Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: April 2016
At the beginning of April, the cherry blossoms exploded all over the city, turning Seoul temporarily into a pink fairytale wonderland.
The spring flowers and warm weather were not far behind, and we’ve been taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather by spending as much time outside as possible, before the insane heat and humidity of the summer hit.
April was the month that we finally saw more of Korea. Agri had signed up to run his first marathon down in Gyeongju, so we took the opportunity to road trip around the south of the peninsula. We visited Yeosu, Suncheon, Daegu and Jeonju, before stopping into my cousin’s place in Daejeon, enroute to Seoul.
I’ll have posts coming up about roadtrippin’ Korea, as well as our experiences in all of these cities, including the embarrassing fact that Agri and I somehow completely missed each other at the finish line of the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom marathon. Honestly, I think I might’ve been bent over changing a diaper.
*Sigh. Such is life with babies.
As usual, our little traveling baby handled the trip like a champ, taking in all the new experiences with excitement and curiosity. I will say though that road tripping with our little one was definitely a lot easier than flying to another country…mostly because our car was essentially a mini-home that we could escape to whenever we needed to.
Not that it mattered much, because Naia just fell asleep wherever she was. Oh to be a baby and have that luxury.
We’ve seen a fair bit of South Korea now, and while Seoul is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the country – all sparkling, new and bright – a visit to other areas is not only worth it, I’d say it’s almost necessary to get a true sense of Korea. Because in truth, most of the rest of Korea is nothing like Seoul.
Springtime always makes me want to sit on a patio, drink coffee and relax. Unfortunately, in Seoul, this is easier said than done. Cafes in Seoul, at least the ones with prime locations and outdoor space, are more like clubs with super loud music and people talking at ear shattering decibels. Not really the vibe I’m looking for on a mellow, spring afternoon.
But after sitting at countless coffee shops with my headphones stuffed deep into my ears for my own sanity, I finally found exactly what I’ve been looking for. At the CoffeeSmith sorta near my house, there are huge open windows, blazing fast free wifi, big lattes in mugs and no loud music, or groups of ajummas screaming at each other. Let’s just call it my idea of heaven.
And so what if I just found it last week, and the staff already recognize me? 😉
Also in April, my sister flew into Seoul to meet her niece for the first time and fell madly in love with her (of course). I think Naia, on the other hand, may have felt a little confused, because all of a sudden, there were 2 mommies, instead of 1.
We did all kinds of sister things, like shopping, getting Korean facials (which are amazing) and pigging out to our heart’s content.
And no, my sister and I are NOT twins.
Way back before we became stodgy, old, boring parents, we did crazy things like experiment with the Amazonian medicine plant, ayahuasca, on the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia. Agri and I had experiences so markedly different, I find it extremely difficult to reduce it down to a simple “drug,” as some tend to do.
What about you? Would you ever try something like ayahuasca?
One thing I’m really enjoying about IG, is the capacity to post and share 15 second videos. In a past life, I edited video professionally and while words will always be my favourite medium to express an experience, sometimes video just does it better…especially since I’m not too interested in paying for a video upgrade on wordpress. :p
Our most popular video this month, with 246 views and 40 likes was of Agri eating some sannakji or raw octopus that’s so fresh, it’s still moving, at a Korean Hanjeongsik in Yeosu.
Our most popular pic this month, with 91 likes, was a sunset shot through the windshield of our car, somewhere in the Jeollanam-do region of Korea.
COMING UP IN MAY
We’ve got another busy month coming up! My dad flew into town at the beginning of the month, and my mom is joining him mid-month.
We haven’t made any solid plans yet, but another meal at Lab XXIV to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary is in the cards, and perhaps we’ll take another little jaunt around Korea. Who knows?
In Seoul, the blooming of the cherry blossoms always signal the beginning of spring. Is there a definite sign of spring where you live? What do you have planned for May?