Month Seven Point Five

Our trip keeps growing, there’s still so much to do!

Let’s see. Last time we wrote an update we were loving Japan and anticipating our second visitor. Jelmini joined us in Tokyo and we all climbed Mt. Fuji – a very challenging hike up in the dark and then down through a never-ending track of volcanic rock.

[ptcPhoto filename=”FujiClouds.jpg” title=”Descending Fuji” caption=”Hiking down through the clouds” position=”center”]

From there we went to Beijing and saw the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China. Moving right on down our bucket list, we continued on to the Terracotta Warriors before renting an apartment in the “Hawaii of China”, a resort town called Sanya. We found Lay’s BBQ chips there! And cooked actual meals! Ah, the luxuries of living like normal human beings.

[ptcPhoto filename=”LaysBBQ.jpg” title=”BBQ” caption=”It’s the little things.” position=”center”]

Like a kick-ass mileage ninja, Eric found a way for us to fly from China to Taiwan, on to a remote Japanese island, and back to China with a long layover in Korea – for $60 and 20,000 frequent flyer miles each (less miles than it would take to fly round-trip anywhere in the US). With all the layovers that came to nine flights. Curious what that route looks like?

[ptcPhoto filename=”route.gif” title=”Flight pattern” caption=” We won’t be winning a “green travel” award any time soon.” position=”center”]

We hadn’t planned to travel to Taiwan, but after hearing some ringing recommendations we had to check it out. Turns out it’s one of our favorite places so far – great food, clean streets, a good mix of city and country, and some very kind people. Feeling adventurous, we tried Taiwan’s infamous “stinky tofu” – it’s VERY stinky. We ran into an old friend of Eric’s in Taipei and he treated us to an array of snake products. Upon leaving we found ourselves on a Hello Kitty themed airplane. We’ll put together a picture essay for this one, but as a teaser: They had Hello Kitty-inspired foie gras and toilet paper. Very strange.

More recently we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with new friends in Ishigaki, Japan. These last few days have been spent snorkeling and hanging out with hermit crabs, which always make Sam happy. One more week and it’s back to China for a couple of months.

[ptcPhoto filename=”crabCrossing.jpg” title=”Crab crossing” caption=”Hermit crabs!” position=”center”]

So things have been good even though we’re homesick. Like, really homesick. Sam started knitting again and Eric’s been working on a new series on how to best use frequent flier miles. Eric has also revamped the gallery section of the website, it has a more modern look now and should work correctly on phones and tablets. Our Taiwan photos are up, check them out here. We sent out a call for visitors and had some replies, so we hope to see more of our people soon!