Home for the Holidays: Grand Hyatt Taipei King Suite Review

We spent our five nights in Taipei at the Grand Hyatt Taipei which is conveniently located outside of Taipei 101. I used a Diamond suite upgrade to confirm into a King Suite that I had booked with cash and points (6000 points + $75 USD), which was great for us as a family. Not only did we get more space but it gave us club access. Overall we had an amazing stay at the Grand Hyatt Taipei (which has just completed renovations and has moved up one category, 3 => 4, in 2015). King Suite Review We got to the hotel after midnight so check-in was a breeze. The king suite is probably the second nicest room we stayed in this year after the overwater villa in Bora Bora. The [...]

Home for the Holidays: Eating in Taipei

I was a bit sad we didn't get to eat as much as we had hoped in Taiwan. Don't get me wrong, we ate often and we ate well, but dealing with a toddler's needs always trumped our desires to get where we wanted to go to eat. We didn't even make it to a night market! Still, much of the stuff we ate trumps any of the Chinese/Asian food we can get here in the States. Think of this post as part trip report, part food guide for parents of toddlers who are in Taipei but can't get out too far! Our Most Frequented Locale: Taipei 101 Food Court We spent way too much time eating at the Taipei 101 Food Court, much to our chagrin, but a lot [...]

Five Reasons to Travel with a Toddler

Our trip to Asia is winding down, but before we go I've been reflecting a bit about whether it was worth all the trouble dragging our about to be 2-year old halfway around the world. It hasn't been easy and we've never been out past 9 PM (which is like the opposite of what one would usually do in Hong Kong or Taiwan). At some point in Taipei Jess asked me if knowing what I know now, I'd take this trip again. I'm happy to say that now my answer is a definitive yes. Here are my personal reasons why. 1. Problem solving is fun for me Although you might have an impression of me as a problem creator (guilty), I enjoy problem solving which takes up about 80% of [...]

Dealing with Mishaps While Traveling

This may be a banner trip in terms of screw-ups for Jess and me. I recognize that I am prone to mishaps (that sometimes result in sprinting across a tarmac in Tahiti), but I'd say M's toddler-hood is really kicking things into overdrive. Things started at the Star Alliance Lounge when we were waiting for our flight to Taipei. We thought M had gone #2, and after drawing straws to see who would change her, I prepared to take her to the bathroom. "Hey, where are the wipes?" "I thought you packed them?" "I thought you packed them?" "................................." Check that, this happened towards the beginning of our EVA Air flight. I know this because we both decided we were screwed because there was no way of procuring butt wipes. Luckily, [...]

Home for the Holidays: Visiting the Taipei Zoo

We were pretty swamped with meeting up with relatives, so in our four days in Taipei we only managed to do one kid friendly activity. Luckily, it was a good (and inexpensive one), one I think all parents visiting Taipei should consider - the zoo! Getting There Getting to the zoo is a piece of cake. It is a terminus for the Wenhu line on the very easy to navigate MRT. It was about a 40 minute trip from the Grand Hyatt Taipei involving one transfer. Once you get to the Taipei Zoo station, it's a short walk to the zoo itself. On the outside of the zoo there are various photo opportunities. Tickets to the zoo are ridiculously inexpensive. Seriously, what kind of taxes do the Taiwanese pay!? Admission [...]

Home for the Holidays: Using Public Transportation in Taiwan with a Toddler

This post is in small part trip report and in large part informational. Public transportation in Taiwan is cheap, easy, and fairly straightforward - even when your kid is having a rough time. And regardless of how they're feeling, Taiwan is super kid friendly and their public transportation system reflects that. Here are some quick tips for getting around. Using the MRT (Subway) Taipei's subway system is called the MRT, and it's very well designed. Not only can it get you almost all the places you'd like to go in Taipei (and beyond), it's very intuitive, signed clearly in both Chinese and English, AND makes announcements in English, Mandarin, and other languages that I thought were Cantonese but were actually Taiwanese and Hakka. Now I'm appreciative of our public transportation [...]

Dealing with a Jet Lagged Toddler

I wish I had the answers, but I don't. Although we managed to handle the long flights to Asia without too much issue, jet lag has definitely been kicking our butts. Here are some of my random thoughts after the past 72 hours - delirious ones, I might add. 1. A toddler compounds all of your own personal jet lag issues This is pretty "duh" as far as thoughts go, but this is even clearer to me now that I've seen it in action. I should add the corollary that your personal jet lag issues compound that of your toddlers. Mine, at least. Example - when any of the three of us wakes up at night, generally at least one if not both of the others will wake up. Case [...]