October Snow

29 10 2011

Happy Halloween Weekend!

dream come true

17 10 2011

I love animals. If you know me well, you already know that. When Annie and Jeff and family had been here for a year or so, Annie sent me photos of the kids holding a tiger at the tiger zoo. Naturally I wanted to hold one.
That was about 15 years ago or so..
And this past Saturday, my dream came true!
We went to the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, and paid 150 Baht ($5, more or less) to hold a tiger and get a photo.
Then we paid it again, because I wanted to hold the tiger longer. The adorable four-month-old tiger had huge paws, drank out of a bottle the whole minute and a half that it was on our lap, and there were tons of Thai staff available to help, if needed.
I wanted to keep holding the baby tiger… I know, realistically that’s not an option. But just let me dream!
After the baby tiger experience, I was one of two volunteers at the elephant show. very fun. Let the pictures speak for themselves..

dream come true

at this point, the tiger-keepers are saying, "get the tiger away from this girl!"

Kajsa and Uncle Jeff feeding an elephant

flooding in Thailand

15 10 2011

We are in Bangkok now… arrived here last Wednesday night. We miss Taipei, and hanging out with Peter, Leanne, Maddie and Erin. And I’ll post more photos of Taiwan later. Another day, likely…. but for now, Thailand. It’s hard to believe how quickly this time is passing on this vacation. Eeeesh.

Please pray for the country and people of Thailand.

sandbags and a little water by the Chao Phraya River (at a Sky Train stop)

The floods that you hopefully have heard about on US television/newspapers, are extremely devastating for Thailand and neighboring Cambodia.


We, in this part of Bangkok, are safe at this point.

rain, rain, go away

For which I give thanks. And I also ask that you join me in praying for those that have already lost homes, loved ones, possessions, and security.. through these floods.

Saturday outing in Taipei

10 10 2011

wandering around "Ba de Lu" (antique market)

tea (we think) and teapots... love the teapots

more browsing the market

street signs

Pennsylvania, take note: WaWa, Taipei style

Erin, Leanne, Peter and Maddie in a Taipei park

Erin, Leanne, Kajsa, Peter and Maddie in a Taipei park

girls and their scooters.... ok, girls and scooters belonging to somebody!

the right T… for Taipei, Taiwan

8 10 2011

We made it. We’re here.

making the steamed buns/dumplings at Din Tai Fung

We’re hanging with Peter, Leanne, Maddie and Erin. Jet lag has been an issue, no doubt. Last night we all slept through the night..

or at least kept on sleeping past 3:15 am. Thankfully. But despite jet lag, we’ve been taking in Taipei, thrilled to be here, laughing and playing with family, meeting new people and enjoying vacation. Maddie and Erin made great signs to welcome us here, and all four of the Stanley-Rainbows have been incredibly hospitable in sharing their space with stinky exhausted travelers!

We ended up

Din Tai Fung

arriving here around 1 pm Thursday afternoon, (subtract 12 hours to convert into Harleysville/Philly time). After cleaning up a bit, and hanging out with PLME (Peter, Leanne, Maddie and Erin), we headed to dinner, at Din Tai Fung, one of Taiwan’s best restaurants, in my limited experience. Din Tai Fung is a steamed bun restaurant, and even holds a title from 1993,

when the New York Times rated it one of the best 10 restaurants in the world. It’s crazy good.

steaming of buns

First, watching the staff working the dumpling dough/skins, pounding..kneading… chopping… filling.. folding… then actually eating the awesome results of paper thin dumpling skins filled with various items including meat and veggies. Yum. Din Tai Fung = yum yum yum.

Friday morning PLME went to school. Peter and Leanne each teach, Maddie and Erin are students, obviously.  Jim, Kajsa and I walked to a neighborhood park. The park reminded us of China, because as in China,

people in the early morning were ballroom dancing, doing Tai Chi, stretching and moving on the exercise equipment placed around the park. Apparently the space where ballroom dancing happens in the mornings turns into a rollerblading rink in the afternoons. Pretty fun. Then there are the playgrounds. Kajsa loved jumping, sliding, walking, and running. What a great place.

Park, Tai Chi








good for the feet...












neighborhood park


“T” is for “Tokyo”, part 2..

8 10 2011

But before I move on to Taipei, even though we’ve been here for a few days now, I have to share how much fun it was in Tokyo, and in the Twin Cities Airport, to make new friends. It was frustrating to be delayed, to miss our connecting Tokyo-to-Taipei flight, to miss some time with family.

the hotel reception line in Tokyo... all from our flight

No doubt. Given that reality, however, we had a good time making new friends, learning a bit more about Taiwan from our new Taiwanese friends (Adam, Maxwell and friends), our new MN friends (GI Joe and family and friends), and our MN/Thailand friends Terry who also knows my sister Annie. Small world, great joys in making the most of a tiring situation.



where do we jump on beds? "only in hotels"

Asian cities/countries that begin with “T”

5 10 2011


Kajsa & Jim playing with the toy I bought in Mpls Airport--the best $5 I spent in awhile!

Kajsa and I are on our Asia trip right now. (thank you, frequent flyer miles, and thank you Jim, for hard work in figuring out the best ways to use them!) We’re headed to Taipei, Taiwan to visit my brother

Jim filling out a "landing permission" form in Tokyo airport, because we now have to spend the night in Tokyo

Peter and his family, and then to Bangkok, Thailand to visit my sister Annie and her family. All in a short 2 weeks.

But apparently we have the wrong Asian city/country name, because I’m typing this blog from a hotel in Tokyo. T, Tokyo… in J, Japan. Not T, Taipei, in T, Taiwan….

Long story. But Delta is now taking good care of us, and the dozens of other stranded passengers affected by the delay from Minneapolis to Tokyo.

Apparently we have the wrong “T” of Asian cities/countries.