2014 led to a pretty strong standstill for the blog, but with a plethora of photos and nowhere to put them, a 2014 recap is in order.
In the fall I took two trips to Seoraksan, once with Ryan and friends, and once as a school trip. The first time we still caught the fall colors, although we were weeks past the rush on the designated “peak foliage” dates 🙂 Unfortunately, there was an intense fog. This hike was the same one we did last year (Ulsanbawi) with sweeping views over the sea and surrounding mountains, but this time we could hardly see past our hands.
The next day of our trip was nice and sunny, perfect for our walk through Heulimgol Valley.
For the trip with my school, we started out in Sokcho and went to visit Naksansa Temple. The next day we went to Seoraksan. All of the trails were closed so I was convinced to take a cable car to the top of the mountain.
We even got to hike a little at the top of the cable car, scrambling up a pile of rocks to peek over the edge of the other side. I didn’t think anyone else wanted to go so I crawled up by myself and then ran into a line of fellow teachers heading up on my way down. It was steeper than I thought – my hands were sweating and I got pretty nervous swinging from ropes anchored to the rocks, but it was quiet and beautiful at the top.I also got ample evidence that selfie sticks are out of control here in Korea.
In November, we again went to the Seoul Lantern Festival, braving the crowds along the Cheonggyecheon stream to view the lanterns set up above the water. Also in November we coordinated a real Thanksgiving, including turkey. For a really severe lack of planning (minus ordering the turkey), we managed to pull together a full Thanksgiving feast. Someone found frozen cranberries in her freezer, someone else had butter to mash in the potatoes (I forgot the butter…), and when the turkey didn’t come pre-carved (as ordered), we got right down to carving it (with hands). It was very authentic, considering the turkey was supposed to be delivered at 6 PM but wasn’t delivered until 8 – very similar to the way the sides are usually finished being prepared far before the turkey is actually fully cooked. It was good we weren’t really cooking the turkey.
Very thankful for good food and good people through all of 2014.