Tag Archives: East Coast

On The Beach

Over the weekend we attended our dear friends wedding on the east coast of Korea. The couple opted to have the wedding at the dive shop that we’ve all come to know as our home away from home on the weekends.

Friday evening we got off to a bumpy start with a flat tire along the way in the middle of nowhere…still two hours out from our destination…Lol… Thanks USAA…ehh…or not (lesson learned). So just how many did it take to change a tire? Thankfully with help from some friends that coordinated with the local police station, an ambulance, police car, a fire truck, and a local garage all came to our rescue. Unfortunately we were missing an important piece of the puzzle, the lug nut wrench. Who would have thought? Lol… Poor Mr. B he took it out of the queen Volvo and put it in my car because he noticed that I didn’t have one. He was going to pick one up to replace his, but forgot. Hence our Dilemma. Eek. Eventually we got on the road after some grumbles, f-bombs, and Korean photo ops.. Yes, after the tire was fixed they wanted a photo with Mr. B shaking the local policeman’s hand and bowing to one another. Again, we’re going to be featured on some side of the road signage on the importance of being prepared. We were again back on the road, thankfully so because we were transporting the booze, THEE dress, and dinner reception decor. Basically the party don’t start till we roll in. We can laugh about it now. We rolled in and rolled right on into bed.

We cannot take credit for the cake, it’s the one item we didn’t transport. The poor thing just didn’t make it all the way in and out of Seoul and to the East Coast. The top slid off the cake and the fondant shaped sea creatures drooped and reshaped themselves. The lovely Ms. Louise and I did our best and tried to shift some of the fondant. At the end of the day it all worked out.

The evening ceremony took place down on the sandy beach just steps away from the ocean tide rolling in. It made for a very relaxing and beautiful backdrop as the two said their vows to one another.

The wedding and dinner reception was small but in the best way possible, sweet, and intimate. It was the perfect recipe for a relaxed and very memorable day. There were lanterns that provided romantic candlelight on the dining tables and twinkle lights strung from the ceiling of the tent above. Swoon! It was awesome getting to see all the various little details the bride and I discussed actually come to life.

The guest toasted with fabulous reds and whites the entire night, and dined on Greek salads, savory potato curry tarts, fresh grilled corn on the cob, grilled burgers, bratwurst, and vegetarian kabob. Many heartfelt thanks to Roy, Jeff, Mark, and Mr. B for being grill sergeants and keeping our bellies at bay throughout the evening.

The entertainment was absolutely perfect with live musical performances during the ceremony and throughout the dinner reception from Ms. Laura Kenny, or Kenny as she’s known to the group. Wow can this gal sing! Download her song on iTunes here! (Shameless plug)

The newlyweds brought together such a diverse group of friends. Everyone just clicked so well and really enjoyed the good company. It was wonderful getting to meet in person all the faces and names we had heard so much about. By the end of the evening we were all good pals sharing laughs as if we had known one another for longer than 12 hours.

Cheers to our dear friends! We wish them so much love, happiness, and health for the rest of their blissful years together.

Backpackbees

2015: Memorial Day Weekend

These are two of my favorite photos from this past weekend at the beach. I feel like they just exude summer. The calm, carefree, slow, peaceful, just be in the moment type of days that you only get to really feel during the dog days of summer (no pun intended). These are the days I find myself clutching onto for dear life as an adult.

What a view! We woke up every morning to this view of a Korean seaside village with brightly colored roofs, and the sea water so flat and crystal clear. Every spare moment I could snag I’d hideaway and find myself with the biggest grin on that balcony reading, sunning, watching the dear sweet ajumma’s tending to their flowers and vegetable gardens below, and at night taking in the beach or starry sky.

The days were filled with the perfect amount of sunshine, pillowy clouds, warm sea breeze, freshly brewed coffee, and meeting new friends. Plus I heard that the dive conditions were excellent, once you got past the frigid water temperature. The evenings just as breezy and blissful, filled with the celebratory Memorial Day Patbingsu, and BBQ. Ahhh perfection!

As we wrapped up our last evening with friends I made sure to pause and look towards the twinkly sky and give my heartfelt thanks to the many men and women that lost their lives defending our freedom. Without that selfless sacrifice we wouldn’t get to enjoy these carefree beach weekends year after year.

Backpackbees

Under the sea in Korea

Last weekend officially marked the opening to a new dive season here in Korea. Brrr… yes dry suits were absolutely involved, but they were troopers and still geared up and dove in.

The dive shop that Mr. B frequents has become like a second home to the both of us. We look forward to the ocean breeze on our faces and in our hair. The escape of letting the crowded city and everyday stress behind. Catching up with friends that have become like family to the both of us. It’s deeply cherished and has absolutely become a big part of our lives.

