I'm not going to apologize for my countdown not being in "real time." So what if I've been home for a week??!! I've been going through MISERABLE jet lag, so it's not really like I've been anywhere but in my own personal version of hell. But, here's what we did our last two days in Taiwan:
Day 2: We finished packing and cleaning, which included Mike awkwardly wheeling the heaviest mattress in existence through the busy streets of Zhuwei using this makeshift, awkward, Taiwanese dolly:Imagine balancing a queen sized mattress on this thing. And then imagine not being able to see where you are going while walking down a narrow, and very busy street. Then picture carrying the mattress up five flights of stairs in the heat and humidity. Poor Mike. (Thanks to Kyle for helping carry the mattress up the stairs). So, after the mattress ordeal, we got our apartment cleaned and ready for check out. Then we found the best place to eat dumplings in Zhuwei and and Holden threw a fit in the restaurant. The day ended with us eating tacos at the Andersons.
Day 1: We made the long trek to church for the last time. It starts here, at the Zhuwei metro station:
And it ends here, at the church:
Do you like my new glasses? I like them, too. But sometimes I wonder if they are for a man. And sometimes I worry that they are too dark. But whatever. Church was good. Holden gave a talk in Primary, we skipped Sunday school to chat with an old school mate of mine, and we got lots of "good lucks" and horror stories from seasoned ex-pats in our ward, who must endure long plane rides with small children in order to live the high life in foreign countries. (Strand of pearls: $15, a year at Taipei American School: $10,000, Chinese dresses, jackets, and skirts, $30, 14 hour plane ride with a two-year-old: NOT WORTH IT). After church Holden and I rushed over to Carrefour, France's version of Walmart in Asia, in order to buy ONE MORE SUITCASE because we were worried that we'd go over the weight limit. So, we had 7 50 lb bags to check, plus three carry-ons, and two personal items, one of which was a handmade tile in a plastic bag. We were SO well organized!
Day 0: We woke up early and were all business getting everything put together for our trip home. Holden had to wear one of Mike's shirts for a while because we had forgotten to leave a shirt out for him. But other than that, we were pretty well organized. We had to take two taxis to the airport: one for me and the kids, and one for Mike and our luggage. During the car ride Hazel fell asleep. In the airport, we ate a leisurely Burger King breakfast:
Then went through security and immigration, where we ALMOST weren't allowed to leave the country simply because our visa renewal stamps were in the wrong place on our passports. All the right stamps were there, just one of them was on the wrong page. This took over twenty minutes to sort out, and we were almost late for our plane (we also had to stop to change a dirty diaper on the way, which didn't help). The flight went reasonably well. I watched Becoming Jane and Atonement, which I have to admit, I didn't love. I didn't love the book, either, mainly because I didn't really care about any of the characters, plus I got bogged down in the war stuff. Plus, I think the author's writing is a little pretentious. But lots of peeps love him and I don't want to make waves about it. Hazel WHINED on the plane, which was not fun for me, but she never cried or screamed or went berserk. She just asked the same questions over and over again and was unhappy with her movie choices. The food was in its own category of crap, but luckily we brought our own snacks. The layover in San Fran was brutal, and I hyperventilated while we were landing the plane in Salt Lake, but other than that, it was a smooth trip. At least there was no vomiting this time!
We are glad to be back in our homeland, and we are especially glad that the kids have gone from this:
We were not home for an hour before Holden had decided that WD-40 would make a great wood stain. He was out in the garage working as soon as we got out of the car. He's been playing outside and building and inventing ever since.