Saturday, February 19, 2011


Mochi is glutinous rice cake used a lot in Japan.  We were given these hand-made mochi stuffed with sweet fillings.  They were delicious!  I learned an important lesson with these though - don't just pop a whole one in your mouth, they are so sticky that they get lodged in your throat causing a momentary panic attack when you can't breath.  My advice: take small bites (and don't wear black, they are always covered in flour that gets everywhere no matter how careful you are).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Roses are red

We haven't had the onslaught of jewelry commercials or Hallmark greeting cards but with roses and chocolates for sale at school today there was certainly a festival mood, and, just like at home, I will probably go to bed with a stomach ache from too much chocolate.

Apple sidra

I love this apple flavored soda!  If you come across it I definitely suggest you try it - just look for the bright yellow label and the tag line "without chemical ingredients".

first time we've seen it in a glass bottle!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our lucky charm

Last year we took chinese lessons then after summer break never started them back up.  Turns out we are now terrible students.  However, we had a wonderful teacher who, despite our failures in studying, still does sweet things for us - like giving us goodies for moon festival and making this:

In the note that accompanied she told us that this is a "ping-an" or lucky charm which will bring us good luck and protect us from anything bad all year round.

Thanks so much Katie!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge is beautiful.  We spent only a day there and would love to go back.  We first did a popular hike along the river then took a shuttle bus around the park, getting off to walk a stretch wearing very fashionable, and required, hard-hats.

Luckily the effectiveness of the hard-hats was not tested.  We did, however, experience the reason why cars are only allowed into the park at certain hours after sitting on the bus waiting for traffic to fight it's way through single lane tunnels.  Slow goings!  The good side of the wait was it allowed for more time to appreciate the scenery.  

My favorite part was the water - it's so blue!  And of course the hard-hats.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lantern send-off

During Chinese New Years many people write their wishes onto paper lanterns then send them off into the sky.  The lantern festival is technically a little later in the chinese new year, but we decided to do one while we were in Hualien just in case we don't make it to the festival (or it's too crowded to do our own!).  We took a short video on our phone of the lift off:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hualien trip through an iphone

We just got back from a few day trip to Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan.  We were warned not to travel during Chinese New Year because of traffic but in fact had no trouble.  The highlight of the trip was seeing Taroko Gorge, but until I edit those photos here are some others from our phones:

 Tea and dessert

 Citrus tree - popular at Chinese New Year

Market food - candied tomatoes and strawberries 

Rice served wrapped in a leaf

7-11 character dressed for the year of the rabbit

Art from Irawaddy restaurant serving food from Myanmar 
(good food, but not very true to Myanmar dishes says our friend who lived there) 

Chili flavored ice cream - so spicy!  
(found at a "chili world" rest stop between Hualien and Taipei)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fruit market

Jujube (I think), bell fruit and buddha's head

Wedding bliss

This weekend was full of marriage celebration - Saturday was our 5th anniversary and Sunday we went to a co-workers wedding.

Jeremiah helping me down the stairs after I tripped on my dress

Our co-worker and husband toasting with guests