiful. I ended up buying a ring that looks like a superhero ring. I’ve worn it pretty much everyday since. Next we drove through other villages that were known for wood carving and glass blowing. Some of the sculptures and fixtures these carpenters would make were so ornate and elaborate. They had these giant doors that were carved with a bunch of Balinese art, so much detail. The glass blowing places were fun because they would make vases that then looked like they were melting into the wood they were placed on. I wanted on so bad but there was no way to fit that into my suitcase. I also wanted to buy a dinning room table set for my parents but where the crap would that go? Lol  We then made our way to the local Coffee plantation where they make the poop coffee. You’re probably thinking “poop coffee that sounds disgusting” its not. It was actually some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. They have these animals called Civets, its like a raccoon and a ferret made a baby, that eats the coffee berry and poops out the bean. They then roast and grind it like any other coffee and it is the most delicious coffee I have ever had it is also like $80 a pound, I’m sure you can imagine why…We did a coffee tasting there over looking a gorgeous rice patty field. I got to try a bunch of other delicious coffees and bought a bag of the ginger coffee. SO GOOD! Next stop was the biggest rice patty terrace in Bali. It was this giant canyon of tiers of bright green rice fields. Awesome. There were locals there working the fields which was incredible to watch and the fields were the purest green color I have ever seen. Final stop was a waterfall. We were expecting to hike and get to see all this vegetation and then a big beautiful waterfall! Instead we walked 10 yards to a lookout point and saw a very muddy river and waterfall about a kilometer away. Luckily we were all in good spirits so it wasn’t too disappointing.  We came back to the Villa made dinner and watched X-Men.

The next morning woke up to an Audition! I was soo excited I almost peed myself! The audition was for a film and it wasn’t like I thought “I’m gonna book this”, I just honestly miss the hustle! I miss going to auditions and getting to work on new material all the time. I spent the morning reading the script and making lunch for those who were leaving that day. Then I went and met Pip and Shauni at the new hotel. We spent the day at the beach drinking Bintang, soaking up the rays and getting harassed by locals trying to sell bracelets. Pip and I went surfing and yes I did get up a bunch of waves again. Pip made a friends/gained a stalker with our surf instructor, who kept kissing her square on the mouth with no warning at all. All in all a fun day! Went to pizza hut that night. Which was a full on restaurant. I mean full service, menus and crazy weird juice drinks.

Tuesday Shauni, Pip, and I went on another day trip to see the Volcano and the hot springs. Once again we had Surya as a guide, he’s incredible and anyone reading this who is going to Bali should hire him. #shamelessplug We thought this was going to be a day of hiking and soaking up the healing mineral waters of the hot springs. It was a two hour drive to eat dinner overlooking the volcano then a hour drive to the base where we then paid $15 American to sit in a tiled pool, at a spa, with luke warm water….Yeah not what we were expecting…But the drive there and back was gorgeous and we got to see so much of the countryside that we would normally not have seen. The only other place we stopped was the temple of Healing Waters. It is in Eat Pray Love I think. Basically there are natural springs that they have tapped into and there is a “trough” like pool with a row of 10 fountains. The tradition is to wade into the pool and then wash under each fountain. You must be dressed in nothing by a white sarong. Each temple in Bali has three tiers. The outer courtyard is for all. It represents the world of the elements. The inner courtyard is the representative of the human world. And the inner sanctum where non believers are not allowed is for the spirit world. To enter you must be dressed in traditional attire. The men must wear white turbans with a fold of fabric pointing to the sky, this is to remind them to have pure thoughts while in the temple. Both men and women wear sarongs and again the men must be in white for purity. I would like to point out that the women in this culture are not the one with dirty thoughts to the point that they need to be covered head to toe, the men are. Food for thought.  You are probably asking why I did not partake in the healing waters. It is not uncommon for tourist to do this but to me it felt disrespectful of the culture to partake in something that is not apart of my belief system. It felt sacrilegious in way. As if to say “even though I don’t believe in your God and your faith, I’m still going to act like I deserve to be apart of something so precious to you, so I can say I did it.” To be quite honest while we were there it offensive to watch obvious tourists play in the water while families, who had taken a pilgrimage there, were going through a ritual. The rest of the temple was beautiful and had a sense of calm to it. There was a giant Koi pond that had never been touched since they built it. Some of the fish in there were three feet long and just massive, for Koi fish at least. They have never tried to control the population so there were countless generations of fish. We then made the trek home in which I spent most of the ride on my computer trying to learn lines. Our last night in Bali was spent at Hard Rock and me working on a script.

Next day we hopped on a plane. Side note Bali airport is the worst airport I have ever been to. Made it back to Jakarta. Saw Frozen that night and spent the rest of the week filming my audition, watching Modern Family and taking a picture with Indonesian Santa Clause. Now off to Manila! Can’t wait to go back to Café Jaunita and have the most amazing food of my life!

PS More photos to come. Internet won’t let me upload anymore. Common problem apparently.

Kristina

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