Category Archives: Drink Reviews

South Korea’s mysterious island- Ulleungdo

How was your 4th of July? Did you get to celebrate with a good ol’ cookout? Take in the local fireworks display? We hope it was possibly your best one yet!

We didn’t do a typical Independence Day celebration this year, but then again are we ever doing the typical over here? Nah… But boy did I miss me some grilled cheeseburgers, bratwurst, and fresh corn on the cob, oh and our families too! Thursday evening right after work we grabbed some snacks and hit the road south to meet up with our friends at a ferry port. We purchased ferry tickets to visit the island of Ulleungdo and Dokdo. These islands are located off the coast of Korea have been on my bucket list since moving abroad. Yippee I get to now cross them off! I love getting to cross things off my list!

Friday morning we woke up early, ate our Korean breakfast consisting of a rice porridge, kimchi, fresh tomatoes, and coffee. Lol…of course we tried it, but as you know there are just something’s you can never shake…mine is an American style breakfast. I opted for yogurt, a banana, and coffee.

We boarded the ferry that took us 3 1/2 hours to reach the island of Ulleungdo. Here is a link to see more about the island.

Grab the Google map coordinates HERE.


The island was absolutely beautiful! We loved how preserved and untapped it still is! There is hardly any industry, except for tourist and fishing. However even with the tourist there isn’t a ton of large luxury hotels eating up the land. The water was so clean, so blue, the air was so fresh, and the land was so lush and so green! I really had to keep pinching myself to remind myself that we were still in Korea. It was just that breathtaking.

Just check out the views from our hotel!

^We ate this yogurt every morning during our stay at the hotel. There wasn’t any western style breakfast so this did the trick for about half of an hour. LOL!

We rented a large passenger van and cruised around the one main “highway” stopping off at all the little must see marks on the map from our car rental guy. It’s really easy to travel to all the locations, park, and walk. You honestly could do the island in one day if you rushed it, but we took our time, plus we had the entire weekend.

The guys got in some dives and were really excited about the clarity of the water and just how much sea life there was. Mr. B is already putting together a fun dive trip for the 38th Parallel divers. Something to stay tuned in for.

One morning we took another ferry, another hour and 40 minutes to Dokdo island. Here is the link . The really awesome history about Dokdo is that Korea is constantly fighting with Japan over it, and still is. Japan has even wrote in history books that they teach their children that the island is theirs.. But Korea unfairly took it….but it’s not the case, and they found historical documents showing otherwise. While it is rather close to Japan, Japan would love to have it for the fishing rights. It’s pretty interesting. Oh and Korea has one resident living on the island. Also Korea is manning the island with stationed Korean police.

The ferry ride seemed much longer because we ended up cruising over two fishing nets that got wrapped up inside of the propellers. Oops. They did a number on the boat because it delayed our trip significantly. In the end they couldn’t cut away all of it and decided they needed to service it once we docked back on Ulleungdo. I felt sorry for the group leaving Ulleungdo that night that was scheduled on that very boat.

I think the a-ha moment was when someone decided to take a smoke break in the restrooms and the smoke detectors went off. I just sat looking up waited for the overhead sprinklers to kick on, luckily they didn’t. I’m not sure where the disconnect was with the passenger and all the signs posted in Korean not to smoke, smoke free vessel, etc. Eh…. I guess sometimes the struggle is that real.

We were nervous because the day we took the ferry to Dokdo island the waves were larger and there was the possibility we wouldn’t be able to dock on the island to get our chance to set foot on it. Thankfully we were able to dock and had some time to snap a few photos. It was really neat!

We met an older Korean gentleman, actually two different ones. Both such characters absolutely worth notating for future memories. The one worked on the ferry and kept a personal log book of guest he’s spoke with, said hello, blessed. He insisted we sign his log book and that we tell him where we were from in the states, after responding he proceeded to give us many thumbs up. We felt loved nonetheless. The other character sought us out while in line awaiting to board the boat back to mainland Korea. He handed us his business card and stayed he wanted us to return back to the island in August for a 5k that we could run or walk, all expenses paid. This man meant business and stood there wanting confirmation with guarantee we were coming. Sweet man. He then pulled us out of line insisting we get a photo with him in front of the boat, again posing with the thumbs up. Lol, I see a pattern here… So we got the photo, he seemed happy, but then later pulled just the two men out for a photo. It was harmless, but the joke was that our faces were now going to be on some Korean noodle restaurant sign that endorses just how delicious the noodles are. Do us a favor and keep your eyes peeled for us if ever in Korea. So that wasn’t the last of him, once on the boat he then purchased us all cold canned coffees and passed them out to our group. Too kind!

Fortunately and unfortunately, MERS the Middle East respiratory syndrome, has really made a dent in the tourism for Korea. Its made for some pretty fantastic advantages for travelers such as less people and discounted prices at some attractions. Almost all the attractions on the island were empty and we almost always had a discounted price.

The entire time we were on the island we ate what the locals ate, mostly seafood. Honghapbap-mussels with steamed rice, haemulcheon- seafood/green onion fried pancakes, sanchae bibimbap, ojing-eo bulgogi -squid grilled at the table with vegetables and hot pepper sauce. We tried the local flower shrimp, chicken shrimp, tiger beef, and frequented and befriended a local coffee shop.

The shrimp was out of this world! We were blown away by the taste and the fact they were only boiled. No old bay seasoning here folks. We would have ate sooooo much more, probably our weight in shrimp, but at 80,000 won a kilo…. Eek…bit pricey.

The tiger beef was outstanding as well! Again pricey coming out at 100,000 won per couple, we had three couples. But where else are you going to get to sink your teeth into a local delicacy like the island tiger beef? Nowhere but Ulleungdo so you just have to do it once.

The coffee shop was fantastic! The owner so nice and had excellent taste with his quality of bean choice. We highly recommend getting a nice treat there after a meal. Try the waffle, trust us it will not disappoint!

All and all the trip was wonderful and getting to pal around on the island with some good friends made the trip that much more! So if you find yourself needing to get away from Korea without getting to far away, check out the mysterious island of Ulleungdo.


More helpful information about traveling to Ulleungdo Island:

Tourism Information Here

Our Hotel Information:
Ulleung Daea Resort
Phone: +82-54-791-8800

Cooking Class in Paris, France

June 3, 2015
French Market Cooking Class – Marché Monge Paris
Location: la cuisine, 80 Quai de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
(for best HD viewing click gear icon and select 4k resolution)


To me France is thee epicenter of learning and applying gourmet and classic culinary technique. Like past adventures to new destinations, we researched and enrolled ourselves in a French cooking course through La Cuisine Paris. I cannot explain to you how excited I was to have the opportunity to take this class in Paris, France!

Once we found the school online, an even harder decision had to be made… What exactly did we want to learn? There was macarons, traditional breakfast pastries, classic French pastries and desserts, French gourmet dinner, a marketplace tour and cooking course, French tartes, French Baguettes and ‘Boulangerie’, Le Soufflé Déjeuner, classic French sauce, and so much more! See what I mean? Decisions, decisions. Staying true to form and our awesome experiences from past classes, we decided on the marketplace tour and cooking course.

We left our hotel and ventured to met up with our group at 9:30 AM just outside of Metro Station ‘Place Monge’ on metro line 7. We slowly started to introduce ourselves to one another; little by little new faces joined us. It was really interesting because we were such a diverse group from all over the world, very different occupations and stages in our lives, but with the same passion and desire to learn and create something new in the kitchen. About that time Chef Diane casually strolled up to our group and we could sense this was going to be an outstanding time. She had such a positive energy, a big smile, and personality that made you feel like you had been friends for years and years. This type of job was her glove and she wore it the best way possible. I think in that very moment I realized I desperately wanted her job too. It’s funny how long it can take a person to realize just how lost they might have become, how much of their creativity and life had become so gray until they get awarded these little opportunity to experience these life changing moments.

