July 13, 2012

Bali Journey

We go to Bali, Indonesia once a year. This year we decided to go jump off a cliff.


Well. Because our friend Austin Render did it. And if Ranger Render jumps off a cliff, well, we figure we'll do it too. Seemed like it'd be fun.

So we set off this year to Bali excited about our cliff-jumping. We went, we jumped. After it was all-over the stories we told were more about us getting there. 3 kids, an island hop. Walking. Chickens. Temples. Talking and sharing the journey along the way.  I knew it as it was happening. It was the good kinda stuff that I think ends up sinking way deep down in the memory of our family more than a moment of exhilaration.

We had so much fun with our children that day. We had never been where we were going, we sort of spoke the language so figured we could get there with some direction asking. It was a smallish island and roads are limited. Couldn't be hard. So as we found our way we explored and walked (and carried) at a preschooler's pace. We met some people along the way. And the day turned out pretty perfect.

Cookies count as early morning breakfast when on vacation.
If the guy that says your boat was going to leave at 8:00 says it'll now leave at 9:30, you just sit and wait. Don't leave because he won't be able to find you 15 minutes later when he comes back and says he found a boat that will take you at 8:30. Take pictures of your boys while you wait.
Get the friendly Australian girls to take a family photo. They're rare (family photos, not friendly Australians) so don't worry about that Victoria's Secret tank top.  Just go with it...along with the throngs of people at the beach that morning there to bathe in the water on what turns out to be, apparently, a Hindu holy day.
Your sweet baby boy throwing up from the crazy rough seas? You just gotta ride it out, apologize, give sympathy, and be grateful you took the 30 minute boat ride and not the cheaper, 90 minute ferry. Sweet Zayah...we'll bring dramamine next time...we love having you on our adventures. You weathered that boat ride better than I would have son...you make a green face look not so terrible with your gorgeous brown cheeks.

Immanuelle appreciates the friendly Australian. Good to have arrived...Friendly Australian #1 (Amber) was just behind Isaiah in the sea-sickness line and was thankful for solid ground!
Parted ways with the Australians (they took a scooter). This little island was quaint and slow-paced and friendly.
It took an hour and a half or so to walk just over a mile to the "bridge."
But with baby chicks, stops were necessary!
...be still my heart!
These guys make the journey so much more fun!
See that bit of land over Anthony's shoulder? The cliff we were headed to was in that general direction.
We were in no hurry.
Potty breaks must be considered when on a journey. I wish someone could have shown me this photo of my husband when we had gotten married. I was hoping then that something like this was what lay ahead for us... just didn't realize it'd be THIS fun.
...all that walking and pretty much zero complaints from the kiddos.
The bridge! If your son's flip flop breaks, no worries.  Just on the other side we talked some locals into driving us on their motorcycles to the jumping point. :)
The Blue Lagoon was the name of the jumping point. A bit obvious, but really, what ELSE would you call it?
Isaac knew little fear being so close to the edge. After jumping Isaac was talking big about how he would jump off one day too.  One of my goals before next year is helping him get his head underwater and holding his breath!
Not sure when our camera was absconded with...but we have clues as to who done it. Those toes are so cute aren't they?
His fingers were probably cute too as he smudged the lens without us knowing til later.
...didn't know about the smudge til we had both jumped. 13meters (40 something feet or 4 story building take your pick. It was high)
...and the waves were rough. Guy in Charge wasn't allowing girls to jump because the waves were pretty intense. I laughed about how bad my butt hurt from smacking the water, but didn't go on about it in front of Guy in Charge...didn't want him to regret me talking him into letting me jump. That jump cost me a couple weeks of aching as I climbed the stairs in my house. You can bet your bippy it was worth it though.
Friendly Australian #1 & #2 showed up to the cliff just after our jumps. Isaiah is a bit of a charmer and they, in their stereo typically Australian manners, offered us a ride back. Friendly Australian #2 (Becky) took 2 trips to haul our American rears to the bridge.  We chatted with some locals...which basically means we answered their questions about where we were from, why we spoke Bahasa, and why our children were different colors. We walked the rest of the way. It would have only taken 5 minutes via Australian scooter, but even with having to switch carrying the boys as they shared shoes (it wasn't Isaiah's day, he also fell and skinned his upper lip) we still had so much fun. And Isaiah slept on the boat ride back! The waves were no match for the tiredness from walking.
So glad we didn't focus just on getting there and jumping! We do that a lot, don't we?  Thankfully we got it right that day! We would have missed so much in the journey that day if we hadn't!

July 03, 2012

Asia, or something like it

Man y'all, I gotta tell you. All this chronology is making my blogger heart feel so balanced, so linear, so happy and in order.
We're still in June according to the iPhoto dates.

A couple days after the Beefa left, some friends of ours who live in another part of Asia came to see us. Their Asia has split pants, snow, bicycles on the roads, and Taobao (aka- Chinese Amazon). We met when we were all childless and the last time we saw them, there was only one small 10-day-old baby Eden and a 25-week-gestation-baby Isaac between us.  Basically we had no clue just what "free time" really meant when we hugged their necks last.

Despite the run-of-the-mill insanity 6 small children can bring to a joint, I think we had a great time overall. I say "think" because I KNOW we did, but you gotta wonder if you're having a great time and they're just thinking your house smells like vitamins and that our kids ruined theirs in some sort of permanent fashion. Irrevocable damage from us saying the word, "crap" too often in front of their kids aside, their visit did us a lot of good. 
Their lives are just so dang similar to ours. I'd bore you if I listed it all out.

Just read these, you'll see...
* Our kids' ages... 4, 2, 7 months.
Their kids' ages..4, 2 (but he turned 3 during their trip), 9 months.
* Our 1st and 3rd children were born in Asia. Our 2nd's were born in America.

* We both think driving an hour to the beach only to have it pour down raining, eating a picnic in the car, not even removing our seat belts and then turning around to recover the trip at a jungle waterfall is as memorable as a day at the beach. Probably.

* We own the same stroller

* Our kids ride bikes without pedals.

* We could win the Amazing Race blindfolded. (this one may or may not be a fact. But it is a similarity.) What else do skills like speaking Chinese, peeing anywhere and on anything that the locals call toilets, heat tolerance and our
vast driving experience on the other side of the road get you but 1st place?

* We continue to live in Asia despite the toilets.
*  Our husbands are total coffee snobs (post to come later) and have unbeknownst to the other, chosen nearly identical coffee paraphernalia to carry out their snobbery.
April's pictures are much better than mine and while doing this blogpost, I was reminded just how often I said, "Hey April, you take pictures because our camera battery is dead and your camera is better anyway."  We did some fun stuff and April was my 8th friend to go to the Winnie Salon in the Capital. She changed her hair color (which is hard to do no matter which continent you're on) and I dropped her off and said goodbye just after so I can't confirm or deny if I'm still batting a thousand with the Winnie Salon...but Iiiiii thought she looked great. April, you've worn it for a couple weeks now, growing on you? You sexy no matter friend...Russian Prositute blonde or "I look like my sister" brown low-lights. (Yes, I DID just go there.) It's all gravy.
It was a great week hanging out with yall and actually meeting your kids in person.  Don't worry, we'll be bringing our circus crew your way sooner or later. I think it's perfectly possible to make all   this craziness fun a transcontinental event.