Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

If you happen to find yourself in Korea during the month of January, it is not a bad idea to check out the locations of Korea's numerous Snow and/or Ice Fishing Festivals. The best site for discovering dates and basic premises of Korea's festivals is this site here - many of the festival pages will provide a link to more detailed festival information although perhaps in Korean.

Wanting to be 'in the loop' regarding Korean Festivals, the Harrington's were thrilled to find that during their vacation period there would indeed be a snow festival in the northeastern province of Gangwon-do. Taebaek, the host city would provide a festival atmosphere set at the base of a majestic mountain, accented by a variety of snow sculptures built by art students from around the peninsula and even offer attendees the opportunity to sit and enjoy a cup of hot choco in an igloo cafe.



Rumours abounded that the festival may be cancelled due to recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease which have Korea in a bit of an uproar. However, the sculptures were presented, the igloo prepared, a hill for sledding provided and a beautiful winter day greeted the Harrington's on January 21st when they made their way to the base of Taebaek and enjoyed a few hours photographing and enjoying snow sculptures as well as learning about the coal industry of Korea at the Taebaek Coal Museum. Should you come from a location which does not frequently enjoy snow, the festival is a must, if you simply have nothing to do and wish to enjoy a long train or bus ride, the festival may be worth it and will definitely provide you something to do.

Getting There: The slow train will take a passenger from Daejeon to Jaecheon for a transfer to Taebaek (approximately 15,000W). As with most destinations during off season travel, one may also show up to an inter-city bus terminal and ask to go to Taebaek and likely receive the next available ticket to do so. From Daejeon, it's a bit of a journey through some gorgeous Korean terrain, so be sure to have a good book on hand.

When to Go: The festival is at the tail end of January although this area of Korea is gorgeous (most likely) all year round!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Quarky-Kinky Side of Korean Tourism

On their recent travels through the north-eastern province of South Korea, the Harrington's felt it necessary to make a pit stop at a famous, yet 'risque' Korean landmark named 해신당공원 Hae Sin Dang Park or Penis Park. Yes, you read that correctly. The Harrington Times does not make a habit of publishing rsique articles but feels a certain obligation to inform readers of this quarky little park with as much honor and respect as is possible. That being said, let us continue on our report of the Harrington's and their afternoon meandering Hae Sin Dang park.



Just south of Samcheok on the coast of the Eastern Sea lies a quaint little fishing village by the name of 신남 Shi-nam. This village once underwent the loss of a lovely young virgin to the angry sea and rough rocks jutting from the ocean floor. In distress her husband to be screamed for his love. Village lore states that villagers were convinced that by erecting sculptures of certain male anatomy the sea and the virgin sea 'monster' would take no more captives. (This may or may not be an accurate retelling of village-lore, however THT has done it's best to set the stage for the creation of Hae Sin Dang Park). It is on this backdrop that Shi-nam became home to a festival which would honor and showcase a number of phallic sculptures. Not long ago the festival was shut down due to Christian protest but there remains a lovely park area showcasing some of the sculptures from days of old and ensuring no more virgin sacrifices need to be made. (A large, ship shaped museum is located in the park which offers a bit of history regarding fishing as well as the need for phallic sculptures)

Readers may find themselves slightly disgusted by the Harrington's attendance to such a place. Others are likely chuckling to themselves, wishing they too could go to such a location. However, most readers, regardless of which side they find themselves on, likely find themselves asking 'What exactly did the Harrington's think about this small piece of the Republic of Korea?' We at the Harrington Times make it our personal mission to faithfully report on the life and times of the Harrington's and have scored a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to interview the couple and get their verbatim insight as to how this trip sat and continues to sit with them.
THT: Can you tell us the reasoning behind making your way into Hae Sin Dang Park in the first place?

Melissa: "We were in the area, we were on vacation, it's one of the places to see if you're going to live in Korea for a year, seemed to be a no-brainer."
Mike: "We saw some pictures in the Lonely Planet, thought it was pretty unique."

THT: What was your first impression upon entering the park?

Mike: "Beautiful. Beautiful coast. Peaceful village. Glad there's not a lot of people here."

THT: Was the experience awkward as a male? as a female?

Mike: "No."
Melissa: "Occassionally. Some sculptures depicted women as part of the male anatomy and felt a bit more risque or grotesque or intimate and better showcased in a private collection. However, since it's winter and most people aren't out walking along the ocean, the awkward factor was much lower than it could have been.

THT: Would you return to Hae Sin Dang Park?

M&M: "Without a doubt!"
Melissa: "It really is a lovely plot of land. The views of the sea and the surrounding mountains are quite extraordinary and honestly, the sculptures, or very few of the sculptures, are overly offensive, some are actually quite impressive."

