Mom took the 8am shuttle to meet Aunt Sophia at the Taipei Train Station. They went down south to Taoyuan to visit their 5th Mama, a distant grand aunt, and Chuen Mei Gu Gu.
I took the 9am shuttle, went to Starbucks, really enjoyed my grande latte, and had time to browse the Eslite Bookstore and buy a little gift before heading to the Jiannan Station (Mucha Line) where I met Joann and her friend Regina to go hiking at Yangmingsan. Regina grew up in Yangmingsan and her parents still live there now.
In the excitement of it all, I left the gift at Exit #1... darn it!
It was surprisingly cool up in Yangmingshan, although we got quite the workout! Sweat would drip down my face, collect at the tip of my chin, and form huge droplets before hitting the ground. I have never sweated so much in my LIFE! I must be really out of shape... dang!
We had lunch at a small family-run, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Actually, it was more like a hole-in-the-wall greenhouse. Joann knew the owners, but of course!
We ordered brown rice and three vegetable dishes that came straight from their makeshift garden next door. What a healthy, refreshing, and light meal. I should eat like this every day.
From there, we made our way down the mountain and had really good coffee at this boutique coffee shop. Joann knew the owner. I think she knows the owners of every single business operation in Taiwan.
The owner was quite the coffee expert. I.e., he wouldn’t let me add sugar to my latte. Come on, man! I am from America! We don't know any better and I'm cool with that!
Spending time with them was a lot of fun. They dropped me off at the MRT station where I was able to claim my lost package. Joann made a few phone calls and viola! There it was.
From there I RACED to meet Gus. I was running SUPER late because of heavy traffic coming down Yangmingshan. He and I were texting back and forth like crazy because he was attempting to meet me at various points WHILE I was on the run! The whole episode cracked me up. Boy do I miss hanging out with him too.
The meeting point changed from Sogo Department Store to the second floor of the Songshan Airport! He went on and on about what a great place it was and how he comes here often with Ike to hang out. Gus! Listen to me! It's just an airport... !
Gus was cracking me up the entire time that we were together, just like old times. It’s not that he TRIES to make me laugh, just that for some reason I find everything about him to be funny. In a good way. ;) We talked for as long as we could before we absolutely had to leave.
I miss him already!
From there I went to the Caesar Hotel to wait for Mom who showed up soon after. Neither of us had eaten dinner yet, and because the next shuttle was coming soon, we went down to the underground mall to try a Mos Burger.
What's the big deal? I don't get it.