Month: March 2018

Beautiful Bali

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There are so many things I love about Bali, and I especially love the hardworking, constantly smiling, Balinese people. A few days ago we visited with our dear friends in Ubud, and just before sunset I slipped out with my camera and quietly walked into an area of rice fields behind their house.

The air was still warm from the day but I could feel a coolness from the knee high rice plants surrounding me. I walked the narrow paths that meander between fields, feeling absolute peace in the tranquility. The endless green was interrupted only by altars standing strong and tall, ready for offerings to the Gods…because no matter where one works in Bali – whether it be in a parking garage, a store in the middle of town, or a rice field, religion comes first and altars are found for offerings to be made several times a day.

I thought of the backbreaking work so many had already gone through to get the paddies to this point. The planting and weeding and watering, as well as the work that was yet to come.

Just before the sky turned orange, droplets of water formed on the plants surrounding me, and like tiny crystals, they reflected the last of the suns rays.

I said a pray, watched the last of the setting sun, then walked back to house where the crowd was enjoying each others company.

I found Emma, who has always been weary of small babies, completely at ease with sweet little Pierre in her arms.

A sailing friend that Jude made in Florida, has come to visit for a few days. We adore her her. Her name is Rebecca.
Mycah, Rebecca and I, took a scooter ride to show her around, and as usual, felt the warmth of the Balinese culture.

Roosters pecked at offerings laid down on sidewalks,

and women gathered to prepare flowers and food to place in offering baskets.

I love these women and their dedication.

Marigold lei’s drape the necks of sacred statues, like Dharma,

and Ganesha.

Plants have been decorated with hollowed out eggs for Easter,

And decorations still stand proudly in the streets.

These faces,

these dedicated people, have left such a great impact on my heart.

After our little excursion on scooters we returned home – me following Rebecca and Mycah, the Melon Heads, the entire way.

I’m so grateful we still have the villa in Bali, even though we are moving to Phuket, so we can return often to our Bali family. Our villa will continue to be an Airbnb while we are away.

Bouncing back to Bali

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Our last few days in Phuket, Thailand, we successful and relaxing. That’s a great combination. We looked at so many homes until we were so confused as to which had what features, that we were wiling to settle for whatever, wherever! We started to remember them by things like…’remember the house with the snake…?’

We also had to try keep track of which realtor showed us what, but in the end, one particular realtor truly stood out from the rest and delivered! Personally I think she went above and beyond because she has her own company with a couple of friends, rather than working for a big business – taking pride…it makes a difference. She found us a beautiful home for a great price in a wonderful location. We signed a 6 month rental contract starting April 1st.

Aside from an amazing back yard with a huge pool, we are right around the corner from this gorgeous beach that is out of the tourist zone. Our Realtor, Yuma, has a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BOONEpropertyphuket/

I’m excited to find a good deal on a road bicycle and get cycling again.
We received message from some of our fellow sailing friends, who were visiting Phuket, and met them for dinner. It was wonderful to catch up with Richard and Jan of s/v Morpheus.

Parts of Phuket become so bright at night, with fluorescent signs everywhere, and naughty places open for business in the tourist areas.

One of the wonderful things about living in the tropics, is that there’s always a fruit stand open some place…night and day.

We of course had to try some funky Thai chips…

I didn’t think these hot wings flavored ones were very good, but Danny and Aidan liked them.

These salt and sour ones were my personal favorite!

And these chicken shaped morsels had a sweet and sour sauce to dip into and were pretty tasty on their own as well as with the sauce!

We finally headed to the airport and began the trek to Indonesia. Many of my friends keep asking where on the map we are, so I took these on the airplane monitor…our first flight took us from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The second took us from there to Denpasaar, Bali.

It was so wonderful to see Mycah. We have missed her so much. She is now half way through her Yoga Teacher Training Course and is working so hard from dawn till dusk in the classroom and studio, and once home she has homework and studying for exams to complete. She’s loving it and learning so much, and will no doubt, be an amazing instructor. Her Yoga school is close to our villa, so she is able to stay with us.

