Taiwan 2012: Day 7 (Family trip to Yilan- park and bike riding)

Think I forgot about posting up my Taiwan trip?  ... WELL.  I did.  Haha :P  Anyhow, let's begin!

Every day starts out with breakfast!  :D  And in Taiwan, that means either going out to forage from street-side vendors or simply groggily waddling downstairs to find whatever's waiting on the table.  And today, it was the bag of bread that Connie and I bought from the bakery in Taipei the day before.  So not SUPER fresh, but fresh enough-- and it was SUPER delish :3  Ahhh, food *heart*!

Green tea bread with red bean (annnd black sesame and cocnut flakes!)

Taro bread with creamy DELICIOUS taro paste *heart*

So off to Yilan we go!  Yilan is a more country-side place, where all the city dwellers go to relax and take in the clean air.  We had to drive past Taipei and literally through some mountains to the other side!  Lots of workers blasted the mountain sides to make really long tunnels to make transportation more convenient.  I can't believe how long these tunnels are, and I can't imagine how many workers got hurt :/

Mountains!  O_O  *Texan girl in awe*

Coming out from a mountain-side tunnel!

And right back into the next one~

See that pointy thing?  That's Taipei 101!

O_O  Green tall things... I'm talking about the foilage, silly :)

There is one SUPER long tunnel!

The tunnel takes 13 minutes to go through if you drive at the speed limit.  Radio signals are cut off, but all stations are set to this one frequency where you can hear a recorded message by a lady.  She says things in a nice, soothing voice.  Mainly about being careful when driving and stuff like that!~  Pretty crazy... I wonder how scary it was to build x_x

When we popped out of the other side of the mountain, we were in Yilan!  Some more driving took us to a more populated "city" area, and the rain took over with its mat of wet projectiles.  

Family... take cover!

My uncle wanted to take us to a place known for its meat soup!

There was no AC, but everyone seemed used to it (except us US-ers haha)

The kiddos (Michael, Connie, and me) were sat at a separate table

This is the good stuff!  It's a meat mixture wrapped inside tofu skin and fried :3  YUMMMM

Then there's the soup, where they cook meat in a thickened soup... very warming... in the hot summer =_=

Huge onion dicer! :D  I need one of these ;)

Another kitchen in the back

This is what the back of the restaurant looks like :o

So this is actually where my uncle grew up, and he said he used to eat at the restaurant and then walk to a nearby bakery for their complimentary tea and samples.  And that's what we did-- walk to the bakery and look around :D  With bags of baked goodies in our hands, we looked like a huge tour group :P  It's weird to think that all these people are my family members...  I'm so used to thinking my family only consists of my dad, mom, sister, and doggies... plus those far away people that my dad calls on the weekend (family in Taiwan)!  I never get to see my family members for holidays or celebrations because of the distance; we're the only ones in the United States.  And I've never been to any of my cousin's weddings either :(

I wonder what type of bread this is?  So poofy!  *poke*

Baked goods ready for packaging!


Free sample tastings too ^^

Next stop?  Historical train park!

Yep!  Follow our group pwrease :3

I actually don't know what the history of this place is... just that there's a train in the middle of it XD

Ahh, my dad has so many siblings @_@

Hehe, whyyyyyy with the umbrellas??  Oh.. it's raining o_o

C'mon Connie, so slooooow~

Daddy with his pretty cute umbrella :P

:')  Michael with Grandma

Mommy and Connie

Um... tree trunks! :D

* If you wondered why the pic quality got so much better... the *-ed pics are from my uncle's DSLR!

... I just realized it looks weird to be wearing my running clothes and holding a purse..  and that my sister and I look so fobby :D  OH WELL NO ONE KNOWS ME HERE, HAR HAR HAR  

*  Train tracks!  Must be train-related history, right? 


*  Haha, so many people looking at the floor~

* Oh wait... I am too =_=''

I think they used to log on this swamp thing too!

Michael with his dad's DLSR

Pose, Connie, pose! :D

* This is my attractive face.

* Wait, NO.  THIS ONE IS.  :D

* Ke ke ke~

* Mommy and younger Auntie!

* Kind of pretty ^^

While we were waiting to regroup, my inner AC-radar detected the slight wafts of air conditioning from a nearby building.  I stuck my head in and found this:

There was a little cabin with a famous candlemaker teaching people how to decorate candles!

