Thursday, December 8, 2016

Things to Do/Sights to See: New York Hall of Science/nysci & GingerBread Lane, NYC--Queens--Corona/Flushing


New York Hall of Science/nysci  47-01 111th St., in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,  (718) 699-0005.  M-F 9:30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10-6.  $15, 62+ $12, 2-17 $12, students $12; free Sun 10-11am and F 2-5 pm; parking $10.  Restaurant.  Founded during the 1964-65 World’s Fair, this energetic science museum aimed at children has become New York’s center for hands-on, interactive science.  You’ll find more than 450 exhibits here, plus demonstrations and workshops galore.  Adults seem to really enjoy the radar gun that measures how fast you can throw a baseball, while toddlers love Preschool Place--it provides great fun for under 5s.  The innovative outdoor Science Playground (seasonal) is a don’t miss, and 3-D movies provide a nice break (both have separate admission).  When you leave, consider a stop at the park’s Rocket Park Mini Golf (seasonal), kiddie amusement park, or zoo (separate admission). 

exterior of New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
exterior of New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

The seasonal GingerBread Lane event is included with admission.  Both children and adults get excited when they see this gigantic gingerbread village.  Situated on a protected glassed-in ledge around the edge of a bright circular room, it consists of all kinds of buildings and roads.  It takes chef Jon Lovitch a year to design and build it.  He uses only edible ingredients--candy, icing, gingerbread dough--and it weighs more than 1½ tons.  All structures are dismantled and given away at the close of the exhibition.  Related workshops are scheduled.

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

(If you find yourself stuck at home one snowy winter day, make playdough and construct your own little village.) 


We like tying in a visit here with a meal at Tortilleria & Taqueria Nixtamal


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More things to do in NYC.  

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Things to Do: Kavalan Whisky tour, Yilan, Taiwan


Kavalan Whisky  326, Section 2. Yuan-Shan Rd., Yuan-Shan.  Tours daily.  Free.  Tours of this family-owned single-malt whisky distillery begin outside on the lawn of the spacious campus with a viewing of a fiery show presented by coopers refreshing oak barrels.  Inside, a variety of displays enlighten visitors, who also have a chance to view the gigantic copper stills.  The tour concludes with a tasting of several whiskeys.  My favorite was the fruity, light, and silky-smooth classic signature whiskey, which stings the tongue and then tingles all the way down.  I purchased a packable small amount in a cute lab-bottle flask to bring home.  
exterior of Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
exterior of Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


barrel refreshing at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
barrel refreshing at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


copper stills at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
copper stills at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


Christmas tree at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
Christmas tree at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


Carole Terwilliger Meyers tasting at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
Carole Terwilliger Meyers tasting at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sights to See: National Center for Traditional Arts, Yilan, Taiwan


National Center for Traditional Arts.  Daily 9am-6pm.  This complex showcases the culture and history of Taiwan.  An open-air stage presents both puppet shows (puppet shows actually originated in  China) and Chinese opera.
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

The beautifully appointed Wen-Chang Temple is popular with students, who make offerings to the gods of academic success, and with others who come to approach the gods of opera and crafts.
Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

dragon detail t Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
dragon detail t Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

A reconstructed old street is lined with an assortment of traditional shops.  One makes and purveys traditional wood spinning tops, another offers blue indigo-dyed fabrics, and another is filled with colorful candy treats.  Special exhibits are displayed in an expansive Exhibition Hall.
fluffy dog on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
fluffy dog on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

hand-painted old spinning tops on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
hand-painted old spinning tops on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
see spinning top competition in Taiwan

drying indigo fabric at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
drying indigo fabric at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

traditional candy shop at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
traditional candy shop at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

recycled teapot at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
recycled teapot at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do in Yilan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, November 18, 2016

Good Eats: Chun, Yilan, Taiwan


Chun  With a mish-mash decor that includes old movie posters displayed on brick walls, this cheerful place serves a variety of traditional Taiwanese dishes.
interior of Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
interior of Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

The most popular item is minced pork in soy sauce over rice, and it was indeed my own favorite from a parade of dishes.
minced pork over rice at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
minced pork over rice at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

array of dishes at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
array of dishes at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

I also enjoyed watching the ice cream game known as “baboo”—a word brings to mind a honking horn.  Our guide, Jerry Chen, told us he played it as a child.  You put a TD10 coin (about 30 cents U.S.) in the slot, spin the wheel, and receive the number of scoops it lands on—in the  case depicted in the video--two--and so he gets one scoop of pineapple and one of sour plum.  

