Birthday in Bali! – 23rd August 2022

Today was my birthday so Happy Birthdaaaaay to meeeee!!
As I liked to remind Nathan, it was the most important day of the year so I was expecting to wake up to fresh roses, candles and breakfast in bed but instead I just woke up to sheets that were brown from my fake tan – hahahaha!

I’m just kidding anyways, I didn’t expect breakfast in bed – Nathan knows better then to serve me breakfast in bed as I hate when crumbs get in the sheets.

Today we got up around 7:30am and got ready for our day. I had a blow-wave booked at Jet Black Ginger in Bingin at 10:00am so we went downstairs to have the buffet breakfast before we headed out. (Everyone that knows me knows that I love a buffet!)
I must say though, I didn’t rate the breakfast at Royal Tulip Jimbaran. The food choices were a little boring and the quality was mediocre. Everything looked good at first glance but I’ve definitely had better food in my lifetime.

After eating a piece of toast, a little egg and some fruit, Nathan and I ordered Gojek Scooters to head off to Jet Black Ginger. I appreciate that the Gojek drivers will always try and find the quickest way to your destination so this was definitely the most interesting ride I’d had so far.
My driver took me through all the back roads of Jimbaran and then through some military training! We were driving down this long road when I saw this large battle tank and these armoured vehicles on the street with a whole line up of what I think was the Bali Military standing there in uniform with all their guns 😐
My Gojek driver slowed down (so much so that I thought he was going to stop) and I could only assume we were about to get into trouble for coming this way. Suddenly all the military smiled at us and someone waved us through. Phew!!
I got to the hairdressers safe and sound and Nathan wasn’t too far off behind me. His driver wished me a Happy Birthday so they must have had quite the chat on the 25 minute drive down! 😀

This was my third blow wave since I’d been in Bali and I was really hoping it was going to be good as Jet Black Ginger had great reviews online. I was booked in for a Cream Bath hair treatment and a Blow Wave. Cream Bath’s are very popular in Bali so you’ll see them on nearly every spa’s menu. After shampooing, the hairdresser applies this cream-bath cream to your hair and scalp, then massages it in to enhance the cream absorption. It’s meant to soften and strengthen your hair – especially if you use lots of heat tools on it like I do. My hairdresser did this all for me, then while the cream-bath treatment was in she gave me one of the strongest massages I’ve had in my life haha!
She massaged my neck, shoulders & scalp for a good 30 minutes and did a wonderful job! To be honest, her pressure was probably a bit too hard but I felt like my body needed it.

Once she washed the cream treatment out, she spent ages brushing my hair before she blow-dried it. I should have told her to brush my hair before she washed it as it was really tangled from the scooter ride so it was very hard to brush. I actually felt bad because she spent most of the treatment trying to detangle my hair – woops.

At the end though, my hair looked great! I really enjoyed my treatment so highly recommend Jet Black Ginger to anyone in the Canggu or Uluwatu/Bingin area. They also do nails! I actually wanted to get my nails done when I was there but they didn’t have any availability so definitely recommend booking if you want to visit.

With my hair all clean, I went for a little walk to meet Nathan who was off getting probably his 10th massage of the whole trip.
The massage place he was at was about a 10 minute walk away but with the heat and my hair freshly done I didn’t want to be out in the humidity for too long so I stopped at a few little boutique shops along the way to look at some clothes/use their store air conditioning to cool down haha.

Eventually Nathan came and met up with me and we took a Gojek car to Palmilla Beach Club which is a semi-new beach club located at Melasti Beach in Ungasan. The plan for the day was to drink, swim and relax so I could have a chilled out birthday 🙂 🙂

We paid IDR100k (about AUD$10) for entering the club and there was a minimum spend if you wanted to use the sun beds (which we did) however there was a wait as we didn’t arrive until after lunch time and they were all taken from people who had gotten there earlier.
We said we would sit at the bar on the swings until a day bed became available. From memory, the day beds were about AUD$100 however we got that all back in food and drink credit so it’s totally worth it if you’re going to spend all day there. I think we probably spent around AUD$200 for the day and that was with 1L jugs of frozen margaritas, pizzas etc.. more expensive than local places in Bali but normal price for a westernised place.

