Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cherry Blossom Festival

This is another slightly belated post.  We visited the Cherry Blossom Festival at Gyeryongsan National Park on April 17.  It was another example of how nothing in this country can ever be easy, but, at the end of the day you always walk away saying, “That was a really cool day!”  And this one definitely was.


Gyeryongsan can be a bit tricky to get to so we decided to take the subway to the National Cemetery and catch the bus from there for the rest of the trip.  Once we reached the bus stop we waited about thirty minutes for the bus which eventually drove straight passed us.  It was too full to stop and wouldn’t let anyone else on.  Apparently we weren’t the only ones going to the festival that day.  Argh.  (And thank you to a random Korean woman who recognized that this little group of foreigners couldn’t understand the announcements being made and translated for us.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nonsan Strawberry Festival

I actually went to this on April 9th.  I got a tad behind with the whole broken computer situation.  Sorry.


Maggie invited us all out to her little town of Nonsan for the annual Strawberry Festival.  Her and her co-teacher, Bomi, would be our tour guides for the day.  This has happened so long ago that most of it will be far more pictures than an actual narrative, which might be a nice change of pace for you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Snow Flower Festival

Yesterday we went to the Snow Flower Festival in Yuseong Spa, which is a beautiful upscale part of Daejeon.  It poured rain almost all day but that didn’t stop us.  Kate came up from Gwangju and Maggie and Bomi came up from Nonsan, which is only about 20 minutes outside of Daejeon. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Masai Barefoot Marathon

Nothing in this country ever seems to be easy but it always makes a hysterically good story afterwards.  I guess that’s all that matters in the end.

About a month and a half ago I found out about the Masai Barefoot Marathon and thought it sounded so cool!  It’s not a real marathon, it’s only 7km, but it’s up a mountain and (surprise!) you walk the whole thing barefoot.  How fun is that?  The purpose of the Barefoot Festa 2011 is to remind people about living in harmony with nature but also to learn about all the health benefits associated with walking barefoot.  I’m a believer.  Given all the feet problems that I have I had a bit of anxiety about walking 7 km barefoot (up a mountain), but my feet didn’t hurt at all afterwards!  (And that’s a big deal for me since I have two busted feet!)

Honestly though, I was sold by the marketing video.  Sadly, I’m not smart enough to know how to pull it from their website to post here so you will have to go to the actual website.  You might get a Korean pop-up on the left, just scroll down and click the “X” in the bottom right corner.  The video should start automatically.

My Temporary Home

Here’s a video that my blog-friend, Renee, posted. It’s by a gentleman named David Dutton and is amazingly well choreographed.  It shows so many different sides of the Korean culture and what the country has to offer. I would say probably the first two minutes of this video are taken in Daejeon as well as possibly some images towards the end.  I love my little city.  The red and blue bridge is the Expo Park bridge semi-near my apartment and has been seen previously in the blog for Trisha’s birthday.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do.  Korea has been a wonderful home to me the last seven months.  The country, the people, and even the food have earned a very special place in my heart. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Life

Me:              “What is transportation?”

Student #1:   “Potato chips?

Me:               “ No, traaaans-pooooor-taaaaa-tion.”

Student #1:    “I like potato chips.”

Student #2:     “I like corn chips.”

Student #1:      “High 5!”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Allison’s Last Day in Korea…

Was pretty uneventful.

We took the earliest hotel shuttle back to Itaewon for last minute purchases and gifts for those at home. We did a little exploring and ran into a Children’s Day Festival. (Korea also celebrates Parent’s Day and Teacher’s Day in May.)  I’m not sure if the lanterns were in celebration of Children’s Day or the upcoming Lantern Festival but I thought they were really pretty either way. 

(PS. I didn’t get any pictures of the lantern’s hung for the festival in Daejeon so these will have to suffice for your Lantern Festival blog as well.)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Seoul – Day Two

For our second day in Seoul we had a full schedule planned.  The hotel had a shuttle that took us through Seoul which was a huge help.  We started out in Itaewon for a late breakfast/early lunch at the highly recommended All-American Diner, aka Richard Copycats.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Seoul Tower

When in Seoul we stayed at the Grand Hilton.  It was absolutely gorgeous and they took amazing care of us.  It was in the mountains in the Northwest part of Seoul and our room had an amazing view.  It was seated on a mountain so they conveniently had a courtesy van sitting at the hotel entrance waiting for new arrivals to drive us (and all of our luggage!) up to the hotel for check-in.  Good idea Hilton!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Adventures in Seoul Part 1

I label this Part 1 because I am almost certain there will be many more adventures in the next 48 hours.

So I, Amy, had the task of getting Allison and myself to Seoul and to our hotel with absolutely no hiccups.  If this was New York I could probably manage that without any major problems, however, this is not New York.  This is the size and population of New York but in a whole other world. And I’m hugely intimidated by Seoul… but I didn’t tell Allison that.  I called the Hilton in Seoul in advance of our trip to find out the best way to get there from Seoul Station and I felt very comfortable with the directions I was given.  Tuesday morning we dropped Charlie off at Camp Lee Ann and headed off to the train station.

Last Day in Daejeon

Monday was a quiet day as we spent most of our time planning our Seoul trip.  We did head out for lunch and dinner.

For lunch we went to Sinpo Woori (Always Happy) and dinner was at Garten which is a Soju and Hof restaurant. I also want to point out it said “Family Restaurant” on the sign, but it was mainly business men enjoying bottle after bottle of soju.  There was even a drinking game built into the tables.

Allison & Dr Fish

This video needs no introduction.  Just watch it.

Sushi & The City

Sunday evening after old downtown (and after fake naps at Amy’s apartment) the three of us met up with Karissa and headed to California Roll down the street for dinner.  This is Amy’s favorite place for sushi.  Now that I am a master with chopsticks, I had to try out my new talent with sushi.

Here are a couple pictures of our order being made.  We had a California roll, dragon roll and tempura.  Being the adventurous person I am (insert sarcasm), I went out of my box and tried the eel.  I smothered it in wasabi, so it didn’t taste so bad.  I actually had two.

Sunday In Daejeon

Sunday we met with Marisol to go see old downtown.  (I live in new downtown.)


First we took Allison to a Korean market (above), then headed into the heart of downtown (below).

We did it again…

A bit delayed on this post but we went out again on Saturday night.  We met up with Emily and some of her friends.  It was another night at Yellow Taxi followed up Noraebang.  Here are some pictures.  These are the good ones…the rest were a little rough due to it being our second late night out. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Korean BBQ

The following is written by Allison.  Be nice, it’s my first blog ever.  Amy is sleeping, so I’m taking over.

Saturday night we had dinner at a new Korean BBQ place across the street from Amy’s apartment.  It’s the traditional take your shoes off and sit on the floor kind of place.  And it was delicious!  (Are you noticing a recurring theme here??  Korean food is fantastic!  Well, most of it.)  (Amy wrote this paragraph before passing the torch to me!)