Indonesia feels like a long ways away, mostly because there’s snow in the air as I type this. But our pictures from the second half of our trip need to see the light, so here are some highlights from Jepara and Yogyakarta.
Jepara is a city by the sea known for its wood carving and we definitely had Indonesian wood on our minds. Joel and I have started a company called Raya Exchange and our focus is on supporting small businesses in Java by importing handmade, home goods that we sell via our web store and Charish. So far, we had been concentrating our efforts on handwoven textiles- pillows, throws and runners- but this trip was planned in order to expand our efforts into teak furniture and planters. We visited our furniture partner in Jepara to check out the progress of our order and we were thrilled to see our products coming together so beautifully.
Continue reading All of Java: part 2
Initially my idea for this post was to make a top ten list of my favorite images of Indonesia, however that soon proved to be impossible. Scrolling through two years of blog posts there were too many memories and snapshots of unforgettable destinations for me to narrow it down to a mere ten. So my top ten became a compilation of pretty much any image that I was fond of starting with our fantastic honeymoon in Kuta and Ubud. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed compiling them.
Two weekends in Solo.
The time I went to the market with Annie and made a slew of new friends.
I’ve never been anywhere quite as special as Karimunjawa.
Meeting the makers: batik and tenun
Checking out forts and trains in Ambarawa
Trips to Jakarta
Exploring our city, Semarang
That time we went to Borneo
So many trips to Jogja
Temples, temples and more temples. And one more temple.
Truth be told, I can’t wait to get back to the Pacific Northwest- three weeks and counting! The weather, the water and my beautiful, little doggy will welcome me back just in time for a glorious summer. Living in a foreign country has been enlightening and also had its share of challenges. But after almost two years, it’s started to feel like home and there are aspects of life in Indonesia that I’ll be missing once we’re back in Washington. Here are a couple at the top of my list.
Continue reading I’ll miss you Indonesia!
As I mentioned before, our days in Central Java are dwindling, so we’ve got lots of odds and ends to tie up before leaving Indonesia to head back to Washington. One item on our to do list has been furniture. While prepping to move here, I downsized in a big way and most of my furniture went to Craigslist (coincidentally that’s where most of it came from in the first place). So when we go back, we’re returning to clothes, shoes and a bunch of still-in-storage wedding gifts, but no bed, sofa or dining table and chairs. Being the diehard thrifter that I am, Joel and I have been doing some browsing to see if should make some of those big ticket furniture purchases here. The teak and mahogany furniture market is huge here and the prices are insanely reasonable (like reasonable enough to make up for the fact that we’d be shipping it across the world).
The pictures above are all from our trip to Jepara, the furniture capital of Central Java. We spent a long weekend there in April browsing furniture shops, meeting teak craftsmen and taking a little time to lounge by the pool.
So, so many photos from our week with my mother-in-law, Kirsten. It certainly means we packed a ton of activities into our six busy days in Jogja. The mother-son scooter was a sight to see. With Joel driving his mom and me scooting solo, we wound through busy city streets to see the palace and Water Castle, then through rural villages to climb ancient temples. At the temples we were photographed by local tourists like we were more exciting attractions than the colossal feats of engineering that produced five story lava rock towers covered in Hindu and Buddhist gods. Another morning we drove south down rice paddy lined streets to the Indian ocean where Joel and I had previously never explored in our half dozen trips to Jogja.
Kirsten and I also embarked on a tour of the traditional market with a guide who schooled us on the ingredients and formulas of making jamu. Jamu is a traditional beverage made from roots and barks that is said to cure ailments large and small. We listened wearily to tales of jamu being prescribed to heal broken bones. The tour concluded with a massage by a blind masseur that was interesting to say the least. It was certainly a memorable and educational day.
With our days in Indonesia soon coming to a close, I’m glad to be taking home so many amazing memories. This trip was one to remember.
We don’t get a lot of visitors from home seeing as how the travel time is about 20+ hours with a $900+ price tag. But Joel’s mom Kirsten braved the crappy plane food, jet lag and exorbitant expense to come and spend our week long spring break with us and we’re so glad she did!
It was an exhilarating, action-packed week that started in the colossal, congested capital of Jakarta. We met up there for a short weekend before traveling on to Yogyakarta. Having only one full day to sightsee in Jakarta, we compiled a list of top picks sure to impress Kirsten. Unfortunately, Cafe Batavia turned out to be closed (despite the listed hours on their website) so we headed south to Cayenne Home in Kemang for breakfast and to kick off our day of shopping. From there we drove in circles to find Pak Denny, the iron maker featured on the blog A Journey Bespoke, then hit the two biggest, fanciest malls we could find. Finally we capped off the night with an amazing and intimate dinner at 1953 Restaurant Indonesien (that I completely failed to capture). But don’t worry, I outdid myself with the photo taking once we got to Jogja. Those pictures coming up next…
March. It started with a few travel-less weeks of keeping out heads down. Our March goal was to focus on some new projects and save a little money. For me that’s involved lots of crafting and photography. Instead of traveling we’ve taken small excursions around Semarang, mostly brunch and trips to different markets so I can gather mysterious insect bites and props like quail eggs for styling photos. Last weekend was my birthday, so we splurged on a stay-cation at a local hotel. It was a perfect night of Chinese food, watching cable in a oversized, comfy bed and opening some lovingly selected gifts.
The biggest reason for our month of weekends at home was to save for a longer, fancier holiday. Tomorrow we’re flying to Jakarta to meet Joel’s mom! We’ll stay there two nights, hopefully getting her acquainted to the time zone, then we’re headed to… Jogja of course. Last time his mom visited Indonesia, they had plans to visit Jogja, but a volcano eruption closed the airport ruining their plans. So next week we’ll busily shuttle her around our favorite little city to see all the sights she missed.
Disclaimer: I know stories of tummy trouble might be too much information for some folks, but if you can stay with me for a minute, I promise I’m going somewhere. I posted in January about being sick yet again, but was starting to feel like I was on the mend. How wrong I was! My stomach issues were up and down for a week, so I finally headed to the hospital and checked in like it was my own personal Holiday Inn. After two hospital stays last year for dysentery and gastritis, now I tend to err on the side of caution with stomach trouble. Luckily, this was another bout of gastritis. Dysentery would have meant three more days in the hospital for treatment. No fun! But dysentery does have that retro, Oregon Trail video game vibe to it, am I right? (That might be too obscure a reference if you didn’t grow up in the US in the 80’s.) Continue reading my birthday wish list: water
Like any good bargain shopper, when I see a sign that says 50% off my attention is piqued. Or rather when my husband sees the sign and says, Want to try a new restaurant where everything is half off? The answer will always be yes. That’s how we found The Heights restaurant in the new Wimarion Hotel. Their grand opening this week features half off all food and beverages. Not wanting to miss the rooftop pool (which sadly isn’t included in dinner) we got a room for the night. We had a lovely stay-cation enjoying sprawling rooftop views, the giant plush bed and an extensive breakfast buffet.
We kicked off our evening with piping hot pizzas and icy mint juleps at The Heights. The restaurant features a cool, dark vibe reminiscent of a posh, underground speakeasy, but with much better views as it is situated on the roof. The only thing that rivaled the band doing an acoustic Guns and Roses cover was the fantastic lightning storm raging outside. We will definitely be returning before the rainy season is over to enjoy dinner and drinks with a side of thunderstorm. Looking back at my photos makes me feel like I’m already due for another dip in the pool.