Thai festival 2016 - Gwanghwamun (cheongye stream), Seoul

This is why I love library Sundays - a festive Thai festival just happens to be happening on our exact library route.  Mangoes, chicken sate, padthai, and iced Thai tea - All my favorite things in one festival!  Despite the drizzling light rain and without umbrellas - we decided to stay and enjoy the festivities. Now that's my kind of "go with the flow" weekend!

The cheongye stream is decorated and festive appropriately.  

Curious ones like us enjoy the booths to see what they are offering and selling.  Some with travel info, vendors, and most importantly food food yumyumms.

The smell of meat bbq is intoxicating outdoors.  You can't help but be lured to it like brainless zombies.  

We got chicken and pork sate and shrimp balls with sweet and sour sauce.  Very tasty!

I haven't had Thai food in a while - so this flavor was just what I needed to awaken my taste buds for the fall season.

As I held the cups of sticks of meat while I waited for my husband to deliver another surprise - he comes back with this colorful plate of mouth watering rice and noodles!  

We shared the dishes while sharing a standing table with another couple behind the Muay Thai stage. 

There were enough food vendors to eat yourself to fulldom.

Despite my love for sweet thing after eating, I didn't need to get any dessert or drinks (even my favorite Thai tea!) because the dishes were sweet enough for me not to crave dessert thereafter.

As soon as we were finished eating, the stage behind us set up a nice show of Muay Thai!  My first time seeing it live.  It was pretty exciting to see it in person.  I think I would actually pay to watch a match now!

It was a great festival to showcase Thailand.  They did a good job because now I actually want to visit the country again!

There was also a mini concert at the other end.

It was s nice surprise.  We love running into these types of festivities in Seoul.  Despite the rain, we thoroughly enjoyed the food and variety of events.  Whoever organized it should get a two thumbs up.  


Fall is definitely on its way

It's been a long record hot summer in Korea.  All of it has passed and fall is unraveling its essence in the air, the sky and my stomach.  I've been hungry like I was feeding two people in one body. 

There's an idiom(?) in Korean, "the sky is vast in autumn and so are the bellies of men" (something of that sort).

Enjoy this delicate weather because before you know it you're wearing a parka and wondering how winter came as you start counting down the months to spring.  Welcome to four seasons!


Reishi mushroom tea in Korea

I read a book last winter - forgot the title   - about natural food, foraging and reishi mushrooms.  Ever since reading that awespiring detail about the connection with food and everything else - my overall attitude about health food has been shifted to a "I know the properties of this and that" to approaching health benefits as a journey to enjoy the learning that comes with patience and trials.  

Reishi mushroom is very new to me as well as tea drinking.   I haven't been a huge tea drinker until recently.  

But now, I start my day with a hot tea in the morning (corn silk tea) and at night (buckwheat tea, green tea) almost as rituals.  

The health benefits of reishi mushroom tea is very solid (its history of reishi tea goes far far back in time in China).  I shouldn't say anymore, how about "immortality" - does that spark your interest? Please read and learn about it online.

I ordered a 500g sliced and dried reishi - called "YoungJi" mushroom in Korean - bag online for less than 30,000won(about $30).  They feel more like soft tree barks than the typical mushroom texture (soft and wet) one is used to.  They were sliced long ways - but easy to break in chunks for tea.

There are so many ways people seem to enjoy this tea - some prefer it dark like black coffee and some mild as green tea.  Since I'm new to this, I aimed to drink it on the milder side.

I broke a few pieces of the sliced dried reishi mushroom into the teapot - boiled it for 15 minutes in low heat.  

My first trial came out much darker and bitter in taste.  Some add honey for taste - but it's still too bitter and the sweet taste only adds insult to the injury as your tongue fights and decides which flavor to dictate among the two polar opposites of bitter and sweet tastes.

But after a few trials, I perfected my reishi tea to my liking.  You have to experiment with it and that's part of the fun!

