Friday, April 20, 2012

Progress Shot and Some Sketches

Progress shot and some sketches I did between painting session. Those sketches are for fun and also study for perhaps future painting. 

Heidi Alamanda - Travel Edition: Episode 2 of Beautiful Ubud

Before leaving Jakarta, we made a stop in Bali. Originally, we planned to stay there for a week but then we thought one week would make us feel so rushed there. Well, we made a good decision of staying there for two weeks. I think even our two-week-stay wasn't enough to explore the entire Ubud. I suppose you could do it if your traveling style is merely going to point A and B without much looking the surrounding:)

Ubud is my favorite town in Bali. It is a small town with a right mix for me. It has plenty of cute shops to entertain my eyes, interesting art museums, good foods, pretty scenery and  greenery and pretty mild temperature. I could walk everywhere there, which made me so incredibly happy. One other thing that's enchanting about Ubud is the energy from the town itself. Bali always has this indescribable energy for me and Ubud is especially stronger. Some people complain that Ubud has become way too chaotic and they would love to see Ubud unpolluted by the commercialization and completely serene for their tranquil getaway. I personally find a good balance between preserving traditional feeling among those lined up shops.

Ubud Rejects Big Bus

One negative aspect from the booming tourism after the Eat Pray Love movie is those big tourist buses. Those buses are just too big on Ubud's small main roads and they cause traffic. I think business owners there aren't too happy about there either. Those humongous tour buses would park at some shops' tiny parking space and covered their business' signs while the tourists were given time to stroll around for an hour or so. I truly hope there will be a good solution for that in the future.

Our room got this beautiful rice paddy view. Every morning, we would wake up and open the curtain the enjoy the view or sit on the balcony just immersing ourselves with this beautiful feeling. Even just thinking of that again just made me say...Aaaah. At night, we sometimes heard gamelan music from distant. Beautiful sound that probably came from the nearby village of Nyuh Kuning

It was also great to have people prepared our breakfast every morning. We got to sit facing this beautiful view of garden while having our fried noodle or banana pancakes with a pot of hot tea everyday before starting our day. Besides booking our room ahead, I pretty much didn't have things-to-do list. I only knew that we would see more art museums, tried some places to eat, and hopefully at least went to one spa. We never had a clear plan each day and that was fun with less pressure. We actually managed to see three art museums; Puri Lukisan, Neka, and Arma, got spa treatment at three different spas, got some shoppings

Nasi Campur at Warung Semesta
We tried to eat at different Balinese Warungs while we were there. Western foods aren't in my list:) You would see many Warung signs along the road. Warung in Indonesia was originally synonymous with a very small and simple food offering cheap affordable food. Nowadays, people also attach Warung on their more upscale places. Warung is just an adopted name to point out that the place serves Indonesian menu. Some of them are still affordable though not cheap by Indonesian standard, but some of them are basically an upscale cafe.

I explored variety of Nasi Campur (Mixed rice) at different places. Nasi Campur is rice served with a sampler of different dishes. Each Warung/Restaurant has different mix. One Warung may serve  rice with a mix of chicken satay, corn fritter, fried tempe/tofu with curried vegetable, but other Warung would have different sampler. DH likes Indonesian food and he is always enthusiastic trying out food that he's never had before, so finding food for him wasn't a problem at all when we werethere. I also had young coconut in a shell frequently while I was there, because they were so cheap ( a little bit over $1 for the whole shell) and I got to enjoy scraping all those juicy young coconut meats. The problem with having young coconut was feeling so full afterward that I couldn't try out other foods. Tough option for my explorer tummy:)

I will write more of my visit to art museums next time.

Young Coconut! at Warung Semesta

Slurpy Young Coconut for My Obsession:)

Our Breakfast View

Grateful to enjoy this yummy breakfast and beautiful view

View from Our Balcony

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heidi Alamanda - Travel Edition: Episode 1 :)

I haven't had a chance to update this blog with stories from my travel after my arrival. Unpacking, cleaning, and all other chores related activities, then my hands were so itchy to develop this idea I put on my sketch book not too long ago. I worked on the drawing for two days and just started the underpainting stage.

I have to admit that aside from doing all chores after travel and getting back into my daily art groove, I also got this nagging travel blues. I'm sure it's a common experience for some people when they return from their great vacation. We had a smooth travel from our departure until arrival in Jakarta Airport. The rough part was being in the plane for over 24 hours. The immigration was really quick and we got all our suitcases in one piece...yay! I was really exhausted but so happy to be back. Seeing the smiles of the people and hearing people chattering in Indonesian made me happy. The traffic on the way to my parents was quite light and the temperature that day was mild. It was overall a relatively smooth journey.

My parents were ecstatic to see me, so that was nice...hehe. My fatigued body stopped complaining once I saw my parents and smelled the wonderful fragrance of beef rendang on the dining table. It was good to be home. We stayed in Jakarta for three weeks. Nothing much to tell about Jakarta since it mostly involved catching up with my family. I got a chance to get to know my two active nephews, taste some Indonesian food and snacks, visit some fun and luxurious malls. Malls in Jakarta are fun because they're the place where most people in this hectic city choose to spend their leisure time.

We got out from the city and flew to Bali for two weeks. We stayed entirely in Ubud area to chill. We took some tours on our previous visits and this time we didn't feel like being stuck in the car for most of our time just to get to other attraction spot. Our stay was really really pleasant that it felt like a dream whenever I thought about it. There was a little annoyance at the beginning but everything was smooth afterward. Reminder to myself in the future: always take the print out of your reservation with you because it sure was handy to straighten out the situation:)

More stories coming up soon...