1. How clean it was was
2. The fantastic sushi
3. And the shoes…I will leave you with a few shots of some of the shoes……
|Six In Seoul||
Japan is the cleanest country I have ever seen. The streets shined - no joke. All the shop keepers were out sweeping the side walks, and cleaning their windows. Everything in this town was so organized, it was unbelievable. You should have seen the food at the food markets..so orderly. I think this country has a serious OCD problem, but I loved it. Here is a picture of 'underground' shopping.
Bicycle parking is EVERYWHERE.
And most people travel by bike....check out her shoes.
People here LOVE their *little* dogs. We went into one store that was all dog...they had dog clothes, dog strollers, dog carriers, dog cribs, I must say, it was out of control. They even have special spots to put your dog while you go into a store.
While on a tour, we happened upon this traditional Japanese wedding.
My MIL LOVES the Japanese Kimono, so I took a few pictures for her. I thought she was going to cry during this wedding, even though she didn't know anyone involved.
And here she (my MIL) is being fitted for her very own kimono.
My favorite sushi chef while in Japan.....
The sushi was to die for....this plate of tuna sashimi was my all time favorite!!
The sake wasn't too shabby either!
We had some good times and great laughs on this short weekend trip to Japan. The things I will remember about Japan are:
1. How clean it was was
2. The fantastic sushi
3. And the shoes…I will leave you with a few shots of some of the shoes……
No matter where my travels take me, I always seem to find a little bit of Texas.
Did I mention how expensive things are in Japan? If not, this is me telling you.....EVERYTHING in Japan is EXPENSIVE, I knew this from the beginning, well, I thought I did anyway. This picture is of me in front of our 3 star hotel. I am spoiled; I'll be the first to admit it. I like to stay in nice hotels when given the chance. We started off looking at 4 & 5 star hotels. HOLY CRAP!!! After sticker shock, we moved our sights to 2 & 3 star hotels. We settled on this 3 star hotel, at a whopping $200 USD per night, oh, but don't worry, breakfast was included, and a mighty tasty breakfast it was (not).
See those nice twin beds? They are hard as rocks, don't try to plop down on them, you might break a bone. Don't even get me started on the sand bag pillows.
The bathroom.....oh, the bathroom....
Need I say more?
They did leave this cute little note for us....
At least we could buy beer from the vending machine down the hall!
The answer to my last blog is....Fukuoka, Japan!!!!
The crazy thing is, they NEVER checked our tickets....on the way there or back. They never ask us for anything. On the way home I think I figured it out though. The lady kept walking up and down the aisle with some type of hand held computer. I think she was checking it against seats sold, and if you were in a seat that had been purchased, there was no need to bother you.
The train would be fun for the kids as well. If you have 8 people traveling you can get a 'family seat' where you have 2 rows that face each other. When Hubby's brother visits us in July, I think we are going to take them to Busan by bullet train, but we will stay in Busan on the beach! So, here is a picture of what the first class car looks like...nothing too special, but nice. They have a little guy, like a flight attendant on the airplane that travels up and down the aisle with a cart where you can buy things, but be sure to flag him down because he practically runs through the car!
(In past blogs I have refered to MIL as Grammy.) Here is Grammy on the train with her Starbucks we brought with us. This woman cannot live without Starbucks. Oh, I forgot to mention, the bullet train takes almost 3 hours from Seoul Station to Busan.
And here she is in Busan, South Korea.
We took a cab from the train station to the ferry. If you have a friend that speaks and writes Korean, it is helpful if you have them write in Korean where to take you. If you don't have a friend that speaks or writes, don't worry, most Korean's speak English, or you could show them your tickets to where you are going. I use Marco Polo Travel in Iteawon, and Marco wrote out everything for us in Korean. He TOTALLY hooked us up on this trip. His number is 02-757-2300, use him, he is awesome!
The ferry was great, Marco booked this for us, but you can do it yourself by going to this website.
Here is a picture of our ferry, it looks so tiny compared to the one on the right. Our boat is straight ahead in this picture, see the blue roof top, just to the right of it is our boat - it almost looks like one of the crates.
When we first got on the boat, we thought we were in BIG trouble, as it was rocking like no other boat I have ever been on.
We located the barf bags right away, and we were thankful when we did not have to use them. The boat was actually a very smooth ride once it got going. The ferry takes about 3 hours to get from Busan to Fukuoka, and the cost is 220,000 won. You can take a cheaper ferry, but it takes 15 HOURS to get there.
