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First Sunrise of 2016

30 Jan

Kyoto!!!

2 Aug

After my wedding I still had another week of vacation and my husband didn’t so it was time to keep this vacation train going!

 

Kyoto Trip:

27th: Arrived in Osaka
         Evening bicycle tour with Cycle Osaka (50,000¥)
         Stay in Kyoto
         Temples!
         Tea Ceremony 
          More Temples!!
30th: Gion by Night Dinner (maybe)
          Even MORE Temples!!!
31st: Geisha Makeover: 11am
         Return bicycle by 5pm
1st: Flight home
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OSAKA in a nutshell!

The TEMPLES & SHRINES!!!

 

Gion

 

Cooking Sun Bento box class (below)

 

AYA Maiko/Geisha Experience

 

Tea Ceremony 

woodson kathryn rea ceremony

Gallery

Boeseong Tea Fields

9 May

Bali Baby!!!

3 Jan

We just got back from Bali!!!

Like all vacations it wasn’t perfect and I’m slowly realizing my fiancee and I have some really travel issues. He is definitely the fly by the seat of your pants type while I like to “maximize fun time” as I like to call it. He also would rather pay a bit extra for comfort.

Both AirAsia flights were horrible and they took away our first two day and made us by for our own hotel. Just bullshit- Will not be flying with them EVER AGAIN! We were promised hotel night reimbursement, explainations- got? NOTHING.

The hellish flights aside~ It was great.

We checked in to our hotel in Kuta LATTTTTEEEEEEEEEEE – we stayed there because we thought it would be a happening place for the New Years and it was- but there was more of a Tijuana vibe so next time it will be Ubud(forests for Johan-cooking classes for me) and Seminyak(surfing for me).

Luckily we were able to get some delicious food!

1st day (30th): Full day tour with Bali Traditional Tours

We visited artisan villages, Celuk for silver, and Tohpati for weaving. In these villages, we got to see how these Balinese items are handcrafted.

On the way to the Tegenungan waterfall we stopped in a traditional village and bought some fruit- basically the oddest and strangest we could find and it was delicious!!!

Next was Goa Gajah– the Elephant Temple- very cool!

We stopped in Ubud and had an amazing meal!

Due to the crazy holiday traffic with had the choice of the Monkey Forest or a traditional dance. So we chose the dance we finally got to see the Kecak dance at Sahaewa which is a great introduction to the traditional Balinese dance and music.

The way home took forever so we actually missed alot but it was all very overwhelming. There was sooo much info given to us. It was so great to have a local show us around and seem to really relax and give us the real story on the the area- the good and the bad. If you decide to get a tour with these guys ask for Gu-sti. Great Guy!

2nd day (31st): This is the day I really realized that two nomads don’t exactly make the best travel companions. My fianceé and I have both travel extensively alone – me especially. But what I did love is that he really pushes me to try new things and doesn’t make me feel like garbage me when I get nervous which has been happening alot lately- ever since that scuba diving nightmare. But I digress. I love my fianceé and how he puts up with my spazziness end of story.

In the morning we went to the front desk of our apartments and got some help booking a diving tour in Nusa. The thing with Bali is everything is spread out and you need transportation. All the locals and the Ozzies seemed to use scooters and I’d read too many horror stories online I just didn’t want to – next time DEFINITELY!!!! Our taxi driver was so nice! It was a bit creepy how we got our pictures taken before we went out on the boats to snorkel. Johan decide not to dive because the equipment looked over used and not up to date- it really was a mess our there… just so many motor and waaaaaay too many people – i always got knocked in to one(aka I wasn’t looking up) a couple of times. It was nice though just to get out in the water and swim.

Later than night we went swimming in the roof top pool and watched the fireworks out on beach. We’d heard there had been a parade or something that was supposed to happen but we didn’t see anything. We did have an awesome dinner tho… so good we didn’t even take a photo- thats how good hahaha.

 

Day 3: Was the our Anniversary- 2 years baby!!!! So we mostly hung out at Kuta Beach, ate so much delicious Balinese food and I TAUGHT JOHAN HOW TO SURF!!!!! Ah that lost one I was so proud of. I’m not so proud that in my excitement I forgot to tell him to wear a rash guard… the dude still has scars… but he loved it even if he went in to it reluctantly. Our rental guy was really cool too. He and Johan swapped cigarettes and compared tar levels- shocking!!! 2 to 3 times the amount of tar in the Indo cigs than Marbs. This guys wasn’t from Bali he was from Java. He said most of the other guys on the beach were too. I know it was noisy but being from a hospitality background its really interesting to seen what its like working in the industry in a different country. He said he moved here a few years ago- he had to be early twenties and he rents a room with just a bed. Everyday he drags his boards out and does his business. We also talked about how the locals respect the tourists more and there isn’t alot of drama- he reminded us Bali is a tourist economy. When people start getting robbed and put in jail- PEOPLE DONT COME BACK- we all laughed about that. He also warned us about the shark by Uluwatu…YIKES! For dinner we went the to the WORLD famous Poppies. So cute! Expensive by Bali standards but worth it!

Day 4: Sadly this was our last day. We had a good walk on the beach and then headed to our 4 hour Spa Day at the Bali Green Spa which we both loved and put us on a good mood getting on the plane.

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Still pissed as hell AirAsia jacked our two days but there’s always next time ^^

Below are some of the snaps from our trip!

