I started school this week! Orientation was last weekend and I’m still trying to recoup!
I have classes 2 nights/week. For the first week, I left work early to go home, pick up my car, and drive to campus. Monday was bearable. The commute was 1 hour which is typical from SF to Berkeley. It’s only 14 miles door to door, but the Bay Bridge traffic can be pretty horrendous, and I experienced it at its worst on Wednesday. Little did I know that there was a SF Giants Game that ended right when I was trying to commute to Berkeley. It took me 1 hour to get from my apartment to the freeway onramp. I wanted to stab myself in the eye! I am going to try taking BART next week and hopefully I’ll be able to carpool back with someone at night.
My workout schedule has been erratic at best. I’m trying to figure out a workout schedule that won’t kill me. I’m thinking that morning workouts are best. BUT, waking up in the morning has been awful! I definitely need to get back in the groove.
Yesterday, I walked the San Francisco Aids Walk which is a 6M walk through Golden Gate Park. Harry and I ended up biking from my place in the morning to his co-worker’s house near the park where we had a few bites of fresh fruit and I got my face painted (pics to come). Then, we were off!
The walk was long and pretty slow, but the weather was perfect and it’s pretty amazing to see thousands of supporters walking together to support a cause. At mile 3, I started to feel light-headed (I didn’t eat enough from breakfast clearly!). Luckily, Harry’s co-worker had a mini Lara bar that I downed in 2 bites! They were also giving away Pop chips and ice cream bars at around mile 4 which was absolutely necessary!
Clearly, my favorite part of the walk is the BBQ festivities afterwards. My company hosts a BBQ every year, so we stopped by for a few bites. Then, we went over to Harry’s co-worker’s house and I stuffed my face in deliciousness! Corn on the cob, BBQ chicken, salad, chips, dip….it was pretty ridiculous! Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera I’m useless…
Once I got home, I passed out. All the food and walking really took a toll on me and I ended up skipping dinner (which was probably a good thing). I also slept in and missed my morning workout. It was definitely one of those mornings where the thought of getting out of bed to exercise made me want to stab myself in the eyes! Oh well…I’m hoping to squeeze in a workout after work though (keeping my fingers crossed). I have a feeling I have a tough week in store for me…
Living Social launched instant deals in San Francisco today and it was pretty amazing. Lunch for $1 in the financial district? SCORE!
Hey San Francisco!
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but today we’re coming pretty gosh-darn close. To celebrate the launch of our new product, LivingSocial Instant, we’re kicking things off with $1 Lunch Day. We’ve partnered with more than 100 local eateries, like Morty’s Delicatessen, Loving Cup, Escape From New York Pizza,and more – all for just a buck.
Wanna get lunch for a buck? Here’s how:
- Buy your $1 Lunch on the web and get your voucher via text message
- Or, buy on your phone with our iPhone and Android apps.
I ended up getting this amazing veggie bowl at Freshii. I’ve never been there before, but you can customize your salad, wrap and soup with toppings, meats, veggies, sauces, etc. It was pretty good and healthy too, so I’ll definitely be back next time for different options.
Dinner tonight (and for the past several nights) was a veggie beast with spinach, tofu, mushrooms, tomatoes, tuna, and nutritional yeast. I finally got a carton of nutritional yeast that I’ve been reading about on so many blogs, and I really like it!
I’m trying to get to bed earlier these days, but I can’t seem to fall asleep as early as I’d like. Sometimes, I lay in bed wide awake past midnight and even until 1am (definitely not enough sleep for me)?!?! My alarm clock goes off at 5:30am, and it’s always a struggle to get up. Any suggestions on how to fall asleep earlier?
My cousins took us to the Seoul Fish Market for lunch one day. It was quite an interesting experience. You can pick out any type of seafood from the fish market and the local restaurants will cook your freshly bought seafood for you. Apparently, this is quite common in Asia, but I’ve never experienced it before.
We ended up buying some sashimi grade fish. We bought some mussels, white fish, and abalone, along with some other fish I couldn’t identify. Thankfully, I didn’t get sick from the food (always somewhat of a concern for me in Asia).
Seoul Fish Market
Enjoying the fresh seafood with my cousins. Wow…I am so much darker than they are?!?
After lunch, we got some dessert. Black bean ice shavings. Yum.
It’s been a challenge adjusting back to my normal routine now that I’m back in SF. It was incredible seeing my family after 15 years and getting to know them as adults. I definitely miss Korea and my family. I really hope I can make it back to Korea in a few years after I graduate from grad school. :)
Seoul is like New York City on crack! Tons of high rise condos, shopping, restaurants, people, and TRAFFIC! Once we arrived in Seoul via the high speed train, we were greeted by my aunt, cousin, and second cousin. I was a little nervous that we wouldn’t be able to recognize each other at the train station (after all, we haven’t seen each other in 15 years), but all of my fears were allayed when I heard my family shout out my name.
