Sunday, December 28, 2014

Photo Sunday: First Day in Singapore!

So it has actually been over a week since my first day in Singapore, and I'm not even in the country anymore. I'm currently writing this post from Jakarta, Indonesia.
We've been super busy though, plus the jet lag has YC and I falling asleep pretty early every night, so this is the first chance I've had to post.

Sorry it is only a Photo Sunday. It is almost 11:00PM here, and we spent all day running around.

This photo is the first we took in Singapore!

The view is from our hotel, the Marina Bay Sands. It is phenomenal. I could never afford to stay in a hotel that nice. If it weren't for YC's awesome parents, I would never have gotten to see inside of it.
Most importantly, by staying there I got to swim in their famous infinity pool! More to come on that later.

For now I leave you with the lovely first picture and the promise of multiple posts on our adventures when I get home!

Have you ever been to Singapore? What about the Marina Bay Sands? Did you love it as much as I did?
I can't wait to go back in a little over a week.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Seafood edition

Last weekend we went on an adventure to Toseong. We took a bus from Busan station to the park entrance and walked to the lighthouse. It was a lovely little walk along the coast and only took about 20 minutes. The views from the lighthouse and the lookouts along the way were spectacular and well worth the somewhat brisk weather. After we had soaked up the ocean views we exited the park and meandered down to the cove itself. All along the water front were these ramshackle restaurants with eager ajumma's (older woman) trying to corral us into their's. The food seemed a bit pricey in comparison to the a typical Korean restaurant but damn was it fresh and their was plenty of it. We got two orders of shell fish for eight people and that was plenty.

One of the shellfish I chose not to try

The view from our restaurant's "window"

What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten?
What was the best meal you have ever had while traveling?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tteokbokki Wednesday?? : (

Well, at least I am only a day late this time. I was busy yesterday with my school's festival, a teacher lunch, and planning for vacation. So  I thought I would share with you how joyously intense a Korean school festival is. I will say one thing for my students, they know how to put on a show. There were so many wonderful and wonderfully silly dance performances and some great singing as well. It was really great to see the students being silly and doing something creative that they clearly enjoyed. Normally when you ask them what they do in their free time they say study and the most common answer to what do you like to do for fun is sleep.

So without further adieu here is a picture of some of my 3rd grade boys dancing in skirts. They think dressing in drag is hilarious here.

This second picture is from Sports Day a few weeks ago. The "sports" were more silly than they were athletic but the students had a lot of fun and even asked me to be one of the teachers than ran against them in a relay. I won. But barely. 

Teaching in Korea can be tough and kind of depressing sometimes when your kids are always napping in class because they were at a hagwon (private academy) after school till between 7 and 10pm. However, there are definitely opportunities to be silly with them and get a glimpse of their personality. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Photo Sunday: I'm a Crochet Fiend

Pretty much all I've done today is crochet and play Dragon Age: Inquisition.
At least one of those things is productive.
This week is my last week of work before Singapore, so I'm feeling justified in my lazing around. Plus, I felt really sick on Friday, and not great since then.

So for this week's Photo Sunday you get a glimpse into what my life normally looks like, when I'm not doing cool stuff.

Not only am I crocheting a scarf, but I'm also wearing a hat that I crocheted. I may have a bit of a problem. Buying yarn makes me happy okay!

Today I also learned that the plural of scarf is both scarves and scarfs. Not sure how I feel about this knowledge, nor am I sure which I like better.

Saturday begins my adventure to Singapore, so get prepared for more exciting posts!

Anyone else crochet? Did you develop a yarn addiction too? Preference on scarves versus scarfs? Anyone else playing Dragon Age: Inquisition?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

One Week Until Singapore!!

Ahhhhhh! Next Saturday YC and I leave for Singapore! I am so excited!
Nervous as well, but mostly excited!

Mostly nervous about meeting his whole family and all his friends. Ah. Deep breaths.

But oh my goodness, I get to see Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Any suggestions on things to see/do/eat? We'll be in Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur mainly. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I know YC has lots of plans for Singapore, but we don't have as many for the other two, especially Jakarta.

So excited!

There's us during Christmas decorating. So cute, and so almost Singapore. Haha.

Hit me up if you have any travel suggestions!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cultural Musings 3 세

Sorry about missing Tteokbokki Tuesday but I didn't really have any new pictures to share. I shall work on taking more pictures. Anyways, I learned some interesting tidbits at my language exchange last night that I thought I'd share.

