After spending one night in LA, I boarded the charter flight to Taiwan this morning. Or was that yesterday? Maybe it was even two days ago considering how long it felt. But regardless, after a 14.5 hour flight, we finally touched down in Taipei, Taiwan! The plane we flew on was the largest plane I’ve ever seen. It had two sections of first class along with two sections of coach. We were able to sit wherever we wanted to, even lay down on the floor to sleep which some people took advantage of. All in all, the flight was as quick as 14.5 hours could be.
When we first got off the plane in Taiwan, we were greeted with hundreds, maybe thousands of Taiwanese baseball fans seeking an autograph or even a high five from their favorite players. As we walked through the airport and through customs, we had photos taken of us the entire walk. It was a pretty awesome experience to say the least.
When we got to our buses parked outside, we had a police escort bring us to our hotel which is right across the street from Taiwan’s most famous building, Taipei 101. Tonight I’ll be resting the feathers after a long journey across the world, but tomorrow is training day and we’ll all be heading over to Hsin Chuang Baseball Stadium in the afternoon. I hope to get some better pictures to share with you tomorrow, but for now, have a look at a few pics I was able to snap on our way over here.
I’m here in LA, spending one night before heading to Taiwan tomorrow morning around 10:30 am West Coast time. I must say I have seen a few too many Angels and Dodgers hats while here, but I did see one Curly W hat which made my day! As I was unpacking some of my uniforms, hats, wristbands and bowling balls, I found something inside that I didn’t pack. Teddy, did you have anything to do with this image below??? Actually, it’s a silly question, of course you did. I told you that the plane didn’t have enough room to fit you, but you insisted you come anyway. Well, it looks like I’m bringing you along after all. Not the actual you, just plush doll you.
It’s been quite some time since I last wrote a blog post, but there is no better time to restart than now! As I’m sure you have already heard, I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to travel to Taiwan with a team of MLB All-Stars for the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series the first week of November. I plan on updating my blog many times while over seas to let you all know where we are at, what we are up to, and any random experiences I feel like sharing with you!
This morning I was fortunate enough to visit with the Ambassador of Taiwan, Jason Yuan and his wife, Mrs. Maggie Yuan at the Twin Oaks Estate in NW DC. The Ambassador and his office were so welcoming that it made me even more excited for the trip. Ambassador Yuan taught me how to whistle in Mandarin, and showed me pictures of various cities such as Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. He also explained to me certain cultural differences as well as teaching me how to use chopsticks (very difficult with only four fingers and wings)! After the personal lesson we dined on a traditional Taiwanese lunch. Needless to say, I did NOT eat like a bird. The food was delicious, and I ate plenty of it!
Thanks again to everybody at the TECRO for the great hospitality you showed me! I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with all of you as I am in Taiwan next week. There will be plenty more updates to follow this one!