I hope you are sufficiently fattened from your turkey holiday and have slept enough of it off by now to get through my entire post. We have certainly had our fill, but I’ll get to that part.
First, meet Kayla. And Jake. And their adorable little fella, Crater.
Kayla and I were part of a close group of friends in high school that spent Friday morning until the wee hours of Saturday together each week in the fall – marching band season, kids! This involved practicing our chair steps, playing the GL fight song, singing rally cries, and peeling our frozen rears from the bleachers before gathering at the designated host’s house for pizza and video games. We were popular kids, can’t you tell? It was the best.
Fast forward to two years ago. Freshly married (after a wonderful wedding, I might add), Kayla set sail – I mean, took flight – to meet Jake in their new home of Seoul, South Korea as part of Jake’s assignment with the army. Little did we know I would be joining the expat party a while later… but when we found out, we immediately started scheming our first get-together. Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect time, if only for us to mooch off of Kayla’s commissary privileges and enjoy a true American meal.
To meander on up to Seoul, we decided to take the high-speed train, the KTX, from Ulsan. First foreigner mistake: forgetting Korea runs on military time and booking your tickets for the 7:22 train. Then arriving at 19:00 to board, only to realize you now have to purchase new seats… that’s 7:00 pm for those of you who also forgot that lesson from elementary school. All was well, though, the ticket attendant was quite gracious, although amused.
We arrived after a quick couple of hours, me solving logic puzzles and J crushing candy. We exchanged excited smiles and hugs as we were greeted in Seoul by our lovely friends, and took their fantastically reliable mid-90s sedan on a quick adventure back to the cozy apartment before settling in for the night. Not, of course, before cuddling with their incredibly cute Corgi, Crater. His wiggly butt combined with satellite dish ears and scuttling little legs make you forgive him for barking on command when Kayla says “Go Cowboys!”, a reference, of course, to Tony Romo’s crew. You can’t blame the poor guy, at least he also barks when you say, “Santa’s coming!”
On Thanksgiving Day, we took a quick and sunny morning walk down to Itaewon, a little area of Seoul with shops and such, which was the location of Jake’s “suit guy” which actually turned into his “everything guy”, as the “suit guy” walked us down to his “hat guy” and a “shoe guy”. J and I both made purchases from the hat guy, and I thought they were pretty fantastic. I will point out here that my orange coat was highly useful this trip, as it was quite a bit colder in Seoul and we even saw some snow on the way in!
I realize these are nighttime photos, taken the next evening. Well, and you can’t quite see the plaid on J’s hat or the big pom on the back of mine, or the strings with poms for that matter. But still, they are cute.
Hats in tow, we headed back to the ranch. A short while later, dinner guests began to arrive, consisting of Jake’s military friends/compatriots and their counterparts – wives, brothers, and 6-packs of beer. The friendly crowd indulged us in some old fashioned American company, complete with drinks, games and laughter.
The fabulous table decorations, and the whole gang together.
I will not fail to mention an amazing meal coordinated by none other than the beautiful hostess, who accepted my feeble dish washing skills as contribution to the effort. We stuffed ourselves silly with deep fried turkey from the Popeye’s on base, sweet and juicy ham, homemade green-bean casserole, traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin desserts to top it off. We even indulged in a little eggnog (ok, not particularly for me)!
Our complete thanksgiving meal, topped off with cream cheese frosted pumpkin cupcakes.
The hostess with the mostest and our favorite dish, stuffing!
Crater did manage to nab a piece of turkey from Jake’s plate, and I caught him coming back for more, only to sadly find the plate was empty.
Where did all the food go?
Our fantastic meal was followed by a giant snooze, which we needed for the next day’s escapades in Myeong-dong. As our weekend together was full of awesomeness I couldn’t fully detail in one post, look out for more of our adventures coming to a screen near you very soon!
For you, readers, I am very grateful. Happy belated Thanksgiving!