Musing 1: University
So last night we were talking about what everyone in our groups major in university was/is and I asked how they chose these majors, innocent enough question right? No! It took us awhile to overcome the language and cultural understanding barriers but I think I finally got it. So I had already heard that students take an exam during their 3rd year of middle school to determine what kind of high school they can go to, which in turn can influence where they get into university. No pressure. So what I learned was that high schools here are primarily broken up into two areas of concentration, sciences and society. I am still a little unclear as to what that means precisely but the two girls who said they went to society high schools either didn't take science at all or stopped after their second year. So anyways, majors. Seniors in high school take a huge test that determines what universities they can get into. Think SAT/ACT but with like 10x more pressure. Your score on this exam plays two roles. First, which universities you can get into, similar to how schools in the states said you need an SAT/ACT score of .... to get in. Second, which major you will choose. So from what I understand each major within a school is also given a score, for example they said you needed to get at least a 1500 on the exam to major in English. So instead of choosing based on interest like I did, they chose based on the score that they got.

Musing 2: Animal Control
I don't know too much about how animal control works in the States, all I can say is I don't see half as many strays walking around. Even when I lived in a city, not a huge city, but a city nonetheless, I didn't see this many strays. My alley alone must be home to at least 3 or 4 cats. I also saw a stray dog crossing a huge road this morning. I don't know what he was thinking crossing it 3 times, but it nearly gave me a heart attack. Not much else to say with this one. Just be prepared and watch were you are walking, the street is their toilet, when you visit Korea.

Here is an old, but pretty picture to make up for Tuesday.
I used some kind of magical filter on my camera and now it looks like a painting!
This is from our trip to Jeonju hanok village

I am now curious how you guys chose your majors?
Does anyone have a system to Korea?
What do you think about such a system? Pros? Cons?


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Photo Sunday: Christmas Decorating!

I'm actually posting a Photo Sunday on Sunday, you should be so proud.
Tonight my family started decorating for Christmas. I don't know about you, but in my family decorating is an affair.

It takes hours and is rather ridiculous all around.

Case and point below.

This is how my brother and I decided to put up the tree topper angel. I was pretty sure I was going to fall and die.
I think this picture pretty accurately sums up my family's decorating nonsense.

I can't wait for Christmas! We're celebrating with my family the 19th because we're leaving for Singapore the day after! I'm pumped.

Is your family crazy about Christmas? Is decorating a chaotic affair? Anyone else as excited for the holidays as me?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Oops It's Friday

Oops sorry guys. I went to a friends to watch the Holiday and drink hot cocoa on Tuesday, sorry about that. Anyways we celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend which was a blast. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie to keep it traditional. But we also had pumpkin pancakes, fried chicken and ate with chopsticks to add a little somethin somethin. In true American Thanksgiving tradition though we did consume our weight in alcohol. I highly suggest playing the whisper challenge, that shit is phenomenal. But in all seriousness if you are away from home for the holidays celebrate with your friends, it really takes the edge off those holiday blues and there is a lot less stress!

Here is the only picture we managed to capture of the night. (Thanks Meghan Borland for the photo)
The Traditional Vegetable Turkey

Happy Holidays everyone!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Photo Sunday: Winter is Here

Hello loves. How was your Thanksgiving? Not in America, then how was your normal week?
I ate all the food, I swear. I love Thanksgiving.

During break here, it snowed! Multiple times! This was our first real snow of the season, so of course I took a picture to share with you all.

Look how pretty! It was like a winter wonderland. By the end of that day we had over five inches of snow. That's so much snow! I honestly don't even like snow. I got to stay inside all day and drink hot chocolate and watch movies with YC, so I enjoyed this snow. 

Snow and I can be friends as long as it agrees to only come when I can hide inside all day.

Seems like a reasonable request to me.

How was your Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it? Has is snowed where you are yet? Are you also only a fan of snow when you don't have to touch it? Comment!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Mandatory Thanksgiving Post

I feel like it is mandatory for bloggers to post a Thanksgiving post with a list of things they are thankful for. While I think it is kind of amusing that everyone does it, I also think it is a good practice.
Sometimes it is hard to remember what you're thankful for, so whenever possible sit back and list the good things in your life. It always cheers me up.

