Jakarta Round 2- The Ritz

After church/Sunday lunch taxi rides are exhausting!

We took another very interesting prop plane ride from Cilacap to Jakarta on Saturday so Austin could get checked out by a doctor in Jakarta. It was great timing because it meant we got to go to church the the next day. Church was great- the English ward is very small, but very friendly and welcoming. It was probably 30% American, but many other nationalities were represented in the congregation from all over the world. The individuals who gave talks gave great testimonies in English although their native languages were Chinese, Spanish, and Indonesian. Sunday school was taught by a woman from American Samoa, who was married to a guy from New Zealand. The mission president and his wife were Australian. It was wonderful to have the gospel in common with these people from all over! Landon had one nursery buddy. I helped out for the 2nd hour because the nursery teacher was not there. A wonderful couple invited us over for lunch.

They are in the process of moving back to the US. They have lived overseas for many years in varying locations, and with stints in the US in between. It was great to talk to them and see their collection of home decor and art they have gathered from around the world. Best of all, we had a home-cooked meal on a Sunday. That is the best! They have grandsons just Landon’s age so they even had tons of cool toys for Landon to play with, and Landon enjoyed their house very much. I think I’ve mentioned before how appreciated it is when church members invite us into their homes. This is something I have resolved to do any chance I get once I have a home of my own- invite visitors/new members over for lunch or dinner. So appreciated!

My 11 meters of batiks

On Monday, Landon and I went for an adventure with Austin’s coworker to the textile market. We took a taxi to a giant building and there was tons of traffic and a road barrier that people were trying walk/scooter/drive around. The taxi passed the building and started going down the street in the opposite way of the market. We finally got the taxi driver pulled over to the side of the road and we jumped out and popped the stroller open and walked back through the bumper to bumper traffic to the building. We went inside and realized that the floor we came in on did not have any fabric stores. Turns out, every level of the market included different goods. We were in the clothing section. We asked for textiles- which thankfully is a similar word in Indonesian, and found the right floor. The whole floor was filled with little stalls filled with fabric. Several were tiny stalls with the fabric just stacked up way higher than I am tall with a vendor sitting on top of the pile. The ones that we were attracted to had more room so the piles weren’t so high. Both Austin’s coworker (girl) and I got batiks for very cheap. Batiks are so expensive in the US it is crazy how cheap they are here! I know that the fabric quality on some was not stellar, but overall I was very pleased with my purchases. On top of everything else, I also purchased 2 batik shirts for Austin. It took some doing to find a shirt for him- I had to ask for XXXL in Indonesian sizing, because most of the men here are smaller than me. For the last few purchases, I haggled with the shopkeepers. That is hard for me to do, because the posted prices are so reasonable that I would not mind paying that much for the goods! I ended up paying $2,50/meter for my favorite silky batiks.I am hoping to make skirts, shorts for Landon, and dresses for future daughters/nieces etc. with the fabrics.

Here is the pool. We love it! From Ritz website

Last time we stayed in Jakarta, we were at the J.W. Marriott. It was really nice and the breakfast buffet was the best I have ever experienced. This time, Austin’s coworker convinced us to try out the Ritz, which is literally the next building down the street in the same traffic circle. We agreed, and we are so glad. Ritz-Carlton is owned by Marriott now, and we have status with Marriott so we were able to get a bigger room with an office alcove which is perfect for sticking Landon in. We put him in his crib back there and can watch TV, have lights on, etc without worrying about waking him up. Our room is huge- the bathroom and walk-in closet part of the room is probably the same size as our whole suite in Cilacap. The pool is just the right temperature and is beautiful and clean, and the gym is really good too. The only thing we noticed vs. actual Marriott is that the breakfast here isn’t quite as amazing. There are still oodles of choices, just less than at the Marriott. Anyway, I’m certainly not complaining!

Landon’s new car garage and play set

We also lucked out in that it is Global Customer Appreciation week at the Ritz. That means they give us special treats and amenities that usually cost for free. They gave Landon and I juice and oranges at the pool this morning, and randomly they called our room this afternoon to ask how old Landon was. Then they asked Austin a few questions about our stay, and a few hours later, ladies appeared at the door with a Cars 2 parking garage play set. Landon was of course thrilled and now we have to figure out how to fit it all in our luggage. Not that I’m complaining because it will give Landon hours and hours of entertainment I’m sure.

In conclusion, we are spoiled rotten and would never stay here on our own dime that’s for sure. Thanks, Austin’s company, for putting us up!

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