It was a special weekend as we were invited back to the opening of the shop for another year of diving. The shop’s opening ceremony kicked off with paying respects to their ancestors, Korean rice wine flowing, and a big ol’ BBQ with copious amounts of food being served (Thank’s again for grilling Jeff). It was surreal to look around that night under the big tent and realize that we didn’t all speak the same language, we didn’t come from the same countries, but everyone there all held the same passion for diving and that made everyone one in the same in that moment.

Backpackbees

4th of July

The 4th of July is one of those holidays that we Bees really crave a good ol’ BBQ, the rays from the sunshine, fireworks that light up the night sky, lounging by the pool, or on beach with your close friends and family. We almost had it all checked off the list this year, minus being 6,875 miles from the Pennsylvania and most of our family. Almost…

We headed to the East Coast of South Korea and Mr. B finally got in some diving and I some much-needed R+R+R (rest, relaxation, reading). Kelsey joined up with us on Saturday afternoon along with some fun friends from the UK, South Africa, Korea and the US. We learned all sorts of useful British and Korean words — crisps, brass monkey and chincha. HA-HA.

Waking up each morning and falling asleep each night with the sounds of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks right outside of the resort windows was so calming. The view was breathtaking even when the fog rolled in over the boat harbor. I couldn’t contain myself with all of the gorgeous wild flowers popping up all around too.

In the morning we really roughed it by grilling on our little Korean stove top with our cast iron skillet. Wakey wakey eggs and bakey. We actually had quite the little spread going for “roughing it”. Greek yogurt, red grapes, blackberries, English muffins with the nooks and crannies, because really is there any other kind? In the evening of course we had our BBQ and a nice selection of condiments.

We all enjoyed potbingsoo too! With a view to boot!

The dive shop owner had the sweetest Boston terrier dog named ์‚ฌ๋ž‘ salang, korean word for love. Ohhh and how I loved this dog! It was so playful yet reserved and chill. It walked around playing a game with us all. she’d find plastic bottles and random items from the divers, latch onto it then wanted people to try to take whatever it was from her. She salang was sweet.

I strolled over to the observatory one morning, then again to show Kelsey too. What a wonderful ocean view and breeze felt from up there! I could have stayed out in that ledge all day. The deck had clear glass floor that allowed you to view the ocean below your feet. It reminded me so much of being in Chicago with the glass observation deck. You never know quite how people are going to react. Even in a different language body language is all the same.

How was your 4th? Hope you were all safe and celebrated it right!

Backpackbees

Other Side

The original plans were to dive this weekend at the east coast, relax, stroll on the beach and get carried away with a good book. That fickle mother nature had other tricks up her sleeve. The waves and wind were definitely ideal for a surfer, not a diver. We decided to improvise, road trip and meet up with a new couple along the way.

Part of our unplanned road trip led us to visit the most northern point of South Korea’s east coast. The area we traveled was the Goseong Unification Observation Centre. If you recall from past post, we’ve seen the DMZ from the west coast along the 38th parallel, however this was the opportunity to check it out from the east coast. The observation platform is a small educational center about the North with the history about Korea’s divide. I felt like it was much more relaxed and less tense (if that is even possible) in comparison to the west coast observatory. For example you can drive your own almost right up to where you will get to view North Korea!

From the platform you get to see Mount Geumgangsan, Haegeumgang, and islands of the coast in the distance. I stood there for a long time just staring through the telescopes to the other side of Korea. I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful the beach and view were but how ugly the other side truly was.

The holiday weekend wasn’t a complete bust, Sunday the sun greeted us bright and early, Mr. B got in some diving while I returned to my original plan of getting wrapped up in my book and taking a stroll along the beach. This day was truly a reminder of how life is good.

Happy Labor day to everyone out there, enjoy! No cookouts on the grill for we Bees this year…but I do see Johnny Rockets in our near future… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goseong Unification Observation Centre address:
457, Tongiljeonmangdae-ro, Hyeonnae-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do
๊ฐ•์›๋„ ๊ณ ์„ฑ๊ตฐ ํ˜„๋‚ด๋ฉด ํ†ต์ผ์ „๋ง๋Œ€๋กœ 457

Find out more information here:
http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264161

Backpackbees

Turkey Talk

How’s the weather where you are? Are you tuning in from the East coast? If you are, hopefully you are safe and sound in the comfort of your own home. We’ve been in contact with our friends and family checking in to make sure everyone is okay. Thankfully they are and didn’t even get a flake of the second storms snow. We only get to see the limited television broadcast of how much damage hurricane Sandy did. However seeing just that little bit makes our hearts ache. What damage…the amount of people that were affected…the loss…just the utter devastation. We keep you all in our prayers and thoughts.