So here is a list of things I am thankful for this year:

A pretty accurate summary of my family in one picture.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cultural musings: part 2 둘

As promised here are more of my observations on some cultural differences you might come across in Korea. Again, these are simple observations, I am not calling out anything as good or bad inherently.

So here we go.

I have not been to one yet so I can not speak about what goes on inside of them. But what I can tell you is that your Korean friends and co-workers will suggest that you go to it for every little thing. For example, a co-teacher tripped while running in a race against students and went to the hospital. I started getting a cold and immediately they all began suggesting I go to the hospital and get some medicine. I am from America, the land of expensive health care and so I am not in the habit of going to the doctor often unless it is an emergency. We also have two separate facilities in America, we have doctor's offices which are for general check-ups and minor issues and then there is the hospital which is for major operations, diseases or injuries. In Korea, because of the way their health care is set up it seems the general doctors also reside in the hospital. Either way, be prepared for this to be suggested for every ailment under the sun. Be careful though, my friends who have gone have mentioned the crazy amount of pills they send you home with, sometimes without explanation of what they are. I am not sure how it is where you are from but in America our doctors and nurses always explain what they are giving us and why.

The other thing you might notice, as I have, without even having to step into a hospital is the freedom they give their patients. Because people go their for all manner of things and seem to stay the night more often then they would in America, there are an abundance of fairly healthy people in the hospital at any given time. As they are quite healthy or because Korean's believe in the power of fresh air (I am not 100% sure) you will see people walking around in hospital garb a lot. They are not escapees as I once thought, they are simply out for a stroll. I even saw a guy walking around toting his IV one time. It is perfectly normal. Better than being stuck inside and bored to death I guess.

This isn't really a cultural difference as I have seen people posting about it around the world, I just think it's funny.

Anyway I do think the escalators move at a much slower pace here, but maybe that's just me. But what I wanted to mention is the reliance on escalators. They are everywhere! I get it for multiple floors or something but sometimes it seems a bit like overkill. Perhaps it is because the escalators are so slow that I find this need to wait in an overly squishy line for the escalator so amusing. People are basically lapping you on the stairs people, that is how not fast you are going. My favorite instance of Korean's love affair was escalators was when one of them had stopped working in a subway and yet people will still lining up and getting all up in each others space to get on the thing. Even though it was now just stairs... with less room. I know this happens all over and must say something about us as a whole and our reliance on technology or our sheer laziness and how ingrained habits become but I think it's funny.

I am definitely guilty of an over-reliance on escalators too, and elevators for that matter. Oops

Next time I will write about something that is actually different between our cultures but I just couldn't resist talking about the escalator mania.

Also, sorry this post is lacking in pictures but I didn't want to be that creepy person taking pictures of strangers. Sorry guys.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Photo Sunday: Brazillian Jiu-jitsu Tournament

Hey all! Sorry my Photo Sunday post is, once again, late. I haven't been home much the past couple of days.
So here is your Tuesday Photo Sunday!

On Saturday I rode up to Edinboro to see YC compete in a submission only Brazilian jui-jitsu tournament. It was his first tournament as a blue belt; he'd only been promoted that week.
He did amazing. Each of his five matches was over twenty minutes long, which is an insanely long time to grapple.
He was a bit disappointed since he only won one match, but his form looked great and twenty minutes is a seriously long time. Not to mention all the other blue belts had been at that level for much longer.

Moral of the story: YC is awesome at BJJ.

I really enjoyed watching the tournament. As a striker myself, I didn't really know what was going on most of the time. I enjoyed it nonetheless. Watching people who really love BJJ roll is definitely worth trying sometime. I suggest hitting up a tournament.

The roads were scary and icy on the way up, but we made it safely and the trip was worth it.

Any of you do BJJ? Or Muay Thai like me? Ever watch any martial arts tournaments? Hit me up in the comments!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Seoul

So this past weekend I took my second trip up to Seoul. I went with some friends from Busan and we had a ball. I shall write at greater length about my trip soon. But for now pictures. The first picture requires some background. So we left right after work on Friday and thus decided to have a potluck dinner on the train. Our dinner consisted of gimbap, peanut butter crackers, nuts, fruit, fruit by the foot and what I am calling Korea's fruit cake. We also had some soju and sprite (or lemonade) to wash it all down with. We thought it was awesome that they let you bring drinks on the train.
Anyway here is a pizza of the fruitcake pizza thing.

