You need to go to a Lantern Fest! It was worth the 2.5 hour drive there and back home. We got there early to secure a parking space as they were expecting 12,000 people at this event. We brought our trusty lawn chairs and found a spot right next to a fire pit. There were some food vendors, activity booths for kids, games and live music. When the sun began to set they passed out s’mores kits to roast some marshmallows. I think we began lighting the lanterns around 8:30. It was pretty difficult to get the lanterns airbourne, but with the help of some people around us, we got both our lanterns up. I don’t normally say that things are magical, but this really was. The photos and video don’t accurately capture how cool this experience was. Be warned though, some of the lanterns started to fall back down, so be sure to look behind you every now and then to make sure you don’t get hit with one of these flying fireballs.
We had the opportunity to fly out to San Francisco for a quick Labor Day weekend getaway. Here are some of the highlights from our trip.
We originally saw Go Cars when we were in Barcelona, but never had the chance to do it while we were there. My brother rented a Go Car in San Francisco and recommended that we check it out too. It seemed like a good idea since we would be able to see most of San Francisco’s “must see” places. We decided to rent the car for 3 hours in order to maximize time. Our route started at Union Square, followed by the AT&T Park, the Ferry Building, Fishermen’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach and Alamo Square. Even though I was scared for most of the 3 hours, I would recommend this to people. The car comes with a GPS /guide. The guide was pretty entertaining and the GPS was accurate for the most part. The car isn’t very powerful, so it was surprising that we made it up San Francisco’s infamous hills.
At one point our battery died, but lucky for us there was a spare battery in the back and we were able to quickly get back onto the road. The car’s motor was so loud, so it was difficult to hear the GPS at times. My biggest complaint is that it was difficult to see all the sites and enjoy them in the 3 hours they provide.
Fishermen’s Wharf is definitely a tourist spot, but they had alot of cool things to offer. We had to visit Ghirardelli Square and get ourself an ice cream sundae. Wes was also able to get his hands on his first In-N-Out burger here. We stumbled upon the San Francisco’s Historic Vessel Museum. Wes had a blast checking out the old ships.
It was the biggest nightmare booking a last minute tour to the wine country, especially during a holiday weekend! But we were determined to make it out there and thanks to Wes we were able to get ourselves on a tour. The wineries on Long Island cannot compare to wine country in California. We were surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful vineyards. I can’t remember the name, but the last vineyard that we visited was the best. The combination of on point wine, aweseome outdoor furniture and amazing weather made for the perfect way to end the day.
We didn’t get much time to explore the Muir Woods, but it was nice to get out of the city and breathe in some fresh air.
Big trees, little us.
Kuala Lumpur was a layover and the last stop on our Asia Honeymoon. We spent a day and a half in KL and the majority of the time we were either eating or shopping. We were shocked by how huge the malls were. I wish I took photos of how grand their malls were. American malls would look puny in comparison.
My priority was to eat all the Malaysian food I could get my hands on. A friend recommended we go to Lot 10 because of all the varieties of foods they served. There were multiple stalls and we stuffed our faces until we couldn’t eat anymore. For noodle fans out there, you will find yourself in heaven.
Chinatown- Petaling Street
Chinatown is another spot to get cheap, delicious food. Bargain hunters also flock here for cheap souvenirs and knockoffs. We didn’t buy anything, but be sure to haggle if you do. Petronas Towers
Petronas Twin Towers are the highest towers in Kuala Lumpur. The tour first takes you up to the observation deck that connects the two buildings before heading up to the Sky Deck on the top floor. Tickets sell out early, so try to buy your tickets online beforehand. It was a little underwhelming, but I guess if you happen to be in KL, you should check it out.
We had a packed honeymoon agenda and all we wanted to do towards the end was relax. After Ubud we headed to Seminyak for some much needed R&R. We loved our hotel so much that we barely left the premisise. I don’t have much to say so I’ll let the photos do the talking for me.
Our DIY welcome drinks!
We decided to divide our time in Bali and stay in two different areas: Ubud and Semiyak. Ubud is further north in the jungle area. Semiyak is known for their beaches and fancy resorts. I’m glad we stayed at both locations because it provided us with two totally different experiences.
Instagram makes Bali look like paradise, so I was a little shell shocked when I arrived. Bali is still very much a third world country. The drive from the airport to our hotel in Ubud took almost 3 hours. The two places looked close on the map, but because there are one lane roads and no traffic lights, the traffic was insane. The plus side of Bali is that people are very hospitable. As soon as we arrived at our hotel we were greeted with welcome drinks and mini cakes. Another plus was the infinity pool and view of rice paddy fields from our room.
Another reason we chose to stay in Ubud was because it’s centrally located to all the activies we wanted to do.
We sacrificed sleep to be picked up at 2am for our volcano sunrise hike. The drive took about 2 hours. We met up with our guides, were given flashlights and immediately began our hike. I was surprised by how many other tourist were doing the same hike. From the bottom, you could see a line of lights of other people who started the hike earlier.
The first 30 minutes of the hike was relatively easy as the path was paved and flat. The rest of the hike was all uphill. The narrow path was covered in tiny rocks which made it easy to slip. There were so many other people hiking the same path that there was traffic going up. We were able to take it nice and slow. The hike up took around 2 hours and by the time I got to the top I was dripping in sweat.
Our guide found a bench and a less congested area to sit while we waiting for the sun to rise. Our guide hardboiled some eggs in the volcanoes steam. After the sun finally rose, we had an incrediable view of surrounding volcanoes and mountains.
Now that it was daylight, it was kind of crazy to see how steep the trail was. Then, we were told that the way back down was the same way we came up. I thought coming up was scary, but it didn’t compare to coming back down. I slipped a few times on the way down. There were a few people who were in our group that thought it was a smart idea to hike in flip flops. I was so happy that I survived the hike in one piece. The views were definitely worth the trip.
Post hike we got to relax at a natural hot spring at Toya Bungkah Village. It was a much deserved treat for us.
I wanted to maximize my time in Ubud, so after the hike, I had planned a bike tour. Note to self, never do that again. We biked for 2 hours through small villages, temples, a bamboo forest, rice paddies and a trditional Penglipuran village.
I enjoyed the experience as we got to see less touristy areas of Bali. However, biking through Bali is not for the faint of heart. Some of the paths we biked were along extremely narrow ledges, and if you fell, there was no coming back. There were times stray dogs would chase after us. This was terrifying for me. Crossing roads was also dangerous since there are no traffic lights and there seemed to be no rules on the road. This was another adventure that we are lucky to have survived.Canyoning
This was definitely not my idea. For those of you who know me, I like to play it safe. When I first read about canyoning, I was hesitant to tell Wes because I knew he’d be interested in it. He’s the more adventurous one and it’s no secret that I’m the nervous Nellie. I’m not a strong swimmer, afraid of heights and not very coordinated. Canyoning is probably not the best idea for someone like me, but I wanted to try something that Wes has never done.
When we arrived, we went through a brief training. The guides could see the fear writted on my face, but it took over 2 hours to get to the location and there was no going back for me. Plus, FOMO got the best of me.
I have to admit that this was the best thing I did in Bali. We went down natural water slides, repelled down 75 feet waterfalls, and cliff dived into the canyon. Even though I crashed into the sides of the waterfalls multiple times, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. The scariest part was jumping off the cliffs. You had to leap far enough to prevent crashing into the rocks in the bottom. It was one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done, but I’m so glad that I did it.
This was our highest jump at around 30 feet. I guess from up top, the drop looks higher and much scarier. Here’s Wes’s jump.
And now here’s me…very afarid…