2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Strawberry Fields Forever

What a stunning day.

I forgot just how big and blue the sky looks, here in Oz.

The perfect day for a mosey on down to Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula and grab ourselves a salacious serve of Devonshire Tea at the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. The perfect place to relax your Saturday afternoon away and meander through the myriad of Strawberry jams, wines, ice creams, meringues, oven mitts…you name it. The only thing they didn’t have made of strawberries…

Was shortcake! (Fancy that) 😛

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Kirby’s Wedding in Newcastle

Back in Oz for only two days before I’m back on a jet plane, headed for Newcastle, NSW.

My cousin Kirby, is getting married and has asked me to MC her wedding.

I stayed with my Aunty LindaUncle Phil and cousins Tim and Tanya, in a rented cottage and got plenty of future practice with my cousin’s kids, Cody and Jake. Cody is 5 years old and after a couple days hanging with me, wanted to cut his hair like mine, lol 🙂 Jake is 3 and a half and what a little fire-cracker! So cute, but watch your sausage. He’ll snatch it off your plate quicker than you can blink. Same goes for chips or bacon.

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The wedding was just beautiful. Kirby’s dress was hand-made by her cousin, Prue. The night was a blast, and as usual, I was my entertaining self.

I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful family who encourages my “entertainer” instead of suppressing it.

I love you guys!

The Final Countdown…

The hours tick down as we ready ourselves to leave this incredible island paradise and return home to Australia.

It’s been an incredible 5 months here in Bali and we could never have imagined the laughter and adventure that was bestowed upon us during our stay.

Amazing friends, astonishing food, bizzarre tales of the strange and unexpected. This island home that has opened it’s arms and embraced us so lovingly and now, forever blessed us with the next generation of Adventurers Extraordinaire.

This journey has been beyond our wildest dreams and in 5 months from now, a new adventure awaits us at home (technically, still in Fiona’s belly).

But for now, I guess our time has come. Our bags are packed, it’s time to leave the island.

Jeff Probst has donned his blue shirt and snuffed out our torch…

Justin and Fiona…the tribe has spoken.

Thank you Bali…we love you LONG TIME 🙂

Our 100th Post!

I can’t believe it, we’ve cracked the ton…

Our 100th Post on Adventurers Extraordinaire!

And just enough time to fit in another adventure by visiting the Bali Zoo.

It has to be more than just coincidence, the way this island helps you out when you are in need. We buzzed past a fork in the road, unsure which way to go so we pulled over to ask for directions. As soon as we pull over outside a shop, a Balinese man scoots up beside us, so I ask if he knows the way to the Bali Zoo.

“Oh yes, I show you. You can follow me…it’s near my house.” Of all the people we could have asked 🙂

And thank god we did follow him, the main road to the zoo was chock full of traffic because of all the crumbly potholes. So he took us on a shortcut through another little village, where clearly, we were the only westerners to EVER have passed through. It was like we were the Queen, being waved to by her loyal subjects as we rode by. And when we got to the zoo, our “tour guide” didn’t just leave us at the front gate, he made us follow him all the way in and right up to the front gate for us to buy our entry tickets.

“Also…my wife works here!”Oh, SNAP!

Man, I’m gonna miss this island!

5th Year Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversary in a day of style and cheeky indulgence. We got picked up in a private car and delivered to the Prana Spa Bali in Seminyak. Where decadence and opulence runs like hot and cold water from the extravagant tap of “Oh My God”.

This spa treatment facility was like walking through an Ali Babar Wonderland. A drippingly delicious Indian setting in rich burned ocher colours, intricate tile designs and bilious striped canopies, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d just rubbed a genie out of a bottle and made all our wishes come true.

Fiona was treated to a gentle salt foot scrub, pregnancy massage and a hair cream bath…(which is how she got pregnant in the first place). And I indulged in the “Man package”(not my actual man-package, which again, is how she got pregnant in the…whatever), but a salt foot scrub, full body massage and facial.

And if that’s not manly enough for you, I’d happily smash your face in and smile at you with a soft but glowing complexion.

They poured us under the door on our way out and we flowed across the street for lunch at a kooky little restaurant called “Word of Mouth”, (but for the life of me, I can’t remember how we found out about it?). Kooky for a number of reasons, firstly, because it had some kind of weird “egg-theme” going on, with giant egg cushions, lampshades made from hundreds of tiny eggs stuck together, egg light fittings and even the tables had a small mirror in the centre, resembling a large fried egg. And secondly, because everything on their menu was tiny. Tiny bite-sized burgers, a bowl of wedges with only six wedges in it with wasabi mayonaise. Either these people really know how to stretch a buck by rationing their food, or their clientele mainly consists of elves, dwarves and Barbie doll figures.

