2013 in Photos

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Photos are one thing we have in abundance over here in Korea. We see so many interesting (and sometimes puzzling) things that it’s hard not to photograph everything. So, it seems fitting to recap our year with a photo or two for each month. Here’s what 2013 brought us.

January: We went ice fishing in 기장 (Gijang).  We also received a host of awesome Christmas goodies from our wonderful families.

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Photos are one thing we have in abundance over here in Korea. We see so many interesting (and sometimes puzzling) things that it’s hard not to photograph everything. So, it seems fitting to recap our year with a photo or two for each month. Here’s what 2013 brought us.

January: We went ice fishing in 기장 (Gijang).  We also received a host of awesome Christmas goodies from our wonderful families.

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February:  We spent the day in 경주 (Gyeonggju), a city known for its history and beautiful temples. Sadly, we also said goodbye to our friend Leena Thomas who went back home to Chicago.

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March:  The cherry blossoms were in bloom in Busan.  Ric and I spent an afternoon checking them out after earning our blue belts in hapkido.  Oh, and we went to Madame Tussaud’s.

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April:  We were in a parade for the Fish Festival in Gwangan!  We also went hiking in 밀양 (Miryang), an area of the country known as the Korean Alps.  The views were gorgeous, and the weather was pretty much perfect.

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May:  Our beautiful, talented, amazing daughter Gini graduated from UNC-Charlotte! Ric was lucky enough to be able to go home for the ceremony and spend a week with our kids.  I stayed in Korea and waited impatiently for him to bring home massive quantities of Peanut Butter M&Ms. We also spent a day hiking the area around Jiri Mountain with Master Yoon and our hapkido school.

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June: We went on a short cruise from Haeundae out to Igidae.  The weather was awesome, and the views were even better.  (In fact, it was cool enough to merit its very own post, located here.  We also visited the beach for the Haeundae Sand Festival and traveled to a green tea plantation and folk village near Beosong.

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July:  I spent a week at home visiting family and catching up with my littlest loves, Kendall and Willis Pedersen.  We also got to meet up with Lacey Horner and take her on a tour of Haedong Yonggungsa, a Buddhist temple I love to visit because it’s located in such a gorgeous spot.  And, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, our dear friend Molly Owens made her way to Busan for a visit as well.  We also wished Jim Batcho happy trails as he left for Europe to finish up his PhD in something too unbelievably awe-inspiring to explain.  And, oh yeah, we got ENGAGED.  Wedding date:  TBA, location:  North Carolina.

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August:  Despite the skanky, nasty late summer heat, we did quite a bit of hiking in the areas around Jangsan, Annam Park, and KSU.  Ric bought me a digital SLR as an early birthday gift, and I commenced taking more photos of him than probably made him comfortable.  And we found swings to play on–boo-yah.  We spent a long weekend in Japan.  We said goodbye to Derence Walk and Kathrynn Thompson, fellow hapkido students who headed back home to America.  All this saying goodbye made us realize that we now had less than a year left in Korea.  Time flies….

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In September, I turned 33.  We celebrated with copious amount of junk food and hiking.  We also bid a fond farewell to our friend Eric Gruenewald, who is totally taking us to a Packers game when we get home.  Oh, and WE WENT TO CHINA, Y’ALL.  (Read more about that here, here, and here.)

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October:  We celebrated Ric’s birthday in Seoul, went to the Andong Maskdance Festival, saw the Jinju Lantern Festival, and hung out at the Dongnae Eupseong Festival.  Oh, and there was Halloween at KJC and a templestay at Golgulsa in Gyeonggju. Needless to say, October was busy.

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In November, we got our hapkido brown belts, went to Hapcheon to see the leaves changing (more pics here), and celebrated what will hopefully be our last turkey-free Thanksgiving for a long, long time.

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And now it’s December.  2013 is drawing to a close.  We are a whole year older, and our lives have been enriched with friendship, love, and a wide array of unforgettable experiences.  Ric’s mustache is just a little closer to achieving its goal of taking over the world (or at least his face).  We are looking forward to spending next holiday season at home with our amazing family and friends.  Happy New Year to you all.  We love you!

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