|a little drug store on the outskirts of Ubud - love stopping at these regular stores to geek out on packaging and daily-life items like hair brushes, pans and beverages|
|A little writing desk and flower arrangement outside of our room in the PuriSaraswati Bungalows, in Ubud, rice terraces just outside of the city|
|Pushpa, the most incredible cooking instructor|
|Pushpa's class & helpers, visit to the Ubud market before cooking lesson|
|Ubud market moment|
|the most delicious lunch of our entire trip, made at Pushpa's! steamed coconut and vegetables, tempeh skewers, yellow curried vegatbles, red and white rice, green beans with coconut shreds|
|Monkey forest - this little guy turned his head right after the photo and jumped on me and my camera as I fell to the ground like a little kid! Such a cheeky little thing. I was fine :)|
Puri Saraswati Bungalows
We loved this little complex of guest houses located right off the main drag and in the former palace gardens -- It was crazy affordable and had a charming pool, beautiful fountains, old world furniture and little nooks and crannies to explore. It was quiet because it was tucked behind a main street, a little oasis amidst the busy streets. We ate banana coconut pancakes every morning and drank fresh fruit juices while journaling and taking pictures. I loved this little hotel!
Paon Bali Cooking Class
This day-long cooking course was the highlight of our entire trip in Bali. Pushpa, the instructor, is a comedienne as well as an amazing home cook, full of humor and culinary wisdom. We made the best meal and chatted with some nice friends and learned a ton about traditional Balinese food -- which by the way is so full of coconut and vegetables, it's a vegetarian's paradise! After an informative visit to the local market, I was in heaven cooking and generally blissing out on the peanut sauce (roasted over medium heat with extra peanut oil for earthy flavor), coconut milky-vibrant curries and tempeh as I've never had it before -- fried and crisped and served with chiles as well as skewered and smoked on the perfect kabob grill. This class is the highest rated on trip advisor for a reason and should not be missed!
The Monkey forest is a sacred temple complex with 100s of long-tailed macaque monkeys living on the grounds and within the surrounding jungle. There are no bars or moats between you and large tribes of cute (and generally sweet) little friends. It's quite something to watch them all interact and socialize -- lots of grooming, eating and teasing each other. The guards help keep the monkeys from getting to frisky with visitors, but while off on our own, I did have an encounter with one who wanted to investigate my big, black shiny camera. I don't blame him, but I did get a little shaken up. This place is truly special, a wonder to behold both the architecture and beautiful grounds, and the mischievous monkeys who rule the territory.