Chef Diane’s instructions were clear and she was very accommodating. She asked the group for any allergy or food aversions such as a lactose or gluten intolerance before we jumped into shopping at the Marché Monge Market. She gave plenty of individualized and group attention the entire time we were with her. She was incredibly knowledgeable about her ingredients, the marketplace, and the explaining French cuisine. She provided us with helpful little tips and advice on what to buy, what foods will pair well, as well as things you should avoid when cooking. It was awesome and we were absolutely drinking the culinary Kool-aid.

Together we shopped in the market at the produce, fromage (cheese), and butcher stands. We learned more about Frances organic food movement. In the U.S. the government labels “organic” as USDA Certified Organic, however in Europe the government labels organic products as “AB,” standing for Agricultural Biologique. France also uses labels for local agricultural shown as BioCert. She went on to explain that any thing marked organic will have at least one of these labels and MUST have at a minimum 95% organic ingredients, also no genetic modifications. Seriously?! What and why are we going around and around with food labeling in the U.S.?!

Once we left the market, we visited a nearby bakery, le Boulanger de Monge, where Chef Diane explained how France doesn’t really have a gluten problem. Again seriously?! In fact she explained that Most U.S. wheat flour contains potassium bromate to aid in the rising process. European wheat does not contain this additive. Perhaps this is a link to our gluten problems? She went on explaining that the sign out front of this bakery indicates that bakers are baking the breads daily on site and using only organic flour. This bakery was a heavenly place and of course was well-known through Chef David Lebovitz pastry app.

We departed the bakery and headed for the subway. La Cuisine Paris pre-purchased our group’s metro tickets to get back to the cooking school from the market area. A few short stops away we arrived at the school. We were immediately greeted and welcomed inside by other staff. (One of the staff was Korean and very kind reminiscing about Korean food with us. Hello again!) We were invited to sit, relax, and chat while enjoying tea and French press coffee as they prepped the workspace upstairs.

After we all finished our tea and coffee Chef Diane was ready for us to get to work. She provided us all with some of the recipes we’d be making, as well as some direction as to what each person in the class could start on. Everyone did a different task to prep for one of the three courses we were going to enjoy after we were done.

During the cooking class, our group learned some simple, yet amazingly helpful kitchen techniques, such as the best and easiest way to cut onions, safety with your knife and cutting board (how obvious it is to put a wet paper-towel under it… yet so many of us don’t think to actually do it?)  We were all mesmerizing by her ability to maintain such an acute attention to detail, yet multi-task and guide us all on various cooking parts to our shared meal.

Our favorite dish to prepare and eat was the duck breast. It was just spectacular so mouth-watering and now has us searching how to get duck breast in Korea to recreate. We topped the breast with a nice sweet and tangy soy sauce. Also the toothsome salad was so simple and fresh with the incredibly flavorful French nectarine and two types of goat cheese. And for the desserts, three tiny treats of beguiling and seductiveness. Quite the luscious indulgence to complete our fantastic meal.  Oh, yes you did notice that there is an “s” at the end of that (desserts)… Moelleux au chocolat, Creme Caramel, and Tuile aux Amandes done two ways, pistachio and poppy-seed. I suppose you can say we had a nice little sampler going on. You know me by now, a tad obsessive with sweets, I certainly wasn’t complaining, nor opposing.

We learned the importance of presentation and staging the plate before serving. How do you think we did?

Everything was almost ready, we patiently awaited the last dish to come out of the oven. We then individually plated our masterpieces and sat down at a big table with our group, poured wine and toasted one another, and ate every single tasty morsel! The group was almost silent relishing that meal and that very moment. I yearn to rewind time and taste the food and that moment again.

We cannot recommend the class highly enough! We had the very best time and wished we had more time to take a few more classes. We hope that this post enlightened and informed you and now when you find yourself in France, you will sign up for a class too. (If you do please let us know because we’d love to hear what you thought.)


