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Friday, May 09, 2014

Blissed out in Bali - Kandy Shepherd




I’ve just got back from a week of utter bliss in tropical Bali, Indonesia in honour of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Just us, with no other family or friends for seven entire days.

This is the life! Waiting for lunch to be served at the resort restaurant

We reckoned that a quarter of a century of happy marriage deserved to be celebrated with a special vacation. And we couldn’t remember when we’d last gone away on a trip like this!

Our vacation was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary

People asked were we having a second honeymoon in the place where we had our first honeymoon. Actually, no. Our first honeymoon was three nights in a humble beach cottage that was kindly loaned to us by a friend of a friend. It was memorable for many reasons, not least of which we took our cat with us!

Tropical fruit juices were the order of the day

To tell the truth, the choice of the Bali destination was more mine than hubby’s. He’s rather more active than I am and didn’t know how he’d deal with just relaxing, reading (and in my case writing!), spa treatments, swimming, and eating wonderful food we didn’t have to cook (or clear up afterward). One thing was for sure—he refused to go shopping!

Indonesian sate with peanut sauce and red rice--the rice was something new to me and scrumptious!

Just a day into the break and he was thanking me wholeheartedly for booking the small, villa resort in Seminyak (on the west coast of the island of Bali) and giving us both a chance to wind down, relax and just talk to each other without everyday demands getting in the way.

The sunsets on the beach at Seminyak were spectacular

It was one of those vacations that I couldn’t fault—I loved every minute of it. The weather was perfect, the resort divine (The Elysian) and the Balinese people as charming and hospitable as we remembered from our first visit to Bali fourteen years ago.

A writer's work is never done--how inspiring to write under the shade of a frangipani tree!

Will Bali feature as a location in a future book? As it is such a romantic destination, I can certainly say “yes” to that!

What about you? Do you have a favorite vacation destination? Do you like a vacation packed with activities or one where you laze around? Did you have a memorable honeymoon—or second honeymoon? Please make a comment, I’d love to hear about it, and you can go in the draw for a free copy of my Harlequin Romance The Summer They Never Forgot to give away—either a mass market paperback or via an Amazon gift voucher for an e-book.



Please include your email address in your comment if you want to be included in the draw (and let me know if you prefer print or e-book.)


Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.  The Summer They Never Forgot is Kandy’s first release from Harlequin Romance in the US, the UK and Australia. Watch out for her Harlequin Romance The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner to be published in July 14.



 Visit Kandy at her website



30 comments:

Cathleen Ross said...

Looks wonderful. I will never get my husband there but would be happy to go without him and shop.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I got to see the shops in Seminyak but not actually shop, Cathleen, as it was hubby's vacation too. But the shops were fabulous, very stylish and of course cheaper than in Australia.

Mason Canyon said...

A vacation to just lazy around sounds wonderful. You vacation sounds relaxing and inspiring. Congratulations on your first Harlequin Romance release in the US. We're lucky to have your books here.

Devika Fernando said...

Sounds like a great holiday! A lot of what I saw and read reminds me of Sri Lanka, but Thailand / Bali sure is a beautiful and magical place. The books is really tempting! Congratulations!

Janine said...

We still haven't had a honeymoon. We will have been married 5 years this coming fall. My favorite vacation destination is Hawaii. My ex used to take me there every year.
kinini01@hotmail.com (print book if available)

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Mason, so nice to see you here! The vacation was everything I wanted, perfect in every way. Thank you for your kind words about my books!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Devika, thanks for calling by. Bali is indeed a beautiful place. Next on my wish list is Sri Lanka. I was actually born in Sri Lanka (hence my name Kandy) and also lived in India. I have always wanted to visit Sri Lanka but for some time it wasn't possible. Now I am raring to go!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Janine, I do hope you get to have a delayed honeymoon at some stage! I would really like to go to Hawaii again--it's wonderful isn't it? I used to have a cousin living there and visited her years ago but have never had the chance to go again.

PJ Ausdenmore said...

What beautiful photos, Kandy! I could actually feel myself relaxing as I viewed them. My favorite 'busy' vacation is a trip to Italy. I adore that country. My favorite relaxing vacation is the beach, a book and a cool drink. Dear friends have bought a beach house and we'll be down there for a week next month. I'm already counting the days! :)

Devika Fernando said...

Oh wow! How cool is that? I live in Kandy. If you ever make it to Sri Lanka, be sure to stop by and check out your birth place. :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, firstly, happy anniversary and congratulations on your happy years together. Secondly, whaaaaah, I'm jealous! That place looks just heavenly. I think the least you can do is share the joy by putting it in a book sometime. I can definitely see romantic shenanigans going on there! Laughed at you taking your cat away on your first honeymoon. That's so you! No need to put me in the draw for your wonderful THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT. I've already read and loved it. Can't wait for the next visit to Dolphin Bay! Although if anyone wants to give me a ticket to Bali in the meantime, I won't say no!

PJ Ausdenmore said...

Forgot about the honeymoon. The late dh and I had three days in a beach front cottage on a barrier island off the west coast of Florida. Nothing luxurious about it but we had a wonderful time. Good memories. :)

Annie West said...

