Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Visit from Friends and Sugar Gliders

When we left Laramie, we left our apartment to a great, kind and wonderful couple, Nate and Lisa. The beauty of life resulted in their having the perfect job opportunity to re-locate just as we decided to return to Laramie, meaning we had the great opportunity to live in our old home. Unfortunately, we didn't have an opportunity to meet with them as our transition times didn't quite overlap. Fortunately, the lovely couple came through Laramie on their way to celebrate Thanksgiving in South Dakota.

And while this lovely couple hasn't expanded their family with tiny tots, they have recently brought a couple of sugar gliders into their life. Wanting to understand these little creatures, the Harringtons, SJ, Micah, Nate, Lisa and a handful of others all enjoyed a meal together before eventually heading down into the basement where the sugar gliders were unleashed from the safety of the pouch and allowed to glide here and there, land on every available body and even managed to drop into a vat of apple cider vinegar. Regardless, the little creatures were a constant blur of motion quit literally gliding from one place to the next, inciting squeals and laughter from all the bystanders/participants.

Always a joy to visit with old friends and remember just how beautiful our community has and always will be.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Death of a Car

Sometimes you enjoy concerts and quick vacations and these things let you know that you have a beautiful life.

Sometimes, your car dies on the side of the road and while you question whether or not life is always beautiful you're amazed by the blessings of friendship and family.

Friends who leave their desk and work obligations to help you navigate the death of your hardly-month-old-car, bringing you oil and oil filters, following you to make sure you're safe, and when you die again, sticking around, calling tow-truck companies and making sure we have somewhere to go.

Family who welcomes you into their home, last minute, bakes you a pizza and gives you a nice warm bed for a night while you try to figure out where to go from here.
So you spend a day watching Sesame Street and communicating with mechanics just to discover that the engine ran just enough without oil that the car is now and forever toast. The afternoon is spent making arrangements to get back home and get to work and figure out to discard this hunk of metal which just a day before was your mode of transportation.
And you end this segment of life, these concerts and vacations and car troubles still surrounded by family and receiving a ride from the same friend who helped the night before and you choose to believe that, even in these less than pleasant moments, you live a beautiful life.

P.S. Always, ALWAYS check your oil. We recommend you do so every time you fill up the gas tank.

Quick Trip: Phoenix, AZ

Since receiving tickets for Leonard Cohen prior to returning to the USA and having a job stateside, the Harrington duo was pleased to discover the weekend of the Leonard Cohen concert would be extended two days thanks to Parent-Teacher conferences, an obligation for teachers and parents, but not for paraprofessionals. Knowing that, if they were in the land of kimchi with a long weekend, they'd be sure to go somewhere and do something, the couple hit a few flight search engines and soon realized that Phoenix was beckoning them forth. Not only were tickets affordable, but the couple had a small handful of friends living in the city of warmth making the decision to purchase all the more easy.

So, after a cold, cold nights sleep in the Subaru, the couple checked in, disappointed to learn that Spirit airlines carry-on requirements were quite meager and the large bag to take-along the laptop (for NaNoWriMo) would cost an extra $40...bucking up and paying the outrageous fee, the couple was soon scarfing down breakfast, warming up and making their way to the gate.
Upon arrival at the gate, the couple soon learned that their flight was delayed by about two hours, longer than the anticipated flight itself. Always attempting to make the most of every situation, Mike continued reading while Melissa added to her NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) story about Lady Annyeong (a story which would not find it's conclusion in November as hoped, but has, at the very least, been started). The couple also spent some time eavesdropping on a group of hockey players who'd spent a wild week or so in the Rocky Mountain city of Denver and had a series of conversations regarding missing teeth and drinking beyond their fill. Also stuck in the airport, the same crew of men decided to attach a dollar to a string of floss and see how well they could prank passers-by, turns out they could do it without much trouble and brought loads of laughter to otherwise annoyed travelers.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Concerts and Chilly Nights in the Subaru