I just had a look online for their prices but couldn’t find them. However, I found in my WhatsApp messages a message from them explaining the prices so they’re below if you’re planning on going 🙂

Open: 10am – 8pm

Entry: Adults IDR 125k/AUD$12.5 (for cash) or IDR 100k/AUD$10 (paying by card)

Minimum Spend *as of September 2022*: Tables – No minimum spend, Pool Bed – IDR 500k (AUD$50), Double Bed Rest Area max 4 people IDR 750k (AUD$75), Double Bed Sand Area max 4 people IDR 1mill (AUD$100)

First come, first serve basis. You can’t reserve any beds.

Eventually a day bed became free so we lay down for a few hours, ordered more drinks and enjoyed the music. I may or may not have fallen asleep for a little bit… what can I say, I’m 31 now haha!

We stayed until sunset then ordered a car to take us somewhere for dinner. We couldn’t be bothered going back to our hotel and we’d spent most of the day in the pool so didn’t feel like we needed to freshen up to much.
From my little list of ‘Places to eat in Bali’ I chose this cute restaurant called The Loft. They have one in Uluwatu as well as Canggu. As we were South, we went to the Uluwatu one for dinner.

When we got there, we ordered the Buffalo Cauliflower with homemade sambal sauce and maybe a burger. To be honest, I can’t actually remember as it was over a month ago now and I didn’t take a picture of anything but the cauliflower 😦 I did however take one of our dessert!
A yummy Chocolate Lava Cake and some Carrot Cake. (Enjoyed the Lava cake way more, found the carrot cake not up to my fussy carrot cake standard haha)

In the process of having dinner, I WhatsApped messaged a few tour companies to find out their best price for a day tour to one of the islands the next day. We didn’t have anything organised and wanted to take the boat over to Nusa Penida. One company said they could do it for IDR600k per person for the tour + IDR375k for the pick up and drop off (AUD$60pp + $37.5) so I booked with them and organised for them to pick us up at 7:00am the next day.
I suddenly remembered we didn’t get a chance to collect our washing from the laundry place we dropped our clothes off to that morning and they were about to close so I quickly WhatsApped messaged them to see if they could wait around for us and we’d pay them extra as we were literally wearing our last clothes but they had already finished for the day.
As our driver was picking us up at 7:00am and the laundry place didn’t open until 8:00am I was in a bit of a pickle. They were so kind though and said the laundry person would come in earlier for us the next day so we could get our clothes. Honestly, the Balinese people are so nice!

After we’d finished dinner at The Loft, it was off home for our early start the next morning!

Next Post: Nusa Penida Day Trip!

Apologies if this post was a bit all over the show. I’ve been back and forth with writing this and keep loosing my place. It’s been a very busy week with wedding planning but I’m wanting to write all this stuff down before I head to Bali again in 2 weeks!

Cancun – 11th June 2018

June 11th 2018

I woke up this morning to the sound of Justin Bieber singing Despacito in my ear.
Haha just kidding, I wish.
I did however chuck it on Spotify and walked out onto my balcony to view the amazing ocean with the song playing – just so I could get that true Mexican feel ya know 😉

We all had to meet in the lobby by 9am so after getting ready, I headed down to the buffet to have some breakfast.
IMG_20180611_084945_204.jpgAs I arrived, they were making Cinnamon buns out the front in this massive cooker – yummy!

I always find buffets funny. Just the fact that you’re shown to your table, you all sit down and then basically just get back up again to go and get food. Like there really is no point in sitting down because you’re not ordering from a menu. Everyone does that awkward 2 minute wait at the table and looks at their cutlery then gets up to go and get their meal once the waiter has left.

giphySo anyways, that’s exactly what I did. Sat at my table with a few girls from the FAM, encased in some small talk then got up to go and get food.


Day 2 of feeling like the biggest fatty in the group. The other girls got fruit and cereals and I literally filled up my plate with an omelette, breakfast taco, toast and then had a separate plate for my pastries.
I think I chucked the piece of Pineapple on there just to make myself feel a little healthier because it definitely didn’t go with the arrangement of food I already had.



20180615_162040.jpgAfter a second helping of breakfast (I know! :'()
The girls and I met up with the rest of the group in the Hyatt Ziva Lobby.
It wasn’t all relaxing in the sun drinking mojitos on this trip! We actually had to do some ‘travel agent work’ such as taking a tour of the resort we were staying in, taking pictures of the views from the rooms, checking out the lead-in category rooms right up to the rooms with the swim-up pools and knowing the difference between the adults-only tower and the family suites.

