I'm back again after abso ages! And (unfortunately, once again) I'm incredibly sorry for leaving this place alone for so long.
Considering my nasty habit of disappearing off the grid every so often I must thank you all you loyal supporters for coming here so often to check back. I'm touched (and amazed) I'm still clocking visits! The past few months have been insane (not that I'm complaining) but I promise you I will make up for my disappearance with heaps of pictures from my Taiwan trip, outfit shots, behind-the-scenes of our New Paper cover feature, HVV pop-up store at Suntec and our new office! :)
In the meantime, here is a very image heavy post of Mag's birthday in Bali, a very nais stay-in-the-hotel-and-mooch kind of trip. Enjoi!
Just so everyone (particularly those who fall under the category of being born brown but would like to stay fair) aren't subjected to the same unbecoming circumstances I faced, I feel I must let you know that this is the holiday that made me lose the fairness I took four years to cultivate (keeping in mind that this was a weekender). It doesn't matter how many times or layers you slather on, SPF 130 does not work. Do not allow yourself to be coerced or emotionally blackmailed into the sun!!
Since the last time we were here we stayed at Alila Uluwatu on a cliff, we thought of trying another hotel under Alila as well by the beach :D It was a pity Dad couldn't make it though because of work but I'm crossing my fingers we'll be able to do another holiday end of this year!
Early morning brekky on board our flight to kick start a very nais, chill weekend in Bali!
On our way to the villas! :)
Mum wanted to snooze so we went down to check out the hotel's private beach and catch the sunset.
A very confusing mixture of my - very bright so get the camera out of my face but conditioned camera smile - face haha
The beach wasn't very big but because there were barely any guests down, save for a couple of horse riding ones, we practically had the entire stretch to ourselves. Very private and serene :)
I'm usually working odd hours and impatiently rushing deadlines so I barely ever get to see the sunrise or sunset back here - in fact, I can't even recall the last time I saw the sun set! So that made a very nice quiet moment (minus Mag's squealing thereafter because she was attempting to outrun a wave and it got to her and her camera).
Getting ready for dinner at one of the hotel's in-house restaurants, Cotta :)
And a little birthday surprise for the little sister after that!
We arranged for a discreet cake for Mag but this whole horde of people suddenly rushed into our villa with the cake to sing her a birthday song haha.
We opted for the concierge to set up breakfast by the cabana!
Outfit for the morning -
While mummy watched movies and Mag swam (note: I resisted/politely declined), I found myself a comfortable corner to curl up in for the rest of the afternoon complete with a stack of very sinful fries and read books downloaded on my Kindle :)
After that we went off for our spa appointment, compliments of Alila because of Mag's birthday.
They sat us at the lounge to choose from the different types of massages, scents and drinks. Opted for a light massage with Mag, rose bath and a badass Ginger and Honey Lemon Iced Tea (loved this!) before we were split into two rooms for our treatments.
Headed down for dinner at Ombak, the hotel's other restaurant but it started drizzling so we were seated at Cotta again. This time round I opted for fusion/European cuisine - Satay, Chicken with Potato Puree and Grand Marnier Souffle :)
Our last day in Bali :(
We went for breakfast at the main restaurant instead because we wanted to try the entree sized well .. everything! The variety was wider and on top of that they did small entree options of everything on the menu so guests would be able to try a little of everything.
After that, because we hadn't covered everything, we went off to explore the rest of the hotel grounds and the paddy fields that were the other side of the villas (mum got distracted and went off half way to bulk buy all the aroma therapy scents) haha
And then we retreated back to the villa for a last swim (or in my case, first swim because I was finally emotionally manipulated into it!).
Although I must (grudgingly) admit that while it lasted, it was fun :) The last time I swam with Mag must've been when I was 10!
And yes, to end off our swim session and wrap up our weekend holiday, she did jumping jacks in a bid to show everyone how happy this trip made her.
Taking our last shots, packing up and saying goodbye to this little haven :'(
And that marks the end of a brilliant weekend trip!
You might've noticed we barely did anything but hang out within the hotel grounds without sightseeing or venturing out to sample local cuisine but this was really one of the best getaways I've ever had because I got to recharge and just spend quality time with the family :) Although of course it still ranks behind Uluwatu because Dad didn't manage to make it this time!
Like Mag's reference, a lot of the time our schedules and job obligations dictate what we have to do and by when; and during times that we veer off that timeline, there's always a niggling feeling at the back of our heads which somehow always manages to hook us unwittingly to what we've left off even when we're out during our free time.
Not that I'm trying to say that I don't enjoy it (I love what I do!). But it's always nice to have a couple of days off to disconnect, go to unfamiliar territory and work out something at your own pace even if it's for a short while! It's a good pitstop because you get to extract yourself from a job that possibly demands continuity and consistency and look at it from the outside in. Good perspective and sometimes helps to rearrange your priorities :)
Haha oh dear, I'm rambling now and this is starting to sound like a solemn justification for the trip. My bad.
Back to the topic, albeit a bit late, I HOPE MY LITTLE SISTER HAD A GOOD BIRTHDAY TRIP :)
Here's to more trips with the family in the years to come! <3>3>