Bucketlist activity: Doing yoga in Ubud, Bali

Bucketlist activity: Doing yoga in Ubud, Bali

Doing yoga in Bali has been on my bucketlist for a while. Little did I know that meant practicing yoga while overlooking the lush green rice paddies of Bali. Ubud is a spiritual and cultural part of Bali where yoga and meditation are very popular among tourists and expats.

We booked ahead of time and paid (a very reasonable price) just before class. It all went very smoothly. Walking through the rice fields to get to the yoga studio, the unique experience had already started. The paddies and the tropical vegetation combined with the serene and silent atmosphere of the area were memorable. The studio was clean and well cared for. Our class was given on the roofed outdoor terrace on the second floor. The teacher was a Canadian expat who had been living in Bali for a few years while teaching yoga. The staff were all very nice and made the experience an even better one.

I loved the experience of doing yoga with nothing but fresh air, the sun and the sound of birds and water running through the rice fields.

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Surrounding rice fields, on the way to Ubud Yoga House
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Ubud Yoga House
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Ubud Yoga House
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Ubud Rice fields view from Ubud Yoga House
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Our yoga class group!
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New Year’s weekend in NYC… and we got engaged!

This year, I got to check something off my bucket list!

My boyfriend and I spent New Year’s in New York City and even got a hotel in the heart of the city this time (we usually get a cheap stay in New Jersey)! We got an awesome price with Frenzy Tours, a tour company based in Montreal that provided us with round-trip transport between Montreal and Manhattan, NYC and nights in the Marriott East Side Hotel. Once we got there, we were free to do whatever we wanted.

I cannot blog about our weekend getaway without giving a quick shout out to these places for their awesome food (#foodie)! A weekend in NYC would not be the same without its amazing food.

Shake Shack will always have a special place in my heart. And Eataly is a new discovery of mine which I am now obsessed with… Mmmm just thinking of it, I’m developing a huge craving for this white truffle butter seasoned pasta served with mushroom and fresh parmesan. Sushi of Gari is a small Michelin-starred restaurant where I tasted uni (sea urchin) for the first time.

I have been to NYC many many times… but I had always skipped visiting the famous Grand Central Terminal. A casual weekend in the city was the perfect opportunity to check it out. The bustling train terminal was very movie-like and full of life. The architecture was intriguing and grand.

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Grand Central.

I’ve been numerous times to the Rockerfeller Center when visiting NYC. However, I’ve never visited the city during winter and have never had the chance to see their famous and gigantic Christmas Tree. Honestly, the tree wasn’t as rich and full as I thought it would be. Nonetheless, the Christmas decorations, the music, the crowd and the overall festive atmosphere won me over.

During the evening of December 31st, my boyfriend and I had planned to go out for dinner and watch the countdown on a television in a bar or anywhere we could find a spot to sit at. We didn’t even plan on watching the ball drop in person because of all the people telling us it would be impossible to get in because of the extreme security and overwhelming crowds. But while on our way to finding a restaurant for dinner, as we were commenting on how the line ups were atrocious to get in to the area from which people would watch the event, we got lucky. We ended up being able to get into the area without even having to wait in line as they had just opened a new entrance as we were walking past that street.

So, seeing we had this opportunity, we decided to watch the ball drop countdown after all. However, we had 6 hours of waiting while standing in a crowd, cold and hungry ahead of us. We kept warm by jumping up and down and we found ways to sit on the ground which was already full of trash. And, lucky as we were, Domino’s staff were selling pizzas outdoors and we got a whole pizza just for the two of us. When the moment finally came, everyone chanted the countdown together and we saw the ball drop (even though it was 2 millimeters of diameter from where we were standing). The ball drop went so quickly and with all that excitement and counting down looking at the screen, we didn’t even notice the little ball dropping! All in all, the experience was not a comfortable one but it was an epic and exciting one.

I don’t think I’ll spend another New Year’s in Times Square watching the ball drop again, but I do think it is an experience to live once in your life and I’m happy I did and got to share it with my boyfriend. Growing up, I’ve celebrated the New Year with my family watching the NYC countdown every year. Having been able to live it was surreal.

Finally, here are a few photos of what happened right after the New Year countdown back at the hotel… we got engaged! NYC will always have a special place in our hearts now.