THT: What is your overall impression with this bit of Korean culture and Korean tourist destination?

Mike: "Very unique, very beautiful. Highly recommended."
Melissa: "It's quite quarky and a bit strange. Unlike anything you'd find in the US, so in that alone, worth the visit. The location, again, was absolutely stunning and the fishing village was the epitomy or peacefulness, a chance to slow down. In so many ways, it was an enjoyable - entertaining- place to visit."

Getting There: Upon arriving in Samcheok, simply wait at the Bus Terminal for bus 24 ride the bus for about 30 minutes. Keep your eyes open for some phallic sculptures toward the sea. There are two entrances to the park and a stop near both, one at the top a hill (easy to miss) one at the bottom which takes you through the little village, past a coffee shop and into the park. Bus should cost less than 2,000 W each

When to go: The Harrington's were quite happy with their decision to go in the winter. Less people gave them more time to less awkwardly enjoy the sites and views, meander through the fishing village museum, and take a ton more pictures than they otherwise would have.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chugging A Long on the Seaside Train

Following a day in Gangnueng the Harrington's made their way south along the coast of the East Sea or Sea of Japan via the seaside train. Opting to 'go with the flow' the Harrington's did not book tickets ahead of time banking on the fact that it was a weekday and winter, they'd get a seat. Turns out, there was a bit of a group going on the same day who had purchased tickets ahead of time leaving our favorite couple one option: The Proposal Room. Already married but falling ever more deeply in love with his bride, Mike agreed to the Proposal Room, turned down the wine and paid a total cost of 30,000W (about $30US) for the couple to enjoy their own private room in the seaside train. (A bit of broken English and sudden understanding led Mike Harrington to realize that wine and other amenities would have added another 20,000W - not an unfair price at all).

With tickets in their hands, the couple soon boarded the seaside train and anticipated a quaint little jaunt down the coast enjoying the view of the sea. Their Proposal Room was cheesily decorated and was a nice backdrop in which to enjoy a few snacks from Tous Les Jours bakery as the train began it's way toward the sea. A primary feature of Korea's seaside train is the positioning of the seats, all facing the sea, and the larger than average windows offering passengers the best possible view of the ocean while making ground toward their next destination. In general, the train ride was rather uneventful. A few stops near some Korean military ships, possibly a North Korean Submarine and a few others odds and ends made for a slower trip to Samcheok than some might wish, but the Harrington's were ever happy to gaze out the window or into one anothers eyes while enjoying the crashing waves out the windows...or city buildings...or mountain sides. (One common criticism of the seaside train is the occassions when the sea is not visible.)


Upon arriving in Samcheok, the Harrington's searched a bit for a place to leave their lugage eventually being instructed to leave it with the men managing the information desk. Happy to do so, the Harrington's set their luggage down and between Korean and English discovered which bus to take in order to arrive in Sin-nam, home of Haesingdang Park, a location worthy of it's own (if not slightly censored) blogpost.

Getting There: Click on Seaside Train at the beginning of this article to be directed to the website for booking. If you're not coherent in Korean, find a Korean friend to help you out!

When to Go: Again, this area of Korea is lovely all year round - winter is definitely an off-ish season (although there is much skiing to be done in the area). Weekends are always busier and likely require booking ahead. Whenever you go, you'll be sure to enjoy the beauty of this area in Korea.

The Harrington's Capture Happy

As readers may or may not know, the Harrington's have been occassionally participating in a 'link party' or 'blog carnival' or some other blog terminology for 'doing a similar thing weekly across the gamet of numerous blogs' known as You Capture. The couple has done such photo projects as capturing sweet, kindred and holiday magic. This week, the Harrington's bring you happy.


If you've been keeping up, you know the Harrington's recently adopted a little ball of fur. They call her Lady Annyeong. And she has brought the couple such great joy and happiness in only a few short days.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stories from the Couch: January 19th

After two enjoyable nights with CS host in Chuncheon, the Harrington's prepared for a night with yet another CS host yet this time in Gangnueng, South Korea. Having spent the day at the beach, wandering the museum, drinking coffee and choco, and hitching their first ride, the Harrington's were happy to call a little place in the countryside home for the night. So it was, on January 19th, the couple loaded into the SUV belonging to their host Chris, and made their way from Gangnueng Bus Terminal to Chris's country side home.

Unlike many foreigners in Korea, Chris has hooked himself up with not only a vehicle (a large one at that) but also some sweet digs 10-15 minutes 'outside of town'. He lives amongst the farmers of his communities, wakes up to gorgeous views of rice paddies and mountains and has a full size range/oven combo. Melissa and Mike both had to work hard not to show too much envy for this CS host who hails from Florida and has been working in Korea for 3 years.

