On our way back home, we visited a dairy farm called "Rareseed Ranch". Not only did they have cows and all kinds of foods and products made from the milk, but they had polywogs and ostriches! We brought home some nougat candy that is scrumptious!!
Our "mountain homestead. The info is below because I do not know how to get this info up here where it belongs.
Christmas Eve was spent in the most different way ever. After traveling to a community Christmas program, that had fireworks, and a preacher, shouting praises to Jesus Christ and encouraging the crowd to shout back, we were delighted to find brother Liu and his single adult friends at a member's restaurant, caroling to the people there. What a stark difference in the Spirit felt at those two places! One really good thing happened at the community Christmas affair, though. We sat next to two men who were interested in knowing what Jesus Christ was REALLY like, and we took their email addresses to give them more info. It was so loud at the program, we could not talk to one another, only between "acts". This was our "homestead" in Tai Tung. Wow! We had the whole home. We stayed on the second floor where the left gable end is, in a bedroom that had a little window, out of which, we could see the sea and all the beautiful mountainside on the way down! The landscape was gorgeous!
We stopped at a place where the water ran uphill! It was surrounded by a nice little park and some beautiful, colorful flowers and bushes. They called it "water running up" - very original!
I wish we would have had time to go to the end of this "8 arches bridge", but they said it would take 2 hours to make the trip. It truly was a bridge to nowhere. We went to the third arch and watched a fisherman cast in his line about three times. It took less than one minute for a fish to bite. It was really something to watch him real the two-foot long fishes in. They were fierce fighters, long and very slender, (almost eel looking) - with super long noses like a swordfish!
We stopped along the coast near Hualien and bought some lunch. Can you believe these "flying fish" - deep fat fried - head, wings and all - to eat like that? They love it!!
The sea coast was beautiful! I'm so grateful we had the privilege of seeing it before we left Taiwan. No wonder so many people like to live along this coast - even though it is where the thypoons hit the hardest!
Here is a sample of the marble furniture in Hualien. Everything is made of marble because of the supply from the "marble gorge". This is lobby furniture in the "army barracks' hotel we stayed in the second night. What an army barracks! This was once a very plush hotel. Then social unrest and the Japanese army came in and divided it up into small rooms for their army. Now it is a nice hotel (and not as expensive as it appears).
Our hotel in Ilan, where we spent the first night, was right in the middle of rice paddies. For some reason, the owner of this nice place wanted to take our picture with his sweet, little Indonesian hostess.
At the Traditional Chinese Cultural Center, we saw a performance that we will never forget. This guy did cartwheels and jumped over people with these "stilts". It was amazing!
Here's the group: Sister Seow, brother Seow, their son, brother Liu and Elias in the last row. Matthew, his mother and I on row two, and the three little girls in the front row. The first day was pretty cold and windy! We stopped at a park in Ilan and had a picnic lunch here.
What a great trip over Christmas, thanks to Brother Liu and the Seows. The Seow's son, Stephen, his wife and four children were so fun to be with - even if the little ones were challenging at times.