It was essentially this doughy bread with assorted fruit, peas and a mystery substance on top.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Gamcheon Culture Village

I realize that it is Wednesday and not Tuesday but it was my friend's birthday last night so I was out celebrating. Apologies.

Anyways, last weekend I went to Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan with some friends. Gamcheon village was first created as a refugee camp during the Korean War. Since Busan was the last place free from fighting its population shot up rapidly, particularly in areas close to the port such as Gamcheon. These hastily erected shacks were built up with the help of Chol-je Cho and his followers. (Chol-je Cho is the founder of Taegukdo) It wasn't until recently, 2009 in fact, that the village became a cultural icon. The Ministry of Toursim enlisted the help of artisans and the village residents to transform the city into the art hub it is today.

The village is also sometimes referred to as the Amalfi coast of Korea or Korea's Santorini.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Photo Sunday: Hugging an Irish Statue

When I went to Northern Ireland my friends from there and I looked up some local places to see. One that came up was these old statues. From the description they sounded cool and easy to find.

Cool, yes.
Easy to find? No.

This supposed tourist spot ended up being down a dirt road and in a graveyard. Of course it was raining too, so the whole thing was quite creepy. After going through all the work of finding these strange statues, I had to hug one.
So here is me, hugging an old statue, in a graveyard, in the rain.

Oh Northern Ireland.

Have you ever gone to somewhere on a tourist brochure and ended up in a tiny old graveyard? Have you hugged a strange statue? Hit me up!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tteokboki Tuesday: Street Art Edition

Hey guys! I am still working on uploading some pictures from recent trips but I thought I would share this nerdy street art which it just so happens is on my own street! This master piece showed up magically over the course of a few nights. I have seen a lot of cool artwork here and will try to document it in the future. 

Please share your own favorite street art, I would love to see it. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Korean cultural musings 하나

So I wanted to just state a couple of things that I have noticed differ between American culture and Korean culture. I am not making any judgement or claiming that either way is better I am simply making some observations and I would be curious to hear what difference struck Koreans visiting America or really anyone living in another country.

So without further adieu, here is what I have noticed.

From my hike in Seoul!

Photo Sunday: Brain Tumor 5K

Before you get super excited, no I did not run a 5K. My mom and I walked it. I am probably physically capable of running it, but I would just hate everything and everyone the whole time. So I walked instead.

This lovely photo is from the start of the race/walk. We were wearing purple to honor the teacher I work with. She has a brain tumor, and has had one for a couple of years now.
Her family often does races for brain tumor research, which inspired the race in my hometown.

Other teachers and people from the community organized the run/walk, which was this morning, in her honor.

The actual brain tumor awareness color is grey, which is a lame color. The teacher, who I am not naming because I'm not sure she'd want the extra publicity (the current amount stresses her out), picked purple instead of grey because it is far more fun.

Many of the teachers and other staff got together on Thursday night to dye parts of our hair purple as well. It is hard to see in the picture, but I have two purple streaks which I braided into a headband.

The race was a lot of fun, and the turnout was amazing. Plus that many people with purple hair is fun to see.

On a more serious note. Brain tumor research is important and if you'd like to donate to the cause or just learn more, visit the National Brain Tumor Research Society Page.

Have you ever done a 5K? Did you walk like me? Check out the tumor research page, maybe donate, or do a 5K for it sometime yourself. I'd love for there to be a way to help the teacher I work with. Hopefully the 5K today helped.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Phomen! (Or: What Happens When You Fail at Pho)

On Saturday YC and I attempted our first Cooking Experiment!
We decided to try and whip up some pho, mostly because I'd be craving pho for days.

While it turned out very yummy, as you can see from the picture below it did not really turn into pho.
We ruled it somewhere between ramen and pho, so phomen!

It looks yummy though, right?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Girls Day Out

This weekend was super awesome and relaxing. Probably because we didn't go out drinking haha. After sleeping in on Saturday and getting my hair cut (side note it is crazy cheap here, it only cost me 15,500 won so like 15 U.S. dollars for a hair-cute, shampoo and conditioner), we went to the Trick Eye Museum. The one here (in Busan) is much smaller than the one in Seoul but it was a nice day out. I only went with two other people which I think is a good sized group. The pictures kind of over lap so going with a large group would be a bit awkward and it would take longer to get through making it potentially boring.