Chris was exactly what the Harrington's were looking for in a host on this particular night. Not too anxious or uptight and completely comfortable sitting around chatting about his Korean experiences, recent holiday celebrations, how he managed to land in such sweet digs, the back-stories regarding his three dogs, the back-story regarding the Harrington's dog-to-be, etc. With little warning, 11:00 rolled around and the trio realized they'd best head off to bed.

Morning came as faithfully as always, this time with a troop of small dogs to rouse Mike from his slumber and kick start his day and his wifes day taking the Seaside Train to Samcheok. Before making their way to the train station however, Mike and Melissa were taken into town by CS host Chris, grabbed a bite to eat at Tous Les Jours bakery and a few snacks at a grocery before awaiting the departure of their train, a story yet to be told.
Good Morning Sunshine

A Day at the Beach

Winter is a season which always brings about a deep desire to retreat to a private beach and enjoy the sunshine. The Harrington's were no exception to this desire however their day at the beach would more closely reflect an hour at the beach and be enjoyed while wearing hats, scarves, gloves, heavy coats and boots. On Wednesday, January 19th the Harrington's boarded a bus and made their way from Chuncheon to Gangnueng, South Korea.

Upon arrival in Gangnueng, the couple found a little shop keeper with some lockers to store their belongings at the Bus Terminal while they meandered the city. Anxious to have a bit of a beach experience the couple hopped in a taxi and soon found themselves face-to-face with the Sea of Japan. With the lunch hour nearly setting in, the couple stopped by a vendor and enjoyed a significant hunk of Crab meat, breaded and fried served with ketchup, much like a corn-dog, before taking a number of photos on the beach.
Beach Times

Having 'soaked up the sun' the Harrington's began walking back toward the city. Their walk led them alonside a quaint little river and a quarky (yet Amazing) gramaphone/Thomas Eddison Museum. With nothing but time to kill, the couple entered the museum and were amazed by the sights, stories and souds of old gramaphones. This museum showcased many aspects of American culture that took on a much more novel and nostalgic feel in their Gangnueng, South Korea placement.

Having read about a certain cafe in the Lonely Planet Guidebook as well as being encouraged by a Korean-New Zealander to check it out, the Harrington's followed up their museum visit by hopping in a cab and making their way to Terrarosa Cafe. For coffee lovers in Korea, this is perhaps a 'must' (neither Harrington is a coffee lover, so the determination of 'must' is subject to argument). However, the cafe roasts and prepares their own beans serving them up with delectable little sandwiches or sweets. The cafe also houses a delicious variety of breads which may or may not be worth it depending on who you are. Unfortunately, the cafe is located a bit out of town and from the Museum to the cafe one must cross the entire city and drive some backroads which, for the Harrington's entailed a 15,000W taxi ride. Since the couple is not particularly fond of coffee - Mike in particular, was not thrilled by this price of arrival.

Terrarosa Coffe House

Not Thrilled

So it was, following a cup of hot choco for Mike and an Espresso Macciato for Melissa, the couple began walking back into town, contemplating hitchiking. As packs began to feel heavy and the air increasingly cold, Mike Harrington began venturing out with his thumb in the air, unsure of the results. Many cars passed on by yet eventually, one pulled over. In that moment, the Harrington's began their first hitching experience for a 10 minute drive into town. Their driver? An off-duty police officer from the city on his way to pick up his 6 year old son from private school. Arriving at the bus terminal, the Harrington's driver was adamant that the couple stay the night with him and his family, after a bit of miming and a few English words mixed with Korean, the Harrington's explained they'd be staying with a friend but thanked their driver profusely before heading into the bus terminal to wait for their friend, a CouchSurfing host.

Getting There: Once again, Inter-City Bus Terminals are the way to go. If you haven't been travelling by bus and already find yourself at one just hop in a cab and say - bu-su-ter-mi-nal and you should arrive in no time. If it's a weekday or off-season you should have no problem getting a ticket for the next bus en route to your destination. If 'flying by the seat of your pants' isn't your thing, check out this site for schedules and prices:

When to Go: It's a beautiful city, gorgeous all year round, surely! However, if it's the beach your after, try summer or early fall. Better yet, make a long weekend or normal weekend out of the trip and make your way to nearby Seoraksan National Park for what is rumoured to be the most beautiful display of fall colors in South Korea.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stories (and Sights) from the Couch: January 17th - 19th

On January 17th after meeting a sweet dog, the Harrington's boarded a bus and made their way to Chuncheon. Upon arrival, the couple spent some time relaxing and meandering in the local E-Mart conveniently attached to the Chuncheon Bus Terminal. The reason for waiting at the bus terminal of course was so to be well stationed for meeting up with their CouchSurfing host, Juno. Often at The Harrington Times we report on the guests received by the Harrington's, however, on a few occassions we have the pleasure of telling the reverse story, when the Harrington's become guests, this is one such occassion.