As a caution, it's recommended to avoid drinking this tea when you are "sick" (boils, fever, etc) - it's best to drink it as "prevention" rather than "remedy" - this is for that.  And not to prolong intake for more than a few months or so - because you don't want your body to get used to it and not working the best with your body.  Always anything in moderation is advised, no matter how beneficial.  

I drink it to enjoy the benefits and not so much for the taste.  It's an acquired taste because it has a "sourness" to it that one has to get used to.   But since the benefits are so strong - I'm willing to put my tongue on hold for this "immortality potion."

Fyi: I am not a doctor or health expert - please do your own due diligence with any info online.


First day in Nice, France - Grand Hotel du cap ferrat

Our once in a lifetime arrangement to stay at this hotel in Nice was nothing but bliss.  To the company and occasion that presented us nothing but unconditional love and care - it was a memory we will never forget.

Entering this hotel was almost a scene to a movie - with special attendants to tend to us.  They showed us the room briefly and left us to enjoy our first impression of our room. 

I think one of the more important rooms in hotels are the bathrooms - and as shown is nothing but delight. 

The bed and room screams - "come and fall asleep in the clouds."  What a great impression for this occasion we had ahead of us (sorry I shall not disclose what it was for privacy). 

Not pictured, but the closet was spacious enough to hang all my clothes back home and more.  

The toiletries are of Hermes say no more!

A great view I was looking forward to sinking myself into..

I could have eaten off of the bathroom.  Sorry that's so ghetto of me. 

That tub calls relaxation.

After settling in - couldn't help but get cozy in the king sized cloudy bed... Sweet dreams.  I could have spent the day sleeping and would have been just as happy.  

But we had lovely events ahead of us!

Getting out of our room after prepping out for our evening - a view of the hotel.

The sunset is coming and the lil park area with gentle trees whispers as in to say - "have a lovely evening."

What a beautiful relaxing place - delicate majestic nature 

Here we are ready for our evening!

And the celebration begins - day 1

After a great night celebrating a once in a life time occasion,

Morning comes.  Day 2.

The food is as shown.  

Breakfast is lovely and abundant.

I loved their fruit salad

Getting ready for day 2!

Taking in some air and beauty 

Day 2 ahead - more on that coming soon!


Ginger beer (Bundaberg)! Yummy!

Beer?! In a public place?

Hold your horses, it ain't beer folks!  Ain't that the beauty!

If you like ginger ale, you will love this!

We got this bottle of drink from Emart !  I was worried it looked like beer - but assured that it's not illegal to drink and carry alcohol in public here.  

Koreans don't drink and walk though.  

So I'll pretend for now because I'm double pretending on this one. 

It's chicken and EXO night - goobne chicken delivery

The weather is super duper gorgeous, so why not spend Friday with my favorite chicken and behold, EXO accompanies our evening munchies.  

Goobne chicken is another of our favorite chicken delivery chains when we feel like eating a healthier version because they bake instead of fry.  You might easily assume that baked chicken is drier - but be surprised because it's actually as juicy and tasty as a regular fried chicken without all that added oil!

Our favorite menu choice is "go chu Basasak" - it's battered in pepper spice and comes in 2 different sauces!

One is a mayo based, creamy flavor and the other sauce is a lot spicier and heavier in flavor, I think also mayo based. They are tasty pairings with the chicken and that's coming from a non saucy gal. 

I had a coupon for "free fried potato wedges" - potatoes and baked chicken in one!  It's a beauty!

We no doubt devoured it in no time.

Friday nights are nice with some of that good chicken!  Why go out and beat the crowd when you can stay in and eat like a barbarian chomping and dipping that chicken thigh piece like you were in an eating contest!  Now that's my kind of Friday night!

The creeping of fall 2016

Wow what a day!

The windows and front doors are open to let all this refreshing oxygen particles and what not wash away the house.  It's like an air wash!

I think it might also start cooling down for good now.  I hope this is it!  So ready for cooler weather. 

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