Day three for us -we have been happily hiding out in our villa, slowly, slowly acclimating to the time, the food, the villa with its luxuries and limitations, the weather (sunny, 80′s – perfect), with no desire to explore beyond our villa walls yet. Agung took us grocery shopping (the big market where, as you’d expect, the local goods are inexpensive and the imported luxuries will be a splurge for us) the first day and I’ve been trying to make most of our meals here. With a small 2-burner countertop stove as our only cooking device, it takes a bit of ramp-up time. No coffee maker, just a coffee press. No microwave to warm up food. No oven. No toaster. So I grilled toast in our one frying pan. Fried eggs in the same pan. Fresh papaya, pineapple, bananas. Mangos, come to find out, aren’t in season. Pout. I’ve managed to make a vegetable stir-fry with rice and spaghetti for dinner so far…I am confident that in time meals will become more vibrant as I learn about the local vegetables, the spices…
Mornings have been like this: I wake up at 5:30, try to stay in bed, in the dark, as long as possible so I can shift (says my sleep-scientist wife). I ignore her advice because the morning is calling out to me and I take my laptop to The Porch (I’ve decided it has earned the Capital Letters distinction) to get a little writing done before everyone wakes up. I’ve mastered the coffee press, so I sip and write, utter bliss.
Kai wakes up next, around 7am. She discovered a gazebo-like structure in the corner of the garden our first day here, and she promptly dubbed it her castle. It’s actually called a Bali bale, a place for meditation or small ceremony. It’s the first thing she visits in the morning. Megan wakes up and we hold down our daughter long enough to get some grub in her before she’s off to jump into the pool. She’s a water bug just like her mommy, so Megan is the next one in the pool and they spend all morning there. Eventually I join them to do my set of aqua therapy exercises. The pool is the most perfect pool we’ve ever swam in. Komar, the young man who takes care of the grounds, cleans the pool every morning so it needs very little chlorine. And that’s been our mornings, so far.
Included in the cost of our stay, Agung will drive us into Ubud twice a day. Today, while we were swimming in the morning, I said, “I think it’s time.”
“Casa Luna for lunch?” Megan asked.
“You read my mind.”
Casa Luna opened right around the first time I came to Bali. Janet, an Australian, married a Ketut, a Balinese, and they opened one of Ubud’s first (if not the first) bakery and cafe. It was very unique. You could get incredible baked goods and a good capucino, as well as Indonesian food AND pizza and pasta there. At night they showed movies in a big room with couches and pillows. It was a traveler’s home away from home and both Megan and I spent quite a bit of time there. Today, Agung drove us there for lunch. Getting our first glimpse of Ubud was thrilling and crazy (the changes) at the same time. Gratefully, Casa Luna looked practically the same. Ketut, the owner, was there. He said I looked familiar and I told him that I met him and his wife twenty years ago. He said, “Back then we were crowded every night. Now, there are so many other dining options.” He told that the movie room is gone. “People can watch videos from their rooms now.” But the ambviance – open air seating area with comfy chairs surrounded by gardens – was the same. Our nasi campur (rice with mini sides of meat, veggies) was sublime. The croissants….to die for.
It was our first peek at Ubud. We went home so Kai could get a nap, craving for more of Ubud. In time…