I remembered when we got to Bali that after coming here in 1996 Mark thought Bali was one place he could honestly imagine himself living. It’s a wonderful combination of incredible natural beauty infused with a culture where beauty is important. It works. So now he’s saying “Maybe, when we’re older, we’d spend winters in Bali and summers in France. You know, they way your parents used to spend winters in Texas and summers in Wisconsin? Like that, only different.”
On this very special island, The Temple Lodge on the southern part of the island is pretty special, too. It’s a seven-room place high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s run by Cris and Mario, an Italian couple perhaps around my age, who love surfing, yoga, and good, healthy food. Our time here has been magical; as I said to Mark earlier today after two days of alternating between pools, reading, napping, and eating, “I’m not sure I’ve ever been this lazy before.”
We’re staying in a large villa, a 200-year-old building Mario found in Java a few years ago. He took it down, shipped it across the strait, and rebuilt it here. The wood in the doors – huge old teak wood – is stunning. The spaces, part indoor, part outdoor, define calm. A private pool, various spaces outdoors for reading, sunning, and napping. The bathroom is mostly outdoors, surrounded by beautiful stone walls. No AC, but with enough breeze and fans you don’t miss it. And now that I think of it, no TV either, but you really don’t miss that!
And the meals. Did I mention that the owners are Italian? We’ve had some unforgettable local tomatoes served with olive oil and home-grown basil like only the Italians can do. Morning fritattas, evening tuna. Tonight the first course is pasta with pesto and while Mark & I try to avoid pasta, we’ll splurge for home-made Italian pesto.
One part we have really enjoyed is that dinner is served at 7:30 with all the guests seated around a couple of tables. We’ve had great fun the last two nights getting to know Tamara and Meredith, American women from Colorado and Brooklyn, respectively, a fun German couple here for the surfing, another Italian guy, even an Australian couple who just got done starring (yes, they were the stars) in King Kong, a play that just closed in Melbourne after a year; the plan is to make some changes and bring it to Broadway. Remember, you read it here first.
So, yeah, this may be as good as it gets. And I didn’t even mention the incredibly cute kitten, a stray they found just a couple of days ago that we’ve all been nursing back to health. That – and the nearly perfect sunsets – makes it perfect.