Anyway here is my friend and I goofing off in one of the paintings. 

Photo Sunday: Halloween!

Hello there all! Did you guys have a good Halloween? I did.
So, your photo Sunday this week is from my Halloween!

I'll even give you two, since I can't decide on one. Also because I'm a benevolent blog ruler like that. You heard me, blog ruler. :P

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Buttermilk Falls, Watkins Glen, and an Update

Hello lovelies!
Here is the second post on my adventures in upstate New York! This time we will be mostly looking at pictures of Buttermilk Falls and Watkins Glen. At the end I have a quick update for you on my life.

Here we go!
Buttermilks Falls is the name of a couple of waterfalls right at the entrance to Ithaca. The first waterfall you see is the most impressive, but the whole path is lovely.

The view of Buttermilk Falls from where you walk in.

International Fireworks Festival

Hey guys, sorry I missed Tteokbokki Tuesday last week. I was feeling a bit down and homesick so I spent the evening with hot chocolate and watching tv. Let me catch you up on some of the things I have done since my last update.

Two weekends ago I went to Daegu to visit some friends from EPIK orientation. That is one of the great things about orientation, friends and their couches all over Korea. Anyway, Dageu is a smaller city about an hour north of Busan. It is known for being extremely hot and it also has a very active expat community. It has only 2 subway lines so it isn't as easy to get around as it is in Busan and there aren't as many cultural activities to partake in. That being said it was a lot of fun to see another city and go on a hike similar to Jangsan mountain here and see the city from above.

 Me and the girls reveling in the view and rejoicing 
that we finally made it to the top

Busan hosted the 10th anual International Fireworks Festival last weekend at Gwangali beach. Some friends had an apartment with a good view from the roof near buy so we opted to watch from there as opposed to the beach so that we could avoid the crowds. We went down to the beach around 2 to check out the festivities and because we were told the subways would basically shut down after that and it would be impossible to find a spot. Lies. The beach didn't really start to get packed until around 5:30 or 6. The fireworks themselves were spectacular if a bit long, though that might have been because we weren't right in the thick of it. Anyways, I would recommend going to see it at least once if you are near Busan in October. Be warned though, the crowds after are insane. It felt like the zombie apocalypse. There were soldiers in the subway guiding people a long but I think they just managed to increase the panic in the atmosphere. The line between sanity and a mob seemed very thin. Probably riding off the high of the festival many people, myself included, decided to celebrate Halloween a week early. We went to KSU and hopped around the clubs there. We saw some really incredible costumes so I would suggest hanging out there if you are in need of some Halloween festivities.

The gang outside CU. I am dressed as Belle from Beauty in the Beast in case you are wondering. 
Our group was definitely not the most impressive.
And yes, we are being photobombed.

What are some of your favorite hikes in Korea?
What do you do to celebrate Halloween in your home away from home?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ithaca, Wineries, and the Finger Lakes

I spent two days in up state New York with my family. We spent the first day in Ithaca and the wineries around the Finger Lakes. It was gorgeous there, fall was the perfect time to go. The blues of the sky and lake mixed in with the bright fall colors was beautiful.
I took about a gazillion pictures. Due to this over abundance of pictures, I'm separating the trip into two posts. Both of which will probably be mostly pictures. Oh well.

This post will discuss the wineries, Finger Lakes, and Ithaca. The next will cover Watkins glen and the Buttermilk Falls.

Standing on the dock and taking pictures with my phone.

When we got to Ithaca the first thing we did, besides find a Walmart to go pee in, was visit a little bakery simply called the Ithaca Bakery. I got an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox. It was phenomenal. I have no idea what the rest of their food was like, I assume great as well, but my bagel was perfect. This might be slightly influenced by how hungry I was after the three hour car ride.

Mmmmmmmm. Look at that bagel!

After we were satiated food wise, we went to the wineries! The wineries in Ithaca are so cute. The wine is about average I think, but the views are wonderful. All the wine tastings were cheap too. Two of them were three dollars for six wines, and the other was five for five but our favorite wine-tasting-helper-person (what is the name for that job???) gave us way more than five tastings.

On the way to the winery trail we spotted a huge waterfall, apparently taller than Niagara Falls, though obviously much thinner. I absolutely adore waterfalls, so of course we had to stop for tons of pictures.

