Friday, March 13, 2009

Hiking-with no snow this time

I got out for a hike before our new term started. I headed to a different part of the same mountain area that I have gone to the last two times. I have been studying up on the different hiking areas and found that there are not many places to go that have long hikes. Most of them are just a few miles. So I decided to go to the same mountain but hike a completely different set of trails. These trails weren't as difficult as the other ones, and the longest loop to hike was about 9k. It didn't take long, but it felt great! The weather was wonderful. It was actually a little too warm at times for how I was dressed. Here I am at the top. The last photo shows the view from the top looking in one direction. From that ridge if you look in the opposite direction, the next photo is the view that you will see. I go to the mountains to get out of the city, and then the view from the top is of the city.
This part of the trail goes along the side of a rock. There are a few sets of these steps on the side of the mountain.
These next two photos are out of order. This was taken at the beginning of the trail. There is a funny story that goes with this. When I got there, I saw this greyhound (of all things) running around. People were just staring at it. The park rangers were yelling in Korean. I thought it belonged to them and it was being naughty and not coming to them when they called. It came near me at one point and I tried to sweet talk it to come closer and the rangers yelled something at me and motioned me "no". So I figured they didn't want me to touch it. I was headed into the bathroom before going up the trail, so I carried on with my business. The line was long in the restroom, so it took me awhile to get out. When I came out all of the park rangers came toward me and said, "No, No". So I thought I was getting kicked out for trying to pet their dog. Then, one of them who spoke a little English said, "No dog-Korea National Park". I still thought they were telling me not to pet the dog, so I said, "sorry" and was going to head up the trail, but they kept repeating themselves. Finally, they started gesturing toward the dog and me and pointing me out of the park. I realized they thought the dog was mine. There were people all around because it was a busy hiking day and everyone was staring at me! So I told them, "No, not mine!" "The dog is not mine." They didn't believe me at first. I had to convince them that the dog did not belong to me and then I just started walking. Phew! I was unnerved about the whole thing for awhile. It's amazing when there is a language barrier how a small misunderstanding can become kind of scary when people start yelling at you. : ) I just hope they didn't decide to take the dog home and eat it. There's not that much meat on a greyhound. : )
He's so cute! He reminded me a little of my sister's greyhound, but black and white instead of brown and white.
More view of the city.
More veiw...and there's still city in it.
Map of the trail. I did the outside loop.
Looking to the far right of all the other photos. This one was just mountains.
Looking to the far left of all the other ones.
Looking over the part of the mountain that I hiked the last few times I was out.
Another shot of the other side.
Feeling great at the top!
A veiw from the top.

Ppuri Park

During our term break we did get out a little. The weather warmed up some, though not as much as we had hoped. We went to a park outside of the city called Ppuri Park. It is a park dedicated to Korean ancestry. There were little trails around and one small hiking trail. We got the kids to hike a little, and we saw lots of little chipmunks running all around. We were the only ones on the actual 'hiking' trail, so it was really nice. These photos are in opposite order of the day.

This photo was the end of our time there. We brought our little picnic lunch, but when we stopped to sit down we all got too chilly. So no one was really interested in eating much. Except Grace who was stuffing her face in the background.
This is the kids running down the trail. When they got to the bottom, they were so dirty. There was mud on the trail and they fell down multiple times. But they were having fun and we were glad!
We let them run quite a bit ahead of us because we were the only ones up there. They thought this was really cool, and tried to stay far ahead of us.
This was the lovely view from the little hike that we took. What you are seeing is the city of Daejeon (actually, only part of the city).
A closer shot of the city.
Here is Peyton in front of one of the Asian 'zodiac' statues. He didn't want to get too close to it. Can't say I blame him.
Overlooking the park from the top. The scenery isn't that great now, but when the leaves come out and the grass gets green it should be pretty.
Apparently a giant stone rabbit was less scary than the giant stone pig. : )
It almost looks like a cemetery when you look at it from this perspective. But each of the sculptures has writing on it, and they stand for all of the different Korean surnames. I believe there are 72 surnames.

Looking out from the gazebo.
Grace hammin' for the camera.
More Grace.
A gazebo at overlooking the park.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peyton's Tux

Tonight we went to do a fitting for Peyton for a tux. His friend Jane was also trying on dresses. They will both be in a wedding next Sunday. Isn't he cute in his tiny little tux? I thought this was a really cute picture of the two of them.
He was even getting a kick out of seeing himself looking like such a "dude". :)

I will post photos of the wedding after he does his part in it.

