Bali, Sakala Resort, Benoa

Dec 14th we said farewell to Griffin again, leaving him in capable friendly company, and set off for the airport at lunch time to board our flight to Sydney. Our plane ran late and we arrived with 15minutes to get from our domestic connection through international security and board our flight to Denpasar…and luckily that plane was also running 20minutes late!


We arrived safe and caught a cab to the Sakala Resort, which took about an hour and arrived to our room just after 11pm. A long day.

After breakfast on Friday morning we went for a swim, explored the empty resort and wandered down the street. Isabella and I indulged in mani-pedis and nail polish, and Kieran had a massage, for $40 total we were stoked. We hadsome delishous spring rolls and Balinese cooked duck and pork dishes for a late lunch/early dinner and headed back to The pool to escape the late afternoon 30deg heat. Yes, we know, it’s not that hot, but we just came from California winter.



From Saturday to Tuesday, Cameron, Mary Anne, Madi and Mica joined us for a Bali weekend, staying 500 metres down the road at the Novotel.

Our resort was below 10% occupancy…so the Sakala has been a frustrating place to stay with most staff on unpaid leave. The breakfast restaurant was closed so we had to cross the street to eat where the usually only do lunch and dinner and for the first four days was limited to four options of rice dishes and a continental buffet of bread, two cereals, two fruits, two juices, Bircher muesli and salad. None of the pool jacuzzis work and there’s no one to fix them, we had luke warm water and needed someone to fix it, the the power kept turning off on our floor for a day for no reason, and although they have are with full menus everywhere including happy hour and daily specials throughout, none were available, even pizzas, nor tea and coffee… unless we cross the busy street to the restaurant. Very disappointing for a 5-star resort. But… we spent a lot of time at the Novotel where they had everything available, and got to know a few locals.

We did the usual tourist things like get massages, eat out, go to the markets, Cameron convinced us to go look at the volcano and we had saw the beautiful scenery, lots of rice fields, but the volcano was in rain clouds so we didn’t see it really.

After complaining to the hotel, we found new additions to the menu which were safe for Isabella and what you would expect in any 5-star buffet: of bacon, eggs, sausages…etc. yummy!

We are going to do some more relaxing for two days and then on Friday we will fly to Jakarta for Christmas, and we wish everyone the best Christmas and good company.

Talk to you soon!


Universal studios, Hollywood to home.

December 9th, we checked into our new and improved hotel in Universal studios before 9am and headed to the theme park for another full day of movies, 4D experiences, rides and characters.

The next day was spent leisurely brunching before spending the afternoon at LAX airport for our 8pm flight home. Isabella spent about 5hours in the play area having a great time. We arrived home around lunch time yesterday to gifts from our house sitters, a table full of mail and were all in bed by 7pm.

Today we have done our washing, unpacked and repackage our bags, hung up a shade sail for Griffin, gave him a bath, cooked some gingerbread for the neighbours, and bug sprayed the house for summer. Tomorrow we will be heading to the airport around 11:30am.


After stopping by the park, we boarded the Pacific Surfliner train to view the beautiful coastline from San Diego to Anaheim. We were pretty exhausted from our big day so we got delivery for dinner.

Our day in Disney Adventure Park was just as could be expected…with 4D movies, musicals, rollecoasters, spinning rides, dancing cars and meeting characters. The next day however… we went to the otherwise… Disneyland, for more of the above, a lunch with comedians, Christmas parades and rides, until Isabella decided she wanted to go on another boat ride so we waited and waited for over 30minutes in line and she fell asleep just before boarding, no matter how much we tried to keep her awake! (6pm). We went back to Adventure Park to see the water fountain light show and back to Disneyland but they canceled the fireworks and sprayed everything with pumpkin spice scented soap foam (they call it snow).

Thenext day we went back to see the other half of Disneyland before catching an Uber to Los Angeles.

We had amazing Mexican food for dinner and watched the smoke clouds of the LA fires. We had a terrible night in the bed and breakfast hostel with super high ratings so we left early the next morning to a new hotel.

