Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bali Day 5

Chef Mel Rose was at it again for breakfast. Today was a scramble and then quick to the sewing machine to work on the remaining swimsuits I must finish to have in my shoot on Friday. We took the car to go to the most amazing work haven for John Hardy's jewelry. Only photos can describe the 50 foot high triangle bamboo showroom amidst a field in the middle of the tropical countryside. The jewelry spoke for itself as with each piece sold, bamboo is planted, and customers are satisfied with sterling silver and 32 karat gold pieces. Designs were inspired by bamboo and other Balinese organic shapes. We had a tour of the factory and the intricate process with which this amazing jewelry is made. We then traveled to another sterling silver factory and finally off to Ubud Market. Driving in and out of storms we finally reached the amazing market. Along the way we witnessed many different temples having ceremonies in which people in white carry offerings in a graceful line through their villages in a peaceful and praiseworthy styles.

We entered the market and all got a bit lost. We haggled for the best prices on amazing Bali souvenirs. I, clearly lacking quality haggling skills, paid the most for my goods. I couldn't help but not be bothered by the inexpense which these amazing artifacts were being sold by these amazing and kind spirited humans. I purchased a beautiful straw large structured purple beach handbag, a flying Balinese goddess, two amazing masks (one of which was very similar to the masks from the ceremony yesterday), Three babushka style purple and gold boxes, a funny ashtray, and a hand beaded Erte looking purse. I even got convinced to buy some orchid hairpins which I surely will never use.

After the shops closed and we were forced to leave (we must go back!) we had dinner and drinks at Naughty Nuri's. Baby and I enjoyed the dirty martinis and whisky sours while Misty and Victoria loved some Bintang Beer and Celia went on with her Margarita. We ate amazing grilled ribs, steak, curry chicken and vegetables. I am obsessed with curry and have to say that this was some of the best curry I have ever had! We enjoyed desert next door at a silly little coffee shop across from yes another temple and then all had a food coma ride home.

We got home and cracked a bottle of Balinese Rose wine but of course. Baby and Celia are playing cards while I write to you and contemplate just how much sewing I can actually accomplish on this trip... Horseback riding on the beach in the morning and then planning the rest of our time here. I think I am actually turning brown from my nice shade of red so I may resume my tanning tomorrow. Missing all my friends and family and hope that one day we can all experience this magical land together. Sweet dreams, my loves.

Bali Hen Day 4

I woke up a bit hungover and dressed for a workout as cooking for 6 can be a true I mastered my Mexican omlette breakfast today for everyone except Ashley…the idea of eating killed her after she stuggled to keep up with us professional drinkers last night. 

We had a car coming at 2:30 to take us up into the mountains by the Uluwatu beach to watch a traditional Balinese dance inspired from a tribal séance which used to be used to stop epidemics to speak to spirits. It was wild, amazing, all sounds were made by about 70 men and the dancers wore fantasical comstumes which the dolls and I all desired to have for a fancy dress event this year, or winterwell even better. Monkeys and sunsets led way to this event and we just escaped the rain by the time we got to a very interesting seafood palace for dinner. A tropical rain hit just in time for dinner so we missed out on eating on the beach but enjoyed a cool beer and a feast of crab and whole fishies cooked to perfection. 

I am officially beat so I’m in bed…I’m pretty sure the girls are taking down some Balinese wine right now. Sewing in the morning for me and then off to the market in Ubud for jewelry hunting and bargaining. Good thing Misty is here because she and her mummy are queen of the haggle! If anyone can get a deal it's a Butler girl! 

Mmmmm sleep. As much as I love sleeping 3 to a bed, I’m looking forward to making love to my pillow as my plus one tonight.

Bali Day 3

So as we sit upon the equator, Misty woke up a lobster and she decided to even it up. Now she is fully roasted. We woke up and went for a quick walk on the sparkling black sand beach and as the beach beyond the hotel is quite filthy and the bat cave at the other end is rather scary we decided to take it back up to the palace which is our current home. So, Lobster is Misty’s middle name after today as am I on the chest and Baby on the face. Victoria just keeps browning with ease and Celia is turning a nice even shade of beautiful African. I drew a picture of the setting while most of the girls laid out and I enjoyed a nice set of tea and baby talk. 

We decided to veg a bit again and when we grew restless after a gorgeous burger in the hotel restaurant for lunch.  We knew we needed a grocery store trip so we went into Kuta for groceries and dinner. We explored the beach for an amazing set of jumping sunset photos, saw a whole new level of the island being traffic and hotels and mcdonals and street boys who knew five words; lady gaga, snob, sexy, bitch and buy. 

Misty for the first time lost a DVF scarf and I wouldn’t be surprised if we buy it back somewhere along this trip as her things always find their way back to her. Remember the many lost and founds of phones, purses, and people. Storms go in and out and we were lucky all day to have hardly any. We ate at David’s sisters restaurant Lulu's and it was amazing! Cocktails poured, food soared and laughs went on. The 40th white birthday party in the yard next to the tent and infinity pool and inside/outdoor dark wood patio with beautiful white drapery and red paper lanterns inspired some ideas for misty’s wedding.   

