Check out some new photos from the holidays ...

It's hard to believe Christmas has come and gone again ... as 2006 comes in, I find myself hoping for an even better year than the last. The holiday season was fantastic ... having Mom and Bill in town really made it feel like Christmas. Santa arrived with many presents for all ... and I guess I was an extra good little girl this year as Santa delivered a very special gift ... a two week trip to Cambodia!! (Actually, I am currently waiting to renew my ARC, so if all goes well then Cambodia, here I come ... if not, I will have to head to HK to get a new visa for Taiwan ... fingers crossed!)

Christmas dinner was hectic, but the food was delicious and I believe a good time was had by all. We prepared three turkeys on the BBQ, 2 hams from the oven, mashed yams and potatoes, steamed green beans and carrots, caesar salad, apple pies, cakes and all the toppings ... talk about being spoiled this year! It was a bit crazy with 20 people and a very tiny kitchen ... I had to appreciate the years of Murray get-togethers preparing for what? 32? Every year? Gosh ... tough work, although, 100% worth it in the end, isn't it?!

I find myself with a ton of leftovers so I will attempt my first turkey soup this year. After the new year, I will have a Christmas recycling party as I'll need some help finishing up the leftovers, wouldn't want to be wasteful!

So, as the title reads ... some great shots were taken from my 30th birthday party and from Christmas ... if you find a moment, please check them out. Happiness and health to everyone in 2006!

Friday December 23rd, 2005

The cats ... love them ... had me up early this morning ... early enough to watch the beautiful sun rise ... I suppose it was fitting to watch the day come in as today is my 30th birthday! It looks like it will be a great day ... blue, blue skies!

My parents have been enjoying their time here very much ... they are currently at my brother's house and have been there for the past few nights. Although we haven't done much with them, they seem thrilled with our life here. We have introduced them to the plentiful, wonderful food this country has to offer, but that's seems about it. We've all been talking about how many pounds we've put on from all the good food. I suppose that's what the holidays are all about, right? Last night I treated Mom and Bill to my favourite restaurant ... Ali Baba's Indian Cuisine ... it was quite different for them, but they thought the food was terrific ... a bit spicy, perhaps!

We introduced them to teppanyaki, which they love ... I mean how can one not love teppanyaki? They are hoping to be able to find a teppanyaki restaurant upon their return to Victoria. I think Mom will hit China town as well to try and track down some of the special dishes we've introduced her to here in Taiwan.

Tonight is my party at 'People Restaurant Taipei' ... fancy food and fancy cocktails. I am looking forward to this weekend, which will be full of good friends, good food and good wine.

Merry Christmas to all ... I hope you find the holiday season brings you an extra special one this year!

Monday December 12th, 2005

It's hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. My parents will be arriving in Taiwan in a few days ... they are scheduled to get here early Friday morning. I hope they don't find it too cold. It's about 15 degrees these days, but inside seems just as cold as the outside. My little heater is giving all its got, but it isn't cutting it! My tree is decorated and is hiding in the back room. The cats can't seem to behave themselves, so they have lost climbing privledges.

This weekend was filled with lots of holiday shopping. Shopping for Christmas in Asia is an interesting thing. When you shop in North America, one is used to being able to go to the mall for one stop shopping. The malls here are too expensive to do shopping in, so one has to resort to the many morning, day and night markets. Shopping in the markets allows one to buy some pretty unique things ... I think it will prove to be an interesting Christmas.

I am hosting a turkey dinner at my place on Christmas day. I am expecting about 15 people. My friend, Vernon, will be bringing over his BBQ and we are hoping to roast two turkeys on it. We will also do up some ham in my oven and the rest will be a pot luck, leaving it up to the guests. I feel pretty lucky to have had two turkey meals already this year ... a third is ... well ... pretty special! I guess I'm making up for the past two years of not having any turkey in my life.

My 30th birthday is not even two weeks away ... I'm pretty excited about it! We will be having a big party at a place called People's in Taipei. It's a posh Japanese restaurant ... I hope to get lots of pics. I'm not sure where the past 30 years have gone ... I guess time flies when you're having fun!
If it's not one, it's the other ... kitties for sale?? Anyone? Anyone?
How is one supposed to have a proper tree when the cat won't get out of it? Introducing my little tree climber, Levi. It's going to make for an interesting Christmas. Happy Ho Ho!

Saturday December 3rd, 2005

It was only today (今天 jin1 tian1) that I realized it's been 8 months since I've lived in this apartment and I still don't know my own address (地址 di4 zhi3) ... how crazy is that? Today, I have been writing my Christmas cards ... due to the fact that I have such a large family, I think my address has finally been embedded in my head. I never really knew my address prior because I carry it around with me in a Chinese version. If anyone needs it, I can show them that ... it makes it a bit more simple as most natives here don't understand the pinyin. I suppose learning to write my Chinese address would be a cool thing too ... guess I'll have to add that to my plentiful list of things to do!