Saturday, January 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home! Which one?

Remember the snow pictures in my last post? Well, we are back to it, after spending 3 weeks at my home land with the weather average 50-60 F above what we have here. We had a lot of raining and cloudy days while there, but it was bearable for us mid-westerners. We came back to the snowy landscape on New Year's Day. It was bittersweet for me, but it was definitely sweeter for husband and children. They were coming home, you see. As for me, the older I get, the more I long to go home, where I came from. 

I have been living in the mid-west for more than 20 years now. I never thought I would have settled here, but I am glad I did. I met my dear husband here.  And, it is a wonderful place to raise a family and a beautiful place in the summer and fall. Winter is too long, and spring can be messy. Husband loves the 4 seasons here, though. Kids love the snow. This time visiting Taiwan, I enjoyed it much more than the past. Kids are old enough to enjoy every minute with us. We don't have to drag diaper bags and stroller with us everywhere we go and worry about the sleeping pattern and schedules. It's just so much easier. We had a lot of fun. And of course, we had a lot of good food and enjoyed every bite of it. You can't find a place more convenient than Taipei to find all kinds of food. I will have to write another post about it. 

The most memorable thing we did this time was taking a trip to the east part of Taiwan. I have forgot the magnificent beauty of the coast, the gorges, and the rift valley. Or, I should say that I really didn't appreciate it so much until now. We will go back to visit HuaLien and TaiDong again.

Even on a cloudy and windy day, we were awed by the clean blue color of the Pacific water, ...

... and the wave was definitely worth chasing. 

After leaving HuaLien, we took the train heading south to TaiDong. These ladies were working hard in the early morning at one tea farm near our B&B picking the latest winter crop.

Guess what this is? It's passion fruit! We stopped at this vegetable and fruit farm on our second day in TaiDong while on a bike trail. The fresh picked passion fruit and strawberry were mouthwatering. 

Ran into workers harvesting bananas on our afternoon walk. They were so friendly and picked some yellow (ripe) bananas from the tree for us to try. We learned that bananas are picked while still green, then go through the ripening process in the warehouse before going to the markets. This drying process will turn the bananas yellow and enhance their flavors. Truly, the fresh picked ones they had us tried were not remarkably better than the store bought ones.

Look at this little girl, didn't want to follow us on the "normal" path then had to find an unusual way to come back. So typical of her. :)

I just can't get over with the awesome views of the coast line. 

There was the husband hanging on the lava rock. We had an adventurous day at this park. No damage occurred to the park (or the husband!)

After three short days, we packed our hearts with wonderful people and warm memories and headed back to Taipei on the train.

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