All of Java: part 2

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.

PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

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.

PTX Studio in Jepara, Indonesia

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Continue reading All of Java: part 2

Singapore Slinging

PTX Studio in Singapore

We didn’t actually drink a Singapore Sling (a drink I envision to be similar to a Long Island Ice Tea), but Joel and I did go to Singapore together on our long trip back to the US.  We’d each been many times on our own, as it’s the closest place to renew your visa when you’re living in Indonesia.  But because we had moved on different dates (him first and me following a few months later) our visa schedules weren’t in sync and we always took these trips alone.  It was fun to explore the city together, show one another our favorite spots and finally visit the place we’d been saving for our couple’s trip- the Buddhist hell museum at Haw Par Villa.

PTX Studio in Singapore

Continue reading Singapore Slinging

Never Too Old for Spring Break | part two

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia\

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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.

Never Too Old for Spring Break | part one

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

 

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…

 

Wimarion Hotel and The Heights

PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Semarang Indonesia

PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Semarang, Indonesia

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.

 

Valentine’s Weekend in Jakarta

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

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PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

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Long stretches of bathrobe-clad  lounging interrupted only by pedicures and pool time.  It was a truly luxurious weekend in Jakarta.  We’re not known to slum, however 24 hour butler service doesn’t come standard at our typical hotel.  Joel entered and won a contest through What’s New Jakarta gifting us one night in a suite at the Raffles Hotel Jakarta.   Saying we enjoyed ourselves would be a drastic understatement.

The hotel being attached to Lotte Shopping Avenue meant virtually anything we needed could be purchased without leaving the building.  We got a little shopping out of the way early, then snacked, soaked and slumbered the rest of the day away in our suite.  Valentine’s weekend couldn’t have been sweeter.

A big thank you to What’s New Jakarta and Raffles for the five star treatment!  Now I’m off to persuade my lucky little hubby to enter any and every contest under the sun.

PTX Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia

One Morning, Four Temples

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

For our first weekend away of 2017, we made a quick weekend run down to our favorite little city- Yogyakarta.  I know what you’re thinking, “Don’t y’all go to Jogja like every other weekend?!  What could possibly be left for you to see there?”  Amazingly, even after seeing Borobudur and Prambanan, there were still plenty of temples to tour.

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

First on our temple tour was Candi Kalasan which we found just by the roadside on the same street as Prambanan.   How had we driven right past this behemoth and not seen it?   In our defense there are plenty of palm trees blocking the view and I was probably concentrating hard on GoogleMaps.  Kalasan is just the one towering structure surrounded by small modest homes.

600joel-waitingPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Next we were on to Candi Sari, which just so happened to be closed.  So we took some photos from the fence and were on our way.

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia600candi-sari2-close

Temple number three, Plaosan, was actually a large group of temples and by far our favorite of the day.  The grounds were busy with photo snapping tourists, even a couple doing engagement photos which we’ve come to expect at grand locations like this.  Being the majestic backdrop that it is, we wasted no time getting photos of myself and Joel.  However Joel was the only one lucky enough to be flanked with fans in his photo.  Another cool thing about Plaoson is that you can go inside the temples.  A little dark for photos, but with the help of your trusty smart phone flash light you can see all the details.

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

By the time we reached the last temple, Ratu Boko, we’d been out in the heat all morning so we didn’t stay long.  The view of Mount Merapi in the distance was impressive despite the clouds.  We took a moment to get some photos then scurried to see the temples before the imminent rain storm blew in.  The ride back to the hotel was a good 45 minutes, but we made it just in time to nap through the storm. 600merapi-viewPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

For accommodations we chose Adhisthana Hotel which is on the same street as Greenhost Hotel, where we stayed for Christmas last year.  During our morning walks we had seen Adhisthana’s impressive, shutter covered facade that conjures up memories of Potato Head Beach Club in Bali.  The room was tiny, but what the room lacked in space the hotel made up for with their laid back, batik-chic decor.

PTX Studio in Yogyakarta, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Joel’s mom is coming to visit in March and we’ll be headed down to Jogja and staying at this lovely villa.  This time instead of a quick weekend we’ll have five whole days to relax, shop, sightsee and eat.  I can’t wait!