Here? Well, mornings are lazy hazy and gray, not to be confused with the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. Once the morning fog rolls out the blueish-gray sky shines through. Then at nightfall the sky is so black but clear as glass. When the moon appears, it glows so brightly, it makes you feel like you can see endlessly into space. I cant help but stare up at it some nights when we are out walking. Maybe this is all the turkey season talk in me… making me all nostalgic, but I often think to myself how the moon makes me feel so small here on earth, how I live a small but beautiful life. It makes me appreciate so much of my life.

This will be my second Fall season spent in South Korea. I feel like this is just the way Fall gets all nestled in.

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BTW, rakes… who needs them? Certainly not two determined elderly Korean ladies.

Wishing you all warmth, shelter, and sunshine!

Labor Day Weekend

We survived the typhoon. I apologize for not updating and posting that in a more timely manner. Most of the storm took it’s toll on the southern portion of the peninsula. Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as bad as they had predicted it to be. Unfortunately there were some casualties, our hearts and prayers go out to their families.

I can’t believe I’m saying this already, Friday was the “unofficial” last day of the summer. Labor Day marks we Americans last chance to extend everything we love about the summer months, i.e. wearing white pants, throwing Backyard BBQ’s, doing yard work, watching fireworks, getting in the last beach trips of the season, and the best for last, just our patriotic excuse to get together with family and friends.

Labor Day is quite different in Korea… For starters it’s a US holiday and is not recognized in the Korean culture. The typical patriotic feel from past years being at home isn’t quite there as well.

That’s okay! We took full advantage of the downtime and extended weekend. We quickly realized that it’s you who creates the mood and feel for each holiday or celebration. Near, far, wherever you are. Hope you were able to make the most of it too!

We drove to the East Coast. It seriously looked like Seattle, don’t you agree?

Mr.B enjoyed multiple days of scuba diving.

I tagged along too, read the entire book my best friend sent me in my birthday package. (Thanks again B)

Dug my toes into the sand.

Played with this cute little guy on the beach, well..until it bit me…Eek!

Watched the surfers in the waves, secretly wanting to join…maybe ill work the nerve up sometime in my life.

Ahhh… there is just something so relaxing about the beach!

Speaking of summer lasts… I enjoyed what I believe may be my last potbingsu…

on the beach…

in white short…

Just kidding, I had jean shorts on. Talk about almost enjoying the apoditimy of summer in one sitting. All that was missing was the hum of lawn mowers, the smells of freshly cut grass and burgers on the grill lofting in the air, and fireworks lighting up the sky. For the moment I was reminded of home.

We did grill out the first night at the beach. Our friend Alan is a master grill sergeant! He used a rustic Korean grill..I should have snapped pictures to share with you. When I say rustic I’m talking really, really, rustic. No complaints here, he grilled up really tasty chicken kabobs and we are still alive to tell the tale, HA-HA! I think you would have enjoyed it too, perhaps next time you can join us?

The second night we “grilled” I use the word in quotes because techincally ย yes we did grill, however we did it at a Korean BBQ restaurant. Hey! It counts, right? We had a blast story telling and enjoying good food with our friends.

The weather was much cooler these past few days. There is a real sense of Fall in the air. The humidity is slowly moving out of the weather forecast too. You think the weather stopped these diehard divers? Nope. wet suits and smiles is all I witnessed getting on and off the dive boats each day.

Happy Labor Day!

Grab the map coordinates hereย .

Dive On Into Memorial Day

2012_05 Memorial Day Korea Scuba Dive

 

Memorial Day! The “unofficial” beginning to the summer months! This is the day the pool opens. Gone are the worries that wearing white pants are judged. This weekend kicks off friendly Pennsylvanian neighbor lawn wars too.

Memorial Day weekend has always been one of my favorite long weekends of the year to look forward to. Not only because it gives me time to reflect on our past and current heroes, but because I get to celebrate my very own hero, my husband!

Typically, in the past this weekend meant going to the beach, eating my weight in ice-cream and fresh fruit, sand in my shoes, fireworks, long bike rides, and the smell of bar-b-que in the air.

This weekend always represents the little taste of summer before it really actually begins.

Just because we’re in Korea doesn’t mean we let the Memorial Day weekend festivities go by without getting out and enjoying ourselves.

Saturday we packed up the car and were some of the only crazies on the road at 4AM, bound for the (East Coast) Sacheon beach.

Lots of diving, cooking out, toes in the sand, and laughs all around.

Did you know Monday is also a significant Korean holiday? Yes, it’s Buddha’s birthday.

Traffic…

Traffic…

Oh yeah, LOOK more traffic…

6 hours in the car…Need we say more? Ah well, totally worth it! Wonderful weekend with great friends!

How was your holiday weekend? How do you typically spend it?

Sacheon Beach, Gangneung Scuba Diving

Got to go diving again with the people from Aquatic Frontier. We went to the South Korean East Coast, Sacheon Beach in Gangneung to be exact. We got in beach, boat and wreck dives. Although the weather wasn’t the best visibility was good and everyone there had a blast! I am always looking forward to diving with everyone from here.