Chow down with Hun, Yoon, Gael and Emi. Cheap and Cheerful Night eating at Gwang Jang Market!
I am sure you all like Korean BBQ. And Me too! But there is so much more beyond BBQ in Korean food and the most fun part is that you can enjoy all sort of eateries in different price, ambiance and based on seasonal specialties. It’s already mouth watering brain storming where to go for tonight or for tomorrow’s lunch. At the night market? All vegetarian Ssam place? North Korean cold noodle soup, Nang Myun? or Freshest Sashimi at the fish market! The possibilities are truly endless and you will need months and months to taste all these wonderfully cultural food that Korea can offer.
My dear cousin Yoon and her husband Hun are maybe the 2 best eatery guide you can ask for ! We have been eating the most delicious food around Seoul and having the best time catching up! Soju became our new favorite drink and now that Emi had tasted real deal of Korean food in Seoul, I better Up my Korean cooking skill back in New York…!
Now, are you ready for some Korean food? Then let’s start!!!
First, we are checking the water out at the market. There are so many banquets of all market and street food vendors. Market food usually means Noodles, Korean blood sausage, Jun ( pan fried anything that’s dipped in the egg wash), Ttuck boki ( rice cake cooked in chili paste), Oden soup ( fish cake soup), Sashimi and much more! This runs good half mile long on a long isle between the shops.
Thanks for the big smile! These little fingerling Korean maki ( Gim Bap) are so good that it has a nick name ” Drug Maki”. So addictive. Carrots, crunch sweet and sour Pickled Radish root, Spinach and touch of wasabi paste. Delicious!
It’s a crab season in Korea and Crabs are everywhere! These are Soy Crab. Soaked in a tub of soy sauce. These are cleaned and raw.
Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.
Down and low in local way. Eating is one thing but most of all, the talking and being together in such atmosphere is the key here. Keeping the company over just good simple food.
So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.
Perfection of Dumplings!
Serious set of All kinds.
Post Soju and lots of food face. We hit already 2 banquets!
Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.
Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.
Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!
Cheap and Deep! Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!
Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!
It’s very first time my dad and Gael are meeting in person. We had the best 3 days doing little things as a family visiting local markets, garden and a Korean folk flea market. It makes me feel so happy to see my dad and Gael walking hand in hand. We are going for dinner!!
One area in the west side of Seoul is called ” Mapo” and here we are with dad hitting the most typical Mapo style BBQ place! I really liked overall vibe in this particular area. There were many little places in sort of 70′s style in such Korean way.
Coals are in!
First, a waitress comes and spread some slightly cooked kimchi on the rim of grill. I am curious as it is my first time to see this.
Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat! Grill’s busy with chopsticks!
Eggs are all gone and Dad takes charge in Grilling! We ordered 2 kinds of meat. Pork with simple sea salt and Sirloin slices marinated in typical Gal bi dressing ( soy based). They melt in your mouth. Tender and Delicious!
Dad pouring Soju for Emi. You receive it with 2 hands especially when you are younger than the person pouring. It’s our way to pay Respect. A beautiful tradition.
Serious grilling here.
Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!
The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.
3 generations together. Love you dad!
Now we are back with Yoon and Hun in Norayngjin Fish market. We are going to buy our own ingredients and have one of restaurants on the second floor at the market cook for us! It’s a typical way to have your fish and seafood at the market. Isn’t it a brilliant idea?!!!
Calling it all! Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!
Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!
Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!
You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.
They look like from Mars.
This is Hun and Yoon’s only spot to go to have their freshest seafood purchased cooked. It’s a small and clean place with lovely owner lady. She’s holding our Korean ” Flower” crabs, mixed Shell fish and a whole Bass! You pay the restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought however you wish. Steam, soup, fry, Sashimi… It’s a still excellent deal as the fish itself is way cheaper here at the market than any shops in the city. And also you are eating them at the best quality. I mean how fresher can it be?
Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!! And of course Soju to accompany.
Mixed steamed Shell Fish.
The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!
After dinner cigarettes. Hun and Emi. After dinner, we are on the 2nd round of fun at Korean karaoke and late night snack at Hong Dae!!
For another fun dinner, here me and Yoon patiently waiting for our table at “ Bong San Jip” It’s my second time with Yoon and all of us!
Yay! It’s about to Start!
