Tag Archives: Garden

Secret Garden

You know, spring really is magical.

Everything is finally cheerfully waking up from their long winter hibernation. Even on my grayest of days, I still find myself feeling happy inside when admiring the beauty that surrounds me. It takes my mind off the reality of adulthood and the complexity of pressures and stress, much like a self fulfilled mini-vacation since I haven’t done much traveling as of late.

This past week every day on the way to work I continued to admire from afar this one magnificent tree that pokes out from behind an abandoned restaurant very close to our complex. Each morning I would think I need to see this tree up close. It was practically begging to be photographed. Today was Friday so after work with no time schedule or plans I finally walked over to admire it up close and of course snap some photos to share with the rest of you. I cannot help but to feel like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden.


Day 9 R&S Invade South Korea

Today is day nine…I can’t help but think about the fact that in a few short hours my wonderful week with my best fiend is coming to an end. Nevertheless I am very determined to not let that gloom over my head and not let me enjoy the precious hours that I do still have left with her.

Rebecca is still recovering with her medication. We again decided to have an easy, slow, at our own pace type of morning. With no rush or real plan in place, we all woke up, ate some breakfast, talked, and got ourselves around for the day.

We eventually decided that once the sun was setting we would head up to Herb Island, a fabulous (i’ll admit a tad bit cheesy too) botanical garden facility near our place. I really enjoy going to this place and was absolutely delighted when Mr. B first took me there. I just knew Rebecca would feel the same way and really enjoy it too, or at least I really hoped so!

Mr. B had some things he needed to tend to during the afternoon hours. This left Rebecca and I more time to just lounge around the house, nibble on our left over market goodies, and giggle. A few hours later we both looked at each other and decided that we were growing incredibly hungry. We were in need of something light, not in the mood for something heavy. Perhaps a sandwich shop? Hmm…the Subway shop nearby? No… that wasn’t sounding that appetizing or appealing in the moment. Ah! We could dine at the local GS 25 (A local convenient store) and raid the place for interesting finds. Yes! We thought: what a perfect idea!

We sat on the patio and munched on divine foods such as seaweed covered tuna triangles, chicken triangles, banana milk, with some sort of crazy circle things? Friend that speak Korea, throw me a bone and help me out! HA HA! We had a blast just sitting there watching the world go by, eating our triangles.

On the way back to our place we stopped by a local grocery store and perused the place for some goodies that we could box up and send back to the states for Josh (Rebecca’s amazingly sweet boyfriend!). While we were running amuck we found the popsicle display case and it was marked 30% off! SCORE! Of course we had to!

We strolled home in the heat with our melting popsicles. Mr. B had arrived home and gave us a ring to find out our location. We were so close so we just decided it made sense to meet back up at home again.

Around 6:30 we all piled back into the car and Mr. B took us on a nice drive through the countryside North of our place, no not North Korea HA HA! Rebecca really enjoyed getting to see all the mountains and all the lush green farmland. It’s such a change from hustle and bustle of Seoul and the city. It’s refreshing, calming, most of all it reminds us a lot of home.

We looped back around and found ourselves at Herb Island, exactly where we wanted to be once the sun had set. Excellent timing! The place was not jam-packed with people and we free to mosey around as slow as we wanted.Plenty of time to stop and smell the flowers, or in my case snap a million pictures. There were just to many silly or beautiful things that I couldn’t pass by without capturing.

After our Herb Island trip was almost complete we ended up at the restaurant, or what was left of it, that we wanted to share Herb bibimbop with Rebecca. Phewey! Herb Island was doing some major construction and the building was no longer standing in the place it once did. We opted to head into the bakery and munch on all the delectable samples of freshly baked breads. Mmm… this place is Mr. B’s Achilles heel.

We had to decide on something different for dinner. Our options were herbed meat or pizza. We didn’t have much reassurance in the pizza place because it was fairly empty. We all decided, meat it is. It wasn’t the herb bibimbop, but it was still tasty.

What a great night! Rebecca had a blast! Yippee! The night was a total success!

2012_06_23 Rebeccas Day Nine

2012_06_23 Rebeccas Day NineJun 23, 2012Photos: 41

Fools in the rain

Today is a very overcast, rainy day in Dongducheon. Staring out the living room window I had a thought, we recently Skyped with a 3rd /4th grade class located in North Carolina that has been learning about Korea and following our blog site. They requested that we take them on a tour of the inside of our place and also wanted to ask us different questions about our experiences so far. There is a major time difference so we had to Skype at night allowing us to catch them during their regular class-time. We were not able to show the class what our “backyard” looks like due to the time of night.

We snapped some pictures of our “backyard” and learned a bit of more of traditional Korean culture. As you can see in the pictures we have three Korean burial mound sites and a large garden.

In Korea, it is very common to bury people above the ground, cover the body with rocks/dirt, and then grow grass over the body in a semi-circle mound shape (as captured in the pictures). It is said that in traditional Korean burial culture, the size of a grave mound increases proportionately to the social status of its owner. The ones that are located on the hillside in our “backyard” are a nice size but in doing research we came across what royalty mounds look like… HUGE!

The graves in Korean cemeteries are curved to reflect the belief in reincarnation. Basically, it’s like the Earth is pregnant with those entombed and is almost ready to give birth to them once more.

We learned that there is a bit of a difference in comparing graves to that of the US. Koreans traditionally buried the dead under mounds standing upright in coffins made from six planks of wood. These wooden planks represent the four cardinal points on the compass plus a plank for heaven and the other for earth. The corpses either face south or toward some important spiritual part of the landscape such as mountains because these are said to be homes of the spirits of the land and sky.

We also snapped a picture of part of the garden that is off to the right side when we look out our windows. We have been watching this garden get bigger and bigger every day. The Korean family that is planting is working at it daily and continues to expand into new earth. We can’t wait to see what grows in it!

Another major difference in Korea we recently discussed on a walk is just how many gardens there are. We love the fact that Koreans really utilize and take advantage of any grassy area, field, or strip of dirt that can be used for growing something. We are not kidding when we say they are everywhere!