Sunday, December 27, 2009

Taipei




















Evie and I took a walk while Ethan was supposed to be napping (but he wouldn't nap). He has had a really hard time napping and sleeping since his accident. He had a few good nights before we left for Taipei but he was up about 5 times last night. Once he even crawled out of his bed and was dragging it out of the room it was in. We put it in our room and he went back to sleep but he still woke up crying a few more times...




















I love IKEA. The closest store to us in the US is Chicago which is about 8 hours away, so it's always a treat when we get a chance to go.




















We didn't get much sleep last night so we had more fun than usual testing out the chairs and beds.


































The kids always have fun playing in the kid/toy section. Evie found a huge puppy to drag around. She is turning off the lights in the display so her puppy can go to bed
















The next time I checked on Evie she was in the bed herself. She said she was just playing like she was tired. She looked pretty cozy though.





















Ethan is happy he found something he can bash. Check out the video below for the full story.
















The toy section was big and there were a lot of kids there today. Ethan was quite the entertainment for these girls passing by. They watched him and played with him for about 30 minutes. One time I looked at him and they were all around a table having a tea party







































We went to Fridays for lunch. We have only been there three times in Taipei - once a year for the past three years and randomly we have sat at the same table all three times.















Evie is all of a sudden camera shy.

















Unless of course she's mashing her face with a balloon.















This is the Taipei Arena. Like everything in Taiwan, it suddenly appeared, a massive structure where the year before there was just a dirt lot.















We see these characters are all over town advertising the flower expo.

































The 2010 New Year Countdown Party started with a parade on December 26th. It was a great parade - I personally love the dragons like in the video at the end of this post. The dudes inside where sweating up a storm, red faced like Dylan when he has a few beers (love you Dylan...from Joel).

























































You can't have a parade without snoop dog.



















Just down the street from Taipei 101.















The Taipei Floral Show runs for something like 6 months this year and they were using every possible method, including a float, to promote it.














This is the Backstreet Boys Taiwan style. Actually, who knows what they were saying, but they sounded quite nice. Note the obligatory leather jackets, white T-shirts and jeans.














This dragon would blow steam periodically.















Joel was on full alert searching for Adam's apples on these ladies.



















Part man, part woman, this is some Japanese comic book hero they are pushing on the kids everywhere in Taiwan.


















And his bride we assume...


















Post-parade, the kids played in the sandbox with Taipei 101 in the distance. This is behind the Taipei City Hall for no apparent reason. There's nothing for kids within a square mile of here, but of course we found it last year and it's consistently exceptionally clean.
















Moments before baby Barbie was forever lost (to Evie at least) in the Taipei sand box. I imagine it made some other little girl very happy when she found it later.



















Of course, Ethan wanted to be buried in the sand. And, his father was happy to oblige, digging holes and then burying E in sand over his waist. Not so surprisingly, Joel thought it was also cool to bury willing Taiwanese children in the sand (to what seemed the delight of their horrified mothers). Rarely does not speaking Chinese have such benefits. You can just smile and act really, really, really stupid when you are being yelled at.


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VIDEO: Parade in Taipei

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VIDEO: Ethan at IKEA, Taipei

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas!!!















Evie woke up and came in our room and we asked her if Santa came last night. She went to the Christmas tree and yelled "yes, he came and brought me a candy cane"



















In all Evie's excitement she woke up Ethan too. He wasn't ready to wake up but the candy cane quickly helped his grumpy mood



















































































































It was fun watching the kids open their gifts. We played most of the morning before heading to Taipei for the weekend.















We stopped at a rest stop half way to Taipei. The rest stops are different than the US. They are nice parks but with huge food courts and arcades.




















Evie was waiting so nicely for Ethan to go down the slide with her but when he made it to the top he pushed her and said 'go'.




















whee...















Santa was waiting for us when we arrive at our hotel in Taipei.




















Evie asked "are you a real Santa?"




















There was a nice basket of fruit waiting for us in our room. The kids enjoyed an apple while we unpacked.















That afternoon we ventured out to see the city and saw this caravan driving down the freeway. I'll have to ask Dylan what it is exactly but there were at least four trucks that looked like temples in the back playing really loud temple like music.















There were people traveling in the back of all of the trucks as well

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VIDEO: Evie first thing Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve

Dylan let us know about a festival at Tunghai University on Christmas Eve. It was a little like a night market with a lot of mini outdoor concerts. The kids enjoyed all the action.

When we got to the Luce chapel these people were walking up the sidewalk like robots and drawing quite the crowd. They never said a word. At the end of our night on our way back through the University we were surprised to see them performing. We watched them for a few minutes but it was pretty late.



The Luce Memorial Chapel is a Christian Chapel on campus. It was designed by the architect and artist Chen Chi-Kwan in collaboration with the firm of noted architect I.M. PEI and named in honor of Rev. Henry Luce, an American missionary in China in the late 19th century and father of publisher Henry Luce.
Construction took place from September 1962 until November 1963. Construction costs were USD $125,000.

A view inside the church. The choir was preparing for the evening service.

The band we saw walking near the Luce Chapel

We watched the musicians for a few minutes before heading home. Santa Clause is coming to our apartment tonight...

We were told that Santa Clause was coming to our apartment Christmas Eve but we were so surprised to a white Santa. Evie ran right up to him and jumped on his lap. She had lots of questions about Rudolf after watching some video clips on YouTube this afternoon.

Ethan however was scared and couldn't wait to get off Santa's lap

Protect me daddy...
Santa is Rick from Ohio. He lives in our building with his two children and wife who is in China going through medical school. He has lived in Taiwan 12 years and said has no desire to move back to the US.

The kids had a fun time playing balloon games. I'm not sure who the lady is in the pink pants but she was so sweet to Evie. As soon as we arrived she brought the kids candy and took Evie and got her involved in the balloon game. She didn't speak English and I haven't seen her around the apartment but she was so sweet to Evie.


This is the first year Evie really gets the idea of Santa Clause so it has been especially fun for Joel and I. I wish we could do Santa every night. It was time for bed after the apartment party and Evie ran to her bed and didn't make a peep. Joel and I were trying to be quiet as we put the gifts out but I was joking around pretending to have the bag on my back like Santa and the handle broke and crashed on the floor. Luckily the kids didn't wake up.

Sometimes being a parent is sooo fun...


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VIDEO: Music at the University