Bali, Indonesia- Love Bali!!!

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The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

 

…just a few things to do on your trip to Bali.

By Abby Berman Mazenod

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

The perfect beaches of Nusa Dua

Bali is beautiful- the people, the culture and of course, the island itself with it’s beautiful beaches and forests. Looking back at these pictures from a few weeks ago, all I want to do is race back and stay forever! It is a truly magical place.

Though, if I’m going to be honest, most of our 10 day trip was lounging at the beach, drinking, eating super delicious food, and pampering ourselves ($8 USD- for an hour long massage!!!), we did set aside a few days for adventure and exploring! And in Bali, there is definitely adventure to be had!

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

The perfect garden home of the Luwaks

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Our “teaser” coffee and tea tasting

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Luwak coffee!!!

 

Our first stop away from the beaches and shopping was getting in some tea and coffee tasting! Being from  California, I get to do a lot of wine tasting. My husband doesn’t drink very much wine (he’s a whiskey guy), so this excludes him from a lot of the fun of tasting, smelling and experiencing all of the flavors in a wine tasting. My husband definitely drinks coffee and tea though! We had so much fun sampling the flavors of Bali!

A cool part of this tasting was that what they call the “teaser” is actually free! 12 delicious unique flavors of yummm for free! You can purchase additional cups of tea and coffee for super cheap, and they offer what is called “Luwak Coffee“. The full description is in the photo above, but basically… the coffee berries are eaten by the luwak (a cute little nocturnal mammal that picks the richest coffee berries), then he digests them, then the scat is harvested, coffee berries are cleaned, cooked, ground, and then put into boiling water to drink as rich delicious coffee! Weird, huh? We had to try the Luwak coffee… it was actually really yummy!

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

The lovely friend we met who guided us through our tasting

 

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Our little monkey friend at the Monkey Forest & Sanctuary

 

Another place that was worth the trip was the Monkey Forest & Sanctuary in Ubud. This place is awesome! First of all, it’s gorgeous! The monkeys here are sacred and protected, so they are very comfortable with being around humans. This honestly could have been the most fun we had on our entire trip! When you first walk in, and throughout the park, there are banana stands that sell bunches of bananas to feed the monkeys. I think we went back 6 or 7 times to buy more. It was so much fun feeding them! Some of the big guys were a little aggressive (they will just climb up your leg and tear into your bag if they think you are hiding some goods) but for the most part, the monkeys are very friendly!

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Journey through the Monkey Forest & Sanctuary

 

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

The streets of Ubud-fun shopping and dining!

 

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Rice Terraces, Ubud

The Rice Terraces in Ubud, are another sight to inspire. Because I live in a very dry place, I have never seen how rice grows. It is fascinating! You can climb and explore these beautiful terraces, and even have lunch or a drink at one of the cafe’s built into them.

 

 

 

There are so many Temples in Bali-we just felt that we needed to visit one.  Most of them are in use, so it was important to wear the right attire (they gave us sarongs to wear), and be respectful.

 

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

2002 Bali Bombings Memorial, Kuta

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

Super cool “Circle-K” in Kuta!

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

The streets of Kuta

Kuta was so much fun! Though it has been rated as one of the worst places in Bali, we loved it! It is hectic, exciting and alive. It was a game just trying to not get run over by a moped or car. 🙂 There are excellent touristy shops, and lots of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. When shopping there, haggling is a must!

 

 

The Beautiful Bali, www.tracingabby.com

 

There were so many things that we didn’t take the time to experience in Bali… waterfalls, hikes, more temples, more beaches, more monkeys… so we can’t wait to go back! If you plan on going soon, enjoy your adventure!

Best wishes!

xoxo-Abby

www.TracingAbby.com

A Weekend in Tokyo-An easy guide to an amazing city!

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A Weekend in Tokyo

A Weekend in Tokyo-Abby Berman Mazenod, www.tracingabby.com

 

By Abby Berman Mazenod

So my husband and I just left Tokyo, and my heart is breaking. This city might be our favorite place in the world! There is so much adventure and excitement to be had, and it is such a young and alive environment. We can’t wait to go back! But for now… I’ll just let you know what you must do if you have a few days to spend there.

 



Takeshita Street-Harajuku

This is the first place we stopped because I was overly excited to see some “Harajuku Girls”. It was packed and hectic! Everywhere we turned there were super yummy crepes and icecream cones-it was basically heaven. This was definitely worth the short trek. I was expecting to see masses of cute Japanese girls dressed like life size dolls, and while that wasn’t really the case, there were quite a few girls dressed up.  This is a great place for shopping and people watching! Just take the Harijuku exit off the JR metro line, and you will be let out right in front of the Takeshita Street gate!

 


Owl Cafe-Harajuku

I was desperate to go to a themed cafe while we were in Tokyo! It was a little overwhelming with so many choices… cat cafes, dog cafes, anime character cafes, Disney character cafes, Sanrio… You get the idea. We finally settled on the Owl Cafe in Harajuku. It’s just a minute walk from Takeshita Street. This place was fantastic! After a tasty drink in the cafe, you can go into the owl room to hold, pet, and even play with the owls! It is so cool!!!  Just make sure you make a reservation the day before… they get booked up fast.

 


Shibuya

Holy cow! This is by definition organized chaos. The Shibuya neighborhood is known for having the craziest crosswalk ever… And it is totally nuts! Right outside of Shibuya Station is the intersection. We went to the second floor of Starbucks to check it out in action… And although it is stressful, it is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss. This neighborhood also has tons of awesome restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities stacked up on each other. It’s a fun place to spend your whole day!

 


Shin juku

This neighborhood is awesome! It is a night owl’s dream! This is where tons of bars and restaurants are, cool Japanese arcades for adults and youth, and the exciting red light district. The lights in this neighborhood are explosive, and great for picture taking!

 


The Robot Show and Restaurant

Within the Shinjuku district, is the Robot Restaurant/Cabaret/Dinner Theater. This show will blow your mind! We knew we wanted to see it after watching the Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Tokyo episode… It was everything we could hope it to be and more! While waiting to go into the show, you start out in a bar that has walls covered in mirrors and twinkling lights with a robot band serenading you. The show itself is out of this world! There are lights and explosions and drums  and costumed dancers and of course robots! You’ve got to see this one for yourself.

 


Eat some real Ramen

…yummmm. I also got a poké bowl (deconstructed sushi bowl) that was delish!




Before you go… Check out a 7-11!

This sounds completely obsurd… I know. But my friend Dylan, who lived in Tokyo for a few years, told me to do this. At quick glance you might think that it is a normal 7-11… But it is waaaay better! They have fancy salads, sushi platters, bento boxes, noodle bowls, and my new obsession… onigiri rolls. They are basically rice balls, wrapped in seaweed with some kind of sushi-like goodness in the middle. They are the perfect on-the-go healthy snack! Here is a great guide to onigiri flavors


My husband and I are really going to miss this city. The people are so kind and friendly, and always willing to try to help despite the language barrier. The streets and subways are so clean and streamline. The food and sightseeing are incredible, and this is also one of the youngest, most alive places we have ever been. I cannot wait to go back and hope you will get the chance to love it as much as we do!

 

xoxo-Abby

www.tracingabby.com

 

 

 

A weekend in Tokyo-an easy guide to an amazing city! www.tracingabby.com