Token and I are so lucky! At the end of August, we went to Bali for five days. We originally were going to go two years ago, but they had a bombing and we decided to postpone. I was still pretty nervous about going this time, but since Token likes 'livin' on the edge,' I sucked it up and agreed.
We left Guam on August 26 and got in to Bali at 10:30 p.m. I had done a ton of research before hand and we had decided that we were going to travel with carry-on bags only, which was a huge help. At the airport, we had to pay our Visa on Arrival fee of $20, get our Visas put in our passports, etc. It's funny, I went through the Visa guy first (although Token was right next to me), and once I was through, he told me to step aside. Fine, whatever. Five minutes or so and Token came through and told me that the Officer had asked him for some money! Token just pretended not to hear him... Crazy!
Since we didn't have any luggage to claim from the baggage carrier, we walked out of the sliding glass doors to about, oh, 50 or so Indonesians holding up signs with peoples' names on them. I had confirmed with the Ritz-Carlton beforehand that someone would be at the airport picking us up, but our names weren't anywhere to be found. We decided to find a phone and call the hotel... 9,000 Rupiah later (only about $1), we got in touch with someone at the hotel and they said our ride would be there shortly. Talk about freaking out. I was already apprehensive to travel here, and then once we get there, our ride isn't there, and there are all of these people just staring at us. Awkward. About five minutes later, this guy wearing a Ritz-Carlton shirt comes over and we are off.
In the car, he popped a bottle of champagne for us and told us a little bit about the island.
About 15 minutes later, we pulled up to a security gate, where our car was inspected by working dogs and the truck looked in for anything suspicious. The gate was lifted and we were suddenly in another world. Although it was dark, we could both tell that the grounds were beautiful. You can see the pink flowers lining the roads from the lit up cement blocks that had roses carved out of them. The road was cobblestone, and you could smell incense burning. The drive to the front of the hotel is about a mile. Once we got there, we were greeted with a lei made with plumeria flowers and a cold fruit drink (I think it was pineapple/guava). We were whisked away to the front desk where we checked in, while our bags were immediately brought to our room.
The front desk agent escorted us to our room, 1326, and explained some of the area to us. Because it was late, we couldn't really see much, but were already excited to be there.
We went to sleep that night knowing that this was going to be one great vacation!