Monday, June 11, 2012

Lindsay + Caleb in Korea!

It was so awesome to have my best friend with me in Korea for 2 weeks.  We'd thought about taking a short trip out to one of the countryside towns, but there's always so much to see in Seoul, we stayed in the city the whole time.  Here's some of the things we did while he was here.

Seoul Friendship Fair with Drew, a college friend
Drew and I have been friends since 2008.  It's great to have him out here in Korea.  I don't get to see him often, and it was a treat to get to hang out with him and Caleb at the same time.
French bread, shrimp from the Congo, interesting cooking preparations, Indonesian pasta, and Turkish ice cream ^
There were booths for so many countries at the Friendship Festival. In one area, there were information booths with representatives ready to share about their country and to sell a few things they had there. In another section there were food booths. There must have been a hundred, give or take, and these are some of the things we tried (besides the meat sticks).

Dinner at Petra in Itaewon
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Seoul.  Caleb got me into Middle Eastern food when we started dating, and I knew he loved it, too, so this was a perfect place to go for dinner one night.

Hanging out with friends at Jubilee Church
Besides hanging out with Caleb one-on-one, the thing I was most excited about his visit was getting to introduce him to my friends at Jubilee.  My expectations were spot on.  It was such a good time, and there was an extra feeling of rest added into the fun because, in addition to all these other people I love, the man I always wanted to be around was actually there.

Hanging out with friends at Han River Park
 A friend of mine had a birthday party out by the Han, and we chatted and relaxed with the others.  It was a good wind down time after a busy couple of days.

We got to see this spectacle down by the river.  I have no idea why someone had a donkey in the city nor why this girl thought it was a good idea to put her dog on it.

Dinner at The Boiling Crab in Bangbae
I was given a voucher for this Cajun place, and I was glad Caleb was there to try it out with.  New experiences are best shared with ones you love.  You can read my post about it here.

Avengers and COEX
We're both big action/adventure and super hero movie fans.  It was awesome that we got to see this movie together!  Days earlier, I would wig out just thinking about getting to see it.  Thankfully, the movie lived up to the hype.  Before the movie, we walked our feet off in COEX, Asia's largest underground mall which houses the movie theater.  One of our stops was Inisfree, a cosmetic shop.  Caleb bought me two nail polishes I'd been eying.  :)

Similar to Stomp, NANTA is a rhythmic performance, but this one's got a plot, cooking, food, and only five people in the cast. There were tricks, there was humor, there was audience participation, and there was energy. We went to the Myeongdong theater which was small and intimate. The show was excellent, and Caleb and I loved the whole thing. I'd totally go again!

Insadong, Dongdaemun, and Namdaemun Markets
Insadong is one of my favorite places to walk around, and I hit up Dongdaemun every once in a while, too.  One of Korea's national treasures, an ancient gate, is in Namdaemun, and that was the main pull for us to go there.  Unfortunately, it's still under reconstruction after a fire some idiot put to it a couple years ago, so we didn't get to see the gate, but we did see a few other cool things, and I did pick up some loose feathers for crafts from Dongdaemun.

Avengers again at Yongsan CGV in IMAX 3D
Yep, it was that awesome, and we wanted to see it again.  This time in IMAX 3D which was hands down superior.

A little shopping at Forever21 on Garosu-gil
Caleb and I had been walking around COEX, the markets, and all around the subway.  We'd been commenting on the clothes we saw and decided to look for some of our own.  At Forever21, Caleb found a pair of aviators, and I found a teal Mad Men style dress (which should be fabulous for swing dancing) and a flowy white blouse.

American style sandwiches at Deli Heinzburg
By the middle of Caleb's stay, we were both craving some tastes from home. We headed over to the gourmet Western style sandwich restaurant, Deli Heinzburg in Sinsa and found just what we needed.
Homemade dinner by Caleb
One night Caleb and I chilled out with episodes of Community, homemade chicken and fruit past courtesy of Caleb, and ice cream with oreos. Getting to spend relaxed, no pressure time with Caleb was so refreshing in the midst of all the subway rides, the ticket checking, the taxi taking, and the people watching.

11 o' clock run to Baskin Robins
There was one other night when Caleb and I were waiting for a movie to load on YouTube.  The buffering was taking a very, very long time.  Caleb suggested we see if Baskin Robins was still open.  (I love that man.)  It was.

Grilled duck for lunch
On Caleb's last day, we went to a small and quiet grilled duck restaurant in my neighborhood.  There was only one other party there for lunch, and the staff gave us friendly attention.  And they gave us so much food!  The entree was large enough.  We both gawked when we saw the large plate of raw duck cuts, rice cakes, and different mushrooms.  These were to grill on the griddle in the middle of our table.  In addition to this, however, we also got the traditional side dishes.  Being familiar with Korea's restaurant style, I expected the usual kimchi with a few other dishes, but we got 9 other small plates of different foods and soup and rice!  When we finally finished, we were so impressed with ourselves and with our stomachs.  We ate about 80% of the huge meal that had been given to us.  It was delicious, nice, relaxed, a little expensive, and the best meal to have for our last together.

Caleb's gone away back home, now.  We've both gotten back to our normal schedule and have almost completely adjusted to being apart again.  Only 197 days until this long distance junk is over with!
I cannot wait.  Having Caleb here was one of my favorite things from my whole time in Korea.  I love this place and my community very much, but it was always missing something.  Having that hole filled made my home so much brighter and lovelier.  Now that he's gone, the hollowness has returned in darker tones.  I'm telling you, I thought I missed him before, but that was child's play compared to how badly I want to be with him now!
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but having that absence broken up with 13 days of being together has made the heart start kicking the rest of me for signing on for another 5 months here.