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a lot has happened while I was gone..

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I’m sitting here at the SK airport once again waiting for my flight back to Dalian – the longest layover ever! Seven-hours! Sheesh. But I figure it’ll be good time to catch up on my site and upload photos. I’m extremely drained. My eyes are shutting down as I type this. I’m on my third cup of coffee, but it’s not helping. So I’ll be quick and I’m apologizing now for any randomness and writing errors.

First and foremost, I finally got my Chinese work visa! Yes, finally. This work visa grants me a one-year stay in China. Which means no more flying in and out and no more extensions! A very good thing because I’m already running out of pages in my new passport!!

My five days home came and went. Man, it flew by! I miss my family, friends and my dog already. Had a sweet ass time kicking it with my nephews and nieces, who have grown so much since I last saw them five months ago. My five-year-old nephew Donovan rips it on his razor scooter now! It freaked me out. I really thought he was going to eat pavement going at the speed he was going down the hill, but he didn’t! Pheww! Anyway, a lot has happened while I was gone. I was caught up on a lot of things, which got me thinking – did I pick a bad year to move abroad? Hmmm… I’ll break it down for you:

BABY CONGRATS to my…

~Cousins~

Jeng and Nickie!! Thanks for the pics – Nathan is a handsome little guy. With all the cute babies running around in our fam I’m convinced that we have awesome genes lol :)

Joce and Brian!! It was awesome seeing you guys! Badillo twins!! – very exciting! Any chances of naming one of em’ Sophia?

Roxanne –Send me photos asap!! Or I’m sure Tash will have them up on facebook before you even make it home from the hospital lol

~Friends~

Vina and Virgil on their new addition, Cara!

Min and her husband on theirs, baby Nesta!

Mike and Courtney on their second child, Brooklyn!

see what I mean….I’m missing out on all the babies!!:( I’m not even done yet… my list continues…

GRADUATION Congrats to my…

Big sister Susan!! I’ll see you in October!

Trace and Kay (Registered Nurses) and Jill (Graphic Design)!!

I wish I could’ve been there to see you guys walk but know that I was there celebrating in spirit – Proud of you girls! Sheila you’re left….:)

WEDDING and ENGAGEMENT Congrats to…

My friend Valerie and her hubby!! And My friends Jon and Megan!!

Oh and Birthday shout outs to the JULY babies!! Dad, Iris, Sheila and Julie!! LOVE you guys!!

Yep definitely missing out on heaps of stuff this year. But nah, no regrets. Things happen for a reason and I’m having the time of my life. If I missed naming anyone in my congrats list, I apologize. Super exhausted at the mo, and I’m close to crashing out on this airport chair. Overall, I had a sweet short trip home. Three hours left in SK…. I’m going to take a nap. Hopefully I don’t over sleep and miss my flight :)

Signing off… See you guys in China, currently nowThe Land With No Access to Facebook!

SK in a nutshell

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Korea’s largest palace from the Chosun Dynasty.

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Make sure to catch the changing ceremony of the royal guards at the palace, complete with traditional Korean music, bright colorful costumes and flag bearers.

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Hyangwongjeong Pavilion

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The N Seoul Tower aka Namsan Tower. It has the best view of the city, especially at night.

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Left the big city, caught a 4 hour bus ride to the little town of Sokcho for some trekking at Seoraksan National Park. The Ulsanbawi hike (900m) itself was relatively easy; I’d say the only semi-challenging part was the last stretch to the summit. You have to trek up a vertical-faced metal staircase to get to the top of the rock.

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At the top

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All smiles at the Sokcho DMZ with Simon – North Korea and the Sea of Japan in the backdrop. The closest I’ll probably ever get to NK. Well maybe, we’ll see lol

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After Sokcho/Seorasksan I caught a bus to Gyeongju (Kyongju), a city with history dating back more than 1,000 years. Gyeongju was the capitol for the ancient Silla kingdom. You’ll find heaps of burial mounds (of Silla kings) scattered through out the city; with most enclosed in parks. It’s usual for residents here to hang out/ have picnics amongst the mounds. The weather was perfect during my two day stay, so I found myself laying out with my book one afternoon beside a mound. A little eerie, you think? Well, maybe a bit :) I think they’re fascinating.
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Cheomseongdae, one of the oldest surviving astronomical observatories in East Asia. Built from 365 stones, representing the days of the year, and twelve stones at its base, rep the months of the year.

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For more trekking, I headed southeast of the city to Gyeongju National Park (Mt.Tohamsan side) which is about 30 mins by bus. You’ll find the Bulguksa (Pulguksa) Temple and the Seokguram Grotto , containing a 8th century stone Buddha – Both temples dubbed by UNESCO. On a funny note, I fell asleep on the bus ride to the park; the bus driver was kind enough to wake me up when we got to my destination lol :) 3614383142_307e9b598a.jpg

soju, bibimbap and metal chopsticks!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I'm in Korea !!!

I came to Korea knowing it was a more developed country compared to China, but I didn't expect the lodging cost to be as high. Not as pricey as the US but it comes close. I paid ... [Continue reading this entry]