Sunrise: Sanur, Bali

Where’s Jody?

I always like to understand where I am, so I assume you do too? I still don’t know how to make photos come in larger. Please click this to see it full size.



What I learned.

I thought I’d let you join in the craziness of the indonesian rupiah (IDR). When I cash in $100, I am given back almost 1 MILLION rupiah. That translates as 10,000 IDR is about $1.00. This really messes with your mind for a while. You find yourself staring at a 5,000 IDR bill thinking it’s worth something, and it’s barely two quarters. So I took photos of a couple of the notes with the intent of using them in my blog for education.¬†When I tried to pull the photo into Photoshop, I was reprimanded by the software with this message:

This application does not support the editing of banknote images. For more information, select the information button below for Internet-based information on restrictions for copying and distributing banknote images or go to

I won’t be showing you the notes. You’ll have to Google them yourself.

I Need My GPS

Thanks to a tip from a couple of ‘local’ australians in the restaurant the night before, I not only found out where the ocean was, but I found the fastest way there. Had I been left to my own devices I never would have made the trek to get a sunrise shot. My hotel is technically across the road from the beach, BUT, all the resort hotels on the beach side have property a good quarter-mile deep. So the trick is to figure out where you can get through so you don’t have to go clear to one end or the other where a street provides access. I was told to just cross the street, and then slightly to the right take the large driveway. Follow that to the beach and just act like I’m supposed to be there‚ÄĒ

So, the guys were right. It’s a big, wide driveway thing. The gate threw me off though and I hoped I wasn’t wandering somewhere I shouldn’t.


Then came the green carpet. Kinda cool. But the paths kept getting smaller until I found myself in a maze of bungalows with tiny footpaths. Thank goodness ¬†a guy just ahead of me was walking like he was ‘supposed to be there’ too.


He lead me right to the beach.


I’ve zoomed in here so you can see two things: 1) Rinjani Volcano in the distance,which is actually on Lombok, the island to the east of Bali, and 2) the boiling water in the distance. I can only assume there is a big drop off there because the water’s surface is totally different compared to the foreground.


A-ha! Those fireworks I heard last night? Now I know they came from waaaaay across the street.


These boats were all over the beach. Later in the day I saw this red sail boat – love it with those men fishing in the foreground with funky striped hats and poles.

Day4Boat      Day4SailingFishing

Do YOU get what this sign means? Me either.


There is this brick walkway that runs several kilometers along the beach. I happened to walk behind these two men briefly and they were trucking along like anyone does who is out for their morning walk. If you look closely, I was attempting to show you that the guy on the left is shoeless.


Tomorrow is a busy day. I’ll be picked up by the Australian woman at 9AM and taken to meet numerous artisans‚ÄĒthen on to Ubud! (Oo-bood)


Welcome to Bali

The Airport

I was surprised to see this huge gate at the airport. It is seen from the area where you buy your ‘Visa on Arrival’. I was prevented from going out the door to try for another angle, but the smiling guard had no problem with me taking a photo just inside the door.


Road to Kerobokan

These decorative creations were lining the streets along the road from the airport to my final destination in Kerobokan. I asked my cab driver about their purpose. Bali recently celebrated a holiday, which I believe was Galungan (had to Google that). My cab driver explained that these decorations are created by each and every house for the event. Other than Christmas trees, I can’t think of anything that is mass created by all households for an event in the US. (And in some cases those Christmas trees are off-the-shelf, lights and all.) I asked him if a family would be embarrassed if they didn’t make one. He seemed to think it would not be a problem. I found a bit more info about the holiday on someone else’s Bali blog from 2010:

  • Galungan is a holiday that celebrates the triumph of Dharma (good) over Adharma (evil.)
  • The holiday happens every 210 days.

For anyone noticing the surgical mask on the person riding the scooter, the masks show up on a lot of people. There was an entire family on the plane coming over who all wore masks, including their baby. By the way, these photos will open up larger if you click on them – I’ve imported them a bit bigger this time.




My Hotel: Abian Biu Mansion

If you’d like to see some professional photos of this hotel, please check them out here: ¬†My photos were grabbed without much thought other than what I wanted to highlight.


This first shot is from the front of the hotel, as much as I could fit in anyway. I am in the street to capture this much. The restaurant is to the left.


The black and white checked cloth (called poleng) is represented here on the offering area outside the hotel. I found a more detailed explanation of it on, a site dealing with Balinese dress and textiles.

Every visitor to Bali notices very quickly the black and white checked cloths, wrapped around guardian statues, pavilions, people, kulkul drums in temples and even trees and stones wherein a spirit dwells. It is dazzling and powerful and has a special meaning for the Balinese: it represents the cosmic duality.

The Balinese see the world in terms of opposites, good and bad, day and night, mountain and sea. This duality forms the whole: one cannot exist without the other. Poleng [fabric] is the perfect representation of this view. The squares are of equal size, black and white, and are not parallel. The grey squares contain strands of both and show that you cannot have one without the other. White represents good, the gods and health; black represents evil, the underworld and disease. Poleng comprises them both, and so the whole.

