surprise birthday bali trip for my mom!

This year, all the children (including the plus ones) decided that for my mom’s birthday this year, we will take her to bali! This surprise has been a long one coming since we conceptualized the idea more than a year ago. We had wild ideas for this surprise and had planned to secretly pack my mom’s suitcase and drive her straight to the airport. In the end, we decided to tell her during yet another surprise – home-cooked breakfast. We whipped up a complete breakfast with ham and cheese savory crepes and sweet crepes with blackberries, strawberries and banana. Unfortunately, Jon couldn’t take leave and therefore couldn’t join us for breakfast so the night before, he scripted and recorded this ridiculous video of himself and Jane as his “apprentice” to lead my mom to find Joy, where he had wrapped a paper around Joy’s collar with his Happy Birthday message. While there were many pictures taken of the morning, I’ll not be posting any of the pictures because besides the garden and food that looks extremely good, everything else in the photo (i.e. all the people) look terrible with unwashed faces, no makeup and in PJs. Hey, we jumped out of bed very early to make breakfast okay!

The number of lies we told to make this happen were quite amazing. Since it was the weekend before Chinese New Year, we had to try to fend off all plans that my mom were trying to make. We had a whatsapp group among the children where frequent desperate messages like “Mom just told me that she wants to arrange for this pickup during the weekend. how How HOW?” Very often did we have to solve the issues with a multi-prong approach, with me dissuading her in Singapore saying that it is too near Chinese New Year and that we would already have so many things to do, with my brother calling from the US telling her that he has appointments already booked for the weekend. It was quite hilarious since my mom was oblivious to what was happening that weekend and even during the dinner before the weekend, my mom was planning what we would need to accomplish in preparation for Chinese New Year. I must say, it was tough keeping our mouths shut! (Note: photos are taken by my brother, myself and Donny using a combination of my brother’s Canon SLR and the iphone)

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The Bali trip was packed with full of activities, visiting the monkeys, amazing restaurants, thinking about massages all day long and climbing up and down the terraces of rice fields. It was a fun-filled trip with the children doing crazy things, of course, such as how we tried to “cross” from the back of one room to another without falling into the water (in the end, we walked in the water many times since it was so much nearer to go to the pool from the back) to letting the monkeys climb on our backs to Bonchon chicken for supper. We ended the trip with a day dedicated to relaxing – swimming, lying by the pool side and eating unhealthy food from the hotel :D


My collection of “let me pick out the lice for you” photos:

IMG_7167   IMG_7160



Getting up close and personal with the monkeys – they really are quite like humans!


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As we were taking our family photo, the monkey got attracted to my earrings and decided to touch it! In hindsight, I’m just so glad that it didn’t pull my earring out!


Climbing up and down the rice fields…




Having dinner at our favorite restaurant for the trip, the Bebek Bengil Restaurant, with multiple trips to the open fields nearby. Sorry, no photos of the amazing food – we must have been too hungry. IMG_7661




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