This is the second year that my immediate family has kissed off the regular Christmas routine and headed to warmer climes. Last year we hit 4 theme parks in 5 days in San Diego. This year we went a little outside the box. We flew the four of us to Bali. It’s the showiest island of Indonesia. The tourist island, right next door to Java and across the archipelago from Sumatra and the giant and wild Borneo. And it’s south of the equator. So not only were we headed to the South Pacific, we were headed to summer during solstice. The coldest, darkest day in Seattle (less than 8.5 hours of daylight) to the tropics where daylight is a constant throughout the year. 6:00 am up, 6:30 down. Less than a half hour variance throughout the year. I know, crazy concept for those of you who have always lived near or above 45 degrees N latitude. But I digress. My point is, Shangri-La. That’s where we went (not entirely by chance) for 2 weeks over Christmas vacation.
I’ll give you the short version of how we chose it: Our friends Michelle and Joe were at an auction, bid on a week at a high-end villa in Bali (with all the trimmings: staff of 7, driver, meals, massages, etc.) and won it. The villa was set for eight people but they are four. They offered us the other four spaces if we’d get ourselves there, so we did. We tacked on 5 extra days on either side of their week because, well, if you’re going that far, you better see all you can, right? Michelle and Joe’s clan headed to Singapore for the New Year, and then to Thailand, so they’re still en-route. So that’s how we got to Bali. A million thanks to Joe and Michelle for asking us! My husband ribbed me saying that I have now been to Asia three times (a destination I would have never chosen myself without prodding) and still have yet to get to Australia and New Zealand – places I’ve wanted to go since I was 4. Life is funny that way, but I take opportunities as they come. I keep digressing. I’m still not in this time zone, so you’ll just have to forgive me.
Twenty five hours of flying later, we were hovering over Bali, eleventh in line to land. So we did circles. I love airplane circles because they give you a great aerial view if you’re at the window, which I was. And when we got down there, we had a great adventure.
I’ll process the first photos soon, but these are the airplane circles. None of these are Bali, they’re most likely Lombok, East Java and surrounding little islands. But I can see myself down there swimming with manta rays, can’t you? That’s what summer in winter looks like from above.