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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Amber in the USA

We're back, jet lagged after a long flight back from Seattle to Taipei via Narita. 12 days back home with Mom and Dad, a time that was regretfully too short. Amber loved her Nana and Granddad, and they loved their new granddaughter. Here are some pictures from our time in the States:

Amber at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, waiting to board the United Airlines plane in the background for the flight to Narita.


Here's Amber enjoying herself at her grandparents' house. For the first several days after arriving, she suffered from a bad cold, which necessitated a trip to a pediatrician. Fortunately, she recovered quickly, and really enjoyed herself during our stay.


My parents house in Bremerton, Washington


Amber at the Silverdale Mall...


...at a restaurant


...with her granddad


...and getting ready to visit her first American supermarket.


My parents' cat Digby eyeing some of the local wildlife


Some family portraits


Pamela and I went down to the waterfront in Silverdale on the only rainy day of our visit, while my parents looked after Amber


Pamela took this great picture of Digby. We didn't get any photos of the other cat, Cleo


We weren't able to go on any trips this time, unlike in the past when we visited places such as Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Portland. We did go into Seattle one day, however, to visit the International District (aka Chinatown), where there is a great Japanese supermarket, Ujimaya (Pamela bought some Taiwanese instant noodles, while I picked up a bottle of Orion beer), and bookstore, Kinokuniya (alas, all the books I wanted to buy would've been too big to bring back to Taiwan). We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle...

...and had lunch at Ivar's, a well-known seafood restaurant (and tourist trap) noted for its clams. Afterwards, Pamela tried to feed the seagulls, while Amber spent some quality time with Uncle Ivar

Pamela was very interested in the architecture of downtown Seattle, and took a lot of pictures

We had a good view of Mt. Rainier on the ferry back to Bainbridge Island

Back in Bainbridge, we had pizza and beer (Moose Drool - brewed in Missoula, Montana. Great label!), and checked out the fall foliage and Halloween preparations


On another nice day, we took Amber for a stroll along the Clear Creek Trail, which started at the waterfront. She always enjoys these outings


My parents have a nice view of the Olympic Mountains from their front yard, and the sunsets can be spectacular
 

My mother took Pamela shopping, so I had the pleasure of taking Amber out on my own for the first time. We had a nice father-daughter stroll along a paved trail that wound its way through some wetlands. I'm looking forward to many more of these outings as she grows up


On our last full day, Pamela, Amber and I drove over to Port Orchard. On the way back, Pamela took some pictures of aircraft carriers at the naval shipyard in Bremerton - don't tell anyone at Homeland Security about this! It was yet another great day weather wise, with clear views of Mt. Rainier


Amber held up surprisingly well on the long flight back to Taiwan - 10 hours on Northwest from Seattle to Narita, a 2-hour layover there followed by a 3.5 hour flight on Japan Asia Airways to Taoyuan. JAA is Japan Airlines - they change their name for flights to Taiwan so as not to "offend" China. Whichever name they use, JAL is a great airline if you're flying with a child. The cabin attendants are attentive and very friendly, and Amber got a free model of a JAA plane as a gift. That's more than we got from Northwest or United. Here are two pictures of Amber, one at SeaTac, the other at Narita


It's back to work tomorrow, and I definitely am not looking forward to it. It's always depressing to have to come back to Taiwan after visiting my family (or taking a trip to Japan), but that's my situation for the time being. しょうがない。

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