Walking along the Cheonggyecheon, a lantern festival, and dancing in Hongdae.

Well, here I am writing on Buddha's birthday (which is a national holiday in Korea so I have the day off) cuddled under my blankets and drinking tea...ahhhh  =)  It's a good thing too, because I got home this morning from dancing all...night...long.  I had every intention of going to bed early last night until I received a text from Briza when I got off work saying,  

"Hey!  Emek, Lisa, and I are meeting in Hongdae tonight.  Wanna come?  It's a holiday tomorrow." 

Upon reading the message I chuckled to myself because I knew why she had reminded me about the holiday.  Last time they invited me out I declined because I was tired after work, and too lazy to go into Seoul, much like I was last night.  But, Briza was right, it was a holiday tomorrow and so, the next thing I knew, I was on a bus to Hongdae in for a night of fun with the girls.

On Thursday, we had the day off as well, to celebrate Children's Day.  Don't you wish we had celebrated this holiday in the states when you were growing up?  A day where you get presents just for being a child?  Awesome.  But somehow I got a few presents as well from some of the parents...not sure why...but I'm not complaining!  I got two free tickets to one of Korea's biggest theme parks called Everland and Vera Wang Princess perfume <3

First, I met Briza for lunch.  We had sushi and then stopped at this juice stand, which was SO incredibly fantastic that I've been craving it ever since.  I think I've even dreamt about the strawberry pineapple juice I ordered a few times since then.  It's undoubtedly the best fresh juice I've had since Mexico's aguas frescas.

The incredible juice stand.

Kiwi-Banana & Strawberry-Pineapple

After lunch, we walked around her university, EHWA Womans University, which was founded by a American Christian missionary, Mary F. Scranton in 1886.  It has a beautiful combination of both old stone buildings and modern architecture.  The campus is so pretty and peaceful.

Briza & I at EHWA

Then I met my friend Jee Eun and we walked all over Seoul that afternoon.  First, we walked along the Cheonggyecheon stream, which was built by the current President when he was Mayor of Seoul.  It was decorated for the holiday with lots of floats of Korean folktale characters and lanterns.

It was a beautiful day and we stayed outside and walked around Insadong and finished the night with Japanese Ramen.  No, not the ramen noodles you eat when you're living off of next to nothing in your college dorm, traditional Japenese Ramen noodles, which come with vegetables, seafood, eggs, meat, etc.  They're delicious!  Jee Eun even paid me the compliment of saying that I use my chopsticks like a Korean!  I've gotten pretty good ;)

On Saturday, I went to the Seoul Friendship Festival near City Hall.  There were booths from every country selling traditional food and cultural items.  I ended up walking around the festival with two Latin American guys while Briza was working the Brazilian booth.  They knew so many people there and I had so much fun listening to and speaking Spanish again!  I am a little rusty, but I was surprised by how much I remembered and how quickly it comes back to you when you're around it again.  I wish I could say the same about Korean...

The Brazilians celebrating receiving 2nd place!

Caipirinha - a delicious Brazilian drink

Me & Briza @ the Friendship Festival

playing with a friend's baby <3

After Briza finished working, we walked around and tried some more of the food.  When we parted ways, I headed over to watch the lantern parade.  I met up with Siu and her classmate, but I was on the opposite side of the road and couldn't cross because of the road blocks.  It was a beautiful parade and when it was finished we had shabu shabu for dinner, which is similar to Chinese hot pot.  It's one of my favorites.

a lady in the festival gave me a lantern so I gave it to the boy next to me =)

After church on Sunday, Briza and I were craving the Peruvian food again and decided to go back to the Friendship Festival to take advantage of the international foods.  We had some empanadas and sat and talked with the Peruvian ambassador to Korea who was helping at the booth. After meandering around the rest of the afternoon, we cleaned up at the Brazilian booth and went to dinner with some of Briza's friends.  I walked along the Cheonggyecheon again after dinner, but this time at night.  When it was time for me to get a bus home, we finished the night off with Coldstone near the bus stop.  =)

WooJung  is studying Portuguese and was helping out at the booth

Very soon I will do a post solely with pictures of my kids and the field trips we have taken lately, so stay tuned!

With love,

Miss Jones