Thinly sliced beef brisket is maybe one of my favorite thing now! This old school ” Bong San Jip” restaurant only serves 1 menu. Not many sides like other places. Just Beef brisket to grill. But the secret is in this Killer Soy dipping sauce with lots of fresh chopped scallions and sweet green chili peppers. And one pot miso soup again with beef brisket in! You just to have to be here!
The miso is here!
Cabbage, Tofu, brisket, chili and miso.
Honestly I must say “Fooding till Drop” may the main highlight of this trip. Family get together is absolutely the most precious thing but experiencing all these amazing food in Korea has been One cultural shock even to myself as a Korean.
Like Emi Says, ” Korean Kicks Butt!”
LOvE FoOD, LOvE EaT, LOvE SeOuL!!!
Strolling the night of Venice with Emi…
Venice was the very first place where Emi and I took a real trip to. 20 years have passed since then. We were just starting to date with Emi’s very little English and my almost none in Italian. We carried my little yellow covered pocket sized dictionary everywhere. So I always remember Venice romantic. It was November then? Venice was sitting firmly under heavy mist and feeling sort of mysterious and so beautiful. We held our hands and walked every little streets getting lost countless times. We stopped for a glass of wine and some good food. Little shops and canals… I remember the first time stepping into Piazza San Marco. Ahhh, a complex beauty, I recall. Thousands of pigeons and little children’s giggles chasing them. Gold trims and the most luxurious contrast of Black against to it then aged grey wash showing long history of the city where the last and the most enduring immigrants came to Venice in year 568. It felt so magical. It felt like I was a heroine standing in a scene of old historical film. I’ll never forget.
After amazing time visiting 55th Venice Art Biennale , We knew what we have left to do. Stroll through little streets and get lost again in Venice…!
The only way to get around in Venice. Water bus/ Water taxi. There are about 118 small islands in Venice and what’s in between islands? Water divides them and foot bridges connect them. There is no such Cars existing in Venice.
How would it be possible to build a such city above the water? It’s unbelievable.
Typical isles and streets. Years of history drips down.
Emi stopped for 2 minutes of GPS. Completely by chance, we stumbled into a very little street we had one of the most amazing Venetian food 4 years ago ( totally going back for dinner!). Next time we come, we have to remember to bring just a small back pack. Quite of walk to get around in the city and you will face constant bridges with steps.
Here we are at our 2 night home base. It’s in the quiet and residential part of the city, which is something always what we are looking for. This is a historic castle turned into a bed and breakfast. It’s so beautiful.
Loving the neighborhood! Low key and so authentic at the same time. This old wine shop is just perfect.
Only in Venice.
You will get into plenty of narrow alleys in Venice. We had passed through even much narrower than this one. We are heading out for bit of walk and dinner!
You MUST Eat Here! Enoiteca Mascareta. A typical Venetian Cusin. We are talking about sardines, fresh cods and so much more.
Love Love Love the leather aprons servers wearing! Apparently locally made and hand made. Can we talk about the quality and the style! And the Classic Chambray shirt is a just perfect match.
Baccala Mantecato & Alici Marinate. Anchovies marinated in olive oil and vinegar. And couple scoops of soft Cod spread. And young and bitter rucola leaves. So Delicious! Cicchetti ( Chi-Ket-tii) is must try in Venice. Cicchetti is tapas of Venice. Little dishes.
Sarde in Saor ( cipolla) : Pan fried fresh Sardine with sauteed onions and vinegar. It’s SOOOO GOOOD!!!!
Emi sitting in front of wall full of small drawings. Portraits of owner done by regular customers and local artists.
Tortellacci ripieni al Branzino: Oversized Tortelli filled with Brazino ( Italian Sea bass). It had lots of fresh black pepper which I thought went so well with it!
The night came down. It’s peaceful.
Piazza San Marco.
Caffe Florian in San Marco. Italy’s the oldest Caffe. Caffe Florian was open in year 1720.
LOvE VEniCe, LOve U, Emi
Arriving at Isola Capraia, Italy
This small and beautiful Island Capraia is one of the seven sisters of the Tuscan Archipelago belonging to the province of Livorno (62KM) and the third in sizes after the Elba and Giglio and is also close to Corsica Island ( 30KM). The small port is full of little boats that work as ” daily water Taxi ” if you don’t have your own since there are no specific beaches on this island to walk to. So you need to rent one kind ( either that is 3 m boat or a rubber boat for some skin diving in most amazing crystal water rich in life and oddities) to get around the Island to do swimming and sight seeing.