It’s surreal how similar my aunt and mom are.
My aunt and second cousin.
My second cousin is the cutest baby in the world! She is adorable and hardly ever cries. She is this calm little baby who trots around exploring her environment. I still can’t get over how quiet she is. It seems almost abnormal?
One of my cousins lives in Gangnam, which is one of the most affluent districts in Seoul. They live in the Samsung Towers which are luxury condos comparable to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Crazy huh? Can you say BALLER?!?! We stayed at one of the guest rooms which is like a hotel room that tenants can reserve for guests. It was nice that Harry and I could come and go as we pleased during the day and then connect with my relatives after all of our sightseeing.
During the days, we pranced around Seoul exploring museums, temples, and shopping districts. My family was so nervous that we wouldn’t be able to find our way around town, but I assured them that all subway trains are alike. All you need is a map. One of the things I quickly learned is that Seoul does not have (and probably doesn’t believe in using) escalators. You have to climb stairs all the time! Koreans must love stairs…AND walking. No wonder Koreans are so skinny! Makes me realize what a sedentary lifestyle most Americans live.
Myung Dong is a famous shopping area in Seoul.
Our last day in Seoul, my aunt took us hiking. She is like 60 years old and seriously one of the most fit women ever! She is a hardcore hiker and blew us away! Literally. Harry and I could hardly keep up with her. She was climbing rocks like it was no one’s business. I hope that when I reach her age, I am as strong and fit as she is.
Korea was a whirlwind of adventure, family, and food- a ridiculous amount of food! For 11 days, I had the opportunity to reunite with my extended family (most of whom I hadn’t seen in over 15 years), explore my mother country, and eat lots of mouth-watering Korean food. It’s kind of crazy and sad to think that the last time I had seen my aunts, uncles, and cousins was when I was 10 years old. To be honest, I can barely recollect any of these memories. My brother, parents, and I are really close, but we don’t connect with our extended family too often, if at all. In fact, I am the first of my direct family to make the trip back to Korea. My parents have been back a couple of times due to family emergencies, but those visits have been short-lived and usually filled with sorrow. My trip, on the other hand, was AMAZING and filled with joy!
We started off our long journey from SFO to Seoul with a direct flight on United Airlines. The airplane food was pretty awful and I couldn’t eat much of it at all. Good thing I had some hard-boiled eggs and snacks to hold me over! Once we arrived in Seoul, we immediately took a bus to Gimpo Airport to fly from Seoul to Ulsan, Korea. My first meal in Korea was bimbimbap (rice bowl concoction with veggies and meat) at Gimpo airport which was pretty delicious.
My uncle (dad’s side) and cousin live in Ulsan which is a smaller suburb an hour flight from Seoul. They live in a really cool area with a riverside view and tons of smaller mom & pop shops and street food behind their building. It’s a great combination of new and old world. Their condo is new with all the amenities (virtual golf, gym, etc.), but with the old world that I envision when I think of Asia in general.
View from my uncle and aunt’s condo:
Street food- duk (Korean rice cakes). Freshly made. Yum…
Freshly made sweet potatoes. I would love to walk outside of my apartment right now and buy some.
More street food- dukboki (rice cakes in Korean hot sauce).
Gimbap (Korean rolls).
For me, the worst part of traveling is having to eat out for almost every meal. While I enjoy trying new restaurants, I’m not the type of person who eats out for every meal. I actually start to feel pretty gross when I eat out too often. When I was backpacking through Europe several years ago, I tried to buy food from grocery stores as much as possible, but it gets difficult to eat real meals when you don’t have a kitchen and are on the go. Staying with family in Korea was nice because my relatives cooked homemade meals for us almost every night. We went out to restaurants for a few meals and tried street food, but I was still able to eat some healthy, homemade meals too.
My relatives fed us like farmers fattening their stock! The volume of food I ate was pretty ridiculous. They kept commenting that we weren’t eating enough and didn’t like the food even after eating second and third helpings! There were definitely some nights where I felt my stomach was going to explode. No joke. I ended up working out a little bit at the gym, but it was not enough to counteract all the food I was eating.
My cousin took us out for sashimi by the beach in Ulsan. I usually stick with salmon, but tried to eat more adventurously in Korea. I’m not even sure what kind of fish we ate.
After 3 nights in Ulsan, we were on the road again and off to Seoul. However, storms and winds deterred our efforts to fly and our flight ended up getting cancelled. Thankfully, my cousin was with us to help us out. Even though I speak Korean, it’s nice to have a native around. Luckily, there is a bullet train from Ulsan to Seoul that only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. Not too shabby.
