My First Visitor!

Well, the man-friend made it!

I left RIGHT after school Friday, essentially flew to the train station, hopped on the High Speed Rail....and then waited in the airport for over an hour (that's life isn't it! lol) until I finally saw him!
The man-friend {ok he's got a's Josh}...Josh is (was) a first time traveler. No planes, no new countries, no baby fresh...but he made it all by his lonesome  and I'm so happy for him! You know it's nothing like going out with a bang saying let's choose our first country to visit...oh, all the way over in ASIA! haha

He came armed with his luggage and his wishlist of places to visit in Taipei, and as a  first time tour guide :P I don't think I did too shabby!

--- FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11--- --- --- --- --- ---

After nearly 36 hours of traveling, I thought what better way to introduce him to Taiwanese culture than throwing him into the world famous Shilin Night Market (here's a little about my first visit to Shilin!). After walking and eating our way through the market we decided to call it a night and crashed quick!

--- SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12--- --- --- --- --- ---

We woke up starving and quickly found ourselves in a small street-side breakfast shop enjoying a local breakfast sandwich and egg roll up before heading to Ximen, a lively "new" area of Taipei to explore. Here Josh had his first bubble tea, toured the Red House & sampled some Taiwanese snacks. After leaving Ximen we hoped on the subway headed for Longshan Temple, one of the most famous and 270+ year old temple situated towards the north of the city. We explored the temple for some time watching temple go'ers make their offerings and offer their prayers to the gods.
Green onion pancakes && cold noodles!

About this time the weather began to look a tab questionable so it seemed like no better time to check out the National Palace Museum. I have seen several reports ranking this particular museum as one of the best in the world and one of the largest (if not the largest) collection of Chinese art in the did not disappoint! We spent close to 3 hours looking through exhibits before calling it a day (we only entered one of the 2 buildings and didn't even explore the gardens!)

It was about this point in the day when our stomachs began calling the shots, so after chasing down a bus {quite literally!} we met Tina for some soup dumplings and quick night market treats before passing out cold {apparently walking almost 11 miles during the day tends to wear a person out!}

--- SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13--- --- --- --- --- ---

Waking up today I had a plan in mind...and my plan included food...Tracy + food (or at this point a lack there of) = often scary situations! Luckily {for my but especially for Josh lol} I was able to find exactly what I was looking for...cold peanut noodles for breakfast! Josh loved them, I loved them, and the workers at this street side stand loved watching us! Haha but seriously, we got there and there was one lady behind the counter, we left and there was like 5 or 6 watching us finishing eating and pay for our meal (oh, the wonders of watching white people eat with chopsticks! lol)

After breakfast we went to visit the Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall which was built in 1972 as a tribute to the "Father of the Country" Dr. Sun Yet-sen. After checking out the rotating art gallery upstairs and watching the changing of the guards we walked about a half a mile to Taipei 101 (check out my first visit to 101 here!) the  3rd {or 5th depending where you look!} tallest building in the world! Josh was quite impressed as we rode the world's fastest passenger elevator to the 89th floor, checked out their state of the art wind damper, and climbed to the 91st floor for am impressive outdoor view of Taipei!

Next on his agenda {which I'm proud to say we finished!} was another Taipei 1st for me... the National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall built in 1975 to commemorate the late president Chiang Kai Shek. Although the sunset was beautiful to watch from the front steps of the memorial hall, this also met that our weekend in Taipei was quickly coming to a close. We bought out HSR tickets (easier said than done with 45 minute long ticket lines!) and headed back home to Hsinchu.