Taking selfies with the waterfall.

The viewpoint was pretty far away, so it's hard to grasp how tall and impressive the waterfall was.

The first winery was called Americana Vineyard Winery. It was in a cute building that was super halloween-y and adorable on the inside.

See? Cute and all the lights and spiderwebs!

The second winery was our favorite! This is because our favorite wine-person was there, and they had the magical dock where I took ALL the pictures. It was called the Sheldrake Point Winery. It is totally worth going there just for the best wine-person. His name was Will, I think, and apparently he is my future husband.

Will mentioned that he was happily married pretty soon after starting our tasting. This is due to the fact that my family was four women and we were joined by another group of two women as well. He had all the ladies. He was joking around with us all and cracking everyone up. At some point he pulled out his cellphone to look at something and I noticed he had the same phone case I used to have (it looks like an old gameboy case). When I told him this he said "maybe not married for long" and winked.

So now my family calls him my future husband. Sorry YC :P Kidding!

The best winery!

The view from inside.

There's my favorite dock! So much blue!

The last winery was the only one where we bought wine to take home. We got this sparkling wine to combine with a strawberry wine. It was delicious. The lady totally won me over with the combo. That winery also had cute little gifts. My mom got me a magnet that said "Fight like a girl, drink like a lady". Perfect.

The view from the porch of the last winery.

Yeah, you guessed it. The name had goose in it. I believe it was the Flying Goose actually.

On our way to the hotel after the wineries, we stopped at the same waterfall from the beginning of the trip. This time we wanted to walk to it from the bottom, but it was getting dark and starting to rain. So my mother, she's a saint for putting up with me, and I powerwalked and jogged to the base of the waterfall. All so I could snap a picture for this blog. Sorry not sorry, mom.

The picture I made my mom run through the rain and dark for. She thought we were going to get killed by a serial killer.
Also the picture was so dark I had to touch it up tons. Oops.

Afterward we went to downtown Ithaca for dinner. I love college towns, they tend to be safe and have a good range of food.
We went to a place called the Mahogany Grill. My pasta was yummy, but the best part was the truffle fries. Dear god, best truffle fries.
I recommend it just for that. TRUFFLE FRIES.

See those truffle fries in the corner? GO EAT THEM.

So in a couple days I'll write another post detailing (i.e. expect lots of pictures) the Buttermilk Falls and Watkins Glen.
Until then, here are a couple more pictures from the first day!

Posing on the lovely dock.

Obligatory travel shoe picture.

More of the lake! And my eye.

Have you ever been to Ithaca or the Finger Lakes in general? Have you done a winery tour? Where do you think has the best truffle fries?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Photo Sunday: Finger Lakes Preview

This past Thursday and Friday I went to Ithaca, the Finger Lakes, and Watkins Glen.
I'll be writing a post detailing these adventures later in the week; my family is visiting, so I don't have time now.
I took tons of pictures, be prepared.

But, to prepare you, here is a preview picture!
Also, I'm sorry it's late, as stated my family is visiting.

This picture is my favorite from the trip, which is why it gets to be the Photo Sunday. I thought it deserved it's own post.

Look at those blues! The Finger Lakes are absolutely gorgeous. The colors are surreal.
Love love love.
This is the dock belonging to the Sheldrake Point Winery. More to come on the wineries in upcoming post.

Have you been to the Finger Lakes? Did you think it was as gorgeous and unreal looking as I did? Anyone else think docks are just adorable and so photogenic?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tis The Renaissance Faire!

Tis is olde English right? I'm pretty sure adding an e to the end of old makes That olde English too.
But back to the topic of this post, the Renaissance Faire!

I went to the PA Renaissance Faire this Sunday with my friend, her boyfriend, and YC. I don't know what I expected it to be like, maybe my high school's tiny faire, but it blew me away. It even has permanent buildings!

That mansion is right before you enter the gates. Insane right? Also, my friend and her bf had awesome costumes.

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Jinju Lantern Festival

So Jinju holds a huge lantern festival every October. The festival grew out of the military custom used during the Imjinwaeran War (1592) of lighting lanterns to prevent enemy Japanese soldiers from wading across the Namgang River. It has grown to include floating lanterns highlighting cultures from around the world. You can also buy your own paper lantern for 3,000 won and adorn it with wishes and dreams before sending it on its way down the river. Lanterns are still lit to remember the veterans of the Jinjuseong Fortress battle (Imjinwaeran war) and short firework festival tops the whole event off.

