Tuesday, March 27, 2012

설악산 Seoraksan

     This past weekend started off with wonderful people, and luckily that was a theme that embodied everyday. My brother, mother, and 이모 (Emo-aunt) all got together and drove out of Seoul to Seorak mountain. We stayed in a gorgeous pension where we cooked a simple dinner together and went back in time. When my brother and I were much younger, and my 이모 was living in Boston, we would all get together (my grandparents and uncles as well), pile into a small and cozy apartment and prepare a Korean feast of sorts while laughing, playing, and talking until our mouths were tired. My brother and I would fill our tummies with delicious food while the adults yacked away in rap-fast Korean. Years have flown by, and the  weekly trips to Boston are now impossible. I see my family every so often and half of us are on opposite sides of the world. These moments have me traveling back...I'm so thankful. This time around, we all brought something to the pension, I brought some fruit, waters, and tea, and my mom and 이모 brought more fruit, more fruit, breads, rice, 반찬, lettuce, etc. We were only staying for the night but we were having another "Boston" feast.
the feast~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     After the tiring drive, now filled nourished bodies, we snuggled up on giant couches while watching Korean dramas and sharing life. It's such a strange place to be when you are reminded on being a child when with family, but are now an adult, and viewed as such. Instead of zoning out, I'm involved in the conversations...our opinions are requested, and our thoughts are respected. I bailed on any alcohol, but my aunt knocked back a beer while we stayed awake until our eyes couldn't pick themselves up.
     In the morning, I woke up to this...
my morning view~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     My aunt, brother, and mother wandered to a sauna and I caught up on sleep (I admit I went through a Sex and the City marathon and watched a fair share of action movies before crashing) and some writing. Around noon we piled into a car and got some lunch, 순두부 (soft tofu stew) is very popular here so...can you make a guess?
할머니순두부~ Grandmother's Soft Tofu Stew (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The 순두부 here was different from the usual spicy tofu stew I'm used to. Instead of a boiling red pot of bubbling silky tofu, we all split a couple bowls of tofu curd and several bowls of 반찬. Almost a deconstructed 비빔밥~ sans 밥.The 반찬 was fresh, generous, and delicious. The sauces on the various dishes were very clean, spicy, complex, and left everyone at the table requesting several refills.
오이 반찬 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
시금치 반찬(photo taken by VeganBeats)
sweet spiced 고추 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
맛김치 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
두부~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I wasn't super hungry, so I grabbed a small bowl and stole some tofu while piling in 반찬. I knew there was a hike ahead of me, so I needed fuel but carrying a Buddha belly up a mountain or during any physical strain is not a way that works for me.
     The restaurant was wonderful though, everything was man-made, fresh, clean, and the staff was more than generous. I mentioned to my family that at 두부집 (tofu houses) they sometimes leave out the soy pulp so people can bring it home...and they gave me a HUGE bag of it!! ^^*
     After this, we drove to the stunning 설악산 where the beauty embraced us and again, I felt like a child, uhh nature, hiking, being active~
     Words won't explain...not well enough~ again, pictures to do the story-telling~
big ol'bear (photo taken by VeganBeats)
by the cable cars (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
     The view was spectacular, and though the air was biting cold, I was filled with so much warmth and genuine happiness that my body didn't register any of it. I still can't believe that both my brother and mother are here...and that again, like nearly 15 years ago, we were together on an adventure...and Korean was still a language surrounding us!
photo taken by VeganBeats

No comments:

Post a Comment