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…
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 Linda, Uncle 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
What an amazing day! Took Heather for High Tea at Biku.
Then we piled into Alan’s faithful Merc Chariot, “George”, with Alan, Gary and their own holidaying friend, Kaz, and drove up to see the incredible Kecak dancing in Uluwatu. A traditional story dance told atop an open auditorium on the cliff tops of Uluwatu, overlooking the enormous Indian Ocean (that’s ocean as far as the eye can sea), and combines a cappella singing/chanting with amazing costumes and fire dancing. And watch out for marauding monkeys, who will grab whatever they can get their speedy little hands on.
Stopped off for cocktails at the Rock Bar, which is located in the tiny “state” of the Ayana Resort and Spa. I say, “state”, because you need a GPS just to navigate your way up the driveway. Let me put it this way, you could fax an architect’s plan of a building from the front gate to reception and by the time you get to reception, the building would already be finished! And whoever thought to build a bar into a cliff face over the ocean, was either mad or genius. It is absolutely spectacular and there’s even a personal elevator to take you down the cliff to order your drinks!
Finally, we capped the night off with a huge Seafood dinner at Gekko, in Jimbaran Bay. You can sit right on the beach until…the tide comes in! Then you have to grab your stuff and high-tail-it to higher ground!! (Which we did). Fortunately for us, we got a fantastic 45% discount because Alan and Gary know the owner which was really funny in comparison to the Rock Bar, in that, our huge seafood banquet for 6 people at Gekko, was actually less per person, than ONE COCKTAIL EACH at Rock Bar!
MIX Three cups of Dr.Livingston, half a teaspoon of David Attenborough and a dollop of Steve Irwin…and you have the recipe for the Bali Safari & Marine Park, with your three intrepid explorers…Larry, Curly & Mo.
This is one place you can really get up close and personal with some of the rarest & most exotic species on the planet. A quiet and well mannered Australian, I hear you ask? Admittedly, rare but not entirely exotic, no…in fact, I speak of rare endangered animals such as Sumatran Elephants, Orangutans and Siberian Tigers, just to name a few. A lot of these you can actually touch and others you’re just thankful there’s glass between you no matter how much bravado you think you can muster.
Kudos to Heather, for really exploring beyond her comfort zone & getting intimate with many of the parks inhabitants, including some animals as well.
Beautiful days continue. On Wednesday Jacqui, Roland & Nicole met us for lunch at ‘Echo Beach’. Lunch was followed by some lazing on the beach while Justin climbed the rocks. A beautiful, peaceful afternoon.
On the ride home we got a call from ‘The Ubud Writers Festival’ wanting us to come in on Friday so they could meet us. They are interested in us running some of the special events, and maybe doing some MC work. Exciting….if we can work out how to get to Ubud!!