Showing posts with label Food and Drink. Show all posts

Newport in May


It is always too difficult to book a room in Newport, Rhode Island. It is just way too popular even on off season. While we are now looking forward to warm weather in the East Coast, it takes a while till it gets warm in the New England States. Places like Newport that is close to the water takes way more longer because of the wind chill factor.


What we ate at Seoul

We had so many food options in Seoul. We didn't even got to try the street foods. Often times, we save our appetite for the main meal where we sat down and eat. We walked around so much that we want to rest our feet for a while we enjoy our food.

Below are the foods we tried. Some of them we really like too much that we ate it almost everyday.

  • Plane food
Okay, we are not in Seoul yet but en route. We took Korean Air so we can have a direct flight to Seoul and try to see their service and food options. And oh boy, they didn't disappoint.


Throughout the 13 hour flight, I had the selection of Bibimbap (seen below), congee and meat/potatoes combo.



Seen at Gyeongbokgung Palace


The Gyeongbokgung Palace was originally built in 1395, it was the royal palace and center of government during the Joseon Dynasty. It was destroyed by the Imjin War and was abandoned for two centuries. Later it was restored to its original design that incorporated the traditions of the Joseon era.


Gwanghamun gate. I have been here a couple of times but it felt like seeing this place with fresh eyes. I forgot how magnificent this place was.


Our Last Full Day in Seoul

It is our last day in Seoul, we had enough exploring and now its time for more serious stuff like shopping. Usually, I don't like to do a lot of going back and forth as I want to save my energy and focus the task at hand-- shopping for the kids.

Today we went around in the morning in Itaewon, Namdaemun in the afternoon and dinner in Noryangjin.

Itaewon


We stumbled upon this large store in Itaewon. It is a store full of cartoons called the Line Friends with merchandise. There were giant stuff toys. It's like a wonderland chock full of cuteness. I saw a recent billboard in Times Square, New York, I assume they would open a store here soon.


Trip to Gyeongju


Before the Joseon dynasty, there was once an ancient kingdom referred to as Silla. It was composed of three kingdoms that unified the Korean peninsula. Gyeongju was its capital and it became one of the prosperous and wealthy city of its era. Political instability had contributed to its decline until it was succeeded by the Goryeo dynasty.


There were two options on travelling from Busan to Gyeongju, it is a choice between bus or train. You can easily catch the train from the Busan Train Station and the bus from the Bus station one subway stop from Beomeosa. If you ask me, it is better to take the bus since the bus station in Gyeongju is in the middle of town compared to the train station which is located on the outskirts. If you count local traffic, it is another 45 minutes of travel time.

After we got off the bus station, we are all hungry and would like to start our second leg of our trip with a full belly before heading back to Seoul. We chose this non-descript place that serve the usual Korean food. We ordered a simple Seafood Pancake and Tofu Stew. But while we are waiting for our main meal, here is the ban chan (side dishes) spread they provided us. This is local food at its best.


Trip to Busan


Busan is South Korea's second largest city. You would have heard this name from popular movie such as Train to Busan, it was also on the list of New York Times' 52 Places to Go in 2017 (it is number 48 on the list).

While Seoul is a bustling metropolis with people in suits, in Busan it is the largest industrial area and at first glance it is mostly blue collar. It has now gone through a renaissance and it has established itself as a creative and international center for hosting sports tournaments and events like the Annual Busan Film Festival.


Second Day in Seoul

It is our second day in Seoul. The night before we were so tired that we did not even finished the baseball game in Jamsil Stadium. We slept early but woke up at 3 am and so hungry that we can't even go back to sleep. Instead of fighting the urge, we went outside the hotel where there was a 24 hour restaurant. It turned out that this will be our breakfast routine for the next couple of days.


This was our first breakfast in Seoul. One thing about this city that there is always a place to eat round the clock. You would never get hungry in Seoul. I am  beginning to love this city a little more.


Temple Food - Balwoo Gongyang

For our trip in Seoul, I made sure that our itinerary were more focused on new experiences. I have always admired travel shows where they show you how to prepare Buddhist temple food from scratch. They seem to be pain staking since they made it by hand and no short cuts.

All reviews for Balwoo Gongyang seem consistent. They were all good and well recommended. It is walking distance on the main Insadong area. Convenient enough that we booked lunch reservations earlier through email. They were accommodating and had us on the list on the day and time we wanted.



Urbanspace Vanderbilt NYC



Eataly - New York City

This is one of my favorite stops whenever I am in town. To me, its one stop shop. I can (window) shop. Get coffee, ice cream, bread or pastry. Eat snack, lunch or dinner. Or all of the above. It is always crowded here both with tourists and locals. I like to come in earlier when the workers are in the process of setting up shop for the day.


First stop is coffee. By just looking at the giant silver espresso machine, you could tell that they are serious about coffee.


