Saturday, March 30, 2013

Big News

Today I asked Vicky to marry me under the cherry blossoms at Jeju University.  
She said yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are planning to have the wedding in early November.  Hope to see you there!

PS.  For those of you know want to know, it looks like this where we went

And this

And this

And finally this

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Almost Spring!

More Philippines pictures because still bad picture weather here and because I really like this collage that Vicky made :)

I realize for my readers in the southern US, that my title is inaccurate.  For all of you, Spring is already here and in full swing.  For those of us in colder climates though, it's just beginning.  And about time too, since with the return of Spring comes the ability to go outdoors with less than 3 layers of clothes!  We might actually start doing things again soon!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a beach island is very VERY boring in winter.  It's thanks to this that I see a small silver lining in the last week Vicky and I spent partially sick (I say partially sick because we were sick enough that we probably should have stayed home for a few days but with only 3 sick days per year, we ended up working 4/5 of the week).  Our half-sick week kept us in a low energy state so we weren't going crazy anticipating Spring and getting out of the house again.

The Coral Cay main dining hall

Spring here is announced by the return of the cherry blossoms all over the island.  The people of Jeju say the Japanese took their original cherry blossom trees from here before giving some to Washington DC (but given regional rivalry, no one knows if this is true).  Whether the trees came from Korea or Japan, they are beginning to bloom and are becoming more gorgeous by the minute.  Next weekend is the official cherry blossom festival.  Vicky and I can't wait to go for walks in the park nearby under them and hopefully take some pretty pictures for you to see.

Since we haven't been able to go out much due to sickness and weather, we've been doing tons of research. We've been looking at what specific cities to visit in Europe while we're there, what order to see them in, how to get from one to the next as cheaply and comfortably as possible, etc.  So far we've mostly settled on our first four places as the Swiss Alps, Munich (and Neuschwanstein), Prague and Paris.  From there ...  :)

We've also looked at where to live after Korea, what we'll do for work, what we'll do while we're home and such.  We're working hard now so we don't have to waste beautiful days sitting indoors researching!

Siquijor sure knows how to do a sunset!

And as that should be plenty enough for one update, I leave you with a funny story from school earlier this week.

I was sitting in my classroom when some new 6th graders came in to introduce themselves. Most said "Hi" but one asked "Do you want to fight?!?". The one student there who already knew me then turned and explained in rapid fire Korean how I picked up the last student who challenged me to fight and shook him upside-down until he apologized.

The new student then turned back to me, bowed and said "sorry" while backing away.  I smiled.

The Little Mermaid watching for her prince in front of the Danish Lagoon

Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting back into the swing of things

 Since it looks grey and boring outside on Jeju right now, more Philippines pictures!!

As I said last time, with the end of our Philippine adventure, we've returned to Jeju and our normal lives.  At least normal for Korea (ie.. why is that person in a pig suit high-fiving random people in city hall?  why are we having a fire-drill at 4am?  why is my girlfriend wearing a cat-suit onesy to a restaurant in city hall?  the answer to that last question is "for fun" and of course i thought it was hilariously awesome!  That was the first time I've been completely ignored on the streets in Jeju.)

Ok so maybe normal isn't the right word ...... but we're back!  And since the weather isn't cooperating (my definition of cooperation is sunny and warm.  Jeju seems to disagree), we've started planning for the rest of the year.  I'll lay out our basic thoughts here with the caveat that we're still making our plans, so they're about as solid as a politician's morals.

We'll continue to teach here until ....

when my contract expires at the beginning of the month.  However Vicky's contract doesn't finish until mid-late July.  And our apartment lease runs until August 10th.  So i plan to be a total beach bum for the entire month.  That will change in .....

as Vicky and I prepare to leave Jeju.  We're planning to get visa extensions through around August 22nd when we will leave Jeju and fly to Europe.  Our theory goes like this, since our employer will pay for a plane ticket to where ever we want to go and since we don't have to start a new job until we want to and we'll have saved enough to afford a vacation, why go straight home when we can detour through Europe on the way.  We're in the process of planning a 5-6 week trip now.  I'll let you know what it looks like here once we've hammered out more of the details.  As a huge bonus it looks like two of our friends will get to join us for part of it.  And if any of my friends or family reading this want to meet us in Europe for part of our trip from late August to early October, just let me know.  That will keep us busy all the way into ....

when we'll finally get back to Texas after a long time away.  For now we're planning to spend the rest of the year there visiting friends and family and setting up our next job.  Once ....

rolls around, we'll probably head out again.  This time Taiwan is the clubhouse leader for where we'd like to live.  Naturally all this could change on a dime but for now this is the plan we're working with.  Hope I get to see everyone reading this in the Fall.  Maybe sooner if you feel like a Continental holiday :)