Just 2 hour ferry ride from our home, Livorno ( 30 euro for both way), you can have an amazing day trip here even though I thought it would have been much better we stayed at the Island for one more day to also check out the little village on the top of the island. We only planned for a day trip in time for the return ferry. Well…now we have an excuse to go back to this little perfect Island next summer…!
Such a classical looking Bar/Gelateria at the dock. Blue awning is just perfect for the beautiful summer port…
Just right amount of people visit here. Not crazy touristy as Capri or Portofino. Low key and just beautiful.
Getting a day taxi (boat).
Woo Hoo! Leading the boat…! It feels amazing! Emi driving…! and the safety first for Gael even though he lost the vest half an hour later. Why? Caz we are swimming..!!!
This volcanic Island Capraia also produces wines and is a center of the anchovy fishery. It is small yet packed with flourishing vegetation and full of Mediterranean species such as oleanders, asphodels, daises…
There isn’t any sand beach here on this Island and it makes Capraia quite special and it really encourages for you to have the boat for the day and just hang out on the boat at your perfect spot you love. It was a whole another kind of experience for me and Gael. Don’t forget to bring a cooler packed with paninis, fruits and chilled drinks. It’s literally a day picnic on the ocean!
We don’t even own a car so it feels very far away from us, but it wouldn’t be bad to have a yacht or even a tiny little boat for us one day. Go swimming with a picnic basket. Watch the sunset…. I think my brother would have really liked it….
That’s me jumping into the water, My hair standing… hahaha!
It’s deep deep water but its so crystal clear in this most amazing inky blue shade, you can see all the way down to the sandy bottom. The water is so amazing here. It’s different kind of transparency that you see from the Caribbean ocean. It’s crystal clear then also very silky and smooth then again so so clean. It feels like this… If you make sea salt out of this water, you would only get super fine sea salt not the rock salt… This extra salty Mediterranean water almost feels like sweet fresh water from a lake from a mountain somewhere…
I am so proud of Gael. Look at him how good he is at swimming in this deep Mediterranean ocean. He mastered swimming this summer! I didn’t swim until the 4th grade!
Too bad we didn’t think of bringing a underwater camera. There are ton of beautiful fish, more fish, Medusa….! SO amazing!! Medusa scared us bit then we were fascinated by them too. So beautiful!
Warm sun caresses your back and the gently rocking boat is the best situation you can fall in a sleep. Sweet delicious nap…. Ahhh… it is so relaxing hearing birds, clear sea breeze… It’s quiet and so peaceful…
Typical yet Gorgeous Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree National Park
It’s the second day and the last day staying at Rosa Muerta in Joshua Tree area. We were up early, socked in the hot pool with morning fire going gazing out to low mountain view, then up for quick breakfast sipping local cup of Joe and baked goods from Crossroad Cafe ( where you get good hippie food). Ok now, We were So ready to hit ” Joshua tree National Park”!!
Any sort of Yucca family plant, We absolutely adore and love. The hearty and hard leaves are strong and sculptural and they appeal to us very Modern. And Joshua Tree is one of them among others like Yucca palm, Tree palm and Palm tree yucca. We had planted 2 Yucca Palms in our Brooklyn home back yard last spring and surprisingly they are doing quite well. After bit of reading about the tree, now I know the name “Joshua” was given to itself by Mormons in Mojave desert in mid 19 th century because the shape of tree and the fruit reaching out to the sky reminded them ” Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer”. So it had Biblical story behind how this beautiful tree was named.
Our 4×4 Jeep Wrangler was at the end the Right choice we made to rent. We were first then fancying Vintage Cadillac sort of thinking of Thelma & Louise , but Wrangler gave us so much mobility and function at real good deal for the entire trip.
You will get to layers of different habitat as driving or biking through up and down hilly mountains of Joshua Tree park.
There are 3 entrances and we started where the blue line starts through red then moved onto the yellow. Whole trip is about about under 200 miles. You stop and hike, you stop and break and you stop to gauze. It’s a beautiful trip.
