^^I really liked our day trip to Shifen.^^
The kids and I are home safe and sound from our Taiwan trip! After 19 days of living out of a suitcase, it honestly feels good to be back home. Right now we are all still trying to adjust back to our local time before the daily grind officially starts on Tuesday when it's back to work and school.
So...the biggest question, how did I survive doing it all on my own? ! I knew that solo parenting wouldn't be easy and I was right about that. The kids bickered, not listened, and asked endless annoying questions ("Are we there yet?", "How many more minutes?", "Now how many more minutes?", "Can I push the button next time?"). It wore me out and I asked myself again and again how Luke managed to convince me to take this trip. The biggest curve ball happened near the beginning of the trip when Anna and I both got ill with a stomach virus. For days we couldn't eat a thing and our tummies just felt bad. We were miserable and lost weight in a country full of delicious foods. After we recovered though, we did make up for all the non-eating and our time in Taiwan was mostly enjoyable.
^^Dipping our feet in a hot spring pool in Jiaoxi.^^
I felt sad missing the festive season of Christmas here back at home, but this was also the easiest Christmas ever. On Christmas Day, the kids and I woke up together in my parents' apartment in Taipei. My mom was flying back to the US that morning and my dad rode with her to the airport, so it was just the 3 of us. Anna woke up right around 6 and begged to go check if Santa found us in Taiwan. I had her wait until Will woke up about 10 minutes later. Then I grabbed my phone and took a video of the kids finding out that SANTA DID FIND US IN TAIWAN!! It was a pretty sweet moment. Of course I couldn't carry much with me to Taiwan, but the kids' had really simple requests for Santa..Shopkins (Anna only), Pokemon cards, and Pokemon sets. They were so happy! After cleaning up (putting two gift bags back in the suitcase), we went to our favorite breakfast place for scallion pancakes and soymilk and saw some local Taipei sights that morning.
^^Not a speck of Christmas decoration, but Santa still showed up.^^
^^Christmas Breakfast 2016^^
I brought my real camera with me, but didn't use it once. I documented the whole trip using my phone and whenever there was wifi, the pictures got uploaded to Amazon Prime Photos so Luke could see all the fun things we were doing (un-fun things were not documented obviously).
A few days before the trip, I was absolutely dreading going on it. It was to the point where if the airfare was refundable, I would happily take the refund rather than go. While I am not ready to proclaim that this trip was wonderful and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, it WAS good to spend time and make memories with the kids and my parents. I got lots of great pictures!
^^On the top of Maokong station.^^
Anyway, this is just a quick post to say that I am back. I will write more when I get a chance! Happy new year everyone!