Yao Yue Traditional Teahouse, Taiwan

928CC1A3-5C21-4FFE-87CB-ED4B0B1B90970A9557FD-94BF-4D6A-95E6-96547519199D

Two days ago, for our last full day in Taiwan, we decided the nicest way to end our trip would be a visit to a traditional teahouse for dinner. Slow, quiet, and relaxing – to some extent when traveling with kids, the Yao Yue Teahouse is the perfect setting for winding down an eventful trip. Located about 20 mins from our hotel in Ximending district, the drive up the mountain is dark and secluded. The only thing I would’ve changed about our visit to Yao Yue would be that we went much earlier when the sun was still up so that we could enjoy the lovely view coming up the mountain and at the teahouse itself.

Yao Yue, which is nestled into the side of a steep mountain boasts amazing views of nature. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see those views, but we definitely heard and felt it. When we arrived it was raining, gently, and luckily the trees made for good shelter down the hiking path to the teahouse. A traditional, wood-filled cabin, the floors creaked as we walked over to our table and the smell of aged bark blanketed the room. The windows were left open and chilly breezes came bursting through every few minutes. It reminded me so much of the US during Autumn.

Once seated, I got to ordering right away. First thing to arrive was the tea set up with a booklet of easy instructions. They have you preform the tea ceremony yourself, so you can truly enjoy an immersive experience of proper tea preparation. While I prepared the tea, Luca walked around by himself, mostly looking out the windows into the darkness of the forest. Luca is really in-tune with nature and the sounds of insects and birds are what he loves the most. So this is definitely the place for an earth child, or any child really!

When the food arrived I honestly expected nothing of it, but boy was I wrong!

I would say the food we ate here was surprisingly one of the best meals we’ve had in Taiwan!

It’s simple Chinese comfort food, the must orders being the sweet potato pancake and handmade steamed buns! Gobble! Would we visit this place next time we’re in Taiwan? Yes! 100%! And we’d definitely make sure to go during the afternoon, preferably around 3pm. But don’t worry if you come late, Yao Yue is open 24 hours of the day!

A beautiful, quaint wooden cabin, with so much character and delicious food. A Taiwan Must See!

00A41171-D06C-43F4-B8C3-967877D84419B9AE8C56-4184-4319-BA81-5235CEB107BC2E92DE24-F38B-4367-8097-F5D1DE65CD7CF2EC785E-6A75-4985-8E75-2540A814FF591F2F452F-7042-41AC-B68F-0731D4F4016303EB6B7F-BD22-4AB0-9329-2AA3CD432F3585159994-052C-46CB-8B20-9CEB1F24D59843F0AA61-E388-43E9-87A4-DFFCC057B5B5D7780988-29B0-40E9-8CB4-3EDB32E233DF38D76D6A-B530-451E-A111-D360362D4878A8775896-5CCA-4657-AF90-C7D4A2A9AC9CA8F2C328-3205-47F4-83EE-90F711B9A50540369909-83EB-4E1B-B026-E5390C0077C1C815E658-0448-42E7-B89D-FCCE767BFF99255D000B-7903-4705-8A19-0AB225A24443569B18C2-7D01-4545-8905-B1CE79A42EEC5DAF62CA-9383-4A73-84D0-F1DB73AB723F8A1EB383-6E10-42E2-A556-D648A5E2F937F63B19FB-789C-45D6-B2B9-56845FED4F98E40DDBE9-67D1-46CE-9A54-9613D7724D5B7C9733EA-EDE4-40EE-8E9A-87DF31B482E6F6DC93C2-0BEE-4D46-99A8-740B8909BC37F08D9374-D366-4AB0-969A-69AD04FA1DD6C8F16F63-E331-4946-BD3C-2840397B06F87D2EA73D-D4FB-4C4F-9F05-B335FFA696D398BFC872-385E-4151-AB7B-F591398C6852CFA8574D-6E24-492E-95A2-F1128B4EF810FD70F011-1137-4B25-BFE9-D46446F6DA22EE02EF41-0ACB-4FA0-B58B-166AF89B81FF933D3AAC-7EDB-4915-ACF8-993D32512E21

E3453F20-947E-40C7-9224-18ACF9534E53
Sweet Potato Pancake

3B07E65B-C4EE-4E55-BA7A-BAFC8A47B827

A22BE125-8622-4FDA-ABC3-F812D6C53BDD
Handmade Steamed Buns

7D0057BF-888E-4A6C-ADC4-E839DDE64F7CC93141D2-B11B-43F5-B8B6-2BD742D92E922CE22C8D-2BF6-48F1-98AB-CC4A82B0B7D7F49F95E4-F9B4-4D3E-A152-48FE128BE02713FE13A9-09FC-462F-A119-4C476F00E17F4C7FA658-2F89-4AB5-8A2E-FE94C5BDD16529E0E88F-7C24-4F3D-8AD4-35F92AC8984AAD7E8ECF-FBF5-472F-A416-BF35B9C5C1B8E3B4C7F2-8FEC-42BE-8805-FAF723194EB6

Continue Reading

Tokyo – Cherry Blossom Week

Ueno Park & Zoo

Last month was a whirlwind of so many life obstacles I dedicated all my energy to being present and thus haven’t updated the blog in a few weeks. Some things we’ve been going through is a big change in our house move which caused a delay, a trip to Japan for Holy Week, and my surgery which came the day we got back from Japan. I am now 4 days post surgery and while at home recovering I’ve gathered the strength to put together some posts from our Japan trip…

Continue Reading

Ritz Carlton, Nusa Dua, Bali

Our Room and Private Lagoon

When we arrived to the Ritz, it was 2am and we immediately passed out for the night. The next day, and for the rest of the trip, our room was a complete mess so I didn’t take any photos of the inside… Rest assured the inside is just as beautiful as the rest of this resort!