guide Jerry Chen explains how the Taiwanese ice cream game known as “baboo” works



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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Things to Do: Miyahara, Taichung, Taiwan


Miyahara  No.20, Zhongshan Rd., Central Dist.  Located near the train station, this magnificent little shopping complex and emporium is set within a fabulous old building that was originally an optical shop.  A popular ice cream shop that is reputed to have the best ice cream in town operates at one end and seems always to have a long line.
outside ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
outside ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

spectacular sundae at ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
spectacular sundae at ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

 Another shop offers a large selection of teas.
tea shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
tea shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

But Miyahara--specializing in pineapple cakes and other goodies such as seed candies and chocolate-dipped dried fruits--is the main attraction and piece de resistance.  The ceiling is high, the butterflies-and-flowers packaging is exquisite, and the prices are reasonable.  It is the perfect place to select gifts and souvenirs to take home.  
interior at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
interior at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

candy display at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
candy display at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

display with orchids at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
display with orchids at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

pineapple cakes at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
pineapple cakes at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do in Taichung.

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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Great Sleeps: Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake, Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan


Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake  23 Zhongzheng Rd., Yuchi Township, Nantou County.  211 rooms.  Full-service spa; bicycle rentals.  Buffet breakfast; 4 restaurants, 2 bars.  Situated on the north end of Sun Moon Lake, this aesthetically pleasing hotel nicely integrates nature into the surroundings.  Large and colorful orchid arrangements are found throughout the serene premises,
orchids at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
orchids at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

as are large windows revealing views of the ever-changing lake.
view of lake from Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
view of lake from Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

Each guest room has floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, as well as a deep marble bathtub that fills quickly with soothing natural hot-springs water.  
guest room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
guest room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
  
guest room bathtub at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
guest room bathtub at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

My room, number 821, had a view of Wenwu Temple.
view of Wenwu Temple from guest room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
view of Wenwu Temple from guest room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

Amenities include comfortable flip-flop slippers to keep (mine were a delicious shade of pink that I am wearing right now) and a matching cotton yukata pajama set to borrow.  By request, a pillow cart offers a choice of 28 different styles.  A recreation center provides a series of hot springs pools, including a children’s pool and men’s and women’s nude pools, as well as exercise equipment, an indoor children’s play area, and a pet room.
children's play room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
children's play room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

Organized hotel activities include hiking, rock-climbing, bicycle and boat tours, and evening entertainment.  The breakfast room features a wall of windows open to a tree-filtered view of the lake.
breakfast room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
breakfast room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel


The food selection is extensive and tasty, and seating is available both inside and out on an expansive deck with heat-lamps.
mochi muffins in breakfast room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
mochi muffins in breakfast room at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel

The Jade Luminous restaurant offers cutting-edge Chinese cuisine--for example, one dish included the entire scallop, which I had never seen before.
menu at Jade Luminous restaurant at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
menu at Jade Luminous restaurant at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
  
scallops at Jade Luminous restaurant at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel
scallops at Jade Luminous restaurant at Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake hotel


More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do at Sun Moon Lake.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Good Eats: Full House Restaurant, Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan


Full House Restaurant  No. 8 Shuixiu St., Yuchi Township, Nantou County.  The owner here began preparing fruit-enhanced dishes as a way to help his sick wife.  The menu features exotic and delicious items such as soursop fruit with shitake mushrooms or dragon fruit with salmon.  A personal favorite was a fruity-sauced pork dish with very ripe melon.  Hot pot cooking is also an option.

fruit-enhanced dishes at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
fruit-enhanced dishes at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

fruit-enhanced dishes at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
fruit-enhanced dishes at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

The intriguing dining room is a mish-mash of vintage tables and accessories and features an expansive granite floor.

interior decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
interior decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

Throughout, fresh fruits such as giant pomelos and round green squashes are clustered together in attractive arrangements as part of the decor.  Also throughout are hung memorable paintings by the owner’s wife, Lin Yan Ping. 

fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
fresh-fruit decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

Plenty more seating is available in an expansive garden, where one umbrella is wired with a crystal chandelier and colorful blown-glass fruits decorate. 

garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
  
garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
garden decor at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

Inexpensive lodging is available upstairs in ten knotty-pine rooms, some with deep Japanese-style bathtubs and lake views.

lodging lobby at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
lodging lobby at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

guest room at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
guest room at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

bathtub at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
bathtub at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

view from guest room at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
view from guest room at Full House Restaurant at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do at Sun Moon Lake.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.
   
images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers