Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunny day in Yangmingshan | 艳阳天,游阳明山

It was nice to see that Murphy (or the weather god) wasn't completely heartless and blessed us with a full day of sunshine. So off to Yangmingshan we bounded. It was a gloriously sunny day, so bright I had to edit my pictures as they all turned out overexposed, and so hot that I was sweating and walking around unglamly with my leather jacket over my head as shelter from the sun. Oof.

Still, it was a good, good day. : )

Pretty blooms.

Dainty blossoms against that blue sky.

A stolen moment. Sweet love.

Blinding sun

A happy dog

Smokey and pungent


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Craft beers in Taiwan

Chanced upon a bar on our second night in Taipei, which was such a cool place. Well, when a pub is named ABV, I guess it kinda means business, heh.

Was quite taken by the selection of craft beer available from all over the world, but of course being in Taiwan we had to try their local versions. I was particularly intrigued by this series that had one themed for each season. It was almost tempting to try them all, except I had limited stomach capacity. Thankfully, AB and his parents have way different taste preference from me, so they ended up ordering the ones I wasn't keen to spare space for an entire bottle. A sip or two sufficed. Heh. Also gave me the perfect opportunity to read all of them in detail and take plenty of photos. Muahaha.

Can you guess which is my favourite? ;)

Full series: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (plus a random pumpkin beer)

Love the story behind each name/theme
ABV (Carribean bar and kitchen)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Taiwan cafe life

For our first day in Taipei, dear Murphy was feeling funny and decided to rain on us for the entire day. Zzz. No matter, we spent the day mostly indoors and still managed to walk loads, making the most of the cool weather. Heh.

This first day is also known as AB's guide to his favourite haunts whenever he's here, and it was interesting to experience and see the places he favours. 

Coffeeology (松山區八德路三段 12 巷 5 弄 2 號)
First stop was at this quaint charming cafe that's just a 15 minute walk from our airbnb, and I can assure you that it was no coincidence. Pretty sure this was actually one of his key considerations in selecting our airbnb, hehe. And it wasn't hard to understand why. This cafe roasts its own coffee beans, and while it doesn't serve any food, the menu of beverages that includes a comprehensive selection of coffee, tea and fresh juices was more than enough to provide an hour or two of comfort in a cosy spot in their space. What sets this place apart is really the genuine warmth and friendliness of the owner and staff, and of course the beautiful cups of coffee they brew. Took the cappuccino (my default order when trying any new cafe) which was deliciously smooth but also strong. I stole a sip of AB's house blend (Americano with milk) and it was even better - with less milk and froth, the coffee notes presented even more distinctly, and it was a gorgeous rounded blend. I was definitely going to switch to this for the rest of our visits here. Yum.

Perfect start to a rainy day
Ueshima Coffee Lounge (106, 大安區忠孝東路四段200號B1樓)
After the warm comforting cuppa, AB then led us to this Japanese inspired cafe, Ueshima Coffee Lounge (上岛咖啡店)just a five minute walk away. He gleefully told us that this was his standard route when he visited the past few times. Coffee first, then Japanese sandwich after, accompanied with a green tea latte that he simply adores. We all followed his recommendation of a BLT with egg sandwich, although I wasn't feeling like having milky green tea, so opted for a black coffee this time. Still good. The sandwich was prepared with fluffy freshly baked bread, and the egg was the perfect touch to make it a satisfying meal. Although it was a late brunch, it certainly filled all of us up without us feeling stuffed.

The ambience of this cafe was comforting and quiet. Amidst soft jazz music streaming through the speakers, and the warm dark chocolate hues of the tables and seats, it's the sort of space that one can while away hours at, just reading or working off the computer. That's what majority of the crowd seemed to be there for, and the friendly service certainly contributed to the draw of the place.

Not too bad for a first day experience of Taiwan. Despite the rain, we were well nourished and kept mostly cosy and warm. All ready for more adventures and exploring!

simple and good BLT

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Vacation time!

Off to a much needed short week away!

As the plane took off, I gazed out at the lovely tufts of fluff amidst those gorgeous blue, and breathed a sigh of relief. This is really happening. A trip that at one point was under a potential threat of being cancelled. Thank goodness it all worked out and I was still able to proceed without having to resort to any fights (verbal ones of course, I'm a lady, okay).

Looking forward to reacquainting myself with this city that I had last and first visited over a decade ago. Then, it was actually the height of summer, and as much as the city charmed, the heat and humidity which I was too familiar with put quite a dent in the experience. This time around, the weather promises to be much chillier, hovering between the high 10s and low 20s on average. Whee!! Can't wait, and even the forecast of rain doesn't dampen (LOL) my enthusiasm. I've packed my nifty cool weather gear, and my trusty umbrella. In the worst case scenarios, am sure we can duck into malls or cafes to while our time away watching the rain. No bother at all, we are on vacation, but not in a rush, and are happy to just see and visit what we can, in our time.

So hello Taipei, it's nice to see you again. It wasn't love at first sight, but I have good feeling that second impressions will be better. Let's see. :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Green, brown and yellows

Not my favoured colour palette usually, but there's just one exception when this combination brings me lots of smiles and joy.

Specifically when I am tucking into a delicious hearty lunch post gym session, with all these colours in their naked glory - fresh, unadorned and undressed. Mmm hmm. 

These salads from The Daily Cut impress with their generous and tasty protein options that definitely fill you up. In fact, I seldom get them on days that I don't work out - it almost feels like I haven't done enough to need such a hearty meal! Also their dedication to taste never fails to impress, even with my mediocre tastebuds, I can tell that they are constantly working to make their selections appetising without compromising on being clean and natural with their cooking. When even their tofu taste good, you know these peeps mean business. 

A happy meal, everytime. Also because when I have these for lunch, it meant that I made it to the gym for a workout. Double win. ;)

All my faves! And no, I don't eat with a pen, heh.