While living in South Korea, the Harringtons awoke one morning to discovered they had been tagged in Tom Harrington's photo, a photo of concert tickets for the great, talented and aging-yet-impressively-young-at-heart-and-soul Leonard Cohen. Tickets proclaimed they were for a show on November 3rd which assured the Korea-living couple that they could in fact attend this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Fast forward a few months as the Harrington duo has begun settling in and adjusting to "new" life. The concert, and the anniversary of Tom and Patty, was approaching and the Harringtons were soon setting out for Colorado for what would become a long weekend of travel and adventures starting with a lunch date in Wheatridge with Melissa's Grandmother, Luella. Grandma, Mike, and Melissa all piled into the Subaru and enjoyed lunch at Texas Roadhouse followed by a trip to Lowe's to pick up some items for Grandma Lu. After installing a lamp and super gluing some items at Grandma's house, Mike and Melissa headed up toward Loveland, Colorado to watch the CSU v. UW (Border War) Game in one of Mike's cousin's Man Cave (complete with projector, bar, couches and shuffle board).

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Apple a Day

When the Laramie Farmer's Market came to an end late in September, the Harringtons bought a case of apples with high hopes of creating a completely from scratch Hard Apple Cider. After three weeks, the apples had sat around long enough and Melissa had discovered a clever use for the apple cores and apple peels which would otherwise be discarded. So it was, on a calm October Evening, the couple set about peeling, coring and juicing apples all with the goal of creating home made hard cider and home made apple cider vinegar.
Mike has done plenty of apple cider batches before, however the completely from scratch batch was a lot of work and didn't yield nearly as much hard cider as simply using 100% Apple Juice from the grocery store. Nonetheless, the experiment gave the man an opportunity to experiment with allowing wild yeasts to do their thing and also see and taste the difference of hard cider from store-bought juice versus fresh apple juice.
As for the Apple Cider Vinegar, Melissa simply followed this recipe from Hip Girls Home and learned that a) home made cider is an incredibly easy endeavor, b) the hardest part is patience and c) once it's finished, it's the most delicious thing EVER! (well, maybe not ever, but it's definitely a hit in the Harrington household.

Since returning from Korea, the Harringtons began drinking an Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir which contains about 2 Tbsp. ACV, 2 Tbsp. Apple Juice, Water, cinnamon and honey to taste. The purpose of this drink, as explained by upstairs neighbor and friend SaraJane is that it: prevents acne, helps regulate blood sugar (meaning you don't starve between breakfast and lunch), regulates movements of the bowels and helps ward off various germs and bacteria. Having enjoyed such an elixir with store-bought ACV, the Harrington duo has now transitioned to taking a shot of home-made vinegar every morning because it's just that good and, honestly, beneficial in the ways it claims to be.

If you've got apples and time, ACV is a project you should definitely consider taking on!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

That Time the Man Won Everything

Once upon a time, the man quite literally won everything. The first and most important element to the man's winning streak was his commitment to listening to radio, that's right the radio! And not just listening to the radio, but listening to AM radio and calling in during the SportsLine Live Radio Talk Show. A few nights and days of listening to AM radio and participating resulted in the Harringtons having 4 tickets to the Boise v. Wyoming Football Game, two free coupons for Boomer's BBQ and two tickets for Dracula at the Gryphon Theater!
So how did the the variety of activities play out in real life?

First of all, the Harringtons were able to attend a Football Game on an incredibly cold October afternoon. Highlights of the game-day included receiving a free pink towel, scarfing down a Philly-cheesesteak, sitting next to good friend David and sister Katie AND seeing sister Luella and her boyfriend Robbie for the first time since returning to the states...all the more exciting when that pair...isn't really a pair and there's new life being formed and ready to enter the world come April. Oh...and there was football ^_~

Following the game, the couple was able to soak up more time with Luella and Robbie and a couple of their friends for dinner at Applebee's which was filled with laughter especially after we all took a moment to view this video...hilarious (although a bit of very inappropriate language...mute maybe...if small or sensitive ears are near by):
Next in line for 'free things' redemption were the tickets for Dracula which was to be performed at Laramie's Gryphon Theater, the same theater where Mumford and Son's went 'unplugged' this past August. True joy was had when the Harringtons realized they were encouraged and allowed to purchase an alcoholic beverage to enjoy during the show, so it was, the couple sipped a Micro-brew and glass (plastic cup to be honest) of Chocolate Wine while taking in the talent and entertainment that was a Steam-Punk Dracula performance courtesy of Albany County Theater.

