Yesterday I slept in pretty late and while I was sleeping Jon played a computer game that he found. When we finally got up and left we decided to skip breakfast and go straight for lunch. We got some potstickers and this was probably the first time that Jon said he was kind of ready to be back in America because he didn't know if he was supposed to give the waitress the paper with our order on it or wait for her to come get it. He ended up giving it to her but he thinks that might have been wrong. After lunch we got on the train and went to the Taipei zoo. I absolutely loved it! We had fun taking pictures with some of the crazy statues that were in the zoo.
The first animals we saw in the zoo were the ones that were indigenous to Taiwan. We saw some wild boars, deer-like things, little jungle cats, and rodents, but the coolest things in this section were the monkeys. Some of them were playing king of the branch- one monkey would climb up on these branches and then one of two other monkeys would climb up and try to wrestle all the other monkeys off the branch. Some monkeys were picking at the other monkeys and eating the bugs they found. One of the most interesting things was a kid had some bubbles and had been blowing them and the wind blew one all the way to where the monkeys were and one monkey stuck out his hand to catch the bubble and it popped and the monkey seemed so confused about where it had gone. It was interesting to see how the monkey interacted with the bubble. After the Taiwanese animals we went to the insect house. One of the coolest parts of this building were the rooms with butterflies flying around. When we got into the first of these rooms there was this Taiwanese lady jabbering away and pointing to these two butterflies that were obviously mating while hanging on to a branch. The lady then started shaking the branch and was confused as to why they were flying away. Jon told me she was saying things like "what are they doing?" and "are they sleeping?" Really? They were obviously connected at the butt with some white goop... anyway moving on. The butterflies were really cool and were flying around and eating fruit and stuff. After we left the room there was a group of girls pointing at a butterfly that had escaped from the room. Jon was able to catch it and take it back into the butterfly room. This is him letting it free (it kind of flew at his face after he opened his hands so he is making a pretty good face).
Most of the other stuff in the insect place was kind of icky and insect like, but this is Jon with his head in a bubble that made it so you could get a closer look at some crickets. He tried to get me to go in there before he went in because he didn't see the crickets, but I saw them and didn't want my face that close to them even if it was behind plastic.
After the bug place we went into the panda house and saw some cute pandas. The first one was sleeping and this one was rolling around on its back and scratching its tummy with its back legs.
After this I can't remember exactly what we saw next but I will just mention all the different things we saw. We went to a really cool nocturnal animal house where they had trained the animals to think that the day was night and the night was day so that we could see the animals when they were awake. There were some adorable little owls (half of the owls I saw I would think of what Hogwarts student had that type of owl. The little ones were like the owl Ron gets later in the books pigwidgeon. Wow I'm a nerd.). We saw some bigger owls eating mice and we saw a little cat thing eating a whole rat. We saw some sugar gliders and other little nocturnal squirrel like things. I kind of think the little owls were one of my favorite things we saw at this zoo. After the nocturnal place we saw the Australian animals (kangaroos and other marsupials along with some big horned ibex thing), Asian animals (we saw some Asian elephants that looked like they were dancing and I think this is where we saw the tiger. The tiger was right up next to the window so that was really cool), the desert animals (pretty much just some big camels), and then the African animals. The African animals were pretty cool because not only did we get to see giraffes eating and lion cubs playing we got to see elephants from really close up. I think this was Jon's favorite part. He was very excited that we were going to see the elephants and kept asking when we were going to get to them. Also by this time he was getting kind of tired so I think seeing the elephants re-energized him a bit.
After the african animals we went to the amphibian and reptile house. We saw some snakes and lizards and frogs and stuff that were pretty cool. As we were in there the lady came around saying that they were closing and to hurry through. I didn't realize that the zoo closed at 5 and it was a little before 5 so we tried to hurry to go up to the penguin house, but we didn't make it before 5 so I had to be happy with a statue of a penguin.
We then walked down from the top of the zoo back to the exit. I probably wouldn't have mosied as long at some things if I knew the zoo closed at 5 and it was nearing closing time. I had a lot of fun at the zoo even though we didn't get to see all of it. We had someone take this picture of us in front of the zoo after we got out. I didn't mention this before but it was raining pretty hard off and on at the zoo so that is why we are looking a little soggy in some of the pictures.
After the zoo we had some dinner at McDonalds (I will probably not be losing weight on this trip if I keep eating McDonalds) and then we went on the Maokong Gondola. Jon wanted to go in the gondolas because he never went on them when he was here before so we did.
We had a good view from the gondolas because we were going up a mountain. This picture has Taipei 101 in the background (almost every time we see Taipei 101 now we say "another great place to view Taipei 101" because the audio guide we took there kept pointing out great locations to view Taipei 101 from).
It was kind of scary riding the gondola because it would have been a long way down if something broke and we fell. It didn't help to abate these fears that Lloyd had told us that a year or so ago some people died because there was a typhoon and some of the gondola cars broke off. Luckily I didn't feel too unsafe, but I did pick out the place that I did not want to fall the most. The trip up to the top of the gondola took about 45 minutes and when we got there we got off and had no idea what to do in Maokong. There were some hiking trails and there was a tea place, but it was a little late for hiking and the tea place didn't sound too great either so we wandered around for a few minutes and then got back on the gondola. When we rode down it was getting dark so we were able to see the view at night and that was pretty cool.
When we got to the bottom of the gondola we got off and saw signs pointing to the dancing waters, so we decided to check it out. It was 7 when we got off the gondola (I knew this because there was a clock thing that was playing some crazy music and had some dancing animals on it) and we sat by the fountains for about 15 minutes when we found out that the fountains do their little shows every hour on the half hour. We decide that we would wait and it was pretty cool. There was music and lights and dancing water- What more could you want? There were, I think, three songs that the waters danced to. I can't remember what the first one was but I think it was a classical piece and then the second one was The Swan and the last one was some asian one with singing. I took a video during the last song. This is my first video that i've posted to the blog so I hope it works.
I had a pretty smart moment while watching the fountains- Jon said that his favorite parts of the fountain were the ones that spun and I said that those reminded me of sprinklers and then I looked at the other parts of the fountain and said "actually a lot of them remind me of sprinklers." After the dancing waters we went back to Lloyd's and he took us to go get foot massages from blind/mostly blind people. This massage hurt like crazy. The part of the massage that felt the best was when it stopped. I was trying to relax because they told me it wouldn't hurt so bad if I relaxed, but it wasn't true it hurt just as bad. I guess there were a few parts that didn't hurt and felt pretty good but overall it was a pretty painful experience. We then came home and I watched Jon try to beat the game he had started playing that morning. I showered and got ready for bed and Jon still hadn't beaten it so I went to bed. This morning I had some crazy dreams that I was in the hunger games and all the other tributes were from my elementary school and the arena was at a playground/park. It was a very bizarre dream. I think that today we are going to some place that is supposed to be very beautiful and has a lake with paddle boats should be exciting.