Very gruelling work I know!
I won’t go into too much detail about the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, just because I’m going to do a whole separate blog post review on it.

After exploring our all-inclusive heaven, we took the bus over to another resort that’s under the ‘Playa Resort’ chain called Panama Jack Cancun. Theres two Panama Jack properties (one in Cancun and one in Playa Del Carmen).IMG_20180611_110230_050-1.jpg

If the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is a bit out of your price range, Panama Jack Cancun is good 4-star option. I’d say it’s definitely great for families (especially one’s with younger children) as they have live music, mini-golf and even a castle with waterslides!
Sometimes they have a ‘kids stay free’ deal so check out their website to see what the latest promo’s they have going on!

Insider tip – If you do decide to stay here, I’d advise on upgrading your room type. The Standard & Junior Suites are both the same size and are considered a ‘lead-in’ category room, however if you’re traveling as a family, pay the extra amount for a Junior Family Suite or a Master One Bedroom Suite. The Family Suites have a king sized bed for the parents, along with twin bunk beds and a trundle for the kids whereas the One Bedroom Suites have a separate bedroom and living room, and a private balcony so you have ton’s more room!


When we’d finished checking out Panama Jack, we headed next door to one of the other Playa Resort properties – Hyatt Zilara Cancun. It’s the adults only version of the resort we’re currently staying at!
I could definitely tell a difference between the Hyatt Ziva and the Hyatt Zilara. The Hyatt Ziva is all ages and a much bigger resort with lots of pools, dolphins and a great big beach whereas the Zilara has more of an intimate feel to it.
The great thing about the Hyatt Zilara is everyone has a beautiful view no matter what room category you’re in.
The lead-in category room is a Junior Suite and it looks like this:

How nice is that!20180611_130538.jpg
You  get a double whirlpool tub, an ocean view and a beautiful modern bathroom. Another thing that was unique to this resort is they have this thing called a ‘Magic Box’ at the entrance of your room. Being an adults-only resort, they understand you’re not fully clothed all the time when you’re in your room so when you order room-service, they open this little door to put your food in and you can open it from the other side to collect it – how cute!

Everything else about the resort was amazing (again, not going to write too much as I will do a separate review) Even though I wasn’t staying there, everyone we talked to who was there on holiday kept telling us how great it was!
One lady said it was the best resort she’d ever stayed at, another couple raved about the service and how relaxing it was and someone else complimented how the staff went out of their way to make sure their allergies and food preferences were taken care of.
That’s another thing I forgot to mention, at any of the Panama Jack or Hyatt Resorts, the staff always ask if you have any allergies before you sit down to eat so they can make sure to tell the chef or give you some alternatives – like I say, it’s the little things that count!


Even though it was after lunch time by the time we finished viewing the Hyatt Zilara, I still wasn’t that hungry because of the big breakfast I had consumed this morning.
Unfortunately, we were scheduled for a lunch with the management team of the Hyatt Zilara at their buffet restaurant ‘Spice’ which after looking at all the food that was on offer, it wasn’t so unfortunate…


After we had all finished eating, it was time to head back to Hyatt Ziva and enjoy the rest of the afternoon doing whatever we liked!
It was so hot and humid I was just dying to go and hop in the pool and that’s exactly what I did when we got back!

I don’t have many pictures to show for the rest of my afternoon in Cancun. When we got back to our rooms, I chucked my phone on charge as it was nearly dead (I did take about 500 photo’s after all) and popped into my bikini before heading down to the pool area.

This was taken one morning when no one was up yet

I grabbed a drink from the swim-up bar and got chatting to a few others from the FAM. We drunk cocktails, yarned about our jobs and swum around the pool for a bit before heading out to the beach for a swim in the Caribbean sea. We originally wanted to go and climb up this inflatable climbing thing the resort had in the water but the staff were fixing it so we kind of just paddled around with our drinks and talked about life and all our hopes and dreams (as you do over tequila and vodka)
We must have been out there for hours!
We kept running back and forth between the beach bar and the sea so we definitely had our fair share of drinks before the sun set.
It was so much fun though! The people I was with were so good to talk to and it was finally nice to have a good group of people to talk to that weren’t so ‘cliquey’ (I have a bit of a problem finding people in Canada to make friends with who don’t already have their ‘group of friends’ or just aren’t interested in getting to know you)
The group were all pretty much from Toronto so maybe I’ve moved to the wrong city!


