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Birthday Week

This may not have been a milestone birthday for Jason, but it was an epic week of celebrations nonetheless. We started the week with a day in Ubud. E was at a playdate so we took M to a drool-worthy lunch, a visit to the Kupu Kupu* gift shop, and afternoon tea.

The next day we went to the Bali Wake Park with friends. The kids chose to knee board while we challenged our aging bodies with an hour of wakeboarding. It was the perfect precursor to Monday when we dragged our aching bodies to a magnificent spa for 2 1/2 hours of pure bliss… for FREE! Seriously, our friend knows someone who runs a school here for therapists at 5 star resorts worldwide. When they complete their training they need people to practice on at the resort. Forget giving her our first born, this woman deserves a kidney! It was the most indulgent day we have ever spent together, and to top it off we had a troupe of wild monkeys give us a surprise visit at our spa cabana. The weaker-hearted (or bigger-brained) may have been alarmed by a bunch of monkeys staring them down whilst they lay naked in a floral aromatherapy bath. I, on the other hand, was squealing with (naive) delight!

The next day we started immersion Bahasa language classes, and the day after that I played hooky and went on a boat ride to a nearby island for a day of hiking with my friends. I realize it was actually Jason’s birthday week, but that day I gifted him with a break from me 😉 Thursday was his real bday, and dinner at home was lovely. I haven’t mentioned our pembantu (maid), as it sounds ridiculous and elitist, but seriously we would not have water, electricity, or a (mostly) critter-free home if it wasn’t for her. She made us a celebratory Indonesian meal, and it really was a treat. The highlight was actually the beautiful fruit salad she presented, and then covered with a special “sauce” that she had made for the occasion. She very proudly showed me what was in it… mayonnaise and yogurt. I thanked her profusely, while I silently contemplated trying to rinse out the mountain of “sauce” coating the fruit. Turns out it was actually pretty good! It is not something I would chose to make EVER, and we had to keep mum with the kids about the ingredients, but in the end it was a very sweet effort and a kindness we will not forget. It didn’t hurt that I had a chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream and honeycomb topping delivered earlier that day. That was the biggest hit for sure. In true Bali style though.. I had asked the bakery to write “Selamat Ulang Tahun” on the cake, but she automatically translated it for me and so it arrived with the English version, Happy Birthday. Well it actually just said “Happy …” [indecipherable smear]. When it’s salted caramel buttercream icing no one really cares anyway! Friday we woke up to the first rain of the season. We ended birthday week with a morning swim, language classes, and dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant: Massimo.

*Kupu Kupu is a nonprofit that I had visited with the PTA earlier in the week. They provide support to local Indonesians with developmental disabilities. The crafts they make are sold locally to support the foundation. The founder, Begonia, was truly an inspiration.

**photo credits for Nusa Penida: Louise and Samantha ?