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Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Part 2

There's nothing like spending Father's Day with critters, machines and beer, and that's exactly how the Kaminoge family observed the occasion this afternoon. Our first visit to the e-zoo petting zoo, located in the town of Waip'u 外埔 in T'aichung County 台中縣, turned out to be much better than expected. The three of us had a great time interacting with a handful of the sun goddess' creatures, including snakes, horses, tortoises, ostriches, goats, rabbits, water buffaloes and my wife's favorite, the exotic birds:

This particular bird (Parrot? Cockatoo? Macaw?) was especially animated:

In addition to the animals, Amber took great interest in the heavy equipment, going for spins on a steamroller and an excavator, the latter of which she controlled entirely by herself:

e-zoo sits atop a small hill. From the small one-lane road going in and out, nice views across the plain towards Tachia 大甲 could be had:

A small step forward in the ongoing struggle against Taiwan Beer 台灣啤酒:

On the way home from the zoo, we stopped off at the Houli Sugar Tourism, Village in Houli 后里. A Japanese-era sugar mill that has been refitted for the modern-day leisure crowd (with a never-ending caravan of tour buses rolling in), the Thing To Do here is eat ice cream. Among the many souvenir shops, however, I was pleased to find a store selling locally-produced wines and paichiu 白酒. The cinnamon-flavored kind was a treat, but I was even happier to learn there were sample cups of a craft beer available for purchase:

In a classic case of Good News/Bad News, the good news was that the lager tasted great! The bad news was that the shop didn't have any cans or bottles for sale, nor was there any information on hand about the beer itself (including its name) or where to obtain some, other than the fact it most definitely WAS NOT a product of the infamous Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation 台灣菸酒公司. Still, it shows that out there in the Taiwanese beer-drinking wasteland, new life is springing up through cracks in the parched ground. I'll drink to that. 乾杯!

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