Ubud : day one

11 Aug


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We arrived in Bali late at night- via Malaysia Airlines no less! We booked the tickets long before any of the accidents occurred. This leg of the journey was causing me some serious anxiety but it ended up being a very enjoyable flight. Sure, I had to take a xanax and have two glasses of chardonnay to calm my nerves but we landed safely! The first stop on our Bali tour was three nights in Ubud. We arranged for a pick up at the airport through our villa. Our driver, Nyomen (who happened to be the sweetest man on the planet) greeted us with a big smile and a sign that read “Glodney” – I was still having a hard time remembering that I was now officially a Glodney!

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After an hour’s drive we arrived at Rivermoon Villa, our home for the next three nights. The villa is part of a seven home compound called, Desa Bulan located in the village of Lodtunduh- just outside the center of Ubud. I found the it on a fellow blogger’s site, Hither & Thither, when researching places to stay in Bali. Brian and I both wanted to stay somewhere intimate rather than a large hotel. We certainly chose right because this place knocked our socks off the minute we walked in- even in the dark of the night. The villa is owned by an Australian couple (she has a cool interior design blog) who split their time between Bali & Australia. Not a bad life, eh? You can tell how much they love the villa because every detail is perfection, from the jaw dropping outdoor bathrooms to the romantic canopy beds. After oohing and ahhing over the place for a bit, we ordered a pizza to be delivered (I was shocked that this was an option!) and crawled into bed.

When I awoke in the morning, I popped out of bed like a kid on Christmas to see the villa in the light of day.  Hands down…one of the most gorgeous homes I have ever stayed in. In the morning light I could now see what surrounded us-vibrant green rice paddies as far as the eye could see. It was the most peaceful place I have ever been. Bali had stolen my heart and I had been there for less than 24 hours.







One of the many perks of the villa (other than the view!) was a staff of three that came into our place each morning and prepared us breakfast. They were such a lovely group. I couldn’t get over how warm the Balinese people were. After a delicious breakfast (eggs & fruit for me and banana pancakes for Brian) we decided to take a bike ride into town and explore. The staff generously offered us motorbikes but we kindly declined and instead opted for the bicycles- they seemed much more our speed.

And off we went to explore central Ubud! We peddled through the narrow and windy roads as cars and motorbikes zipped by us…it was a tad terrifying especially when we had to go down steep hills and I discovered my brakes were useless. What was supposed to be quick 10 minute trip somehow turned into an hour. Clearly, we were lost. We even found ourselves stuck in a rice paddy. Oh the looks we got from the local farmers as we made our way through! They were rather confused. By the time we made it to the heart of town we were both covered in dirt and sweat. But that didn’t stop us from exploring. Ubud is known as the cultural center of Bali because it is home to many artisans. The stores are filled with beautiful wood & stone carvings, paintings and crafts. In addition to art the town is filled with cafes, temples, clothing stores and yoga studios. I fell hard and fast for Ubud- it offered all my favorite things! I could honestly see myself living there.

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We stopped for lunch at a little Balinese cafe and ordered two spicy fish dishes with rice and vegetables.  We decided to go as light possible because we had big plans for dinner at Naughty Nuri’s that evening, a favorite of Anthony Bourdain when in town and famous for its ribs and martini’s, something Brian had been looking forward to for weeks.



After a lazy lunch we braved the roads once again and peddled back to our villa for an afternoon swim in the gorgeous salt water pool. It was during this swim I made Brian promise we would come back to Bali and stay at this villa again. If only I could figure out how to split my time between Los Angeles and Bali.



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After a few hours by the pool we cleaned up and headed out to dinner at Naughty Nuri’s. Anthony Bourdain was right…this place kicks ass. The dirty martini was the best I have ever had, which surprised me considering I don’t equate Bali with a killer dirty martini. Oh, and the ribs…to die for!

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Bali driving tour / water temple / Balinese cuisine up next!



17 Responses to “Ubud : day one”

  1. erin haslag (@erinhaslag) August 11, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    The green in that grass looks unreal! Like Kate and Brian Photoshopped on top of it green! And love that the best dirty martini you’ve had was in Bali. Completely unexpected!

    • kate365til August 12, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Isn’t the color of that grass insane?! Especially against that blue sky. It’s seriously magical.

  2. Lonifoundherself August 11, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    This looks like a fairy tale. I’m so happy for you guys. 90% happy and 10% jealous.


    • kate365til August 12, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      HA! That’s how I felt when you went to Peru!

  3. righteousbruin9 August 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Definitely looks like the consummate romantic getaway. Looking forward to the rest of Ubud-and other Bali locales.

    • kate365til August 12, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      It really was such a romantic setting. More Bali posts coming later this week!

  4. mybrightlife August 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    Fabtaculous!!! Can’t wait for more Bali! Looks like the place to go.

    • kate365til August 12, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      You seriously must go at some point. It’s such a beautiful place!

      • mybrightlife August 13, 2014 at 12:35 am #

        Friends are heading across next month to take part in a few yoga type events and explore craft. I have passed on the link! Thx

  5. Miss Lynzie August 12, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    I mean, really! I want to go to Bali. I don’t want to fly there, though. I kind of just want to wake up there somehow.

    • kate365til August 12, 2014 at 8:51 am #

      HA! I felt the same way. Hence my consumption of xanax and white wine on our flight:)

  6. Danielle August 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    AMAZING. It looks like you used backdrops in about all of those photos 😉

  7. Amy August 13, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    I thought that those rice paddies were a green screen for a few moments! What vibrancy!
    It sounds as though Ubud had your heart as soon as you landed 🙂 and after reading this I can understand why.
    Can’t wait to read about the rest of your time in Bali 🙂

    • kate365til August 13, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      You’re right…Bali had me at hello:)

  8. kristin @ W [H] A T C H August 13, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    bali is incredible! can’t wait to live vicariously through your travels. uluwatu is one of the most magical places i’ve ever been.

  9. amelie88 August 19, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    The pictures of you and Brian in front of the rice paddies look photoshopped, it’s that unbelievably gorgeous!

  10. jen August 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    This is a place I’d love to visit! Yaay for blog tips, eh?! Did you have any issues with communication/directions due to language? I think I need to get more international trips under my belt to not worry about that kind of thing. Love seeing the photos! Gorgeous!

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