Meeting up with Juno the Harrington's bustled about in the grocery department of E-Mart keeping pace with this fast walking Korean host who was eager to provide the couple a western-style breakfast of toast, jam and yogurt. With their goods purchased, Juno kindly offered to take the Harrington's to an overlook of the city as the night lights began to shine through the coming darkness. From the hillside the Harrington's and CouchSurfing host gazed out on a city of about 300,000 people and could sense they'd made a wise decision in travelling north for their first week of vacation.

Following the splendid view, the trio made their way toward Juno's home to grab the first of a few fabulous Chuncheon meals, Chuncheon being famous for food, the dinner did not disappoint. The evening was spent chatting with Juno and his wife about previous travels, careers, pets, snacking on oranges, playing with cats and eventually dozing off into a deep slumber.

Drama Museum

Incredibly awesome pics to take at the Drama Museum and have emailed to photo-ees.

On the morning of the 18th Juno dropped the couple off at the local Drama Museum while he headed off to work. The Harrington's enjoyed meandering the museum and city streets before making their way to a lunch stop in Myeong-dong, Dalk-galbi Street. Following a food affair of great proportions it was off to Angel-in-Us Coffee for a quick email check and MAED reading and assignments for Melissa. Having checked his email, Mike was free to explore the city and found a great many treasures from a group of football (soccer) players to a lovely lake scene.

Afternoon Coffee for the MAED student


Around Chuncheon: City of Lakes

The two Harrington's reconnected just before the dinner hour to meet their host at the provincial museum where they were oportune to see a fabulous sunset and some artifacts of Korean history before enjoying the fine and delectable fare of Chuncheon one last time. The evening of the 18th ended in much the same as the 17th and took the Harrington's right into the morning of the 19th when they'd again hit the road.

Gangwon-do Provincial Museum

Eating it up in Chuncheon, South Korea

On Monday, January 17th 2011 the Harrington's found themselves en route to an area of Korea yet unexplored by our favorite couple. A few reasons lead to the Harrington's embarking on this journey to see and explore a new corner of the Peninsula they now call home, however one reason far outwheighed all others when the Harrington's considered the towns for a stop over. Food. A deciding factor almost...always. It was for the love of food and a specific food at that, that the Harrington's found themselves arriving in Chuncheon, South Korea.

One dish which gathers great fame amongst expats living it up in Korea is 닭갈비 (dalk-galbi) a dish featuring Chicken marinated and/or drenched in spicy Korean red pepper sauce, cabbage, sweet potatoes, rice cake noodles (pressed rice...that's chewy and delicious), and occassionaly lettuce or sesame leaves. The dish is prepared at the table in a large skillet as are many Korean dishes. Once the chicken is fully cooked diners may begin the process of eating it simply as is or selectively places odds and ins into a lettuce wrap to be shoved into the mouth, enjoyed and swallowed. It may not sound like much, but take our word, it's a favorite amongst the Harrington's, friends and plenty of others.

It was in desiring this dish that the Harrington's made their way to Chuncheon where the dish first got it's start and has gained such fame as to take up two entire streets dedicated to Dalk-Galbi restaurants (not to mention the plethera located off the 'tourist' streets). With just over 24 hours in Chuncheon and some crazy cravings, the Harrington's got in two good doses of this renowned dish and concluded that in Chuncheon, the dalk galbi is simply 'Better', more well-rounded, if you will.

Dalk-galbi in all it's glory!

Dalk Galbi Street

Another dish famous to Chuncheon and until recently, un-tasted by the Harringtons is 막국수 (mak-guk-soo) a spicy, cold noodle soup served with veggies and pork. By no means dalk galbi, the Harrington's nonetheless enjoyed their stop over at their CouchSurfers top restaurant choice for this other infamous Chuncheon dish.


Getting There: From Daejeon go by Inter-city Bus and you'll be in Chuncheon in no time! (The Harrington Times cannot provide more specific information as the Harrington's first went to Seoul, then from DongSeoul Station in Seoul to Chuncheon.) HOWEVER, many times, particularly on weekdays or low-travel seasons such as winter, it is feasable simply to make your way to a bus terminal, state your destination and the clerks will quickly have you a ticket for the next departur time! Once in Chuncheon, there are many maps available and to get to the most famous of Dalk Galbi streets simply plop down in a taxi, say Myeong-dong and in no time you'll be dropped off in the heart of Dalk Galbi laden streets...well, not quite, but almost.