We finished the evening with dancing at a local bar with a color changing pool. It was a riot. I ended the evening with a skinny dip, Jacuzzi, and my two dolls gone wild in me bed. What a life!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bali Hen Day 2 - The day that almost wasn't....

Today almost didn't come. At least in Bali for me and as usual only these things happen to me. You really can't write this kind of stuff. The words "Bali is so beautiful!" were so close to within reach and yet so far for a breif moment...and luckily I can tell you now Bali IS beautiful! I could also tell you many other things but most important is that I'm happy to be here with all the girls finally. Getting in here was a whole other story. Let's just say as I've been sworn to secrecy, that this place has some crazy rules, and that I learned a huge lesson about immigration policy on this trip. After the immigrations FINALLY cleared me to enter the country after threatening to ship me back to America on a carrier ship and holding me in the waiting cell for an hour and a half...WTF.?!..Oh if these boots could talk! I FINALLY got to hug my friend Misty and Victoria in the baggage claim and enter the world of lavish royal treatment of our amazing hotel on the west coast. The driver handed us cool towels for our hands as we took our seats in the van amidst a stifling 86 degree afternoon. We were warned that the drive may take a bit longer than usual as we had entered Bali on one of the most celebrated nights as all the villages the Balinese New Year called Nyepi. This day they celebrate before the day of silence by having parades with paper mache evil demon styled floats called "ogoh ogoh", which the people then burned after their parades.

As we drove through the small one lane streets through this utopia of palm trees, foliage, rice fields, many unfinished buildings, little huts, coconut homes, rivers, and temple buildings we waved and were hollered hello to by all the locals enjoying their holiday.

The day is the celebration of the following day which is a day of silence to purge the land of the evil spirits and to self introspect and meditate. So, we drove through four parades in total and finally landed at the amazing villas on the black sands. The amazing modern architecture with dark wood tables and furniture, white and creme beds, couches, chaises, carpets, and stone detailed walls attached to perfectly clear glass sliding walls with high ceiling, defines the ultimate style for such a beautiful setting. The infinity pool outside of our rooms meets the horizon of the ocean when you lie on the sunbeds with each end of the pool met with large pots filled with reeds. In the distance there is a temple atop a cliff which is rumored to have a bat cave at it's base. We will hike there tomorrow and see the beach for the first time since we were not allowed on it today.

I waited up for Celia and Baby to arrive and we chatted about our trials of travel and hit the sack. Misty and I reviewed my samples and fabric choices for my collection and jumped on the bed in excitement of her recent engagement. We finally fell asleep as happy as ever to be reunited in this magical land. We woke up to a massive thunder and lightning storm at 8:30am. We laughed at her lucky streak of trips with rainstorms and waited it out. By 11am the sun was out and since the locals are anti-electricity...I snuck into the kitchen and quickly prepared us breakfast of mexican omlettes.

We tanned for a bit and caught up with quick whispers as speaking today is strictly prohibited. The signs in the airport said that illegal smuggling of drugs into Bali results in DEATH. So we weren't trying to break the rules here too much today as these people are serious about the rules and respect. I took a dip in the amazing pool and fixed up a quick lunch.

We are now preparing for a candlelit dinner and then we will make a plan for the rest of the week and our tour of Bali. I gave all the girls shirts I made for this trip that I will attach a photo of tomorrow. I love it here. I love my girls. This really is a dream come true trip...and this villa is easily one of the most beautiful and quality places that I have ever been. LOVE LOVE!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bali Hen Day 1

Well, I'm not quite in Bali yet....but I think it is time to start the journal of this trip. I am sitting in the airport on a layover in Taipei, Taiwan. It took me 15 hours in the sky to get this far from Los Angeles. I'm on a journey to Bali to spend ten days with my favorite girls from London. We are shooting my new swimwear collection, planning our business strategy as we have one designer, one fashion publicist, one global sales expert, one stylist, and one business manager....overall this could turn very quickly from a play trip to a way to make all the dreams we've all had for years come together....together! Also and very importantly we are the key players planning Misty's wedding. Misty is one of my sisters from another mister and is the reason for the trip. Together we are going to throw the wedding of the year. So Misty, Baby and I lived together for 3 years while I was abroad in London. Or should I say that Misty lent me residence as her custom couch bum which I used happily as a resting place and safe haven to come home to in between all my travels in Europe and Israel. I'm so excited to see my dolls. The irony of this doll story will come later. All I will say for now is that we are destined to do wonderful things together. Our other friends Celia and Victoria are meeting us too. We are staying at an amazing Villa on the black sand west beaches of Bali. I have 5 more hours on this next flight and I will board the plane in 13 minutes. I can hardly hold in my excitement! ...but I will ...because I don't need to be stuck in Taiwan while all my girls are living it up on the beach and planning world domination. I just talked to Misty who is in Singapore now [love skype] with Victoria at her friends house and apparently they had quite the night! Hahah nothing like flying hungover! Baby and Celia are coming in together last from London. I, traveling solo, will be the first to arrive...surprises are up my sleeve, so stay tuned! SO ready to get there!! also ready for a shower....

Next up! BALI!