Then I signaled to my fellow sister to join me inside.  Within a few minutes, the whole family was inside huddling near the AC unit to cool down XD

Cute, right? ^^

umm... Plant! :D

Connie teaching Grandma how to be gangstaaa XD

Afterwards, we drove to our hotel, which was located right next to a water/amusement park.  Yilan has nice scenery, and it's well-known for bike riding.  People will rent out bikes to tourists to ride around on to enjoy the views. 

We wanted shaved ice to cool down, but it was closed :(

Bikes waiting for riders!

Guess whooo?

It's Daddy :)

We went to our hotel rooms to rest for a while.  Daddy, mommy, Connie, and I were in a separate room...

while the rest of the family had another room!

Then it was off to bike-riding!  Oooh, fun fun fun :3

Small auntie learned the gangsta sign... kinda!  Big uncle looks like my daddy, right ? :O

Eldest auntie is very petite, so she had to ride a child's bike... reminds me of Daisy Duck :D

Connie's ready to gooooo!

And we're zipping off~

With me looking creepy by snapping shots at everyone :)

Very small amusement park with random dinos


Target Michael spotted.


Michael told me that I could sit on the dino at the top of this hill at the entrance.  I was so excited, "Really?!" Yeah!  So I climbed up and sat on the dino.  Then when the rest of the family came, everyone told me to get down right away since it wasn't allowed =____=  MICHAEL!!  Always trolling me even though he's younger... actually, I feel like the youngest one in our family all the time XD

Michael:  Gotcha!!

Whee!!  I'm going to fall off my bike...

Let's see what eldest auntie is up to

Tee hee hee, wheee!  ^^

Pretty scenery, eh? :)

Stopping by to watch fisherman try their luck on the lake

We basically get to ride around a huuuuge lake!

We saw a shrimp.. er.. farm place?

You use a fishing pole to catch shrimp, and some have tags tied to them for points.  You can exchange these for prizes, and even if you can't nab the coveted points, you can cook your shrimp there and eat them! :)  *very morbid, but very delish*

It's a childhood memory for many Taiwanese kiddos

So many shrimp @_@

La dee la la!~

Whoa O_O  My MOM's on a bike?!  *so rare* XD

Across the lake is the Yilan Cultural Center!  More about that later~

These are probably shrimp farms to raise and sell shrimp.  Pretty cool :)

So many!

We rode until night fell, and then it was time for dinner!  *constantly eating all the time XD*  We had a reservation at one of those large and in charge restaurants :P

Kumquat palate cleanser?

Sashimi fresh off the fish!  ... Like.. it's literally on the fish xOx

See what I mean?  @_@'' but the crab meat on the bottom right was a little less scary to grab!

Seafood soup

Seafood and veggies (Omgahh veggies!!)

Another soup?


3 Varieties.  An Yilan specialty!  All fried:  meat paste, meat balls, and fried lard-like thing.. Yes, lard!

It tasted like tofu.  Nom nom :3

Lobster meat salad on top of a plate of fried ice cream!

Crab with seafood dumplings.  I liked this one a lot ^^

Oh and there were strawberry and taro fried ice cream sandwich thingies.  Connie had the strawberry one~

I don't like strawberry ice cream D:

Steamed fish!  ^__^

I like fish.

Like my random comments? :D

Back to the hotel !

* Such a cute hotel, right?  There's even a ducky!

Nearby our hotel was another super fancy hotel called ShangriLa.  It was built by some famous Taiwanese person, and it even had a chapel on a lake for weddings... *exclusively* for weddings!  It is never open unless there's a wedding inside @_@  

We walked around the hotel just for kicks :)

There's the chapel on a lake!  The bell can be rung for fun too :)

* Jaden, Grandma, and Steve :D  The older cousins!

* Family photo!

* My dad and his siblings around Grandma!

* Ding dong, har har har!

My mom looks like a little girl :3  We got to play on the swings!  Fweeee!

Inside there were cute little chairs that I liked sitting in.  Steve tried squishing into one too..

which looked pretty odd XD

Okay, bed time little ones!  Next Taiwan trip post will be more of Yilan!  ^_^b