Random Photos: Deep fried Pickles



Nothing can be more addicting than fried pickles. We bought one to try and bought some more. Madison is crazy on eating anything pickled.

Random Photo: Birthday Cupcakes


It so happens that our little girl is having her birthday in Honolulu. I looked up a couple of cake places but decided on getting a simple Hello Kitty cupcakes. It was a great idea and we ended eating all these yummy cupcakes in the next couple of days.

Ko'Olina Wedding - Oahu, Hawaii

When my sister got engage she mentioned that her dream wedding would be in Hawaii. She needed suggestions. I told her that the perfect location should be in Ko'Olina. It is a quiet place without much tourists since it is not easy to get there by public transportation. You need a car to get there comfortably not to mention that it had limited parking space. Most likely that you would get turned back once the public parking is full.



They were able to book the wedding on the K'Olina Chapel and have the reception at Roy's Restaurant.

Random Photo: Malasadas


Crossing off another item on our Oahu wish list. We finally tried the Malasadas (Portuguese doughnut) at Leonardo's Bakery. We ordered all available flavors. My favorite is the one with the custard filing. The flavors change every season. Perfect with hot coffee.

KCC Farmer's Market - Oahu, Hawaii

Another wish crossed off on our list. Farmer's Market is usually set up on a weekend morning. And since we are on limited time in Oahu, we ended skipping this adventure. I am glad we were finally able to visit one.

The KCC (Kapiolani Community College) Farmer's Market is organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau which was originally started by a group of local farmers to promote and advocate the locally grown commodities.

We started our day early and was able to get a close parking spot. Then it started to rain.


North Shore - Oahu, Hawaii

We have been in Oahu before. The first time was our honeymoon. We went back when my daughter was 9 months old then we set up another trip bringing the rest of my family. One sister loved it so much that she decided to give up her job in New Jersey and moved to Hawaii for good.

We decided to spend our day in the North Shore part of town. Since we were staying in the Waikiki area, it would take us about an hour drive depending on traffic. Oahu got really crowded from the last time we visited. Traffic is such a hassle that it is not even possible (on certain days or time) to drive from one end of the island to the other.

We started our day on a hiking trip to the Waimea Valley. From our guide book, the hike should be an easy 1.5 mile walk ending with a swim to the waterfalls.


Bonjour Paris: Day 6 (Last Day)

It is our last full day in Paris. We decided that this day should be a bit more relaxed and prepare for the long journey back home. It is also our last chance is getting souvenirs.

Our first stop was to pick up some sweets and chocolates.


Bonjour Paris: Day 5

After waking up refreshed and ready for a good bout of sightseeing. Our goal today is to visit as much of the iconic places and probably do some shopping.

First stop was the Eiffel Tower. It is my second time to visit the Eiffel Tower and it felt like I am seeing this place with fresh perspective. The first time was a night visit when we were on a Contiki tour. The bus dropped us close to the entrance. I didn't even recall how the area look like since it is dark and we were following the tour guide.



























The tower had lights that dazzles in the dark night. I remember looking up the whole time on our way to the elevator. We didn't notice the lines to go up and was probably on a fast track since we are part of the tour group. Once were done, we head back straight to the bus.

Bonjour Paris: Day 4

So we finally made our way to Paris. The plane ride was quick and easy. The ultimate challenge was to find our hotel which is located on Montmartre area. Before we book our hotel we made sure it has a close metro stop. It also says that it is a hop and a skip to Sacre Coeur. Sounds really good.

The night before we left from Barcelona, we tried to figure out how to get to our hotel without getting an expensive taxi. It looked like the best way was to take the train to Gare Du Nord and walk our way to our hotel. What we didn't expect was Montmartre is very hilly so walking your way with a luggage on an uphill is hell. Another part that the streets are confusing, there are too many intersections with small streets. We did got lost. Good thing we got a map from the tourist booth at the airport and little by little we found our way to our hotel.

It wasn't a good first impression on Montmartre. It was seedy with a lot of sex shops. We are actually a walking distance away from Moulin Rouge. Good thing about the area was the place is not touristy and the restaurants prices are more reasonable.


Hola Barcelona: Day 3

We are halfway on our trip. The days seem too short for us. We seem to take our time in the morning that by the time we are ready to go out and had our morning breakfast, it is time for lunch. We decided to make this day a lazy one and shop for goodies to bring home. We still have another leg of our trip to Paris which also meant that we are carrying our luggage all the way to the airport and take the metro to our hotel.

On our last day, we decided to head over Plaza Catalunya and walk over to Las Ramblas. We got a random place for tapas. It seem to be a popular place with 2 floors, they are in the process of closing down the kitchen but was able to fit us in for late lunch. We just asked the waiter to order for us since there are so many items to choose from. He actually gave us the good stuff. The meal was delicious, it was also the most expensive meal we had in Barcelona.