3 Things NOT to do in Bali

IMG_0053

Yes… you read that right!  Bali has about a million ah-mazing things that you absolutely should check out.  In fact you could head on over to Pinterest right now… search Bali and be flooded with the most gorgeous pictures you could imagine.  However… I am warning you there are 3 Things You should NOT to do in Bali.

1.)  Do NOT take bananas into Monkey Forest

Sounds super tempting I know right?  What is cuter than a whole forest full of sweet fluffy monkeys??  Nothing you are thinking.  Well sorry to burst your bubble but think of this forest as a death trap instead.  It is an entire forest full of mischievous monkeys who mean business.  These monkeys have fangs, are willing to fight for their bananas, definitely are NOT afraid of humans… AND they call their homies for back up when you run out of bananas.  Nothing scarier than hearing crazy fanged monkeys swinging from the trees above coming for you and your bananas- AHHHHHH!!!!

2.)  Do NOT be fooled into thinking there is a leisurely bike trail in Bali

We were excited that our hotel (the amazing Alila Ubud) had complimentary bikes so thinking we were fit adventurous people (we really are not) we checked out a couple bikes.  We asked the concierge at the hotel about routes and they confirmed there was a nice easy route for us.  Off we went.  Oh, boy did we learn.  There were so many hills and they were SO STEEP we literally had to walk our bikes up.  We were struggling so bad that several wonderful Balinese people stopped on their motorbikes to make sure we were okay. #embarrassing  I mean we must have looked TERRIBLE!!  Eventually we made it through the hills only to have a sudden downpour come and completely drench us.  So, in Bali just remember that bike rides = big hills + tons of traffic + pouring rain.  We definitely got a little more adventure then we bargained for 😉

3.)  Do NOT go river rafting if you are scared of heights

So, I may or may not be a bit of a wimp (meaning I am the wimpiest person you know).  The first river rafting trip we took in Bali was a class 3 and it was pretty easy.  So, when my hubby found a second course that was also class 3 with just a few spots classified as 4’s I thought “no Big… let’s do this.”  Holy smokes the difference in classes… I was ducking under rocks and cliffs that were nearly scrapping my nose and then we plunged down this insanely steep hill.  My heart skipped a few beats for sure.  So… if you go river rafting (which you should bc its fun) just know you’ve been warned!!

IMG_0244

*In all seriousness Bali was probably one of my favorite trips!!

some may say it was bc it was sans munchkins

 

24 Hours in Singapore (without munchkins)

For our 10th anniversary hubby and I took an amazing trip across the seas to Bali without any munchkins.  Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!  I can just see the mist over the rainforest, the monkeys swinging from the vines, the smell of delicious coffee and the warmth of the Balinese people.  Such an amazing destination.

But, this post is not about Bali…. its actually about our trip to Singapore.  Let me explain…  our trip to Bali took us through Singapore.  The only thing I knew about Singapore was that chewing gum was illegal bc they wanted to keep the country super clean.  And, that they were full of new money.  So, on the way home we decided to delay our flight and go explore this country we knew very little about.  We only had 24 hours… I felt like we were on the amazing race- ha!!

We checked into the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the first thing I noticed was how amazing our view was.

IMG_8642

Look at the hotel’s shoppes (mall)

IMG_8646

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands reminded me a lot of the malls we saw in Dubai.  It was H.U.G.E and had just about every store you could think of and E.V.E.R.Y. type of cuisine.  The funny thing is that I remember going to a pizza place bc we had eaten so much exotic food in Bali we were craving some comfort food from home (funny how food is like that).  Next up was the hotel’s Art Science Museum… across from that was the Merlion Statue and a gorgeous Louis Vuitton store.  Aren’t those flowers gorgeous.  I remember it being super overcast and just loving the vivid color of those flowers.

IMG_8647 IMG_8655

The Singapore Flyer looked terrifying like a lot of fun.  However, we had such a short amount of time we only were able to snap a pic.  We weren’t able to ride it.  In hindsight we really should have tried it out.   Oh, well next time.  Learn more here- http://www.singaporeflyer.com/

IMG_8673

I read that Chinatown (click here)  was fun and so we headed there next.  The funny thing is now my parents are living in Shanghai.  I haven’t had the chance to visit them so I guess this is as close as I got to knowing my parents future culture/ home.  So weird.  I’ll have to ask my mom if she’s tried any jarred octopus.  I’m usually all about “When in Rome” but this was too much for me.IMG_8676

Crocodile oil… I have no idea what they use that for??

IMG_8677

We hit up the camera shop and picked up some goodies at fantastic prices.  The picture below was taken by the camera store owner.  He was the sweetest guy.  He was trying to teach us how to use our camera.

