CAB Take on Taiwan: Adventure Time

This is WAY OVER DUE but here’s my recap/story on how a ragtag team of 14 college peeps Took on Taiwan! Days and dates may not match up due to the 12 hour time difference. We were 12 hours in to the future y’all!

DAY 1 – 04.28.16 – THURSDAY

All packed up, stayed over night in the Chatham apartments so I wouldn’t miss the shuttle. 4AM leaving Chatham and in route to the Pittsburgh airport. I have been up since 11am  yesterday, going almost 16 hrs strong with no sleep cause I’m so hyped!

About 30 or so minutes later we arrive at the airport and all meet up, check in, and wait for our plane to arrive. While waiting for the others to arrive and check in, I break out my old hacky sack in order to pass the time.

Time for some quick breakfast! Special Note: Do not parkour off a moving sidewalk at the airport! More importantly do not parkour off a moving sidewalk while holding your breakfast bagel and an iced coffee ‪#‎lifelessons‬

Time to line up to board the plane, quote while boarding the airplane in regards to this woman was looking at as weird and trying to break up our group in line: “We’re a group… We pop together” About 5 hours later and we have landed in San Francisco, CA.

First meal since leaving Pittsburgh/ the East Coast… pre-game for Taiwan… Veggie curry

Time to board our next flight! ’bout to be the longest flight I’ve ever been on – just shy of 13 hours!

DAY 2 – 04.29.16 – FRIDAY

I made it!!! I’m really here … in Taiwan… alive! Passing out tho cause early full day tomorrow + 12 hour time diff + been up since 11 am Wednesday !!

DAY 3 – 04.30.16 – SATURDAY

Day 1 and 2 (4.28 & 4.29) recap: traveling through time and space -> Pittsburgh to San Fran (-3 hr diff) to Taipei, Taiwan (-12 hr diff) -> ended up being up for a total of 50 hrs! 36 as a group!

Recap DAY 1 in Taiwan:  traveled back in time and lost a day but we’ll get it back later.

I’m already acclimated to the new time zone and new environment. We had an early morning toady; out by 8:30am, ate breakfast after walking through the hallways of some building to get to the place. We had an impromptu park visit with some parkour action.

Two trains and a bus ride later we arrive at the National Palace Museum then had some snacks with tea and coffee. Afterwards we explored the garden outside the museum and I parkour’d the heck out of some trees and rocks. 

Later on we had lunch then visited the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines:

Followed by another impromptu park visit plus a sweet mini temple with some exercising action. 

Later that night we went to the night market for some shopping then had dinner. THEN Maryann Fix and I got left at market! Everyone was looking for each other for a couple but we kept missing each other. No worries though because we’re smart and resourceful. I remained calm, cool, and collected and was able to navigate our way back to the hostel. We got back well ahead of everyone else so we enjoyed some Bubble Tea!

Side note: even tho I got separated from my buddy Dee Clarke she knew what was up and that we’d be okay and make it back safely. I was bummed we missed the temple exploration but we were able to see it another day (turned out to not have been all that lol). Can’t wait to see what goes down over the next 11 days!

Foot Note: my phone is useless here and is just my camera now but I won’t be posting pics till after I return. Luckily I have my iPad so I can post updates and let y’all know I’m still alive.

DAY 4 – 05.01.16 – SUNDAY

Recap DAY 2 in Taiwan: Managed to go to bed around the same time and wake up the same time as day before. I had some super delicious breakfast this morning. It rained a bit more today (light rain yday) but was still super warm out.

I’m getting really good at oriented self each place we go and navigating around this city. Today we went to the Flower and Jade Markets. I got to see some real life haggling action and some cool plants. Can only look because we can’t take plants back with us.

Afterward we went to the Linsen Forest Park. We saw a cool, sustainability festival going on and learned about bears, bats, reptiles, oceanic animals, wild vs domestic cats. We saw a good amount of stray dogs just walking around and chilling.

