Monthly Archives: December 2011

Incheon Airport

We’re sitting at the gate getting ready to catch our flight for our Christmas vacation to Cebu located in the Philippines. Incheon international Airport rocks!


Here are just some of the teeny tiny small reasons why…

1. This place puts the states to shame with way more festive with holiday spirit! Christmas tunes pumping, holiday decor everywhere, plus the airport workers wear little reindeer antlers. Too cute!


2. Even the airport Korean food is outstanding!


3. They have Jamba Juice! Enough said. 🙂


Headed South

2011_12_16 Christmas Scuba Party

2011_12_16 Christmas Scuba PartyDec 17, 2011Photos: 12

To Songtan that is. We left Friday night after work, loaded up the car, and headed south for the weekend.

One of Mr.B’s scuba friends had a birthday dinner planned. We couldn’t imagine not going as some of these people have become like extended family.

We arrived just in time for dinner. We headed directly to the restaurant called Churrascaria Rio Grill. This place was a Brazil steakhouse and we were eager to try it out as we didn’t have the best experiences with a Dongducheon Brazil Steakhouse.

What a treat! This place we actually pretty good! The meat was great, service great, and dessert….mmm…Perfecto!

We had all sorts of meats. We learned that Churrasco is a style of grilling meat over a fire pit, that originated in southern Brazil. At Rio Grill, various cuts of meat are put on a skewer and slow roasted over hot coals to mouth watering perfection. Tonight we had choices of, picanha steak, alcatra steak, frango chicken leg, linguica sausage, baby beef, and custelao rib.

We were so busy engorged in our food that we completely forgot to snap any good food or restaurant pictures to share. Yes, folks it was that good! Well…I did manage to pry my fork from my fingers and mouth while switching for my spoon to eat dessert and snapped a quick pic with the iPhone.


Amazing, right?!

It was vanilla ice-cream with like a bananas foster sauce. Trust me, order it!

After dinner we were getting ready to go check into our hotel when I decided I really needed to bite the bullet and purchase my very first pair of long underwear. Yes, you read That statement right. Korea’s winter is no joking matter. The temperature plunges well into the 20’s and the wind just whips against your body. So yes, it was a total necessity to survive this winter without turning into frosty the snowwoman.

With my newly purchased knickers in hand, we went to the hotel and checked in. It was around 11pm and after the drive we decided to relax.

The next morning we woke up, grabbed breakfast, headed out and about to do some errands. We had fun walking to the Ville area where all the shops are located.

Nothing real eventful to report. We ate lunch for the first time at Blue Opera. Overall, a pretty neat atmosphere inside the restaurant. The tables are cozy, all seated with small love seats. The lunch menu was pretty westernized with a nice selection of teas and adult beverages. Food consisted of soups, salads, pastas, rice, etc. the cherry tea caught my eye so of course I had to order a cup.

Hmm… It tasted like they put a few sugar packets into the maraschino cherry juice jar and served it piping hot. it was awesome, at first. Then after commenting how I’ve never met my match where I’ve ate or drank something that I considered to sweet. Well, I spoke much to soon. This drink made me eat my words. I ended up with a slight stomachache because I drank half of the drink and it was just too sweet. Guess I now know the feeling that normal people have towards my candy corn and super sugary icing.


Cherry Tea

After lunch on the way back we froze out little butts off because the wind was no long at our backs. Brrrrr! Korea you are so cold!

We got back to the hotel, warmed up, and suddenly there was a wrapped gift sitting on the bed. Mr. B told me to open it. He laughed and said quickly it was the book I had been searching for over the past few weeks. I of course did not believe him because we just came from the bookstore together where they did not have my book. What a sneak! Also I have to point out that Mr. B didn’t keep his word. We agreed no gifts because we were going to the Philippines for Christmas and we had agreed that was our gift to each other. Some days I just have no idea how I got so blessed to be married to this sweet man. I love him to the moon and back, even if he is a little sneak ;).