Here is a picture of the boat, instead of a 'flight attendant' type; they use a TV to give you directions. I snapped this picture; make sure you read what it says. Also notice that this boat does not sit flat on the water is is on some sort of risers.
A dream come true.....Grammy in Japan! (I kind of feel like Oprah!)
So my friend emailed me to ask if I had tried any unusual ice cream flavors since being here in Seoul. Well, my answer was 'of course I have', remembering the ice cream I got when I first moved here, oh what was it.... BLACK RICE! What was I thinking when I bought that? It was like eating something cold that almost resembled ice cream, but tasted of overcooked rice, smashed, with hard pieces of, well....did your mom ever cook rice and not cook it all the way through? My mom did, and I hated it. This is what the rice chunks were like in this ice cream. Rice that was not cooked all the way through and oh by the way, it was black, which just added to the 'not so palatable' aspect of it. Then I started thinking about the ice cream Boy 2 got at Baskin' Robbins a while back it had POP ROCKS in it. My friend that ask this question has another friend looking for 'unusual' flavors for some sort of article....I'm not exactly sure, I didn’t' get all the details. This got me thinking about you guys, and how you would probably like to know this information as well. My kids were more than game to help with the research, although when it came down to it, they just ordered your basic chocolate and vanilla. The things I found here might just blow your mind, and might not leave your gut feeling too well either.
OK, the 'pop rock' ice cream. My kids love this. We got it at Baskin Robbins...maybe you have it in the US, I don't know. I remember Boy 2 came home telling me about it a few months ago when Hubby took him out for ice cream, so when I was out the other day and saw a Baskin Robbins, I had to go in and try it, God help me, what I will do to help a friend, of a friend. This ice cream is one of the nastiest things I have put in my mouth in a long time. On the other hand our kids dig it!!!
Did you take a good look at it? Notice all the blue specks in it? Boy 1 told his Grammy (she is visiting from the states right now), 'there are hard things in my ice-cream, like rocks and they are popping'. He is 3. I think the flavors here are cotton candy, some very sweet vanilla and strawberry jam. Although it is very patriotic, I don't know if I will be serving it at our 4th of July party.
Here is another flavor worth talking about. Green Tea and Red Beans. My first taste, I didn't think it was too bad, I mean considering I don't like tea. Then had Hubby try it....he about spit it on the floor, saying "what the &#^$....that taste like fish"! Personally, I didn't think it tasted like fish, I thought it was more along the lines of dirt.
As most of you know, I like wine. White wine is one of my favorite drinks. Give me a nice glass Sauvignon Blanc and I am good to go. So my question to you is..."how bad can an ice cream made with white wine be"? The answer...bad. This ice cream on first taste was interesting; there was a slight hint of wine...not too bad. On the second taste, it was different; I started tasting the cream mixed with the wine. The third taste...well let's just say there should not have been a third taste. Wine and cream, those are two things that you should never mix together - just think about it this way, you drink a bottle of wine, then chug a glass of milk. Not a good outcome.
The last ice cream I am going to talk to you about is Cheese ice cream. I really thought this was going to be good. I love cheese and I have had some really great desserts made with cheese. Ice cream is NOT one of them. Again, I was fooled at first...I don't know what it is about ice cream here. The first bite always seems a little promising, and then there is the second bite. Honestly, this ice cream wasn't too bad; I was kind of digging it. (Maybe that is because I had just had Green Tea & Red Beans and White Wine ice cream, so in comparison to that this was good?) That is until I stopped eating it. After a minute or so I got this really bad taste in my mouth, after another minute, it tasted like I had eaten a piece of moldy cheese. We had a 10 minute drive home and I really needed a drink of some sort & there was nothing in my car! Ten minutes of moldy cheese taste in your mouth, there is nothing else quite like it.
Next time I go out for ice cream I think I will stick to a nice bowl of Blue Bell Rocky Road - thank you very much!
A big HOOAH goes out to Hubby for being selected for a battalion command. He is an outstanding husband, fantastic father & a devoted soldier - he deserves this command and he will be (and is) an amazing leader! Words can’t express how proud of him I am. He rocks. Congratulations to my wonderful Hubby…even though I probably will not see him for the 2 years he is in command. J All my love hot stuff…from your biggest fan!
