Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our 1st Christmas here!

This was our first Christmas Here. It was different from other years, but in many ways the same.
Yes, we didn't get to eat my traditional food, made by my beautiful abuela, have any coquito.  We didn't get to go to one of the many party's there's just about anyplace you go... for sure, nothing like Christmas in PR!!!
Even though there are lights and decorations around, (which do give you a Holiday-ish kinda feeling), people here don't feel very festive at all.  Sean's cousin told me that for Koreans, Christmas, is more for couples.  New Year and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) is when family gathers together.
On Chuseok; http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=811650

Christmas in Korea

All I saw was people just buying cakes. I think cake giving must be a must. There was an insane amount of cake boxes outside the bakery by our house. Imagine, if I was allowed to sell my cakes here!!!! Cakes here are really pretty, but mine taste 1,000 times better than any I've tried... and it's been a lot : ( ....

Digo yomodestia aparte.... : )

Too bad I'm not allowed... : (

If Christmas is supposed to be a day where you are surrounded by your loved ones, kids laughter & good food.  I had it all.
I called my Mom very early on her morning, so was happy about that. Got to say hi to my sister in law and my nieces.  And even tough I did miss my family back home, I was surrounded by loved ones, my husband & my very own kids. Olivia even gave me her first giggle.

No one in the world is Merrier than my Markus, who sings and sings Jingle bells, over & over & over again some more.

The day is HERE!!!!

milk & cookies for Santa
Santa's here

Her first coat!

I actually feel I got some special extras. We had for once a semi-white Christmas, (since it snowed the night before). Olivia & I got to do a little girl time, while Marky & Sean got into their first snowball fight, (even if it was just the little bit of snow left piled up in the corners), the kid loved it... he loves "the wintering" (as he calls it).

And the food, well, we had Chinese dumplings for dinner.  Not very traditional for sure, but was very, very good. 

steamed pork dumplings
Ending our day at a Chinese restaurant makes me feel like we had our own"A Christmas Story" moment...  minus the duck. 


Something I really wanted to do, was go to Church. I don't consider myself very religious, but I grew up believing in God & I want my kids to grow up having a Christian base. I didn't get to go though, I have yet to find a English service one. I know there are, just have to find them.  

Since I am from PR, and the party goes on for us until Three Kings Day on January 6. I'm keeping my festive mood & my tree until then. Also we will not stay this Holiday season without having some PR food. After some sofrito, I made an asopao'/ sancocho. The only thing I couldn't find is malanga or platanos, but the rest they have.  So that's what we're having today!

to make sofrito
missing half the ingredients but it'll have to do...


My Mami & Abuela will be proud! 




Perfect for the cold weather! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nami Island

I got a chance to do a post before Christmas! yeayyyy.... this one is gonna be a long one, so I better get started!

So after kicking & screaming, having my own little internal tantrums, after being in denial for the longest time, I came to terms with the fact that I live in Korea....  and I will no longer get to see The Today Show in the mornings, Ellen...... "Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of NY, NJ, Bethany & other trashy reality TV shows <3 kkkk...  my dear geeks of Big Bang Theory, Modern Family... Quien tiene la Razon... : X .... LOL  In general, all Western TV.

Ohhhhh how I miss it so...

Well I gave in, and I decided to start on Korean dramas, thinking maybe, just maybe something of the language would stick with me.  I now have to admit, I've got THE DRAMA FEVER  (I'm not gonna make this post about the dramas, 'cause that HAS to be one on it's own : )  But I've found that with them I've learned some words and I can actually understand a teeny-tiny bit when they talk.... specially AISHHHH..... lol....
But what I like most, Is I get to see where they are filmed and If there is a location that I find pretty or interesting, I google it and we make a trip out of it.  On this one Drama called "Scent of a Woman" the main actress took a client on a guided walking tour in Korea and they went to this place where they were walking though a misty path that had really tall trees lined through it.  I thought it was beautiful, the combination of the mist wit the tall trees, made it feel like a scene of an mystic Asian film.  Both Sean and I said, we have to go there!
The next day Sean sent me a text; I found it... and the picture below.

Metasequoia road
I learned they are Redwood trees or also known as Metasequoia.  I also learned the famous road is in Damyang, which is way south from us, ( 4 to 5 hours driving).  I don't think I'm up for such a long drive with my very talkative son & 2 month old baby...  : /

Then one day looking trough a facebook page I "liked" about Korea, I saw a really pretty picture and it had tagged Nami Island. When I googled it, this Island had the same tree lined path and best of all, it was just an hour away from us. : )
                            Road Trip!!!!!!!!

15 minutes into our drive.....

It is looking good for us... : )

Googooliando... hmmmm... maybe Facebookiando

Nami Island or Namiseom is a tiny half moon shaped Island located in Chuncheon, South Korea. It's like half the size of Culebra, maybe a little less.

To get there you have to take a ferry boat. 

Inside the ferry boat there was this tree made out of little pieces of paper. Sean told me it was a wishing tree. I sure hope it was that, cause is not like he asked anyone, and me being very "presenta" you know, I haaad to write one. 

I think I read somewhere they store the Kimchi under these for the winter.

So apparently this is place is a popular location to film Dramas. The one that supposedly made this place so popular was Winter Sonata, (need to add this one to my "to see" list).  There's many statues & signs telling of sites where the actors did this or that, and people take pictures following the steps of the actors... too funny to see! 

mixed families, mixed kids, boricuas en Corea, Boricuas en Korea, Naminara, Nami Island
Nami Island, Naminara, Boricuas en Corea del sur, Korea, South Korea

There's wild Ostriches, just loose, walking around people, minding their own business...

The Recycled funkiness...

Nami, naminara,

It was Sweet, cute, romantic...

Nami Island, Naminara, boricuas en Corea, romantic

From now I start feeling like I'm in the world of Where The Wild Things Are... & I mean the book, not the movie : )

Nami Island, Naminara, Chuncheon, Metasoquias, 
Nami Island
Metasequoia lined path, Nami Island, Naminara, Boricuas en Korea, Seoul, chuncheon
At Nami Island

I'll eat you up!

Markus' new friend : )
*the boy, not the monster... : P

"Let the wild rumpus start"...

The frozen fountains...

& the Lady in the water...

A mermaid passionately waiting for her prince
We were here... : )

we were cold...

& we were hungry... 

So before my wild things start roaring their terrible roars, we sail back... & Have some delicious Dinneeeeer!!!!

We ate so well.... Thank you Lily & Fam. for touring us around : )

To be continued....
: )

PS. There are american channels here, but the series are old seasons. Also the TV guide is in Korean, so I don't know at what time shows are, so I miss them all the time. I just gave up on them! : )