We’re here! We arrived three days early in Bali to prepare for our mob to join us for the big celebration after selling our house in Salt Lake and for our 45 Wedding Anniversary Celebration.
Many people have asked how we could do this. Indeed it is expensive to get here. For starters its about half way around the world for everyone! This is the story:
When we were ready to sell our family home on Augusta Way two years ago which we have owned for thirty eight years, many of our kids were devastated! It was part of their very fiber. The house they had grown up in was saturated with memories of their childhood and they wanted to be able to share it with their children. However, time goes on and we must too.
On the day we sold it, we called the kids with bad news and the good news.
Bad news: We sold the house.
Good news: We are all going to Bali with the money.
They were just fine with that!
As some of you may know, Richard and I have been to Bali several times, beginning as a stop-over for a week on a speaking tour in South East Asia about 10 years ago. We fell in love with the absolutely incredible culture, the spirituality of the people and the astonishing beauty of this part of the earth. When we were building our new house, we decided to construct it as nearly as we could with inspiration from Bali. We went back to Bali two more times on other speaking assignments to have furniture made and to fill up a container with beautiful things from Bali. It has been a labor of love as we have enjoyed integrating Bali into our new family home. Our dream was to some day share that love with the kids.
So after two years of planning, organizing, sending money to the kids for their airfare (they figured out their own flights) and arranging places to stay for a mob of 18 (our nine children and their spouses including two of our kids who are still single) all our children and their spouses managed to figure out how to leave their busy lives and their 26 kids in the capable hands of others for a week and we are finally here awaiting their arrival. Charity’s flight was delayed by two hours and she thought she was going to miss her connection but they made up an hour in flight and miraculously she made it. Whether or not her bag will make it remains to be seen.
It is a land of the balance between good and evil, offerings in front of every door, store and beach to invite the good spirits and appease the evil ones. Creativity, daily celebrations for something or other (from the ceremonies for the full moon to the ceremonies for blessing the cars) filled the air!
The new Denpasar airport gave us our first taste of the real deal….guardians and all. This guy has to look scary enough to ward off the evil spirits. There is something like this at ever doorstep in the country.
The airport, like everything else in Bali…is like no other:
Every major intersection in the country has a huge monument either to a historical event or to some magical story from their folklore, complete with a guardian of the monument 9see below)
These massive gates were literally at every turn:
The woman we rented our Villa from near Candidasa in Southern Bali was from Norway and she invited us to come a couple of days early to get things settled for our dream vacation. Her name was named Mette and what fun we had learning about her life and asking a million questions about how things worked.
She and her daughter (she is a widow and her daughter was divorced) created the Siri Mendira Villas which are truly magnificent. All eighteen of us stayed in two of the three villas (ten bedrooms) which were directly on the sea! Surreal! Thanks to Eli and Julie for finding this magical place online. It was beyond fabulous and not too expensive since it was off season!
Two gigantic tables were put together to accommodate all eighteen of us beautifully:
The living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms were to die for! All air conditioned and beautifully decorated by Siri (Mette’s daughter) who got her degree from The London School of Design.
BEAUTY! Waiting for the kids to arrive from all over creation!
Out of our minds with excitement! Incredulous that the week had finally arrived!