 

 

 

Dak Galbi in Chuncheon

13 Nov

Sunday afternoon my boyfriend had the random idea to head to Chuncheon for some Dak Galbi.  Chuncheon is about an hour-ish away from Seoul.  Its in Gangwon-do which is is BEAUTIFUL in the fall… and the winter… and most season actually. It’s easy to get to by bus.  The city is famous for Dak Galbi- and not much else. If you didn’t know “Dak Galbi” is basically chicken with spicy sauce, a ton of veggies, predominately cabbage, and loads of rice cakes. This dish is very easy to make. Click this link and check out this recipe and more a the “My Korean Kitchen” website. Below are a few pics from our afternoon. The bus ride, which was pretty scenic, was about 12,00o KRW for a one-way “deluxe bus” trip from the Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal. IMG_20141109_161411  1655984_944892476186_1760458157956396588_n

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Mosquitos ~

24 Aug

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Mosquitos are the WORST!!!! I just got back from Musan (near the DMZ) bitten up to hell!!!!! It could be a scary North Korea insect bio warfare tactic~ who knows

But if you get bit buy the stuff in the pic!!!

Bucket List

15 Jun

(x) 1. See the sunrise in Paris
(x) 2. Explore Australia
( ) 3. Become a Daughter of the American Revolution
(x) 4. Visit my ancesteral homes
( ) 5. Swim with Great Whites
( ) 6. Scuba diving ( bad ears =( )
( ) 7. Learn to ride a horse
( ) 8. Grow a successful veggie patch
( ) 9. Learn to play a string instrument
( ) 10. Learn to play the drums
(x) 11. Experience Mardi Gras
( ) 12. Become a certified fitness instructor (tai chi, TKD, Judo, etc.)
( ) 13. Take a train thru India
( ) 14. Climb Mt Fuji
( ) 15. See Mt Everest
( ) 16. Canoe along the Amazon
( ) 17. Goto Anarctica
( ) 18. Drink Mate in Buenos Aires
( ) 19. Hiking in Patagonia
( ) 20. Trace Butch Cassidy’s  escape from America
( ) 21. Work at an elephant camp refuge
( ) 22. Visit the catacombs
( ) 23. Work at orangatan refuge
( ) 24. Tour all of Africa
( ) 25. Sail in the Med

Thailand Travel (post coup)

15 Jun

I’ve gone ahead and book my week at the Elephant Nature park in Chiang Mai. This will all be taking place post coup so I’m a little nervous to say the least. BUUUUT Im not at the same time- call me a sheep but Ive been reading a few news articles, embassy blogs and general travel articles and other than the American site no one seems to be too fussed. The basic word is
-dont take selfies with guys with guns
-dont be a jackass
-dont join in support groups

BASICALLY MIND YOUR P’s and Q’s

And thats my plan^^

Birthdays in Korea

9 Jun

Another Saturday spent at the church of eternal baby worship. In Korea a baby’s dol is one of two major birthdays in their or any Koreans life. The second being their 60th birthday.Both birthdays are big deals because 1. Korea had a very high infant mortality rate and likewise many older people didn’t live past 60. All the other birthdays are greeted with limited fanfare if any. Don’t even get me started on the Lunar vs Solar (the day you actually came out of your mom) birthday. Lets put it this way. My fiancée’s solar b-day is April 1st so I sent his mom a picture of  him having a good time eating sushi to let her know I was “taking care of her precious son” (that’s a whole other post). And yes naturally she was very happy and I got an appreciative text back how ever she didn’t know what the special occasion was. Then a few weeks later his mom asked if we were doing anything special and because it was his *birthday* (lunar). A lot of Koreans especially the ones 30 or above only celebrate their lunar birthdays. i had friends I’ve said happy birthday to on Facebook be like – meh it’s not my real birthday. So confusing! But hey ho! 🙂

This was my second dol celebration and a very classy one at that! My first was for a co-workers baby and it was more an at home summer barbecue which was still awesome. My second was more on par with the traditional Korean wedding hall wedding. There were 3 other celebrations going on is the surround rooms all in varying shades of pastel. The buffet was pretty killer too ^^. My favorite was the light show music timed slide show. Very cute hahhaa. Like most holidays people bring money but for dols you usually bring a small gold ring. But if you do bring money it’s usually an odd multiple of ten (50 or over at least). Don’t forget the bills need to be PRISTINE and in a NICE wrinkle free envelope.

60th birthday can be done the same way fancy or casual. Ive see old women dressed up in their most shimmery hanbok dolled up to the nines, sometimes there are family trips or just a fancy meal with close family.

My fiancée and his brother paid for a family trip to to Jeju for their fathers 60th. His mother’s birthday will be coming up soon and she’s decided she wants a week in the mountains away from everyone hahaha smart woman. I’m still not sure what to get her~ probably a handbag (ga-bang/new vocabulary word of the day hahaha).

Below are some pictures of a fancy dol and a casual 60th birthday party(don’t be fooled that seafood was like $300 – it was sprinkled with gold after all o_O

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the baby “dol” rings are in the back row of the first. My fiancee says the idea is that as the child gets older he/she can use the ring as money if they need it. None of these rings were especially cute. But I have seen Hello Kitty and Porroro ones on occasion ^^

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The picture above is your typical dol gift. There is always almost something to eat -duk. But also a cute present like this towel, bit Ive also recieved umbrellas.

  Below is the typical casual 60th birthday celebration.

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a cog

28 Nov

More often than not I feel I am a cog in this highly dysfuntional educational system. I feel disguisted with my self~ I sold out just to pay off some debts.  I enjoy traveling but I feel guilty because I am doing absolutley nothing to help my own country. I should be building up the economy- volunteering or creating something to help others. If I cant create then I need to be a part of something good. f A company that does more than just recycle. I know I cant be totally idealistic- I need something big enough to provide insurance and a little job security but it would be nice if it . Is it really that hard to make money but also benefit your surroundings? Sure I loving traveling but in all honesty I think I would just be happy just working at a panera bread or a whole foods~ hell a goat farm in Tazmania or a bakery in France… I want to help  those around me and not feel like such a slug