We went to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial next and played a pick up game of soccer with the kids and parkour’d more. A festival or conference was going on so there were parts we weren’t allowed in. Saw a cool dance battle action go down though.

Later we went to the hot springs – Beitou public hot springs I think – this was SO nice and very relaxing after walking around all day.

For lunch I had a guava passion fruit smoothie (very Taiwan I’m told) with veggies, tofu and dumplings. We went to the night markets again – had more bubble tea, a bunch of super delicious, fresh fruit including mango, pineapple, watermelon, and this Taiwan fruit that looked/tasted like an asian pear.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Taipei, Tuesday we head off to Taichung.

DAY 5 – 05.02.16 – MONDAY

Recap DAY 3 in Taiwan: early morning, went to the same place from yesterday for breakfast (so good). Today we went up to the mountains; to Jiufen where the anime film Spirited Away was inspired by. While there we navigated through this long strip of markets – all kinds of food and shops, pretty much the whole town is a market place.  we ate lunch here and gathered up snacks for later. The view from this place was so beautiful! Just amazing!

Saw more stray dogs and some cats roaming around – the stray dogs tend to be medium sized or larger. Seems most people own smaller sized dogs or cats, which makes sense given the space capacity of Taiwan. 

I tried some stinky tofu and… NOPE! not for me lol. I’m not a fan of tofu to begin but I had to try this local fav and the locals get a laugh out of seeing foreigners try this dish. 

Went to Bai Sha Wan (White Sand Beach) and it starting turning dark when got there since the multiple bus rides ti get there were very long. It was very cool to step into the pacific ocean from a different country, across the globe.

Ate dinner after beach time and drank lots of juice then made a mad dash for the bus back to hostel! The server from the restaurant we ate at was so dope and held the bus for us, which was great since it was also the last bus of the night.

Everywhere we’ve been so far, our group has managed to get “scolded” for being to loud lol classic teenage Americans. I’ve also become the navigator and co-captain since I keep all the directions and location written down and no one is getting left or lost!

Tomorrow we are getting our assignments for the next part of this trip and checking out of Taipei Discovery Hostel then heading down to Taichung via the High Speed Rail.

DAY 6 – 05.03.16 – TUESDAY

Last day in Taipei and DAY 1 in Taichung:
Checked out of hostel. Glass door got busted (wasn’t me!) Had breakfast at this place that had the cutest lil restaurant owner ever … She was 4-5 yo
Road high speed rail (HSR) train = Super efficient
Took taxis to new hostel. Reservations were made late so our group got split up into two hostels – both nice but one was WAY nicer and fancy – shade was had.
Had some dinner then went out on some adventures. 

DAY 7 – 05.04.16 – WEDNESDAY

**I have totally lost track of the days and don’t really know what official day/time this is;  thought it was MON and it’s freaking WED**

Went to Dharma Drum Buddhist today and did a walking meditation. After the walk we checked out the Monks’s building. Enjoyed a really good lunch here and was very pleased everyone had to eat vegetarian meal.

Later on we went to a local middle/high school where we chilled and chatted with some of the students there. They who were so adorable and so excited to see us! Heard a lot of cool stories from the kids and got tons of food recommendations and took pics together.  I got to play hackie sack with one of the students (who plays soccer) and one of the teachers have some cool new friends now. Did some more wandering around the city after visiting the school then had dinner. Got back to hostel after going to the night markets here. Party on the roof top! Got lit with pals lol shared all the good stories.

DAY 8 – 05.05.16 – THURSDAY

DAY 8 aka the day after we all got hella lit on da rooftop! I slept in so hard even though my body wanted to wake up at 8 and I said no we will chill.

Breakfast/brunch/lunch included an assortment of bakery items and delicious milk tea from Diagon Alley!

Visited a local university and made some more awesome new friends! Got to eat this fruit, yogurt, ice cream thing that the school is famous for. They have their own dairy cows are right on the campus! It was really good.

