Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What a Beautiful Day!

I love cupcakes. Love them! Think they are the best thing in the world! I dream of opening a cupcake cafe one day. I think it would be amazing! So yesterday when Tom and I stopped by Hyundae Department store for lunch, I was THRILLED to see a gourmet cupcake shop had opened!! I was not so thrilled-to see that each cupcake was 3,600 won each, but they were all so pretty and delicately decorated! After much deliberation, I chose this chocolate vanilla cupcake for our doumi ajumma who has a major sweet tooth! She was so impressed by it's adorable appearance she STILL hasn't eaten it!! Hahaha..that was the start of my Beautiful Day!

How could you resist??

It ended up being a gorgeous day here! Blue sky, golden sunshine, a light breeze ruffling all the glossy green leaves around where we live. Bucheon has put a lot of effort into planting trees and making green spaces. One of the apartment complexes I teach at recently put small gardens with tall, leafy trees all along the sidewalks on the main road that runs past them. Koreans love to relax in the shade, sleep even, in local parks during the hot Summer days and nights. I really love that about Bucheon, and I think that is why I have stayed so long. Even though Winters are bitterly cold and dry, the lush green Spring, Summer and colorful Fall make up for it!

View from our building of the park and area.

Fountains in the park.

Thomas enjoying the shade.

Since the weather was so gorgeous and I was done for the day at 4:30pm, I decided to take Thomas to the park to enjoy this day while we could! He was more than happy to crawl into the stroller and get his shoes on. He even tolerated his hat for more than 10 minutes! As I was leaving our building I bumped into my friend Melody(Mel) and asked her to join us. She was happy to spend time with us so off we went!
As soon as we arrived at the park we let the little man out of the stroller and he took off exploring! There was so much to see! Mong-mongs walking with their owners, dirty pigeons cooing and walking around, fat lazy carp swimming in the pond, and birds singing and flying through the leafy canopy. Thomas was a little ball of energy moving from one interesting site to the next with so much interest and excitement. He was making the sign for "all done/all gone" when the dogs would leave and the birds would fly away. Mel was so impressed at what a smart little boy he is becoming.

Watching the carp swim with Mel keeping a protective lookout.

Pointing at the dirty, dirty pigeon he followed around for 10 minutes!

Trying to spot the birds that were singing so happily.

After chasing the various animals (and ditching his hat on the ground!) we moved on to the rest of the park. Jungang Park(Central Park) is a very large park in the middle of the city we live in, and only 5 minutes walk from our building. The park has an auditorium for musicians and other performers, a playground for children, various water installations like ponds and fountains, sculptures, tennis courts, badminton courts, an open-air gym, lots of leafy trees, flowers and climbing wisteria and the whole perimeter has a 1.3km track made of spongy recycled tires that is wonderful for walking, jogging or running on.
We walked through the leafy wisteria shaded path in the middle of the park, admiring various flowers on the way. Eventually we came to the children's playground. Thomas was so excited to run around, we got very few decent photos! He was just too fast! Poor Mel was trying so hard to stop him from flinging himself of the edge or down the stairs on the play castle as I tried to take photos. He tired us both out and STILL had energy to keep going!

Looking at the pretty flowers.

Running down the cobblestone path beside the pond.

Peeking out of the play castle.

After all the fun in the park, Mel had to go to work and we went shopping for Daddy's dinner. We bought some spicy chicken stir fry, called "Dak Galbi". It is chicken meat cut up with onion, leek, carrot, rice cakes(chewy rice noodles) and spicy red pepper paste. I added sliced potato as well, although Korean normally add sliced sweet potato. We cooked it up for daddy and had a great dinner followed by a dessert of fresh blueberries which Thomas loves, especially since they are so expensive here I'm sure! Haha..

After dinner we went out to meet a new student I will be tutoring this Summer in essay writing. He will be starting grade 12 in September and has been attending school in NEW BRUNSWICK of all places! He has been going to school there for 1.5 years so far and loves it! He is very athletic and his build is similar to Tom's, he doesn't look like a 17 year old skinny Korean boy who studies until 2am, that's for sure! It was great to talk to him and I am looking forward to tutoring him this Summer.
After the meeting we went to meet a friend of ours, Kelly, who is a Korean living in Australia. She comes back to Korea every Summer for a brief visit and met me first when I was pregnant with Thomas. She was so excited to see us but Mr.Energy fell asleep in his stroller while we were walking!! We sat outside and he slept for 1 hour. Considering how noisy everyone was laughing and drinking, we were surprised he slept so long! He did wake up and charm the pants off the group of teachers we were with, and then we went home. It ended up being such a great day, we had so much fun and the weather was so lovely! Days like this make us so happy to be a family and live where we do!! Hope everyone else has wonderful days this Summer!!

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