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It's been a while since I posted, so it's time to catch up! Except the more I wrote the more pictures I added, so now it'll all be under an LJ cut.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My brother and I visited my sister in Philadelphia over Thanksgiving and stocked up her kitchen with essentials. She's never had a traditional turkey dinner, so I roasted a turkey breast, made some cranberry sauce, and sauteed green beans with almonds for our mini-Thanksgiving dinner. My week there mostly consisted of playing Final Fantasy V, watching videos, and reading Gilead and《算計》(the Chinese translation of the Japanese mystery novel 《インシテミル》).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Monday before I returned, I played tourist around the historic part of the city, doing the one-day tour of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Benjamin Franklin's old apartments. I chatted with the guide there and got to see him do some letterpress printing with replicas of Franklin's wooden presses. Also I saw a huge portrait of Marie Antoinette! (My camera was dying so you only get a glare-y photo of Louis XVI).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mid-December my brother and I visited Taiwan to see my parents for two weeks. He spent most of his time studying for the medical board exams, but took some time out to go on some family outings. We traveled down to Taichung (pictured) and Chiayi to seek out ancestral shrines for my Dad's side of the family. Later in the week I saw a Van Gogh exhibit at the National History Museum and an exhibit on the history of stringed instruments, featuring fun hurdy-gurdies and violins from Cremona and Brescia (including a famous Stradivarius).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Taipei Flora Expo won't get underway till later in 2010, but I saw a preview of it at Da'an Forest Park. I'm not much of a flower person but it was nice to see so much color in the city. There was a floral arrangement competition with some weird entries, a floral representation of Van Gogh's Starry Night, and, of course, squirrels. Note to self: take into account humidity and crowded streets next time I go for a long walk in Taipei.

I also got to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] jadia for a little shopping expedition in Ximending.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Just before returning to the States, I went on a hike with my parents in Yilan, along the Linmei Shipan walkway. The trail was wet but pretty easy and was a nice break from being cooped up in the city. Afterwards we had a tasty n-course lunch in Jiaoxi.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My brother and I were trapped for a day in Anchorage on our way back. I was up from before sunrise (10ish) till sundown (3:30ish) and leveled my characters up to level 60 in FF5.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA By the time New Year's Eve rolled around I was too jet-lagged and out of it to go anywhere. But I was rested enough to go out for dim sum the morning after, and on my way home found the remains of a cheese and fruit plate casually strewn about the subway platform at Davis.
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