Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Philippines

Coming up at the end of September is the Korean thanksgiving celebration called "Chuseok". We get 3 days off of work, plus the weekend, so that translates into a 5-day break. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I won't let such an opportunity pass without traveling. Therefore, I'm going to the Philippines with my friends Geoff and Courtney. Courtney is relatively new here (she arrived in June) but we became fast friends. She's from Colorado but lived in the Chicago area for several years (and has family in Paddock Lake!). We talk about things like the Brat Stop and Prime Outlets. Among other things.
We leave tomorrow and get back at 5:30 am next Thursday morning, right before work! Talk about squeezing every last drop out of a vacation....I don't have any appointments until 2pm that day, but Courtney has to be to work by 9. So hopefully our flight will get in on time along with our airport shuttle.

We'll be staying in Manila (the capital city) for 2 days, and on the island of Palawan (specifically Sangat Island) for 3 days. The Philippines has close to 7,200 islands so our selection had to do with the fact that it's a very eco-friendly island (lots of wildlife and nature) and few tourists. If we would have wanted a real touristy place, we could have picked Boracay or Cebu, but I figured they'd be similar to Cancun, Mexico.

Our island supposedly has monkeys on it (woohoo! I'm totally going to hang out with MONKEYS!) and we're staying in one of only 10 beachfront cottages on the island. There's also a hammock involved per cottage (I already called it). We get kayaks upon arrival as a means of transportation since there are no roads on the island. Here's the website link to where we're staying:
The 'photoalbum' tab is especially cool. Here's to hoping that the weather is nice!

Other summer festivities

While I was back in Milwaukee, I was busy everyday seeing people and doing summer things. I went to a Brewer game (and tailgated), Six Flags Great America, summer outdoor brunch with bloody marys, campfires, cookouts, and various parties. Not to mention meeting Sarah Jessica Parker...but that was another entry.

Keri and I drinking bloodies at Cafe Hollander.
My boys tailgating before the Brewer's game. (Matt, Jeff, Josh and Steve)
My girls. (Dawn, Heidi and Keri. Where's cousin Heidi?)
At the game....the boys had much better seats, but we were dangerously close to the Bernie Brewer slide. We considered sliding down....but I've already broken enough Brewer slides for one lifetime (Lakefront Brewery).
Josh's parents had a huge cookout since he was back from Boston. We had a campfire and slept in tents in the yard.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tribute to Riley

I was able to spend some time with my new (and only) nephew when I was home. He was 4 months old when I was there. He is soooo smiley and happy. He makes everyone around him happy. When I smiled at him, he'd get this really shy look and sort of look down (quite the ladies' man) I love him! I almost brought him back to Korea with me, but he would have put me over the luggage limit. Photo highlights of the little guy:

Grandpa Gary and Riley. That's his Blue Steel look (Zoolander reference).
Here's Riley with mom (Stephanie). He was interested in sampling his bib. Tasty.

Riley and me on our first date. Look at his shy little boy act! Charming!
Riley with daddy (my brother Ryan).
Riley and Grandma Lynette in Door County.
What a cutie! And Riley's not bad either. See how I make boys drool?

Door County July 2007

This July when I was home for the month, my family rented a cottage on Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. It was 10 days of perfect weather, cookouts, campfires on the beach, and lots of family time. I'll let the pictures tell the story. I had a GREAT time!!

Heidi, mom and Rita out for a classy dinner on the town. We're sooo Sex and the City...errr, Country. Is that a cosmopolitan I see?
The gang waiting for a true Door County Fish Boil. First one I've ever seen. What I saw, but put more eloquently by Wikipedia:

"The cooking of the Lake Michigan Whitefish is an elaborate presentation. Restaurants typically ask that patrons arrive a half hour early to witness the boiling. The fish and potatoes are placed in a cast-iron kettle. When the water comes to a boil the potatoes, kept in a wire basket, are lowered in.

The fish are then placed in another wire basket and lowered in. When the fish oils rise to the top of the pot, the boiler will add a small amount of kerosene to the flames. The increase in flames causes a boilover, the fish oils spill over the side of the pot, and the fish is done."

Here's my explanation: There was a big explosion and our fish was done. It was yummy.
Ryan, Stephanie, and Riley (my nephew!). Great family photo.

My dad, mom, Uncle Carl, Aunt Rita and Heidi having some wine at cheese at Simon Creek Winery in Door County. Wine tasting is fun. There was definitely no shortage of alcohol that week....

Gorgeous sunsets were aplenty! This was our view every night. Our campfire pit was on the beach...