@ Hilton hotel, Nikseko

I’m using the wifi in the lobby of Hilton Hotel right now. For such a fancy hotel, I’m surprised that they only offer wifi on the first and second floors! Maroon 5’s “Daylight” is playing in the background, I’m feeling full and sleepy from the buffet dinner, and just resting a bit before heading over to the onsen (hot springs). :) Life’s good. Even though it rained for the whole afternoon, we were lucky enough to get in a bit of outdoor fun this morning at a horse farm. Went for a short horseback ride, did some archery, and rode a tandem bike. Visited the Hokkaido aquarium in the afternoon and saw a penguin parade and dolphin show. I was able to share some fish knowledge for my family because I learned a bit about fish this past summer at NMMBA. Being at that aquarium brought back good memories of my time at Pingtung!

Off to the hot springs now. Tour guide said that there won’t be a hot spring at the hotel we’re staying at tomorrow night.

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10:11pm @ lobby in Hilton Niseko, with Milktea~

Hokkaido: Quick Update

It’s my second night in Hokkaido and I finally get access to Wifi! There was no wifi in the hotel I stayed at yesterday, so the whole family just hung out in my room over tea and convenience store snacks. Today we didn’t hang out in the hotel… everyone’s too busy on their phones. The downside of internet = less family bonding time..

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Yum~ Japanese baked pudding. It tastes like the creme caramel that Milktea and I used to bake. By the way, Hokkaido yogurt is delicious! It tastes like the original tart frozen yogurt at PinkBerry.

We didn’t do much yesterday. We arrived at the Hokkaido airport at 1:30pm, and it was another 3 hour ride to our hotel. We had dinner, then used the hotel hot springs. That basically wrapped up day 1. The thing about Hokkaido is that it’s such a large island that we spend a lot of time travelling on the road. The climate and trees here remind me of Vancouver. I believe that they are at similar latitudes on the globe, and they both have temperate climates.

Today we were supposed to get a hot air balloon ride, but due to bad weather (rain and wind… darn the typhoon that just left Taiwan and is making it’s way up to Japan now), that had to be cancelled… I was really looking forward to that too! It would’ve been something else that I could cross off my bucket list, but alas… We ended up going to a garden to look at flowers, had lavender soft serve (best soft serve ever!), visited an indoor market that sold edible raw corn, alpaca milk caramel, and deer meat, then to the hotel. That’s where I am right now. We are currently in 夕張, this really small town on some mountain in Hokkaido. We went for a walk after dinner tonight (dinner was amazing… there was AYCE cantaloupe, and king crab), and there was nobody on the streets. We passed by an abandoned hospital, and it felt like a horror movie. The hot spring at this hotel wasn’t as good as last night’s, but it was still very relaxing. Unfortunately Milktea injured her leg right before this trip, so she wasn’t able to join us for hot springs. :( I feel so bad for her!!

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That’s a Polaroid photo taken at the garden today. Unfortunately all my photos are in the camera so I can’t upload them at the moment, but I’ll upload them later on as well as update some place names. I don’t remember the names of half the places we’ve been to.

Anyway, it’s 10:30pm and I have to get up at 6:20am tomorrow, so I’m going to call it a night. Visiting a horse farm tomorrow!

Feeling Excited

I’m going on a family trip to Hokkaido, Japan tomorrow! I’m finally feeling excited! I’ve been so caught up and stressed out over job hunting and interviews these days that the prospect of going to Japan didn’t sink in yet… Now that I’m packed and ready to go, I am so stoked!!

Today was such a happy day. I’m going to Japan tomorrow, I came across JR’s surprise post which brightened my entire day, and my job interview went well (even though it was the longest interview of my life… 5.5 hours!).

I can’t wait to use my birthday present in Japan! Milktea and CF gave me a surprise belated birthday present – a Polaroid Instax Mini. It’s perfect.

Off to Japan!

Perfume Dance

Last week I went to Perfume Dance for dinner with MilkTea, CF, and Vicky. I think Taiwan restaurants are all so exquisite and cute, and Perfume Dance was no exception. It’s located between MRT  Zhongxiao Fuxing and Zhongxiao Dunhua stations (closer to Zhongxiao Fuxing).

The interior was mint green (one of my favourite colours!), and there were chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They also offered masks for girls who’d like to enjoy their afternoon teas in style. This place is famous for their unique honey toast boxes and “golden bricks” dessert (variation to toast boxes), so reservation is usually required on weekend afternoons.

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This was my scallop vegetable soup. It was a light soup that tasted fresh but not overly salty.

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Fruit tea that we ordered to share. We chose hot rather than cold, because I think hot fruit teas taste better. I love passionfruit so I was delighted to find passionfruit at the bottom.

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CF’s pumpkin and eggplant risotto. CF doesn’t like eggplants, so he gave them to Milktea and me. Perfume Dance’s risotto are apparently very popular, and I usually don’t enjoy risotto, but this dish was surprisingly good! The rice and pumpkin sauce blended together perfectly, but the portion size is not too filling…

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Milktea’s chicken pasta. I forgot what the sauce was, but it was tomato based and tasted slightly spicy. The chicken was tender, and the pasta cooked al dente.

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Vicky’s matcha and red bean Danish toast box. The Danish toast box is quite unique as most places only serve regular toast boxes. I got to try a bite of this, and I thought it tasted just okay. The bread was a bit on the dry side, and the filling was mediocre at best.

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This was the best dish of the night. It’s called “Golden Bricks” and it’s so named because instead of the conventional toast boxes where bread sticks are toasted then stuffed back into the box, “Golden Bricks” are bread that’s cut into cubes, toasted, and arranged into a pyramid. The flavour we picked was Tiramisu, with vanilla ice cream, and milk and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. It sounds so simple, but it’s honey toast at its best!

Overall, we had a great time at Perfume Dance. The service was good, but I thought the price was a bit steep for what we were paying for. Maybe because I am so used to the cheap eats in Pingtung, and I’m still adjusting to Taipei’s prices. Next honey toast destination: Dazzling Cafe!

Grandma, I love you.

Thanks for everything that you do for me. I really love having lunch at your place every Saturday! You’re the best cook in the world, and I aspire to be like you one day. You always have funny stories to share, and you play Candy Crush! You spoiled me as a kid when nobody else did. I just wish I could have spent more time with you, rather than being separated by the Pacific Ocean. Your house is my safe haven. I love you.

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Reminiscent

Today I went running for the first time since my last run at the aquarium almost 10 days ago, and it wasn’t fun. During my run at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, I listened to the same songs (“Red” Album by Taylor Swift) and reminisced about my runs at NMMBA. Taipei is too loud, there are too many people, the air is so polluted, and the scenery isn’t pretty. I looked up at a starless sky; too many buildings, too many lights. I miss the suburbs of Pingtung County, I miss the suburbs of Vancouver City. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be trapped in Taipei City’s glitz and glamour.

Remembering the ocean breeze, remembering the fresh air, remembering the strange roads to Hou Wan (Back Bay) that became familiar after so many runs, remembering, remembering, remembering…