Friday, December 30, 2011

Downsizing - Packing up the Glass Studio.

Written by Karen
Color and Light - Karen's Studio
I have avoided this task for weeks, but I finally began to pack up my studio this weekend.  This is a big deal. Adam created this beautiful space for me in the back corner of our garage some eight years ago.  It has functional walls that define my own space, a glass door to the side yard, and color, storage and a venue for all of my glass artistry. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to travel well. Together.

Written by Karen
Tokyo, Japan
Whether you are traveling together for a weekend getaway or for a longer international trip, your ability to travel well together will determine the overall success of your trip. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bottom Line - South Korea

Written by Karen
Gets confused with barking and parking!
I spent a day tracking our travel expenses at home - a mere six weeks after we returned from South Korea!   When it comes to money already spent, what’s the rush?
Our average cost per day for two travelers visiting South Korea was $135.63 USD.  All expenses are shown in USD and use the exchange rate at the time of our trip, which was 1,000 won to .865 cents USD.  We visited South Korea for 11 days in mid-to-late October, 2011. We included all accommodation, travel and food/drink costs during our visit. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

View from the Streets - South Korea

Roof panorama

Orchid display at the Westin, Haeundae Beach
Splurge lunch at the Westin
Busan Aquarium - intricate design and colorful fish
Busan Aquarium - eels
Busan Aquarium - shrimp
School kids shoes neatly placed
Kids playing on Haeundae Beach
Haeundae Beach
Downtown Busan
Busan at sunrise
Korean family watching the huge clock in Seoul Station
Let's go....
Seoul Train Station
Older neighborhood storefronts
High rise building reflection
Reading the daily posted newspaper
Juxtaposition of old and new
Typical alleyway with shops and homes
Traditional building style
One of my favorite hot soups: fresh noodles, veggies and a light broth
Noodle house
The standard condiments offered at every meal: kimchi and pickled yellow radish 
Lunch - hot soup with vegetables, pork and egg
Doors as walls
Peek of a garden through an open door
2 dogs standing guard - racing up and down the top of this 12 foot high fence
Spicy cold "gazpacho-like" soup
Typical street in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Laundry drying on the back of the ubiquitous scooter
Typical night scene in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Street art below our studio in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Adam's thumb being swallowed by a chicken at a Korean BBQ restaurant
Sadly, this was closed on the day we walked by
Six foot high rooster
Lake in front of the National Museum
Adam in front of a door that was 5'6" high
Enclosed stairway to get up to the second floor that was maybe twelve inches wide
A quiet morning in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Delivery scooters.  These dart around against traffic, on the sidewalks and around pedestrians to make a variety of everyday deliveries.  We saw rolls of carpet, fresh fish and food being delivered on the back on these scooters.  Anything that we are used to being delivered in a truck could be delivered on the back of a scooter.  
Street art near Hongik University (Hongdae)
Street art near our studio in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Street art near our studio in the Hongik University (Hongdae) area
Food options
Looking out our studio kitchen window 

Seoul Night Moves
Walking past the street vendors
Lunch - cool noodles, meat, veggies, egg and a wonderful cold spicy sauce
Deep, dark, intense colors
Typical containers outside of the doorway
Flowers in full bloom
Cars whizzing by a temple in downtown Seoul
Dongdaemon shopping district in downtown Seoul

Street art in downtown Seoul

Dragon tile

Typical Sunday afternoon
Adam pouring rice wine
Gorgeous fall colors
Shinsegae, Centum City, Busan. This is the world's largest department store.  It is huge.  There are multiple levels that go on as far as the eye can see.  It would take days to see every department offered in this store.  
Outside coffee-shop in downtown Seoul
Adam wandering through neighborhood shops
Walking through the neighborhood streets

Temple close up
Downtown Seoul
Autumn leaves over the Palace walls
Street vendor making a type of candy nougat.  Although we didn't speak each other's language, he kept saying "Beautiful America - thank you."  We met a lot of people who expressed their gratitude for what the US did for them during the Korean War.  His candy was delicious.
Downtown Seoul

Dongdaemon shopping district in downtown Seoul
Seoul Tower
Tiny, family-owned dumpling shop.  At night, you can see the steam billowing out the open front window.  The dumplings are made from scratch and are absolutely wonderful.  We rarely saw this place without a line in front of the shop.  One dumpling was about .87 cents and made for a perfect late-night "comfort food" snack.
Polish Embassy
Fishing nets neatly wrapped into baskets.  We wandered into a small fishing village and watched a fisherman lay out his fishing nets in the parking lot next to the ocean.  After making sure they were in good order, he wrapped them into these baskets for use the following day.  
Beautiful fall colors
Whole-wheat fried rice with veggies on a hot skillet
Men playing games.  The entire park was filled with several hundred men playing this board game.
Active night life - typical street scene with lots of street food options.
Cheonggyecheon Stream Park.  An old highway used to cover this stream.  Several years ago, as part of an urban renewal project, the highway was removed and the stream recovered.  It is now a beautiful urban park that you can enjoy as you meander through downtown Seoul.
Where am I?
Mobile street vendors.  We saw these little Toyota minivans or VW busses converted into tiny food trucks throughout Seoul.  They would drive up and set up shop for the evening.  This one sold dumplings.  
Downtown Seoul
Kids playing soccer
Shadow portrait of Adam and Karen