OK prepare youself for maybe a little bit of an overload since we haven't written on here in so long and there has been a lot going on and a lot of tell. So if you don't have time to finish it we understand. My mom started her journey here on February 27th and the trip ended today. First off, Jay and I traveled to Taipei to make sure my mom would see a familiar face as she exited the airplane after over 24 hours of traveling it is always nice to know there is actually someone there to pick you up. Unfortunately before heading to the airport in Taipei, we had to locate our hotel in a mass of confusion with no address to the hotel and no one speaking English to help us find it. Obviously this was all my fault and Jay let it be known that I shouldve printed off the address and of course I already knew that after 2 hours of walking around the same block and passing the alley way that our hotel was located with a Chinese sign that of course we completely overlooked. Anyways we finally found it and had to catch a bus to the airport in the nick of time for my mom to come off the plane. WE were very excited to see eachother. After getting a little settled at the hotel we took her to the famous night market in Taipei to get a real feel for authintic Taiwan and try the typical cusine, Hot pot. Maybe a little much for the first night. We all felt a little sick the next day. Which we caught a 7 hour train ride to Taitung, a small town on the east coast where we were hopeful to catch a ferry to Green Island from. When we arrived exhausted from a long day of traveling (more for my mom) Even though we saw beautiful scenery along the way. It was late afternoon and the weather wasn't looking too good. We found out that the ferry wasn't running that day and fortunately a very nice man from the visitors center drove us to a very nice hotel to stay for the night so we could catch it in the morning. BY the way he speaks absolutely to English. The next day we caught the ferry but this is where it started my mothers sickness. The ferry was very rough... people leaning over the side and very big waves... fortunately we did fairly well to the island and we saw about 100 dolphins swimming and jumping right next to the boat..very impressive. We arrived on Green Island...very green... and of course it starts our trouble with a major language problem with the scooter lady that was renting us two scooters. As she was chewing her bettle nut I was trying to convey to her that we needed it for two nights but for some reason she thought there was 30 days in February so as I am writing notes on my hand to show her how many days I want. I finally give up and just take it for 1 night... which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We headed to our campsite with our big bags on the scooter and my mom riding behind Jay for her first of many terrifying expereinces of the scooter. Luckily there wasn;t really any traffic on the island so she was able to ease into the whole scooter thing. We went our campsite which was amazing and of course we were the only ones there... which we found out why later on that night. The island was amazingly beautiful..very volcanic and green of course..and only about 18 kilometers around the entire thing. The sickness started to set in that night for my mom and unfortunately she was feeling bad and the weather was getting worse by the minutes. We got settled in our campsite and then the storm came. The rain poured...fortunatly there were covered tent areas other wise we might of slept in the bathroom. Then after the torential downpours stopped the wind gusts began.... blowing our tents all around... sounding like bears shaking it and trying to lift it up. So after a very restless night and my mom feeling very sick.... our plan was to go scuba diving which is supposed to be spectacular on the island but since the storm had come the water was extremely rough and for Jay;s first dive and my mother being sick we made an executive decision to just head back to Taichung (jay and I's city) that day so my mom could get some rest a begin to feel better. So unfortunatly our plans were a little ruined. But before we left we went to the hot springs on the island... which are one of three salt water hot springs in the world there is one in Italy, Japan and here in Taiwan... They were imazignly hot for the cold winds and temperatures outside.. They had a beautiful view of the ocean. After that we took the train back down south and around to Taichung..... Or luck seemed to be going pretty bad because the further we went away from Green Island the weather began to get beautiful... At least when we arrived at our place the weather was beautiful and it stayed beautiful.
OUr adventures in Taichung consisted of a lot of different food... scooter ride to the mountains (Dakeng).... dangerous scooter ride to Art Street....she was able to observe both Jay and I teaching...so now at least she knows that we have a legitimate job..... the jade market.... meeting some of our crazy friends which my mom really liked..... playing cards almost every night..... Feng Jia night market where we had the wonderful expeirience of trying stinky tofu because of the pressure of my mom.... very stinky but actaully not so bad... don't get me wrong we all only tried two bites and we threw it away.
Then it was time for my sister. Leslie and her husband Pete to come and of course finally meeting our handsome nephew Henry (4 months old)... Jay is trying to weed in calling him Hank occassionally. They came on Thursday and we spent most of the day with them on Friday until we had to teach... we went to an amazing little tea house where we sat on the floor had tea and a very nice lunch. Then on Saturday we all headed to Taipei in the luxurious busses that Jay and I love. I couldn't get over how cute Henry was and I was able to hold him almost the entire time on the bus whithout him crying and we both actaully slept a little. So We are now Uncle Jay and Aunt Allie seems so weird. But we love him to death. We went up Taipei 101 when we got to Taipei... tallest building in the world at the moment until the one in Dubai and Malaysia are finsihed. It also had the fastest elevator in the world we went up 90 floors in 35 seconds.. so you do the math.... pretty darn fast. The view from the top wasn't that impressive because Tiapei is always cloudy and rainy I sure it would be during better weather. After that Leslie went back to the hotel with the baby and my mom, Jay, Pete and I went walking and had a few drinks out in the town. Then my mom , Jay and I went to Longhand temple the most famous temple in Taipei and they had beautiful lanters out.. and then we proceeded to snake alley with the usual venemous snakes on display and of course the family event of watching the boa eat a bunny. Today we got my mom of successfully to the airport at least I hope I haven't heard back about her travels. And then Jay Leslie, Pete and I went to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial now called Peace Plaza where there was a big event going on ......... It was a wonderful trip seeing everyone.... and now I have to dredfully say we go back to our boring lives in Taiwan but no so boring. Hope that wasn't too much of an overload and hope you enjoy all the pictures.