Bali – the best of both of our worlds all rolled into one

Happy New Year and hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

We’ve just returned to Sydney after an incredible vacation in Bali where the Fishers and Buchanans came together for one glorious holiday celebration. We’d like to first and foremost thank Lou, Bonnie, Ian and SienaDune for the gift – an experience none of us will forget!

Luckily Grandpa and Grandma managed to sort out their flights and travel arrangements (after a terribly unfortunate ticket cancelation for their trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and finally Bali because of the turmoil at Bangkok airport the day they were set to leave!) They rearranged the order of the trip and joined us in Bali as their first stop and are currently making their way through Vietnam and Cambodia. With Oma Carla joining the whole Buchanan clan and the full Fisher family, our party totalled 16! SienaDune did an incredible job organising all the transport, reservations, hotel bookings and entertainment plans.

We arrived to a wet and rainy Denpasar – but the reassuring kind – the kind that says ‘Welcome to Bali.’ Having our priorities straight we headed to Kuta Square for our first fix of shopping. We then headed to dinner at La Lucciola where Grandpa and Grandma met us. After a delightful dinner we did the hour drive to Ubud where we stayed at the gorgeous Alam Shanti. The next day Ben and I headed down to Sanur to catch up with Sayan, an old friend of his from Singapore before going to the airport to pick up the Fisher fam. After lunch at Cafe Batujimbar we headed straight to the airport and as you can imagine the anticipation was killing me! My family had been travelling for nearly 24 hours and were quite tired but still up for a delicious duck dinner at Bebek Bengil (Bub and Dad’s favorite!) That night (like nearly all of them!) the kids went back to our villa to hang out and catch up on some quality time, laughs, chats and smiles. The next morning some of the troupe headed out bright and early to do some gnarly mountain bike riding through the mountains and little villages around Ubud. As we biked passed the villagers they’d all say hello and try to ‘high five’ us. The enthusiasm was contagious. After a few hours on the bike we all had quite an appetite so we headed to Indus for lunch overlooking the lush rice paddies of Ubud. The weather started to go so we went back to the Alam Shanti for some much needed rest and relaxation before dinner and the Monkey Dance (Kecak). Our final day in Ubud we strolled through the monkey forest, shopped all morning, swam in the pool all afternoon and met up with Lynn and Cody at Cinta.

The next morning we began the journey through the mountains to Pemuteran. I must admit I felt a little sorry for Gustut who had to deal with our singing (achem Vikkee) the for the three and a half hours! We did stop in Bedugal to stretch our legs and visit the temple there that extends out into the lake, as well as in Munduk for lunch. Our stay at Taman Sari was extremely relaxing and paved the way for many late night conversations, strolls on the beach and lots of reading. We dived every morning, had massages every afternoon, snorkelled and just generally spent time together. It was fabulous. For Christmas we did a Kris Kringle gift exchange that really brought the families together. Christmas dinner was an event – Ian even ordered the 2 kilo lobster! Having both of the families together was a gift in itself for Ben and I, but on top of it all Ben received a personalised calendar complete with ‘special dates’ written in from Vikkee. Allee looked gorgeous in her golden sarong from Ian, and Siena’s fancy apron from Mom fit her perfectly! Grandpa and Grandma left on the 29th bright and early to continue their adventures in South East Asia. It was such a treat to have them join us! Dad also turned 55 while we were on the trip so to celebrate we went to Taman Selini for some fresh flavours and an occasion. Dad even ate cake – a celebration indeed! Our last night in Taman Sari was New Years. They put on a special dance and huge buffet dinner. We continued the celebration back at Butterfly before the midnight chant on the beach. I think it was the first time my siblings and I rung in the New Year together for years.

Seminyak was next on our tour. We made it to the Villa Lumbung on the 1st to find two gorgeous villas (one for the parents and one for the kids). That night we went to La Lucciola as a group before the kids went to Hu’u – an incredibly swanky bar with a giant swimming pool. The net day we spent shopping in Kuta, lunched at Made’s, and walked the beach in the afternoon. That night we went to Sarong with Millie and James who were at the Duffell’s villa in Seminyak. After dinner the kids (plus Mils and James) all headed to Mix Well – a club in Seminyak for a night of crazy dancing and immeasurable fun! The following day was our last full day all together. We went down to Uluwatu temple and spent the afternoon at Dreamland beach. To take advantage of our last night all together we went to Ku De Ta for evening drinks and nibbles on the beach. It was a gorgeous sunset and a lot of fun relaxing on the lounges overlooking the beach. Tabetha had arranged a party that night for everyone so we headed to her place for a few hours. The next day we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Bali and more difficultly to one another. Before we could hit the airport Dad, Mom and Bub had to make on last stop to fill their container with Balinese sculptures to ship home! Three hours later I think Dad had bought nearly their whole stock!

Ben and I had one last meal with my family and said ‘see you later’ as they boarded their flight home. I don’t think I stopped crying for the next hour! I miss them so much and can’t believe it’ll be another six months before we’re reunited again! 🙁

Ian unfortunately got extremely sick the second to last day of the trip (and is now on his way to full recovery thanks to the correct diagnosis back here in Sydney) Because of the need to elevate his leg, Siena called the airline to request special seating. Garuda had no record of us on the flight! Ian worked his magic and after countless emails to the head of Garuda and 3 hours later, we were on the midnight flight to Sydney!

Now we’re all back in Sydney getting into the swing of things. It was a really difficult adjustment – going from a fabulous vacation and countless laughs with family to working 8-6 and Ben being in Canberra.

We had a wonderful weekend catching up with friends, kayaking in Manly and celebrated my birthday! Last night we went to a really great French restaurant in Darlinghurst, called Le Pelican. Ben surprised me with two gorgeous rings that he had made for me! One has a pink tourmaline stone and the other is an aquamarine – set in white gold! I absolutely love them 😉 Tomorrow I’ll celebrate with my girlfriends.

If you’ve made it down here…well done…actually let’s be honest there is only one person creepy enough to read an entire blog…you know who you are…RASMUTAAAAN!

Lots of love and drop us a line!
Jacqueline and Ben

4 thoughts on “Bali – the best of both of our worlds all rolled into one

  1. It took me nearly the same length of time to read this as the show i just came out of-which began at 1pm, finished at 9.30pm(yes8 1/2 hours). But equally entertaining-and seriously Lipsynch was some of the BEST theatre I have ever seen! Love

  2. What a wonderful post. I wish we were repeating the holiday again. It was so much fun. Thank you all we love and miss you much.

  3. I’m so happy that the holiday happened. Best vacation i’ve been on! love you Jacqueline and Ben! I’m still wishing for another Cosmo!

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