We spent a few more days in Yuli meeting people and enjoying the beautiful and peaceful countryside. Then it was time to take the train back up to Yilan, when one of the most exciting stories of the trip occurred. Stay tuned for my next post, "My mom, the action hero."
Next came another flurry of visits in Yilan, which concluded with a very relaxing visit to a hot spring co-owned by one of my Dr. students. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of that.
Back in Taipei, we checked into our hotel: the Grand Hotel, one of the oldest and most renowned hotels in Taiwan! Actually a one night's stay there was cheaper than a typical 5-star hotel, especially when we fond out on arrival that we had been upgraded to a SUITE! Our hotel suite was bigger than my apartment! It had living room, bar, 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It was amazing! We spent a lot of time looking around the hotel and taking pictures there, then went out to finish our tour with the National Palace Museum and the giant ferris wheel.
The next morning was our last day in Taiwan. We were due to fly out at 11:55pm. We slept in a little and stored our luggage at the hotel's front desk. Then we went to the Martyr's Shrine where we enjoyed the architecture and another changing of the guard ceremony, as well as getting a history lesson. Had lunch nearby the famous Shi-Lin night market (we hadn't gone at night because I was still on crutches, and not feeling too confident about pushing through the hordes of people). But my parents were once again amazed at how cheap it can be to eat in Taiwan. The four of us ate for less than the price of one beverage at TGI Friday's, where we'd eaten the night before.
We picked up our luggage and took the shuttle to the airport, where we again had to try and store our stuff (unfortunately discovering that the airline wouldn't let us check in so early), then headed out to one last stop: the old street in Yingge, the ceramics and pottery capital of Taiwan. My parents did more shopping and Zak got to make his own pottery! Actually the stuff he made turned out really amazing! We had an awesome dinner at a restaurant using all handmade pottery dishes. We took some pictures, then noticed the picture on the door of a camera with a line through it.... fortunately the serving staff didn't mind (actually they were laughing at us). Then it was back to the airport one last time to meet up with my friend Michelle and head to colder skies.
Dad and Zak went on a hike in Yuli.
Jeff and Sherly's twin boys along with some other church friends.
With Peggy near Yuli
The tea ceremony near Yuli. We also took a couple of boxes of tea home!
Hanging out in the Grand Hotel and trying out the complimentary robes.
At the National Palace Museum.
Our Dinner in Yingge.