La Cuisine Paris

ADDRESS: 80 Quai de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France



Gastronomic Journey in Paris

As I stated earlier we were on a gastronomic journey while we vacationed in Paris. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on fresh bread, real cheese, and a new selection of wine. I’d be kidding you if I said that I didn’t spend a large amount of time researching where we should go and eat. You saw the books, I am hardcore and thorough when it comes to my meals. I started to become a teeny bit overwhelmed by all of the choices we had. Finally after I had made out a crazy long list of where we’d go, I asked Mr. B if he’d mind just winging it when we reached Paris. Mr. B of course was up for anything and reminded me that this was again a vacation, no need to get so wrapped up in the details. (LOVE THIS MAN!)

The best advice we can give is when you go to Paris is just explore! Let your eyes and nose lead you to your next meal.

One major difference we noticed was that the entrée is a starter in France, something we call appetizers. The main course is called the plat principal, or just the plat. Dessert is of course, dessert (THEE most important thing one to know wherever you travel).

If you are curious, we will share just a few of the restaurants we frequented/ I had my camera along during our trip below. These restaurants are in no particular order. Each place was lovely, incredibly delicious, with wonderfully attentive staff making our dining experiences in France an absolute delight.

Swoonnnn… reminiscing about these places still is making my heart flutter and my stomach roar!

1. Le 7ème Vin
ADDRESS: 68 avenue Bosquet 75007 Paris, France

We checked into our hotel and after getting settled in we asked the front desk if they had a recommendation within walking distance. This was the place they sent us to. When we think of a cozy French restaurant this is the place that will always come to our minds. There are only about 10-13 tables inside. The place always seems busy with not only travelers like ourselves, but locals too. Upon entering we were immediately greeted and welcomed to a table. The menu is presented on handwritten chalkboards. It was fun to watch the staff move them around to anyone new that came in. The food was excellent! We ordered the rack of lamb with thyme. The dish was evenly cooked from edge to center, absolutely beautiful, tender, Ooooh so melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Thank you for setting the bar with our first meal in France.

2. Le Progrès
ADDRESS: 7 rue des Trois Frères 75018 Paris, France

After our five mile hike up and to the Sacre Coeur we popped in for a bite to eat. We sat outside enjoying the perfect views of Montmartre. The waitress was helpful with recommendations from the lunch board. The gazpacho and goat cheese Apéritifs are outstanding here, steaks were a bit overdone even after ordering them rare, and the french-fries were perfectly crisp and non-oily. All and all not a bad choice when in the area.

3. Ladurée
ADDRESS: 16 rue Royale 75008 Paris, France

I’m obsessed with macarons and now unfortunately for my husband… he is too. (SORRY) These macarons were worth every single penny when you want quality that’s outstanding with each and every bite. They had the perfect combination of texture and taste. Crispy, chewy and creamy! The staff were so helpful and kind making the entire experience that much more special for us. Go big and splurge with trying a box of all the flavors assorted. (YEP, WE DID).

4. Kozy Salon Urbain
ADDRESS: 79 ave Bosquet 75007 Paris, France

We enjoy ADORE our coffee in the mornings so we were delighted to find a great little cafe to serve as our home away from home. The owner was incredibly helpful and explained that we could help ourselves with a plate and pick out anything that we liked while he made our coffee and cappuccino order. We felt really comfortable while we sipped on our coffee and nibbled our pastries. This cafe has free wi-fi too!

5. Crêperie du Cloître
ADDRESS: 14 rue Cloître Notre Dame 75004 Paris, France

As the old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do…. Sooo because we’re in Paris and not Rome…A nutella crepe is a must do! We stopped in for a quick bite to eat after we did the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Everything was fast, service was friendly, and before we knew it our piping hot onion coup, croque Monsieur were just want we needed to keep going with our walk all over the city.

