Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bali

Bali is paradise.  We saw incredible things, met friendly people, ate delicious food, had wonderful weather and even relaxed a little.  Which is not something that we normally do no vacations.  We spent a week in Bali and then headed to the Gili Islands and then back to Bali for a few more days.  This is Bali - part one. 

Tirta Empul
This temple is also known as the holy spring water temple.  This is a Balinese Hindu temple.  The springs here are believed to be magical and have healing effects.  After walking around the temple, Simon asked if he could join in.  They gave him a sarong and he jumped right in following the leads of the others in the spring.  I don't know if it had magical powers, but he had a good time.  I thought about going in, but didn't want to be wet the rest of the day.


If you look closely, there are little baskets on top of the water fountains.  These baskets are offerings, and are found everywhere in Bali.  I mean everywhere, outside homes, resturants, stores, and just on the street.  We usually found some outside of our hotel room.  Apparently it was for good luck.


I love this picture.  This girl kept smiling at me while I was taking a picture.  Simon is right be hind her washing his head.




Gunung Kawi
There are ten shrines craved out of the mountain.


Ubud
We spent most of our time in Bali staying in a city called Ubud.  I loved it there.  We had a quiet little room with a veranda and garden.  There are great little shops selling everything from art to clothing.  We took day trips from Ubud, but did see a few things while we were there.

Puri Saren Agung
This was the royal palace, and some members of the royal family still live here.



At a couple of restuarants we sat on mats close to the floor.  Our kids loved it because they could easily reach the table.

Pura Tanah Lot
This is a temple that is on the west coast of Bali.  You are not allowed to go to the temple, but the view is just breathtaking.

Kuta
We spent one night in Kuta and left.  The beach was great, but the atmosphere was well, not for us.  The beach was filled with surfers.  Our kids loved playing in the sand and the shallow part of the water.  Conley really liked playing in the sand.  I think he just like that he could be as dirty as he wanted to without us getting upset.  We spent more time at the beach, but that is in another post.


Taman Ayun


Ulun Danu

The dragons were a big hit!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Java

Java
Java is the most populated island in Indonesia.  We stayed away from the capital Jakarta because we really didn't find anything interesting there.  The original plan for this trip was to head straight to Bali, but after some research we found out that on Java there are two major sites, the Borodorur temple and the Prambanan temple complex.  So we decided to stay a week in Java.  We stayed in a city called Yogyakarta which is very close to both of the sites.  I am really glad that we stayed the week.  The temples were so impressive and different from anything else that we had seen.



Prambanan temple complex
The Prambanan temple complex is the biggest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia and was built during the ninth century.  We spent the day wandering through the temple complex.  You can walk through the temples.  Our kids had a great time running around the grounds.









I had to had this picture, because this happens so frequently when we travel to Asia.  We are always stopped so that people can take pictures of our children.  This is a group of school children, but adults stop us all the time.  I really don't mind the pictures, I just don't like it when they try and touch them.  For some reason they always want to pinch their cheeks, I don't get it. 




Mt. Bromo

We had to travel from Yogyakarta to Bali.  Which consists of a very long bus ride, a ferry and another bus ride.  On the way to Bali is Mt. Bromo.  We decided to break up the trip and see the volcano.  The big thing to do is to see the volcano during sunrise.  This means getting up at 3am, yes, that's right 3am.  You then take a jeep up to an observation point.  Well, we were suppose to go to an observation point, but apparently you have to hike up to the top as cars are not allowed up.  It was rough that early in the morning carrying our almost 30 lb kids uphill, but it was so well worth it.



 
In the background you can see ash coming from the larger and active volcano Mt. Semeru.



After the watching the sunrise from the observation point from afar, we took another little jeep ride and headed to volcano itself.  We hiked up.  Have you ever hiked in volcano ash, it is hard, really hard.  Some random guy asked me if I was a glutton for punishment because I was hiking up with Conley and I looked like I was about to die.  But I made it and I lost five pounds, so maybe I should do things like that more often.  I have to say it is a little eerie looking into a volcano. 



Borobodur temple
Borobodur temple is a Buddhist temple built from two million stones. There are nine terraces that you climb up and walk around. 














Conley had a hard time with us wanting to take his picture sometimes, okay most of the time.  Here he is waiting for his rice at a restuarant in Yogyakarta and he actually smiled for the camera.  He is always happy when food is about to come!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kuala Lumpur

Our trip was really long and so I have decided to break it up for blogging purposes. There will probably more posts about this trip than you want to see or read about, but when you travel for three weeks there is a lot of stuff to cover.
Our first stop was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was cheaper to fly there than strait to Indonesia, so we decided to spend a few days in Kuala Lumpur and really liked it.



Thean Hou Temple




The turtles were a big hit with our kids.



one word - delicious!






Petronas Twin Towers


Behind the towers they had a huge park with a wadding pool and the biggest assortment of children playground equipment that I have ever seen. Our kids had a blast!







This picture is out of order, but we had a layover in Oman for five hours. Luckily they had this awesome children's playplace full of soft toys. It made it the easiest layover ever.




Batu Caves

I think Auburn walked up almost all of those stairs.



There is a Hindu temple inside of the cave.

Monday, October 17, 2011

one kilo











We had a doctor's appointment today. Luckily, we were able to do Auburn's three year and Conley's 18 month check up all in one. The nurses laughed when they realized that Conley only weighed a kilo (2.2 lbs) less than his older sister. I get the question "are they twins?" everywhere I go. People expect Conley to be able to do more because they think he is much older than he is. I think the percentiles might be off for the US. I think Auburn is actually in a higher percentile in height in the US, but I am not sure. I just used the scale in their German book. They did great, Conley didn't even cry for his last vaccinations. They are both healthy and right on track for all of their developments. We feel so blessed!



Conley

height 87 cm/ 34 in - 90 percentile
weight 12.5 kilos/ 27.5 lbs - 75 percentile



Auburn

height 98.5 cm / 38.5 in - 50 percentile
weight 13.5 kilos / 30 lbs - 40 percentile