We talked about our projects and food of course. We all went out to the night markets and basically ate everything on the recommendation list including these drinks we thought were called “mini coopers” turns out it’s not called that lol. The kids at the high school are amazing. I mean truly, amazing they are in school from 7:30a-5p then it’s off to cram school (required) until 9:30pm.

By the end of this trip I was pretty much covered in a sleeve of mosquito bites on each of my lower legs. I also finally got to ride on a moped. It was super fun. If I thought I wanted one before I def want one now!

DAY 9 – 05.06.16 – FRIDAY

I’m so sad we only have a few more days left! Today was a long day – we went to a lil ecohub place, which was this mostly outside deal with fans and some coverings for shade. Of course today happened to be the hottest day on our whole trip = 91°F!

We spent the whole day there then wandered around the town afterward. On our wondering travels we got beer from the locals – they traded 2 huge bottles of beer for a couple of photo ops with all of us.

 We also found a cat cafe like with real cats in it and it was the best!

DAY 10 – 05.07.16 – SATURDAY

Went to a Monastery today, took a tour; it was really cool and fancy. SO much money went into building this and for real one of those gold Buddha statues could pay for me for life. We weren’t allowed to take pictures once inside the grounds. We had lunch at a hotel restaurant deal by the Sun Moon Lake then went for a walk along the boardwalk tail. The water of this lake was so pretty, super blue and clear. We had ice cream. People got left and lost again on the way back to the bus. Found them at the local police station.

Headed out to the Tea Factory for a tour and some tea shopping.

We had dinner after this and some shopping around the local area. I got cool shirt with a bear that looks like Taiwan on a bike. Later on peeps were trying to go to a local club but it is really expensive (like what amounts to $20-30 cover) and super sexist (cater to men pretty much with servers that look like teen anime girls) plus these places are not too friendly to foreigners. There really much of a party scene so it’s mostly to make money of tourists and it is def a straight dude oriented club which means it is not gay friendly either. 

DAY 10 – 05.08.16 – SUNDAY

Only a couple more nights left in this beautiful country.

Day 11 – 05.09.16 – MONDAY? 

aka yday aka ilegitdevenk what day of the week it is anymore lol:
Up early again
Trip to Lukang with some new university pals

Explored the markets and local sites
Ate some food, had lots of treats
Got to see a pilgrimage parade and somehow ended up in the middle of it
There was SO much smoke everywhere from burning incense sticks and candles 

Day 12 – 05.10.16 – TUESDAY?

Today marks our last full day in Taiwan. It’s medical Monday so we’re visiting the Medical Universities and getting good stuff for my project. We had a good bit of free time this afternoon so of course we went out to buy all the things, eat more food and drink more bubble tea, get lit – the usual at this point.

DAY 13 – 05.11.16 – WEDNESDAY?

We leave Taiwan today, which is sad but cool we get a layover in Tokyo, Japan. After a few hours in Tokyo, some really good sushi and saki we head out for our long plane ride back state side.

About a 5 hour layover in Chicago and this landing was a lot smoother than the last one! Special note on airline food: the vegetarian (Asian) option is so good and way better than the chow hall food back at campus. Been up for a total of 30 hours at least with a good amount of that just flying.

DAY 14 – 05.12.16 – THURSDAY? 

Officially home in the 412.

Mosquito count: 146 count! known/visible/have been itching up a storm lol
RT arm = 26 count
LF arm = 6 count
RT leg = 54 count (including 4 on my tattoo = so disrespectful)
LF leg = 60 count

I definitely felt safer walking around in Taiwan at 3am than I do walking down Penn Ave during the afternoon in Pittsburgh, PA. I was also pleased that only after a couple weeks I was starting to pick up some Chinese – I could recognize some characters, speak a few common phrases to get around and understand some of what was spoken to me. I do also note that it was a privilege to be able to go on this trip and I was so fortunate to have had this experience.