IMG_8680

Then back to our gorgeous hotel.  The whole reason we booked it was for this amazing infinity edge rooftop pool.  It was SO cool!!!  I highly recommend staying there!!! (Highly… ha that’s funny!  Get it… bc we were up so high in that pool.  Okay I am not great with jokes.  Whatever!).DSCN0220

That view….STUNNING!!!

DSCN0225   Yes, another pool pic before we hit the crazy delicious midnight chocolate buffet… YUM!!!IMG_8712

IMG_8718And, that was it.  We closed the night disgustingly full after eating some of the most amazing desserts and talking over yummy coffee looking at this view.  It was a SPLENDID 24 hours!!!

What to do in Oahu

IMG_6568 - Version 2

If you have been following my blog you will remember that one of our favorite resorts is Disney’s Aulani- see here.  We have already visited that resort 5 times in the short amount of time it has been opened.  So, we have rounded up some of our favorite activities OFF property just for you:

1) Waimea Valley-

We love Waimea Valley for several reasons.  1) The path is paved so strollers are welcome, 2) There is a waterfall at the end complete with complimentary life vests and lifeguards and 3) It is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

You can read more about it on Yelp here.  Note there is an entry fee for this hike.  Below are some pictures of us at Waimea this past November.

IMG_4979

See the gorgeous Peacock behind the kids… I missed getting him when he opened that gorgeous tail up.  I think I was drawn in by the beauty of those feathers.

IMG_4614

Tiny lizard… love the kids getting to see all the wildlife up close.  There were also a ton of beautiful butterflies.

IMG_4639

Above is the waterfalls at the end of the walk.

*Tip- bring a few dollars for the guards working so hard to keep everyone safe.  They have a tip jar up there.

IMG_4603

Do bring your brother to entertain your children… definitely!

IMG_4601

Don’t take a picture next to said brother who happens to be 4 years younger yet towers over you.

I often forget how short I am until I see myself standing next to other adults ;)

2) Turtle Beach (really Laniakea Beach)

This adorable little strip of beach is super cool.  If you go mid day you are likely to see sea turtles either swimming in the waves close to shore… or climbing out to beach on the sand.  There are amazing volunteers who watch over them and keep records on each turtle.  These volunteers are amazing people and they have always been super informative.  This is a great hands on educational experience.  Just be very cautious when parking, crossing the busy street and climbing down to the sand.  For directions and more info view it on Yelp here.  Here are some pics:

IMG_2291

Dad was pointing out the sea turtles bobbing in the waves.

IMG_6677

3) North Shore-

As long as the weather permits you should be able to hang out and watch some amazing surfers doing what they do best.  My boys could sit and watch those surfers for hours.  Just make sure to grab some Matsumoto Shaved Ice before you hit the beach.  View on Yelp here

14

Yum!

4) Food Trucks by North Shore

Great food… try the infamous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.  Read what others say about Giovanni’s here on Yelp.  But, be warned there are wild chickens running around and a fair amount of flies- yuck!

5) Manoa Falls

This hike is a little more work and not for those with super little munchkins as the path is muddy, slippery and not fit for strollers.  But, if you are a more adventurous family this is a fun (super muddy and messy) gorgeous hike.  I would recommend old sneakers and a change of clothes and shoes for when you are done.

See more on Yelp here

IMG_6759

IMG_6783

IMG_6796

17

*I do NOT recomend not listening to the warning sign by the waterfall.  As you see I am NOT on the other side of this.  I am the spazz yelling at them and taking their picture 😉

6) Waikiki Beach

Great food, history and a beach… ‘nough said!

7) Ala’ Moana Mall

Gorgeous mall with everything from high end boutique shops, name brands and little mom and pop shops.  You can walk the mall and several blocks around it.  Don’t forget to stop by the Hawaiian Cookie Store for some free samples 😉  My only complaint is that they recently shut down our favorite open air International Market right there next to the mall.  Heart breaking really.  So many memories from my own childhood there (sniff!)  See more on Ala Moana here

8) Dole Pineapple Plantation

This one is a love/ hate thing.  It is fun to go here once I think.  The kids get a kick out of seeing how pineapples grow, riding the train, eating the soft serve Pineapple treat etc…  However, it is a complete tourist trap with ridiculous prices, pushy sales people and cheap trinkets.  But, if you know it going in at least you will know what you are walking into.

* I also would recomend Pearl Harbor.  We unfortunately have not had the chance to take the kids.  However, I have heard it is a MUST do.  So, it is on our list.  You can read what other people are saying about Pear Harbor here on Yelp.

What do you do with your family when you visit Oahu?  I would love to hear from those of you who have a favorite zip line or horse back adventure that you would recommend as those are also on our list for next time 😉