Sunday, October 30, 2005

What We Did For Our Weekend Vacation....

Okay, so here is an apology in advance for the monster blog session we just posted for your viewing pleasure. We went to Taipei again...we are trying to go once a month, so there are sure to be more monster blogs to come. It was really fun! And I don't want to give anything away and ruin the ending for here you go!

Taipei......Cheek To Cheek

This is our October Temple Trip to Taipei, and as you can see....things got a little crowded on the train for the last few stops before ours. Needless to say, it was a tad uncomfortable. It reminded both Brian and I of that old foxtrot song....Dancing Cheek to Cheek, only we were riding cheek to cheek.....literally and figuratively!

Patron Housing Joys

This is the night version of Brian's Taipei Taiwan photo. It really is a cool looking temple, and the grounds are really green and pretty, they have some palm trees on the courtyard. Really pretty.

Here are some cute pictures of Brian and Madison walking around the courtyard at the temple in the rain. Madison looked like a little walking umbrella because of the way she was holding it.

This is Madison and I cooking lasagna at the Patron Housing across the street from the temple. We decided that since we would have the rare opportunity to use an oven, we would make something we couldn't really make at home. It was really you can see from the happy faces of my customers.......

And here are Madison and I all snuggled in for our long.....late summer's nap. The real reason we love to go to the temple and stay at the patron housing has to do with these beds....they have real mattresses.....and's almost like being at home again. Brian and I are sure that this is the only real sleep we get all month.

Delicious Dumpling Dinner

Actually, it was lunch....but calling it dinner had that certain alliteration quality. Welcome to Din Tai Fung, this restaurant is actually world isn't just called a famous restaurant. (In Taiwan, everthing is "famous"). See the number four on the first picture by the sign? That is the waiting look at the pink order slip on the right...I don't know if you can make it out, but written at the top is a number 30 that is circled....that is our number in line. We actually got there when the numbers were still on 95 or so, they cycle through at 100. The restaurant is really popular...and we found out why.

In this picture you can see the army of chefs prepping and steaming huge stacks of dumplings. There were articles on the window from the New York Times about the chef who owns and operates and oversees this restaurant. It was cool to watch them making the dumplings while we waited....almost as cool as watching Krispy Kremes go through the doughnut machines........mmmmmm......Krispy Kreme..........what were we talking about?

Okay, here is the first batch of the dumplings that we ordered. They were sooooooooo good! We almost died when we ate the pork soup dumplings. We have got to figure out how to make these things. They were great. I'm not kidding, I would put this meal on the top three of good places I have eaten at. And it was a pretty funny little restaurant. Everything in Taiwan is tall and skinny because it is so crowded. When the waitress went to seat us we had to walk through this tiny hallway that was actually the ground floor of the restaurant (which actually had five or six tables crammed into it) and up two flights of stair (through the kitchen) to get to our seats. There are about five floors of seating there...but the wait can be up to two or three hours...and people are willing to wait, because it is so worth it. It was also a pretty good deal for what it cost us about 700 NT...and considering that we would have gone to TGIFridays and spent about 1000NT for much lower quality food, it really worked out for us.

This picture on the right is of the sauce for dipping your dumplings is fresh shredded ginger that you dump either soy sauce or vinegar over. Mmmmmmm.........

Madi's Favorite Part of The Trip

Oops...okay there are accidentally two of them...oh well, double the fun!
Okay, so this is just a cheesy picture of me and Madi, and you can't even really tell where we are...but since this was Madison's favorite part of the trip...I had to put it on. She loooooves to ride buses, and so we rode the bus to the Taipei 101. She was so excited to get on and to sit in her own seat. And by the can really tell how much she has grown in height in this picture. Our little giraffe!

Taipei 101

This is the Taipei 101...the tallest building in the world. Brian says it's the tallest building in the universe. I'm not sure if he is right, but, there you go. The building is actually pretty impressive, and for the mere fee of 5oo NT per person (about $15 US...even Madi) you can take a trip to the top and see the fanatastic view.....................but unfortunately Brian and I didn't consider that a good enough deal to grab onto. So, this is all you get. There was a pretty cool mall attached to the side of this building. We didn't get any pictures of it, but it was HUGE! We shopped around in there for a little while....we didn't get the chance to see all ten floors of it, but we did get to see enough to know that it was a tad bit upscale for our budget. They had Tiffany's, Dior, Versace, LLadro, name it designer and they have it. There was a pretty cool toy store there, and our personal favorite...a Haagen Daas ice cream store...yeeaa! We all got some ice cream....real ice cream....not that Taiwanese version with red bean and green tea. Oh man, it was sooooo goood! Here is a picture of the aftermath of the ice cream for Madi. The picture doesn't really do it justice...she was covered in chocolate, but she wiped a little of it off before we could get the camera. The picture on her face is a tatoo....we decided to get her a real one to go along with her earrings. Just was actually from the clown festival that Brian and Madison went to while I went to the temple session in the morning. The clowns gave her a whole page full of these cute little tatoos after they put one on her face (you know it was a dad that let them put it on her face of all places.......have you ever tried to get one of those to come off?!) They also gave her a whistle and a little Doraimon keychain thing. The clown festival was at the Chiang KaiShek Memorial Center (we've posted pictures of it from our last visit to Taipei) and we just got lucky to be in town at the same time.