San Diego

By Friday, the magnitude of the ancient Grand Canyon had dried out our skin and we had grown weary of the extra fees and expenses of the tourist trap corporate run village we had called home for five nights, and happy to be heading towards humidity. We saw lots of mules, mule deer, birds and elk within 5 metres while at the Grand Canyon, catching the train back to Williams for some Mexican food and rough night sleep before heading to the airport for Saturday’s flying day.

I nearly lost my phone en route to the airport, but thankfully Flagstaff airport Staff let Kieran use the phone and managed to track down the driver who was on her way back anyway!

We arrived in San Diego in time for a hotel dinner and finally a good night sleep for all.

Sunday was spent at the San Diego Zoo after a bit of an unplanned hike to get there. First up were the pink flamingos, then onto a tour bus around the zoo. Elephants, tigers, polar bears, topir, gazelles and monkeys… it took all day to walk around most of it but we still didn’t get to see it all, even with the cable car to get from one side to the other. We ended the day with a dip in the cold pool of the hotel and some ice cream before bed.

Monday, we bussed downtown and walked around the harbour along the water’s edge, went on a cruise, walked some more to have lunch in Seaport Village…finally found the only decent coffee here outside of Starbucks, even if it came in a polystyrene cup, very exciting! We ended the day with more trolley/tram and bus rides back to a game of chess and delicious hotel dinner!

Tomorrow we catch the surf liner train to Anaheim. We hope everyone is well. Our fingers are crossed for Melbourne’s rain, Bali, and it’s volcano.


Grand Canyon week

We were lucky enough to be in Williams for there one big event in November, the Saturday night Christmas parade, craft market and tree lighting evening. This involved the local radio, volunteer organisations and the usual candy-throwing crowds.

The following morning we packed again and headed off to a Wild West show before boarding “the train”.

We are slowing down this week, returning to Williams by train tomorrow afternoon, Friday. We will be hanging around the Grand Canyon Village, doing more little walks and possibly attending more ranger talks or documentaries. It’s been relaxing catching the free shuttle busses around and enjoying the grandeur of the location.


Vegas, baby… not so good.

Thursday, November 22, We left the Wild West to venture into the adult playground of North America, aka Vegas. After dropping our bags at the advertised “family friendly” hotel/casino, the Westgate, previously the Hilton where Elvis got hitched, we dropped the RV off and said goodbye to our longest holiday accommodation booking for this trip.

We caught a taxi with an old Greek driver who gave us the low down on what’s what. We were accosted back at the hotel by marketing people for their timeshare program and agreed to sit through the sales talk for free tickets to the Tournament of kings the following night as well as free lunch in the old star trek enterprise themed nightclub. We walked the strip and saw Nathan Burton’s magic show which was pretty amazing, two of the Bellagio fountain shows, we walked through the different places including mini Paris, Planet Hollywood, New York New York, the MGM Grand…and more. The streets were full of smog and the homelessness was disheartening. We ventured a few blocks off the main strip to a laundromat which highlighted the inhabitable state of the desert city for any alternative life outside the strip.

Although the shows were worth seeing and we had to be at the airport for our 6:25am Saturday morning departure flight to Flagstaff via Phoenix, we were glad to be leave the smoggy city of desperation and disparities.

The french cafe at Phoenix airport had the best customer service we have ever received in an airport, ever. That’s the place we needed after a 3am wake up! We took a cab to Williams from Flagstaff… and that’s where I will start the next update.

Sending love and wishes for a big happy birthday to Tim, and Tom!! Missing you all!


Lake Powell is one o& the two largest man-made dam/lakes in th USA. We took a tour of the Antelope slot canyons and the Lake Powell water canyons.

It was nice to have 2 nights in one spot, so we had an evening spa and went to see the famous horseshoe bend in the morning before driving to the town of Hurricane, Utah.

We camped the next, and our final RV night in The Valley of Fire, Nevada. The rock formations like honeycomb and so strangely confined to a small footprint, this was an awesome place to stay.