Tag Archives: patbingsu

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.


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

www.insainfo.or.kr (Korean only)

www.visitseoul.net (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.


All Things New On Saturday

Saturday I invited a good girlfriend to tag along to Seoul with me. The main purpose of the trip was to check out a newly established farmers market located right in the downtown area of Seoul. I was particularly excited because a few other bloggers mentioned the freshness, the organic quality, and how everything was sold direct by the farmer themselves. How awesome is that?

Per the directions we were following, we got off at the Palace. We arrived just at the change of Guards. We watched for a few minutes, snapped a few pictures and were off.

Well…we made it to the Farmers Market location at around 10:30AM, the market should have been open for at least 30 minutes already. I was so delighted that we had found the location. Easy! However, there were no vendors insight, the park was completely empty. I was disappointed, I think my girlfriend was too. Was there a Korean holiday today? Was the weather to hot? Did the market take a break? Eek! All these things were left unanswered and unknown. Perhaps next time? I have at least until October to check things out.

Fear not! The great thing about Seoul is there are just so many other things to let yourself get into. We were only a short walk away from Insadong. Insadong if you recall from past posts is such a fun, lively, little area. Always something new to see or experience too. To Insadong we decided!

We arrived with a mission in mind. FOOD! Oh, and postcards too. We walked a bit, Korean, Italian, street vendors stands, Indian. Indian! That really sounded like the best choice in the moment. WE were both so eager to check the place out, we almost forgot that we’d have to lift baby G and his stroller up the narrow staircase. Almost.

WHEW! We ladies worked up quite the appetite. First I’ve just have to mention how unfriendly South Korea is for handicap people as well as mothers of small children. Okay, okay.. Enough about that. We chalked the entire experience up to getting our workout on, cardio and step climbing!

Once we made our way to the top of the steps with baby in tow, we were greeted by a young Korean girl and made our way into the Cafe Little India.

The ambiance was really eclectic. We both decided on Marsala dishes with sides of rice and yoghurt sauce to top it all off. I went with Chicken and Mrs. p, shrimp.

Oh! Baby G playfully enjoyed his Indian chicken fried rice too.

So, ratings on the entire restaurant. Out of five stars we both agreed a three wold be most suitable. The dishes were good, however nothing to write home about. The service was good too, not over the top, but also not bad in the same breath. The price was a bit steep..but…this is Insadong, a very touristy section of Seoul. We know, we know.

After lunch we enjoyed making our way through the rest of Insadong.

Of course I had to make a special stop along the way for Patbingsu! MMMmm..I seriously cannot get enough of this stuff! Plus I wanted to let Mrs. P taste it for the first time too. I was so proud of her, lord knows she was defiantly unsure of this crazy mixture of things.

We came across more new things as we walked. These crazy looking things, almost the shape of a candy cane, they tasted like a cross between a churro and a sugar cookie, and they were filled with a vanilla ice cream. What a special we three were. Then we caught a glimpse of the other brave shoppers that decided they had to give iterate vet this was a shot too. What fun, we giggled like little school girls forever!

Speaking of new and crazy… I’ve seen these little pastry chocolate filled guys before when in Insadong. I was told they represent piles of landmines(use your imagination here folks). Korean friends, is that true?

We finished with Insadong, hopped back on the train, switched lines, got off at Myeongdong. Mrs. P had never seen Myeongdong yet. I was thrilled to at least get to show her around a bit and share something new too. I think she was blown away at all the people pushing their way through the mass crowds while shopping.

Whew! The heat, the lifting, the steps, the walking, and the train. These things just drain you. We were both ready for naps, it was after 4:00PM. We knew we needed to mosey our way back North towards home.

A little after 5PM we arrived home. Hugged Mrs. p, blew kisses back to baby G, the elevator doors closed I thought to myself at last…time to relax.

Wrong! Mr. B promptly reminded me that we were going to dinner since our Friday night plans fell apart. Ahhh…I completely forgot, not to mention just assumed we were staying in tonight.

7:30PM back walking down to catch the train South for the second time today. No biggie! I enjoy the train, plus I adore my thoughtful hubby. Oh and by the way sushi was involved too. He he he…

Mr. B wanted to celebrate my birthday ahead because it falls on a work weekday. Yes, yes, I know, Wicked and Sushi was my early birthday gift. Trust me when I say I reminded this man about 50 times this entire weekend. How did I ever get so lucky? Really folks?! Goodness.

We arrived in Uijeongbu, just in time too! Most restaurants don’t start getting crowded until later in the night for the dinner rush. This typically works well to our advantage because we are early eaters. Tonight was just an exception to the rule.