Here we are going through amazing rock formation in Hidden Valley area of the park. Rock formation is believed to have happened about 100 millions years ago by earlier time erosion, then time high rain falls and low temperature. Joshua tree park is much loved by many rock climbers from all around the world!
We have climbed a few good looking rocks!
That’s me and Gael up there!
Here’s the beloved “Old Woman Rock”.
Here’s a close look at Joshua tree! I think it sort of looks like skinny mammoth with pine needles on the top. I LOVE them!
Here we are at Grand scale field of Cholla Cactus. They are absolutely Stunning! You stand there. You almost feel like you are in the very bottom of the ocean but only the Sunny and Dry one. It feels surreal.
They are absolutely Amazing!
It’s hard to leave them….
Now we are up at about 5000 ft above the sea level. Camera lens just can’t do the justice the beauty of Mother Nature.
That’s Gael and Me. We are so small at the end in this big nature.
And Emi here…
These are called California Fan Palm and it means you are near the water! In this dry case, Yes we call it Oasis! there are a few Oasis but they are not available for the public as Park rangers protect them for animals and plants in the park.
Joshua Tree National Park. One of few places you Must visit at least once in your Life Time.
After the long day at the park, here we came to check out 29 Palms Inn on 29 Palms area. Ahh Can’t wait for one refreshing Drink!!
Loving a small and quaint lazy pool area with California Fan Palms and Tiki inspired Kick Butt Indoor Bar and dining area.
Nothing like a late afternoon Cocktail while you are vacaying… She made me a mean Margarita.
As always, Emi has been the tough moving force for all of us. We are dusty and tired but waking our bodies up and getting recharged over a drink and bit of sitting down. We are not done yet for the day!
29 Palms Inn’s Heart, their own little Oasis. There are small huts built around the Oasis for your lovely night overs. It’s so cute!
You just look up from the Oasis and the Fan Palms will just look down on you. They are Amazing!
On a way back to Rosa Muerta for a shower and change before dinner, We are here to see Noah’s Art Site. This is 10 acres of land where the Artist Noah Purifoy worked on large scaled sculptures entirely constructed only using junked debris for his last 15 years of life. Noah’s work has been shown world widely including Whitney museum and Corcoran Gallery. Please read Noah’s Art site Website to learn about this wonderful Artist who dedicated his life to practice Art for the Community.
Open Desert and Art. It can’t get any better…
Stopping by couple places in town of Joshua Tree. Saloon. I remember seeing these places in John Wayne’s Movies! The Saloon itself is sort of an artistic place in many ways.
OK Now we are at a very popular Saloon and Restaurant, Pappy and Harriet’s. in Pioneer town! It’s a wonderful place where Locals go out and also visitors to Parks come and all mingle for good food and music. They got a great stage for a night of live music and all different cuts of meat for grill and all the beer you like to have on tabs.
About 15 mt car ride through local town of Joshua tree, you will get to Pioneer town headed toward Palm Spring area. Pioneer town is situated on upon hilly mountain area, and was built as work and live in Motion Picture Movie Set back in 1945. It’s surreal to see all of these small houses and business structures are still left and some of homes are still occupied by home owners.
Gael having fun!
Right by the Pappy and Harriets, there are a few shops open for actual business. A long time resident here. A saddle maker!
Here we stopped and had bit of chat with one of resident in town. The gentle man owns this home and a shop next door.
This gentle man gave us whole walk through of history of the town. Apparently the town had produced hundreds of Western films during it’s golden time like Cisco Kids and Roy Rogers. (Thank you for the nice talk again!!)
This is a shop space the gentle man owns. He’s opening up a Guitar shop where also you can learn hot to make a guitar. It’s quite deep inside and has lovely quaint vibe.
Ok, Now we are inside of Pappy and Harriet’s. This Place ROCKS! It’s a big space with high ceiling. There are ton of tables and seating but people are lined up for the table. The vibe is warm yet and got that All American coolness. Bit of rock and roll. I am loving the place!
There are ton of signs everywhere make you feel that you are at “IT” place.
A serious sound system station.
Yay, We got a real good table after all. We were waiting for more than a hour! right in front of the band and a dance floor!
Pappy and Harriet is a place for all. It’s wonderful to see there is a place for entire family can entertain not being kiddish. Just great music and why not a 5 year boy can dance to it. Right? I love that.
