Well, I can't believe that I have been to Bali and am now back home. I have the Bali blues big time!!! Three-and-a-half weeks seemed to zoom by, probably because there was so much on! But, I managed to get some r and r and as always Bali is as beautiful as ever. This trip was a very special one - my son's wedding as well as my brothers' birthdays - 40 and 50 years old. I will start with the birthdays. We celebrated at Seaside at Legian on October 3 on a brilliant night with a full moon hovering over the ocean. There were about 25 people all up including both my brothers, their families and friends, as well as my daughter, her friend and boyfriend, my son, his fiance, my friends and my sister and her daughter. We had a delightful night with great food and great conversation. We had ordered a cake from Carefour and it was delicious! Once the birthdays were over I could conentrate on my son's wedding and on October 5, we had a pre-wedding gathering for Scott and his fiance Meiko at a friend's house at Sanur.
The official wedding was being held in Jakarta on October 10, but many of my family and Scott's friends could not make it, so we had a party in Bali. My friend Rae had excelled herself and the garden was a wonderland of lights, offerings, flowers, decorations etc. Scott and Meiko stood in a circle of flowers under a Bali umbrella and there were several speeches. I made a very emotional speech that I did not think I would be able to get through without blubbering like a baby, but somehow I managed to. I had ordered a wedding cake from Ixora cakes at Seminyak and it was a cup cake wedding cake with individual chocolate cup cakes, white icing and a fresh frangipani on each cake. It was absoloutely delicious and looked divine, so I was very happy. We then all headed down to the beachfront at Sanur and went to Ixola for dinner. This is a beautiful restaurant which they closed off just for us, and the food was fantastic. A great night was had by all. For many of my family it was their first trip to Bali so I was eager to show them around and immerse them into the colourful Bali culture. We went elephant riding at Taro which was fantastic (my first time and highly recommended), went to Tanah Lot,. swimming at Padang Padang and then onto Uluwatu and then we spent two nights at Ubud. I usually stay at Honeymoon Guesthouse but because of the Ubud Writers Festival they were booked out, so we stayed at Permana Cottages and they were brilliant. They are located in a lane off Jalan Bisma, and are set in the middle of the rice paddies. The rooms were gorgeous, four-poster beds, great bathrooms, there was a pool and it was so peaceful and quiet after the hectic pace of Legian. Took the family to Sari Organic - oh my god!! This is some of the best food I have ever eaten and the walk through the rice fields to get to the restaurant is simply breathtaking. The food was sublime- I went back again and can highly recommend this wonderful little gem. We left Ubud and then travelled to Jakarta for Scott's wedding on October 10 and what an unbelievable experienced this turned out to be. Meiko is absolutely gorgeous and she her mum did a great job in organising all the wedding. Well, the day started early at 8.30am when two women from a salon came to our hotel and dressed us, did our hair and make-up. We were all wearing traditional clothes, so my daughter Katie and I were dressed in beautiful green kebias with a sarong and flowers in our hair. They did our make-up, and my daughter who is absolutely gorgeous looked like a Hollywood starlet, but poor me, well they made my look like a prostitute with so much make-up and this white face and the kids were horrified. I quickly washed the make-up off and re-applied it myself. Scott was dressed in white and loked like a regal prince. We were then driven to the wedding which took place in a small village somewhere in Jakarta (not sure where). The official ceremony was amazing, all in Indonesian, but some English too and when Meiko walked in everyone held their breath - she looked stunning! A white lace kebia with jewels and sparkles all over it, white roses framing her dark hair and crystals woven through the back of her hair. I could not take my eyes off her and nor could Scott. After the official ceremony, we went out to the street and the whole village was there. I don't think they had ever seen a white person, let alone ones with blonde hair (my daughter and I are blonde) and all dressed in traditional clothes. It was stinking hot and we had to stand in the sun for ages while there were dances and other things going on. We were then led to a gorgeous, milti-coloured, silk-swathed marquee with a massive chandelier in the middle. This is where the reception was being held. Thank heavens it was air conditioned. Meiko and Scott then went through lots of traditional events including throwing rice and money, breaking a plate, tearing and eating a cooked chicken, Meiko pouring oil on Scott's leg, a candle ceremony and lots more. It was absolutely amazing and then Meiko and Scott were led to their 'thrones'. During the afternoon and night, the bride and groom changed three times and the second outfit was mind-blowing. They were dressed as a Javanese king and queen and Meiko had this amazing green make-up and an intricately carved headpiece that weighed a ton! There were thousands of photos, the food was great, there was a band and the wedding went until midnight. All-in-all it was an unbelievable experience and one that I feel truly blessed to have been a part of. We left Jakarta the next day and I couldn't wait to get back to Bali. I then had 3 nights at Sanur which I truly loved, then 6 nights at Legian staying at the Matahari, near where Scott and Meiko now live. They have a lovely 2 bedroom apartment near the beach and we had lots of fun buying a fridge, cooker, beds, linen, crockery, cutlery etc. It was a very sad day when I had to say goodbye, but I will be back and this time I am going to stay for 2 months. It was a trip of a lifetime and Bali will now hold an even more special place in my heart. I can't wait till I am back there again!