Saturday, February 25, 2006

Que Magnifico!!

Aaahhh...a sense of relief filled me the other day as I realized that Brian's artistic talent did indeed pass on to our beautiful daughter Madison. And just look at that creative flair! Who else could think of using yourself as a paintbrush!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Here is my rose from is even sparkly......what they won't think of next.......I made a red and pink dinner for Brian and sweethearts! Do you see that the tomatoes are hearts? We had salad with tomatoes, and.........
Jello! It was one with a raspberry level on bottom and a peach layer on top.
And we had the ever-present Crystal Light as well.....CHEERS!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Taipei Says....Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year Everyone!! This year is the year of the dog, so we put this nice picture of a cool tribute to the new year at the Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center in Taipei up for your viewing pleasure. I know what you are thinking...."it's about time those weasels put up a new post...aren't they always the ones hounding (hehe) everyone?" Yes, we have been lazy...but we promise to make up for it with this post...and we promise to post more often in the future!

Soo....we spent a week in Taipei to celebrate our time off for the new year. It was AWESOME! We went up on Sunday to hang out with our new friends who live just north of Taipei in a "city" called Shindian. This is Madi and Courtney and Clayton collecting tadpoles....which, I might add, went promptly into Shawn and Janice's best tupperware. Oh well. These guys took us to Wulai, this really cool place only a hop, skip, jump and crazy, suicidal bus ride away from Shindian. But...I have to say, it was soo worth it once we got there. It was beautiful!If you noticed that the water is uncannily is not a camera trick, it was actually that color. I guess there are certain places along this river that are natural hot springs. Brian says that there were people just getting naked everywhere and experiencing nature, one on one....I personally didn't see it...but I guess that's what was happening.

This is our trip up to the waterfall. First you walk up about ten thousand steep stairs. Then you board a tiny mining train and ride it up through the mountain. Then you take a cool cable car ride to the top, over the waterfall. Very cool. Probably the most beautiful place we've been while in Taiwan. The picture of the waterfall really doesn't do it justice, it was HUGE! And very pretty, the whole thing was so is hard to describe because it was about the sounds and smells as well as the sights. I guess you'll just have to come here and visit us if you want to know what it was really like!

At the top of the mountain, they had an amusement park. Hmmm.....we've decided that the Taiwan version is somewhat different than the American version. Although, it had some pretty cool rides. As a quick note, in Taiwan everyone is obsessed with DIY, or Do It Yourself. You see DIY everywhere here, DIY stirfry veggies at the market, DIY party materials at a little store on the street, DIY baking stores...well, you get the picture. Taiwan has now extended this concept into the world of amusement. For example, below you have the DIY peddle your own roller coaster. Fun, healthy and educational. They also had a lot of other DIY rides, and if you want to hear more...Skype us and Brian can tell you about his other fun ride. After a long day of hiking and riding fun rides...we decided to sample the local cuisine. Here you have what one person told us was a "mountain chicken," but that we later were told by the owner the establishment was pigeon. that mountain chicken, finger lickin' good! We actually settled on the other local specialty, it was wild boar. It was fried up with some good Taiwanese veggies: onions, garlic and red hot peppers. It was spicy, but good!

On Tuesday we went to the Taipei Zoo. It was big, and freezing cold. We southerners aren't used to the cold winter weather they have in Taipei, and Madi and I didn't even bring jackets to the zoo. Poor Madi was wearing Brian's leather looked like she was wearing a large leather dress. It rained and was miserable, but we still saw some cool animals. Like....ferocious woodchucks and man eating North American mountain goat. They did have koalas and penguins and tons of hippos and elephants and lots of other animals you don't usually see in a zoo in the US. All in all, fun....but maybe we should have gone on Monday when it was warm!On Wednesday we hung out and relocated our digs to the Patron Housing from the seedy motel we were at....then we just walked around for a while, we also met a senior couple who are serving outside of Taipei somewhere but were visiting the temple. On Thursday we took them with us to the National Palace Museum. It was pretty cool, although not as monumental as we had anticipated. The Pearce's then took us to Sizzler in Taipei. Whoa....have we missed Sizzler! All you can eat salad bar, that is all I'm going to say.

This is just Brian getting ready to go to the Temple. He and Madi just shaved.And here is Madi waiting for me to get out of my session, in front of the Taipei Temple.
We had a really good time, and Brian even got to buy some magic tricks. Shawn (our friend from Shindian) is a magician, too. Oh boy.