Thursday, August 30, 2012

K-Pop: Gangnam Style

If there is one K-pop song that is synonymous with summer 2012, it's rapper Psy's "Gangnam Style."  Gangnam is an area of Seoul known for being ritzy, often compared to Beverly Hills, California.  Maybe that's why we've never been there.... 

The song is everywhere and its music video has exploded in Korea and around the world.  We hear the lyrics blasting from restaurants, night clubs and retail shops at least three times a day when on the streets of Busan.   The tune is catchy and the dance (miming riding a horse) is hilarious.  In a play next month we're performing a short part of the dance with our three and four year olds. Not kidding. 


Today my Friday morning got even better as I realized the Oregon Duck recently made his own video version of the hit song. 


I love the unexpected blend of my two worlds.  Go Ducks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Big 2-8

Birthday week is here!  The last few days have been filled with good food, yummy drinks and time with some of my favorite people in the world.

Sunday was Italian dinner at a delicious (even by American standards) Italian joint hidden down an alley in Busan's busiest area.  Pre-dinner drinks with my best friend and hubby made me feel so lucky.  It felt like home.

Yesterday I got a special skype call from family where these babies wished me a happy birthday between peek-a-boos.

At school my favorite elementary class drew cards and a cake on the board just for me.

Last night, on the official big day in the midst of Typhoon warnings and wind that hurt my ears, Ryan and I ventured to a new place for  a more casual b-day dinner of fish and chips and beer.  

It was sooo good.  The funky loft atmosphere and simple menu reminded us of a hip Portland restaurant.  Soon enough, soon enough. 
I'm counting my blessing this year and can't wait to see what the next year has in store for me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All in a Weekend

We had a whirlwind weekend.  Maybe it's because I know that there are only a few more to be had before we're out of here, but I've been packing in the plans. 

We had dinner out every night with our dearest friend during her last weekend in Korea, took a lovely hike back to Seokbulsa (many more photos to come) and spent an evening (and into the early morning) on the beach saying goodbye.

Sangria with the girls
Saturday morning Peanut butter pancakes made by Ryan
 The view of this lovely city from our hike

Safe travels Jen!

 On Sunday I delved into the nooks and crannies of one of my favorite areas in Busan after a hearty brunch with a friend at a homey cafe.

We were beyond exhausted when Monday morning rolled around, and were dragging our heels as we started one of our busiest weeks in awhile, but it was definitely worth the enjoyment of the weekend.


Annnnd my best friend is in Korea!  We are reuniting tomorrow morning, almost exactly one year from the day she drove us to the airport when Ryan and I boarded our flight back to Busan.  

I sense it's going to be another amazing weekend. (:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Small Joys

We are leaving Korea in just over one month and ending an incredible chapter of our lives.  

Before we know it we'll be moving out of our little apartment, carefully packing a choice few belongings into our backpacks and setting out to explore Southeast Asia once again.  The next thing we know we'll be back in Oregon in January, reuniting with family, catching up over happy hour with friends, and deciding together what our next steps will be.

As amazing as those impending experiences are I don't want to rush them. 

I want to enjoy the last month in our teeny tiny apartment, the beautiful beach that's just a subway ride away, the subway itself, the travel books we have yet to read, and the adorable kiddies that we've grown to love.  

I want to notice the small joys and hold them close, because life's little things are often just as important as the big things-we just don't take the time to notice.  I will notice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Nights: Rooftop Wine and BBQ

One of my favorite things about summer is sitting outside with a cool glass of wine and watching the sun set.  The weekend before last I got to do just that, in the company of many of the first friends we made when we first came here two and a half years ago, all reunited on a rooftop. 

"Wine bar" as it's fondly called was discovered the weekend Ryan went away and I did some exploring with a friend.  She introduced me to this gem with its amazing view and delicious wine.  I never want to leave when I go there.

Later that night we moved on to dinner, one of my new favorites discovered in June: barbecued clams.  The delicious clams were accompanied by scallops and huge prawns, all grilled and meant to be dipped in a delicious broth of spicy peppers and garlic.  The beer and soju were flowing nicely as well.

By the end of the night things got a little weird... In a good way of course.

Is it really mid-August? 
I don't want the long sweet days of summer to end.  Here's hoping the last few weeks will be just as nice as these have been.

Friday, August 10, 2012

To The Tropics We Go

We're off!  

In six short hours we'll be on our way to Jeju Island for an anniversary vacation. 

We're looking forward to a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing, and are rejoicing at the fact that we're off work until Thursday.

Aaaaand we FINALLY stopped procrastinating and booked the first destination of our trip for the fall.  We are kicking things off here.
Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine in Jeju and have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Three Years

Three years ago today, Ryan and I faced each other and said the vows that would bond us together as husband and wife. 

On that day we never could have guessed where life would take us.  
Unexpected circumstances turned into adventures, bringing new opportunities and life changing experiences.
Since our wedding day there have been ups, downs, adventures and new beginnings.  
Above all there has been love, trust, support, friendship and laughter.

Not to mention moving across the world.  (Twice.)

When we told our friends and family that we were moving to Korea, the response I got was practically unanimous.  
"We can picture Ryan doing that but not you!"  

I have always been somewhat of a homebody, and leaving the city I'd grown up in with all that was familiar and safe was out of character for me at the time.

The fact is Ryan has brought out an adventurous side in me that I never knew existed.  His curiosity and love of life has given me countless new experiences, and opened me up in ways I never could have imagined.  We have grown stronger together everyday.  I haven't really left home because home is with him.

Cheers to that.
"I’m not here because I’m supposed to be here, or because I’m trapped here, but because I’d rather be with you than anywhere else in the world." -Richard Bach

Happy three years, my love.  They've been the best yet.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Brunch

The Painted Chair is an adorable cafe in a popular university area here in Busan.  We caught up with friends there Sunday morning, recapping the previous night, sipping on lattes decorated with bunnies, and eating delicious Belgian waffles.  
A good brunch and an afternoon trip to the beach made it the perfect Sunday.

Hope your weekend was wonderful as well!