Lunchbox Special

I looks innocent from the outside. It even looks like it might be good, a tasty little snack for our six hour train ride that we were culinarily unprepared for. Soo...we fell for it, hunger won out over common sense. We got on the train to go back home at 10:30 and didn't grab lunch before we got on. All we had was a snack-size package of Oreos and the crumbs from the bottom of the Doritos bag from the trip up...oh...and two caramel apples we bought from some ladies at a street stand in the night market the night before. Not exactly lunch fare. That and we'd all had so much junk that day and the night before that no one even wanted the rest of the Oreos. (Okay, so Brian ate them all....that's why we couldn't include them in the menu.) Anyway, we saw the lunch cart coming toward us...and all of the Taiwanese passengers seemed to be pretty excited about it...and our only prospect of eating was another five hours we decided to get some authentic Taiwanese train lunchbox. You know, there is something here that we're starting to learn. Everything...and I do mean like playing the Taiwanese lottery. Sometimes you get lucky....and other times you don't.

Let's just say that Madison and I decided that this time we didn't get lucky. What you are seeing here even still doesn't look that bad I guess, let me explain. That is a deep fat fried pork chop covered in....uh...something, a chunk of deep fat fried, bones and all, and a hunk of mystery tofu....mmmmmmmm, along with delicious (used loosely) steamed(?) spinach(?), a hunk of yellow....uh...vegetable(?), all on a bed of white rice. The rice that wasn't under the mystery tofu or whole fish was pretty good. Brian ate the pork chop...Madi had one or two bites of rice before she made a gagging face and refused to eat anything else we offered her....well, except for the previously offered and refused Oreos...which for some reason, now seemed pretty good to her. Yummmmmmyyyyy!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Christmas Dress....

This is the pattern for Madison's Christmas is going to be soooo cute!

A Cute Picture of Brian....


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Papparazzi Strike Again.........

......Except this time it was Madison taking the pictures. This is what happened the other day when she found the camera....she actually took about six pictures, but I saved the best two (the only ones in focus) for this special blog edition of Madison's fabulous photo-art. She snapped the second one just as I was trying to take the camera from her. Ever since then I have to stash the camera waaaay up high....she has a taste for photo-journalism, apparently.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dancing Queen

Here is our little ballerina. This is her first day of ballet class.........well.........
Actually this would be our second attempt. Two weeks ago we tried out another dance school, and our little bully got kicked out of dance class. Sooo...Mommy had to find another ballet school. Fortunately, this one appears to be a little more 3 year old friendly...hopefully she won't get kicked out of any more classes. Doesn't she look so cute? And she is so excited! We'll tell you more after this first class is over.....

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Squid on the Barbie......

Just a little friendly post to let you know that we are practicing up for our next barbeque back home! And we've been learning some new techniques that I'm sure you'll all appreciate. Take a close look......those are some delicious whole baby squid skewers....mmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Dah dah dah dah daaaaahh....I'm lovin' it! (Taiwan style)

Thursday, October 20, 2005


So last night I was about to hop in the shower when I was greeted with a surprise. Gary the Gecko decided to chase a mosquito into my bathroom and onto my shower curtain. I almost had a heart attack because he fell into the bath tub when I moved the curtain and I tried not to step on him. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the bug catching...but I have to draw the line with the shower!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poor Madi....

Isn't this just sad and cute at the same time. She fell asleep watching Clifford...on the hardwood floor! Poor little thing...her Mommy and Daddy must not love her...they don't even give her a bed to sleep in...she has to sleep on this hard wooden floor.....

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For......

This is Gary the Gecko. He likes Cockroach Coladas, and getting caught in the rain...or is that the shower drain....hmmm....something like that. He is seeking a nice female gecko to share long walks across my kitchen floor, and perhaps a romantic getaway to the bathroom to lounge in the tub.

Gary likes to imitate my doorbell. In the middle of the night I jump up to get the door, only to find no one there. That one took me about a week to figure out. That Gary.