2016 Recap

A lot has happened this past year…

Academics and some Life: I graduated with my bachelor’s in exercise science now I have the fun task of finding a job – one that is hopefully relevant to my recent studies but also one that pays well and ideally that I enjoy. School isn’t the only change happening, soon I’ll be moving and am dealing with the fun of apartment hunting as well! I also spent the last 6 months cat sitting two kitties – they have now returned to their mom and my own two have adjusted to it being just us again lol!

Back in August I was hit by an SUV while riding my bike, resulting in the injury of my knees (primarily the LF) and some continuous on/off pain. I have been in recovery since then, working to re-gain my health as well as any strength, speed, or agility etc. that I had lost as a result. Overall I am pleased with my fitness levels at the end of 2016 and am just as impressed with my fitness levels considering my injuries.

Fitness: total miles ran = 202.37, total miles biked = 1504.48

  • Jan 89.94 miles running, 15.46 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Feb 25.28 miles running, 37.08 miles biking (7 out of 29 days – happy leap year)
  • March 28.01 miles running (3 out of 31 days)
  • April 126.7 miles biking (10 out of 30 days)
  • May 6.74 miles running, 328.17 miles biking (20 out of 31 days)
  • June 246.89 miles biking (23 out of 30 days)
  • July 435.88 miles biking (31 out of 31 days)
  • Aug 233.6 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Sept 6.4 miles running, 42 miles biking (6 out of 30 days)
  • Oct 13.13 miles biking (3 out of 31 days)
  • Nov 31.8 miles running, 9.06 miles biking (7 out of 30 days)
  • Dec 20.6 miles running, 16.51 miles biking (6 out of 31 days)

Final fitness check in for the year: Weight: 145# BF: 29%

Measurements: final inch count = 208.5, which is a total loss of 5″ from the start of the year and only 2.5″ more than end of 2015.

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 10″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Barbell Max Reps: I was able to regain and maintain baseline strength from before the accident

  • Bench Press: 95#
  • Bent Over Rows: 85#
  • Dead lift: 165#
  • Squat: 145# (a new PR! this was most surprising and amazing to hit since I had lost quite a bit of strength in this area)

Dumbbell Max Reps: likewise I was able to regain / maintain baseline strength from before the accident in these areas

  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machine Max Rep: same here as well

  • Leg Press: 270# (190.9# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle)
  • Leg Extension: 170#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 135#
  • Chest Press: 85#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 85#

Goals for 2017: 

  • Run first ultra marathon, starting with a 50k (31.06 miles)
  • Bike first century (100 miles)
  • Bike the Pittsburgh marathon course followed by running it
  • Finish another triathlon (this time completing the swimming portion)
  • Reach ideal race weight = bonus goal
  • In general; more trail bike rides and runs, mud runs
  • Bike the rails to trails PGH to DC tour (I’ve done DC to PGH)

Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:


  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#


  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press


  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list


  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

Frigid Bitch 2016

Way over due but here it is, deets on the Third Annual Frigid Bitch! Pittsburgh’s own alley cat bike race put together via our very own Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes leader, Anna Lena! This was my second time completing this race and it was colder and more frigid than last years with wind speeds of up to 25mph and roads covered in snow and ice.

 photo 6snowy bikes start_zpss6h7bk7p.jpg

This year was the real deal! We had 41 riders showed up this year. As per usual we rolled up at the House of Ragging Women; grabbed our cards, maps and manifestos and began plotting routes for completing the most checkpoints in the shortest amount of time.

spokecard and map


Just before the 2pm start mark we gathered up to listen to the rules:

  • 6 regular checkpoints,
  • 2 unmanned bonus checkpoints,
  • and 1 secret checkpoint only known by the Ricketts Boys @ the double intersections of Stanton and McCandles

Regular checkpoints were opened til 4; racers had til 5pm to get back to the HoRW. Winners were determined by who hit up the most checkpoints and got back the fastest. Even if riding with teams, on the last stretch back it was every woman for themselves! After that we toss on our gear and rolled out to the start line at Bruce St.

