A little over a month ago, my mom and I were in Bali! It was definitely an adventure, and one that I was so happy to share with my mom.
It was her first time in Bali, and my second time, after living there for three months in 2015.
You probably know by now that the primary reason we were there was to meet with the wedding planner for Logan’s and my October wedding in Bali. (If you’re thinking about having a destination wedding, I put together my tips for planning one – you can find that here.)
We got to see the venue, did hair and make-up trials, and food and cake tasting.
The wedding will take place in Canggu, a town that I’d previously only spent a day. Part of the goal of the trip was to get to know the area to be able to share things to do and restaurants to try with our guests.
We had the best time doing that!
After we took care of business in Canggu, we spent the rest of the time in Ubud which is where I used to live! It was so fun to show my mom around and return to a place that’s so familiar to me!
But I’ll save that for another post. This one is all about what we did in Canggu!
Let’s get into it!
We were both up super early…jet lag was real! A definite struggle with travel.
We started out the day with a workout. It’s really important to both my mom and me to be physically active. We both work out regularly at home, and even on the days when we don’t feel like working out, we still do it because we feel so good afterwards and we know it’s so important for our overall health. (My mom is in her mid-60s and she still does Shaun T workouts!!).
My mom went swimming in the villa pool, and I did a high intensity workout (one that I created myself).
Because we both do intermittent fasting, we waited until after our workout to head to brunch.
We rented a scooter through our Airbnb (which was amazing, BTW).
We went to Motion Cafe which we loved!
Afterwards, we did some shopping on the main drag in Canggu, Batu Bolong, and then stopped by the beach!
It started to rain while we were out, so we popped into a low-key spa for a massage.
Unfortunately, when we left the spa, our scooter wouldn’t start and had to be kick-started.
When we got home, we contacted our Airbnb host to see if she could contact the guy who rented us a scooter because we were told the battery would have to be replaced. (Shout out to locals who helps us out – the people are one of the reasons I love Bali so much! So kind and helpful, and they don’t expect anything in return!!)
He came over pretty quickly with a new scooter. The thing is, the scooter was MUCH bigger and more powerful than the last one. My mom had only driven small scooters and never with any passengers. She was willing to drive both of us, but was more than a little apprehensive about driving this bigger one.
But since we had already missed sunset with having to swap scooters and we just wanted to get going to dinner, she agreed to drive this one against her better judgment!
We got to dinner at La Brisa with no issues and enjoyed a delicious meal and cocktails (my mom had very little alcohol).
Then we headed home…
Before we took off on the scooter, I asked my mom if she knew the way. She said she didn’t remember, so I reminded her of the single turn. She reiterated that she didn’t remember the turn, so I said I would let her know when we got there.
Well…I did that, but she was so focused on the road that when she turned, she was a little flustered and hit the brake instead of the gas. No one else was around – a small miracle with the usual traffic there – but we both slid forward on the bike and the bike sort of tipped to the side.
The bike was fine, but we both got a couple bruises from the impact. I also burned the back of my leg on the exhaust pipe. These bigger bikes don’t have guards over them. If you’re squeamish, skip over the photo of my battle wound or “bali kiss” as I heard them called. My mom was pretty distraught about it, but we managed to get back on the bike and continue. It was dark so it was hard to find our street and we ended up having to turn around. I hopped off the bike and started to wander to where I thought our street was…
Well, my mom somehow burned herself when she was turning the bike around and then couldn’t see me in the dark. I could see her so I didn’t realize that she couldn’t see me until I started walking towards me. She thought I had disappeared and was almost in tears. I felt so bad.
We made it home, though, and were able to get a THIRD scooter the next day, one that was much more similar to the first bike we had.
My mom was brave enough to get back on the bike again and we had no more incidents! A couple days later, she even narrowly avoided a crash due to a fellow tourist backing his bike into the road without paying attention to people driving by. I really thought we were going to crash and was soooo impressed that was able to get around the guy!!
This is an example about how travel can be difficult and how pictures on Instagram don’t tell the full story. And often the photo and the caption leave out ANY struggle at all. That’s SO not reality. Many challenges arise when traveling, and things often don’t get as planned. Part of traveling is rolling with the punches, being pushed outside your comfort zone, and figuring out how to adapt to changes in plans.
