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From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

  • Julie Anne Rhodes

Highlights Of Bali

We didn’t spend ALL of our time on the beach. We asked both the hotel and local friends what not to miss, and decided a day tour to Ubud, in central Bali, would add a little scenery and adventure to our trip.

Julie Anne Rhodes with elephant

One of the highlights was getting up close and personal with the animals on our way there. Tatjana always wanted a pet elephant as a child, and now I understand why. Meet my new friend Tia.

banyon tree

This banyon tree was too tempting for a tree-climbing child at heart to resist – I actually tested a vine, and they are strong enough to hold your body weight! I half expected to see Tarzan come swinging by any minute as


we ventured into the rain forest to play with the mischievous monkeys. A rather large one jumped onto my shoulders from behind, a strange sensation when you don’t see it coming, and decided my hair needed teasing into the bed head look. Unfortunately, my camera was around my neck, so we couldn’t get any pictures of the rascal. It is fascinating to observe their social behavior, but be ware, they love to steal sunglasses, hairbands and flip flops.

Tatjana Rhodes with monkey

They hold the items ransom until you agree to feed them. Yasa, our ever protective taxi driver warned us beforehand, but that didn’t dissuade this little one from tugging on Tatjana’s skirt until she gave him a banana.

Making jewelry in Bali

However, lets keep our priorities straight here! I made sure our first stop in Ubud would be to watch the jewelry being crafted. Jewels does love her jewels – too bad my wallet is not equally enamoured.

jewelry in Bali

However, what girl (young or old) doesn’t love to play dress up? A little haggling here and there, and Tatjana and I did walk out nicely adorned.

Balinese spice plantation

On our way to see other craftsmen at work, the chef side of me got a little sidetracked with a spice plantation, but that is another whole blog post complete with coffee tasting, and the peculiar way they make it there.

wood carvings

So, unfortunately we missed seeing the stone and wood carvers at work. The intricacy is mind boggling! I’m ga ga for the doorways, but then I love Balinese architecture too. I just had to keep reminding myself about excess baggage fees and the fact it costs $27.00 to mail a 10oz t-shirt to Canada form the US these days.


We also missed the weavers making the silk, but did catch the women working their magic with batik. The shop inside was a visual feast of colors and patterns.

silk scarf

Silk won’t take up too much weight, right? Tatjana and I made out like bandits here as well – buying gorgeous scarves and a silk fish to go with my oddball collection of Christmas tree decorations.

Julie Anne and Tatjana Rhodes traveling by elephant

I have to say, there is so much more exploring I would have loved doing in Bali – we barely scratched the surface with our short ten days. In retrospect I wish we’d split our stay into different areas of the island, making it possible to see more, but then the beach has a powerful pull on this Piscesean.

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