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Dinner was at our favourite restaurant, Pavone. Where we’re always treated like part of the family (not sure if it’s hers or mine or which one is better), but as my new Bali best friend, Yudha, put’s it…“You’re never alone in Bali, my friend.” And that’s almost as comforting as cuddling my sexy wife of 5 years. 😉


Spider Sense is Tingling

During our time in Bali, we’ve encountered all kinds of of weird and exotic creatures, and today was no exception. Only instead of it being a cute and fury creature, or a weird but cool gecko, lizard or amphibian, today’s encounter was one of the creepy eight-legged variety

The biggest spider in all of Bali.

And I knew it was big when it slid open the glass doors to our balcony, crushed a beer can on it’s forehead, lifted up the bed to get past us and wore the curtains as a napkin as it scaled the wall like King Kong on the Empire State Building. This thing was way bigger than my hand, and could easily text message way quicker than I ever could (and without using predictive text, even).

Call me inhumane, but I have a wife and baby on the way to protect, and it’s kill or be be killed in the jungle. And this mo-fo was on my turf. Being the hero that I am, I jammed a dagger between my teeth, stabbed it into the curtain and slid down like a pirate splitting a sail in those old pirate flicks, and pounced onto the giant creature’s back. We wrested to-and-fro, knocking furniture upside down and demolishing the room. Before giving him…

A face full of Baygon.

It was an agonizing (yet fascinating), defeat. And as the creature rolled over onto it’s back on the wall, it clung to a single silk thread, spewing from it’s abdomen. Refusing to give up, hanging on the wall like a giant swinging metronome under Big Ben.

Like Indiana Jones on the rickety rope-bridge in the Temple of Doom, I grabbed the nearest machete and hacked my way through his web, sending him hurtling into the alligator infested river below, (which looked amazingly just like the marble tiles of our floor).

Victory was had. But for how long? For now, my family can rest in safety and peace and I will unceasingly watch the horizon (and skirting boards), for any sign of their return. A task, I will lay upon myself til my last dying breath, (or until we catch the plane back to Oz next week).

Til that day, spiders…beware!

Wet Dreams

Holy toledo! Looks like our day dreams in the sun are more like wet dreams in the rain with all the weather we’ve been getting lately.

They don’t call it the wet season for nothing!

It rained three days straight in Bali, and while that was no great cause for alarm for us, I did notice the neighbours acting a little weird, gathering all their animals two-by-two. But basically for us, it meant we had to barricade ourselves into bed with videos and whatever we have in the cupboards, to snack on. And mind you, a grass-weaved placemat is no substitute for a salada biscuit, no matter how much butter you smear on it.

It also meant we had to amuse ourselves in other ways to prevent us from going stir crazy. Thankfully, my sister-in-law Steph, gave me an Impossipuzzle Jigsaw to help us wheedle away the time. Unfortunately for us, it took us less than 6 mins to complete the puzzle. Five minutes and 20 seconds for me to get it out of the box and 40 seconds for Fiona to solve it.

So, it’s back to wet dreams and videos in bed, eating furniture and editing crazy videos of our trip, like this…

Sweet Sweet Music

If you’re after some quality entertainment in Bali, then go no further than Champs Sports Bar in Seminyak, where no song is too much trouble. 

Unfortunately, it’s not me performing. But a Balinese duo (not sure which one is Justin), who wander around the restaurant taking requests. And even if they don’t know the song, that’s no problem…

They’ll drag someone off the street who does!

In my case, there is a very well known song in Indonesia that I really like…but I have no idea what it’s called.

Problem: How do you describe a song that you don’t know the words to, have no idea what the name is, and can’t remember how the melody goes?

Answer: Explain to them…”It has a kind of soft melody…but with rap parts in it”.

At which point, Fiona goes from shaking her head at reading their confusion to my request…

Oh, you mean…“Ya Sudahlah”.

To admiring me as being the greatest cross-cultural request interpretor of all time…(or maybe just for a Friday night, at least).

They knew the song I was talking about BUTthey didn’t know the words. And rather than just ask for a different song, they ran all over the restaurant asking staff if they knew the words (a couple of them knew the chorus), and even dragged two Balinese boys off the street who actually knew the words!

So, we were serenaded by the “Justin duo”, as well as two staff members and two strangers off the street. And that type of dedication to executing a song request is worth every cent (or Rupiah, in our case).

Here’s the actual song by the band who recorded it. Enjoy 🙂