May 3, 2016
We had an another early morning today… not because of a flight, but because Tim wanted to watch “Captain America: Civil War”. The movie was released last week in Asia and will be out in North America on Friday. Tim wanted to watch it at Miramar (which is about 5 stops away on the brown line from us), which has the largest IMAX screen in Taiwan (I think at one point it was the largest in Asia). We woke up around 7:45am, got ready and headed out.
We got to Miramar Entertainment Park at 9:15am, bought our tickets for the IMAX 3D (480 NT = $18.89 CAD), and looked for breakfast. The mall was closed so we went to Carrefour, which was across the street. We grabbed some Asian buns and a carton of guava juice and headed to the theatre. We arrived just in time for the previews, it’s nice to have reserved seating in Asia. We both enjoyed the movie, that’s all I’ll say (don’t want to spoil anything). (Tim: The IMAX theatre used the latest IMAX with Laser projection technology, and all I can say is it was frickin’ phenomenal. Head and shoulders the best digital projection system I’ve experienced and the 3D was particularly good.)
After the movie, we rushed back to the apartment to meet Tim’s Mom and family friends for lunch. Tim’s family friend picked us up from the apartment and drove us to a Thai restaurant in the area. When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by his wife who was already at the restaurant waiting for us. She brought us into the restaurant and there was a beautiful spread of food already waiting. Tim and I both really like Thai food, so this was a definite treat. Tim and his family spent a lot of time with this couple while living here in 1994 and they also spent a good amount of time in BC, so it was a very happy reunion.
After a very delicious lunch (I think it was one of my favourite Thai meals), they took us to their friend’s store on Yong Kang Street. Their friend, who is also an artist, runs a store called, Chang-Yi-Fang Taiwan Puppet Creations. Their friend makes an assortment of merchandise with classic Taiwanese fabrics and prints and her husband makes costumes for puppet theatre. They were very generous and kind and told us to pick something for our wedding as well as something to bring to Tim’s sister and husband in Australia. Tim chose a canvas messenger bag and I got a canvas tote. Hopefully we will see them soon in Vancouver if they visit or when we come back to Taiwan. They offered to take us around Taiwan when we’re back!
Uncle Albert met us outside the store and was there to pick us up to go to a teahouse for a traditional Taiwanese tea ceremony. In about 30 minutes, we were out of the city centre and going up the lush green mountains north of Taipei. We stopped by Xin Mt. Meng Lake in the mountains and took some pictures.
After about an 8 minute drive, we made it to Shi-Yang Tea House. The tea house is beautiful and has a Zen feel to it. We were also meeting two of Mom’s friends for tea and dinner. One of them lives in Taipei and the other is visiting from Vancouver. Shi-Yang is located in the mountains and surrounded by a forest. We were welcomed and brought to a meditation room to mediate and relax before the tea ceremony. After about 10 minutes of meditation, we were lead to another room and began the tea service. The tea master served two types of tea, brewing each about 4-5 times so we could taste the difference. He was very methodical while pouring each cup of tea, it was very calming. He was very careful in feeling the temperature of the water and making sure it was the right temperature each time to pour on the tea leaves. He said that after you finish brewing the tea, the leaves should be intact and not broken. If they are broken, then that means the water was too hot, and the tea would probably be bitter. Tim and I looked at each other and were reminded of our wedding tea ceremony. The nice tea was very bitter, probably because we just poured boiling water on it.
After about an hour, we were lead down to the restaurant for dinner. For dinner we were treated to an amazing tasting menu. Everything was wonderfully prepared and presented beautifully. Tim’s Mom treated us all to such a wonderful afternoon here, it was very relaxing. I never knew Taipei had tea houses like this so I’m really happy we got to experience one with her during this trip.
It was a pretty long day for us, so we were ready to get ready for bed and sleep as soon as we got back to the apartment.
Steps today: 9,000