On Wednesday November 21, we woke up early again, and started the day off with convenience store coffee, a quick jog, and a visit to the playground. By day 3, we’d pretty much developed a routine. Vale loves this park and was enjoying some good climbing and slides.
We then took the bus and the MRT to go hang out in the city for a day. We decided against taking the whole stroller and car seat combo with us, since it’s a bit of a pain to lug it onto the bus and in and out of the metro stations, but this did pose a little bit of a challenge the rest of the day, since Vale wasn’t able to nap as well, and the Infantino baby carrier isn’t great for Kyle’s back. Our first stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, where Jenn loved to play with her cousins during childhood visits over summer break to Taiwan. The grounds are vast and expansive; the main monument is tall, set against a backdrop of clear blue sky and white clouds. Jenn used to get dizzy staring at it while walking up the steep steps as a kid.
After CKS Memorial Hall, Vale fell asleep, and we took the opportunity to get some beef noodle soup at a nearby Szechuan style noodle place (Szechuan Noodle King), which we’ve been to a few times before. On the way, we picked up some beers at good old 7-11. Unfortunately, the one I picked, a blackberry cider-style beer, was not particularly to my liking. It was a bit too sweet.
At the beef noodle place, Kyle got the numbing spicy style, and I got the hot and sour style. After lunch, we headed to the Taipei botanic gardens, a short walk away. The Taipei history museum has a cafe a few floors up at which you can enjoy tea and enjoy a charming view of the botanic gardens from above. We were last there in 2009, but the history museum is currently under renovation, and the meditative, quiet ambiance is not exactly suitable for a toddler anyway.
Entrance to the city’s botanic garden is free. Vale very much enjoyed the botanic gardens, including running around the grounds, playing with an old payphone (she will never truly understand what these are in her lifetime), viewing the koi from the deck of the large lotus pond, and hanging out in the grass. The atmosphere was beautiful here, but the mosquitoes were something fierce. Jenn was practically eaten alive, though no one else was. Kyle and Dad suffered maybe a handful of bites. Vale escaped with none. Jenn ended the day with a tally of literally over a hundred mosquito bites.
After the botanic garden, we met my mom at the Da’An Forest Park MRT station, right by a gigantic playground complete with multiple play structures, swing sets, and a sand pit for kids of all ages. Our plan was to go to the Shi Da night market in the evening, and we had some time to kill before the night market opened, so we let Vale play and explore to her heart’s content here. She had a grand old time on all the playground equipment, and tired herself out from all the excitement.
Vale fell asleep for her second nap, and in the evening we hit up the Shi Da Night Market for some shopping and street food. Jenn was not thrilled about the shopping, but we did have a few good bites of good eats, including potstickers, Takoyaki, and an oyster omelet.