I tend to struggle with change so travel is really good for me. Now that I’ve done so much of it (and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to!), I’m getting better at it. It’s still not easy, but I know to expect it and am not surprised when things don’t go as planned.
Again we woke up super early! We both worked out before we started our full day of wedding planning.
We were picked up mid-morning and headed to do our hair and make-up trials. I can’t say enough good things about Glo Day Spa. I LOVED my hair and make-up. I was a little apprehensive beforehand, as I tend to be very particular about those things, but I felt that the stylist delivered my vision to a tee. I wanted boho vibes for my hair and “natural glam” make-up so I wouldn’t look too “done-up” and not really like myself.
Then we went to Bali Catering to do food tasting. We have nothing but positive things to say about them . It was so fun to be able to taste the food for the wedding, and I loved sharing it with my mom. Honestly, I did wish Logan had been there too to experience this. I know he would have enjoyed it a lot.
The food was sooo good, as were the cocktails and even the mocktails! Logan doesn’t drink so it was important for us to have beverage choices – other than plain water – that he would enjoy. I think he’ll be really happy with these choices: the mocktail on the left is watermelon and the one on the right is strawberry. 🙂 🙂 🙂
The cocktails we went with are a lychee martini (my FAVE), a passionfruit mojito, and a margarita. The margarita will be swapped out for an espresso martini during the reception to go along with roaming desserts.
For canapes, we chose seared tuna, torch burned scallop, risotto croquette, and crispy goat cheese.
Guests will have a choice for appetizers between a caprese salad and duck confit cannelloni!
Main course options are either lamb prepared TWO ways or grilled seabass!
After we stuffed our faces, we went to check out the venue. And OH MY GOODNESS, it was SOOOO beautiful. It was nerve-wracking to book the venue without seeing it in person, but it worked out! I’m so excited to marry Logan there!
We were exhausted when we left the villa and headed back to our villa. We planned to go to the Lawn for dinner but we weren’t hungry at all (after snacking on cake from Butter Bali). So we hung out around the villa, chatted with my dad and Logan, and then watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix. 🙂
Travel can be exhausting, so we didn’t feel bad at all taking some time just to relax in the evening!
We were so tired that we went to be around 9 haha! But good news, we actually slept through the night!
After a good night’s sleep, we were ready for our final full day in Canggu.
After getting in a quick workout, we met up with our “accommodation agent” for the wedding. Basically her job is to help our guests find a place to stay which is so amazing for destination weddings because it takes away so much stress from us.
Guests ALWAYS ask for recommendations on where to stay so having someone to refer our people to has been amazing!! Highly recommend if you’re planning a destination wedding.
We met her at The Shady Shack which is such a cute spot. One of the best things about this trip was being able to put faces with names of people we are working with for the wedding. It’s nice to get to know them on a personal level and to be able to get more of a sense of their personalities too.
After lunch, we cruised on the scooter over to Batu Bolong again and did some more shopping.
And of course we had to stop for a massage. We went to the same place that we’d gone a couple days prior and it had been amazing then, but this time it wasn’t great at all and we wouldn’t recommend the place. Sometimes…you really do get what you pay for (it was a lower priced spot).
We were both a little cranky after the massage – between the heat and the less-than-relaxing conditions during our massages. It happens during travel, and fortunately it was the only time during the trip that we were annoyed with each other.
We’d popped over to Old Man’s, a must-do restaurant in Canggu, but our moods didn’t improve so we headed back to the villa.
A little AC and a shower later and we were back to normal selves. Sometimes you can’t force activity and have to change it up and hit reset.
A few hours later, we were ready for sunset cocktails and drinks at The Lawn.
SOOOO glad we went there. It’s right on the water, so nicely decorated, there was a live band, good drinks. Ahhhh. It was wonderful.
We just had an app there and then went to Mason which was recommended to us by our accommodation agent. It was really good!
Then back to the villa to chill a bit before bed.
We had to check out at 11 and then head to Ubud, so the morning was spent packing and tidying up the villa.
We had such an amazing stay in Canggu. If you are heading there, be sure to check out Airbnbs in the area. There are SOOOO many amazing ones. We just booked this one for the few days before we check into our wedding villa, and I’m so excited. It looks incredible and the price – wow!
That’s it for Canggu! I’ll be posting a recap of our time in Ubud soon. Stay tuned!