Memorial Day Weekend Get Away (part 1)

This weekend it is Memorial Day Weekend in the United States, this is a time we pay tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives defending and protecting our country. Before I start the blog off, I would like to take a moment to thank the people who are currently serving or have served our country, those who lost their lives during their service, and I also want to pay tribute to the families of these truly amazing people as well. Thank you all for your selfless services that you have given us.

Ahh Memorial Day weekend, beaches, bar-b-ques and bright sunny skies! Okay, Okay! Not quite… we are in South Korea…yes, we do have beaches here and we did opt to head south for the weekend but not quite that far south.

This weekend we stayed over with some friends in Songtan. Songtan is part of Pyeongtaek and is located South of Seoul. It took us a little over 2 1/2 hours to get there but we all agreed that because we had such a great time laughing and talking that the time just flew by and did not feel like it was 2 1/2 hours.

Once we arrived at our hotel we checked in dropped off our luggage and headed for a bite to eat. We found ourselves in the Sinjang-dong shopping mall area. This area is very popular for bars, dance clubs, shops, and restaurants. It is said that approximately 230,000 tourist visit this area every year.

Songtan Map of shops
Songtan Map Restaurants and Hotels

We have heard that many Americans like to visit this area to pick up handbags; custom-tailored clothing, shoes, mink blankets, DVD’s, etc. because the prices are incredibly low and can often be haggled even lower. Many of the Koreans that work in this location are bilingual or at least speak and understand some English. We were also greatly surprised that many of the businesses wanted US dollar and not won.

Of course we found many American staples like McDonalds, Baskin-Robbins, and Popeye Chicken, however, there were many, many small individually owned restaurants as well.

After shopping and walking all the many alleys and streets of the shopping area it was after dinner time and we thought we better make our way back to the car to head to the Italian restaurant located about 20 minutes away that Larry had recently checked out and loved.

Puffins is also located in Pyeongtaek, just outside of the US military base Camp Humphreys. Our bellies were eager with anticipation due to Larry describing how incredible his meal was there. Once we arrived at Puffins we immediately loved the style and atmosphere of the restaurant. The booths have large throw pillows and the tables have Patron oil filled candles, the lights hanging are tiffany style, the walls are covered in various shots of New York and Marylyn Monroe. It really was a 1940’s American feel throughout. However, then the sweet Korean waitress approaches the table and you snap out of the daze and realize that you are still indeed in South Korea.

We were impressed at the level of service throughout the entire meal. The waitress was quick and really spoke very good English. The menu is HUGE and features almost all American fair foods and drinks. I mean this menu covered everything from soups, salads, pasta dishes, to enchiladas and Quesadillas.

Larry was right! This food was out of this world, delizioso! We started off with an order of Bruschetta. Note that they do bring you fresh warm bread while you wait for your meal as well. We all ended up ordering the lasagna because Larry had raved about it. Larry had a Seafood Linguine Fra Diavolo both dishes were incredible and there was no Korean twist to the dish whatsoever. We cannot wait to come back and visit Puffins again!

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