the countdown has officially begun over here for our return home. we leave april 8th to head to LA, then back up the 13th of april to Seattle. wow, that's 11 and 15 days respectively. it's amazing that things are finally winding down from this journey..i can remember clearly saying goodbye to my family and our farewell party, and also i think back on all the things we've done and people we've met and places we've been and that seems like a large distance too. i think that time often moves not in a straight line but in waves, ups and downs and sometimes it is quick to get from one point to another and sometimes it takes a long time. 7 months is 7 months but right now it feels both incredibly long and also normal. alrighty, onto other things! other things like...yesterday was my birthday! i missed my family and friends a lot ..and thought back to a year ago having a big party with everyone and dressing up in 3 piece suits with my brother that were hand made in thailand for us (thanks kira!). what a great day that was. i also got a tandem massage from melissa and her friend lynn at aequis spa, which was my top massage experience ever. wow! but yesterday was a little different. i have a group of friends here that i've known for around 2 weeks, and all of them it seems as though i've known them for a really long time. so i was trying to coordinate a party of sorts and in true bali style, where it's near impossible to make a plan and keep it, nothing was really coming of it. so i let the party idea go and just let people get a hold of me as they were ready to hang out, and what developed was really special! we went to a botanical garden that's right outside of ubud, and our friend timshel ended up meeting us there. we walked around orchid houses and pitcher plant gardens (carniverous plants that look like water pitchers which attract insects to dine on) lots of manicured gardens and a small fruit tree and garden section. timshel was all about eating anything there was to find, so following her lead we tried raw spicy chilies, limes, lemons, passion fruits, all of which were completely unripe and which tasted bitter and not good. it was fun though, and we got our daily dose of torrential monsoon rain right as we were preparing to leave. we headed to bali bhudda which gives me a pretty continous feed of baked goods that are some of the best i've ever had. timshel bought me a birthday fresh blueberry muffin which was dynamite, and then we headed down to kafe for some lunch. i had a burger. mmm...burger...... and we just laughed and hung out for a lot longer. then timshel left and melissa and i met a woman who was sitting behind us and talked to her for a while, and then our lovely friend anne marie showed up. she's a peach from denver colorado and we fell for her right away last week and hung out a few times, the last being a great 4 hour lunch. she bought me a fresh slice of apple pie, heated up and it was oh so good. she's an amazing human--being that's so clear and bright and open. we spend another hour with her and then bid her adieu on her journey back to the states. we walked outside headed up the street and then got ransacked by our friend/shop ower meday. we told her it was my birthday and she insisted that i buy something for melissa in celebration. she immediately tied a long patchwork skirt that's really nice and talked herself down from 15 to 6 dollars for it. i didn't want to be left out so i bought myself a pair of bright patchwork pants. i've never worn/imagined myself in anything quite like them...................
we wandered for just a bit and then moseyed back towards our scooter to head over to dinner. as we hopped on the bike there was chloe and liam. we chatted with them for a bit and then all cruised over to lala and lilly's for dinner. we met two friends there, katie and wes, and then the six of us sat down and had a balinese feast! we ordered drinks, 8 dishes, and 3 desserts for us all for the bargain price of 45,000 rupiah each including tip (5 US dollars).. liam and chloe bought me a massage gift certificate, and katie made me a card that everyone signed. they sang me happy birthday and thanked me for being born, which i in turn thanked my lovely parents. then our friend faith showed up too and she gave me one of her favorite books, a candle, verbeena essential oil, and a beaded cigarette lighter holder. wow, i felt so honored by everyone really showing up for my birthday..not just physically. i was so loved and appreciated by everyone..it really blew me away. and of course my sidekick, my partner in crime hung with me all day, the wonderful melissa. edgy, dramatic, singing whatever song is in her head, speaking truth and smiling and laughing along the way. yeehaw friends, if you've got horses underneath you that are bucking and bronking then have fun with it and make the most of every day!