Mean Grilling going on at Pappy and Harriet’s. They got this out door grill/kitchen and also generously open outdoor tables as well. This dry and hot climate makes everything possible for year around.
The sun is finally going down and we had done SO MUCH today!
What a wonderful day full of adventures! I am so thankful that here we are all together again exploring what’s out there out of our comfort zone. Every trip opens our eyes and makes us realize how lucky we are, that we get to do these trips then also to know how little we have seen of this world.
Our vacation is becoming more of Investment in time and learning about things for Our Life together ahead of us. We just Can’t Stop! Hoping many more to come, and with curiosity and excitement to know how the rest of the trip will go, we are heading back to precious last night of sleep at Rosa Muerta.
My Beautiful Family on our New Summer Jeep, Munga in Livorno, Italy
It has been almost 4 weeks, I haven’t seen Emiliano and Gael. Me in NY and Asia traveling working for new a company and finally back in Italy for precious 10 day vacation ( I have left Gap and joined Armani Exchange), and Emi and Gael in Italy busy among renovating our little home up on the hill, Ocean and Family… I find we have created our Life very civilized and so beautifully independent and respectful to each others. We are so Complete and Whole wherever we are, either that is all together physically or not. We learnt how to let the others ” Be” and “Free”. This takes trust and absolute love for each others.
There are more to talk about when we finally get together, and the longing-ness finally bursts into extra hugs and full attention to listen to and converse. Happiness is one big result of all of us of way of being such.
Emi has been busy renovating our country home in Livorno. Fixing roof and entire ceiling from inside. New coat of fresh white paint… He had added new window up on the bedroom. Found an amazing vintage wood fire oven and gas range from 50′s. It is an absolute beauty! I always get so impressed and inspired by Emi’s passion and his actions to live it..!!
One of biggest surprise to me was Emi tracking down to an old school Jeep and he ended up getting our new big fun and all Summer Car in Livorno, Munga: “Audi’s Multi Purpose Universal Cross Country Car with All Wheel Drive, 1957″ We still need to finish up getting it all come to a life, but we can’t get enough of driving it around in town, to breakfast, to the beach and wherever that is! My in laws together on the car, We all felt like little kids and I am not going to lie, we had well enjoyed all the attention and shout outs to us on the street.
Here, I like to share a few pics from first night ride in our Audi, Munga!
We bumped into our beautiful niece and nephew and her friend Rino form Bologna.
Glenda, now 26 years old, our niece. I have met Glenda and Denny, when they were 6 years old! Look how beautiful they are now!
Wooo I love these simple details!
Beautiful Gael. Mommy Missed you So much!
My favorite pic here. Emi holding mother Livia next to him on the Jeep in striped Livia top I made for Emi’s last birthday. Mother and Son. I love this moment so much!
So many more rides to come for all these years of summer in Livorno. Nothing like sharing rides with family and friends to beaches and aperitivi with sunset with fresh sea breeze hitting your sun kissed face…!
Standing with a big smile, Far Rockaway Beach, NY
What a beautiful beautiful weather we had for this weekend! I almost want to put a big red circle on a calendar just to remember how gorgeous weekend we had!! Saturday was 12 mile run in Prospect Park enjoying beautiful sun and light breeze along the lake and lush trees, then long and nice walk down on the Atlantic avenue poking my head into some antique shops then had lovely wine and dinner with Tamara and Robert from London! It’s so nice to have Tamara and Robert so often! We catch up, always enjoy good food over good laughs and talk.
After a perfect Saturday, here we go we are totally blessed with another beautiful day, Sunday! After days of heat wave in NYC, this whole weekend feels almost like an reward to me. After quick chat with Beppe and Dani, we are decided on going to Far Rockaway Beach!!
We took A train then on a Far Rockaway Shuttle now. Cute homes on the water.
Surf boards, tank tops, flip flops and bikes. We are all going to the same place.
The place to be. Beach 96, 96 street.
A cute pit stop for yummy lunch! We are STARVING!
I am Not an Empanada. Excuse me.
Coolio, Rockaway Taco. Thank you for Not being Nathans or whatever the chain that is.
We are stopping here.
Real lobster roll with lots of real lobster meat. Lightly tossed and sandwiched. Highly recommend.