When to Go: Whenever you have time! It's likely to be a beautiful and delicious journey no matter what! Chuncheon is also host to many festivals so travelers would be wise to schedule accordingly, those who are die-hard fans of Dalk Galbi may want to consider trekking that way in .... for the Dalk Galbi and Mak-Guk-Su Festival.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Move over Lady Gaga, There's a New Lady In Town

And she goes by the name Lady Annyeong. (However, we'll give a bit of lip-service to Lady Gaga by asking: "How do you wake-up Lady Gaga? -- answer at the end of this article)

Following the Harrington's 5 day travelling stint around the peninsula (of which The Harrington Times will provide full articles and reports in the near future) the Harrington's made plans to go and retrieve the dog which we at The Harrington Times, recently sought your adivce in naming.


On Friday, January 21st, the Harrington's began their journey home leaving from Tabaek, South Korea train station. Upon stopping at Jecheon the Harrington's continued separate ways; Mike onto Seoul, Melissa onto Daejeon. The plan at this point was for Mike to retrieve the 3 year old mixed-breed dog from her foster in Seoul while Melissa continued on to Daejeon to unpack, clean up, and purchase some basic necessities (dog food, pee pad and some treats).

Awaiting anxiously in Daejeon, Melissa was thrilled when 5.5 legs walked through the door and began settling into home. Being an adult dog, Lady Annyeong is not filled with unrequited energy and spunk. She is of a mellow temperment and 24 hours into her stay with the Harrington's remains a bit shy and timid although appears to sense that she has been fully welcomed and embraced by this new family. She has eaten well, pottyed only outside on her daily walks, learned to comfortably lay on her blanket and pillow and given the Harrington's plenty of opportunities to stroke her soft white and brown-spotted coat.

(And the answer to the question regarding Lady Gaga...A: You Poke-er Face...hahaha, ㄱㄱㄱ, Question and answer provided via a facebook status of a Kindergarten teacher whose student post just such a question)

Damyang Bamboo Forest

En Route to Daejeon the Harrington's along with their 7 new Korean friends made a couple of pit-stops to enjoy a bit more of the fine and beautiful tourist attractions offered by South Korea. Following a breakfast of Ramen, the crew headed north making their fist stop at Damyang, near Gwanju, South Korea to meander aimlessly in the bamboo forest.


After taking in the sights of bamboo and famous sites of Korean dramas and popular TV shows, the cars were re-loaded and took the group a few minutes drive to a pleasant walk way along the river. A walkway which promises to offer great beauty and joy during the warmer months but offered only a few photo ops on Sunday the 16th of January before everyone, foreigner and Korean alike, were ready to reload the car and continue forth to Daejeon where activities such as napping could easily take place.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coming off the Mountain

A recent Harrington Time article regarding the hiking of Wolchulsan left readers with a promise to continue the story. That dear reader is where this article picks up.

Finding themselves off the mountain with a bit of food to curb the appetite, the Harrington’s and crew made their way into town where they were about to enjoy an all-out glorious Spa Extravaganza. For those readers who’ve resided in America or a few other Western nations all their lives, you may or may not be surprised to learn that a spa experience in South Korea has one distinguishing feature: nudity. That’s correct, to enter the spa’s and hot springs of South Korea it is necessary to strip down to complete nothingness (this is of course after having made your way to your gender specific spa area). Needless to say, it can be a bit uncomfortable at first for those of us from foreign nations to offer the Korean world our pure albeit blemished, Waygook (foreigner) bodies.

At this point, readers may find themselves feeling awkward on behalf of the Harrington’s, yet have not fear, a grueling hike which was endured during the day and the normalcy with which Koreans view an afternoon or evening at the spa makes the experience quite rewarding. One is given the opportunity to soak in warmth, be steamed like a dumpling and take a laborious relaxing shower with no preoccupation toward…well, anything!

Following this delightful experience which was likely a muscle saver, particularly for Melissa Harrington, the crew found themselves sitting down for an impressive meal of fresh grilled eel, side dishes including silk-worm larvae, a few shots of Soju and the learning of two Korean drinking games (flick the ??? and Titanic). However, the drinking games and fun didn’t stop after dinner, before having the freedom to doze off the Harrington’s alongside their Korean friends played one more drinking game, snacked, chatted and ‘rolled on the floor laughing’ prior to the start of a popular Korean drama which took all parties to their respective sleeping quarters to catch up on Secret Garden and finally doze off into the sleep which had been yearned for since pre-dawn.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hiking Wolchulsan - 월출산: Rising Moon Mountain

On Saturday, January 15th the Harrington's found themselves waking long before dawn for the second time in the New Year. Similar to their first pre-sunrise waking, the Harrington's were rolling out of bed to experience a day of hiking. However, this time, the hike would exceed 1.5 hours and be in the company of 7 Korean Elementary School teachers as opposed to Guest English Teachers. This trip would also take the Harrington's 3 hours south of Daejeon to Wolchulsan National Park for a one night-two day trip showcasing a number of 'first time experiences'.

