A lot of great food in Taiwan is pretty inexpensive. Therefore, I propose a Pokemon approach, try to catch ’em all. Here is a scavenger hunt list, download a simplified version in hard copy here.
1. Fresh soymilk with fried crullers
I am most nostalgic about breakfast food in Taiwan. On the few trips there when I was a kid, I remember waking up to find my mama already returning from a morning stroll to get Taiwanese breakfast for us, featuring crunchy-flaky fried crullers and fresh warm soymilk, maybe with green onion pancakes.
A hot place to get fresh soy milk in Taipei is: FuHang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿). Expect a long long line, but it’ll be even tastier for having waited. I showed up early and was in line from street-level, up a flight of stairs, and into the food court where they were taking orders.
2. Green onion pancakes
Happiness can be so affordable! When I went, a very good green onion pancake at 北方油餅 (Beifang Green Onion Pancake) was 50NT, about $1.66 USD. I got up early on a Sunday morning to catch one of the first ones and skip the line, and I put on my dorky foreign tourist hat to take a video so you could experience in full color video, the making of a 北方油餅 (Beifang Green Onion Pancake) -with egg! Video is at the bottom of this post so as not to disrupt the flow of your reading. Continue Reading
I Did My Part for Sustainable Fishing and It Was Delicious!
Consider this great experience gift for your next Father’s Day or other family event!
My parents live in Minnesota, and ever since I can remember, they loved to fish. After ten years in the Pacific Northwest, it finally occurred to me to take my Baba  fishing here, given the abundant fish and all. I hadn’t gone fishing on my own in about ten years, and didn’t own a boat or equipment, so we hired a guide.
K and I had heard through the grapevine that bass and walleye were “🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥” in Potholes Reservoir and Moses Lake this time of year! We booked with Shelby Ross of Ross Outdoor Adventures last minute. I was glad he made room for us in his schedule on a sunny Saturday, the morning after my father flew into town. He was very responsive by phone and email, so it was less intimidating calling a stranger for a short notice booking. In my Midwestern childhood, I learned that fishing was all about getting up at the crack of dawn to sit quietly on a boat or dock and wait, possibly never catching any fish. So I steeled myself to be happy even just for a day on the water in a boat, rocking gently to and fro…
As folks get rolling out to the U.S. National Parks and the rest of the great outdoors for Summer, here are three things to know plus one bonus idea.
1. Watch for the AM radio sign for the latest updates and tune in!
This is usually posted as a road sign as you’re driving in toward a national park
Sometimes the park’s official website will also note it
In one case, this was invaluable to listen to heading into Utah’s Zion National Parks last Spring, as droves of people were coming in and it informed us of scarce parking and the existence of a shuttle ahead of time. At Moab, it gave us early warning of all the internal campsite closures due to road construction so we knew to look outside the park perimeter.
This was the nudge to finally draft this post I’ve had in mind. I hope those of you over 21 find it handy as we head into holiday travel this year. Kris and I like to bring a little craft beer back from travel as a souvenir to enjoy with friends. We’ve logged, him especially, a lot of airline miles with beer in luggage and gotten some routines down to accommodate.
[insert 10/22 photo of luggage, brighten and crop, draw arrow, caption: you can see I went with multiples of optional step 4]
Do you ever go grocery shopping and discover that you’re picking up 150% more than you intended to buy, that you are really hungry, and now you’re trying to figure out how to bike or walk it all home?
I recently picked up a new trick for those reusable sacs (usually cloth or polyester of some sort) with sizable handle-loops. It keeps me covered when I am carrying way more than any sane, less-ambitious urban nomad would carry. Continue Reading
On Wednesday morning, a good breakfast spread included with our stay gave us a peek at the restaurant space at the AirBnB in Holmur (photo after the jump). It was easy to imagine it as a lively popular affair in the Summer. This was perhaps the best hosted breakfast bar of our trip! Darn tasty. I took a few extra moments to gaze out the window to the bucolic paradise of ducks and geese chillin’ in the brush, in front of the distant Vatnajökull glacier. I was a little sad to miss communing with the farm goats, as getting out the door and on the road took priority. This was to be one of the longer stretches of our drive around Iceland.
Entertainingly, my travelling companion’s mood lightened with the cold thermal pool debacle, and mine darkened with the rain. Plus wind. I don’t recall what else went on in my mind to dampen things and I don’t care to recall more. May have also been influenced by a morose audiobook.
The distant rock of the towering formations out past the deadly waves on the beach could easily fit the Icelandic legend telling of huge trolls turned to stone at dawn, caught while dragging some ships out (or in?) long ago.
The basalt column formations (although busy with tourists) transported us to the moment of torrential, deadly-hot lava meeting the equally stormy sea, frozen in time forever, in hexagonal rock columns once the sea receded.Continue Reading
Woke up amazed to find myself in the dreamland of Iceland, excited to start the day. Kris was acting grumpy-pantsed, unclear why…
We had a chance to catch breakfast from our host Snæbjörn in the flesh. I found our host accommodating but ambivalent about his home. He seemed not to like his area, but maybe because his girlfriend was in Bristol, and he’d been woken at 2AM by a drunk neighbor-friend last night. When asked if Icelanders liked to party (I’d heard they had a reputation for it), he retorted no, and that visitors seemed much more prone to drinking extra. Breakfast was toast, jams, salami, cheese, nutella, butter, coffee, and home-cooked heart-shaped waffles. We sat across from some young honeymooners from Korea. The wife was so delighted when I took a photo for the two of them, lol. Later we were also offered some caviar out of a metal tube like toothpaste. Fancy.
I’d heard of a neighborhood thermal pool in the hills nearby and we headed over. Grumpy K was not happy with the pot-holed dirt road, lest we get stuck – and even less impressed with the van of visitors when it pulled in next to us.
We rose early to drive the two, three hours from Onundarhorn to hike Glymur Falls (3.8 miles, 1,000 ft elevation gain) in the only day forecasted to be sunny on our trip. It meant doubling back the way we came, but fortunately we were booked for two nights in the South.
I was dragging, but optimistic to see the second (?) highest waterfall in Iceland. Even before we got to the trailhead a smaller, charming waterfall demanded a pit stop. This would be a theme on our trip, so lucky! Sweeping swooping green slopes gave way to a waterway on one side.
I drove for part, getting to learn new roundabout conventions first-hand, including a gauntlet of six consecutive one. Nothing like rapid repetition to help you work things out in your brain.
On foot: after some flat, low-brush terrain, past tiny sprawling civilizations of mosi over rock, and Vottahellir cave (full of legends! And a plaque!) we got to an icy stream. The decision to cross at a wider but shallower point turned out well. I was very glad to have bothered to pack hiking poles mid-stream. What was icy cold turned to pins and needles of pain then, and my brain got to tell my legs to keep going, and faster(!) while my legs threatened to stop working from thinking they were on fire, and to give up all function.