Candi Dasa – A vacation from our Vacation

Backpacking can begin to wear on you after a while. Always having to barter, always looking for a better deal, always staying at someplace less than optimal (I mean, when have you ever considered a toilet seat a luxury? The answer is after the first time you place your ass directly on the bowl, for gods sake, we’re not animals!). So it was with great anticipation we boarded the bus and took a five hour ride from Kuta to Candi Dasa to see the “Penthouse” that my mom had rented us for 2 weeks. (Note, the busride should have taken about 3 hours, but in typical fashion, the bus broke down).

Ultra reliable transportation

Ultra reliable transportation

All I can say is walking into this place was like walking into an episode of MTV Cribs! The penthouse was 2 levels, three bedrooms on the first level, flat screens all around, enough seating to play musical chairs without anyone being eliminated for hours, an outdoor bar, and then at the top floor was a Jacuzzi.  Brittany and I had full reign over the place until my Mom arrived two days later with her friend Janelle. They arrived at 2 in the morning after a trip that sounded pretty terrible (about 24 hours of travel). She was so tired she didn’t even cry – anyone who knows my mom knows that is almost unheard of).


Balcony overlooking the water

Balcony overlooking the water


Lovely Living Area

Lovely Living Area


Jacuzzi? Yuppp

Rooftop Jacuzzi? Yuppp


The View

The View

Candi Dasa as a town was pretty high class – prices at a lot of places were what we considered to be fairly expensive, as its largely a resort town.  Brittany and I tried to get mom to eat like we had eaten, at the $1.50 warungs, but attempt after attempt left her severely underwhelmed.  The thing that didn’t leave any of the girls underwhelmed were the massage services. With hour massages costing between $8 on the low side for an hour of massage, and $40 for 5 hours of pampering, they were loving it.


The warung that we adored. $1.50 for the best food we'd had in Indonesia. It didn't look like much, and it had stray cats that ate entire chicken bones, but it was our favorite little eatery

The warung that we adored. $1.50 for the best food we’d had in Indonesia. It didn’t look like much, and it had stray cats that ate entire chicken bones and hissed at Brittany when she protested, but it was our favorite little eatery


A completely vegetarian meal consisting of gluten, tofu, and a sweet peanut sauce (this one was under a dollar)


Spicy chicken, fireroasted tomatoes, and a fantastic sauce, Brittany ate this every day


My mom and her friend Janelle are not exactly the “hang around and watch the day go by” types, so of course most days were packed with activities – activities that left me sunburnt, sweaty, and craving the cold kiss of the air-conditioning units of the condo. One day they got up early and went fishing. They claim to have caught a number of fish, but gave them away, not sure if I believe that one. Then, we went snorkeling on the blue lagoon.

This boat was so small I had to get out of it in order for us to make it over the rocks.

This boat was so small I had to get out of it in order for us to make it over the rocks.

Another day we took a trip to the hippy town of Eat Pray Love fame, Ubud. We ate some good food, Prayed our taxi driver wouldn’t get us killed, and loved the massive amounts of silver mom and Janelle probably didn’t claim on their customs forms (just kidding guys). The town looked pretty cool, but given how choked with tourists, traffic, and property development it had become, and our short trip through, we were happy to return to the quiet little town of Candi Dasa.


We got to see how they made the jewelry


Brittany feeling what it’s like to be a millionaire

IMG_4317-800 IMG_4319-800

For the final day we visited the water temple, which was amazingly beautiful, and took some possibly culturally insensitive pictures.


Beautiful picture


Beautiful Picture


Brittany has an eye for composition


The picture we may need to apologize for later

Oh and I can’t forget the monkey forest (Jesus, I do believe my mom was trying to kill us with activities)

I imagine this was the face of all the girls during their massages

Brittany getting a massage

Now, I’d be remiss if I wrote a blog entry about my mother but didn’t include the fact that there was dancing. Look, she was raised in the 50’s in a religious household, so I don’t know why or how she came to shake it like a Harlem street walker, but my mom can, and loves to dance. Paired with her recent foray into Zumba and her dislike of dancing by herself, we soon found our nights filled with feeble attempts to fist pump, juke, jive, jam, and most unfortunately, gyrate in a manner that didn’t make us look like complete spasmodics when compared to Mom.



Oh, and what high end resort wouldn’t be complete without some traditional dancing. This one even had a large snake she danced with. Apparently this girl had hands of gold, because within 5 minutes of her dance, the snake began to ejaculate (you read that right) and then evacuated it’s bowels all over the dance floor. I just want to know why everyone’s so calm when it happens to a snake, but it’s always a face to face meet and greet with a steroid abusing bouncer when I do it.


The snake just experienced what most men would call the best night ever.

The last week mom and Janelle were here, we switched resorts and went down to Sanur (known affectionately as Snore, because the supposed lack of vibrant nightlife, but we quite liked it. The resort was amazing, great pools, wifi, great beach, and tons of little warungs around it where Brittany and I could get our cheap food fix.


Area of the resort where the mariachi band played covers all night


Finally got them to try Indian food, and they threw their gang signs in appreciation for the food

The most exciting part of Sanur was probably when our taxi driver hit a guy on a scooter on the way home, instead of apologizing, I believe he told him to do something rather untoward with his mother, gestured, and then drove off. Scooter guy didn’t like that, drove up, punched the passenger side window (Hey that’s me dude!) then threw his helmet full force at mom’s window. I’m not exactly sure the origin of the term Punch Drunk, but as I interpret the term, I was about there, and jumped out of the car screaming the most American things I could think of as I ran at him (“Toby Keith”, “Healthcare’s not a right”, “Hungry man dinners”, etc) . I could vaguely hear mom shouting at Brittany to get me, but mostly I heard the 5’5 110lb guy screaming that he wasn’t mad at me, but instead at the driver of the car. I politely asked him why he punched my window, and tried to break my moms window with his helmet, with a small smattering of “motherfuckers” and “assholes” for kindly emphasis. Brittany reeled me in, and we headed to bed, an exciting night in Indonesia under our belts. No stabbings, and not in jail – slowchant U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.



Mom and Janelle left a few days later, ended up getting a bit stranded, as the superstorm had just hit the east coast of the US as they were flying in, but managed to get home. It was great to see mom, as you miss the normalcy of your every day life after a while, and it was certainly fantastic to get to stay in such luxury after staying in such squalor for so long. With that, Brittany and I went back to Kuta, partied our asses off a couple more nights, and then headed the Gili Islands for a little more beach time before hitting Australia to see our friends Arran and Catherine and meet up with Brittany’s family!



Oh, and painted penis bottle openers



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Comments (3)

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  1. susan says:

    I loved it, loved it…this description was fabulous. Helped me to relive the time with you guys. I am posting this everywhere I can..lol. I love you, Sean

  2. susan says:

    Just read it again, and laughed out loud. You can sure turn a phrase..I love the picture of Britt getting her massage..so funny, but you failed to mention that the monkeys gave me a parting gift–Fleas. love you

  3. Judy Lewis says:

    This was absolutely great Sean. Sounds like everyone had a very memoriable trip. Thanks for blog, felt like I could of been there( in some of the places)

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