Kandy, huge congratulations on your anniversary. It sounds like you had a very special time together! There should be more of it. I love the sound of a few days alone together just being together without all the busyness of life - a real chance to unwind and connect.

I don't have a single favourite vacation spot. I've discovered those rare occasions when my husband and I are alone together are terrific, though interestingly they haven't been by the coast lately. Maybe it's time to change that.

Don't put me in the draw for THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT as I've already read it - a fantastic story. Just perfect for a relaxing holiday read.

Leni said...

No planned activities for me. Easy and carefree is just fine. That's a vacation for me. Haven't been on a honeymoon.
lenikaye@yahoo.com
paperback

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you, Kandy. I don't have a favorite vacation spot because I don't take vacations.

But if I could, and if money were no object, I'd like to visit Greece. And take a long, leisurely trip through it. I'm a big ancient history and mythology buff. It'd be great to visit the places I've read about.

But if my significant other were with me, and if he's not as much into ancient Greece as I am, he'd probably find it all very trying. I can see it now: "Look, honey, that's where Agamemnon and his warriors sailed for Troy!" "Oh for crying out loud, Mary Anne! When are we gonna go to a tourist beach or a night club!"

Keep up the good work!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Oh, Kandy, that looks like heaven on earth! Happy anniversary! I adore that wedding shot above. You look so blissful and beautiful.

My favourite vacation locale is New York. Shopping, food, Broadway -- all those things invigorate me. Of course, I'd happily holiday by the beach too. :)

I have my very own copy of THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT, but thank you anyway!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi P.J., so lovely to see you here! I so agree with you about Italy--what a fabulous country. I have fond memories of food and shopping--oh, and of course culture, art and architecture! I'm with you on the beach, a book and a cool drink.I hope you have a wonderful time at your friend's house. Sounds like your honeymoon was as nice as mine was. My hubby and I had only known each other less than a year when we got married to we were still getting to know each other!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Anna--so nice to see you here! Thank you for the congratulations on my anniversary. Boy did those 25 years go quickly!
Bali really was divine and didn't bankrupt us either for what was quite a luxurious break.
Yes my white cat Eva came along on our honeymoon, we didn't want to leave her. She was quite a highly strung rescue cat. I toyed with the idea of her being an attendant at the wedding--for about 5 seconds!
Thank you for your kind words about THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, thank you for calling by and for the congratulations. Getting away just the two of us has been so rare and we have decided to plan for more of them when we can. I hope you and you DH have some more nice vacations together too!
Thank you for your kind words on THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT, so glad you enjoyed it.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Easy and carefree sounds just wonderful to me, Leni!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Mary Anne, how nice to see you here. Your post really made me smile! It's so true that sometimes the ideal vacation isn't ideal for both partners. (My husband wants to cycle up mountains in France, not quite my dream vacation. We'll compromise somehow...)
I haven't been to Greece so it's on my wish list too. To see places you're read about and studied is such a wonderful thing.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks for calling by Vanessa! I so agree with you about New York, what a fabulous, fabulous place it is for a vacation. I so hope to get to the Romance Writers of America conference in New York next year.
My daughter has just booked a trip to the US to visit her American boyfriend's home town. They have also booked to go to New York and I'm quite envious listening to their plans!

Mary Preston said...

Congratulations!! It all sounds so wonderful.

My ideal kind of vacation consists of a lot of lazing, talking, reading & good food. I love the beach. Just lazy days walking along the beach.

print thank you

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Sharon Archer said...

Congratulations on your silver wedding anniversary, Kandy! An awesome milestone! It sounds like your Bali trip was a fabulous way to celebrate - love your pics, too!

I have my very own copy of The Summer They Never Forgot, so don't put me in the draw - but I do have to say that your lucky winner is in for a treat! It's a gorgeous read!

I think I'm mostly an active holiday person with the odd day of kicking back and doing not much - except maybe catching up on a few things that get put off - like washing! I love travelling in Australia and spending a week or longer at small towns to have a really good explore. There are some absolute treasures to discover!

CC Coburn said...

LOL Cathleen, trust you!

CC Coburn said...

Looking forward to your next wonderful story, Kandy and if you write one about Bali! We stopped by there on the way home from our honeymoon actually. Probably stayed in something a little less upmarket than you and James though. :-) Our honeymoon was a 6 month around the world, ski trip. Such an indulgence and such a fab experience. Erm... I came back pregnant tho and that put the kybosh on overseas trips for quite some years!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Mary, I think we share the same thoughts regarding the ideal vacation! There's something about walking along a beach, isn't there!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Sharon, thanks for calling by, for the congratulations, and for the kind words about THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT!
There is so much to explore in Australia isn't there? It's such a big country and so many completely different places to visit.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi C.C. so nice to see you her. Wow a six-month around the world ski trip - what an amazing honeymoon! Wasn't it lucky you had such a long trip together with just the two of you before those years of child-rearing started (not that they're are not utterly wonderful in their own way but going on vacation with kids isn't quite the same!)
I'm already working on a story set in Bali...

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey Devika, I didn't know you lived in Kandy! My parents were living in Colombo working for an American company. My mother went up to Kandy when she was pregnant and thought it would be a great name if she had a girl. I have been sent so many postcards from Kandy over the years but haven't had the chance to visit.It's very high on the wish list...