All posts tagged: tourist

A Brief Guide to Seminyak | Bali

Start your day with a gorgeous breakfast at Bali Deli’s Le Spot.  Get some lattes, some eggs and fresh fruit and prepare for hours of relaxation. Make a morning appointment at Prana Spa. This was the best thing I could have spent money on. We were massaged, scrubbed, slathered in yogurt and otherwise pampered every glorious minute in this unique destination. Then explore Seminyak on foot. Look for the beautiful offerings. Watch where you walk, you might just knock one over. If it starts to rain, just tuck into a bar and drink these lemony beers. Bintang Railler is amazing. Hello, Indonesia! Street art sits adjacent from offerings and tropical flowers. Then it was back to our little slice of Bali paradise, our Airbnb rental. It looks like this home has been relocated per the owner, but, I would recommend the new place. The owner is very accommodating and the house we stayed in was terrific. The new Villa Marjens 3 looks beautiful as well.  Here was Villa Marjens 3 when we stayed. The green gateway to heaven. Is it vacation time yet?

Reminiscing | Seoul’s Cherry Blossoms 2014

Seoul’s on the edge of Cherry Blossom season. A little honesty- after 4 1/2 years here in Korea, I’m over it. I do not ever feel like fighting the throngs of couples lining every street that happens to have these beautiful, delicate trees to get the perfect photo op. Seeing the cherry blossoms are  a bucket list item, for sure, but once you’ve dumped it in your bucket, it’s not worth being tangled up in the mess. Go see them once or twice and then, let the couples get their 100 pictures. In 2014, my sister and brother in law visited me in Seoul. Not only was I thrilled because it the one and only time anyone from back home has visited me here, but I was excited just to show them everything I loved about Korea. They arrived at the end of April so I told them we’d be lucky to see any cherry blossoms at that point. My sister really wanted to see the trees so I thought we would head to the National Assembly, where I …

The Food of Paradise

The trip I took to Bali over Christmas was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a gal from the Midwest. To fully experience the true essence of Bali I decided to join a traditional cooking class and shove food all in my face. The cooking class at Paon is entertaining, delicious and inspiring. For a measley $24 USD, you spend the morning in the Ubud market learning about fruits, vegetables and spices they use in Balinese cooking, are given an introduction to the family and hosts (Who are amateur comedians, I think), directed to the most beautiful kitchen and work together with a group of strangers who become cooking comrades among knives and hot coconut oil. There was a real sense of community and fun as we cut, chopped, fried, skewered, mashed and rolled real Bali ingredients with real Bali spices.   So let me take you through the culinary dream: We were ushered into one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen. The Balinese homes are several rooms situated among a type of small compound. Their home …

Seongsu dong | Revival

A painfully gorgeous day urges this couch potato into vast exploration of new areas. I found myself in sunlight and unknown neighborhoods last Sunday when I hopped on the subway to an area that is being called by people much cooler than myself, I’m sure, as the Brooklyn or Williamsburg of Seoul city living. These areas in Seoul, a generally run down looking, formerly industrialized Korean neighborhood with splashes of youth and transformation, give me a positive outlook on Korea. This country, for all its productivity and creativity, could easily become stagnant because of old fashioned ideals and hierarchical working relationships in large companies. Four years ago, when I first arrived, I was told the Korean career trajectory was: study endlessly in high school miserably, get into the best college, work at LG or Samsung or some other high powered Korean company, work long and tedious hours miserably until you eventually die with loads of vacation time stacked up that you had but weren’t allowed to take. Sounds awesome, yeah? I just couldn’t imagine that this sort of mindset …

A Stop in Memphis

I was expecting to have a more organized visit to the great city my sister and brother in law call home, Memphis. I wanted to see a few touristy spots I had not yet seen and just visit the city that is growing by leaps and bounds. But, on my way out of Korea’s door I got word that my grandmother was about to have open heart surgery and I needed to get to Jonesboro (Arkansas, about an hour outside of Memphis) the day after I flew in. It was a bit of a mess but everything worked out well. Grandma had her surgery and is now comfortably resting in her home. My sister and brother in law had to work for most of my visit, it was inhumanly hot and I had deep jet lag, so being a tourist wasn’t really on the cards. But I did manage to see a few spots that I know I want to return to on my next visit. On South Main in Memphis. They have some adorable …

La Vie En Rose | Garden Festival

Last week Korea was gripped in an obscene panic due to MERS. I was off from school closings and reading a lot of bad news on the internet. My solution? Ignore it and hop on the subway to the 2015 Rose Garden Festival which is inside Seoul Grand Park. This was my first jaunt out this way save for a few years ago when I visited the MMCA museum in the area. Just on the outskirts of the big city of Seoul, the park is surrounded by mountains and (hopefully) fresh air. The place was surprisingly big. You could easily spend 1/2 a day out there just in the rose garden itself. There is also a lake, trails and a lift that will show you a bird’s eye view of the park. Of course, since it was the middle of the week (and possibly the MERS) the park was not busy and it was easy to get to the themed garden. It’s quite a walk and the summer is heating up, so if you are not …

Persimmon Silence | Cheongdo Daejeoksa

The Gam Wine Tunnel was an interesting experience. The tunnel was unique. The wine was crisp. And, it was also very grating on my sensitive nerves because of the overabundance of attendees. Lucky for us that just up the hill a bit sat a quaint (and calm) little temple surrounded by persimmon trees and golden silence. Most temples in Korea look very similar but I was so grateful for this one because of the chaos that reigned just 200 meters away. Enjoy the pictures and feel the silence. 🙂

A Tunnel of Persimmon Wine in Cheongdo

Let’s just get this out there…the wine tunnel is not what I expected. Let me take you through my dreams of what the wine tunnel would be. There would be staff to greet my friend Phil and I at the  “door” and they would show us to a table in a vast cavern of the tunnel. We would have proper menus and table service. There would be adults in attendance, each quietly enjoying the selection of persimmon wine and it would be glorious. Glorious. You know, more like a vineyard or winery. Now I’ll explain what it was actually like.