On the mark, the whistle was blown and we were off! At the end of the street we start to see groups splitting off, some turning right and continuing down to Butler St. while others split left after that right turn.

Rundown of the Checkpoints:

FB 2016 map

Screenshot 2016-06-19 18.52.42

FB elevation chart w grades

First checkpoint up for my group: we rode up to Penn Ave., crossed it then rode down to Liberty Ave. connecting to S Aiken then to the bottom of Negley at Fifth Ave. After which we had to climb Negley to finish this first checkpoint, no one was happy about this climb! I ended up having to delayer some at this point – I was really prepared this year!

Next stop for us was one of the bonus spots: The Rubble of the Greenfield Bridge at the end of Pocusset. On the way there I totally hit some ice and slid a couple feet, luckily I was padded with clothing and my pannier caught most of the fall but I did have to reset my seat and my light holder busted. Missing the pic with me in it but here’s part of my group. Quick whiskey and vodka break 😛 then we headed out to the next point.

Next up: Joncaire @ Boundary St. where we had to start from the bottom then ride uphill on cobblestone to Iron City Bikes in Oakland in order to complete the checkpoint. I rode up about half the way before I had to pop off and walk the rest the way up.

 photo group_zps9m83ry3d.jpg

Next stop: The Dead End of Romeo in South Oakland. It took our group a min to find this as we rode past the turning street and had to circle back.

Quick pause for some water, booze, and faux dogs on da grill after that we had to carry our bikes down the long staircase to Bates St. Here our group merged with some others and crossed paths with another going the opposite direction.

 photo bikepgh_zpsws2kvodt.jpg

 photo intersection wide_zpsbyn2e0dd.jpg

 photo alyssa_zpsuj1aoqmf.jpg

We then rode down Bates and popped over to the trail to downtown onto Grant St. It’s on the trail to town that I start to fall a bit behind, my smaller tires were not quite able to push through the fresh snow as fast as the others and by the time I got to the corner of Grant where the GLCC is located I lost sight of my group and noticed time was dwindling down. With only maybe 20-30 minutes left to either get over to the N Shore and N Side and get 1 or 2 more checkpoints but risk being late or head back with less checkpoints but on time, I made the decision to head back. I turned down Penn and rode back to the HoRW.

Check points I didn’t get to:

The Abandoned Barge on the North Shore Trail (marked with pink XXXs)

The Intersections of Stanton and McCandless – where the location of the secret checkpoint was revealed at which turned out to be Espresso A Mano on Butler St.

Commonplace Coffee at Buena Vista and Jacksonia over in the N Side

The other unmanned bonus checkpoint The Submarine at the Carnegie Science Center off the 3RHT

I was very glad that I decided to head back, I ended up being one of the first few back even though I didn’t hit up as many checkpoints as I would have liked (last year was against a smaller group and with less checkpoints so I was able to hit them all up and make it back in time). I still had a blast and met a lot of cool new friends. This year was also great because I lived closer to the start line and so when I got back I was able to head home, shower and put on clean, dry, warm clothes then head back over for the winner announcements, prizes and after party (so I def won there).

The Swag:

  • multiple Chrome bags
  • multiple tool rolls
  • a certificate for a pair of DZR shoes
  • a Surly women’s wool jersey
  • Analog Forest’s Sparkle Pony jersey
  • jerseys and shorts/bibs from Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, Aerotech
  • a 10 pack of spin classes from Steel Revolution
  • wind jackets
  • road shoes
  • a giant pile of comic books from Phantom of the Attic
  • lots of other goodies: locks, lights, computers, saddles, pumps, tires etc. from The Appalacian Bicycle Racing Association
  • lots of saddle bag and bells
  • a slew of handmade bikey candles from North Ave Candle company
  • Garbella garments and handmade pins
  • passes to the Wheel Mill
  • a pile of socks
  • a BikePGH membership in a bottle
  • $300 in gift certificates to Free Ride
  • winter gear
  • bike magazine subscriptions
  • many flasks
  • tons of toe clips and a helmet from Iron City Bikes
  • La Prima Espresso coffee
  • random fun stuff from the Mattress Factory
  • approx. a billion T Shirts and water bottles

Needless to say, regardless of where you placed, everyone went home with some swag!

