Orchids in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport Taiwan

My friend taking K’s photo with the lovely orchids at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport.

We just loved this orchids sanctuary.  The flowers are big and colorful. Some have a very nice smell. So pretty! Very relaxing to spend the layover hours while waiting for the next flight, as you can see.  Please excuse the feet. 🙂 You can take pictures of these lovely orchids to your hearts’ content as long as you are not exhausted and your camera’s memory card capacity and cellphone’s storage are huge.  🙂

Correct me if I am wrong, I think this is close to the C1 Boarding Gate.


Fun At The Fair – The State Fair Of Texas

Texas Star Ferris Wheel at the State Fair of Texas
Texas Star Ferris Wheel at the State Fair of Texas

At last I was able to go to the State Fair of Texas for the very first time.  And I can say it was a great experience.  Since my arrival here in Texas, I haven’t been to the State Fair until last Thursday.  But I did not go alone.  My daughter and I, together with my cousin Em and her two little girls, went to the Fair last Thursday.  It was actually an adventure for all of us because it was our first time to go to the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

The night before the trip, my dear husband helped me plan the trip to the State Fair.  He suggested that we take the train to the Fair.  I looked at the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) train schedules online and, after a very long time of confusion, figured out how to get there.  I will tell you more about our train ride on my next blog post.

a-people in line buying tickets
Buying tickets at the Fair. 🙂

So we arrived at the Fair around noon last Thursday.  I already had two adult tickets which I bought from an online garage sale on Facebook.  Had a good savings on that.  For the kids’ tickets, we brought canned goods for donation and we only paid $6.00 per ticket for each child.  Great savings on that as well.  As soon as we entered the gate at the Fair, the adventure began.  🙂

The Big Tex
Big Tex

The little ones wanted to see Big Tex.  They were amazed because he’s so huge!  Giant.  That’s what my DD said.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony - Tea Room setting
Japanese Tea Ceremony Presentation – Tea Room setting

Last Saturday I went to a Japanese Tea Ceremony at the local library.  I was very glad that the rain stopped that afternoon or else there will be an overflow of water on the road as the lake near our neighborhood is super full that almost flooded some parts of the road right across my neighborhood.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony was presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW and hosted by the Smith Public Library in Wylie, TX.  It was very interesting to know that tea has been celebrated in Japan over a 1000 years ago and is to this day.

Presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW
Presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW

Tea is native to China and was brought to Japan by Japanese students, travelers, and diplomats thousands of years ago.  Tea ceremony has become a tradition in Japan since then.  During those times, only the elites can drink tea.  It was called the luxury drink. The emcee (she teaches how tea ceremonies are done), tea was termed as Elixir of the Immortals.  It is because tea has lots of health benefits that defend our body from illness.

The special type of green tea called Matcha is used in the Japanese tea ceremony.  It is a finely powdered green tea to be prepared only with a bamboo whisk.  The manner or art of this preparation is called temae.  The guest consumes the whole tea leaf and the water. There are two types of tea gatherings in Japan – informal tea gathering chakai (tea gathering) and formal tea gathering chaji (tea event).  According to the presenter, chaji is a longer ceremony than chakai.

After the presentation, the presenters gave us some tea and sweets.  That was the very first time I tasted Matcha tea.  It was good. 🙂

Frothy Matcha
Frothy Matcha
Sweets from Japan.
Sweets from Japan.

Because the Matcha tea tastes bitter, the host of the tea ceremony serves their guests some sweets first.  This is to lessen the bitterness of the tea while drinking it.

Japanese tea ceremony is celebrating harmony, purity, respect, and tranquility.