February 29 & March 1, 2016
The day has finally arrived! After talking about this trip for a few months now, it is finally happening! The last two weeks since being off work were quite hectic/stressful; moving out of our apartment and trying to prepare for our trip. We spent our last few nights in my parent’s basement – which is where we stored everything (thanks Mom & Dad!). We woke up early this morning (mostly due to nerves) to last minute pack and have breakfast with my parents. They drove us to the airport and we said our goodbyes. My Mom always makes me tear up when she says goodbye at the airport.
Travel days are always the most tiring, especially when your flight isn’t a direct one. As we were flying on Aeroplan points, our only option to get to Taipei was to fly through San Francisco. This increased our travel time by a few hours – both layover time and overall flight time.
We left YVR at 12:40pm and had about a 1.5 hour layover at SFO. This was enough time to get a bowl of Boudin’s clam chowder (my childhood fave when we visited our SF relatives) and check out the EVA Air lounge. Since we got to the lounge with only about 10 minutes until boarding, there wasn’t much (rather any) food left. We grabbed a pineapple juice and a bag of chips and went to our gate.
It was my first time flying EVA (Tim doesn’t remember if he did as a kid). I had no complaints, the flight attendants were attentive and friendly. They were, however, a bit stingy with the amount of juice they poured into your cup (they barely filled half). But I did appreciate that they had more “exotic” choices like guava juice and Calpis. The food on the flight was comparable to Cathay’s. I had the fish on rice and Tim had the western option of roasted chicken and potatoes. I think mine was better as Tim didn’t finish his. (I was right, Tim confirmed it was just “okay”)
The inflight entertainment movie selection was good – it had a lot of the Oscar nominated movies like, Brooklyn, Carol, The Big Short; and it even had Star Wars, The Force Wakens! I watched The Big Short, but fell asleep before it ended (a typical Kaitlyn move). We both ended up sleeping close to 8 hours which made the flight seem a lot shorter. I woke up as we were flying over Japan with only a couple hours left to go.
We arrived at Taoyuan Airport in Taipei at around 9:45pm. The customs line up for non-citizens was pretty long. We waited about 20 minutes but it didn’t seem so bad because there’s free wifi at the airport (I don’t take free wifi for granted at airports)! While waiting in the customs line, I thought the guy in front of us smelled (like a homeless type of smell), but after further investigation I discovered it was me. It was my Band-Aid I put on in the morning that was damp from washing my hands throughout the day…so gross.
By the time we got through customs our bags were already out. Tim’s Uncle Albert was waiting for us as we walked out. He drove us into the city and brought us to the apartment that we are staying at. Last time we were here in 2013, there was no wifi, so we were happy to discover that they now have wifi! (yay!) It’s around 1:30am right now and both of us are wide awake. Tim hooked us his chrome cast to the TV and was scrolling through Taiwanese Netflix, he was pretty pumped that they have “Better Call Saul”, which we don’t have apparently.
Looking forward to taking it easy tomorrow and exploring our surroundings in Taipei.