Adventures living as expats.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oolong and Sun Moon Lake

After pestering Jeff for around a year about getting a dog, he finally gave in and agreed.  I've been anticipating having a dog ever since and we couldn't have been luckier with the adorable pup we adopted.  We've now had Oolong for almost a month and we're so attached and want to take her everywhere with us.

She's 9 months old and some type of terrier mix which certainly shines in her personality.  She loves going on walks, but hates getting her harness put on.   Today we let her off leash at the park for the first time and she had a blast chasing birds around and playing fetch.  She certainly plays hard but loves to nap a lot during the day.   We've been working on her training - mostly not barking and not pulling so much on the leash but she often can't control her excitement.

Such a photogenic girl.
So tired after a good walk.
She's been coming with me to Chinese class and mostly behaves herself.  :-)
She wasn't crazy about her Halloween costume at first but warmed up to it after we told her how pretty she looks.
Our first trip away with Oolong was to Sun Moon Lake.  It's a quick drive from Taichung and a beautiful place to enjoy nature.  You can rent a bike and ride around the lake, but we opted to hike a few sections with Oolong.  She even road the ferry with us and did great.   
Family portrait.
Hiking around the lake
Such great views.
Beautiful temple overlooking the lake.

First 2 months in Taichung

We arrived in Taiwan just over 2 months ago and have been busily getting ourselves acquainted with our new city.  After 2 months of living out of a suitcase, it is so nice to be settled into our cozy apartment.  I've started Mandarin classes at Donghai University and have quickly figured out just how challenging the language is, especially the tones!

Anyone that meets us knows that Jeff and I love searching out great food and Taichung has a lot of options.  Taiwan is famous for pork dumplings and we now understand why.
Everyone must try the famous Din Tai Fung
Dumplings from a small family run restaurant
These big steamer carts are filled with pork and veggie dumplings
Hot Pot, another Taiwan favorite.
Every morning throughout the city you can see a lot of people being active - walking, practicing dance routines, doing tai chi / karate kicks, singing karaoke, and other interesting calisthenic moves.   One park I walk in even has a large group of people that sit on stools and smack their body with their hands in a synchronized routine - I'm guessing to help with circulation. 
Throughout the city there is a lot of exercise / stretching equipment.

We've had some wonderful hikes including this one in Dakeng.
Our first getaway was to Taipei to celebrate Jeff's birthday which I kept mostly as a surprise.  We took the high speed rail and were there in less than an hour.
Our first stop was boozy brunch at The W with a group of new friends.  
View of the Taipei 101, now the 5th tallest building in the world.
Unfortunately the main event for Jeff's birthday, the Bon Jovi concert was cancelled due to an incoming typhoon.  We quickly caught a train back to Taichung the next morning and settled into our apartment just before the storm hit.  The wind was really whistling through our building and debris was flying everywhere.
Downed tree after the storm.
Once we finally got our apartment squared away and our pictures hung, we hosted a housewarming party where Jeff showcased his new cocktail skills.   We had a fantastic showing and even managed to lure some friends down from Taipei.  
My favorite was the gimlet rose.
Jeff's party prep.
Although Taichung is a pretty small city compared to Jakarta, we've found a lot of fun stuff to keep us busy and still have a list of places to check out.
Night market with Annie. 
Taichung Jazz Festival with Mary and Mike.