We got the ground floor room with straight access to the private lagoon, which is not actually private to only you but shared with about 6 other rooms which isn’t too bad!! Even though all therooms were booked on our floor, we only saw other people in the lagoon once! It feels completely private, and even if all the guests of the rooms on our floor were in the lagoon, it’s so large you wouldn’t feel bothered at all.

Continue Reading

Ubud, Bali

Eat

Ubud is the perfect one-stop-shop for food, culture and nature. It was quite a drive from our area in Nusa Dua, about an hour and a half drive considering the traffic. One of our first stops in the mountain city was a restaurant with floating cabanas on a large koi pond. At the Bebek Teba Sari Resto most of the architecture is built with, and inspired by bamboo huts! The food was also very local, fresh and delicious! We ordered a beef and watermelon salad, chicken satay with peanut sauce, I also had a roast chicken, and then my favorite for dessert was black glutinous sticky rice with some ice cream on the side!

The beauty of this place is that it sits right next to a tropical plantation. We were able to get some beautiful shots of the landscape with our drone!

Continue Reading

Manila Ocean Park

Arrival, Prices, & Finding something to eat…

From December to Febuary 28th Manila Ocean Park is running a PROMO 80% off ticket prices! My husband has his doubts that they will ever charge full price, but either way, we paid for the full pass to see all the exhibits at only P995 a person! If you’re child is over 2 feet tall you will have to pay full price for them…

Continue Reading

Day Trip Packing List: Hidden Valley Springs

Please scroll all the way to the last section of this post for a short video I made on our day trip!

Hey guys! If you’ve read through my last post about our wonderful time at Hidden Valley Springs, and you were thinking of taking a day trip up there, I’ve put together a small packing list for you! The first 4 things on the list are for if you are going with a baby, and if you’re not then please skip to the last 3 things. Everyone needs the last 3 things on the list! Lets get to it!

  1. Mustela 50+ Spf Sunscreen for baby. I personally love this brand. It’s a little bit pricey but totally worth the splurge on their sincere products for children!
  2. Mustela After Sun Spray. The perfect pair to the Mustela sunscreen, if baby somehow got a little too much sun you can apply this on them right after washing them down. I apply this on Luca regardless if I think he’s gotten sunburn or not, just to be safe and to give his skin some comfort.
  3. Number 3 is the Babyganics Lip and Face balm. Babyganics has been a long time trusted brand of mine because it’s 100% safe for baby with no nasty chemicals! I love every single one of their products. The lip and Face balm works for any little thing and it’s tiny enough to throw in your purse! For particular trips like these I make sure to lather some balm on Luca’s lips and just a bit on the outer corner of his lips…. making my way, sometimes, over to his cheeks, as he gets dry skin in those areas quickly. Did I mention adults can use it too?!
  4. Another absolute favorite is the Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protective Cream. This cream is really for babies with eczema, but for beach trips and times where I know Luca will be swimming or in the sun, I use this as a diaper cream. Right after I rinse him of the swimming pool water, I apply this cream to his diaper area and some parts of his legs and arms. Just to make sure he gets that extra moisture. This cream does wonders! (Babyganics products are available at Healthy Options stores)
  5. Bring your own towels! If you’re doing a day trip here, there won’t be any towels available for you to use. Pack your own to be safe!
  6. Bring your own water bottles. There isn’t a pool bar or anything of the likes for ordering drinks by the pool. And instead of buying water in plastic bottles, let’s try to be kinder to the earth and use reusable water bottles. After all, you are coming to enjoy a beautiful gift from mother earth.
  7. And last, bring you’re own toiletries for showering after you have finished swimming for the day. There are locker rooms and showers for guests to rinse off and refresh, so you’ll want to really soap up before getting into the car for the long ride home!

And that’s it! For anyone who is going to take the trip please let me know how your experience turns out! Have fun!

See our video of our day trip to Hidden Valley Springs below!

Continue Reading

Hidden Valley Springs, Laguna – Teaching Luca to Disconnect

Looking to getaway from the city for a day?

Look no further than Hidden Valley Springs in Laguna, only 2 hours from Metro Manila – traffic permitting.

I remember when Luca was first born, every Saturday we would take a drive out to Tagaytay, Antipolo or Sierra Madre. These were our special times devoted to giving our son some fresh air, warm sunlight and new nature surroundings. When he was an infant, and even now, I would plant his little bare feet onto the grass so he could feel the earth and absorb some of its raw energy. We didn’t take our first airplane ride with Luca until he was 3 months old, so every weekend up until then this was our only getaway…

Continue Reading

Maldives

Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to view a video I put together of our trip!

Let me start with the difficult – Travelling to the Maldives with a Toddler

Travelling to the Maldives with an already jet-lagged toddler, having just came into Manila from the States, is one massive feat. I wasn’t completely aware of the amount of travel by sea, land and air it took to actually get to our Maldivian resort, Angsana Velavaru. Of all the 70 + flights I’ve taken with my son, travelling to the Maldives easily shot to the top of my list of ‘Don’t do this again!’. After two 4 hour flights via Singapore Airlines from Manila to Singapore and then Singapore to Male, we had to take a 30 minute speedboat, two 15 minute van rides, wait 45 mins at the seaplane holding area, take an hour long seaplane ride, and then one last 10 minute boat ride to the resort…

Continue Reading