My Swag:

Winners of this year’s Frigid Bitch:

Veteran Bitches:

This year was an absolute blast and I was so thrilled to see so many ladies that came out to race. Mad thanks to the volunteers who came out to support us with love, hand warmers, food and booze!

Additional footage:

CAB Take on Taiwan 2016: Preparations

In about 10 hours I’ll be heading out to the PGH Airport then in another 2 hours I will board a plane and begin my adventure to Taiwan. I’m super excited and grateful for this opportunity. Not only to visit and experience another country and their culture but to do so with some really good friends of mine. This opportunity is brought to you by Chatham University: study abroad program, special maymester edition. My group and I will be spending about 2 weeks in Taiwan!


April 28  4:15 AM: depart from Chatham chapel (shuttle bus to Pittsburgh International Airport); 5:15 AM: check in; 7 AM depart Pittsburgh airport (UA606 to San Francisco, UA871 to Taipei)

April 29 6:30 PM: arrive Taipei airport; ground transportation to Taipei Discover Hostel 台北發現青年旅舍!copy-of-/c1694 Address: 5F., No.21, Sec. 2, Mincyuan E. Rd., Jhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10470 Taiwan Tel: +886 2 2598 0209

April 30, May 1, 2: activities in Taipei and northern Taiwan

May 3: morning in Taipei, afternoon travel to Taichung; some will stay at Tunghai Land Youth House 東海藍學宿 (, others at T-Life Hostel T-Life Hostel / 踢‧生活背包客棧 (

Tunghai Youth Land: No. 17, Lane 25, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 972225217

T-LIfe: No. 10, Lane 27, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 989610980 Facebook:

May 4-10: activities at Tunghai, in Taichung, and in central Taiwan, including project report symposium with Tunghai University students

May 11 4 AM:  depart hostel; 8:45 AM depart Taipei airport (UA8744 to Tokyo, UA882 to Chicago, UA285 to Pittsburgh, arriving 11:44 PM)

While there we will be traveling along the northern/western part of Taiwan from T’aipei to T’aichung.


Travel light! 2 sets of everything + extra under garments.

  • 2 shorts
  • 2 pants
  • 2 tanks
  • 2 synthetic quick drying t’s
  • 1 Chatham shirt
  • 3 short-sleeved
  • 1 long-sleeved button ups
  • 2 sneakers
  • 2 flip flops (I’ll be wearing 1 pair)
  • 1 light-wt jacket
  • 1 towel + wash cloth
  • swim wear

Carry on essentials:

  • lots of snacks
  • reading materials
  • electronics + chargers
  • writing utensils
  • inflatable pillow
  • rain jacket
  • water bottle + camelbak (doubles as day pack)
  • mp3 player + earplugs
  • sunglasses

Weather Forecast:


Everything is light weight and mostly quick drying; it’ll be hot and we’ll be exploring a lot but we’re also expecting rain.

This trip is for college credit so we will each be completing a project while there and be  assigned a day to blog about.

You can follow here: which will be in more real time than I will be able to blog here.


That’s it for now …

See you on the other side!

Summer Camping Trip 2012

First camping trip, since I move to Pittsburgh, ever! This was a few years ago so I’m not exactly sure how this trip came to be but it def kicked off our camping adventures. Our first trip took us to Ohiopyle State Park.

On the first day some of our group went white water rafting while the rest stayed behind to set up camp and prep dinner. Our sites were pretty modern with outlets for electricity and either right next to or across from the wash rooms. A couple of our campers also came fully prepared with all kinds of modern fixings.

The second day we went on a nice nature hike, explored all the trails and enjoyed all the scenery and eating lots of delicious foods.