Jude is in the Caribbean right now, in her happy place – which is on a sailboat. She, along with our broker, Jeff Jones, and another sailor, are transporting a Saba 50’ catamaran from St Lucia, to Nassau, Bahamas. She is loving life!

Loving Phuket, Thailand

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Every day we spend in Phuket, we fall deeper in love with it.

The scenery is beautiful,

The food is cheap and so delicious,

and the company has been fantastic!

I can’t tell you how weird it is to be down to 2 creatures right now! I keep looking around frantically, wondering where the others have disappeared to. But, the twins have personalities filled with humor and spunk that make up for a crowd of people, so it feels like there are more of us around.
Danny made it back to us, after transporting the jet he flies to Switzerland for maintenance, and hopefully we get to hold him hostage for about a month.

We have been exploring, and loving the warmth, ocean air and friendly Thai smiles.

We came across this interesting monument, erected after the tsunami – symbolizing the waves, currents and water movement that build within the ocean, gathering strength and volume, rolling forward onto the land.

Aidan and Emma found some hideous fish flip flops that they are determined to purchase for their ‘adopted’ big brother, Kalin Keck. Crazy thing is that I know he’d wear them!

We have been enjoying a constant supply of fresh fruit, especially mangoes, watermelon and passion fruit.

We did try some new chips, which we gave a thumbs up. Most chips here have fish or seaweed flavoring, which doesn’t jive with my universe though.

One of the things that crack me up, is the insane electric wire webs that run along every roadway…

Today we cooled off in the gorgeous water of the Andaman Sea,

Enjoyed gazing over lazy boats at anchor,

And plodded across a long pier.

Regardless of what we do, we just love being together, teasing, laughing and loving. Danny was kind enough to stop and let me out when I saw a beautiful pond full of water lilies that I just had to photograph…

Blossoms were in purple, pink and white,

and Lilly pads were spread wide in a beautiful shade of green.

As usual, I took far too many photos!

I also found a blob of frogs eggs…it’s a good thing I didn’t have a blow torch with me!

Our down time has been spent relaxing in the pool here at the hotel. Check out how long Aidan’s hair is when his curls are straightened out in the water!

While here in Phuket, we have been looking at rental homes. Our plan is to head back to Bali next week, spend a couple weeks enjoying the island and gathering our stuff, then moving here to Phuket. We love this place and are ready to explore Thailand. We have looked at 4 homes so far, and will see 3 more tomorrow and will make a decision by the end of the day tomorrow. Our villa in Bali has been doing well as an Airbnb, so we’ll continue to run it as that.

Mycah is doing splendidly in her Yoga Teacher Training and earning so much. We can’t wait to see her next week.
Life is good, we are so grateful for this beautiful world we love exploring, and for our health to enjoy it.

Loving Phuket, Thailand

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Every day we spend in Phuket, we fall deeper in love with it.

The scenery is beautiful,

The food is cheap and so delicious,

and the company has been fantastic!

I can’t tell you how weird it is to be down to 2 creatures right now! I keep looking around frantically, wondering where the others have disappeared to. But, the twins have personalities filled with humor and spunk that make up for a crowd of people, so it feels like there are more of us around.
Danny made it back to us, after transporting the jet he flies to Switzerland for maintenance, and hopefully we get to hold him hostage for about a month.

We have been exploring, and loving the warmth, ocean air and friendly Thai smiles.

We came across this interesting monument, erected after the tsunami – symbolizing the waves, currents and water movement that build within the ocean, gathering strength and volume, rolling forward onto the land.

Aidan and Emma found some hideous fish flip flops that they are determined to purchase for their ‘adopted’ big brother, Kalin Keck. Crazy thing is that I know he’d wear them!

We have been enjoying a constant supply of fresh fruit, especially mangoes, watermelon and passion fruit.

We did try some new chips, which we gave a thumbs up. Most chips here have fish or seaweed flavoring, which doesn’t jive with my universe though.

One of the things that crack me up, is the insane electric wire webs that run along every roadway…

Today we cooled off in the gorgeous water of the Andaman Sea,

Enjoyed gazing over lazy boats at anchor,

And plodded across a long pier.

