To the Mountains…^.^

Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon Province in eastern South Korea. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho. My brother, sister, and I asked our Imoboo if he could help us plan an adventure to travel the Southeastern side of Korea. Luckily, he happily agreed and then recruited one of his students to help! We left early Saturday morning and boy I was a bad packer. I realized that I should have brought more cute clothes from back home! dang it…so I just brought some things that I had that were semi-cute and good for being active aka shorts and a t-shirt haha We left for the Gangwon Province early Monday morning and after about an hour and half of driving we made a pit stop!

Without a doubt one of my favorite things in Korea is the highway rest stop (휴게소).

There you can find HO-DOO GWAJA (Walnut Cookies): Walnut shaped pastry with sweet red bean paste inside and a whole walnut baked on top. Delicious, especially when fresh :)

Next, we arrived at Yeongdeok! We began by enjoying some of the freshest seafood imaginable

IMG_0322My uncle insisted that we try live shrimp! As it stretched its legs, we had to behead it with our spoons…:X However, I must say that it was quite sweet. My sister was lucky (according to my uncle) because her piece of shrimp has eggs aka Shrimp caviar! You mix it with rice and it goes crunch in your mouth just like the small orange eggs you can find at any sushi restaurant! :PIMG_0318 IMG_0315 Couldn’t believe this was our meal…

IMG_0090 Here is Jeffy from earlier…He was delicious and then my sister mixed her rice inside his shell with all his insides and crab broth. WOWZER! If you have a chance definitely try it. The taste was like a creamy rice/risotto combination. Absolutely amazing! After an eye-opening eating experience, we went to the beach!

DSCN1117 DSCN1113 DSCN1115 DSCN1107

The only other time I’ve ever been to a beach was when I was 3 years old and we lived in New York. This by far was one of the most incredible experiences and standing along the outskirts (photo on the bottom right) was like an air conditioner! The refreshing breeze felt great in the 85  degree Fahrenheit weather. Oh yes, and above in the photos are my Uncle, his graduate assistant, my brother, sister, and I.

Next, he dropped the 3 muskies off at the bottom of Seoraksan, the mountain!

Check out the next post to read about our experience

Much love,

Jennifer

Night Before

Hello Beautiful!

Today is the dress rehearsal for the big day. My father, brother and I left a day before our flight to stay the night. We double checked our luggage for the tenth time to make sure we packed everything we needed. As usual I forgot something…my invisilign teeth. Then about two minutes later I could not find my kindle. After about 30 minutes of panicking, I found the kindle buried in one of the side pockets! Ah ha at least I was 1 for 2! Then we registered for our plane seats online, which I definitely recommend for those traveling abroad (another thing you won’t have to worry about!) Other than that make sure you pack the essentials for rain or shine. Of course, pack according to the season as well. Safe travels!

Love,

Jennifer

IMG_20130610_110413_1_1

Musical @ House of Congress

Welcome to the Korea House of Congress! photo DSCN0963.jpgFun fact: Korean calls the place where the President resides the “Blue House.”  photo DSCN0965.jpg photo DSCN0967.jpgAfter a fun day with my Aunt, my grandma took us to a musical. photo IMG_0210.jpg photo IMG_2534.jpgMy grandma and her friend! ^ Below is the Inside the theater! Looks like boy bands hehe photo IMG_0223.jpgThey even changed costumes numerous times and did a lot of fairytale like dancing and singing! It was really cute!Following their performance was a musical group! photo IMG_0225.jpgAfter the musical, we went back to our Imoboo’s (My mom’s youngest sister’s husband) house and I hungout with my little cousin. Where he taught me how to breakdance aka stand on my head and hold a pose! Sweet right!? haha

Have a wonderful night <3

JenKim

Bungeeeee!

International Prime Buffet Restaurant, located on the 8th floor of Homeplus.

GO NOW. My grandparents, brother, sister, and I met my Big Aunt and Uncle for lunch! The place was enormous, full of everything you could possibly imagine, and they provide water using tea pourer things! So fancy! haha After lunch we went to my cousin’s home to see her home and meet her baby girl Insugnee. She is adorable and she wears squeaky shoes so you can hear her everytime she walks! I’m obessed with all of the babies! haha Then we went to my 2nd Aunt and Uncle’s house to prepare for our Big plans the next day!!!

 photo DSCN0870.jpgDefinitely in my TOP 5 things to do! So much fun and a great experience to share with my brother and sister!  photo DSCN0883.jpgIt was really really scary being that high up and I didn’t realize how fun it was until I came half way down. Initially, I tried to superman. However, I was too afraid and curled into a ball until I was halfway down. haha I enjoyed the bouncing up and down part the most! photo DSCN0882.jpgA guy was on a boat on the water waiting to catch you.

After a super jjang afternoon, we went to eat Tonkgass, which is a fried pork cutlet! It was very similar to how they serve it in America because they cover it with gravy.  The next day our Aunt took us on a tour! Take a look!

