Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hiking at Suncheon Bay

A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to Suncheon Bay. Several of our students told us that they like to go to Suncheon Bay with their families, and we would always ask them if they went swimming. Every time we mentioned swimming, we were met with a strange look and a laugh. Little did we know, no one goes swimming when they go to the Bay. Everyone goes hiking!

When we arrived and started the hike, we realized that swimming wasn't really an option around Suncehon Bay. The area is designed to let people get up close and personal with the scenic landscapes and the nature. You get great views of the water, but you just don't go in the water. We walked on a raised wooden walkway to protect the plants and animals below.

It was great to feel so connected with the natural environment and know that you were not destroying the habitat around you. We saw so many little crabs and other creatures scurrying around in the mud below. It was so fun to be so close to the crabs in their natural habitat.

The hike from the entrance to the observation deck on the top of the mountain  only takes about an hour, and there are numerous rest points, benches, bridges, and other surprises along to way.

The end of the trail is an observation deck with three levels. It provides an amazing view of Suncheon Bay and the surrounding coastal wetland. Well worth the hike!

You can see all the photos from our hike at Suncheon Bay on our Flickr page.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chuseok: Korean Harvest Celebration

This weekend is Chuseok in South Korea which is a three day harvest celebration comparable to American Thanksgiving. All the kids said they are going to their grandmother's houses and will be eating lots of songpyeon. In Korea, Songpyeon is to Chuseok like turkey is to Thanksgiving back home.

Everyone makes it!
 It's a soft little "dessert" thing made out of rice. I say "dessert" because it's not sweet. It kinda tastes like one huge grain of soft, soft rice with random nuts and spices inside. I think the outside part is made of rice flour and water, but I'm just guessing.  

It tastes horrible.

It sticks to the roof of your mouth and the sides of your teeth. The filling has the consistency of sand and I'm pretty sure there is some form of pine needles in it. I can't see why, but the kids all love it.

We don't have grandmothers in Korea and will definitely not be eating songpyeon but we have some perks too. One of which is, we get a four day weekend! Yay! Four whole days of freedom and bliss!! A four day weekend is the perfect opportunity to visit other parts of South Korea. However, we are both sick and the weatherman is calling for thunderstorms for most of the weekend so we decided to stay home and rest. A little stay-cation is just what we need at the moment.

Our other perk is, we get presents! A few of the students got us presents and the school gave us presents, too. The school gave us....wait for it....a spam and tuna gift pack! That is right. Spam, tuna, and two bottles of oil all nicely displayed in a bright yellow gift pack. Korean gift giving at its finest! They also gave us a box of 100 instant coffee packets.
Gifts we got from students include a set of his and hers traditional Korean slippers, cherry blossom scented body wash/lotion, and lip gloss. As you can see, Chuseok gifts can vary widely. One of the other teachers got a Costco sized box of pears!

Happy Chuseok!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Travel Photo: Sailing Belize with the Ragga Queen

We took this picture while on our honeymoon in Belize. We did an amazing sailing trip with Raggamuffin Tours for three days. Our boat was dubbed the Ragga Queen and we had a blast. Read more about our sailing adventure here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Travel Photo: Laundry Day

We got home from our trip to the Boryeong Mud Festival and snapped this photo. If it's not raining, you can bet at least one person is drying their bedclothes on the ledge outside their front door. They even make these big, special clips to clip on the top so nothing will fall.