Regardless of what we do, we just love being together, teasing, laughing and loving. Danny was kind enough to stop and let me out when I saw a beautiful pond full of water lilies that I just had to photograph…

Blossoms were in purple, pink and white,

and Lilly pads were spread wide in a beautiful shade of green.

As usual, I took far too many photos!

I also found a blob of frogs eggs…it’s a good thing I didn’t have a blow torch with me!

Our down time has been spent relaxing in the pool here at the hotel. Check out how long Aidan’s hair is when his curls are straightened out in the water!

While here in Phuket, we have been looking at rental homes. Our plan is to head back to Bali next week, spend a couple weeks enjoying the island and gathering our stuff, then moving here to Phuket. We love this place and are ready to explore Thailand. We have looked at 4 homes so far, and will see 3 more tomorrow and will make a decision by the end of the day tomorrow. Our villa in Bali has been doing well as an Airbnb, so we’ll continue to run it as that.

Mycah is doing splendidly in her Yoga Teacher Training and earning so much. We can’t wait to see her next week.
Life is good, we are so grateful for this beautiful world we love exploring, and for our health to enjoy it.

Back in Phuket, Thailand

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It’s 9:30am here in Phuket, and I have just woken from five hours of deep slumber. We traveled a total of 30 hours, and yet when we lay down to rest last night, according to the time, we had left our friends home in Oxnard just 8 hours earlier. Time, is such an odd thing.Our first flight was from LAX to Hong Kong, and for 15 hours we chased the sun.
So here we are, in our hotel room in the jungles of Thailand. It’s 80 degrees outside, the humidity allows one to feel like a breath inhaled is thick, full of oxygen provided by the surrounding banana and guava trees, and chickens chirp and cackle as they scratch the dirt for an unlucky worm. It feels like home.

All that sitting in the sky provided plenty of time for me to reminisce. Our trip to the US was so busy, yet each moment so precious and unforgettable.
Our time in California with Mom and Dad, was as always, wonderful. Especially since my Dad and brother have journeyed on, it felt so good to hug Dad and my brother, Steve. I held each of them for just a moment longer this time, hoping they wouldn’t mind. Sweet Jasmine and I cuddled lots too. She kept wanting to lick my face as I ran my fingers through her soft hair.

We laughed and read and watched movies and talked. The time for relaxation was fantastic.

It was so wonderful to spend time with Jude. It just didn’t feel right or normal to have to say goodbye to her again, yet I’m so happy for her and the upcoming adventures that will continue to add fantastic chapters to her book of life. Soon she will leave for St Lucia and spend time the high seas once again…that place where heaven and earth become one…
We walked the shores of Avila Beach, searching for treasure carried in by the tide, and felt sea foam froth and disappear at out feet. The water was cold on the sand, as hundreds of rainbows shimmered in bubbles – no doubt, cast there by mermaids splashing out in the surf.

As I watched Jude run through flocks of unamused seagulls,

Danny wrote our initials in the sand behind me. The large stick he found moved fluidly in his hands as he formed a giant heart. My heart skipped a beat as I realized once again that somehow, he loves me.

Jude and Emma teased and laughed and I admired how beautiful they are. Not just their appearance, but their souls as well.

I asked for a somewhat serious photo, and they tried so hard…for just a second…Emma with her dramatic gaze and Aidan trying not to laugh out loud.

These moments are etched deep within forever. I love being a mother.

Aside from time at the beach,

we had our usual measuring of Jude and Aidan. Jude is convinced she’s still taller, and Aidan knows 100% that he is…

Once we said ’see you later’ to Mom and Dad, and dropped Danny off at LAX, we did what we do best:
Walked the docks.

The sounds of wind in the sheets, halyards against the mast and seagulls calling, is such a beautiful combination. The boats swayed gently in the marina, itching for their time at sea, and a lonesome sea lion swam among the hulls, surfacing only for a quick breath then shot off once again on its quest for a morning snack.