Next up- Seoul!
It looks like I’m in for some hot, humid, and wet weather in Seoul. Great…
Even though I’m packed and ready to go, it still hasn’t really hit me yet. I’ll be boarding my flight in less than 13 hours! I’m a pretty light packer so I only packed a few dresses, shorts, and tees.
I’m checking in 1 backpack and will have a purse with me on the plane. Literally half of my backpack is See’s candy and nuts. No joke. Hopefully, that will leave me enough room when I come back home for the goodies that I plan on purchasing in Korea!
I’m also bringing some snacks including some hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal in a jar, and nuts. Harry thinks I’m a weirdo for bringing so much food, but I hate traveling and eating processed plane food. Especially with the wheat allergy, it’s better for me to be prepared.
Time for bed. I’m still planning on squeezing in a morning workout since I’ll be sitting on a plane for 13 hours!
I just bought 6 bags of nuts from Trader Joes! I’m pretty sure the cashier checking me out thought I was a little weird. The nuts, along with 5 boxes of See’s Candy are for my relatives in Korea. Most of my family live in Seoul, which pretty much rivals New York City. So after racking my brain trying to brainstorm gifts that they wouldn’t be able to find in Seoul, I settled on nuts and See’s- definitely a California thing. I hope they like…
I also got a haircut! After not seeing my relatives in about 15 years, I figure I need to look a little bit more presentable…My hair will never look this good again. EVER. My hair is sopping wet when I get to work every morning. People comment. I wonder if this is unprofessional? Oh well…
And after a gorgeous weekend in SF filled with lots of BBQ and ice cream, I’m ready for a nice hard run to kick my butt in the morning. If you haven’t tried Bi-Rite, I would highly recommend it. The line was out the door and down the block, but if you buy pints, you don’t have to wait in the scoops line. Score!
I spent hours yesterday trying to buy tickets on Korean Air for round-trip tickets from Seoul, Korea to Ulsan, Korea! I seriously wanted to stab myself in the eye! Did you know that you need to have some type of Visa authentication or MasterCard secure-code to buy tickets online? It’s some extra layer of security that Korean Air requires. And of course Citibank, one of the largest banks in the world, doesn’t participate in these programs. Just my luck…
Finally, after speaking with a customer service representative, who was pretty much useless, I found out that it is possible to reserve tickets via phone, but they charge significantly more for Americans (or anyone else who doesn’t have a Korean credit card). I hate when companies try and charge you more just because they think you can afford it! I’ve traveled all over Europe, Central America, India, and other parts of Asia and trying to plan my trip to Korea is by far the worst experience yet! I can only pray that my time there is less stressful and I don’t run into credit card issues.
Korea- here I come!
I need to pack this weekend!
I eat a lot of seafood! I’m talking A LOT! I most likely have mercury levels higher than that of the average person. This has to be unhealthy….
There’s a seafood stand at the Civic Center Farmer’s Market. It doesn’t look like the most sanitary and pleasant stand, but if you can get over that, they have a great variety of seafood. I can’t identify half of the fish they sell, but the owners introduced me to basa, a white fish similar to catfish.
Dinner was basa with sauteed eggplant, onions, and cabbage.
I’m loving summertime! Even though it doesn’t get too warm in San Francisco, it’s amazing how much light there is when I leave the office! It’s nice to walk home when it’s light out (I feel much safer too). On my walk home today, I saw Rob Lowe! Hah! He and a film crew were in front of Dottie’s Cafe. He definitely looks old…I’m talking mad wrinkles. Makeup must do wonders on TV.
I’m also loving summer fruit.
The cherries look a little bruised, but they are delicious!
After a couple days of not working out, I was dying to go for a long run. A run through Golden Gate Park cures all!
Workout: 12M run through Golden Gate Park, out to Ocean Beach and back.
The weather was perfect! Mostly overcast and cool with the sun peaking out for a few moments. I came home exhausted and was shocked that I got a tan from my run! UV RAYS! I swear that my face got at least 3 shades darker! Does this happen to other people? I wear sunblock, but that doesn’t prevent my skin from getting darker.
- Mango/vanilla protein shake
- Brown rice pancakes with PB2, bits of trail mix stirred into the batter, topped with light cream cheese and strawberry jam
My plantar is starting to act up again too. It wasn’t hurting during my run, but I walked around in Converse all afternoon and by the end of the day, I could barely walk. My poor ankle is feeling the wrath.
On another note, my vacation to Korea is coming up! There is some drama with lodging, but I’m trying to remain calm and not get so riled up. It’s suppose to be warm and humid, which is an issue since a majority of my wardrobe is for colder weather. I really don’t have summer clothes since it never gets that warm in San Francisco.