There's nothing like having family visit. In October of 2005 my Aunt and Uncle stopped by for a whirlwind tour of our lives. Here's our log of the trip...

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Day 1: The Arrival

Nick and Barb meet Zeb and Dan-dan again, and our three mutts for the first time.

We took them around our neighborhood. Here Nick contemplates the scenery at Tz Chi by our house.

Barb and Juying have a chat.

We made several tries at getting a decent group shot, but the dog proved shy.

Still no cooperation from Bola, but everyone else looked great.

Everyone had a fine time chatting as they marched around the neighborhood.

We also took them to visit Sheridan's school.

After chatting at home for a couple of hours, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. Barb has now mastered the art of chopsticks, I am happy to report.

Here are all the foods they didn't have a chance to try in China.

After dinner, what could be more fun than a night market? We drove up to nearby Fengyuan for one of the local area's larger night markets (there's a whole page on night markets on my website).

"No thanks," Barb says. She had just eaten a bag of fried duck heads, and had no room for snails.

Barb and Juying enjoyed the great selection of quality goods at affordable prices.

Just a hint of the abundance at your local night market.

Parts, duck's blood cakes, and tofu.

There's no end to the shopping you can do.

Nick gets ready to shoot the kids playing a game.

Mom gets a crash course in how to play.

Everyone enjoys the game.

Watching the kids sink basket after basket on the basketball game.

After a hard night of partying at the night market, Barb and Nick check in to the hotel.
Day 2: A Long Day

On Thursday we got up bright and early and visited the morning market in Tanzi where Juying and I often pick up meat and vegetables.

Nick took plenty of photographs while Barb talked about how chickens had been slaughtered when she was a little girl.

After picking up some fruit, we headed out to the town of Sanyi, the center of the island's woodcarving industry.

"The museum? It's a short walk up." In Taiwan people usually say that things are "a little far" when they are in fact close, since Taiwanese don't usually walk. But the policeman was wrong. The museum was a hike. Here Barb gamely pushes on.

Zeb and Dan-dan pose in front of a workshop.

Big? We got got big. Small? we got that too.

Stray wood piled in front of a workshop.

Artists at work.

One of the fancier galleries among the shops that cluster around the museum.

One of the not-so-fancy knick-knack shops.

Nick studies a shop.

This shop mostly had one-off pieces.

A close-up of one piece.

The crew walks down the street to the museum.

Going into the museum. You weren't allowed to take pictures, but you could enjoy the air-con.

Sanyi town.

Nick looks out over the mountains.

An artist at work.

After visiting Sanyi we drove to Flying Cow Farm for lunch. On the way I took pictures of some of the election ads for a website I am building.  Here Gen. Patton promises to be sincere and enthusiastic, and says "Please!"

The trip to Flying Cow is through gentle valleys of farms and rice fields.

Here at Flying Cow we sit down for a well-deserved lunch. I didn't record the tea and chocolate cake we had prior to lunch. So we never had it, and thus, it had no calories.

Zeb answers a question. He and Sheridan had a great time interacting with Nick and Barb, who were extremely patient and funny. Nick had them in stitches for three days.

Flying Cow provides locals a rare glimpse of green and clean.

Here we explore the pathways through the farm.

Large grassy areas are a big hit with students who come here on school trips.

Chatting and swatting away the bugs.

After the kids played we retired to the picnic area to play Hearts. The kids enjoyed it so much they begged to play Hearts every time we stopped after that.

Barb eyes the pass.

Zeb gives advice to Dad. He won the game, so I probably should have listened.

Hitting the bathroom before taking off.

Leaving the shady paths of Flying Cow behind.....we returned to Taichung for Indian food at Spice Shop I.
 Day 3: A Lot of Drivin'

Thursday morning we headed south on the new highway to Sun Moon Lake. Unfortunately it was too hazy to take pics on the way up.
I was able to stop for a second and get some shots of a typical river.
Barb was incredible. Patient, kind, and tough, she was kind enough not to say anything about my driving.
After leaving the highway, we headed up into the mountains. Here we pass through a local community.
Higher and higher we went.....
At last the lake came into view.
Pleasure craft and fishermen.
Sheridan enjoys the lake. The last time she came she was only a little girl.
Nick shoots a temple.
The lake is surrounded by temples that date from its construction by the Japanese in the pre-war period.
The temples all have excellent views, of course.
We drove along and stopped at the Wen Wu Confucius Temple, a big tourist site. Here the Falungong complains about the government of China. The printer seems unable to tell the difference between an "f" and a "t".
The guide to the Temple.
Juying talks with Barb as tourists cluster in the gigantic temple.
After taking some typically gorgeous shots of Sun Moon Lake, we head for the Temple.
Barb and Juying hide in the shade.
Nick and I went off to photo the temple while everyone else rested under a tree.
The temple has great views of the lake.
Nick grabs a shot.
The temple's spectacular views.
Korean tour groups cram into the temple.
Devotional candles. Despite the temple's touristy overtones, it really is a functional temple.
The village of Dehua, our next destination, lies in a bay around the lake from the temple.
Dan-dan and Barb successfully find and use the toilet.
We plunged into here to look at the totally unique souvenirs.
After buying a few small items that we didn't need with money we didn't have, we tripped around the lake to Dehua, one of the area's prime tourist destinations. Here you can get a pleasure cruise around the lake. The community was completely destroyed in the 9/21 quake and most of the hotels collapsed. The inflow of government funds for recovery went to construction of new tourist attractions, like this beautiful wooden pier. In the far background the Wen Wu Temple can be seen.
Lots of students on field trips.
Shops, stalls, eateries, cafes.
For lunch we stopped at a restaurant overlooking the lake. The food was awful but the view was nice.
Mom poses before lunch.
After lunch we went out to the pier and took a few pictures.
Of course I had to have a critter picture, and what better one then a mantis overlooking the lake? I have a bunch of critter pics collected on my Critters Page.
Unfortunately the long trip to the airport had to begin, so we left Sun Moon Lake. Here are some betel nut farms in a valley near the lake.
On the way to the airport we stopped at the Chingshui Rest Stop. My students always include this as a great thing to do in Taichung whenever I assign that topic for essay writing. The views out over Taichung were great, they said.
Nick and I marveled at the men's room, where an infantry division could have a simultaneous pee.
Barb and Zeb take a rest.
This is an unretouched photo. This is NOT Photoshopped. Yes, they are actually here!
My students neglected to mention that the electric cables run right through the beautiful view. I think I am going to propose a course in basic aesthetics at the curriculum meeting tomorrow.
Frustration: why couldn't they find someone to edit this?
Inside the rest stop is more like a shopping mall.
We stopped for cake. Again.
I think I need my dosage adjusted.........
On the way to the airport we hit a traffic jam, and almost hit that green car. But we got there in time.
And said our good-byes, and a beautiful trip ended as Barb vanished into the airport. Thanks so much for coming, guys. We already miss you terribly.
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