Darling, Don’t get Jealous!
Airy, light and juicy!
Yeap! We are talking Summer here.
Hitting the sand.
While I was napping, the sky has been really blue.
Heading back. A perfect day so far.
1 more stop for Blue moon and Munches! Round 2.
The best Calamari at “Clam Bar & Grill”, right by the Subway/Shuttle station.
Dani fu, waiting for a shuttle.
And the Souvenir!
LOvE you guys! Grazie per una bellissima Giornata insieme!
Aunt , Me and Mom in 1976, Korea.
Every time I visit Korea and my family back there, I feel like I am making up for something. It’s a real nice feeling. It makes my stomach warm. We have been always close to Aunt’s family when I was growing up and I had also lived with aunt, uncle and cousin Yoonhee when I was doing the first year at F.I.T as Uncle was in NY for his work. I was lucky to have them while starting my school years all alone but then it wasn’t actually as I was with aunt, uncle and Yoonhee. Then it has been many years we kind of grew a part but here now again we get to see each others whenever I go to Seoul for my business trips. It’s a nice treat to see everyone. There’s always good chatting over delicious hearty food and laughs. Just being together makes me feel very happy and loved. Aunt recently helped mom renovating her new little home and it was my first time to visit mom’s traditional Korean home as she literally just moved in. It felt extra special to be at mom’s new home as aunt helped with many good ideas and also it was right on brother’s memorial day.
Beautifully aging Mom in front of her house. It’s about 150 plus years old traditional home called “Han-Ok” that mom had bought and it’s a kind of architecture that dates back to more than 5000 years of Korean tradition.
Mom’s next project is to add these solid concrete cylinders to the outside fence/wall.
It’s called ” Ogapi” in Korean, a kind of berry. It is supposed to be really good for you. You will see all these sort of things being dried, getting pickled or soaked in the water at my mom and aunt’s place.
Chestnuts drying on a Pyung Sang ( a quite big scaled low wooden seating deck) in the garden… such a Korean scene!
These beautiful wooden beams were hidden and the ceiling was lowered when the house was purchased. Can you believe it?
Poured concrete floor feels very modern in contrary to house’s traditional details. And it has excellent heat conduction as most of Korean homes have heated flooring system.
Happy mom at her new home!
Now we are at Heyri visiting auntie!
Aunt with big big smile and Brandy and Tang right outside of her beautiful Heyri home.
Aunt is an well known fine artist already, Je-soon Kang and she has started making potteries at Heyri studio. Now mom had joined her a bit! Mom holding her very first piece! It’s so fascinating. Isn’t it? I would love to try it one day!
Cheese, no ” KIm-Chi”! Just like an old time. Only difference will be I am the tallest here. Sort of. Ha-ha!!
Beautiful aunt here for an early lunch with me. Mom went off to work. Next time mom!
We are at this Buckwheat specialized restaurant. Buckwheat dumplings, savory pancakes, cold and warm noodle and even down to this much flavorful Korean Buckwheat Sake! Sooooo delicious. Sooo amazing! Chat chat and Chatty Chat. Aunt and I ended up having 4 hour lunch catching up on everything. So much fun!
After a good sleep over at Aunt’s place, this hearty do-your-body -good Rice cake soup for breakfast! It was full of fresh oysters, seaweed, korean herbs and most of all, aunt’s love! So delicious and so good for you!
Aunt holding me for another snap. 1976, Korea
Aunt, thanks for everything and take care till the next time we see! And Mom, I am so happy for your new lovely home!
I love you both, you lovely creative strong sisters!
Typical Summer Dinner on the first night in Korea, Gael and Halmoney (: Grandma)
Actually the flight to Seoul from NY wasn’t too bad. 14 hours on Asiana Economy was much better than what we all expected. Foot rests and private monitors with quite impressive amount and selection of films and hearty meals ( We are talking about Bibimbop served in ceramic bowl and Hot Soup here!).
It’s humid and rainy in Korea right now and Paju where my Mom lives isn’t an exception but sitting out in the garden listening to water running from the mountain and all those birds and insects that cries out their own Summer nights of Korea brings me right back to where I come from.
I am Home.