As the car ride began, heads bobbed and soon the Harrington's were dozing off, trying to catch some Zzzzz's before a hike which would likely take the group straight-up more than one mountain side (as is common in Korea). A few Zzzzz's into the trip, all trekkers unloaded the cars and sat down for some morning Ramen and Kimbap before continuing south.

Within a few hours of leaving Daejeon, the sun had risen, the trekkers had unloaded their belongings and the big hike was about to commence! In the company of two sweet Korean women and 5 humorous Korean men, the Harrington's began an enjoyable (at times gruelling) hike on Wolchul Mountain. As is common when hiking Korea, the trekkers found themselves walking up many stairways and steep, slippery slopes occassionally blasted by cold mountain air but always enjoying a gorgeous scene before, behind or surrounding them.



Highlights of the hike included:

The Name Game

On Monday, January 17th the Harrington's made their way to Seoul and began their first week of true-blue vacation since arriving in Korea. Heading toward Chuncheon, South Korea the Harrington's made a choice to stop and meet a girl named Sylvie. If you're reading this, it means the Harrington's are quite confident and certain that soon Sylvie will be theirs, greeting them at the threshold every day after work, causing them to stroll through a nearby park multiple times a day and bring the type of joy only animals can bring to a home. If you're reading this, prepare to hear more and more stories about life with a dog while living in Korea. If you're reading this, anticipate the return of the Harrington's and the small bundle of joy that will accompany them in the form of a white with brown spots, 3.5 legged mixed breed small dog (not child - lest you still be confused this far into the post).

However, Sylvie as a name, just doesn't sit quite right. Doesn't quite fit the Harrington style nor the Wyoming life and dog companions she may enjoy. This is where you, our readers come into play. We at The Harrington Times value your input and advice regarding all sorts of important life decisions including the naming of our first pet.

 First, a little 'history' and a few ideas which have been kicked around by the Harrington's themselves. A note on 'history', for years, Mike has boldly stated that he would have a dog named Genghis, a name referencing the mighty, powerful and downright burly Genghis Kahn of Mongolia. Mike knows exactly what type of dog this name fits, and Sylvie is not that dog. The couple have also talked of one day owning a turtle to take on the name Atilla, a fish or cat by the name of Ghandi, etc. (The most likely of these three to truly exist in the life of the Harrington's will be Genghis). This sets a 'name stage' of influential people throughout history, particularly in Asia. Therefore, Melissa Harrington has decided that the following two names would be acceptable for Sylvie: 1) Lady and 2) Su Kyi, both in reference to Aung San Su Kyi of Burma, Nobel Peace Prize winner and proponent of democracy in the nation operated by a military junta. Lady takes on a second meaning when considered in context of the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp. It is likely that Sylvie in her stature and adorbale-factor will find herself a 'lady' among many 'tramps' upon returning to Wyoming. Su Kyi has a pleasant 'Asian' ring to it and is the most direct reference to an admirable woman. The thrid name choice is 3) Anyeong, a Korean word which generally translates to 'Hello' but may hold an association of sorts with a traditional word for 'Peace'.  The name Anyeong would also prove humourous to those familiar with the TV series Arrested Development, such as Mike Harrington who already gets a kick out of imagining calling forth our dog. As a sort of 'compromise' Melissa Harrington has suggested the name 4)Lady Anyeong.

As readers and friends, the Harrington's request that you put forth your opinions on the four name choices and/or add to the possibilities by commenting on this article. As always, they are grateful for your input and advice however make no guarantees as to the final outcome. Check back often for new stories on the Harrington's and to find out the final decision in 'The Name Game'.

In case you missed the link at the top, click here, to get a feel for Sylvie's personality and adorable looks.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sunrise 2011: Ringing in the New Year Bright and Early

In South Korea, there are generally two occassions upon which to celebrate the new year. The calendar dictated new year common to most westerners and the Lunar New Year, more common to Asian nations. The Lunar New Year has yet to come, therefore this article will have little to nothing to do in regards to such. However, readers may wonder if and how the Harrington's brought in 2011.

With the help of some well-informed and investigative expat friends, the Harrington's learned of a Korean 'New Year Tradition' which involved the following: hike, friends, food, January 1st (or Lunar New Year day) and sunrise. Wanting to get the most out their Korean experience with dear friends and loving a good, frigid morning hike, the Harrington's were all to eager to join in the 'reindeer games'.

After ringing in midnight with friends, the Harrington's accompanied the Mullen's home to crash on their floor. With a mere 5 or maybe 6 hours of sleep the Mullen's, Harrington's, Callaway's and Dickerson-Bradford's met in the dark hours prior to sunrise and began a modest 1 or 2 hour hike up iced-over trails alongside Korean men, women and children, young and old.





