The Lighthouse

This is officially one of my favorite travel stories now.

We were on our way back from Yilan to Taipei, and the plan was to make sight-seeing pit-stops along the way, similar to how our driver made stops along the way from Taipei to Yilan.

Our driver is a really nice uncle, who not only drove us around but also planned our route and recommended what to see or eat.

When we left our homestay in Yilan, the first stop was an hour’s drive to a lighthouse. I don’t remember what our driver said about the lighthouse anymore, but it probably had a really good view of the ocean.. or something along those lines.

It was a Saturday in the middle of December, and THE coldest day in Taipei according to weather reports.

It was raining when we got there. We decided to still get out of the car, so we could take a bathroom break and probably take a quick look around. We got the girls all zipped up with their hoodies on. The bathroom looked like a very manageable 30 steps away from the carpark.

The minute we got out of the car, armed with an umbrella no less, the umbrella was blown out of whack by the wind, and nearly dragging me along. It wasn’t just raining; the wind was blowing so hard at us and it was so cold my teeth was chattering and I could feel the girls shivering.

“Oh my goodness, it’s so cold Mummy!” The girls exclaimed.

We had to make a run for the bathroom.

“Let’s go! Be careful, girls! The floor is wet!” I raised my voice above the howling wind.

“Ok everyone! Don’t panick ok! I repeat, don’t panick!” Allie shouted as she ran, her hand in mine but her feet and shoes stepping into puddles and puddles of water.

Clarissa was just laughing and exclaiming “oh my goodness!” and running along.

We got to the bathroom, and it was another hilarious affair trying to navigate a squat toilet with 2 girls wearing 3-4 layers of clothes and doing my best not to get any pee onto anything or anyone.

When we were done with our business, our driver walked us somewhere to snap a few photos before we ran back to the car.

“Everyone don’t panick!” Allie shouted again and we all laughed.

This was everyone’s state when we got back into the safety and calmness of the car.

“This is so fun!” Clarissa said, still laughing and panting from the run. “Can we do it again?”

“No,” came the answer from her Daddy in the passenger seat.

We drove off to our next destination, now in search of food.

Somewhere in 十分, where the food was so-so but the girls ate so much, ravenous after our adventure.

We received some photos from our driver some time later in the day, and I realised..

I didn’t see the lighthouse at all.

I mean, I don’t remember looking at it.

I’m not sure who’s looking at the camera? 😂
At this point we were all shivering and getting ready to sprint back into the car.

I think back to this experience with a lot of fondness and it’s a story I foresee myself telling the girls again and again.

I love how the girls find fun and adventure, even in the most inconvenient situations, and how enthusiastic our driver is to show us what he thinks is a must-visit spot.

I love how hilarious and chaotic the situation was, with the rain, the broken umbrella, the crazy strong wind, the puddles of water Allie stepped into and the ones Clarissa tried her best to avoid, our very wet shoes and feet, and our wet hair, because the wind blew our hoodies off.

I love how we held hands and ran, and how we laughed and laughed and laughed through it all, in spite of the ridiculous mess we were in.

I love how I had no recollection of seeing the lighthouse, but remembered to take this photo of Allie, who shouted “Everyone don’t panick!” but confessed to me later on that, “Actually I panicked a bit. I was very scared that the wind would blow me away.”

Sometimes, a good family vacation, or any vacation, is not about the magnificence of the lighthouse, or whatever architecture or scenery we get to see, but how we experience the journey with an open mind and a light heart, filled with belly laughs. ❤