Now that I’m no longer in Korea, this blog will be taking a change of direction. It will remain my travel and food blog as we are staying in the beautiful South Lake Tahoe area. It will, however, be more focused on the California areas that I visit.
Tahoe is an amazing adventure. The most wicked part is getting here, then it’s all about relaxing. From the Bay Area, you’d take the 580 East which after Sacramento turns into the 50. It’s all fun and games until you pass Strawberry then it becomes high cliffs with every car tailgating you to Meyers (which is basically South Lake Tahoe).
Trying to pass the slow cars is another adventure. You get into this slow driving mode and when the passing lanes come, it’s hard to get up the speed needed to pass in a few short miles. So you get trapped behind these boats being towed to the lake or an RV. It’s not bad if you don’t have to pee and can settle into enjoying the scenery- but not too much!
Finally coming off the mountain and into Meyers is such a welcome site. Fifteen more minutes, I tell myself. As I cruise down Pioneer Trail, the nausea subsides and I can look around at the big trees and the blue blue lake. I always laugh when I see the sign for Temple Bat Yam, I know that I pronounce it wrong to make it funny but I can’t get over it; three years of driving past that sign and I still giggle, every time.
I was pretty surprised how easy it was to make pesto and with ingredients that could be found in Korea. The difficult thing would be having a blender or food processor which I had but most ESL teachers don’t. I think this is because many of us don’t invest too much in home items.
2 cups herbs/ kale
4 cloves garlic mashed with
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Blend everything together until it looks like the photo!
People watching in LA!!!
We’ve been in California now for two months. It’s surreal knowing that I won’t be going back to Korea for a few years. My diet has done a 180* making me look healthier to my fellow Americans. When I’m around my family all I hear is “eat, eat, eat”. It can be a little stressful. My students used to ask me what native foods I missed the most. Enchiladas was always the response. I had to go to a hole in the wall to get what I was craving but I found the perfect place in Salinas! It was right next to a furniture store. The restaurant was full of Latinos and the staff spoke only Spanish. It was so good.
Tahoe, oh my!
We are in a long term environment at Wyll’s parents house in South Lake Tahoe. It’s so beautiful here. So far we’ve gone on hikes in the woods and played at the lake. The amount of nature, specifically animal life, is incredible. We’ve seen bears, small ground animals, and all manner of birds!
They might be over his head.
I’ve been slowly working on my Korean as well. It’s fun to have a project that I work on with the baby. Larz isn’t speaking yet but he understands a lot of words. His understanding of English has blossomed in the last few days, with tutoring from his grandpa, he will point to correct objects when asked where they are. It makes me feel like a slacker because I know we could be doing the same thing in Korean if I was prioritizing it. So here’s to getting it done and teaching the little guy a language that is not native to mom or pop.
Finally, they’re here and in full bloom. They are so ready to be photographed. These guys are in Gochang. The river picture is near the traditional market and the street shot is near Y-Mart from the bus window. We went to Gwangju this weekend. It was a lot of fun.
They are starting to show their little selves. Different flowers are coming into bloom. The weather has been really nice. I’m looking forward to being outside more in the next few weeks.
One of the big hangouts in Gochang is the local coffee shop, Conga. The owners are super cool and lots of fun. The wife, Dongha, speaks really good English. She’s a lot of fun too. The husband, Kongsup, has international ambitions and likes to travel to Europe. His love for coffee has taken him to many places, most recently Italy. They provide a small amount of sophistication and relaxation in a very rural, very Korean town.
The shop itself boasts many art pieces and sculptures as well as living plants. The front of the shop is covered in windows and fills the cafe with light.
They have a roaster and roast their own coffee beans. They make some delightful drinks too. I usually get an iced Americano but their kiwi or grapefruit juice is killer.