It’s the beginning and the end. The trip is coming to an end sadly, today is our last part day before leaving, but we’re not out of here first thing in the morning, we have a little bit of time.
Breakfast as always is really pleasant and we’ve got our system down, knowing exactly what we want.
We still have some time until 11 o’clock when we’re off to the airport, so we hit up the amazing pool and got the most out of morning. I can’t think of a better way to waste away a few last hours than this.
We pack up and drop our bags off at the front desk and check out. We like we’ve been told ask for a Blue Bird taxi to the airport and it’s not long until it shows up. This time it takes a longer route along a toll bridge. This costs us more miles and the toll, but it shorter time wise, so I guess it’s worth it? The bridge is pretty neat in that it arcs out over the water bypassing the whole city in one go.
Check-in was a bit slow again stuck behind people repacking bags at the front of the line trying to get in under the per bag limit… It’s hot and humid.
Past the check-in desk the airport is air conditioned and pleasant. We enjoyed a bit of food at the Hard Rock café since there weren’t a ton of interesting options, and it was the most expensive meal we ate our entire time in Bali.
From here our uneventful flight took us to Taipei, Taiwan, and then after a short-ish layover home and a ride on the flyaway bus and an Uber. We tried to make the best of our time walking around airports and napping.
Going back through security in the States we had a horrid time, first my passport was flagged by the automated system and then I was sent to a line that moved painfully slow, Jenn stuck with me overheating. Then when we finally get to the head of the line the Immigration officer tells me that it flagged my passport because someone in the UK with the same passport number as mine lost their passport. I’m not sure why that matters since mine is a US passport, but apparently it makes me suspicious. So from now on with this passport, which I have until 2021, I need to fill out the paper form and skip the automated system. Jenn was like you should get a new passport, but honestly the new automated system is slower than just filling out the paper form in the end. Plus I’m rather fond of my passport full of visas from around the world.
In our Uber home our driver mentioned in a surprised voice that there was a goat going for a walk. And in my brain I was like “yea, there is with a couple of dogs” then “wait this is California, that’s not normal!” I had gotten so used to the sight in India.
At home Kiema wasn’t waiting for us. I’m kind of glad of that. We have a week until we need to drive up to Williams to pick her up from Jennifer’s mother. That gives us time to rest and get our life back to normal before adding a puppy back into the mix. But at the same time I miss the little girl. I really can’t express enough how grateful I am to have to have the Pam’s support with the puppy, she’s been so incredibly helpful already spending lots of time with us while Kiema is too small to leave alone or send to day camp, and then drove her all the way back to Williams in Jenn’s car my herself to watch her for 3 more weeks. We’re so in debt to her kindness.
Over the week we had some time to reflect on the trip, and figure out how to answer people’s questions about how was the trip.
I think my favorite answer is to say the India we experienced was one of extremes. Extreme social and economic disparity, extreme optimism, extreme colors and smells, and extreme flavors. Nothing seems to come in half measures in India. The wedding was an experience we’ll never forget from the moment we landed to the moment we took off from Lucknow. I like to joke you have to be seriously committed to a person to get married in India; it isn’t for a faint of heart. And that I can’t have single Indian friends anymore, they’ve gotta be married or acquaintances, I don’t have another Indian wedding in me! Joking aside I’m really happy for Maneesh and really can’t wait to see him back in the states and kind of debrief. Plus I really can’t want to meet his new wife Sharmila without all the pressure and chaos of the wedding.
Bali was amazing, and I can see why the Aussies flock here. The weather is the same all year round, wonderful. There is interesting culture, great diving and beaches, the exchange rate favorable, and we had great service the whole time. The problem is the distance. It takes nearly 24hrs of flying to get there from Los Angeles. That and we have Belize and Mexico 4-5hr nonstop from Los Angeles, and the rest of the Caribbean with a short layover in less than 16 all the way down to Aruba. A lot of the time we were on Gili Air I was thinking how similar it was to Caye Caulker. I’m glad we went, it was a great new experience, and we were already that side of the world.
Back to the real world and release year at that, meaning I will likely find it hard to find time to travel until next Holiday Season.