Kiyomizu-dera – Kyoto, Japan

I have a lot of pictures from my visit to this wonderful temple in Kyoto.  Today, I just wanna do a quick update with a few pictures.  I’ll try to upload the rest soon!  This post also marks the 30th straight day I have posted on this blog, a full month!  I’m quite proud of myself.  🙂  I hope to keep this up!  It’s been nice to have a little hobby.  It’s also helping me to use my camera more again!  Thanks for the visitors…or spam robots.  Someone is visiting this site anyhow.  Hehe..

I was so lucky to get a shot of this pair...

I was so lucky to get a shot of this pair…

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Japanese Tea Garden Treat

When I visited a pretty garden in Tokyo, there was a cute little tea house in the middle of it.  This was definitely not your traditional tea house, we ordered our dessert from a vending machine outside and had a seat inside.  Then a little Japanese woman in a Kimono shuffled out with your order within minutes.  The tea house wasn’t crowded at all, I’ll assume it’s because it was more of a tourist thing.  That’s all right with me!  The dessert was gorgeous.  Please enjoy the pictures.

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Happy Birthday Aileen!

Don't work too hard on your birthday Aileen.  :)

Don’t work too hard on your birthday Aileen. 🙂

Ewha Womans University – Seoul, Korea

So I woke up this morning with a bad migraine and decided to stay home to nurse it.  By lunchtime, my headache was gone so I decided to go to a store to browse for a gift.  I brought along my little brother and we had a nice and leisurely walk through the store.  I was in such good spirits.  Then as I was browsing in an aisle, I see this elderly Japanese man coming my way.  He is very old and moving slowly and starts to walk around me.  As he was walking by me, I start to walk and continue walking.  Suddenly, I hear him yelling something and I see a woman right behind him so I thought he was yelling for her.  I see that she’s not answering him and look back at him and realize he’s yelling at me.  He’s yelling in a very angry tone…Lady!  Lady!  So when I look at him, he points to something at the ground and says very angrily, when you drop something, you need to pick it up.

I’m completely fine with it at first.  I really didn’t realize I knocked something over so I walked over and told him matter of factly that I didn’t realize I dropped it and picked it up and put it back and he is looking at me as if I had just murdered someone.  I wish I were overreacting!  The lady who was behind him and I met eyes as I was walking back and she was like telling me, what is his problem?  I can’t believe that.  She was genuinely offended and I just brushed it off and told her, nah he’s just a cranky old man (lol!) and just went on in my business.  You know, if she hadn’t been there to witness and comment – I wouldn’t have through twice about it.  But as the day as passed, I realize it did bother me.  I didn’t appreciate the tone he took with me and honestly it was really rude but I think it was his look that really got to me, I don’t know what his problem was.  Ah well, what can you do.

Let me try to post some pictures that bring me to a happier place.  In Korea, we decided to check out a college populated shopping street off the Ewha station.  I came with no knowledge of this school but when I hit the end of the shopping street – I was amazed by its beauty!  It made me wish I were back in school, that’s quite a feat!



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Blacksmith – Jongno-gu, Seoul

Will this week turn into all posts from Korea?  Quite possibly!  We had a long day of touring the Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul – this is a famous palace that includes a tour of the secret garden. It was a beautiful day – one of the warmest we had while we were there.  I didn’t find that too helpful since I wore warm clothes and we did a LOT of walking to get to this palace.  Anyhow, we decided to go to Blacksmith for a late lunch after the Palace tour and I am quite happy we did!  This is a famous chain Italian restaurant whose spokespeople are Song Seung Hun, Kim Tae Hee and Park Yoochun!  It looks like Song Seung Hun is also the CEO of this restaurant so kudos to him!  Let’s get to the pictures!

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Happy Birthday J!

Okay so if you know me, you will not be surprised at the age of my brothers.  If you don’t know me and you see the age of my brothers, you will think they are my sons.  It’s complicated.  Well not that complicated but nothing I want to share in detail with the world wide web.  I just wanted to dedicate today’s post to my second brother, Happy Birthday!  I love you and appreciate your caring, sweet and positive nature.  You are always willing to help me no matter what the task is.  Never change.


Park Ga Budae – Seoul

One of the dishes I most looked forward to when I traveled to Korea was Budae Jigae.  I know it’s not considered special by any means, but I am a fan of sausages and luncheon meat so this dish really appealed to me.  If you don’t know the history of this dish, check out this page.  Luckily there was a restaurant in the IFC Mall that specialized in it and I was able to try this dish out!

Before the stove was fired up...

Before the stove was fired up…

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Formaggio Wine Bar

Formaggio Wine Bar is a little restaurant tucked away in Market City Shopping Center.  It’s located right next to the Fujioka’s Wine Times – its windows and door is completely blacked out so you could easily miss it if you’re not looking for this place.  Once inside, you seat yourself wherever you like.  It’s very dark in here and they even offer live performances some nights.  I’ve been here a few times in the past few years but the quality has steadily gone downhill.  My past visit a few weeks ago cemented my thoughts about not returning again unless I’m pretty desperate.

Moscato Sunrise - the best part of my meal.  Pinot Grigio and Moscato served together, gorgeous right?

Moscato Sunrise – the best part of my meal. Pinot Noir and Moscato served together, gorgeous right?

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Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp

Everyone who visits Oahu will inevitably go to the North Shore.  Once you’re up in the North Shore, you have a pick of many shrimp “trucks.”  For me personally, I prefer Romy’s.  I don’t think the shrimp is anything special that you couldn’t get anywhere else – I go to Romy’s for the prawns.  Not just the regular prawns, the bambucha ones!  The only prawns I will eat there are the prawns that come with the number 5.  For me, it’s worth the wait and price.  This dish is not for the weak – they are huge prawns with huge heads.  For me, who loves the shrimp head as much as the body…it’s heavenly.   The prawns for the number 5 isn’t always there – you either get there too early or they sell out too fast.  So when I do get the Prawns, it’s all the better!

Number 5 - Prawns!  I get it with the butter garlic sauce.  Sinfully delicious.

Number 5 – Prawns! I get it with the butter garlic sauce. Sinfully delicious.

Number 1 Shrimp - Butter Garlic and Spicy Shoyu Sauce (a good back-up for my number 5)

Number 1 Shrimp – Butter Garlic and Spicy Shoyu Sauce (a good back-up in case my number 5 isn’t available)


Japchae Hotteok

Just wanted to share a quick update with one my favorite things from my trip to Korea.  I saw many pictures of the original hotteok which I wasn’t interested in, I’m a fan of savory over sweet.  When we visited Namdaemun, our wonderful guide led us to a very popular hotteok stand which sold AMAZING japchae hotteok.  I am drooling just thinking about it.  They fry it up fresh, stick it in a cup and pour some special sauce over it.  The sauce was like a sweet marinade, looked like the type of marinade you would use for kalbi.  You must try this if you go to Korea!