The Weather Gods are Toying with Me ….

I wake up this morning and lo and behold! There’s SUN!!!! The sun came back out, and I was super happy after last night’s depressing rain. So I’m all ready to go out and eat lunch and soak up some sun, but we realized we still have food in the fridge. So, we ate leftovers and digested for a bit. When we were ready to head out, THE SUN WAS GONE. ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Clouds replaced the sun, and it turned windy and chilly. 😦 😦 😦 I was so saaaaad. I knew we should’ve left the house when the sun was still out. AHHHH.

But we still went out anyway. We went to 陽明山 (Yang Ming Mountain) because it’s calla lily season, and there is an area on the mountain with fields of calla lilies that you can pick yourself. There are also a lot of restaurants up there where you can eat mountain food. Because it’s flower season and lots of people go up the mountain during this time, there was mad traffic on the way up (and I really had to go pee .. >.< Thank God there was a 7-11 on the way up with a bathroom. Dunno how I survived all those years in other countries without having a convenient store everywhere I went.)

We found a restaurant where we could park and eat some yummy mountain food. They also gave us some free calla lilies, so we didn’t have to go out and buy/pick some. Laziness. They also had a bunny rabbit which was super duper cute!! It pooped everywhere and peed a lot, though. Probably not the most sanitary for a restaurant.

Restaurant

Bunny

Food (1 of 4 dishes – shrimp!)

Afterwards, we went walking around, taking pictures of the fields of calla lilies, other assorted flowers, and surrounding mountains. It was foggy, but that gave off a different feel, I guess. It would’ve been nicer if it had been sunny (hmph), but ah well, at least it wasn’t raining (gotta be thankful for the little things).

Mountain w/ calla lily field

Calla Lilies! (took me forever to find out what it’s called in English)

Foggy mountains.

On the way back down the mountain, there was more traffic (boo, but at least I didn’t have to pee :P). We headed to 內湖 (Nei Hu) because my cousin’s coworker told her about a place with really good 關東煮 (guan dong zhu – stewed-ish food). The “restaurant” was actually a truck that they’d redecorated to look like one of those stands in Japan (where the food originated from) that you see in mangas and dramas (you know, those little stands in the middle of nowhere where it’s really a little hut with a bar-like table in front of the area they prepare the food). It was pretty nice; never saw something like that before in Taiwan.

Guan Dong Zhu Stand (see the truck? and the people sitting in front in the bar area. Pictures are better than me trying to describe. Aih.)

People ordering.

There was a pretty long line because the place is supposedly famous (they were on tv, I think, and in newspapers). The line moved pretty slowly, but people were all willing to stand around in the cold and wait. I can now understand why. The food was delicious. The soup they stewed it in was fantastic, and the different types of food they offered weren’t the kinds you normally see at, say, 7-11 or other Japanese restaurants. They had tofu made of fish, mochi with meat inside, and cheese balls along with the regular kinds of food offered at the previously mentioned places. They were so YUM!!! I think it’s the best guan dong zhu I’ve ever had (well, the ones I had were mostly from 7-11, so I think anything can beat that, but this was SUPER DUPER GOOOOOOOD). I wouldn’t mind waiting for another hour to eat there again. The price wasn’t too bad; not cheap, but not mad expensive. This type of food is definitely good on a cold, winter day. It makes your tummy all warm and tingly, and having it with sake makes it even better. Couldn’t feel the cold after eating and drinking. 🙂

Assorted stewed goodies they sold.

Our goodies. YUM!

With Sake. Even better.

So. Point is, I guess even without the sun, I can still have fun. Actually, that’s pretty much what our different adventures since I came back to Taiwan have been like. Rarely has any of our little trips been sunny; always rainy or cloudy. I still remember last time we went to Taichung and Yi-Lan, it was raining and cloudy. The clouds and rain give off a different kind of feel during our little fooding adventures, I guess. I just need to adapt to these many sun-less days (sadness). Makes me appreciate the sun all that much more when it does come out, though! Hopefully with spring approaching, the sun will come out more. Then, we can have our little adventures with sun and get a different feel! 😀 (Yah for optimism!)

More pictures at Flickr.

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