Winter (again!) in Korea – chill walking around Seoul

*extremely picture-heavy post

As it was a Sunday, we decided to drop by Myeongdong Cathedral. As the guesthouse was located only at Chungmuro, we only walked rather than take the train.

Weirdly, we got lost and we ended up at a Presbyterian at the other side of the road! We got confused with the spires, even though it was not our first time to go to the cathedral. We spent a good ten minutes looking for it.

When we finally arrived, the mass just ended and the people were filtering out. A bunch of them were getting free calendars from a tent. Mon tried to get one and he was given.

When I tried doing the same, an ajumma said “Give calendar after you attend mass”. T_T I am always unfortunate with free stuff.

Winter sun in Myeongdong Cathedral

They also have LED roses in Myeongdong Cathedral

They also have LED roses in Myeongdong Cathedral

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Winter (again!) in Korea – the arrival

*extremely picture-heavy post

After four years, I can’t believe that we are traveling again to South Korea! Especially after the passport and visa drama from a week ago!

Mon and I have a soft spot for Seoul. We have been twice there before (summer of 2011 and winter of 2012), and we look forward to see what changes there might be. The country is to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it will be interesting to note of any preparations that they have (if there is).

Before anything else, I will be traveling with a very sore throat. Just imagine my horror waking up on Thursday barely able to speak. But this has been planned already and I packed a bottle of Bactidol for extra measure.

Sore throat!

Our flight left the Philippines at around 3:00 pm. We will be arriving four hours after in Incheon International Airport. I was feeling a bit feverish during the flight, but somehow, my excitement to be back eclipsed my predicament.

It is no secret that I love winter so much. However, I was anxious that I might not even see snow when we arrive. Global warming is real. I have been monitoring the weather for days before we arrive and not a single snowfall took place in Seoul. Sure we can go to Seoraksan just to see snow, but we do not have time for that.

Night about to fall

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Rêve de neige

Toddle Elsa and Toddler Anna dolls with Olaf - Disney Frozen

Toddle Elsa and Toddler Anna dolls with Olaf (click to zoom)

I finally had a very good Christmas compared to last year. =) Exactly a year ago today, I was in a mortal peril and the vivid memory of what transpired that time seemed to have happened only yesterday. But what is past is past, and I was more than happy to pig out on things I never got to eat last year. We were also back to our normal tradition of letting the kids open all of the gifts under our tree. We line them up from smallest to biggest, and allow them to tear the wrappers one by one. I was most particularly excited for Brie to open her gift because Elsa finally got a sibling. But to my astonishment, she seemed more delighted with the books Mon and I gave to her, which is always a good sign. Hopefully, she gets to like books the same way I do until now. The whole Christmas morning until afternoon, I was busy playing with JB’s toys and I even took a couple of ensemble photos of Brie’s Frozen dolls a day after.

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See you again in July!

Today is Mon and I’s 4th year and 5th month together and a few minutes after the clock had struck 12, he gave me a piece of paper with a note and a drawing of the Eiffel Tower and some French macarons from Max’s. =D First of all, I did not even know that these are called as such, and I initially thought that there was a mistake with the spelling (i.e. macaroons). The irony of a French major not knowing French food.

French Macarons from Max's

We had a plan to meet up with Ikle today because he is going back to China tomorrow until the semester ends in July. As it is still winter there, I decided to just give him one of the trench coats I bought last November online. I was in such a hoarding phase that I bough two black coats, with this one in the smaller side. It fits me snugly, but coats are not supposed to be like. It should have a little room for the clothing to move nicely and coat’s purpose is just for cover. I had thought that he would love it.

Black Zara Man double breasted trench coat

Ikle wearing the Zara Man trench coat I gave him

So Ikle arrived in Makati at half past 4PM, tugging his suitcase back for China. As he already planned to stay in the house of one of his friends he met in China until his flight tomorrow, he already brought all of his things with him. Over coffee and some pastry, we talked about what lies ahead of us in the coming months, and possible plans when he finally returns in July.

Coffee with Ikle before he returns to China

Ikle, Mon and Gina

Ikle, Gina and I

Ikle and I - Purple polo shirt, H&M black v-neck sweater, brick pants, Red Wing boots

I actually felt sad to see him go again, but his return in July is definitely a shorter wait than the year and a half when he first left. LOL It was so weird to see time fly so fast, as we all felt that he arrived just a week ago rather than three weeks. See you again, Ikle, and don’t forget to eat properly but avoid greasy Chinese food as much as you can!

A few hours later, Mon and I had our late dinner at Tempura Japanese Grill right across Ayala Avenue, from our office building. I was still admittedly full but it was already late and we can’t put off dinner for another hour.

Tempura Japanese Grill

Waiting for our food to arrive

We did not order much but we still had a little difficulty finishing everything off: chiken roulade, mixed tempura, agedashi tofu and kaisen raisu.

Chicken roulade, mixed tempura. agedashi tofu and kaisen raisu - dishes from Tempura Japanese Grill

We barely finished eating the rice and tempura, and I was already gasping for air. I was really full. I honestly felt bad leaving something on the plate, as my siblings and I grew up being told not to leave even a single morsel. It eventually showed in my face and Mon had to ask me what was the matter. LOL All in all, it was a good day, even if it meant saying goodbye again to my friend for a few months. Happy 4Y5M again Mon! <3