Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekend Getaway

We made the most of our long holiday weekend by spending it in Muju, a ski resort city a few hours away.  Our bus left Busan at 5:10 am.  That's right.  It wasn't pretty.  

Luckily I slept away most of the ride (still recovering from a nasty bout of stomach flu I'd been fighting all week) and a few hours later we arrived at our hotel.  

We walked in and were disappointed to find that it was the size of a closet.  A small closet.  The floor bedding we pulled out of the room's actual closet pretty much took up the entire room.  A twin bed wouldn't have fit in there.
I knew I should have sprung for the nearby hotel that was $400+ per night.  Riiiiight.  On the bright side, we now fully appreciate the size of our apartment in Busan!
Despite the room size, our three days and two nights in Muju were great.  We didn't actually do any skiing or snowboarding, but we did find lots of other things to do.

We took walks in the snow, relaxed with movies and comfort food (hello Popeye's in Korea!) and warm drinks, and soaked up the warmth of an outdoor hot springs.  
{Don't ask me why the water in the hot springs is neon green.  I don't know the answer to that question.} 

We definitely didn't want to leave when Monday afternoon rolled around.

Our return trip home took six hours due to the traffic surrounding Seollal.  I could live without doing that again....
Luckily we had one more day off before returning to school on Wednesday.  
I've said it before, but I could really get used to a three day work week.

More traveling is on the horizon.
Ryan and I are off to Seoul in the morning where we'll be meeting my parents who are coming to visit!  I could not be more excited to see them and play tour guide in our home away from home next week when they make the trip to Busan.  
All smiles this Friday :) 

Hope your weekend is lovely!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Celebrating 28

Last week we celebrated Ryan's birthday at our favorite beach-side Indian restaurant.
The celebrating continued yesterday with another birthday dinner, this one courtesy of Ryan's mom.  She was sweet enough to treat Ryan to sushi for the occasion all the way from Mexico.
Thank you for dinner, it was lovely.

For dessert we tried a Christmas gift from Ryan's mom--Mayan drinking chocolate on a stick.  It was a cinnamon, spicy delight.
We spent the boy's long birthday weekend at a nearby ski resort.  
Details in the next post!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ice Fishing Festival

Last weekend Ryan traveled north to the small city of Hwacheon for its annual ice fishing festival.  He arrived with a co-worker after a five hour bus ride, and set out to find a place to stay, which proved a difficult task with the popular festival taking over the town. 
Three hours later the two found themselves just outside of town at the home of an elderly couple, offering modest accommodations in the form of a large spare room with Korean style floor bedding.  They spent that evening back in town browsing through massive ice carvings and enjoying fried chicken and beer for dinner, something Ryan doesn't get to do too much of with his vegetarian wife around!
Early the next morning the boys hit the festival.  They passed a circle of people ready to jump in and fish with their bare hands.
The main area was packed with Koreans, hunched over small holes drilled in the ice.  Next to the mass amounts of local tourists was the "Foreigner's Area," completely empty aside from Ryan and his friend.  
The guys spent the next couple of hours luring fish below the icy surface.  Observers encouraged them to simply yank on the lines until the fish were snagged.  The Korean press got up close and personal to take photos of the fishermen.
One way or another they nabbed sixteen or so small to medium-sized trout between them.  The day's catch was cut sashimi style and eaten raw, as well as cooked on an open grill and enjoyed beside the river.  
 All in all the boys had a great time.  

And on Sunday night I was very happy to have my fisherman home :)