Honeymoon Archive

Thursday

15

August 2013

2

COMMENTS

Ayana Resort & Spa, Bali

Written by , Posted in Travel

After 5 fairly active days in Ubud, Mike and I were ready to spend the last 5 days of our honeymoon relaxing and doing absolutely nothing! Enter: AYANA Resort and Spa in Jimbaran. Obviously we had looked at plenty of pictures of Ayana online while planning our trip, but none of them prepared us for the insane beauty we saw when we finally arrived. I could easily write several posts on all the amazing things about Ayana, but I decided I’d rather just wrap it up into one (giant) post instead. That being said, I guess I should get started…

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

The image above is the view we had from the Club Lounge when we first arrived…crazy, right?!? As if that wasn’t enough to take in, the woman checking us in informed us that we had been upgraded (for free) from our Club Suite to a private Pool Villa AND that villa came a personal butler (!!!) who would drive us around the resort in a golf cart whenever we needed to go anywhere. Whoa and whoa! We stayed in a pool villa in Ubud that was beautiful in it’s own right, but the villa here at Ayana was 3200 square feet of pure, peaceful luxury.

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Villa

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Private Pool, Villa

The grounds at Ayana are expansive and the views from nearly everywhere on the property are breathtaking. The resort is built along a cliff and faces west so in addition to the lush vegetation you also get amazing views of the sparkling blue ocean and a front row seat to some truly epic sunsets.

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Sunset

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

They have multiple pools, each unique and impressive in their own right, a world-class spa, some of the best restaurants on Bali, and their cliffside Rock Bar draws visitors from all over the island. Thanks to an awesome wedding gift from my brother and his girlfriend,  Mike and I spent an entire morning enjoying scrubs and massages at the spa so I can say from personal experience that it is well worth a visit!

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Pool

The Rock Bar is definitely one of the coolest bars I will ever visit in my entire life-you have to take an inclinator to get down the side of the cliff to the bar and the line before sunset is crazy long…luckily they have a VIP line for Ayana guests so we felt super cool every time we were escorted to the front of the line. They have delicious bar snacks, fun cocktails, and sunset views that are hard to top.

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, View

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Sunset

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Rock Bar, Food

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Sunset, Rock Bar

I did have one day in the middle of our stay here that I got pretty sick with Bali Belly, but I was prepared with drugs from home and luckily it was only really bad for less than a day. Other than that it was obviously an all-around fabulous time! We spent whole days lounging at the pools, we watched the sun set from a different spot each night, we enjoyed complimentary food, beer, and wine in the Club Lounge, and we dined on delicious fresh seafood at Kisik and beautiful modern French cuisine at Dava. Ayana was the perfect spot to end our crazy wedding/honeymoon adventure; we’re still counting our lucky stars that we somehow ended up at this beautiful place with each other.

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Sunset

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Pool

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Pool

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Dava, Food

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Kisik

Ayana Resort, Spa, Bali, Kisik

Friday

9

August 2013

2

COMMENTS

Bali Halo Bike Tour

Written by , Posted in Travel

The day after our Paon Bali cooking class we woke up bright and early to leave the hustle and bustle in Ubud behind for a countryside bike tour……

Ubud

Ubud, Bali

We met some fantastic people in Ubud and when we went on the bike tour through the remote villages outside of the city with Yoga and Halo Bike we had a chance to meet even more. If you’re looking for a Bali experience that has the potential to change your perspective on a LOT of things in your life…spending time in the smaller, rural villages with the people that actually live there is a must do.

A temple along our route with Halo Bike Tours

A temple along our route with Halo Bike Tours

Ducks in the rice fields

Ducks in the rice fields

Riding through the small villages and seeing how the Balinese work, live, and interact with each other was completely eye-opening and not like anything you will find in the busy towns like Ubud, Seminyak, Legian, or Kuta. Against the backdrop of the vibrantly green forests and rice paddies you’ll find children with the brightest, most genuine smiles shouting hello as you pass, dogs and chickens roaming the streets, and men and women of all ages working in the fields or walking along the road carrying giant scythes and huge bundles on their heads.

A man and his scythe

A man and his scythe

An impressive balancing act

An impressive balancing act

Most Balinese don’t have all the modern conveniences that we do which means that they have to work much harder for many of the things that we would so easily take for granted. In Bali there are no nursing homes and they don’t have Social Security so the younger generations support the older generations in their own homes and it isn’t looked upon as a burden. The strong sense of family shared by all the Balinese people that we met was inspiring.

Halo Bike

Halo Bike

Yoga and his family were fantastic guides for the day; we visited a coffee plantation and had breakfast overlooking Mt. Batur before spending a couple hours riding through the villages. After our ride Yoga welcomed us into his home where we met more of his family and had another amazing traditional Balinese meal. Just another fantastic day on Bali!

Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay

Another delicious meal

Another delicious meal

Halo Bike

Wednesday

7

August 2013

1

COMMENTS

Paon Bali Cooking Class

Written by , Posted in Travel

As I mentioned in one of my previous Bali posts, Mike and I took a cooking class while in Ubud and it was my favorite thing that we did during our entire 10 day stay on Bali.  Paon Bali Cooking Class is run by husband and wife team Wayan and Puspa, along with the help of several others, and it is so much more than just a cooking class. The day starts with an early morning visit to the Ubud Market, followed by a visit to Wayan’s rice paddies. At the rice paddy Wayan will spend his customary 5 “Bali minutes” talking about all things rice and then the rest of the morning/early afternoon is spent at Wayan and Puspa’s home enjoying ice cold Bintangs while cooking in their outdoor kitchen. Once the cooking is complete it’s finally time to enjoy all the delicious food along with more ice cold Bintangs and great conversation with your fellow cooking classmates from all around the world.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Our hosts, Wayan & Puspa

As I mentioned above, our day started very early with an 8am pick-up from our hotel. We first visited the Ubud Market and then headed out of town to visit Wayan’s rice paddy and learn a little about the importance of rice on Bali. Wayan was so sweet and so funny and between his smile, his stories and his commentary you couldn’t help but fall in love with him. Everything here was so GREEN, it was really a beautiful place to see.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Rice paddies outside Ubud, Bali

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Rice paddies outside Ubud, Bali

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Wayan tells us about his rice

After our intro to rice we headed to Wayan and Puspa’s beautiful home where we were greeted with refreshing frozen lime drinks and entertained by more colorful commentary courtesy of the husband and wife duo. Puspa didn’t let us rest very long though…we had a Balinese feast to prepare!

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Freshly squeezed lime drinks

Puspa and her team led us to the open air kitchen and we got right to work chopping vegetables and “blending” the ingredients for some of the sauces. Here at Paon Bali we used the “Bali blender” to blend our ingredients for the Base Gede (Bumbu Kuning, basic yellow sauce) and the peanut sauce. I think I’ll stick to my Cuisinart when I try to recreate these dishes at home…

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Just a few of our fresh ingredients-garlic, shallots, chilies, lemon grass, turmeric, ginger, potatoes, galangal, and tempeh

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Coriander seeds, black and white peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Puspa shows us how it’s done

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Mike chops away

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Into the Bali Blender it goes…

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

The Bali Blender in action

While we each took turns on the Bali Blender, Puspa took us over to the cooking area and showed us the process of making their very own coconut oil.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

The stove

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Coconut oil in the making

Once our ingredients were all chopped and blended it was time to start making the magic happen. We headed over to our gas burners and Puspa led us through the steps of creating a Balinese feast. We finished cooking our base gede as it’s a key ingredient in many of the recipes and then continued with a clear mushroom & vegetable soup (Kuah Wong or Sup Jamur) followed by the chicken in coconut curry (Be Siap Mesanten or Kare Ayam). The smells going on in the kitchen at this point were way beyond mouthwatering.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Ingredients for the base gede

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Base gede in progress

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

At work in the kitchen

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Clear Mushroom & Vegetable Soup

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Chicken in Coconut Curry

Next up we made some chicken satays on bamboo sticks (Sate Siap or Sate Lilit Ayam) that were grilled over coconut shell chips followed by our tuna wrapped in banana leaves (Pepesan be Pasih or Pepes Ikan).

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Chicken Satay grilling over coconut chips

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

The ingredients for our tuna stuffed banana leaves

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Mixing it all together…

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Ready to roll

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

All wrapped up

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Ready to be steamed

We finished off our cooking with the deep fried tempe in sweet soy sauce (Tempe Me Goreng or Tempe Kering) and mixed together the coconut and snake bean salad (Jukut Urab) and vegetables in peanut sauce (Kacang Me Santok or Gado Gado) and then it was time to feast! We had 14 people in our cooking class and there was still food left over after everyone’s first pass. It was the best meal I had during our entire 10 days in Bali…an Indonesian flavor party in my mouth.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Cooking the tempeh

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Now…we eat!

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Chicken in Coconut Curry

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Snake Bean Salad

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Steamed Tuna Wrapped in Banana Leaves

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

The Feast

To finish off our meal, Puspa made us a boiled banana in palm sugar syrup dessert (Kolak Biu or Kolak Pisang). With coconut cream and jackfruit thrown in it was the perfect sweet ending to our wonderful day.

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

I never knew you could boil bananas…they were delicious!

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

Boiled bananas with palm sugar, coconut milk, and jackfruit

With full bellies our group began to part ways but I know for a fact that this is an experience none of us will ever forget. If you visit Bali this is a must-do activity….people, culture, and amazing food…what’s not to love?! They will pick you up from anywhere on the island and you definitely don’t have to be good at cooking to enjoy the day you’ll have with Wayan and Puspa so that really leaves no excuses. I’ll let you know when I get around to attempting to recreate some of these dishes…it should be pretty interesting!

Lion + Maven | Paon Bali Cooking Class

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