Monday, March 29, 2010

Boseong

Boseong has the greatest concentration of green tea in Korea and produces over a third of South Korea's green tea. In the 1930's, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, they found that Boseong was the best place for growing and harvesting green tea. Anthony and I decided to go to the Daehan Plantation. It is the largest and most commercialized plantation. We had such a relaxing afternoon.

The fields went on for acres and climbed the hills in perfect waves. It was an overcast day so the green colors of the plants weren't as prominent as we had hoped, but it was still beautiful and unlike anything we have ever seen. One thing that I found interesting is that the tea plants didn't have a distinct "green tea" smell. They really were like plain, front yard, shrubs. We had a green tea latte and green tea ice cream after walking around the plantation for about an hour.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Spring is coming soon, so Anthony and I took a little get away weekend to Busan and visited the most famous beach in Korea, Haeundae. We were exited to see that there was a huge festival for the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The music, costumes, bon fire, and dozens of kites set the mood for a great afternoon. Since it was the first 60° day, we relaxed on the beach and flew our own kite all afternoon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yes, Yes, it has almost been 3 months since I have writen about our travels! Since December we have been to Japan and back, celebrated 2010 in Seoul with Anthony's mom and dad, seen the biggest blizzard in Korea in 60 years, and visited many cities here in Korea. We can feel spring coming and are so ready for sunshine and warm weather. Korea is famous for cherry blossoms, Camilias and Azaleas in the spring and there are dozens of festivals to celebrate how beautiful everything is!

Let's start with the pictures from Japan:



This is our first night in Tokyo! Our hostel was perfect and a great experience to spend the night in a place less than 5 feet wide. I love this pitcure!

Our first meal: tempura shrimp and veggies, sushi, rice and tempura sweet potato. It was delicious and followed by a Christmas Cupcake. We ate in a great area of Tokyo called Shibuya. There are millions of people everyday that shop and walk around this area. It was amazing to see the amounts of people at 10:00 at night.

This is taken at the Shinjuku Goyen National Garden in Tokyo. We spent the afternoon on our first full day walking around this beautiful place. It was our first Christmas Eve together and it was so unexpected to be spending it in a place as wonderful as this. When we got back to the hotel we started our first Christmas tradition of having prosciutto and cheese crackers with a great glass of Cabernet.
On Christmas Day at our beautiful hotel, the Intercontinental. We were heading to mass at the church that Anthony found. It was a great day. We went to the Sony building and looked at the electronics, went ice skating and had a delicious dinner at an oyster house. It was the first place I had been where a single Oyster could cost upwards of $20! I had duck and Anthony had fish :)
After taking the train to Kyoto we ended up at our great guest house. It was a very traditional Japanese house and we loved our stay there. We had bunk beds so it was kind of a camping type feel which as actually pretty fun. Kyoto is know as the ancient capital of Japan. While in Kyoto we visited this temple. It is called Kiyomizu Dera Temple and was in the running not long ago to be in the 7 wonders of the world. It was really awesome and encompassed what you imagine of old Japan.

This is the Golden Pavilion and is painted entirely of gold leaf paint. It was also in Kyoto. We really enjoyed seeing the moss gardens here.
Hands down one of the coolest experiences of the trip. This was a Buddhist passageway that went on for miles and miles and we hiked about as much as we could which took about 2.5 hours. As we went up the mountain there were dozens of shrines protected by fox statues and candles. Every so often we'd hear a gong ring at one of the shrines. It seemed like we were in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!

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Back in Seoul to see Jay and Annalisa on December 29:

This is my absolute favorite first family picture! This picture is taken at one of Anthony and my favorite places in Seoul, although it was very different during the bitter cold of the northern Korean winter. The almost 0° weather was unbarable so we headed in quickly for dinner and drinks. The river is called Cheonggye stream. Seoul has become one of our favorite place to go because there is so much to do and see.
This is North Korea! It was a once in a life time experience and we both really enjoyed doing it with Anthony's mom and dad.

We have a favorite Korean Bar-B-Q restaurant in Yeosu where we decided to take Jay and Annalisa on our first night in Yeosu. The have mostly Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) which is thickly cut pork. It's not my favorite, but the guys really like it. The big vacuum like contraption you see sucks up the smoke so that you don't smell bad when you leave. Its a nice addition.

Anthony and Jay were being adventuresome when we went to Odongdo. This picture is taken at the Dragon Cave on the Island. It was a pretty calm day so you could see back into the cave, but there wasn't a way back up once you went down so we all stayed on the cliff side. This was our last day in Yeosu before they left. It was a perfect visit and a great end to our winter vacation. Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul and back to Yeosu!




Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Korean Style




It's hard to believe that Christmas is here. The last 3 months have gone by so fast. It has been a whirl wind for us. We have been traveling almost every weekend and our trips have included a trip to Seoul, a trip to Busan to go to the aquarium and Haeundae beach, and a day trip to Gwangju where Anthony took me to see Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D IMAX. We have had a lot of fun in the last few weeks all leading up to our first big trip since we got here. Next Wednesday we leave for Japan for seven days. Our first stop will be Tokyo for 3 days. While we are there we plan to see:

  • The Sumo museum
  • Sony HQ
  • Harajuku
  • The Imperial Palace Gardens
and tons of other things. It will also be a perfect place to visit during Christmas because we found a English Christmas day mass and we are going to go ice skating. Next we will go to Kyoto for three days. We have lots of things planned in Kyoto as well. I think we are equally looking forward to everything in Kyoto. It is the ancient capital city of Japan so there will be lots of pagodas and this if one of the last places in Japan that has Geisha Tea Houses. It will be an amazing trip. When we get back to Korea we will fly into Seoul where Anthony's parents will be. We are excited to spend New Years with them in Seoul. The big tradition in Seoul is to ring this huge bell 33 times. I think it is more like a gong. It should be interesting.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It will be difficult not seeing everyone during the holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Aparently Cold means Freezing



This weekend we were invited by Lahn, our co-worker, to hike one of the biggest mountains in South Jeollanam-do. It was a wonderful afternoon, we were a bit cold though. Aparently when you are told that it will be "cold" that could imply freezing. Being the native Texans that we are we decided to wear wind pants and pull overs instead of gloves, hats and thick coats. As you can see by the pictures we got to see snow! It was definately freezing when we got to the top of the mountain. The area we went to was about an hour and a half north of Yeosu so it was a nice get away and the scenery was beautiful. The hike was more of a walking trail near the peak so it took us about an 2 hours up and back to our parking area. There are small black bears that we fortunately/unfortunately didn't see up in the mountains. It would have been a neat experience to have seen one from far away, but with it as cold as it was I am sure that they were hibernating.
Time has really gone by fast. We can't believe that Thanksgiving is here. We are planning on having our own little Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday for lunch. I am making a pumpkin cheesecake and Anthony is in charge of the dinner portion. I think we are going to go with sea food since it is so easy to come by and it is easy to cook on a stove top. We are looking forward to it. Also, the Macy's Thanksgiving parade starts at 11:00pm here so we are going to try to watch some of it! We are blessed that it has been so easy to watch programs from home that make us feel comfortable and less far from home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top 10 in Two Months




Well into our first two months in Yeosu we definately have discovered our favorite places to go and things to see. So here ya go! In no specific order:


10. Virtual Golf- The ULTIMATE golfing experience!
9. Suncheon Bay- Wildlife preserve about 40 min from Yeosu
8. SEOUL
7. The park near our house- perfect place to go for a morning hike.
6. Hiking- It is beautiful here and we have found a new love for the outdoors
5. Mandu- Dumplings
4. Cooking seafood at home- So far we have done crab, mussels, clams, mackrel and mystery fish
3. Pageon- Korea veggie pancake you eat at the bar
2. Refrigerated cup holders in the table at the bar Long Life
1. Date night every Thursday- After work we try a new or favorite bar and just relax and talk :)
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 6

Things are going well in Yeosu. Today marks six weeks in Korea. We are finally feeling very settled in and are looking forward to the holidays. We got a package today from my parents with American spices. It has been great weather here because we have a genuine Fall season. The highs are in the low 70's and the lows are in the 50's every day. The other great thing is that it really doesn't rain here. So, most days it is sunny and cool.

This past weekend we went to Dolsan Island to have dinner with Lahns family friend Jason and his family. There were about 10 people and we grilled steak, chicken and sausage. It was a great meal and we had great company. Jason had a wonderful family. His daughter and her two sons were there. They were 1 and 2 years old and adorable. His wife and son as well. After we ate dinner we relaxed and sang Karaoke! I, unfortunately was the only one willing to sing more than one song. That didn't surprise Anthony too much. My song list was as follows: Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, Bohemian Rhapsody, I Shot the Sheriff, Brown Eyed Girl and last but not least (because they like this one the BEST) Kungfoo Fighting. I had a blast and so did my 2 year old singing partner.

Well into week six we are having a great time and enjoying getting to know people better. This weekend will be spent relaxing in Yeosu.