Kindergarten Program

The kids had a little program at their kindergarten this weekend. We found it to be very entertaining-and surprising. Peyton usually tends to be the outgoing one of the two. He talks to strangers and loves carrying on conversations with anyone who will listen. Grace on the other hand tends to act more shy around people she doesn't know-maybe 'coy' is a better word for it.
But as you will see, when it's on stage, they have opposite personalities. Grace was very animated and had a great time and Peyton looked like he felt silly(like when you put clothes on a dog and they can't move) :) We were very entertained by this. The video quality isn't very good. I was all the way in the back and had to really use the telephoto. It's also pretty unstable because I was having to hold the camera up over people's heads.

In the first video of Peyton he won't do any of the movements. He hardly sang. Grace, though is overly animated.
The one of Peyton with the drum is a "traditional Korean" drum routine. He liked this alot more than the first song they did. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The latest...

Well, it's been a very long time since I posted anything here. I have really struggled with getting photos uploaded to this page. Because of that I have been posting my photos to Facebook. It's really fast and I can email the photos to people. But beyond that, there really hasn't been much to post. We have been working hard and it's been too cold to get out and do much. I have gone hiking a few times and I'm looking forward to going again. I try to go once a month because it's all I have time for. I go during term breaks or three-day weekends. It's an all-day trip because of bus rides and so on. But it's really worth it to get out and see something besides concrete.

Also, if you haven't tried it yet, these photos enlarge to a huge size when you click on them. Some of them are hard to see at their regular size, but try clicking on them. You will see every detail. Some times more than you want to see. :)

Here are some photos of my last hiking trip. Basically the same as last time, but I took some different trails this time. I hiked 13 kilometers and went to a temple on the other side of the mountain that has been around since 7ooAD (I think that's right). I went by myself again and had a great day. I was exhausted at the end because the trails were very steep straight up and straight down the mountain, but it felt so great! (I don't know why this is underlining. But I can't make it stop.) :)
The photo above is on the top. It was really pretty with alot of fresh snow. (alot meaning few inches)

The photo below is taken from the Gapsa temple looking back toward the mountain with the hiking trails.

This photo is on the mountain looking back toward Gapsa. You can almost see the buildings through the trees.The main building of the temple area. Everything was really quiet so I didn't go looking in any of the buildings.

This is an interesting thing. I don't know it's exact purpose, but it looks useful.More of the temple grounds.
Lot's of firewood.

Many different buildings all around the main temple buildings.Here I am nearly at the end of the hike. This weird tree is my landmark on the trail. It's a good place to stop and drink some water and take some photos. There are nice benches there too.

Here is a map. I know it's really small, but if you can see it I went from Donghoksa Temple, past the falls and to the Gapsa Temple and back to Donghoksa.
On January 25, it snowed pretty hard for a little while. We thought it would be fun to take the kids up on the roof and let them play in it. Peyton is complaining because it's too bright. He does this alot. I think he is going to have my problem of having to wear sunglasses as soon as he steps outside. Poor little guy! At least I can identify with him.
Grace can't believe that it's really snow!

Shane is dressed for the weather. Shorts and sandals...
This shot is from the roof, but it's the view we have out our bedroom window. Isn't it lovely? You can imagine why I go a little crazy from time to time just being surrounded by concrete!!!???
Looking off a little to the left of the last shot.
The view from the front of the building.
This is the government building across the street. It's actually a complex that they have been working on since before we got here. One or two of the buildings are looking pretty close to finished. Of course this is only from what we see from the outside.

She wanted us to have a self-portrait together.

This is a photo of Peyton taken by Grace. She really enjoys using the camera. Maybe she'll have some talent if we let her keep working on it. :)
She wanted a good shot of our living room/laundry room. I'm sure she will appreciate having a dryer again when we get home too.

Gracie's self-portrait.
She wanted to have a photo to remember Shane in his most favorite position and pasttime.
Today I went out to lunch with some of my students. These girls are alot of fun. The one on the left isn't in my class but is friends with the other two who went. They are in my Level 1 class. They are just beginning to learn English and are having fun trying out their new communication skills.
Here are all of us together.
Another one. This is my favorite Korean restaurant. They serve bibimbop. It's a vegetable and rice dish that is really tasty. Plus, it's one of the easiest dishes to order and have no trouble with getting something to eat without meat.