I couldn't pick just one picture so you get two this week.

This is the lantern tunnel of wishes! So pretty. 
I opted to let my float down the river.

These are pretty floating Pegasus. I love them <3

Anyhow, there are lots of amazing festivals to see in Korea, like literally every weekend. It's fabulous. And they love fireworks! So much to celebrate. 

What are some of your favorite festivals around the world? What festival does your hometown do really well? I think my hometown of State College, PA does the 4th of July like none other. Our fireworks are bomb y'all. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Photo Sunday: Sunrise and Clouds

Hi all! Sorry this post is late.

But guess why; I was at the PA Renaissance Faire all day Sunday! It was awesome! I'll be writing a full post on the Faire either today or tomorrow.

I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath.

Check out this lovely sunrise over the mountains. Caught this on my way to work Friday. I took about seven pictures trying to get good ones while driving. Super safe, I know.

I think this one looks like Aslan is about to crest the hill to gaze down upon Narnia.

Anyone else love the Chronicles of Narnia? I only like the movies (I'm horrible I know). I also don't really like the last movie, the third I think? Too many in your face religious references. 
I like it better when Aslan is just a magic lion....

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Packing: What you need to bring to Korea

I spent many hours scourging the internet trying to figure out what exactly I needed to pack when moving across the world and while many of those posts were very helpful a lot of them contradicted themselves or just weren't specific enough. Like no shit sherlock I have to bring underwear... Anyways I will try to break it down for you, but bear in mind I am from the United States so things may very slightly from country to country and Korea is constantly changing so if you are reading this a year from now some things may be out of date.

Let's begin by talking about clothes as they will most likely take up the most space in your suitcases. My suggestion is to bring mostly professional clothes as they will have to last you for at least a month before you can go shopping. This is probably even more essential if you aren't in a big city with easy access to shopping and western stores. Your professional wardrobe should also include shoes, but don't stress about this one as you will wear indoor shoes at school. For the ladies I have found a good pair of black flats to be essential and for the gents a nice pair of loafers? Here are a few other things to remember about professional attire in Korea.

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Beomeosa Temple edition

So a couple of weekends ago a group of us thought we would spend our weekend in search of inner peace and cute monks at a Korean Temple. One of the wonderful ways in which us foreigners, aka waegooks, can experience Korean culture is through the temple stay program. Lucky enough for us there was a temple right here in Busan that offered a temple stay program with an English translator. 

While we did not manage to find inner peace, we did find cute monks so I call it a win. Haha. But in all seriousness, it was a wonderful experience. We got a small taste of what Korean Buddhism is like as we were only their two days and one night (honestly it was a little more that 24 hours) and they weren't strict about enforcing Buddhist etiquette with us. This lovely picture is from our 3am wake up call for the first service of the day. We also got to string our own prayer beads which included doing one bow for each of the 108 beads. Needless to say we were feeling a little sore the next day. We did however; make new friends, great memories, such as singing Fresh Prince of Bel-air for the monks and we saw really beautiful architecture and got a glimpse of a beautiful way of life. 

All in all I would recommend giving a temple stay a try. Here is a link to the temples that offer programs in English, and another helpful website,

Friday, October 3, 2014

Cooking Experiments! A New Idea

So YC came up with an awesome idea that I think I'll be trying out in the near future.

Cooking experiments!

We'll try out recipes from various countries and chronicle the results. This will include pictures of the attempt, how it turned out, and the recipe we used.

Also, I'm really bad at cooking, as in I messed up instant mac and cheese on more than one occasion. So, this should make the whole thing quite amusing.

What do you guys think?

The other week YC and I attempted to make onigiri, so here is a summary of how it went as a preview for these upcoming blog posts.
Sorry I don't have the recipe for this one, but we will be doing a redo where I'll include the recipe. So stay posted!

Here they are! The onigiri!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Update on My Life

Hello there lovelies.
Seeing as how I haven't written a full post in awhile, yet I haven't gone on any new adventures, I decided to just give you a little update on my life in general.
And because everyone loves a list (I'm pretty sure that's a fact. haha.), here is a list of five recent happenings in my life.

Here we go!

The amazing Tres Leches Cake