Oh my! I am so sorry I have been slacking on our blog for the last 2 months! It has been so so busy. We have had a lot of school stuff to do and been pretty busy on our weekends. So, I am going to combine several post into one! I know that this probably breaks all the rules of blogging but I’m still an amateur so maybe I can get away with it. Sorry to bombard you!
To start I have some pictures of an awesome weekend (11/17) in Seoul we spent with our dear friend Amanda. Sadly her husband Derik couldn’t make it. We got a little better feel for this huge vibrant city with the guidance of Amanda. We stayed in this shopping district called Myeongdong in a “love motel.” Our room was complete with red mood lighting and condoms on the night stand. Needless to say, we didn’t have the best night’s sleep with the rock hard bed and unadjustable heating. We think even though they are real cheap we might try and stay away from love motels from now on.
Here we are finishing up a little shopping. Ethan was getting tired of holding up the wall in H&M. Also, as soon as Amanda arrived I noticed we were sporting the exact same coat. We matched all weekend! I feel like we got even more looks than normal; two tallish blonde girls wearing matching coats. I didn’t mind, cause staring is an everyday thing anyway. 🙂
Amanda knew of this chipotle type mexican restaurant with a great selection of beer for Ethan. Side note: He’s been craving chipotle since we got here and anything besides Korea’s cheap take on beer is quite scarce.
^^There was a lantern festival going on that we decided to check out. It was fun but would have been better if it was a little warmer and less crowded. However, in Seoul most things are crowded. I guess you just get used to it.
This picture is from another shopping trip in Insadong. We had a lot of fun encounters because we used the subway system the whole weekend to get around. Including, a 40 minute commute to a CostCo store to pick up pumpkin pies for our students to try in celebration of Thanksgiving. However, we didn’t think about having to carry all that (6 oversized pumpkin pies, 2 bags of bagels, a jar of pickles and a big tub of Christmas ornaments) back through the crowded subway. We’ve found out that everything is so much more complicated when you don’t have a car and can’t speak the language of everyone around you! It was a wonderful trip filled with lots of yummy food, awesome shopping, and exciting sights to see.
Ok, on to a few pictures of our make-shift Thanksgiving dinner. We had to work on Thanksgiving so we ended up eating our feast around 10:30pm on Thursday. I can’t say there is absolutely no turkey in Korea but it is hard to find and expensive! I asked all my classes if they had ever tried turkey and not one student had. Oh that reminds me, we shared some pumpkin pie and a dollop of whipped cream with all our classes. I’d say 80% of the kids liked it. However, I did have one student say to me “Oh teacher, vomiting…I need water.” 🙂
Back to our feast: Baked chicken, salad, a harvest medley of vegetables, angel biscuits, and bread pudding for dessert. It was not a traditional Thanksgiving meal but nevertheless it was delicious. Thankfully, we got invited to a real Thanksgiving feast the following Saturday that some foreigners in our city were hosting at a bar. There were around 40 people there (mostly other foreign teachers) and it was complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie!
Here is a sweet picture to wrap up our Thanksgiving. The classic handprint turkey with all the things you are thankful for on the fingers. 🙂 I hope our students got a little taste of our special holiday.
Onto Ethan’s birthday! He turned a quarter of a century on the 28th of November! Sadly, most of his Birthday was spent preparing for finals and teaching at school. However, he got some awesome gift packages sent from the US! Piggy (our boss) prepared a surprise birthday feast the day before and he even got to blowout candles on carrot-cake cupcakes I baked. Also, he had really been wanting an i pad for the last year, so I finally gave in. 😉 Oh, and we ordered matching bikes a month earlier and they just happened to come in his birthday week. So, I’d say it was a pretty good birthday!
The sight of a US postal service package show up at our school was so comforting!
Silly, I know but when everything else is in a foreign language a familiar box is refreshing.
Here are the goodies sent from my fam! My mom gave us a head start on our Christmas preparations. When Ethan packed for Korea, he didn’t really think about the cold rainy or snowy days! These duck boots have already been a lifesaver! Also, for his birthday he wanted to hang our Christmas lights outside. We had to order them online because in the store the selection is very limited and very expensive ($25 for one strand). I can say our house is the only house with lights I have seen yet.
Our Christmas preparations have been an ongoing project! We were so blessed to be given a tree to borrow by Piggy’s family! We had fun making some of our own decorations and snowflakes to put up around the house.
It started snowing on the 5th of December and continued snowing off and on the rest of the week! It was REALLY beautiful and I was itching to get out and take pictures but it was freezing! Also, the snow was a little messy and cold to get around in with only a scooter and bikes. Sadly, we had to go to school everyday. I asked my students if they’ve ever had a “snow day” (school canceled) and they said no.
Merry Christmas All!
If you made it all the way through this unorganized, crazy, long post, props to you! I have more Christmas stuff on it’s way. We hosted a party on the 15th and I am almost done with my Christmas letter. Hope I can get it finished before we fly out on Sunday, 12/23, (I’m running out of time) for our vacation to Vietnam! We’ll spend Christmas Eve and Day with our friends the Grove’s on a cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam and have a New Year’s celebration in the airport (we fly back at 12:30am on the 1st). However, that is a whole other post that hasn’t even happened yet!
We send you all our love and prayers from South Korea!