To be among boats, feels like home.
We spent wonderful time with our friends, the Walea Family, who graciously provided places for us to rest our heads in their beautiful home.
Soon time carried us to that place where we had to once again wish Jude farewell for now. I kissed her sweet face, embraced her and whispered a quite prayer of protection and love in my heart , then drove back onto those four lanes of craziness that lead to LAX. Impatient people hustled passed, unable to return a smile or greeting as their minds raced and worried. We watched others calmly, confidently wait their turn in sequins,

and before we knew it, it was our turn to take to our seats under the purple lights of Hong Kong Air.

Travels went smoothly and were pleasant aside from the guy who had bad gas for 15 hours – how is that even possible! The stench came in violent waves – fierce enough to singe hair in everyones nostrils and leave the wide burn stains on our lungs forever.

Today is a new day, and the air is warm and full of sweet jungle smells. Thailand is beautiful, and adventures await. What will today bring for the twins and I….?

Storm before the calm

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It’s been a crazy few weeks – hence my lack of blogging. So much has happened – some of it big deal stuff, so here’s a brief recap….

We got my sweet mom moved from Firth to Idaho Falls with the help of the amazing Keck Family. They are always so willing to help where ever possible and we are so grateful for their friendship.

Jude learned so much at the Children’s Book Conference in New York, and now has important contacts that will be of great help to her along the way. Other writers there, were impressed with her writing and encouraged her to keep pushing through the difficult task of becoming published. She then flew to Florida where she completed her Power boat 2 course and STCW. She’s pretty bonified now.

Mycah returned to us after the New York trip, having loved her time there, and has since then returned to Bali (arriving last night), to attend her Yoga Teacher Training course. She read us her schedule for the next several weeks, and it is grueling. She’ll be training for about 10 hours a day and on top that have all sorts of studying to do – everything from human anatomy to the history of yoga and meditation and everything in between. She’s so passionate about it and we love watching her progress.

We helped Kjira get moved into her apartment- again with the help of the Kecks. Mycah, our little interior decorator, help her pick out things to make it homey. She’s all settled now with two pet frogs, Sebastian and Prince, to keep her company.

We bowled and played and watched movies in between, catching up with so many wonderful people.

Bernadine and Reed McCandless got married two or three weeks ago,

and last week our beautiful daughter, Ashley, married the wonderful Michael Leighner. We are so excited to have Mike as a son.

Ashley was an exquisite bride to her handsome companion, and Danny and I couldn’t be more excited!

We were grateful that Danny was able to make it. After the wedding and some time with Aundrea, Jake and Jordan,

we loaded up 9 checked bags,6 backpacks, an ukulele in a hard case, and 5 full grown humans into a little white clown car, and drove to Mona, Utah, where we dropped Mycah off.

The rest of us continued on to St George to spend the night with the Nell Family. It was strange to have only the twins with us! Their larger than life personalities make up for it though! We loved our time with the Nells, and the next morning continued on to LA.

On the way we were actually able to walk outside without being bundled up for the first time in 2 months!!!

Check out the worlds largest thermometer…66 degrees!

Jude wanted to surprise the twins and fly into LAX when she was done in Florida, so we hung out at Venice beach while waiting for her flight to arrive.

It’s always fun to be there, and it was of course wonderful to see the ocean.

Reuniting with Jude was wonderful. We missed her so much.

We then drove to Nipomo where mom and dad live, and love catching up with them. Today Danny and Aidan will go flying since Aidan is interested in it as a career, and we also stopped at the Santa Barbara Mission, which was founded in 1786.

We met some goofy looking friars…

Bless their hearts!

Since we were missing Kjira we grabbed a bag of her favorite chips, which have become one of our favorites…

If you haven’t tried them, put them on your shopping list!

Danny will fly out on 3/4 and the twins and I will fly out on 3/6, at which time Jude will make her way to St George to spend a few days with the Nell Family. She will help transport a 50’ catamaran from St Lucia to Nassau, Bahamas, soon after that.

So there it is. Life is busy, but so good. We are so grateful for our health so that we can accomplish all this nonsense, and look forward to getting settled again, as we continue to save up for our next boat. Speaking of getting settled, my mom has since moved back to Firth. She is much happier there and feels relieved to be back where her Firth family is.