We never ate at Hanabi Sushi house. All we knew is we walked past it various times on the way to some other restaurant or plan and kept saying, I want to try that sometime. Plus it had a sushi track, looked clean, and usually looked busy.

I have to admit, not only was this sushi restaurant new to us, the concept of the sushi track was new to me as well. I was delighted once I quickly learned the concept. Each plate has a color, the menu tells you exactly what the plate could be, and how much the price of the plate is. Simple, right? Gah! All this time…intimidation, and for what? Who knows. The sushi was awesome! The rolls were delish! The service was right up there too. Oh yes! We Bees will be back.

Eeek! Check out the damaged we did! I think I’m growing gills as we speak!

After sushi we decided on dessert. Mr. B said my birthday, my pick. Typically I’m so go with the flow not caring where we go. Today I threw that right out the window. I was milking this! Ann House. Decided.

The very much willing and open to checking out Ann House, Mr. B, let me lead the way.

Oh boy… Where to begin?

Dear Ann House,

Thank you for completely throwing we Bees for a loop tonight. We really thought your cutesy, girly, pink, purple, flowery, and lace ambiance was going to be so sweet and innocent. However, you have shown us a completely different side. Open until 2AM, playing tunes with the lyrics “F*%$ that S!$&” and let’s not forget the song S^% on the beach followed up by Whitney Huston’s, “Will always love you”, heart spoons that look like a persons behind, a massive Patbingsu that included everything but the kitchen sink, i.e.- tomatoes, whipped cream, ice cream, corn flakes, chocolate covered pretzel sticks AKA: peppero sticks, red bean, shaved ice, chopped nuts, vanilla wafers, all topped off with a Ritz cracker and tiny drink umbrella. We really thought we were on an episode of the Jersey Shore at moments, LOL!

Thanks for the memories!

Sincerely, The Bees

Ps. Don’t you think I look like Alice in wonderland in that oversized chair? How about Mr. B showcasing his princess palace pride in our plush private booth? Too funny!

What’d a Saturday! What did you think of the Ann House’s Patbingsu? Would you try it?

Day 4 of R&S Invade South Korea

Early rise this morning. I made an appointment at the hair salon in Seoul for Rebecca and myself. I was in desperate need of a trim and highlights…I know, complete shocker these sun kissed blonde highlights are chemically engineered.

I was really eager to introduce the sweet girl that cuts my hair. I knew Rebecca would really enjoy her. Rebecca got a pedicure and picked out the cutest color pink to boot.

We took the subway down to the appointment. I knew it would be fun for Rebecca to experience public transportation in South Korea. Super convenient and super easy to use. Basically all your main areas are located along the subway line. Rebecca commented and said she couldn’t get over how clean the train and subway was compared to the DC metro. It really is rather clean and well kept after.

After the hustle to get to our hair appointment, we we’re able to enjoy not being against the clock. Take our time. Stroll. Ha-ha! Well as much strolling that my long legs will allow, they are rather long.

We walked around the Insadong area. Rebecca picked up some ceramic duck chopstick holders for a gift. We also poked in and peaked around some of the little shops.

Rebecca got to try out egg bread too!

I knew I want to let Rebecca try a Korean summer treat. Pat bing su. Rebecca tried egg bread and some other little vendor finds. Eventually after I drug her all over Insadong, we found a quaint second floor tea room serving pat bing su. Rebecca loved it! We both loved getting to sit down, chat, and catch our second wind. God bless her heart! I’m so thankful to have such an amazing bestfriend!

After out Pat bing su we walked around a bit more and decided to continue on to our next destination.

The Next stop was the Gyeongbokgung Palace. We stopped off at a Dunkin Donuts to grab a drink and of course see the crazy koreanized donuts. Take for instance the glutinous rice stick. I know doesn’t sound very appetizing, folks you don’t know what you are missing out on.

At the Palace we took an English guided tour. Again, it never gets old to me. I learn something new each time I revisit a place. We had a great time wondering all over the palace grounds.

We snapped some photos. It’s just incredible how the mountains and trees surround the back of the palace backdrop and the front is tall skyscrapers and the hustle of Seoul city life. It’s truly a place were you can see the old meeting the brand new.

After wondering through the Palace grounds we decided to head towards the subway and mosey home.

Once we arrive home we had to tackle one of the most important questions ever…WHATS FOR DINNER?! HAHA! We had endless amounts of our Korean meal from the night before…or we could go grab a bite elsewhere. We decided to go out. CHICKEN! Grilled Chicken!

Once home we FINALLY remembered to bust out the surprise for Rebecca’s birthday. A nice cool treat from Korean Baskin Robbins!

Goodnight Seoul! Until we meet again tomorrow!

2012_06_18 Rebeccas Day four

2012_06_18 Rebeccas Day fourJun 18, 2012Photos: 74