Nusa Dua // Bali, Indonesia

To an extent, the town of Nusa Dua is comparable to the Beverly Hills of California.  This area is more geared towards tourism.IMG_9211 IMG_9212 IMG_9213 IMG_9216On the peninsula sits a park built to represent different countries. Each tree in the park was planted by a different country.IMG_9218 IMG_9219On the opposite side is a trail to the waterhole.IMG_9220 IMG_9222 IMG_9225Even though we were close to the water, the humidity and heat was overwhelming.  It was nice to be able to swim everyday in such tropical beauty!

Bali, Indonesia // Country of Family Origin

Bali is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

My family immigrated from Indonesia when my parents were small-mother’s family is from Jakarta, and daddy’s is from Surabaya.  It is so cool to finally experience the culture I have kind of grown up with, my grandparents have so many stories of Indonesia. Everything is strangely familiar even though I myself have never been here until now.  I think it is just because the foods and language are so comfortable-“my grandma’s house” kind of feel.

We arrived late at night, and in a short time my parents began to speak Bahasa pretty fluently. I’ve heard the language all my life, but always so frustrated I was never taught. This trip I am finally trying to learn-picking it up from my parents and the people. My goal is to be fluent! If I keep speaking it to my grandparents back home I hope it will be true.

We are staying in the Imperial Suite at InterContinental hotel, and I think this tops any vacation we have been on.  Two bedrooms, a private pool (aka many midnight swims), 4 bathrooms, a dining room, and a living room; it is like a mini house! Apparently the President of Indonesia stayed here. so sick.

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not a bad spot to blog

not a bad spot to blog

The resort is something of a dream

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The first day we spent lounging at the pool, like we did many other days 🙂

my dad and I woke up early (out of excitement) to walk down the beach and see the local people fishing.  Later we made it down to the shops, and splurged a little.

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Jimbaran Bay

IMG_0939 IMG_8697 IMG_8696Clothing here is extremely cheap, I got a pair of flow pants for I think about $2. I got to use these instances to practice some Bahasa! The people here are so kind and open.  My excitement could not be contained, I miss it so much!

More adventures of Bali to come,

Maddi

Beauty of the Florida Keys and Everglades

This past February I got to spend five days in the Florida Keys with my AP Bio class.  I was completely struck aback by how beautiful it is!

IMG_9866IMG_0075Possibly some of the best sunsets I have ever seen

IMG_9982 IMG_9983 IMG_9966 IMG_9961 IMG_9996We submerged ourselves into the wildlife, and found many unique creatures.

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A Cassiopeia, a jellyfish that lives in the hammocks of the Keys

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Mollusk

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The skin that was shed from a horseshoe crab

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these little crabs were my favorite

The pollution caused by humans left noticeable impact all over the once colorful corals of the Keys.  I was disappointed, and truly heartbroken to see the lifeless, muddy colors; there was still some life, but all stripped of their vibrance.

Because of this, I have tried to make it a point to be more eco-friendly, and conscious in caring for this wonderful earth we call home.  She is one of a kind literally, and it is truly our job to preserve her beauty and fruitfulness.

I was joyed to see The Everglades full of life!  Probably my favorite part of the trip, it is truly a wonder that I think is worth going out to see!  People mistake the everglades for a stagnant swamp, but in reality, it is a flowing ebb of all various kinds of life.

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The Everglades have also faced ecological stress, at one point almost losing all of the water supply.  Since then, people have worked together to reverse the damage, and preserve the beauty here.

The Florida Keys may be a little underrated; truly a gift of Mother Nature! If anything, the earth is something to be nurtured and respect, not stripped barren.  Be kind to your home, and live a life conscious of your actions on those around you.

Much love,

Maddi

Beach Sunrise

A while back, my friends and I took an early morning trip together to see sunrise at Laguna Beach. We got up around 5am, grabbed some blankets and Starbucks, and watched the horizon as it shifted from black, to jeweled purples, to soft pastel paints.    It is so peaceful to watch the world slowly awake. IMG_5089 IMG_5094 IMG_5100 IMG_5103 IMG_5105 IMG_8794 IMG_8798

Day 5 // Barcelona…from the Mountains to the Sea

Another beautiful and warm day here in Barcelona!

finally went for a run in the hotel gym (s/o to my cross country girls at practice back home).  Until today I haven’t been able to get myself up early enough to go workout, and by the time we get back  from sight seeing I’m too tired (or too lazy) to get up and get it done.  I actually have never really used a treadmill before-only been outside on runs by myself or with my team-and while it was kind of nice being the only one in the gym-it became incredibly boring.  After about 4 miles I was so over it.  I did some push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, blah blah

Wandered around, ate a kiwi, which by the way are SO GOOD here (lol random, but I had to mention kiwis somewhere); I don’t know if Spain is known for this fruit in particular or something, but seriously best ones I’ve ever had.  I think I eat like 3 a day now lol.  Met my dad in the cafe around 9am, and decided to go explore the mountain region together! Mom and little sister were still fast asleep, and they’re not exactly the “hiking and nature” kind of people.  Barcelona does not really ‘wake up’ until around 11am, so there were not that many people out, which was nice.

