Category Archives: South Korea

Hiking Cheonmasan

img_0923This weekend we decided to take Roo out for a hike. We haven’t been out since the fall and thought she could use an adventure. Although we walk Roo frequently I also thought it would be nice to get out of our normal paths in the neighborhood. img_0935One of our favorite hikes nearby is close to Gimpo airport and consists of a network of parks and easy trails around and up a small mountain. It’s a short 4 stops away on the train. Unfortunately when we got to the subway station we couldn’t convince Roo to get in her bag for the train ride – not surprising since we neglected to practice putting her in her bag since our last hike months ago. So with a change of plans we took a taxi to a mountain pretty close to us for a hike. img_0896img_0937The weather was surprisingly springy (what a mean trick for the end of January – we still have months) and we were happy for the respite from the cold and wind. As always, Roo and Ryan were bounding up the mountain while I slowly made my way up the steep hillside. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Last… Half of 2014

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. IMG_7147

IMG_7119The next day of our trip was nice and sunny, perfect for our walk through Heulimgol Valley. Continue reading

From There to Here: Our New Home

After a very fulfilling and extremely busy summer full of visiting friends and family, travel, and work (hopefully the first and only summer with work), we are finally getting back to the blog.

As the year progressed at our first hagwon in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Brittany and I both noticed an overwhelming restlessness that permeated our jobs. Despite our well-intentioned and extremely kind administration, classwork and curriculum were tedious, obviously ineffective, and frankly boring. While we loved our neighborhood and experiences, our apartment was…unique. Being fairly unsatisfied with our jobs and our apartments, but still digging Korea, we got new jobs, and with them, a new city and new friends.

Our new home is just outside of Cheongna-dong in Incheon, Korea. We had pretty low expectations for Cheongna, aka “The emerald of the world” (self-proclaimed). Cheongna is a fairly new development on the outskirts of both Seoul and Incheon. On our original ride out on the train, we couldn’t help but feeling we were moving to the Nebraska of Korea, as the sprawling cityscape gave way to farms and older looking small cities. Continue reading

The Tourist’s View of Seoul

When my family came to visit this summer, we got the chance to head to some big tourist destinations in Seoul that we hadn’t been to. We even took the Seoul City Tour Bus – a hop-on, hop-off route to all the big tourist spots in Seoul- making us officially tourist material. The bus was a good way for us to get around to a few of the sites without too much walking for my jet-lagged family.

Namsangol Hanok Village

IMG_6148 copy The Hanok Village was surprisingly interesting, mostly because of our volunteer tour guide, Reggie, a high school student practicing his English and nervously sharing historical anecdotes about the different houses.  Continue reading

Korean Baseball: Fighting! Fighting!

For my family’s visit in June, we decided to head to our first Korean baseball game. After watching some games on TV and hearing from others, we anticipated Korean baseball games to be way more fun to attend than American games. We headed to Jamsil stadium to watch the Doosan Bears and the LG Twins.

IMG_6142 copy We attempted to buy tickets online in advance but never did manage to figure it out, so we just showed up at the stadium before the game and bought tickets. At first this seemed bad; the tickets were for a general area without assigned seats, and everyone was sprawled on the empty seats, which were covered with food and blankets. Families were having picnics on the upper walking-area, and I thought we were going to spend the whole game standing up, with my grandma (in her eighties and visiting Korea!) standing the whole time. Luckily, once we started asking around, families very happily moved their jackets and food and other goods and offered us seats. Continue reading

Uisangbong Hike

 

Uisanbong Hike LabelIn May we met up with a few friends to head to Bukhansan National Park in Seoul for a hike. Ryan had been to the park once before and had an awesome time previously, so we were both excited for the trip. Bukhansan is situated in the middle of Seoul. It’s still so crazy how, with such an overwhelming amount of people and buildings, these mountains just spring up from the middle and are so quiet, clean, and peaceful.

IMG_6056 copy

We ended up taking an entirely different route than Ryan took before. I was a little bit terrified of the steep, slick rocks on the way up, but after being assured that we weren’t going to take the same route on the way back, I felt better. Going down would havebeen really difficult. We used ropes attached to the rocks to haul ourselves up.  There were less people than some other hikes we’ve been on here in Korea, and it was a really fun and challenging hike up. Continue reading

Roxie Learns About the Birds and the Bees

IMG_6013 copy copy

When we got Roxie, she loved being outside, but long walks were not her forte.  A week after adopting her, we walked her to Olympic Park and back (about 4 miles round trip).  She slept solidly for the next two days.  Within a month we were walking to Olympic Park regularly and Roxie was ready to play again after a drink of water at home.  After that we started to work on running.  Unfortunately for me, Roxie has to sniff everything when she is with just me or just Brittany, so she can’t run alone, but if we run together, Roxie can run about a kilometer now without stopping, and anytime we go up or down stairs we go at full speed.  We always break into a run for short intervals during walks. Continue reading