The journey was well-worth it regardless of lacking an-all-out-vibrant-and-spectacular-sunrise, the crew settled for pink skies covering a snowy cityscape before heading down the trail back to the Mullen's for the world's fluffiest, most delcious pancakes dripped and flipped by noneother than the hostess, Jennifer Mullen. The morning continued forth with games and napping before each family made a decision to return home for a 'real' solid nap experience. So it was, on January 1st in Daejeon (an hour likely correlating to the end of 2010 for family and friends back home) the Harrington's found themselves ringing in the new year, bright and early!

Teepee Doorways

This week at Nameson Middle School, Michael Teacher has been instructing his second week of 'Survivor Camp'. Being the primary photographer of The Harrington Times and the Harrington family, it was a welcome surprsie to see that not only did his recent shots from Survivor Camp capture the good times had by his students in the process of learning English, but a couple shots even managed to fit the weeks You Capture theme in which the Harrington's have made decent attempts to participate in.

Without further ado, here are two shots of Doorways as seen on English Camp-made Tepees and in instructions for making Tepees.

Michael Teacher is lucky to have a fabulous Artist in his class to whip out images such as this
for the classes 'Survival Guide"

Each Teams Teepees, lined up in a row.

Find other images and interpretations of Doorways here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Daejeon: Haleh's Korea Experience - Part 4

The final day of Korean experiences for both Haleh and Melissa to enjoy together came all to quickly. Thursday morning, the ladies took their time getting ready and deliberating about how the day should be spent. Deciding a day trip somewhere may or may not provide fulfillment of all their wildest dreams the ladies chose to stay in Daejeon for another day catching a few sights which had been missed previously in the week. With decisions made, the two made their way toward Time-World Galleria to grab a Egg-Muffin breakfast at Paris Baguette to be enjoyed with a Starbuck's beverage in the big comfy chairs of Starbuck's Cafe.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee - Thursday Morning = Starbucks
 Filled with breakfast and caffeine the ladies hopped on the 104 and made their way into the snowy and deserted Expo Park where they met the aliens and Haleh wrestled an Alligator (in winter, mind you). Enjoying the snowy scenes the ladies continued their walk through the Hanbat Arboretum until they arrived within a short distance of Mike Harrington's Middle School where he was finishing up

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Daejeon: Haleh's Korea Experience - Part 3


Being herself a teacher in the United States, Haleh was not upset to learn that Melissa would have to interrupt these days of touring and 'vacationing' with a day of work at Bongam Elementary School. Melissa Teacher, expecting students to be antsy with the upcoming holiday and winter vacation took additional advantage of Haleh and Haleh's thrid grade classroom by developing a lesson plan for 3rd-6th graders which would revolve around students getting to know where Haleh was from, what she'd experienced and ate since being in Korea and what she does in the USA. After students ran around the room 'voting' on the best answer regarding Haleh (i.e. Where is Haleh 친구 from? A-America, B-Canada, or C-Korea? - go stand in such and such corner for A, B, C, etc) Melissa Teacher led them in a letter writing activity. These letters in turn would accompany Haleh back to her room of 3rd grade American students creating for both sets of students a good ole fashioned pen-pal relationship.

Highlights from the letters:

Dear American Friend,

"I love you! Do you know Obama?"

"I have one dream. To receive post from America. I have never received a letter from America."

"I like dok pokki. Do you like Korean food?"

"I dream soccer player."

Your new friend,

After enjoying a school lunch which far exceeds the flavors and nutrition of an American school lunch Melissa Teacher continued on with classroom obligations while Haleh explored a bit of Gung-dong, enjoyed a waffle and returned in time to accompany Melissa Teacher back home. Following a bit of rest and relaxation but the 'reunion' with Mike Harrington it was into Dunsan-dong where the trio met with some friends to enjoy a filling and delicious meal of Shabu Shabu (beef swished in broth, dipped in sauce, placed on rice filled lettuce and enjoyed with a good portion of Korean sides) in the top floors of Time World Galleria.
Following another successful and delcious Korean meal, Haleh was accompanied by a group of Guest English Teachers to a 'singing-room' aka Norae-bang where she enjoyed the singing talents of Melissa Teacher, Jennifer Teacher, Holly Teacher Michael Teacher and Mr. Fitz. Haleh even found herself joining in the singing 'game' with an all too amazing rendition of the Spice Girls - Wannabe. In case readers have forgotten this once popular tune, we at The Harrington Times leave you with your own opportunity to 'sing-a-long' and experience a bit of Korea Norae-bang.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Daejeon: Haleh's Korea Experience - Part 3


Every good day of vacation begins with something warm and sweet to drink. It was a desire for such a start to the day that took Melissa Harrington and Haleh to yet another Korean coffee-chain, Angel-in-Us Coffee: World Best Coffee. The warmth and deliciousness of their Maple Machiattos was made increasingly pleasurable with the fluffy white snowflakes beginning to fall on a lazy Tuesday morning. Much to the prodding and encouragement of Mike Harrington, who would be spending the day inside conducting Winter English Camp, the ladies decided to head to Gyeryong-San National Park to enjoy the snowy landscape, a Korean Temple and a bit of Korean hiking food.