Mr.B was tired and wanted to take a quick nap. I had big plans to finish my book and play with my new gift. We got our act together in time for our next dinner meet up, 6 PM. Mexican at La Casa Del Mexicano! Woot-Woot! We headed back to the Mexican restaurant we snapped pictures of a few weeks ago when we last visited Songtan.

I changed my order up from the last we had been here and was daring enough to order fajitas diablo. A tad bit spicy, guess the two little peppers pictured beside the dish should have been a good indicator. I still loved it! Mr. B ordered the something he had last time. No cilantro for this man. We all had birthday celebration drinks consisting of beers, frozen mango margaritas, and regular margaritas. We topped everything off with a delicious light Korean cake from Paris Baguette. What a fantastically fun dinner. The birthday boys wife gave everyone potted plants with a beautiful hand panted flower (she painted) on the pot. How amazingly sweet are these people?

After dinner was over we grabbed drinks with some new friends at a little Irish Pub called Muddy Murphy’s. This place is small but boast with plenty of comfy character. We enjoyed getting some drinks, laughing, and chatting. Eventually our new friends had to get back on the road and get home. We parted ways but decided we have to meet up again very soon after the holiday madness settled down.

How was your weekend? Anything eventful to recap that makes you smile when reminiscing?

Cookie Monster

2011_12_11 Holiday Cookies

2011_12_11 Holiday CookiesDec 11, 2011Photos: 6

Yep. I will own up to my title as cookie monster! Today I baked Christmas cookies from sun up to sun down. This year I cut way back on the quantity because we don’t have as many friends and family to share with like we did stateside. I went with sugar cookies, peanut-butter cookies, and my new favorite gingerbread cut- out cookies.

One could say that I wasn’t very productive in anything else on this relaxed Sunday afternoon. However, I beg to differ because I found my new go to gingerbread cut out cookie recipe! Yes, all thanks to Alien’s Day Out :)! She’s a blogger here in Korea that always has the most amazing looking goodies cooking in her kitchen. Here is the recipe!

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup + 2Tbs sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plain soymilk
1Tbs fresh grated ginger

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
spice blend:
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

In a large bowl whisk together oil sugar, molasses, soymilk, and fresh grated ginger. In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together, and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix til you get a stiff dough. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Poke holes for eyes with a chopstick and make smiley mouths with the edge of a teaspoon (What a cute idea, right?). Bake for 8 minutes for softer gingerbread cookies, and up to 11 minutes for crispier ones. Remove from oven and let cool on rack, before digging in~

I am proud to report that there were only two casualties among the gingerbread men this year. We had a head fell off and another had a broken leg. All and all not to shabby!

Tomorrow morning I will be a true cookie monster…but not a selfish one! I packed up my goodies in cute holiday packaging to share with my co-workers. Nothing like a little pick-me-up for a manic Monday.

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Do you plan on trying out any new recipes this year?

You Know What They Say…

We Bee’s woke up and had plans to go to the Korea International Exhibition Center, also known as the KINTEX Convention Center, to check out our friends Scuba Diving booth along with some others at the 9th Annual Gyeonggi Tourism Expo. Not quite knowing what to expect from the Expo, we still were excited for a new adventure!

The drive was a little under an hour from our place in Dongducheon. The time really just flew by and the next thing we knew, we were already coming up the Ilsan exit.

Driving into Ilsan we could see this massive building structure. We could make out the letter on the building pretty easily and were fairly positive that this was the place we were looking for. WOW! This place is just ginormous and has a really crazy wave-like shape to it.

The KINTEX Center opened in 2005 and spans 224,795 m. There are five exhibition halls that span 53.975 m. plus just this year they expanded into a second exhibition center that provides the building with 54.508 m of extra exhibition space! The KINTEX website says, “that with the combined exhibition areas of 100,000 m from the first and second Centers, KINTEX is Asia’s 5th largest and world’s 34th largest exhibition and convention center. Go big or go home, huh?

When entered into the building we were still just amazing at the size of the Center. There were tons of booths set up as far as the eye could see. The first booth that we saw was a facial stand. Surrounding booths were make-up, hair, skin care, etc. Pretty cool!