Happy with a big dinner table in front. Humble and yummy. Waiting for dad. Pyung Sang is a typical low sitting wooden deck in Korea that is much adorned in Hot Summer time in effort to bring typical floor sitting culture to fresh and breezy outdoor. You take shoes off and sit on the Pyung Sang for anything you wish. Taking nap to eat meals, drink teas, all those water melons you can chow down, cleaning veggies, neighbor’s visit and late night stories…. Ah Nostalgia!
A morning at Mother’s house is full of excitement! Ducks are chatting up and You will need to do some Breakfast Harvest in Mom’s amazing veggie garden!
For our Salad. Mom and Gael walked to the small river by the house for picking these delicate and sweet edible flowers.
Front garden Back garden. We are in the back of the house now. Emi picking tomatoes!
Chemical free All Organic Breakfast from Mom’s. So beautiful!
Gael and Mom picking cucumbers.
Mom’s Awesome Fiery Chilis!!
Mom bragged about her sweet and juicy water melons. Her 5th growing now.
100 % Mom grown and supplied. It’s impressive and delicious!
After breakfast walking, We meet up neighbor’s 7 pups! Gael’s dying!
We are starting our first day nice and slowly by visiting ” Bogwangsa” , a 1000 years old beautiful temple in mom’s area.
The Main Temple. I absolutely love perfectly washed out exteriors. So beautiful.
It’s really lush here.
Water from the mountain.
Jang-Dock. Terracotta pots contain Temple made Soy sauce, Miso paste and all. Always love the scene.
Me at Home with Emi and Gael. Meeting Families and Nourishing My Heart and Soul by eating Amazing Food, My culture and again realizing Undeniable my Root in this land.
I am Happy and I am in Love.
Gael with the Entire Ocean to himself, Samana, Dominican Republic.
Mommy, Daddy and Gael will be Perfect. But Daddy and Gael is just sweet as it is. An Epic Life of Casarosa’s continues here in Dominican Republic… Samana, Playa Rincon, Las Galeras, Puerto Escondido…
It’s not at Pink all over Disney Land, it’s not at all inclusive busy resort with a stranger nanny… Just Gael and Daddy in front of honest and powerful Mother Nature. You make your life where you want to be.
Here come taste Rich and Richer pouring shower of Incredible Nature with Gael..
Mommy and Daddy loves you So much Gael!
Am I too old fashioned? Am I not cool enough? I always prefer to be on the rather local’s side. You know what? At the end, that’s a real smart deal. That’s how I see it. No need to completely stick to 100% local, but you want to see how people live and what they eat. They are who they are either it’s good or not to you.
Here, come and stroll with us the village of Tulum.
My favorite cart of all in the entire village. The Chiapas’s ladies’ cart! They sell all hand done dolls, shirts, textiles and leather bags and more. Of course you see same or similar goods in more of store spaces, but the flair that this cart brings is so much more charming. I love it. They are beautiful and affordable.
By the way, the restaurant behind is a Argentinean steak house. They have impressive selection of meat. ( I did hear though all the meat are coming from Canada not from Argentina. But I do think they have quite good food including salad and pastas)
Their “chinturo”, the “belt” reminds of the “Obi” of Kimono. See, they all come together. By the way, lovely mom and 2 daughters.
Hahaha, You know I had to try this one on me this time. This is a skirt from Chiapas of Mexico. Anything more “cultural” or “traditional” things you see in Tulum would be generally from Chiapas or Ohaka. Some of the skirts are in wool and seriously hairy. The belt is also hand woven just as the skirt. So many people asked me if the necklace was from Tulum and no, it is not. I did buy it in NY Chelsea flea market 7 years ago. It became my staple thing to wear for the beaches.
By now, I have one of each of all these stuffed animals they make. They are absolutely AMAZING. The shapes, colors, expression of each. They are brilliant.
Under $10, 3 of us can have a big lunch here. Our favorite grilled chicken place in the village. Juicy and well seasoned! It comes with delicious fresh tomato & chili salsa, rice, simply chopped cabbage and warm tortilla. Try it. Good idea to take out and eat them on the beach!
I don’t know what happened to the bigger photo of this place. Anyway, fruit shop right near the municipal office. They have ugly yet delicious fruits. No preservatives here.
Typical Mexican souvenir shop. There are many of these kind along the main street. Colorful hammocks, sheets, carpets, floral dresses, plates and more.