My Aunt took us to the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower. It is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. It marks the highest point in Seoul. photo IMG_2466.jpg photo IMG_2468.jpgHow people use to carry their things! photo IMG_2476.jpgLadies would grab the handle for balance as they put their shoes on. photo IMG_2480.jpgBehind us are the doenjang clay-pots, they hold fermented soybeans. It sounds disgusting, but it is addictive once you taste a well made doenjang jjigae! photo IMG_2482.jpgThey also have games that people use to play. This one is similar to darts. You throw the arrow hoping to make it inside the vase. This one was harder than it looks! photo IMG_2502.jpghttp:// photo IMG_2506.jpgBehind us is the trees made from locks. Usually couples write a message and lock it onto this tree to bring them a long lasting relationship! So cute! photo IMG_2509.jpg photo IMG_2517.jpgWe rode a cable car to reach the top of Namsan! photo IMG_2525.jpgKorean corn: chewy, crunchy, and not sweet like American corn definitely a unique taste/texture! photo IMG_2526.jpgThen we finished with a walk to Cheonggyecheon (chong-GAY-chon) (청계천). It is a man-made river that is about 6km long, running through the middle of Seoul. photo IMG_0115.jpgand to finish this post… photo IMG_0207.jpgA super awkward/cute picture! haha

Love,

JenKim

Meeting more FamilY!

On our first Sunday in Korea, my grandmother took us to a temple where we met my grandfather’s brother’s family! photo DSC_0635.jpg

After my grandpa’s brother’s passing, every sunday (till 50 days after his passing) family gathers at the temple to honor him. We went to one of their houses after the temple to introduce ourselves and talk more.

 photo DSC_0641.jpgThis was the view from her apartment. photo DSCN0838.jpgIt is Lotte World!

Then after lunch, we were off to meet my oldest Aunt (big imo), cousin and his son! photo DSC_0676.jpg

 photo DSC_0654.jpg photo DSC_0657.jpg photo DSC_0659.jpg

Such a cute baby!!! <3 After chasing him around, my Aunt took us to see a musical.

 photo DSC_0681.jpg

Inside the SHart Hall..haha such a funny/strange name!

 photo DSCN0844.jpg photo IMG_0136.jpgThen we walked to the Gyeongbokgung Palace photo DSC_0687.jpg <3 Jennifer ( Jie Young in Korean)

Sport’s Dance

Hello! Hello!

We all went to watch my grandmother show off her moves at her community dance performance! Even my grandfather came to cheer her on! We arrived an hour early and forgot to bring flowers. So, my sister sent me on a mission to explore to find some flowers. After about 20 minutes of aimlessly walking, I asked a street vendor where the nearest flower shop was located. He sent me in a path and somehow I made it there! While at the flower shop I purchased a bouquet of wild flowers and as soon as I asked the owner how much the flowers cost she replied you must not be from here. haha my korea must be that bad. I have a hunch tha she raised the price knowing that I am a foreigner, but either way I needed flowers. She took her time preparing them as she told me her dreams of coming to America, where she has traveled, and held onto the flowers for another ten minutes so we could talk more. Finally I made it back to the Dance complex to watch my grandmother!

 photo DSCN0832.jpg

Here she is dancing with her partner. She said that there are not enough men so the best dancers are given the lead role ;) photo DSC_0462.jpg

Below is the whole gang! photo DSC_0534.jpg

After her performance, we went to visit my grandfather’s older sister! She is 101 years old!

 photo DSC_0617.jpgThe lady below my sister is my grandfather’s sister’s daughter. She was very sweet and we had a chance to talk as we had lunch! photo IMG_0120.jpg

While eating, my grandfather accidentally told his sister that their brother had passed away two months ago. The atmosphere became solemn because my aunt explained that when he called to say his last good-bye to her, he said his head was hurting so he wore a pas (think icyhot on a sticky bandage) and he felt better. My grandpa was in bigggg trouble by my grandma! After we said our goodbyes  my grandfather took us to Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market!

 photo DSC_0624.jpghttp:// photo DSC_0626.jpg photo DSC_0628.jpg photo DSC_0629.jpgdried fish…yum? photo DSC_0632.jpgOctopus ^ The fish was as fresh as could be! aka most were still wiggling  for their lives as their head was chopped off!

Ekkkk! But definitely this was definitely apart of the cultural experience which I recommend because it is pretty cool aside from the strong odor…

Hope you have a great day!

JenKim

Personal Tour Guides

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they are going.”

-Paul Theroux

 photo IMG_0101.jpg

My brother, sister, little cousin, and I beginning our day full of exploring Myeongil & more!

 photo DSCN0759.jpg

These exercise machines are found all throughout Korea. They use only your own body weight for resistance and are easy for everyone to use….AND they are free for the public! I hope we can bring these to the USA someday! photo DSCN0755.jpg

And below is a little friendly competition against my long-legged cousin…GUESS WHO WON!?  photo DSCN0760.jpg photo IMG_2431.jpg

Here is my brother and cousin posing for some pictures! photo IMG_2430.jpg

 photo DSCN0773.jpgThen we found ourselves a park and decided to hike! It is amazing that in every bustling city, you can find a park. When I say park I mean full forest, batminton courts, hiking trail, and more. Looking around in a park, you can’t every tell that you are 5 minutes from crazy traffic! They are beautiful and a great change o f scenary!

After a lot of walking we bought some drinks! These small cans are available in the vending machines located almost on every other, other block! photo DSCN0796.jpgNext, we walked around the Olympic Stadium found in Jamsil, South Korea. photo IMG_2435.jpg photo IMG_2436.jpg photo DSCN0778.jpg photo IMG_0084.jpgFinally, to end our adventure we had a free foot massage….it was a little on the painful side haha.

Every small adventure takes you somewhere new and can lead to something magical.

To Do: Go on your own adventure and explore something new! :)

Jennifer