6. Gusto Italia
ADDRESS: 199 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris, France

We couldn’t help ourselves! We know we should have been taking full advantage of the fact we were in France, but our nose and belly told us we NEEDED to go here. Everyday when walking by this place had the most incredible aromas wafting out onto the streets. AH! The appetizer plate with a tasting of pickled/ sauteed veggies and breads, outstanding. We ordered a pizza and also the ravioli’s based on others recommendations. The food and service were of this world! Make sure to grab dessert too! We ordered tiramisu and were blown away! Yelp recommendations were spot on!

7. La Boulangerie des Invalides-Jocteur
ADDRESS: 14 ave Villars 75007 Paris, France

We grabbed our breakfast sipped our cappuccino and Americano and sat outside watching the world go by. Excellent pastries and breads! Truly not a place to miss while you are in the area. I instantly fell in love with the quaintness this bakery boasted…I mean they have pink walls! The staff were friendly, patient, and very helpful with pronunciation of each item we ordered. (HEY! we certainly tried) We ordered a praline brioche, bichon framboise, and took a baguette to go. (ORDER THE BICHON FRAMBOISE!)

8. La Terrasse du 7eme
ADDRESS: 2 place Ecole Militaire 75007 Paris, France

Convenient location just outside the Ecole Militaire Metro exit. Perfect sidewalk cafe for a late night meal or snack. We sat outside enjoying our escargot and sipped on a nice bottle of wine. Did we happen to mention we REALLY enjoyed the escargot??

9.Café de Mars
ADDRESS: 11 rue Augereau 75007 Paris, France

WOW! It’s hard to even begin to put into words how excellent this meal was. We were incredibly pleased with everything from the service, to the wine, to the meal. A must go if you’re in the area! If you get the chance order Terrine de lapin confit, salade de carottes roses pistachio, saumon, asperges, sucrines, verveine, Filet de bœuf en croûte, Goat cheese cake with blueberries gateau au chocolat du pasteur ! WOWWWWW!!

10. Terres de Café
ADDRESS: 33 rue des Batignolles 75017 Paris, France

A teeny tiny little coffee cafe that serves excellent cappuccinos and flat whites. When we travel we are always on the hunt for the perfect beans and most enjoyable cups of jo. This place met the criteria. Make sure to carry cash with you if stopping by, as the barista will only let you use your card if you’ve got an order over a certain total. Sit outside the cafe sipping your drinks, savoring your slice of carrot/ banana bread, and people watch before getting along to start your day.

11. Au Petit Sud Ouest
ADDRESS: 46 ave de la Bourdonnais 75007 Paris, France

It was so nice we had to go twice! We really wanted to find a decent restaurant that foie gras while in France and out of pure luck we struck gold! We have no idea how anyone could rate Au Petit Sud Ouest anything less than 5 stars. You will meet and see both the husband and wife owners as they passionately serve food and speak with their customers. We were very luck to get a table the first time without a reservation. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation because they are always very busy. Each table has it’s own toaster so that you can toast your outstanding hearty slices of bread. From the two nights that we visited we ordered, Seared duck fois gras over apples, duck in orange sauce, Foie gras 3 ways, We also had the duck breast with mushrooms and potatoes served rare, duck cooked with green pepper corn, Trio of creme brûlée, pear sorbet. When the owner tells you that the potions are rather large…. believe her… because they are! If you order anything, order the foie gras 3 ways, or the seared fois gras over apples, they two dishes will just melt in your mouth. Now to find a place in Korea…


Celebration Calls For Afternoon Tea

This morning, Christmas eve, I attended a graduation and certificate ceremony for my dear friend at Le Cordon Bleu (French for “The Blue Ribbon”) culinary school located in Seoul. What an honor to be invited and partake in such a monumental moment in someone’s life. Not to mention a dream of my own…swoon

As you may know already, there are some rather distinct differences when it comes to comparisons between S.Korea and the US. I now can also safely say that a graduation ceremony is another difference in my life experience book as well. The ceremony while very nice, had some distractions occurring.