We grabbed a map and hitched on the subwayIMG_1112We got out onto a metropolis area; I was slightly confused for a moment.  Then we made a quick turn to the left to see the Museu of Nacional d’Art de Cataluyna !

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IMG_1132This is where they filmed part of “Strut” for the Cheetah Girl’s movie ! 🙂

IMG_1142 IMG_1146Then went to the top!

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dad getting artsy

dad getting artsy

IMG_1163Breathtaking view

IMG_1168So this point marked the base of the mountain, or Montujïc.  Our plan was to get to the top where Montujïc Castle sits.

IMG_1171 IMG_1172 IMG_1173We walked until we hit the main road, and then veered off into the trail side of the hill, leading to the botanical gardens walk.  I felt like I was walking through Narnia.

IMG_1174 IMG_1177 IMG_1178 IMG_1179 IMG_1180 IMG_1185 IMG_1186It is really easy to get [wonderfully] lost here, you really have to watch out for the signs! Although I thought it was a pretty perfect place to be lost.  The trail eventually outputted us on the main road, runners and bikers were everywheree.  We walked a little more until we hit the cable car, or the ski lift to the castle!

IMG_1190 IMG_1192 IMG_1210Then we made it!

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Montjuïc Castle

signature pose

signature pose

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We wandered around for a bit, and then hitched the gondola back down to where we started. Then we had to find another cable car to get from that point of the mountain to the port!  We hiked a couple of hills to realized we were lost lol, but we happened to run by the Olympic shooting range!

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IMG_1212We eventually got there

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estoy feliz :)

estoy feliz 🙂

IMG_1224After all this walking, running, and hiking I treated myself to not one, but two different gelatos today…haha oh well 😛

By the time we got back to our hotel it was only about 11:30-12, and my mom and sister were just getting down for ‘breakfast’.  Since we did most of the city walking yesterday we hit the beach! 🙂  We went a little off the main drag to avoid the busy tourist crowds, as recommended by some strangers my dad had become friends with, but it was still pretty packed!  Too much of a perfect day to miss.

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I look like I'm about to sneeze..but oh how I missed the Med beaches

I look like I’m about to sneeze..but oh how I missed the Med beaches

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The Med water is so blue and clear.  Then we ate and relaxed at a local seaside restaurant

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traditional spanish paella

traditional spanish paella

A lot of pictures and not a lot of words! But I hope you enjoyed them 🙂 haha.  Tonight was our last night in Catalunya :(, and although I’m so torn about leaving I’m excited for our travels tomorrow!

P1010208BUT you’ll have to read tomorrow to find out where we’re headed 😉 and subscribe if you want<3

Me gusta mucho Barcelona, el sol, y la playa

Me gusta mucho Barcelona, el sol, y la playa

Much love,
Maddi

Beach adventure: Victoria St., Laguna Beach, CA

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Look how sick that is. A couple days ago me and my friend decided to go secret beach searching, and we came across this beaut.  Only the locals know about it around here apparently, and I know many would like to keep it out of tourists reach.  Our original plan was to go to Shaw’s Cove tide pools, but there was absolutely NO parking..so I guess we’ll have to save that for another day!

It tools us about 40min to an hour to actually find Victoria’s beach once we got to Laguna..and all the while worth it.  The stairway to reach the beach is tucked away in one of Laguna’s many residential neighborhoods; we had to (nonchalantly) follow a resident to find it.
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it opened up to the semi-private beach..SO pretty! The water was so clear, which is surprising for other beach standards.  Huntington the water is almost black (yuck): just going to show how secluded and uncontaminated it is in comparison.
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After we got to this spot we wandered for a bit until we caught sight of side tidal rocks, and followed that direction.  After some climbing and wandering over private resident beaches (still open to public, we did not trespass), we found it.

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There was NO ONE there except me, my friend, and another stranger.  The beach is quite small, hugging the cliffside.  The tidal rocks circled the area (you can kind of see here), and when high tide comes in, the sand is almost completely taken over so you got to be careful about the timing!  Definitely not a swimming beach, just a “touch my feet in” kind of thing.  We had a wonderful time just sitting and admiring the scenery.

 

me and the tower

me and the tower

The tower was built in 1929, by a resident at the time.  There is a spiraling stairway inside, but the door is locked (forever I assume).  So so crazy that it is still here. If you’re ever feeling adventurous, and have a day to waste, you should check it out! If you can find it ; )

Happy Summer days
Much Love,
Maddi