“The third time’s the charm” - My Family Travels

            I have been to Taiwan a total of three times, but each experience has been unlike the others. My first two trips were when I was younger, so I was not able to grasp the culture. When the plane landed, it was as if I had never been there before.

             My most memorable trip was during summer 2007. We flew back to Taiwan for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. Taipei filled our schedule up the first few days. There were tons of shopping and night markets to explore. I love shopping and Taipei did not disappoint me.

            We took a train from Taipei, the capital, to Hualien, my favorite city in the world. During the train ride, my three siblings and I were bored out of our minds. We tried napping, but it didn’t work. I nudged one of my brothers, Jason, and started telling him a story of an adopted boy. I told Jason the boy in the story was him, and that his real name was Bradley Wu. I will never forget the look on his face. As mean as I was, I do not regret it. Eventually, I told him I was kidding. He was hesitant to believe anything I said for quite some time after that happened. Now, Bradley Wu has become our inside joke.
            Time passed and finally, we reached our destination. Our first stop after a day of rest was Taruko Gorge. Never have I visited a place so magnificent and glorious. Taruko Gorge made me breathless. There were rapid waterfalls and the greenest mountains. The only thing that was missing was a sunset.
            We stopped for ice cream and gazed at our surroundings. I couldn’t believe a place like Taruko Gorge existed. It seemed as if I was living in a dream.
            The day after, we went to Hualien Far Glory Ocean Park. On the way to the sea lion show, my mom fainted on the stair case. The heat was unbelievable. My dad took my mom to first aid, and told the rest of us to watch the show. The entire time my siblings and I were worried. After we watched the dolphins, my mother joined us to watch the sea lion show. She felt much better after resting in the shade. Later, my sister Jackie and I stood in line to pet dolphins. The photographer helped us take photos, and all of a sudden, the dolphins splashed us. Jackie and I were soaked from head to toe. My family laughed at us.
            We took the train to Tainan, my grandparents’ hometown. The birthday celebration included more than one hundred family members and guests. I didn’t even recognize half of them. We took picture after picture of everyone. My dad was happy he could see his parents enjoying the evening. As people started leaving, Jason lightened the mood by jamming to some karaoke.
            Before we knew it, the day ended. Time was inescapable, and our trip was almost over. The two week vacation was too short, and I wasn’t ready to depart when the day came. As we said out good-byes, I knew I would come back to Taiwan again.

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