…Eh, heck why not, I’ll share some of the humor with you all…while I carefully tried to concentrate and make out some of the words being said in both French and Korean, I was sitting beside a Korean man who was obviously very proud of his family member, so much so that right after his family member walked off the stage he decided he immediately needed to put together a video montage with songs right on the spot (I’m talking no ear buds, full on sound for all to hear around him). Then after said Korean man was happy with his masterpiece, I thought I was in the clear, silly me….two elderly Korean woman to my left decided to sit down and have a very loud conversation and pay no mind to the ceremony, or anyone sitting around them. I really don’t believe that they looked up at the stage once. I pondered if they even knew anyone there and perhaps maybe had come for the free food afterwards? Hey, no judgement ladies… no judgement. For future events try to keep it down a bit please? Thanks.

Anyways, the ceremony was beautiful in book, even with said distractions. I was beaming from ear to ear with a huge permi-smile for my friend and her incredible accomplishment! I think I told her about 50 times that afternoon how proud I was of her and how much of an inspiration she was to me. She really is, more than I think she will ever know!

Onward to the celebration afterwards. Let’s talk food shall we?

No, wait.. even better shall we look at amazing photos of the food that the Le Cordon Bleu Chefs prepared for the graduation ceremony? Yes, I think we shall…

After the ceremony and the light tasting event, we headed onto our own celebration at Shilla Hotel, also located in Seoul, for afternoon tea.

There is no need to make reservations and the afternoon tea is held in the Library Bar and Lounge of the hotel. The Afternoon Tea Set starts at 46,000 KRW and there is an option to upgrade and add a glass of champagne for the set price of 68,000 KRW.

First we were seated and asked to select our tea choices. Because our group was rather large, we ordered various teas. The tea selection is plentiful and I immediately fell in love with TWG’s White House tea. I know, I know…Perfect pick for the American! But really, the tea was a delightful white tea. It was described as, “delicately fruity with overtones of ripe, red berries and a scattering of rare and fragrant rose petals.”

I was blown away by the tea set that came out! It was impressive and perfectly plated for presentation. A wonderful section of various pastries, hot scones, sweets and beautifully sliced tea sandwiches. The afternoon Tea set also includes a selection from the cake cart. Our group chose a gorgeous slice of chocolate cake (and that says a lot coming from a non-chocolate lover)!

I cannot wait to go take a few friends back and share the experience.

I Highly recommend the afternoon tea and by the way, don’t forget pinkies up!



Le Cordon Bleu
Website: Here

The Shilla Seoul Hotel – The Library Bar and Lounge
249 Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


Weekends….If my bathing suit asks, tell it there’s only been carrot sticks and fruit smoothies for this gal. HA HA.

Mr. B’s Uncle, Kelsey’s father, and Kelsey’s close friend Meghan were in town this weekend. Kelsey’s been playing tour guide around Seoul and asked if we all could meet up at Kervan for a late lunch, followed up by a stop at Passion 5 and Softree for a sweet treat, then onto adult beverages at Reilly’s Taphouse. Of course we gladly accepted the offer.

We all had a blast chatting the evening away. A storm that was brewing most of the afternoon finally made its appearance, but even that didn’t put a damper on our fun!

(Kervan) Serving excellent turkish cuisine. Every dish was favorable and delicious! Check out that balloon bread! The service was fast and brought almost all of the food out together. I swooned over the beautiful lanterns and the tiles on the wall, red and turquoise blue. It wasn’t terribly busy when we arrived so we were seated rather quickly while we waited on the rest of our group.

Mr. B’s Uncle opening the door to Passion 5 with the huge Harry Potter like chandelier hanging in the back. I love that thing! It looks like it is floating in mid-air in the evening.

The service at Passion 5 however not so fantastic this time around. Let me digress, the bakery was rather busy, but we felt that we were looked over continuously because we were foreigners. The biggest turn off was when we finally were assisted with picking out the desserts we wanted, the young woman wouldn’t make eye contact and had a curled lip the entire time she was pulling each mini pie or cake out of the display case. When we asked for everything to be packed up to go as well as forks because there was no seating available, we weren’t given a bag and asking for forks was as if we had asked for her first newborn. Don’t worry this experience didn’t kill our spirit either.