We walked around the expo with Mr. B’s friend and checked out different countries like Egypt, India, Japan, etc. Each booth had something different to offer, whether it was informational or free gifts, all geared towards getting you to go visit and travel their country.

We were handed all sorts of materials. We looked at a bunch of different booths on Scuba diving, drank various teas, mashed soybeans, Facebook LIKED Korea tourism’s site, ate rice cakes, sipped Gyeonggi Rice Makgolli, bought Yakgwa (Korean Fried Honey Cookies), and snapped some fun pictures. We had a blast!

The Center is located at Daehwa-dong Ilsan-seoug, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. For more information on upcoming events at the KINTEX Convention Center visit, plus there is an English site too!

The fun had to end. We were on a time crunch to get back to our place to get changed and catch the train to Seoul. Tonight was Mrs. B’s second work party just with the ladies that she works directly with. The reservations were at the Korea House for a traditional Korean dinner and show.

Well, we missed the first train by minutes because of a wardrobe malfunction. We caught the second train twenty minutes later and were off. We transferred from line one to line four. We got off at Chungmuro Station Exit 3. The restaurant was incredibly easy to find! As soon as you come up the steps from exit 3 look to your right and you will see a gas station and the Korea House sign right behind it up on a building. Bam! You are there!

We had a wonderful time at the Restaurant with all of the dinner guests. We learned some new Korean foods and how to serve and prepare them as well. We also really enjoyed the show afterwards. The music was beautiful and the cast had incredible singing voices. (We included some photos of the cast in the attached album).

The address for the Korea House is, Seoul-si Jung-gu Pildong 2(i)-ga 80-2. To make reservations or find out more information about the restaurant or shows you can check out the website here.

Korea House Show Guide

Korea House Tickets

After the show we decided to grab some drinks at place nearby in the Myeong-Dong area at Bier Halle. We had so much fun just laughing, drinking, and eating. We thought it was very comical that Mrs. B’s co-workers were using chopsticks to eat nachos. You know what they say… only in Korea! Ha-ha!

It was getting late and we still had to take the train back to Dongducheon. We all left and ventured back home.

What did you do on your Saturday?

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

You know that I couldn’t resist belting that out….

“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.” ~ Buddy the Elf

2011_12_09 First Christmas Snow


Today we woke up just like every other typical work morning. We pulled the curtains open to our large living room windows to SNOW! Yes, teeny little beautiful snowflakes were falling! The fields behind our place were covered, and the brick paved road our front was covered…ahhh!

Getting to experience the first snowfall of the holiday season is so magical to me. I hope that I never grow up from my childhood fascination with holiday twinkle lights, seeing snowflakes, ice-skating, jamming out to cheesy holiday tunes, and baking Christmas cookies!

Speaking of Christmas – We Bee’s have been SUPER spoiled this past week. We have received packages and holiday cards almost everyday from our family and friends. All sorts of amazing delish Pennsylvania treats like Middleswarth BBQ Kettle cooked chips and Tastycakes! We certainly cannot forget to mention the sweet trinkets and treats from Mrs. B’s good friend Kimberly in Virginia 🙂 THANK YOU!!! We truly appreciate and cannot express our gratitude and appreciation enough. (Seriously, we are SO spoiled!)

What’s making you smile today?

Happy December!

Ah! We are already well into the first weekend in December. Yikes! That means only 21 days left until Christmas.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to Seoul for Mrs. B’s work Christmas party. We made reservations at a nearby hotel, so that we could take the rest of the day and night to finish up our Christmas gift shopping.

We ate a nice meal with Mrs. B’s co-workers that consisted of a nice dinner buffet spread. We had a fabulous time chatting with everyone and getting to put some faces with the voice that had been on the other end of the line. You must to know that when any sort of party is planned in Korea, karaoke is an absolute must. What a sight to see! Many of Mrs. B’s co-workers had excellent voices! Mr. B hid from the microphone, saying that he had already flexed his pipes and filled his quota already this year.

While we were there a Korean women working the party at the restaurant approached Mrs. B wanting to see the back of her haircut. After chatting for only a brief moment she immediately grabbed her side and kept saying how thin and tall she was. This led right into the question, “how often do you go to the bathroom?”. Baffled we both had to have had this look on our faces, did she really just ask that?? Mrs. B, trying not to laugh and be rude, answered the best way possible, “I think as much as a normal person goes”. Something’s like this experience truly remind us were not in the US anymore…it’s Korea.. there is no personal or private questions here. She continued well into the next 10 minutes with probing questions about eating habits and using the bathroom. Yikes!

After the party we headed to our hotel, checked in, dropped off our overnight bags, caught a cab and started our shopping adventures. The first stop was to the Namdaemun marketplace where Mrs. B’s had visited the weekend prior. Mrs. B was super excited to share the experience again with someone new.

We haggled, shopped and met some very interesting characters, ha ha ha! You have to check out the photos if you haven’t already done so.

After the marketplace we headed off to Hello Kitty to pick up A good friends daughter something little. Mrs. B was in absolute hello kitty heaven!

Walking back to the marketplace we came across a street vendor selling egg bread known as, Gyeran Bbang 계란 빵, that Mrs. B had been looking for. It was soo yummy! With the cooler weather setting in you will find more and more of these warm treats being served up by the street vendors. So how can we describe Gyeran Bbang? Well, it sort of reminds you of french toast but with more egg. There is a slight sweet taste to this street snack but it’s very light. Yey! Another item to cross of her Korea to do list.

We decided to try to hail a cab to head back to the hotel to drop off our bags. We weren’t very successful at first we decided to take a break after being totally passed over by various impatient Koreans. We spotted Holly’s Coffee. The beans were pretty strong, just enough to pep us up and go back outside and give it a go again.

Much better this time. We got a cab! We headed back to the hotel and dropped off the bags. While Mrs. B waited on Mr. B, she played around with her camera and took various shots of the Seoul tower at night. We had a breathtaking view from our hotel of the tower light up.

The Greek souvlaki restaurant, known as Santorini is located in the alley behind Hamilton Hotel. Santorini is just a tiny piece of Greece located in the middle of Seoul. The owner is Greek and offers a traditional Greek menu.

Mr. B ordered the pork souvlaki (YUM!) and Mrs. B ordered the Moussaka. Appetizers cost between 8,000 to 15,000 Won, meat souvlaki dishes cost around 18,000 to 20,000.

Contact: 02-790-3474

Directions: From the Itaewon subway station exit #1, Look for KFC on your right, Make a right, walk uphill and make a left at Bliss. While walking keep looking for Santorini on your left, it’s located on the 2nd floor. It’s very easy to locate!

After dinner we were both pretty beat from the adventurous day. We originally had plans to grab some drinks at the various pubs and eat “the most amazing hot dogs ever”. However, our bodies suggested otherwise.

We walked back to the hotel. Along the way we saw some very interesting advertisements. Yes! Only acceptable in a foreign country, Ha ha! Check out our attached photos to see what we talking about.

We got back to the hotel and had to snap some cheesy Christmas photos in the hotel lobby. You know, just because! Besides, the lobby was decorated so beautifully and we Bee’s decided not to have a tree this year because we were not going be home to actually enjoy and admire it.

Lying in bed we started to talk about the holidays and how different it would be this year because we were both abroad. Mr. B is quite used to being away from family. Mrs. B on the other hand has never had these experiences. With that being said Mrs. B decided that Christmas does not have to mean a trillion lights and over-organized parties, or spending until your wallet cries out (unless, of course, you want to…that’s fine too). No, Christmas and the holidays should be about starting your own sort of traditions, your own ways of celebrating the way you want and that includes with the people you want to celebrate it with. It should be the time of year when you give everyone an extra hug, or tip the waiters more than usual, or spend quality time with your loved ones and close friends during the weekends, just because! Whatever you end up doing during the holiday season, do it with joy in your heart and everyone around you will brighter because they are in the presence of a joyful person.

Happy December everyone!