Recently, thanks to some friends, we discovered the wonders of beach clubs. Typically, I’m not a big fan of beaches. I do love looking at them, feeling the sand under my feet, and playing in the water and waves can be fun, too. But I have trouble enjoying the aftermath of sandy clothes and a sticky body, and if there’s no shade or food around, I typically don’t want to stay long.
Fortunately, people have thought of beach clubs. A large pool, decent restaurants, shade, showers, comfortable and clean lounging, all right in front of the beach (off of the sand). There are several of these in Bali, and so far we’ve enjoyed the Komune Beach Club, which has beautiful, soft, sparkling, black sand, and is only 40 minutes from Ubud.
In Nusa Dua, we also took a peek in the luxurious de Opera Beach Club, and hope to return on an upcoming day trip (no photos yet). We also stopped at some beaches in Sanur recently (still need to find a beach club there).
Our house remodeling is coming along. They’ve torn down some walls, and are digging a new foundation strong enough to support a second story. We’ve also changed some of our designs to expand upon our original ideas. It’s turning into a bit bigger project than we thought, but we’re having fun, and are excited about seeing it come to life.
Here’s my latest rough sketch of what it will look like when finished:
Halloween in Bali
Bali is a Hindu island in a Muslim country. Halloween is definitely not celebrated… Except by a few expat families who want to make it happen. This Halloween, we got together with some friends for crafts, then went with a bigger group trick-or-treating around to the houses of some individuals who offered to hand out candy. The kids had a great time, and fortunately, the house we’re staying at now has lots of dress-ups and toys so the girls weren’t without costumes. (That’s Marie in the front-right of this picture wearing a wig)
Halloween or not, Aysia hasn’t wanted to wear anything other than the pink princess dress for weeks now. When anyone asks her name, she bats her eyes and says, “Aysia Princess”, and regularly tells us and others, “I’m a princess” — just in case we’ve forgotten. She wears the dress everywhere she can.
The kids have been making more friends and going to a weekly drama class that they’re loving. We’ll be starting other classes soon, too. Emily’s friend Ben from the UK took her out to a nice restaurant for dinner one evening (just the two of them — very special for her). Can you spot them in this picture?
I’ve continued to work on the folding digital piano idea, and have spoken with several other engineers (the one I hired in Pakistan didn’t work out, unfortunately). I have discovered, however, that most standard keyboard sets will be too deep and high to fold up small enough to fit in carry-on luggage. We’re researching a couple other options, but it may turn out that we’ll need to engineer our own keys, which I was hoping to avoid. It’s totally possible, just a lot more difficult and expensive. I’ve written a 34-page document organizing all the research I’ve done, the requirements for the piano, and other ideas for folding (and non-folding) methods to get the piano down to travel size. So the project has had setbacks, but it’s still going.
On the music scene, I’ve composed and recorded two new piano pieces and am working on my third! I’ve had a lot of fun creating these, and hope to make them available to listen to soon.
My dream tracking app design is coming along, too, but I’m not ready to post more about it yet.
Speaking of new businesses, Emily has been thinking about ways she can make money and has decided to sell dog purses for carrying small dogs. We found a manufacturer in China on alibaba.com that makes the kind of purse she wants to sell, and she’s been communicating with them to get sizes and pricing. She’s also working on a logo and deciding how she wants to describe and market the product. We’ve signed up for an account with Amazon Fulfillment Services, and hope to find sufficient interest in the product there. Using their services is convenient because they handle warehousing, shipping, credit card processing, etc. This is a new type of business for both of us, so we’re learning together as we go, and we’ll see how it pans out.
We’re going to be in Cambodia for the next couple weeks, so my next post will probably be about Angkor Wat. :)
Here are some video clips from the past weeks, including some of Aysia talking.