(Softree) This was my choice for dessert. I opted for the classic honey chip this time.

(Rileys Taphouse) This was the first time we went to Rileys, we got there just in time too. We were seated at a nice hightop table perfect for people watching. Side note, can I ask when the high wasted shorts and midriff tops and neon glasses without lenses came back? Meh, what do I know? I am certainly no Fashionista. I just cannot get down with this recent fashion craze. We enjoyed a round of cider and ales and playing around with my new camera. We absolutely plan to go back!

Happy weekending to you too!




Reilly’s Taphouse & Restaurant

Passion 5

Kuala Lumpur Day 5

Gosh dangit already on Day 5 of the Memorial Day getaway. Well, we trucked around center city Kuala Lumpur on our last day with Luis. We checked out Brickfields also known as Little India, China Town or known as peddlers ally, and the Central Market.

We ate the local eats, such as durian fruit (AKA hot trash) and ais kacang or known as ABC (acronym for Air Batu Campur, literally meaning “mixed ice”). The ABC reminded me of S.Korea’s potbingsoo but cracked out. There was so much on this thing my mouth was totally confused by all of the textures and flavors that were going on inside of it. I am talking about crazy flavors like palm seed, red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and cubes of agar agar, aloe vera, cendol, ice cream. A final topping of evaporated milk, condensed milk, or coconut milk drizzled over the mountain of ice along with red rose syrup and sarsi syrup.

Perhaps I am bias, but I will always hold such a dear spot for our beloved original potbingsoo. It’s good to be back in the graces of Potbingsoo’s again. Cheers!

Many thanks to you Luis and showing us your Malaysia. It was a dream!

Curious, would you dare to try the local eats such as local eats, such as durian fruit or ABC?


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.


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

Busan Aquarium Shark Dive

EEK! I’ve been totally slacking on this blog lately! Thank you for your patience during my brief lull. I swear I’m back and refreshed and I have to say it was kind of nice to be disconnected from technology and not whip my camera out for a few weeks! Sometimes you just need that, don’t you agree?
Soooo… before getting into all the holiday jazz. What’s been going on lately in our world? Well, we took the KTX (Fast Train) from Seoul to Busan where Mr. B scuba dove in the Busan aquarium tank with sharks, sea turtles and goliath grouper. It was just as exciting for me to watch and snap away outside of the tank as he bubbled by for two hours.


On Eating With People I Adore

^^Love these few little guys holding on for dear life.

The past three weekends have practically begged me to snap photos it in all its brightly orange and deep burgundy gorgeous glory.

Would you look at those colors? I mean goodness!

As I get out and walk with the leaves crunching underneath my boots, I think to myself how I truly have a Pennsylvanian soul. There’s something about us girls from the North. I look forward to my four seasons. Scratch that… I LIVE for my four seasons. Just about the time I am almost ready to throw my hands up and surrender to the season, it sparks a magical little hint that something new and exciting is on the way. On the way, dare I say precious little white snowflakes? Eek! (Hot drinks, cheerful little dancing flakes, a Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas tunes, and twinkle lights!).

Okay, let’s get back to the weekend.

I haven’t had much time to really breath and enjoy the past few days. I feel like I NEEDED this weekend to be open, go with the flow, no plans, the feeling of rejuvenation!

Mr. B’s been pretty busy lately- which is fine, so it’s fun to be able to spend 2 1/2 solid days with my two lovely lady friends!

Coffee Date? Loving up on one of the sweetest baby girl’s, Taking a short train ride into the city of Uijeongbu? A Pasta and wine dinner date at Padella? Such a novel idea!

I hope your weekend was just as rejuvenating!

빠데라 Padella
Address: 경기 의정부시 의정부동 155-19 2층
Address: 155-19 Uijeongbu-dong, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do ‎
Phone: 031-856-1216 ‎
Hours: 11:30 – 24:00 Last Order 22:00