Bali with the Greatsbys

Posted on December 28, 2011


“What is it about being on holiday that makes me always want to be on holiday?” –Mrs. Good Greatsby

Every time we go on vacation I relearn the lesson that no matter how expensive the hotel, how beautiful the scenery, or how fascinating the culture, the best part of the kids’ vacation will be the hotel swimming pool.

10:00AM: “Hey, kids! Let’s buy one of these Balinese kites and fly them down on the beach.”
10:01AM: “Dad, watch me do a cannonball.”
10:01AM: “That’s great. The hotel has a shuttle service that will take us to an active volcano.”
10:02AM: “Dad, watch me do a cannonball.”
10:02AM: “Great job. Wouldn’t your friends be impressed if you used your souvenir money to buy some Balinese art? Let’s head to Ubud and visit the art district.”
10:03AM: “Dad! Dad! Watch me do a cannonball!”
10:03AM: “Well done. Let’s go hang out at the Australian consulate and pretend we’re Australian.”
10:04AM: “Dad! Watch me do a cannonball!”
10:04AM: “Hey, Fonz! You know I want to be supportive but if you’re going to insist on shouting that you’re doing a cannonball four times in five minutes, somebody should probably tell you you’re not even doing a cannonball. What you’re doing is a belly flop. Look at your brother over there. That’s a cannonball. He’s done ten successful cannonballs in a row and he never once brought it to anyone’s attention.”

The kids may love the swimming pool but I’ve also learned a similar lesson about my wife’s simple tastes. The entire tropical vacation is just gravy on the top of her getting a hotel breakfast every morning. More than once we’ve been reclining on beach chairs under palm trees looking out at the ocean, birds are chirping, all is right in the world, and she’ll turn to me and say, “This has been such a great trip. The breakfast has been amazing.” I keep expecting her to list some other positives as though breakfast was one of many high notes, but she turns her gaze back to the ocean, possibly imaging how the island off in the distance resembles a pancake.

We spent today in Ubud, a mountain town known for its artistic community. I’ve spent the last couple months trying to trick the boys into spending the souvenir money they’ve saved on some Balinese art. The idea brought laughter at first, but I’ve started to make some progress with my ten-year-old, Optimist Prime. I told him to imagine women seeing his dorm room in college and being impressed with all the original artwork covering his walls that he’d acquired back when he was ten. I could see the wheels begin to turn and he actually tried to buy some art today, although I wasn’t sure any worthwhile women would have been impressed with his artistic taste. Taste takes a little time to develop.

Here’s a picture of the boys enjoying Ubud:

One of the best parts of the trip to Ubud was visiting the monkey forest. The kids were ecstatic to learn the forest actually had monkeys since I had convinced them the forest only earned its name because it resembled a monkey when viewed from outer space.

Yes, there were more monkeys waiting for you in the toilet.

Here’s a picture of the boys enjoying Bali:

Posted in: Travel