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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rice

No lie, what happened to July!

Once again, I blinked and it was already August. I missed the opportunity to blog during the whole month of July. But, I have an excuse that I think you will agree is an acceptable one, given the opportunity that I had and took full advantage of during the month. I took a vacation that I've saved for over the past two years. It wasn't a traditional vacation like when I go to North Carolina, Georgia or California to visit family (which is really fun and I always have a blast seeing my beautiful family.)

This time it was to one of the most beautiful islands to visit if you enjoy Beauty! "Bali" has virtually every kind of natural beauty. Glorious mountainous areas with lush greenery, scenic lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, iconic rice fields, flower gardens, gushing sacred rivers and secret canyons all make up the island's landscape. And, the island is also home to many cultural traditions that are still practiced. The Balinese hold many ceremonies and celebrations throughout the year, lots of which can be enjoyed by curious tourists like me!

I wanted to immerse myself in the cultural traditions to understand the Balinese customs, beliefs, and rituals. So, I visited the famous Tirta Empul Temple and participated in the purification ceremony after changing into my green sarong and sash across my shoulder to show respect and most importantly, maintaining a quiet and reverent demeanor during the ceremony. After that, we toured a coffee plantation and tasted the Balinese coffee. An interesting tid-bit - Bali produces and sells Kopi luwak, which is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, selling for between $220 and $1,100 per kilogram. It is fabled to be produced from the bean like excrement of the Asian Palm Civet (animal resembling a cat or a weasel)....ick!!!

We visited the Bali Zoo and participated in a elephant and mud fun activity where we fed them and bathe them in mud!..another ick!!!! The Rice Terraces were s beautiful site to see and a breathtaking and picturesque experience. The Kemenuh Butterfly Park was amazing! It's home to a wide variety of butterfly species inside of a manmade natural habitat mimicking their natural environment. Then on to the Bali Batik fabric and clothing store to witness the technique and till you drop!!! We explored the Woodwork Galleries and workshops where we observed artisans creating beautiful sculptures, masks, furniture, and other intricate artworks from wood. Then more Souvenir shopping at various outdoor tent cities - and all of these things were done while staying on the beautiful jungle side of Bali. And let me not forget to tell you how much I enjoyed my private villa at the Royal Pita Maha Resort with the outdoor marble floor terrace with the Cabana, outdoor shower and personal swimming pool!

Then we moved to the ocean side of Bali where I enjoyed the luxury accommodations of what had to be a 10 star resort hotel! There I spent some relaxing time in a private Cabana on the beach of the Indian Ocean. Then on to the Uluwatu Temple located on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean and enjoying the mesmerizing Kecak Fire Dance performance before moving on to the Jimbaran Beach to enjoy a delicious seafood smorgasbord on the beach while being serenaded with Bob Marley tunes! We had tons of fun including 2 trips on our private bus where we sang along Karaoke style and danced in the aisles. Of course, we ended the time in Bali with more shopping trips to ensure we spent all of our rupiahs before departing the island to head to Singapore.

Singapore was a 24 hour layover so we made the best of it by renting a room in the Aerotel inside of the airport which is renowned as one of the most beautiful and largest airports in the world...there is so much to see and do inside of this massive place that you fly away feeling as if you've been visiting Singapore the city, the nation and the state! I would have many more pages telling you about this most magnificent city a.k.a. Changi Airport Singapore. If you want to see the worlds largest indoor waterfall, or hike an indoor trail that winds through a jungle of over 2,000 trees, or visit the cactus gardens, etc. etc. etc. this is the airport to visit ( a cool vacation all by itself)!!!

So now that I've shared my exciting vacation to Bali and Singapore, you may be thinking "what does this have to do with grieving?" Well, the answer is everything! Before Mike retired we started planning our retirement and how we wanted to live it. So we created a bucket list of places we wanted to visit. Then the unthinkable happened when Mike passed away. Once I got myself together enough to start going forward I was determined to live me life the way we planned for it. So, I started this journey in 2021 when I visited Eqypt, and now 2 years later Bali. Truth is, I truly enjoyed these trips, but I also toured with the constant reminder that my best friend and love of my life wasn't there with me to enjoy the experience together. I will admit I spent several nights feeling down because every activity, meal, and bed turndown reminded me of how much I truly miss him. And that's a reminder that hurts to remember. I'm sure if you're reading this and you have lost someone you love then you can probably relate to the feelings I have everytime I step out and do something on the bucket list or that we used to do together.

Another truth to be told is that I still have my sad moments every day because I think about him every day! I do find that I can recover quicker than when it was first so raw of an emotion but the feeling is still there and I'm okay with that because I will always carry Mike in my heart and he is thought of every single day. I know I am getting better and healing as I continue living my life serving the Lord and using my talents and gifts for blessing others in any way I can. I hope these things I blog about are helpful to you. I hope that you may know this is a safe community space for healing, so if there is anything you would like to share or any tips you can give to help someone else cope with their loss, we would love to hear from you.

God Bless and Keep You!!


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