Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bushman's Blogtoberfest!

Last Saturday was the second installment of M.J.'s blogger get-together. It's always fun to see the authors of my favorite blogs in the flesh. Catherine and I are honored to be included in the group. M.J. (The New Hampshire Bushman), is the guy who put it all together and the party was a hit!

Had to start out the photo run with Michael and Catherine. We both enjoy spending time with Michael. He is a very cool guy and encourage all of you to check out his outstanding blog, The View from Taiwan.

Andres, purveyor of Andres in Taiwan, and his wife thankfully brought along Olivia. She is so adorable. Catherine had fun entertaining the little cutie.

The food at the party was awesome! We are hoping to make a trip back down to Hukou for some killer Thai food...I will be calling soon M.J.!

Catherine and Carrie, the architect of My Several Worlds, chatting and noshing. Carrie and her fiance' John have been great friends of ours since their arrival here in Taiwan. Cath & I value their friendship and we wish them lots of luck with their upcoming trip home to get married. Click over to Carrie's site for details, it's crazy!

We were treated to some serious singing courtesy of Carrie and M.J.. Sitting towards the rear end of the table is Todd, scribe of The Daily Bubble Tea, and his soon-to-be wife, Cathy. We had the pleasure of riding the train back to Taipei with them. They are a cute couple. Their wedding day is quickly approaching. Check out Todd's blog for some stunning photos.

The man with the plan. M.J. pulled off another great shindig. Thanks pal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Afternoon in Sijhih

I'm back...I love this blogging stuff, just been uninspired lately. Catherine & I have decided to get back into the day-trip mode. We are going to make a concerted effort to make Sundays our day to explore. The weather has been just about perfect lately and we are ready to take advantage of it.

Here we go...

One of Catherine's co-workers suggested that we check out a place called Sijhih, it's about 30 minutes outside Taipei City. Her co-worker is a member of hiking club and highly recommended the mountain trails just outside of the city. We set off at about 1p.m., anticipating a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

We stepped off the train and Catherine went to work trying to figure out how and where to catch the proper bus to take us to the hiking/temple area.

Sadly, the bus driver told us that we were too late in the day to take on the serious trails but he would take us to the temple area. This is the starting point of most of the trails. We could mosey around the area and enjoy the scenery. It would have to suffice since we got such a late start.

Outside the temple the kids had these nifty little motor-driven animal thingies.

Not one of the prettier temples I have seen. The color scheme was a tad bit frenetic for my tastes. A bizarre mix of staid statuesque figures and finger paintings.

Preparing to make a climb up to another temple. Cath looks as cute as a bug, as usual. What's the deal with my hair?

Pondering our next move...

My attempt to be creative. Didn't nail it, but it's kinda cool. If you look closely, you can see Catherine in the mirror.

Overlooking the city. A hazy day makes for some not-so-sexy photos.

The temple area was interesting but kinda boring. We high-tailed it out of there. On our way back to the train station we came across a nice little market.

This is Catherine's territory. She loves haggling with the vendors for her coveted vegetables. It's fun to watch her wheel and deal.

This little girl was mesmerized by the fish heads. She stood there for several minutes anticipating something...not sure if she expected them to talk or perhaps sing and dance?

What a cute little kid! His mom and dad were furiously prepping and selling while he surveyed the scene.

Couldn't resist snapping a shot of these little fellers...Yuck!

We had an enjoyable afternoon. It would've been more fun if we had hit the trails, but there's plenty of time for that in the next few months!

Next week, we are heading down to Hsinchu for the annual Blogger party. I am certain it will be a good time for all. Check back soon for all the gory details...