Back to Korea

Well I am back in Korea and officially jet-lagged… I woke up at 3:45am. I’m glad I got back with at least two days to get our new apartment in order and chill before I start my job on Wednesday. (Thanks to Daniel and friends for moving everything!) My VIN was sent to me at the last minute (as everything is done in Korea). I got it on May 25th, FedExed my documents overnight to the consulate in Atlanta, and was able to pick up my visa on Friday. Thanks to Zach and Kelly for making the drive! After lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe they dropped me off at the Hilton near the airport and my flight left early Saturday morning. I had a short layover in DC and then a long 14 hour flight from there to Seoul. I arrived here Sunday at 4:30pm.

My last two weeks in America were awesome and made me dread returning to Korea actually. I think when I first came here I expected such culture shock and was pleasantly surprised that Korea was modern and Westernized. But then after an extended stay in the USA I remembered how much easier it is to live in an English speaking country! But Daniel and Bella were waiting for me so of course I had to come back. 🙂 Once I got to Jeongja I felt relieved and happy though.

My last weekend at home was action-packed. My college roommate Rheannon and her friend Sonia came to Asheville Friday night and met up with me and Adrienne. I had forgotten how crazy Asheville is! We saw lots of weirdos, drank some beers at Downtown After 5, had dinner at Doc Chey’s, and enjoyed dessert at Old Europe. But the highlight was sneaking into a rooftop Fanaticon party and dancing with super heroes!

rheannon, me, and adrienne at the pritchard park drum circle

blurry, but it's me and rheannon dancing on the stage

Saturday morning I picked Tessa up at the airport and we headed back to Saluda and met my dad, stepmom, Wyatt, and Callie who were also visiting (and Zach) for lunch. Then we wandered around the Saluda Arts Festival and went hiking to Little Bradley Falls. Later that night I went to Quality Inn where my family was staying and we swam in the pool and played putt-putt and arcade games.

wyatt's plate art at shaffer's roadside grill

wyatt with the silverware dragonfly i bought for my mom at the arts fest

crawfish!

even my dad throws up the peace sign now

Sunday my Aunt Laura came to visit from Florida and I had my cook out. It was a great success, lots of good food and people. That night we went to Zach’s and played Rock Band as well.

zach and the kiddos playing

nikki and seth manning the grill

kate and abby - too cute!

skooter, nikkie, and dylan

the ladies circle! breanna, laura, me, adrienne, tessa, kathryn, and cindy

mom and aunt laura

tessa and me

rock band!

I was happy to be able to spend a lot of time with my mom; I will miss her a lot! Highlights include the musical Chicago at the Flat Rock Playhouse and in-home massages from her friend Leisa. We also took lots of walks down Pearson Falls Road and watched movies (well, she fell asleep watching movies) together every night (reviews to be posted soon).

I felt like this trip I had so much time to really reconnect with old friends and I enjoyed that. Seeing people from high school made me miss the good ole days! But I am sad to say that my friend Dylan’s mom passed away while I was home. I was glad to be able to attend her funeral; she was a very sweet woman and will be missed. But to make it even more tragic her death is unsolved… I hope that everything is sorted out and her children find the answers they are looking for.

On a happier note, I booked my summer vacation! I will be in Phuket, Thailand from July 23-31. Daniel is not allowed to take vacation during July so I will be traveling alone… but I am still excited. I am staying at Manohra Cozy Village and have lots of plans to keep my busy while I am there: elephant trekking, sea kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, snorkeling in Ko Phi Phi, a day at a spa, and a Thai cooking class. Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated.

jealous much?

Weird Korea Part 15: This drives me crazy. I know Japanese people do this too, so I guess it’s not just Koreans but… at the airport, everyone lines up to board the flight before boarding even starts! It’s infuriating and irrational! They block the whole damn terminal so no one can walk by and it makes no sense… you don’t get on the plane any faster, your seat is already picked out, so… what’s the point??

Happy unpacking to me:

-Jen Pace

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Back to Korea

  1. Laura

    Glad to hear you are back safely. I’m so glad I got to see you while you were home!

  2. Lienna

    You finally came baCK!! YAY!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’M SO HAPPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE IN KOREA. How was your moving to Jeonhja?? It is going well ?? We should catch up on each other soon! Let me buy you dinner and introduce a good friend of mine ! See you soon!

  3. Mary Baumgartner

    Hi Jen, It sounds like you really enjoyed your stay here in the good ole US of America. Your pictures are great and the one of your Mom and Laura is especially great. Glad you’re getting back into the swing of things in Seoul. I know you’ll enjoy another vacation in the summer. Love, Grandma

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