About Me

My photo
Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Six Months in a Nutshell

View from Wisdom Garden

I've been pretty lax with updating my posts. To make a long story short:

Z and I spent Christmas in Tainan. I finally got Christmas Day off! (Usually it fell on a weekend.)

We welcomed the New Year working our way from the Southeast Rift Valley to Hualien with my friends Binh and Kirin. We spent a night and 2 days in Yuli at the serene Wisdom Garden.

Wisdom Garden

Antong hot springs, New Life Resort, Yuli.

 From there Wisdom Garden provided scooters and we tried unsuccessfully to hike the Walami trail in the rain, followed by a long soak in the nearby Antong hot springs

Walami Trail

The next day we took a freezing, rainy scooter ride on the mountain highway to soak in Rueishui hot springs. We returned to Wisdom Garden and hopped on a train to Hualien.

 The first night we slept in Hualien city at a backpacker lodge. Everything booked fast for that weekend. I needed my space just with Z and asked to be switched to their other lodging in a residential suburb, which was the total opposite from the loud, social hub of the previous night. After dinner at the night market, we moved our bags to the other location.We were pretty isolated, not to mention after the taxi dropped us of, no one was there and the place was locked. The next morning we took a shared taxi with me, Z, Binh, Kirin and a Korean traveler into Taroko National Park.

Taroko Gorge was stunning, picturesque, but freezing! We were wearing all of our clothes, layers of 4 or more, under coats. We went to all the major sites, did some easy walks and hikes, had lunch there and ended the day chillin' (literally) on the Pacific ocean north of Hualien,

Chinese New Year, Z and I made it home to Colorado, for a long overdue visit with friends and family, it was 2 years since we saw them in Los Angeles for my bro's wedding. It had been 4 years since we last went back to the Mile High City. That trip deserves its own blog, but suffice to say I reconnected with friendships that are 20 years old and older. It was magical to have my folks watch Z and then be given the royal treatment by my friends. Lets just say I ate and drank well, all too well, I returned back to Tainan 5 kg heavier and it was worth it! Unfortunately I haven't lost any of it.

I've been struggling financially since then. My return paycheck was meager from missing 2 weeks of work and its been one step forward to steps back ever since we got back, but looking at the photos of our time, it was also worth it.

Garden of the Gods

In April we managed a weekend in Matsu. I went with my friend Vicky and her family, she planned everything. It was amazing scenery, beaches, very isolated. I will write a separate blog about it. Matsu is definitely off the beaten track.

Matsu day 1, Beigan

In May we took a trip to Taipei. I stayed with my old friend Monica at her sister's place near where I was having an interview and demo in Xindian (they haven't called me back).

Sunrise from my window, Xindian

Sherry, Z and Marion, saying goodbyes.

I may not have got the job, but I got to see my old manager Sherry from my Kid Castle Chu Wei days, my old roommate Marion from Tamsui and of course Monica and her family. We have all been friends since 2000, Sherry and Marion have visited me in Colorado over the years. Monica used to live in Tainan.

Which brings me to last weekend's trip to Taitung, very last minute, quick, full of happy surprises and outstanding individuals.  It was because of last weekend I decided to finally catch up on my blogs.

(To be continued, I hope),

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