Welcome, 2013!

Greetings Dear Readers, and Happy 2013!

2012 was an outstanding year, and it’s been a great pleasure sharing our journeys with you and virtually traveling along on yours as well. Thank you for your insight and support!

It’s been my tradition for several years to send out an end-of-year travelogue to my friends and family. Since I count many of you as special friends, I wanted to share our greetings here as well. If you click on the image below, you’ll come to a .pdf file with many of our globetrotting happenings. Brace yourself —  it was a jam-packed year for us! We have been very lucky to have had the experiences we’ve had and to have brushed shoulders with fantastic friends, old and new.

Many of you have likely made resolutions. I didn’t craft a traditional one this year, however, I’m now quite inspired to do so throughout the year, as a result of this wise quote from French-Cuban author, Anaïs Nin:

“I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”

Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a splendid 2013, and again, I say thank you for a fantastic year.

All the best,


Holiday Newsletter 2013, page 1

Photo du Jour: Into the Wild Blue Yonder – Uluwatu Temple, Bali


Perched on a column near Bali’s sacred 11th-century Uluwatu Temple, a wild Balinese Macaque gazes out over the Indian Ocean. This critter’s serene stance could be misleading, however, given the mischievous nature of many of the monkeys on Uluwatu’s scenic grounds. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: Into the Wild Blue Yonder – Uluwatu Temple, Bali”

A Stroll Through Balinese Markets


Balinese markets are a feast for the eyes. In Ubud’s bazaar and food and produce markets, there are stacks of colorful rattan offering boxes, wooden masks with intimidating gazes, small cases comprised of beads in swirling patterns, delicate batik silk scarves, walls of oil-adorned canvases, and overflowing mounds of tropical fruits. The markets are a shopper’s paradise, a photographer’s dream…

Continue reading “A Stroll Through Balinese Markets”

Photo du Jour: A Balinese Balancing Act in Ubud

With baskets of rich soil balanced on their heads, three Balinese women ascend the stairs of a performance theater in Ubud, Bali. The graceful stance of the laborers is reminiscent of the dancers who perform there regularly in the evenings.

Continue reading “Photo du Jour: A Balinese Balancing Act in Ubud”

Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Anderson

At our home away from home in Bali, Indonesia, this Buddha statue greeted us daily with a splendid flower in hand. The flowers — quite often hibiscuses or frangipanis — had been carefully selected and placed by the homestay’s hostess, Ayu. Like the practice of making canang sari, Ayu’s ritual is another example of the spiritual offerings regularly performed by residents of this gentle island. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali”

An Evening Ablaze: Attending the Kecak Fire Dance at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple

The setting for the Balinese Kecak Fire Dance was dramatic.

First, we passed a swarm of mischievous macaques (monkeys) that spirited away visitors’ sunglasses, water bottles and sandals before our very eyes. We’d read warnings about these cheeky monkeys prior to arriving at the Uluwatu Temple, and the guidebooks advised visitors to stow away any removable accessories before entering the monkey zone. Continue reading “An Evening Ablaze: Attending the Kecak Fire Dance at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple”