Category Archives: Shopping

Views from Arc de Triomphe

Paris truly is a walking city. It’s incredibly convenient and very easy to get navigate on foot, or public transportation…well….Unless your iPhone compass gets messed up due to a magnet on your phone case and leads you 5 miles in the wrong direction. Oopsie…. Did that really happen? If you see the Mr. Casually ask him how his 5 mile excursion For his wife to grab some salt went. The below is a screen shot that shows you the spike in steps that we took while in Paris. It was really awesome to see our progress once we got back to Korea just how far we covered on our entire trip.


To give our legs a bit of break we did purchase 48 hour hop-on hop-off bus passes through the Big Bus tour company. I know, I know, our friends teased us a bit and gave us some wise cracks on our age, lol we hear you! The hotel helped us arrange the purchase, the closest stop was very convenient to our hotel as well. It actually worked out quite nice because the day we decided to use it, the morning and early afternoon it rained. We liked that there were free headphones to take and grab and plug into and listen to the audio as it provided a guided tour through Paris. This gave us more background and history on different buildings, monuments, etc. We also enjoyed the fact that it was a great way to explore Paris and enjoy the unrestricted views of architectural beauty from the upper deck. We captured some awesome photos and video this way.


There is also a Big Bus Tours – Interactive City Guide App. The app has maps for various other countries and tours that you might decide to do in the future as well. Super user-friendly too!

We hopped off the bus and took the underground tunnel up to the Arc de Triomphe. the Arc stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the “Place de l’Étoile”, and is located at the western end of the ever popular Champs-Élysées shopping district. We caution not to be that guy that tries to jet across the heavily traffic congested roundabout, there are NO crosswalks. To give some perspective, 12 roads converge here and there is a lot of horns blowing. There are two entrances and exits you can use to directly access to the Arc in the center.

A bit of history we learned about Arc de Triomphe was that it was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon to recognize French soldiers, unfortunately Napoleon never had the opportunity to marvel at it because he died before it was completed.

The Arc de Triomphe is just a magnificent structure. Travel photos and magazines just do not do the monument any justice when showcasing the size. Standing there in person we felt like ants! We just couldn’t get over the size of this monument! It depicts and represents not only history of fallen soldiers and wars, but pure elegance, incredible beauty, and just outstanding design, symmetry and detail.

We purchased our two tickets for a small fee and ascended over 280 round steps up the inside of the monument to the very top. There is an option to take an elevator if need be. Many travelers provide reviews and say that this is a must do and see when visiting Paris and we absolutely agree. Once we stepped outside we were swept away with the 360 degree birds eye view of the city of Paris. Stunning! After seeing the views from high above in the bell towers of Notre Dame de Paris, I thought how could there be any better views left for us? Much to my surprise and delight the views were just as moving and breathtaking.


YELP reviews on Arc de Triomphe HERE

More information on Arc de Triomphe HERE

More information on booking tickets for the Big Bus HERE

Sisters in Seoul

I love when the sky looks like cotton candy or a beautiful water painting. That was the view from our place of Friday evening. It just begged to be captured for beautiful memories in the future.

So, Mr. B’s other cousins, Kelsey’s sisters, made it to Seoul to visit and travel around with Kelsey before she departs South Korea. They asked me if I’d like to meet up with them on Saturday morning and swing by the flower market at the Express bus terminal, and grab brunch. Unfortunately, the flower market was a bust. I think it has to do with it being so darn hot here. It was a shame they couldn’t see what we did from our last trip in the Spring. Nonetheless there were still some beautiful flowers. (I didn’t photograph).

After we left the flower market, we headed to Dean & Deluca. I’m so infatuated with this place. Each time I go I find myself wanting to learn more about seasoning salts, oils, and whatever else grabs my attention and mind. I picked up wild porcini sea salt and pumpkin butter. To say I was pretty excited is quite the understatement.

Two of us had the summer seasonal ricotta salad, one had tiramisu French toast, and the other the ricotta banana pancakes. The food just doesn’t disappoint! (Again, sorry no photographs)

From brunch we headed to Yeouido island only a few short stops away. We walked through the park taking in all the green, but keeping an eye on the really dark large storm clouds that looked like they were creeping in.

Do you see the gourds that are growing from the top and hanging down? We all joked about it falling on someone, but seriously all jokes aside, that would hurt if you didn’t expect something like that to fall on you. Eek!

From the park we crossed the road and went to the waterfront. Kelsey and I really enjoy the last time we sat with our feet dipped in the cool water. At that time it was really relaxed with minimal people…this time hardly any elbow room. Check out all the tents and children! When we walked under the bridge all you could see were tents upon tents. It looked like we were on some hippy compound, I was digging the vibe. Eventually we settled on a place and relaxed. This really is one of my favorite spots of the city. I love watching the people at the park, looking at the talk buildings across the way, and watching the Seoul boat tour putter up and down the river.


Express Bus Terminal: Lines 3, 7, 9.

Gangnam Flower Market: Exit 1 of the express bus terminal train station, the building next to the Shinsegae Department Store and the Bus Terminal. Go into the bus terminal, turn right and look for the escalators, go up to second floor.

Shinsegae Department (Gangnam) store B1, 19-3, Banpodong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Dean and Deluca: Located on the basement food-court in Shinsegae Department.
Website :

Yeouido Park
120, Yeouigongwon-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 여의공원로 120 (여의도동)


Summer Saunter

Keeping with the same mantra, determined to squeeze every ounce of summer out of the season, I met up with Kelsey in Seoul early Saturday morning. Of course it was drizzling on again, off again. You know the rain that makes you feeling like someone is constantly misting you? Yep, that was the type. We had umbrellas so we didn’t let it spoil our plans or fun.

We started out by treating ourselves with a pedicure. We both struggled not to fall asleep in the chairs and thought maybe, just maybe, this should have been the final stop of our adventure? LOL! (I know what you are thinking right about now…life is hard,right?)

With our freshly painted tootsies, we headed to an area near Insadong that I wanted to share with Kelsey. I adore the Bukchon Village area, it has lots of sparkle and tons of areas for her to snap photos of the city.

The first stop was at Brick and Wood. This is a ridiculously charming brunch, lunch or dinner spot! I stumbled upon the place the last time that I took a quiet saunter with Mary while in the area. I had only went into the bakery last time and knew just from that I needed to get back to enjoy the restaurant too.

The space is rustic yet has a fun modern flair with its old wooden floors and it’s open, airy, exposed brick and concrete walls. The kitchen is out in the open and made us feel like they were preparing private dishes just for us. I love nothing more than to take a peek on how chefs are preparing dishes and the techniques they are using.

We hit the Bukchon Hanok Village area at a perfect time! The rain kept the large crowds tamed. We strolled casually all over, checking out tiny little boutiques, stopping to smell flowers, making friends with two handsome pups and their British owner, admiring the views, people watching, and of course enjoying green tea potbingsu at the Café Terrace.

(See the couple below?) They were the sweetest couple attempting to take a selfie under the we are young graffiti, so we offered to take the photo for them. They were so pleased with the offer they insisted on taking our photo too! Kelsey and I were swooning over the couples cuteness because we could tell they were just newly dating.

Saved some of the best for last. Yum! Green tea and watermelon who would have thought?



Brick & Wood Restaurant & Bakery
Locations and website here.

Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
Check out more here.

Last Weekend

You must excuse me for the lack of post from last weekend. The majority of our July has been spent staying outside until the last very last second possible, or until the rain moves in. We are in monsoon season here in S.Korea so getting out and about when the sun is shining is imperative if you are trying to squeeze every ounce of “clear” sky out of the dwindling summer.

We trekked slowly up the base of Soyosan to marvel at the lush green trees. Soyosan is prime people watching too! During the hot season’s Korean’s often lounge and cool themselves in the trickling streams that come off the base of the mountain. You never know what you might see or get invited to join.

Don’t worry we’ve been properly hydrating with lemon water and practically turning into rabbits nibbling on all of our vegetable greens. (Beats turning on the oven in the humidity and heat).

I have a new Korean friendship blossoming and we enjoyed a really nice dinner together at a unique little restaurant near both of our homes. We dined on duck and a soup made of perilla leaves.

Not familiar with perilla leaves? Don’t worry it is most likely because it grows in Korea, China, Nepal and India. It’s a flavor I really cannot explain. The taste is quite pungent and has a nutty peppery taste to it. It is a herb that is often referred to a wild sesame. I was told that this heart-shaped leaf is a Korean staple and you can find it almost year round served in Korean homes. Plus it gets better! Of course it has healing components to it as well. If you are feeling tired, suffer from frequent headaches, need some anti-inflammatory relief, detoxify fish poisoning, combats morning sickness. WHOA! Talk about a marvelous little leaf!

and here is where I let you all down…. can you believe I ate the soup before I took a photo to share with all of you? Oops… trust me.. it would have just been a photo of a bowl of soup.

Kelsey stayed over too! She came sharing her newest sweets with us. What a sweetie!

We hopped on an AM train into Seoul and ran about in the on again off again rain to a vegan bakery called PLANT owned and operated by the sweetest girl, Mipa. Enjoyed a peanut Thai bowl and grilled chickpea sandwich. Both incredibly sumptuous and we shared one anther’s lunch family style. We are family after all! We then went to Maybell Bakery where I introduced Kelsey to a fabulous European bakery with freshly baked focaccia, baguette, croissants. I think it’s safe to say she’s in heaven.

We got home and felt like “grilling” hot dogs. I whipped up a vegan macaroni salad and she grilled the dogs. We were quite the little team in the kitchen if I do say so myself.

Howbeit it wasn’t as exciting of an update, it’s summer folks! Get off the Internet and GET OUTSIDE!


Places to go:

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Candy Apples)
Addresses in Korea here

PLANT (Vegan Bakery)
Check out Facebook site here.

Maybell Bakery (European bakery-But hey make me a deal and don’t buy up all the bread before I get there)
737-2 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
South Korea

Soyosan (Local Mountain / park)
Check out more here.

Focusing on the Good

Seoul is broken into various markets and districts making it easy but sometimes challenging to purchase specific things. If you are looking for cooking and baking supplies you might want to check out Bangsan Market, or Yongsan Electronics Market for any type of electronics, Namdaemun Market for traditional goodies, etc. Endless marketplaces to explore! I find myself falling back in love over and over with Korea while taking friends and family around to places I’ve been countless times, as well as new places I’m still crossing off on my bucket list.

Early Saturday morning I met Kelsey in Seoul at the Express Bus Terminal where we planned to explore the Gangnam Flower Market. This Place has been on my bucket list since the first year I arrived in Korea. Embarrassingly, I still cannot believe I let it on my list this long. Eh, better late than never, right?

I arrived at the terminal 30 minutes earlier than Kelsey so I sat at Holly’s Coffee, near exit one and sipped on some hot milk tea, my favorite tea served both hot or cold. I read a few chapters in my book and enjoyed the quiet morning hours. Eventually Kelsey caught up and off we went.

At first we weren’t sure quite where to go. We walked towards the location I thought it might be and then started to see a few women and men carrying all sorts of beautiful flowers wrapped neatly in newspaper. From that point it was very easy to locate. We went inside the terminal building for the Youngdong and Honam (bus) lines, headed up the escalators to the second floor and through the glass doors. Once we got through the glass doors we both looked at one another and immediately had a permi-smile on our faces.We didn’t know the prices, or really how it worked in general, I only researched on various blogs and guidebooks so I was purely going off of others experiences.

The hall was endless and massive! I thought to myself I’ve officially found my little slice of Heaven in South Korea. One side of the hall was fake flowers and the other side was fresh. You could purchase vases, ribbons, and baskets. We giggled to ourselves and said that we could start-up event planning and get all of our goodies here secretly. We walked up and down each row smelling, snapping away photos and chatting with various vendors. We were pleasantly surprised how friendly the vendors were. As curious as we were about the flowers, they were just as curious about us and if a certain type of flower grew where we were from. The prices, oh gosh! The prices were amazing! We picked up multiple bouquets for 4,000-5,000 won each ($4.00-$5.00 USD) that seemed to be the standard rate for the most part. If I lived closer our entire place would have fresh flowers! Dangerous because this was truly my happy place.

Sorry for the photo overload… I just couldn’t resist!

Aren’t those flowers just gorgeous? Sorry, moving on from flower chat. Next we head into the Shinsegae Department. A girly day full of flowers and good stuff isn’t complete without macaroons! I heard the famous Ladurée shop was here in Seoul. You can’t get more authentic than that. Even though we were surrounded by delicious macaroons, we weren’t overly excited about the size of the place. We expected more… Nonetheless, the rose macaroon was perfect (even after it got smashed in the bag in my purse. Sad face.)

From Macaroons we needed actual food. With my OCD I pre-searched various places to eat lunch so I could provide Kelsey with lots of options. The food court in Shinsegae was perfect because of the range of foods that can be purchased, offering something for everyone. Japanese, sushi, Korean, baked goods, salad bars, Johnny Rockets, Italian among others. We opted for Dean and Deluca. The fresh homemade ricotta salad and brunch menu spoke to our bellies and that was that.

I loved sitting and chatting with Kelsey. We talked a lot about focusing on the good things in life, traveling, living for the weekends and of course our next adventure. You will have to stay tuned because I’m not spilling the beans.

For our last little treat I wanted to share an ice-cream place with Kelsey that uses chunks of honeycomb with drizzled honey as a topping. Mmmm! It absolutely hit the spot and I think she was pleased.

I got home and immediately put the fresh cut flowers into a vase on our bedroom night stand and kitchen bar.



Express Bus Terminal: Lines 3, 7, 9.

Gangnam Flower Market: Exit 1 of the express bus terminal train station, the building next to the Shinsegae Department Store and the Bus Terminal. Go into the bus terminal, turn right and look for the escalators, go up to second floor.

Shinsegae Department (Gangnam) store B1, 19-3, Banpodong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Ladurée Shop: There are two Ladurée stores in the mall. Make the hike and head to the second floor because that’s where the actual store is located. The one in the first floor is just a small macaron stand)

Dean and Deluca: Located on the basement food-court in Shinsegae Department.
Website :


Seoul Favorites

I’ve written about Insadong (인사동) before but I can’t help but continue to go back to the area again and again. It never gets old. I find the most random treasures and eats and treats that instantly become new favorites. I told Kelsey about the area when we first got to meet up with her the other weekend in Seoul. She instantly was intrigued and sent me a text message Friday evening asking if I minded meeting up with her and playing tourist around the area. Of course I couldn’t resist! Plus I jumped at the opportunity for a girls day.

We met at the top of Jonggak Station (Exit 3) staircase. My train arrived about 10 minutes before her’s so I snapped a few photos. Again, I couldn’t help myself! After all, Seoul obliged with the most perfect weather. The sun was out in full force and it felt like it was recharging my own soul and reminding me why I loved this city so much. Pure pre-spring perfection!

Kelsey’s brunette hair finally appeared among the sea of jet black hair climbing the staircase and we set off to Insadong. It had been quite sometime since I last visited the area, I had to re-gather my bearings… it all came back once we walked forward a few blocks. She was such a trooper putting all of her trust in me like that. Thanks Kels!

One of the fun parts about Insadong, or Seoul in general is all of the fun strange street food vendors. The vendors food smells immediately wafted into our noses as we entered the area. It was exactly noon so it was perfect timing to make our way around the area.

I’m sure you are wondering what the above photos are of? They do look quite different don’t they? Well, they are a crispy tube. Think ice cream cone texture, filled with ice-cream. Quite a comical scene to see crowds of all ages carrying these things around. We decided to save ourselves possibly for the end of the trip, or for a tad bit warmer weather.

I took Kelsey to explore my favorite rice cake cafe in the area, Bizeun. This place serves as many as 250 different types of Korean traditional rice cake. The best part was that she loved my favorite rice cake as much as I do! I find that most people sort of turn their noses up at rice cakes because its something so foreign to them at first… especially the squishy one that I love that Kelsey immediately took to. Is this girl my kindred spirit or what?

After leaving Bizeun, we headed up the street towards more of the shops and vendors. On my list I specifically wanted to share the little outdoor vendor that sits on the corner of the center street running through Insadong. It’s all mismatched pottery. Beautiful teapots, tea cups, vases, etc. Each time that I stop at this stand I end up picking something up. Shhhhhh don’t tell Mr. B. Kelsey instantly fell in love with the stand and found an awesome little trinket. She said that she wanted to come back for some future gifts for family members. I was smitten that she loved the place as much as I do.

We jetted down some alleyways and I showed her one of the best steamed dumpling stands that I’ve had since living in Korea. Anytime of the day I have found myself around this alleyway, there’s a line. Always! This place was is so simple but oh so delicious. Good stuff folks!

We shared some poop bread. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s Poop bread ( 똥빵 ). Okay, I’ll digress and let you all in on the joke. Korean youth are obsessed with poop. It’s odd.. you and I know that…but it’s their thing. This bread is filled with delicious Red beans and walnuts inside. It’s actually really delicious and if you’ve had bung’eo (붕어) the fish pastry filled with red bean paste. MMMM… thinking about the warm tasty red bean filling this very second makes me so hungry! I have to stop while I am ahead before I go out and mull a poor street vendor.

When in Insadong you must drink tea! Find a tea shop, visit the tea museum, or  Korea’s famous O’sulloc Tea House. We stopped into O’sulloc, I shared with Kelsey that Jeju Island off the coast of Korea has the tea-plant and tea fields that you can stroll through. Another must do while living or visiting Korea.

After O’sulloc we found ourselves wanting to sit down and enjoy some tea and some sort of sweet. Of course because the sun was shining and I was instantly transitioning into a Springy mood, naturally, I had my mind set on Patbingsu. Once I found out that Kelsey loved red bean paste I knew I had to share Korea’s iconic dessert. Ohhhh sweet summer is near and I cannot wait to slurp this stuff up for dinner. No shame, no shame. We indulged in our patbingsu, sipped our hot citron tea and talked and giggled for hours.



130-4, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si 
서울 종로구 인사동 130-4일대 (Korean only) (English, Korean, Japanese).

By Train:

Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection.
Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road.



I’ve written some time ago just how difficult it can be to assimilate into a new culture while living abroad. Regardless of if you are a adult or not, everyone has some level of trouble adjusting. While everything is very exciting, it’s also bit overwhelming in a sense too.

This past weekend we met up with a family member that has very recently relocated from the East coast of the US to a smaller town on the outskirts of Seoul here in Korea. Yes! You read that I said KOREA, right? We finally managed to get some family here with us! On a semi permanent basis too! Eeek! We are shrieking with delight!

Kelsey has been getting acquainted with the Korean culture but was already in desperate need of some normalcy. (Insert two eager Bee’s to the rescue!)

The thing we are most excited to introduce to friends and family is definitely Korean cuisine. We typically like the shock and wow factor. However we knew that we needed to give Kelsey a nice healthy balance of what we introduced. After all we didn’t want her on the first flight out of here, especially when we just got her here. So we decided to stick to the foreigner friendly areas around Seoul for the day.

All three of our fitbits were buzzing because we traipsed all over Itaewon and Myeongdong. I am sure from past post you recall trips to both places. But if you are fairly new to the blog, Itaewon is a multi-cultural place full of bars, restaurants, shops, clubs, and Myeongdong  is a large shopping area that features stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21.

The Bakers Table
244-1 Noksapyeong daero Itaewon dong Yongsan Gu
Seoul, Korea 244-1
Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Phone 070-7717-3501


Thanksgiving Sushi

Welcome back dear friends and apologies for the delay in postings…. also pardon for the half camera half iPhone photos in this post. Someone, without mentioning names, cough-cough Mrs. B, forgot to pack extra batteries. Unthinkable, right? OOpsie…

Over Thanksgiving, we had the opportunity to visit Tokyo, Japan. What an amazing experience, seriously wayyy too short, but definitely another one of the most memorable things I will have experienced in my 20’s.

Japan is such an incredible place, even after all the country has been through in the last few years, it just fascinated me. Getting the opportunity to experience another Asian culture first hand was just indescribable, both peaceful and yet shiny and bright disarray, both enchanting and eccentric, both clean and cluttered. As we zipped around Tokyo, I felt as if our minds and eyes were on constant overload, a very familiar feeling from when we first landed in South Korea to live.

We landed at Narita International Airport, took the The Narita Express or N’EX to our hotel in Shinjuku, where we check in at the Shinjuku Prince Hotel. Nothing fancy, perfectly simple, conveniently located in the center of Kabuki-cho, one of Japan’s best entertainment districts, not to mention only a 5-minute walk to and from the Shinjuku subway station. We highly recommend it!


Because we’ve lived in South Korea now over two years we have had our fill of Korean food, we were on the hunt specifically for Japanese cuisine. We feasted on Yakitori (焼き鳥) AKA grilled chicken on a stick, absolutely delicious, at TORIGEN HAMAMATSUCYOUTEN 鳥元 浜松町店! Of course we had gyoza/Pot stickers, and spicy ramen from UMAUMA HIKARIETEN うま馬 ヒカリエ店. UmaUma is a Hakata-style ramen noodle shop of long-standing (since 1953), seriously slurp worthy! We indulged on Japan’s longest-running crêpe shop, Marion crêpe, that started life as a food truck in 1976 and offers over fifty mouth-watering combinations to include curry tuna. We ate wasabi ice-cream and drank the most delightful banana cream lattes, and honey loaf. Just when you thought we left out one of the most important foodie items….we absolutely knew we could not leave Japan without savoring some fresh-cut sushi from Sushi Kyotatsu すし京辰.







We walked, and walked, and walked… all over the Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Roppongi area. We took in all the sights and sounds offered in each area. The most notable and most memorable being the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the teenage girls all dressed up like human baby dolls in the Harajuku market area, the busy and largest pedestrian scramble, the bright twinkling night view from Tokyo Tower – Japan’s version of the Eiffel tower, the volcanic Hakone mountains via cable car, the Owakudani Valley, literally called Hell Valley where an ancient crater with sulfurous hot springs have steam rising from crevasses in the ground, took a pirate ship across Lake Ashi, and drove up Mt. Fuji. Oh and throw in a very fast ride on the bullet train too! Whew!




At Hell Valley the smell of sulfur was pretty pungent, however we didn’t let that stop us from getting our hands on the black eggs. These hard black boiled eggs are believed to add 3 years to your life per egg eaten. We love life so you know we each ate two eggs! Who wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to add 6 years to your life? I’m not kidding when I say these eggs were some of the best hard boiled we’ve had!









Even though the weather was perfect, we were not able to hike any of Mt. Fuji. The mountain is only open for hiking during two summer months, July and August. The guide we had told us that we were very lucky that our view of Fuji was so clear. We also lucked out and were able to drive to the 5th station because the weather permitted. We munched on Mt. Fuji melon pan or pineapple bun! The bread was freshly baked in front of us and they sprinkled some cocoa powder and confection sugar on top, which made a nice sweet-bitter contrast mmmmm. We then watched the sun set behind the mountain, truly magical and quite a way to end our adventures in Japan.











Planning a trip to Japan? Check out the locations:

Shinjuku Prince Hotel
1-30-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo Prefecture 160-8487, Japan

Kure Grinding Wheel Building 1F, 2-1-5, Hamamatsucho, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0013

Shibuya Hikarie 7F, 2-21-1, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0002

Marion Crêpe
1-6-15 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (東京都渋谷区神宮前1-6-15)

Sushi Kyotatsu すし京辰
Narita Airport Terminal 1, No.3 Satellite, 3rd Floor Tokyo, Japan

Meiji Jingu Shrine 明治神宮
1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan ‎

Tokyo Tower 東京タワ
4-2-8, Minato Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Volcanic Hakone mountains

Owakudani Valley “Hell Valley” 大涌谷

Mt. Fuji 富士山

Our Seoul

Besides getting to watch the sunset and paint the most beautiful glowing sky over Seoul this weekend… some highlights included but were not limited to:

-Watching 100,000 fireworks (not even exaggerating) set off from Japan, Canada, France and South Korea, lighting up the Seoul city skyline. Breathtaking!

-Traipsing all over Seoul

-Eating so many yummy Korean dishes…perhaps too many

-Spending time with some great girlfriends being “tourist” taking cabs, the subway, and the Seoul city bus tour

-Visiting N Seoul Tower taking in all the views without any haze

-Getting to see our dear friends again for the first time in two months!!!!

-Picking up a freshly baked baguette and veggies from a nearby bakery and vegetable stand to make veggie panini’s

-Getting to hear my dad’s voice over the phone while we wished him a happy birthday

Needless to say, counting down till next weekend. Cheers!



What I love about Seoul is that I never know day-to-day, week to week, what I am going to get myself into, or who I am going to meet. The adventures are always endless and the choices are so grandiose. Do I hike? bike? head to a coffee shop? be a tourist? head to the east coast beaches? shop? Or, do I decide to hop on a train and just explore a random train stop?

This weekend I decided to get myself back down to Seoul, specifically the Itaewon area and pick up freshly baked bread, as well as stop by and see my friend Mipa at her newly opened bake shop PLANT. Again, big surprise decisions made around food. I don’t care, I am not ashamed to admit that… my belly and my soul truly needed it.

The bakery of choice was Maybell 메이벨 베이커리오월의종. Maybell has been listed as one of the top 7 must get to bakeries if you ever find yourself in Seoul. What I love about Maybell is that you are not going to bite into a scrumptious crusty piece of bread to find chunks of corn or a crazy hot dog. Yes, I am serious.. it happens more than I’d like to admit here. I pick dainty little wonderfully looking creations from places like Paris Baguette, example a strawberry harmonica…and then there is a hotdog hiding in there! You think I’d learn too? No, I am almost always startled and find myself saying, “What in the world is this doing in here?” Oh Korea, ha-ha!

Maybell is the real deal, it’s true to form European-style bread. I knew that I had to get there quickly because they sell out rather early in the day. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one with bread on the brain this afternoon, I got there and stood in a line that looped around the tiny bakery. Not to worry, there still was plenty of choices and I still was able to snag my favorites; cranberry rye, a loaf of rye, and ciabatta.

When leaving Maybell to head to PLANT, every time I’d moved my bag or bump it, the aroma of the bread would just swirl right out and up into my nostrils. Mmmmm… I could live in bakery if I could smell that all day everyday.

Prices: Baguettes ₩3,000; sourdough loaf ₩5,000

Hours: Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., closed on Sundays

Address: 737-2 Hannam 2-dong, Yongsan-gu (용산구 한남2동 737-2);+82 02 792 5561

Conveniently Maybell isn’t that far from PLANT. I arrived at PLANT at the right time because there were only two woman sipping drinks and sharing conversation, eventually each seat at the three tables would become filled, as well as people waiting to grab a seat. This bit of lull gave me the chance to talk with Mipa for a few minutes. I asked about how she was doing and how business was, I was pleased to hear that she had been really busy and the business was going well. I then asked if I could snap a few photos for the blog because I wanted to help get the word out about her and her partners bake shop. She of course permitted and went back into her glass baking sanctuary to start on my lunch order.

Mipa is incredibly sweet and incredibly talented. She is very passionate about being vegan and loves to share her ideals and values through her food and blog. I knew that I had to grab lunch after seeing her post’s earlier in the week. The lunch menu for this afternoon was a tuna and chickpea salad or a teriyaki Tofu Sandwich. I wanted both! The decision was way to hard! In that moment I really wished Mr. B was with me so that he could get one option and I could get the other. I decided to ask the expert, Mipa. I explained that I needed to save room for a delicious treat afterwards, naturally. Mipa suggested the sandwich then, so the sandwich is what I ordered. Right away I decided that my treat afterwards would be a slice of red velvet cake with cashew cream frosting. All I can say is that both my belly and my soul are filled and oh so happy. The food was out of this world.

While sitting there reading my book and enjoying each bite of my sandwich, I ended up shared my table with another woman who looked to be the same age as me. We ended up exchanged a few stories, laughing together, and eventually chatting through our entire lunch while sitting there. It’s incredible when you meet a stranger that you are so comfortable with that you feel you knew practically your entire life. Again, I chalk the experience up to the unknown magic and endless possibility of Seoul. We made sure to exchange contacts and hope to get together again soon. Perhaps even at PLANT where it all began?

Directions to PLANT: ( Straight from Mipa, herself)

Itaewon Station, Line 6, exit 4. Come out the exit and walk straight, down Itaewon road. There will be a Converse store on your left. Immediately after Converse, turn left into the narrow alleyway with steps. Walk down the steps and cross the next intersection. Continue walking straight and go down an alleyway, passing a pasta restaurant on your left. Keep walking a little further and PLANT will be on your right. 5-7 minute walk from the station.

서울시 용산구 이태원동 63-15
Phone: 070-4115-8388
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-7pm. Lunch service starts at noon.
Closed on Mondays.