It is that time of year again, people all over are gearing up to PCS, this is another post of general information for moving here to Yongsan, South Korea - I hope it is helpful.
Swim lessons and summer camps. These are a *BIG* deal here on Yongsan Garrison! Parents wake up in the *WEE* hours of the morning to secure a place in line just so their kids can the *primo* spot. You see, for swim lessons you don't want to be in the early classes for a couple of reason....my main reason is frankly, I don't want to wake my kids up too early during their summer vacation to drag them to the pool! By doing that, it makes swim lessons a chore and not fun. Second, the air is too cool in the morning and the water is TOO COLD! The kids in the early morning class are freezing & it is just miserable for everyone involved. This is why I opted to get up at 6AM on my Saturday morning, (OK, for those of you that know me, 6AM is not early for me, but is sounds good for the purpose of this blog) to go sit in the drizzle.... Oh, and for summer camps, if you aren't there early you will be put on the dreaded waiting list.
I remember back in the day when my friends would get up in the wee hours of the morning to camp out in front of Ticket Master to get *primo* tickets for concerts - I thought they were nuts! Wow, if they could see me now! Finally after an hour of sitting in the drizzle, which was not bad at all, they people working decided to be kind and let us move inside the building, as long as we were all on our best behavior.
This guy was first in line...he told me he arrived before 6AM. He should win dad of the year!
More folks waiting.....I almost felt like I was at Wal-Mart on Black Friday, but it was a little too organized.
The MP's were even here to make sure things didn't "get out of hand"!
As it turns out, I couldn't be happier I went so early. The kids are in all the camps and swim lessons I wanted them in, and the fellowship with my friends was great. I loved the excitement and fun of it all! Whee...now we just have to wait for summer to begin! 11 June won't be here fast enough for me!
PS...Sign ups started at 9AM.
I know, I haven't really been anyplace new lately, but I do promise to post some new cool sites soon. My Mother-in-law arrives on Sunday, and we have many more adventures to go on! But for now, here are a few things the kids have been doing.
See Jana, we WISH we had a *real* pool, but unlike you, we have to set up as many kiddie pools as we can just to have a little water fun! ;)
Boy 3 trying to make his belly look like his good friend C's belly!! He is too funny!!
A cool park we like hanging out in....
The kids eating Korean BBQ...they all love it.
And here is a little place my kids refer to as "heaven". Toy Alley.
Having a little ice cream after a hard day of shopping, here in Korea you sit where ever you find a place!
Paula came for dinner again last night....this recipe is very simple and pretty good - I like the marinade on the veggies better than on the steak. It is hard for me to change the way I make flank steak, but I did last night, and I was disappointed. I've been making flank steak the same way for the past 10 years, the way my friend Sandy made it the night I started eating red meat again. I had been red meat free for almost 10 years when Sandy invited us over for dinner. It was a last minute thing, and flank steak was what was on the grill & hubby was/is a steak lover and did not get it very often...so we were game and headed on over. I put one tiny piece of steak on my plate that night, took one tiny bite, then another, then another, then another, until the entire plate of steak was gone. From that day on, my cholesterol levels have never been the same. So, I am going to give you both Sandy & Paula’s veggie recipe…
(if you want to try Paula's steak...just add the marinade to the steak as well as the veggies.)
Flank Steak by my good friend Sandy
McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
Sprinkle both sides of steak with steak seasoning, then marinated in soy sauce 10-15 minutes. Cook on grill until desired doneness for you. I over cooked the one in the picture above. L Depending upon how spicy you like your steak, add more steak seasoning while cooking.
Simple & delicious.
Michael’s Company’s Coming Grilled Steak and Veggie Supper – minus the steak
The Deen Family Cookbook
1 ½ TBL soy sauce
1 TBL Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 med zucchini cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
1 large red bell pepper cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
1 large onion cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
In a bowl whisk together soy sauce, mustard, garlic and veggie oil.
Thread veggies on skewers, brush wish marinade. Cook on grill for about 10 minutes or till tender.
****Don’t be afraid to add any other veggies you might have hanging out in your fridge!
Proud Army wife and mother to 4 wonderful children. I love to cook, travel, work out and scrapbook life’s adventures when I find the time. We just got orders & are heading back to the states in March 2010. I'm bummed that our time has been cut short, but proud of Hubby for the reason why.
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