• On the Road,  South Korea

    Jeju Marathon

    A marathon. In Jeju. Ten kilometers. Yes, ten kilometers but the course was set along the beach on the northeast side of the island. You get a t-shirt, cool medal, and when else would I participate in an international marathon on an island with runners from all over the globe?  The manilla envelope came and the cobalt blue shirt tumbled out first along with my race bib and lace tracker. Okay, Number 7007! I breathed in with a sense of excitement.    Up at four-thirty a.m. for the nearly two hour drive to the sports complex to begin the race. What an adventure parking was! People everywhere. We had to…

  • South Korea

    Coffee & Korea

    If you love coffee, come to South Korea. There’s a cafe on every corner. Many times two, three or more cafes per block. And by cafe, I mean a really cool, uniquely decorated cafe. Often decorated with reclaimed materials, individual arts, and where seriously good baristas will serve you one of the best cups of coffee you will taste. Well, at least until you walk into the next cafe! I’ve have sipped a vanilla latte in a flower shop/cafe nestled in a small village, savored a silky cappuccino in a coffee roasting house built inside a refurbished grainery with foliage growing up through the dirt floor, and relaxed over a…

  • On the Road,  South Korea

    Namsan, Seoul Tower

    Namsan, Seoul Tower plays peek-a-boo with both locals and visitors to Seoul, South Korea while residing high above the city. It is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. At 236 metres, it marks the second highest point in Seoul, a major tourist landmark. There are multiple ways to ascend to the top, depending upon your fitness level or how you prefer to make it to the top. You can take the Namsan Shuttle Bus or taxi, hike up the entire mountain, take the glass elevator, or walk up the stairs and take the Cable Car, which is what I recommend. My friend…

  • lanterns
    On the Road,  South Korea

    Buddhist Temples

    Azure blue, Kelly green, and bright pink lanterns dangle merrily in the breeze around every Buddhist temple in South Korea. They are lively and welcoming visuals you see before you inhale the jasmine scent of incense in the air and hear the low, steady rhythm of chanting and drum beats. The combination is an inviting and intoxicating blend that washes over the senses as you melt into the lush temple grounds from the normal frenetic city hustle and bustle.    I happened upon the Jogyesa Temple while wandering in downtown Seoul the first time I visited the city. Thus began my enchantment with Buddhist temples and desire to visit as…

  • Home,  South Korea

    Fear and New Adventures

    Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.  ~Mark Twain   I have never felt such exhilaration, yet gut-wrenching fear and I walked through the TSA Pre-Check security checkpoint. I was holding back sobs as I took one last look at my family and then turned to walk to my gate at the international terminal at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.  After the loss of my Mother in the fall of 2017 and teaching and working in Texas public schools for twenty-four years, I knew I needed a change. I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted from my “running ninety-miles-an-hour with my hair…

  • On the Road,  South Korea

    Traditional Tea Ceremony Jeju Island, South Korea

    Auro Soma While out driving one day I happened upon a small building that housed the Auro Soma Gift Shop and resembled a Buddhist temple sitting in the middle of a parking lot.  Walking into the eclectic little shop that in a previous life WAS a Buddhist temple, the smell of incense wafting to my nose, soft wind chimes jangling in the open breeze, a lovely lady bowed and grasped both of my hands in greeting. Clothes, jewelry, and crafts delighted the eyes everywhere you looked. Wearing traditional dress, yet chatting with her translation app on her iPhone we had a great conversation. The next thing I knew I was…