Monday, October 17, 2005

As Krista, Madison, and I were walking on the island, two old men approached us and asked us if we wanted to ride on a pedicab. This is the only place in Taiwan where these wonderful vehicles are ridden, so we decided to do it. We thought that one of the old men were going to pedal us around..but no this is Taiwan..they got their grandma to do it for them.
--Brian says that they asked us if we wanted a ride....but it was more like, "You! Come here! Ride! Ride! Very cheap, you ride!" Mixed in with a whole bunch of Chinese, because I asked them in Chinese how much it they just assumed that I spoke Chinese. But it was pretty cool, even though I felt really bad for the old woman who had to pedal around the half ton of Americans in the back seat. She was tough! We thought that she would just pedal us down the road and back, but she took us around the island! Poor woman!

Me, Madison and our friend the blowfish.

Ooooooh sit right back and you will here a tale....
TTTTTale of a faithful ship..
That started from this tiny port
AAAAboard this tiny ship..
Chichin Habour.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

This is the famous toilet restaurant.
All the seats in this restaurant are toilet bowls.
Yes that's right..our food is in a toilet.
Just in case any of you forgot what a squatter looks like........
I'm taking a break.
The entrance to the tiolet restaurant.
This is how we ended our perfect day--at MacDonald's.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wanna Pet My Monkey?

A cute kid and a can't go wrong with these pictures.


Look closely my friends.....this is an example of great Taiwanese attire in action. This is what we like to call "American" t-shirts. Yeeessss...I can see it now.....I completely understand. The funniest thing is that a lot of kids run around with swear words all over their shirts....American swear words....not really sentences, just swear words strung together. Interesting. And the other day...and I know this sounds far-fetched...I saw this really old fat guy wearing a tank top that had...I kid you not...they playboy bunny on it. Hmm....I think perhaps he was shopping at the wrong store. Oh well....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Book of Mormon Stories....

Lately we've been reading the scriptures for the BOM challenge....and I think Madison is actually getting more than we thought out of it. This morning she came into our bedroom and woke us up. Then she told us that we needed to read our scriptures. It was probably about seven in the morning, so neither of us was really ready to get up. Brian told her that she should read to us. She thought this was a great she opened up the scriptures and started to read. It was really cute, this is what she said:

"And it tame to pass Nephi was wichus, and pweese bwess us to be good. But his bwothers was mad at him and so they twied to kill him."

"and it tame to pass Nephi was a licus man, and they wanted to kill the nephites"

It was so cute, I just had to put it up here. She went on for about five minutes.....she doesn't know all of the story, but I think she's getting the essentials! What a cute girl!!!

Evil Cockroach Attack!!

Okay, so grown adults can handle anything....right? you will soon see, these grown adults cannot handle cockroaches!

The other night we decided to go see a movie. It was kind of dark when we got in the car, and so we didn't notice our little stow away...until it was too late. As Brian started to drive down the road, a HUGE (and we're talking Fear Factor huge) flying cockroach started buzzing around inside the car, right in the dashboard area. So Brian and I did what any intelligent, calm adult would do in a similar situation.....we screamed and flattened ourselves against our seats trying to put as much distance between us and cockroach as possible. The conversation went as follows:

Krista: "Get it! Get it!"
Brian: "No way! You get it!"
Krista: "You're the man, that's your job!!! Get it and throw it outside!"
Brian: "How?"
(cockroach starts to fly around again)
Brian and Krista: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!"
Krista: "I don't know, just grab it! Hurry's going to fly back here!"
Brian: "Grab it with what? Give me something to grab it with."
Krista: "I don't have anything, just grab it with your hand."
(cockroach buzzes)
Brian and Krista: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!"
Brian: "Are you kidding, there's no way I'm going to grab that with my hand! Find me something to get it with!!"
(we both rifle around in the car, and I find a Domino's Pizza coupon page in the jocky-box)
Krista: "Here, use this to grab it with."
Brian: "Eeww...I don't want to grab it, you grab it."
Krista: "I am not touching it, are the get it!"
Brian: (grabs cockroach with paper and tosses it outside) "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa!!!"

Now, you'd think the story ended there...but perhaps we should have actually killed the cockroach. Later that night, as we were coming back from the movie we stepped into the elevator only to discover that a flying cockroach was waiting for us.

Coincidence.................I think not!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Okay, it's a little dark...but you get the point. My daughter is a celebrity.

Here is Madison's loot from our beach trip.

Madison found a seashell on the beach.
Me and Madison taking a swim in the ocean.
We are at the beach in Tainan.