Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011!

 Twas a very merry Christmas in these parts, if you haven't heard already. First of all, I was soooo ready for the weekend. It had been a busy week of work (of course) PLUS shopping for presents, wrapping said presents, worrying whether (other) presents would arrive in time to their respective homes, and just all-around exhaustion. SO, when Friday night arrived, I was one happy gal. I was even happier that it was CHRISTMAS weekend. Woopty-woop!

On Saturday, (Christmas Eve!) Justin and I lounged around and slowly got ready for our dinner/movie date night. It was the perfect day. We went to Outback Steakhouse (yes, they have those in Korea...though with a few menu changes, such as the bulgogi steak) and then watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie. The food was good. The movie was okay. Then, we headed over to JuRok, the bar we usually frequent for a few Christmas Eve festivities with other lonely foreigners. It was fun, but we stayed too late and I regretted that the next morning. :)

[Our walk over to dinner and the movie! Snow graced us for xmas this year.]

[Happy happy!]

[Photo courtesy of Spenser! JuRok!]

On CHRISTMAS, we woke up a little late (thank you, JuRok) and had to bustle around getting food ready for the lunch we had planned with Spenser, Drew, Lina (Drew's gf), Chelsea, and Harry. Present opening was put on hold for a bit...but we managed to open most right before lunch. Yay! --Thanks to everyone for the super fun gifts!---
[Opening presents. His favorite, blue cheese dressing from his mom!]
LUNCH was great. We had all kinds of delicious food. The meat eaters had ham and Harry/Myself had black bean burgers.

[Garlic mashed potatoes. Mmmmmm.]
[Christmas shirt from Justin!]

[Harry and Drew!]
[It was so nice to see Chelsea, too!]
From there, we raced up to Seoul (on the subway, I suppose you can't really "race") for our 4:00 ice skating time-slot at Seoul Plaza.

[Waiting for the subway. Thanks to Spenser, for this great photo.]

[Spenser and me. Can you spot Namsan Tower in the background?]
[Skating = me being pulled by my expert skate partner. Best.]
[The group: Spenser, Harry, Myself, Justin, Lina, Drew]
 I have to say, this year's skating was a huge improvement over last year's. It wasn't the coldest day in 50 years and it was during the day. So, I ended up having a great time skating and I think everyone else did, too.

We were exhausted by this time of the day and I just wanted to cozy down at home, so that's what we did. I opened a few remaining presents and relaxed with Justin for the rest of the night.

I must say, I love SKYPE for allowing me to see all of my family on Christmas (or the day after, for me). Makes me feel at home.

And, I know I said it before, but I couldn't help but feel extremely blessed this year. I'm so fortunate to have generous family and friends. I'm lucky to have a job and not have to worry about expenses during the holiday season. I am blessed to have a partner with whom to share the season, too. We've had a good year and things just keep getting better.

[Merry Christmas!!!]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tree!

Here's my Christmas tree and presents from family. I sure am a lucky gal. Three more days of work and then a relaxing holiday weekend. We have plans to go see a movie on Saturday. Then, wake up and open presents Sunday. We'll have a home-cooked lunch with a few friends and then head up to Seoul for the 2nd Annual Christmas Ice Skate. Last year was SUPER cold, so I'm hoping our earlier time slot and generally-warmer weather will serve us kindly.

Happy Holidays! 

Please excuse the gosh-awful yellow floor and pink wall-paper...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work Crew!

Spenser just posted a couple of pictures that he had taken of us (the foreign teachers) on the last day of Fall Semester. I thought I'd share...  Note the Avalon Christmas tree!!!

[from left: Drew (new teacher), Erik (just went home), Justin, Calvin (just went home), Harry, Spenser, JC (Justin), ME]

I know sometimes I complain about being the only female foreign teacher...but these guys are pretty great to work with.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Semester!

It's December, which means we have switched to Winter Semester at Avalon. This has brought a few changes in people (we lost 2 Korean and 2 Foreign teachers...but gained 1K and 1F) and big changes in classes. I'm no longer teaching Little Avalon, but am still teaching a couple of low-level classes. On the other hand, I'm also doing a high-middle class. Yesterday (the first day of classes) I was told that I am also teaching a once-a-week writing class to the highest level. That should be kind of interesting.... I'm a little nervous and have a lot of preparing to do before Wednesday.

The best part about my schedule is the 2 breaks I get on Tues/Thurs. Yahoo!

Otherwise, things are pretty calm in life right now. I'm looking forward to Christmas and still need to put up my little tree. I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I'm wayyy behind on my xmas shopping. I'm planning on doing it all online this year rather than send gifts from Korea (cheaper and easier). I figure I can just bring gifts back with me next summer....

Hope everyone is doing well! Check out the birthday post--we had a lot of fun!

Belated Birthday Post!

I had another great birthday in Korea. Friday night I got to go out to eat with coworkers and a few additional surprises (Justin invited a couple of my lady friends out with us!). It was a late night after dinner at the local bar, JuRock, and I had a lot of fun. Then, on Saturday, Justin and I headed to Seoul where we went to the Korean Folk Museum (a first for us) and a 4-restaurant dinner. The food was delicious and the company was fantastic. Here are a few pictures from the birthday extravaganza---

[Dinner! Thanks to Spenser for this photo and the next few.]
[Happy Birthday Girl]
[Calvin (just left!), Paul, Me, Chelsea]

[Opening presents!!!!]

[Old Korean Post box. I loved this.]

[First dinner stop: Petra Palace for hummus]
[Second stop: The Noodle Box for Pad Thai]
[Main Course: Noxa!]

[Ricotta Gnocci! SO delicious...]

[Enjoying the gnocci. A little cold...]
[Last spot of the night...dessert!]
[Pie and coffeeeeee]

[Thanks for the candles, Mom!]