Where is Taipei, you ask?
Where is Taiwan, you ask?
A 5 hour flight south of Tokyo!
And the rest is history.....
Now onto Taipei.
But before I share pics of this grand adventure with you, I want to share THE BEST card I have ever received from anyone. Seriously. Erika spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time making some of her friends this lovely "Christmas Cake Club" card (pictures are coming up). What is almost as cool is the story BEHIND the card. I will write down Erika's words verbatim so you can laugh just as loud as I did with her awesome humor. Bring it, Erika.
"What is Christmas Cake?
In Japan, Christmas has special significance for couples. Without the baggage of spirituality or baby Jesus, new meanings and unique traditions have developed around the holiday. It's a time to shower your sweetheart with LAVISH GIFTS...a time to eat a KFC-catered chicken dinner...and most importantly, a time to eat strawberry and whipped cream cake, topped with a Santa-shaped chocolate. KURISUMASU KEEKI! "But what if I'm not part of a couple?" you ask. There's something for you too! Double meaning is embedded in this tradition. When an unmarried or unengaged woman turns 26, she too is called a CHRISTMAS CAKE...because, as one blogger eloquently paraphrased: It may still be sweet and delicious, but no one really wants any after the 25th. That's right girls, in Japan our shelf like is up! (Comment from Misty: Does that officially make us cougar-status?!!!) With my own special group of Christmas Cakes in mind (that's me), I have lovingly created this card for you. Happy Holidays! Yours proudly,
Founding member of the Christmas Cake Club (Erika!)"
....and, at the bottom of the card it reads, "To those who claim the age has risen to 30: Stop ruining the holiday spirit! Who still wants a cake on the 29th anyway? This is a nondenominational card."
AND - I have an official membership card! I am gonna cherish this puppy! (note to all my friends: If you write something cool, I am slapping it up on this thing! Watch out now.)
Here is a quote from Erika about Japan that I thought was RIGHT ON:
"A few of the themes in Japan include play within rigid social structures, the emphasis on surface in Japanese culture, and the importance of wrapping, which can take precedence over the wrapped object itself. Oh yeah, and finger nail art!" Hahaha. SO DESU NE.
Now onto Taipei.
One word - AMAZING. It was special on so many levels. NYE was fantastical, as we watched fireworks shoot out from all around the tallest building in the world - the 101 Building. It is, literally, Taipei's pride and joy.