Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rainy Hikes and Rainbow Fish!

I know this update is late, but I had a long weekend and used it to do fun things, and therefore didn't have a ton of time to blog. May is a busy month at school, but we also have lots of time off.

sweet notes like this make my day

My class schedule changed this year so I have to help my handler with Drama Club. Thankfully, it's a bunch of 4th graders that I like, and the drama we selected was Rainbow Fish. My gleeful reaction when my handler told me that made her laugh haha. It's bringing back a ton of childhood memories, since I remember reading that book a ton.

On Friday, my friends and I had labor day off, so we headed to the Han River to hang out and relax in the beautiful weather, since in a few weeks it will be so humid and hot that I will melt. 

This cost like a dollar and is really convenient
to go coffee


broke out the shorts. The weather was amazing

Happy happy happy

no dust, no clouds, nothing but clear skies and sunshine

we also got a ton of food flyers haha

lots of people came out to enjoy

mmm we ordered chicken

this little dog was really interested in us, even
before the chicken

The next day, Cesca and I got up bright and early to go on a trip with Enjoy Korea. We signed up to go zip lining and to visit Seoraksan, a famous mountain in Korea. 

Because this weekend led into a long weekend, the traffic was annoyingly bad and not super accounted for in our timetable. Again. As we've come to expect from Korea. I've definitely turned into more of a "meh, what can you do? Don't stress" person here, which, if you knew me before, is like, the biggest transformation ever. I'll take that as a good thing.

This was after at least 4 hours on the bus, complete with 2 stops
to fix a flat tire...

Despite timing issues, we got to the zip lining place with no loss of limbs or anything. So we headed to one of the attractions, a Skywalk like the one they have at the grand canyon. 

soooo far down.

The view was a bit hazy but lovely 

it was windy. can't you tell

The view pre zip lining. It wasn't as scary as I thought. It was amazing to be flying over that view.  10/10 would do again

We had some time after to explore the bottom of the valley, and it was gorgeous

they had a nature info center and of course
Ces and I goofed around

We headed to our hotel in Gangwondo and got to hang out at the spa for a little while. We met people in our group from all over Korean, and Ces and I ended up hanging out with people from the South. It was nice to meet people from other places, but I realized how familiar I am with Seoul after hearing stories about places in Busan I know nothing about. Anyway, we had lots of fun in the hot tubs and cold tubs and steam rooms and everything in between. Even if the pillows at the hotel were like rocks.

The next day we headed to Seoraksan National Park, where it was drizzling and foggy.  Still super beautiful and lush. It's crazy how pretty it was, even in the rain.

The top is somewhere up there

we went on the easy waterfall hike

ces was so happy she wanted to do a heel click, which I caught on
camera cause I'm awesome

enjoying the easy part of the hike

pile of rocks

thus begins the challenge

I should have listened more. I tripped, stumbled,
slipped and yes, even fell, a good number
of times during the day.

the views were worth me slipping a bunch

Scary shaky bridge

It wasn't really that scary

This was the waterfall we hiked like 50 minutes to see. Not the most
impressive when you live near Niagara, but it was still nice

We took tons of pictures, of course. 

Explorer pose

selfie stick pose


smiling cause she didn't slip all day, unlike me

Trees. We don't have those in America

Enjoying the easier descent


After some lunch, we took the cable car to the top of Seoraksan. We couldn't really see the view because of the fog, so I really want to go back sometime when the weather is clear, although it seems like any time Cesca and I plan a hiking trip, it rains....

cool aesthetic

scared of the cable car full of koreans

that rock up there is the top, but it was too slippery to climb all the
way up. Next time!

Scaring me by getting close to the edge

My interjection here is that Cesca was cool with strolling around and whatever up there. Emboldened by her lack of slipping earlier, she was like, "wow this is easy!" and climbed all over, while I was silently praying that I wouldn't slip every step I took. Haha. Maybe next time I'll bring those trekking sticks.

Because of the rain, it wasn't too crowded

I just really like this picture

It was like something out of a movie. We kept saying
it was like Jurassic Park

full disclosure, I completely wiped out before this picture
and cesca is pretty much still laughing at me


We just took a lot of pics when the rain was ligh

pointing to the flag waaaaaaay up there

being more adventurous than me

We went back down, vowing to return in the fall to see the leaves change and to see the beautiful views (I assume, since all I saw was fog). We will get to the top next time!

We explored the area at the bottom, which included a nice temple and some good food.

And a giant Buddha!

See person in background for Buddha size scale

After a nice, not-so-difficult-that-I-will-regret-every-life-choice day of 'hiking,' we headed back to the bus to start the long drive back to Seoul.

Bye bye Seoraksan!

Saying bye to the bear

Final views before we got on the bus

Cesca and I were exhausted Monday, so we just hung out and did a few errands close to my house. Nothing crazy. On Tuesday we met with our friends to see the Avengers, which was awesome, but I've heard lots of Koreans didn't like it. I explained that the nuances are much funnier in English  and if you know the history of the characters (Captain America jokes, for example, aren't funny if you don't know he's from the WWII era and not modern...). I had some issues with some characters, and I wish we'd get a Black Widow movie already, but yeah, had a good time. Liked it a lot. 

I had to go back to school again Wednesday, and since I got my hair done last week, it was another round of explaining that no, the curls aren't a perm, the straight hair was temporary, and yes, this is the natural state of my curly hair, color change aside. That fact alone impressed a new round of teachers today. It still amuses me. I don't know if it will ever get old!

I'm returning to my normal schedule now, so hopefully I can update on time next week. All in all, I had a great time, and when I got back to work today, I finally had my renewal paperwork on my desk.  I wonder what I can accomplish with another year here.  Can't wait to find out!

The process has begun!!! Wish me luck!


Of course in kpop, I'm listening to the newest stuff from BigBang, who has impressed me once again with catchy, awesome songs. I GOT TO HEAR THEM FIRST Yeaaaaaaaaaaah. 

I think I prefer Loser to Bae Bae, but they're both great. If you're not that into kpop, the Bae Bae video might be too trippy, but the songs are super catchy and awesome. I like Loser's mellow, melancholy vibe, and while I didn't like Bae Bae as much at first, it's grown on me a lot. Ugh, the boys are back and it's awesome.

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