We are here on the isle of Bali to help our dear old friend Andy Bartlett celebrate a significant birthday. Andy, one of the founders of Taft Street and its first president, spent years in Indonesia after graduating from Harvard Law School. It was on one of his trips back from Bali to his vacation home in Squaw Valley, California, that the idea of a winery that became Taft Street was hatched.

Kathy and I left our home in Dry Creek last Tuesday, and 23 hours later we arrived in Singapore, via Hong Kong. Here we met our son Matt, daughter-in-law Anne, and Otto. Spent a day in this ultra modern city of skyscrapers, state of the art metro system, and the best fast food anywhere. The city is dotted with funky looking food stalls with rickety tables and chairs, serving an incredible array of fresh, spicy Asian foods. Utterly satisfying. We stayed at the retro New Majestic Hotel, where each room was designed and decorated by a local artist. Ours was the aptly named Pussy Parlour; while Matt and company were lodged in a storybook theme room, albeit with barber chairs, kleig lights and dual bathtubs in the living room.

We arrived in Bali on Friday night and made our way to Batu Jimbar, a compound of luxury estates Andy helped develop in the 1970’s.

Wow! Architecturally stunning homes, parks, ponds, artwork, sandy beach . . . . An in house staff, including cooks preparing classical Indonesian cuisine; walks along the beach; kids laughing jumping in and out of the pool from early morning until they drop to sleep right after dinner; time for reading/napping; perfect weather, with tradewinds cooling the 80 degree temperatures.

One could get used to this.

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