We decided it was probably time for us to all freshen up for dinner so we headed back to our individual rooms, got ready and then met in Bruce’s room to take some pictures and decide on what one of the restaurants we wanted to eat at.


As you can eat at however many restaurants you wish and you don’t need to make reservations, we headed to Habaneros which is their Mexican restaurant right on the beach. They serve everything from mouthwatering tacos, fresh seafood ceviches to zesty aguachiles. We only ordered appetizers  and a few drinks before heading to Lorenzo’s for a feast of Italian Food.
Lorenzo’s Restaurant was pretty popular that night so we wrote our name down on the list and headed off to watch some of the nightly entertainment before going back to the restaurant when a table was available (they give you one of those buzzing disc things when a table is free so you don’t need to keep going back to check)

Dinner was great!
I live a life of brokeness living in Vancouver so it was nice to read the menu and just pick an entree and whatever else I felt like and not have to worry about paying for it afterwards haha.
I actually ordered what I thought was bruschetta for my entree – you should have seen my face when a Salad got put in front of me!
Lauren couldn’t stop laughing when we looked at the menu and realised that i’d pretty much ordered a salad that begun with the letters “bru” and immediately thought it was bruschetta.
When you’re really feeling like carbs, you have no idea how disappointing it is when lettuce is served to you.
In the restaurants defence, it was actually pretty good. It went well with my lasagna and pear pizza haha.


To end the night, we had a few drinks at the brewery (yes this resort has it’s own brewery) and then a few of us headed off to bed!
You’d think with the unlimited alcohol we get I’d be drunk off my face every night but with the heat, all the food and the long days of walking around in the humidity – it really makes you tired haha!
Thankfully, I was so full from dinner I didn’t feel the need to order room service like I did last night hehe 🙂

Tomorrow, off to Playa Del Carmen!


Day 58 – London

8th October 2015

This was my second to last day in London so I spent it doing something actually touristy.
I met up with Kara (from my top deck tour) and her sister Larni at the Tower of London.


We bought our tickets to get in and decided to wait around for a tour that was about to start. It ended up being really fun because our tour guide was funny and knew so much about the Tower of London.



Before visiting, I didn’t really know much about the Tower of London. Just that it was a castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.


Basically the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952 although that wasn’t it’s main purpose. It also served as a royal residence and is now the place that holds the crown jewels!


In the 16th and 17th centuries when the castle was mainly used as a prison, it held many figures within its walls who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen.
That’s where the saying “sent to the Tower” comes from. Even though there was lots of torture and death that happened at the castle, only seven people were executed within the Tower.
Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period.



Once we’d explored nearly every inch of the castle, we headed off to get some lunch at the Borough Markets.


I wasn’t really expecting much from the markets, but if you’re ever in London and you love to eat like me. Go!!!
It was probably one of my highlights of London haha.
It’s a huge food market underneath railway lines in Southwark, Central London.


When we got there, we said “oh my god!!” And “ahh look at this!” About 100 times when we discovered something delicious to eat.


There was everything from hot made sandwiches filled with either chicken, bacon, pork or haloumi.



There was cheesecakes to buy by the slice, brownies, pastries, cupcakes, chocolates and fudge, donuts and other hot meals. Ahh I was in heaven! We didn’t know what to buy but ended up settling on one of the sandwiches. I got a haloumi filled one which was so good! And a cup of cider to go with it 🙂





Now that I’m recapping this blog, I really want to go back and have another sandwich haha
Eventually we decided to go home and meet up again later on. One of the girls from our Top Deck tour who lives in London was having her birthday dinner that night so we had to head home to get dressed and re-do our faces haha.


Once I had gone back to my hostel and gotten ready, I headed to the tube to catch the train out to Soho.
I met the girls at this restaurant/club (which I now can’t remember the name of) and we had drinks and dinner before heading downstairs for some dancing.
We may have gotten a bit drunk as wine was £12 a bottle woohoo!



A few of the girls left after that so it was just me and the sisters left.


Eventually after not being able to get into another club, we headed home for the night.
As Kara was going to the airport the next day and so was I, we agreed to meet at the Gatwick airport train station and catch the train together for our departure from London .