These photos below show an area that doesn’t yet seem ready for visitors. There is a pool and several buildings that are under construction. When I booked, I was believing it had been renovated, and in some ways it seems to have been. But, I think they are not done.¬†It’s currently quite noisy during the day.

1Bali_Pool   1Bali_gardens

This open-air gallery is on the interior of the hotel. These photos show opposite ends of the same area. In the first photo, my room is on the left, the second door in. It’s hard to see details here, but the far end is a wide, flat wooden bridge that crosses over some ponds with fish. In the second photo, I’m standing on the wooden area so my room is the first door on the right.

1Bali_Foyer 1Bali_Foyer2

The Road to Circle K

I flew carry on baggage only, so I arrived without razors or any liquids larger than 3 oz. I also read that the faucet water is not recommended for tourists. Additionally, I had 1 mosquito in my room last night so I knew mosquito repellent was going to be needed soon. All of these were reasons to seek out a grocery store. However, I had purposely chosen a hotel ‘out in the sticks’ for my first couple of days not realizing the only grocery store would be a Circle K about a kilometer away on narrow roads without sidewalks. So here are a few of the sites on my brief walk:

  • cows
  • a building that took real advantage of their rooftop
  • an example of a home’s temple area
  • a fancy residential gate

1Bali_cows  1Bali_Rooftop

1Bali_HouseTemple 1Bali_gatedHouse


This offering platform wearing poleng was at the Circle K! There was no residence here at all; the recycling you see against the wall was an area just outside of the store. You can see an offering at the base of the structure, and there was also an offering at the cash register inside the store.

Tomorrow I head to Sanur for 2 days, on the southeast coast. Thanks for following!


Santa Ynez: Wine Tasting

This first image is misleading as it’s not in Santa Ynez. The Oceana tasting room was only a bike ride away from our hotel in Santa Barbara, The Presidio. They had a great port.


Hey Wisconsinites! Did you know Carhartt’s‚ÄĒthe maker of rugged-wear clothing‚ÄĒhas their own tasting room in California? They are such a small outfit (400 cases/year) you won’t be finding this in any stores or restaurants. But if you make it Los Olivos, CA, you won’t regret a stop here! They had a great little patio area shaded by HUGE red peppercorn trees.

Day2BCarharttDoor Day2BCarharttTasting

Day2BCarharttPatio    Day2BCarharttJodyAlex

Above are Laurie & Alex relaxing on the Carhartt patio, and Alex and myself outside a deli in Los Olivos.

Next up, the Fess Parker Winery. Remember Davy Crockett, and Daniel Boone? Did you know those parts were played by the same actor, Fess Parker? Here I am sporting my Daniel Boone look. The baby coon cap on the wine bottle was available for sale too.

Day2BFPJodyHat   Day2BFPTinyCoonHat

Day2BFPShelves   Day2BFPVineyard

The photo (above) shows a picture of Fess Parker, and the other is of the FP vineyard. Laurie said she & Alex were there several years ago when Fess Parker was there signing bottles of wine.

Third on the list: Babcock Winery. Wines were good, but what caught my eye the most were these PENCILS – how fun! I bought some for my trip, now I just need a pencil sharpener. I also enjoyed this energetic, colorful painting on the wall.

Day2BBabcockPencils   Day2BBabcockPainting

Last, but not least, was Curtis Winery. Their tasting room was in high ceilinged warehouse/garage space. Laurie pointed out that it was set up like an Anthropologie store: candles, cards, unbleached dishtowels, fun sayings on things, old cool wooden furniture. Wine tasting and shopping!


Arrival: L.A.

What is it?

I wasn’t the only one I saw in the airport that looked like this!

DAY 1: ¬†Santa Barbara Marina, tile on a State Street restaurant –

Day1SBMarina   Day2TileWall 

coin belt on a mannequin, passing a window full of cool wigs…

Day2Belt   Day2SBWigs

the cutest tricked-out trailer with fins, and a sculptural bush trying to be an octopus.
Day2Trailer Day2OctopusBush


Stick around for Day 2 – wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Marrero’s Guesthouse: The Happiest Hour of Free Fun & Frivolity at Five o’Clock

My neighbor, Steve, has been telling me, “Come over for happy hour!”
Yesterday, I finally joined Steve and his guests du moment over a
glass of Chardonnay. Cheers!

Soak in the end-of-day sun on Marrero’s Guesthouse porch.
The master bartender and host of Frivolity at Five,
my neighbor Steve.

Catching the lines

Secured at the dock.

Catching the lines

My favorite morning walk takes me past the cruise ship ports. The cruise ships typically come in earlier than my arrival, but today I was able to watch the process of ‘catching the lines’. People in small boats ferry the lines to shore where there are official people waiting to catch the lines and complete the anchoring of the cruise ship. Sunset Key is in the background.

Beautiful Day at Fort Zach, Key West

Regatta in the channel
Today was the last day of deinstallation for Sculpture Key West’s 2012-2013 winter exhibit. Our hard work wrapped up at the channel tiki hut where we loaded Vera Vasek’s¬†Word Within A World Within a World¬†on to her truck. Our reward: a view of this gorgeous regatta!