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During our stay in Taipei, we stayed at the AMBA Hotel.  It’s a really hip, urban & minimalist hotel located in the very popular 西門町 (Ximending) neighborhood on the west side of the city.  For me, this hotel was the best in terms of amenities, service, location, proximity to public transportation, etc.  I love being smack-dab in the heart of the bustling downtown area of any city, so this hotel was perfect for my taste.  One might think that the hotel may be quite noisy, since it is in the middle of such a busy neighborhood, but to be honest, I couldn’t really hear much outside noise from my hotel room on the 9th floor.  I was planning on taking a ton of pictures of the hotel (& my room) while I was staying at AMBA, but I got so busy with my friends & kept pushing it aside until the last day.   Then on the last day, I just happened to catch a bug of some sort & got really sick.  Luckily the illness only cost me one and a half days of vacation time.  These are the few pictures we took of the hotel…

  1. When you walk into the lobby on the 5th floor, as soon as you exit the elevators you are greeted by a large Tofu-Oyako mural hand-painted by the DevilRobots team.
  2. On the other side of the lobby, facing opposite of the front desk reception booth is the dining area & cafe complete with a hip coffee bar.
  3. Also in the middle of the lobby, under the atrium skylight is the community seats where you can eat your meal from the dining cafe.
  4. Near the elevators is another hand-painted mural of the Ximending skyline.
  5. Next to the Tofu-Oyako mural was this big “5” sculpture, which I assume is for the 5-year anniversary of the hotel (?).
  6. I completely forgot to take pictures of our room, so I borrowed one of my friend’s photos to show a sample of the sleeping area.  The rooms are quite compact, but still highly functional.
  7. There is always a valet at the ground floor elevators to escort you to the lobby on the 5th floor or to help you with directions.
  8. Also on the ground floor was a bakery with outdoor bench seats & patio tables.
  9. The bakery served lots of sweet treats (such as cupcakes, New York style cheesecake, etc.).
  10. In the morning, we would always converge with our friends at the bakery.
  11. There was a really cool 3D moving art piece in the lobby, right next to the lounge.
  12. Speaking of the lounge (Legacy), my husband & I had a few drinks there one night.
  13. The lounge had a swanky, modern, urban vibe.  The lounge often hosted many live performances on the stage.  The backdrop of the stage was covered in denim fabric.
  14. There were many types of hip sofa seats & plush couches scattered about the lounge.
  15. One of the walls were covered in stereo speakers & amplifiers.  This was one of the coolest art installations I’ve ever seen.
  16. Finishing off the night with a “Whisky Old Fashioned” cocktail.

Since I didn’t get to take any pictures of our hotel room, I made a little mock-up drawing of our room layout:

Please excuse my poor drawing skills.

Please excuse my poor drawing skills.

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Being such a fan of Summer, I never thought I would ever say this, but I am really enjoying the cold weather we’ve been experiencing lately. Well, I’m not happy about all of the horrific (& unfortunate) traffic accidents. My well wishes go out to the people involved in all the snow-related car pile-ups on the road.

However… On a happier note, I am quite enjoying this frigid weather. In the city where I live, the Summer weather tends to trail off by late September to early October, but this year it stayed warm all the way up until the end of October, & I was starting to worry a bit. When was Autumn/Winter going to arrive? (I’m not going to ramble on-&-on about global warming.)

Ahh… Winter has arrived! The weather has been in the 30s, 40s & 50s (Fahrenheit) for the past few weeks, & I quite like the change from the warm-ish climate of the Summer. Since Christimas is coming up very soon, & that’s my favorite holiday of the year, this blustery cold front really enhances the mood/feeling of the holiday season!

I used to dislike cold weather when I was much younger. Winter weather always brought upon extremely dry, itchy skin & allergies galore. The itchy skin was the worst! No matter how much I scratched & applied lotion, it just wouldn’t stop itching. Then, having to peel away all the layers of clothes just to scratch that hard-to-reach spot on my back would drive me nuts!! Thinking back on those times is practically making my skin itch right now. I have since then developed a skincare routine for my itchy skin & a method to fight off my nagging allergies. Now I am ready to take on Jack Frost!! (Ha ha.)

Not wanting to over-explain my story here (too late), I have made up a short list on why I think this Winter weather is awesome.

01. Wearing warm & cute scarves (& thick thermal socks too!)
02. Shopping for new sweaters
03. Sitting by the fireplace (w/ family & friends of course)
04. Curling up under a thick blanket
05. Sipping hot drinks (e.g. coffee, tea, hot toddy)
06. Wearing a puffy down jacket, which makes me look like the Michelin Tires character
07. Dressing up my husband with cool beanie caps & hats

Cheers to staying warm & safe in this cold weather.

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