getting there is half the battle

The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm to let each wave of life wash us a little farther up the shore.
-- Cyril Connolly

garuda indonesia.
the whole bit about threes.
and the exquisite doorway.
and finally, this last bit about harmony.

and so the reveal: my wife and I had a wonderful and relaxing getaway to the enchanting island of bali.

what a trip it was.  It certainly was enchanting enough that I just went crazy with the photos and my wife went crazy with the shopping, (as you will see), and we both went crazy over the whole experience.

so here we go, starting at the beginning, which is as julie andrews rightly points out, a very good place to start.

5am on 13 January, my wife and i drag ourselves out of bed.  (here's something i learned: regardless of where you're going, it's still a pain getting up in the morning.)  we haul our luggage to the airport, check in and spend a couple of hours waiting for the flight and i'm off on my picture taking frenzy.

one of the first i took was of my wife, who tried her best to remain calm, knowing bali was just two and a half hours away.

we were one of the first through the gate and i saw a row of nice row of chairs

right across from me was a man and his wife.  i noticed that the man kept looking off into the distance in a rather dramatic and melancholy fashion.  and the way the light softly highlighted his face just enhanced the drama.

there were other people in the lounge of course, and they too were two and a half hours away from paradise.

i thought the windows in our lounge lined up in a great way.

soon we boarded, and i immediately settle in hoping to sleep through the flight.

turbulence was a killer though:  a few passengers behind me were yelping with each sudden bump.  i was too busy cursing myself for not writing a will to bother finding out.

two and a half hours later, we land in bali in one piece, safe and sound and i being such an accomplished procrastinator, once again put off writing my will.  our guides (Mr. Lucky and Mr. Made, more on them later) pick us up and whisk us off to our hotel, the Nusa Dua Beach Resort and Spa.

we check into our hotel a bit earlier than expected and wander around a bit while waiting for our room.  and immediately, you just know you are in another universe.

coming from the urban jungles of manila and singapore, bali stands out in stark contrast.      all thoughts of work slipped my mind, my blackberry stayed in my bag (not even my pocket!), ignored despite the glaring red light that kept blinking and warning me that something blew up at work.

everything just slows down to a wonderful, laid back, easy going pace: there are ponds everywhere, koi swimming lazily, and for the most parts, all you can hear is the sound of trickling water.  (i used to scoff at the thought that trickling water can be relaxing, up until the point where i fell asleep on a divan beside the koi pond.)

just beyond the lobby and the allure of the koi ponds was a beautiful courtyard with what i thought must be a temple.

it turns out to be a gate, with a door that, i am guessing that must have taken a century to carve.

so after the photo frenzy and repeated futile attempts to stop drooling, we go through the gate and into the beach and pool area.

i could swear the lounge chairs had our names on them.

...and i heard the pool calling us...

but it turned out to be the receptionist, telling us that our room (room 3109) was ready.

with our reverie snapped, we grab our luggage and head on up to our room...

[to be continued]

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