After a short hike in the increasingly slushy snow the ladies stopped in to dine where a restaurateur had earlier pleaded that they return. Willing to appease the restaurant operator, the ladies sat down for some makoli, fried eggs, kimchi pancakes and assorted Korean sides while the restaurant staff sang songs, danced dances and asked a few questions regarding the ladies origins, purposes in Korea, Gyeryong-San, etc. It was a superbly Korean moment with great food and new friends.

Returning home, the girls would find themselves lying down on the warm floor of a '519' Apartment before boarding the subway to meet up with a couple Teacher friends for some 'failed' thrifting opportunities. With only 10 minutes before closing at the Beautiful Store and an unfortunate case of 'early closing' by Vintage, the group of four thrifters were left without any good purchases yet conveniently located to meet up with Mike Harrington and enjoy another pork themed dinner at the Harrington's favorite pork restaurant -- Ssada Pork Village. So with a grill filled with saucy pork the Harrington's along with their friends the Shaw's and Haleh enjoyed another round of 'lettuce-wrapped' meat followed by the reason Ssada Pork is a favorite: Rice mixed with kimchi, bean sprouts, kim and a pocket of cheese which waits to volcano on out of the rice pile after having melted all the way through. The absolute best ending to a day in the beautiful yet chilly outdoors.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's Daejeon: Haleh's Korea Experience - Part 2

Still hoping to experience Daejeon for all her shining glory, Melissa and Haleh found themselves riding the subway to Jungangro Sub Station to enjoy some underground shopping as well as some above ground street vendors. However, Korea is a night-owl of a country and 10 am proved to be a bit early for exploring this nook of Daejeon. The girls had no problem purusing the shops of the sprawling underground shops, taking a few 'touristy' photos and spending some time in one of Korea's dear coffee-chains: Holly's Coffee.

A variety of coffee shop locations are perfect for winter days of touring in Korea

Above and Below ground there are many ways for visitors to be entertained.

Deliciousness is easy to find on the streets of a Korean city
The highlight of the day spent in old downtown however was the frequency and deliciousness of the foods available once this little Daejeon neighborhood began to wake-up. The ladies enjoyed freshly roasted chestnuts, walnut cookies, baguettes filled with meat and cabbage (imagine a runza but more amazing and cheaper), cream filled waffles and fresh squeezed juice, ALL for 10,000 Won combined - an average of 1,000 won per food item delighted in while shopping and meandering the streets. And, of course, the good food didn't stop there. The girls were able to join up with Mike Harrington after he put in a long day at Nameson Middle School and enjoy a Korean favorite of samgyupsal - three layer meat also known as the most delicious, thick and perfectly grilled pork belly known to man.


Groovy Ethnic Bar

Following dinner the group of three made their way to a reputable joint by the name of Ethnic Bar located in Dunsan-dong for a Korean-style Strawberry Daquiri (Soju and strawberries). The icy pitcher was enjoyed in the dimly lit cave-like atmosphere of Ethnic Bar providing the perfect closure to an all-out 'It's Daejeon!' Day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Year in Review: Top 10 (approximately) Photos of 2010

As part of the You Capture challenges which Mike and Melissa Harrington recently begun accepting and attempting, participants were encouraged to choose their Top 10 photos from the year 2010. Considering the amount of adventure, travel, joy, and first-time-wonderful experiences the Harrington's were fortunate enough to experience during 2010, finding 10 favorites was a bit of a daunting task, however rewarding in the process of reliving great moments the couple shared together and with friends during a very spectacular year. So here, in no particular order, are some of the Harrington's favorite photos of 2010:

The Harrington's love EACH and EVERY moment they get to see this precious face.

Nature's Valley Hike: Garden Route, South Africa - July 2010

Favorite wildlife shots from touring South Africa

Wine Cellar: Wine Tasting South Africa - July 2010

View from Table Mountain: South Africa 2010

Tombstone in Christian Graveyard: Penang, Malaysia - August 2010

Traffic Lights: Penang, Malaysia - August 2010

Dragonfly: Gubongsan, Daejeon, South Korea - September 2010

Backstage Mask Dance Festival: Andong, South Korea - October 2010

Finding Fall: Daejeon, South Korea - November 2010

Stairway Graffiti: Seoul, South Korea - November 2010

Geryeongsan National Park: Daejeon, South Korea - December 2010


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