Harrowing drive completed...Grateful to be back at the villa...The old rat race or gerbil on the wheel...How did this happen to us?

 
Giant abalone shell sink on the grounds of Puri Bagus Lovina.
 "Sightings on the Beach in Bali"

Tom spotted this local woman carrying straw on her head after we returned to Sumbersari.
What a unique feeling it was, returning to the villa, after a five day stay in Lovina as we completed the visa extension process.  It felt as if we were coming "home."  At 2 pm we picked up our passports stamped for an October 30th departure from Indonesia.  Four weeks from today we'll be heading to Kuta to board the red eye flight to Sydney after midnight on the 30th.
Boats along the shoreline.
In our old lives, after a short holiday/vacation, it was easy to dread the return to reality; its piles of mail, messages and back-to-work responsibilities.  Then there was the piles of laundry, the old food to toss in the fridge, the necessity of quickly getting to a grocery store and filling the car with fuel. 

Statue with a lei of fresh flowers on the lawn.
Sunday nights were particularly difficult as memories of time away would waft from our minds and the painstaking process of getting up and ready for work to face yet another day of the necessary grind most of us have experienced in our daily lives.

Flowers by the sea.
Sure, there are those of you out there that love your work feeling no angst returning from a trip. For the rest of us, it was only after several hours back into the groove that we could finally relax accepting our 40, 50 hours or more of the weekly "rat race." 

Small lily pond.
The pace of life at that time almost escapes me now after all these years free of such responsibilities and constraints.  Returning from the resort yesterday we experienced none of the above frustrations. 

The infinity edge of the pool at Puri Bagus Lovina.
We loaded the laundry basket with our dirty clothes which the two Ketuts will do on Monday.  Our dinner was prepared and ready for us once we unpacked and changed back into our swimsuits.  There was no snail mail, messages we hadn't already handled, no need to grocery shop or refill the tank with fuel.

Boat and tower in the bay.  Gede, the resort manager at Puri Bagus Lovina suggested patrons don't go into the ocean due to poisonous coral.
"How did this happen to us?" We've often asked ourselves this question.  At dinner over these past nights at the resort, we often discussed how we remain in awe of our lives, affordable with a strict budget, freeing in ways we never imagined and filled with endless experiences far exceeding any expectations we may have had for our lives and ultimately in our travels. 

Statue in the garden.
Yesterday, with a late 1:45 pm checkout in order to get to immigration by 2 pm, I spent the morning in the bar preparing the post.  On several occasions, a variety of resort managers stopped by to thank us for our posts and for highlighting the resort.

A father, a son and a nephew serenading diners during dinner.
As we were leaving, they all were present to wish us well.  Gede, the general manager, asked to take a photo with us for his own keepsake.  We were flattered by their appreciation as we were appreciative of their kindness and attentiveness.

Heart shaped flower arrangement left on our bed in the resort.
Today our own Gede, visited to ensure we'd enjoyed his recommendation of the resort in Lovina located in his home town where he'd grew up and his parents and siblings are still living.  We couldn't thank him enough for the fabulous recommendation.

Tangle of trees along the shore.
Today?  Easy day.  Sunshine.  Happiness.  How did this happen to us?  May it happen for you as well!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 1, 2015:
This was actually a dine in restaurant in a small strip mall in Savusavu, Fiji, with two tiny tables for diners and minimal cooking space for the cook.  For more details, please click here.


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