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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chuseok Vacation!

I love this time of year in Korea!  My sweatshirts are beginning to be pulled from my closet again and my closed toe flats are making their comeback!  It's finally FALL around here, and with FALL comes Chuseok  (Korean Thanksgiving) vacation!  We had Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off of work, so we headed to Seoul Saturday morning to hang with Jess and Carlos!

American needs a KTX train!  It's FAST, comfortable, fairly inexpensive and REALLY clean!

They even provide magazines for your entertainment!  Of course Psy (the Gangnam Style phenomenon) is on the front of this issue!  The guys is EVERYWHERE right now!  

Don't be fooled by his expressions... He loves this train! ... and loves taking pictures in the morning!  LOL

BTW, I snapped this picture on the train, with my instagram app, of Aaron's wedding ring!  I'm not sure I've ever shown the inside of his ring on my blog... That's my hidden fingerprint in there.  :)

As soon as we arrived in Seoul, we caught the subway to Myeongdong to do some shopping at the gigantic 4 story Forever 21 and the two 4 story H & M stores, two of our favorite stores!  Myeongdong also has these awesome potato thingys!

After doing some shopping, Jess and Carlos came and met us, and the four of us caught up over some noodle soup and mandu at 명동교자 (Myeongdong Gyo Ja) a famous Korean noodle restaurant that usually has a line out the door.  Fortunately, we got there right in time before the rush and only waited 3-5 minutes!  After dinner, we went back to their adorable new 600 sqft 3 bedroom home in Itaewon.  Aaron jumped right on the teak carved Indian Elephant that they shipped back from India.  Love this thing!

I'm really disappointed in myself this weekend, because while I had my REAL camera, I barely ever took it out to snap pictures and took crappy pictures with my iphone instead!  I would have loved to show you more pics of Jess and Carlos's new neighborhood (They just moved), their charming apartment, the walk we took through Namsan Park, or all the awesome places we went to for food and drinks!  Shame on me.

Aaron and I were so excited about how cool it was up in Seoul!  It's been a while since we've experienced sweater and scarf weather!  *** Thanks for the tooth-brushing-photo-bomb Carlos!

Sunday morning, we walked to the Flying Pan, an awesome breakfast joint just minutes from their new place where we feasted on veggie and pesto sandwiches, humus, pancakes with riccotta cheese and yummy soups!  This place is legit! 

Does Jess not look like she's glowing here?  (You'll soon find out why!)

 Apparently we have a tough guy on our hands, people! 

 This is my favorite picture from the weekend because it's the long awaited baby Perlaza!   Yep, Jess is pregnant and due in early March!  My mind is already turning about what I'll be making for the little one when winter comes around and I can't bare to be anywhere but inside my apartment with my warm PJ's on!  

We took Jess and Carlos out to the Han River Sunday night for a photo shoot to use in our portfolio!  They were nervous about it the whole way there, but then jumped right in, and went for it!  I barely had to direct at all, which meant I could do a bit of snapping myself!  :)  We're all so excited with how their photos turned out.  Be looking out on the blog!  They should be posted within a week or so!  We still have Meg and Chris's to edit and post first.

In case I haven't raved enough in the past about what an AWESOME cook (healthy cook) Jess is, I'll say it again... She's REALLY good!  You can even buy one of her cookbooks here, or if you live in Korea, you'll be able to pick up one at KYOBO bookstore soon, because a Korean publisher is going to be combining all 4 of her cookbooks into one coffee table sized book and selling it in KYOBO!  I am beyond proud of my Jeshi!  With that said, she made a delicious breakfast for us: an egg, sweet potato, swiss chard and ricotta cheese omelet, coffee and tea, and we all ate it on blankets, like a picnic, on her rooftop! 

... and her rooftop is not your average rooftop, because her rooftop boast an incredible view of downtown Seoul and the Seoul tower off to the right (not pictured)!  It was one of the things that sold them on the place.  

We had the best time with Jess and Carlos (and Kristin on Monday morning) and were so thankful for all the quality time and conversations we got in with them over the short 3 days we were together.  It's awesome to be close with another couple where the guys are just as tight as the girls, and the 4 of us together is always great!  I'm not sure that's very common, so we feel really lucky to have them in our lives! We're planning to meet them sometime during Christmas vacation up in Seoraksan at a cute little Pension!  If we can all get the time off, we may be able to meet for Christmas together!  

We said goodbye to Jess, Carlos, and Kristin around 1:30pm Mondayafternoon and jumped on the 2pm KTX train back to Busan.  As soon as we arrived, we hailed a taxi home, checked on Maverick, packed another small bag of warm clothes and got on an express bus headed to the other side of Busan to meet Gill and Sam for some camping on Songjeong Beach!  They borrowed a tent for us, from our friend Crystal, and had it all set up for us when we arrived!!  Are they not the best?  It would have been an interesting sight to see if we tried to set it up in the dark! 

Gill was chef for the night and cooked us some awesome Galbi on the briar (BBQ).... and Sam made us a South African specialty; grilled cheese sandwiches with a sweet chili sauce and slices of tomato. 

Aaron and I took a walk over to a hillside, near the water and gathered some wood to make a campfire to keep warm!  We weren't sure if it was allowed, but figured we'd make it now and ask later. :)  Luckily, it didn't seem to be a problem at all.  (As a side note: fireworks are sold at this beach, and an idiot shot one right at my tent around 1:30am, when I was sleeping!)  Gill immediately started screaming at him, which woke me up in a frantic state and Aaron said I went from a laying position straight to my feet in a mili-second!  Luckily my tent went unharmed, but my heart was beating out of my chest!  Sometimes I think Koreans don't really think before they do stuff... The camping party lasted till about 4:00am and we were all up with the sun by 8am!   We tore down camp and headed home by 10am to our cozy beds!  

Then, Aaron and I were up again at 3pm to head over to Okk's house for dinner!  She always invites Aaron and I over to her family's house after Korean holidays to eat leftovers with her!  Tonight she made squash chips and french fries for our appetizers before serving us with delicious dolust bibimbap! She knows me well, because that's my favorite Korean dish!

Thank you Okk for a delicious belated Chuseok feast!  

Today we're laying low and lounging around the house. It's our last day of vacation before returning to work for a 2 day workweek - the best kind of workweek!  Then, Ashley's coming over later tonight to watch the season opener of Revenge with me!  Cue the popcorn!

Happy Chuseok everyone!   

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