Finally, the final award of coupons for Boomer's BBQ was just recently used on Thursday evening and had the Harringtons drinking a local micro-brew (from a can!) out of Pinedale, named after the Wind River Range, chowing down on artichoke dip and out-of-this-world BBQ Pulled Pork and most importantly, topping the whole thing off with a serving of warm Bread Pudding complete with a whiskey sauce made from yet another local craft: Koltiska. If you haven't been to Boomer's, you are sorely missing out and need to go there whether you have coupons or not!

And that, dear readers, is the story of the time the Man won everything and the results which were enjoyable, delicious and oh-so-memorable.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just a few Reasons to Love 519

On one side of the coin, you have the Harrington's hearts beating in South Korea, desperate for reminders from that beloved land...and then you have 519 which was, is and in truth will forever be a home for the Harrington duo. The basement-apartment-that-faithfully-served-as-home to couple from the first days of their marriage, through the first three years, through college graduations, first jobs post-graduation, Easter dinners, CouchSurfers, Potlucks, cups of tea, dumpster diving adventures and creations, the making of big decisions and daily decisions, 519 has housed a lot of the Harrington's love, life and heart.

And while, in many ways, transitioning back into Laramie life and American life in general has presented a handful of challenges and left the Harringtons unsure of future direction, 519 continues to hold plenty of lovable elements and endearing qualities.

The Harrington's love 519 on this go around because...

  • they still managed to get a rocking couch to fill the living room
  • they get to share it with their mutt and watch her learn to befriend larger, more powerful mutts
  • the upstairs neighbors have faithfully shared food and conversations
  • the upstairs neighbors also have an adorable little tyke who brings life and energy to every room he enters
  • the little tyke is a lover of snow and has no problem peeking in windows wearing wolf hats and tiger mittens (coincidentally, gifts from Korea)
  • there are many friends who remember the location and can easily drop by to say "hi"
  • the kitchen is perfectly quaint and homey and inviting, everything a obsessive cook and baker longs for
  • the location is the perfect walking distance from campus and down-town
  • the house-mates remain steady and fantastic, just as they were when the Harringtons left them
  • it's home...perhaps not the same as it once was, but home nonetheless, forever and for always.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Moments you Need when Your Heart Beats in Two Places

As the Harringtons have settled into Laramie/Wyoming/American life, they have been blessed to re-enter life and relationships with all the fantastic people they left behind in 2010. However, each day has also reminded the couple just how deeply they were incorporated into Korean life and community and how that place of their hearts and souls is adjusting and aching and wanting to be as full as it was just a few short months ago.

Fortunately, the inconvenience of miles and time-zones has only stifled the frequency of interactions and reminders of Korea and the Harrington's Korea family. Smart phones have brought the Harringtons numerous reminders of faces and places the couple loves. These reminders are a sure fire way to bring a smile to the faces of the Harringtons if not a few tears to their eyes.
Not only do beautiful reminders of life 'over-there' show up via Kakao Talk, but they were ready and waiting for the Harringtons here in Laramie as well. A handful of Korean middle school students, a Korean-Japanese restaurant ran by a sweet Korean family who understands our love of their foods and traditions, gifts of choco-pie from parents of Korean students and a Korean grocer a few hours away are enough to bring ease to the Harrington's hearts.
These are the ways the Harringtons remember and remain connected. The way they honor where they have been and who they've shared life with. The way the thrive in a land that feels more foreign than it ever was and than it has any right to. The way they move confidently forward, aware that forever and for-always their hearts will beat in two places.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Culture Shock for Puppies: Snow-Days

True to Wyoming fashion, the first snow came heavy and early, hardly a month into fall (although, the exact time and date seems to slip my mind). While the Harringtons were thrilled with the arrival of a wet, heavy snow which gives the whole town a quaint, peaceful, curl-up-with-a-good-book-and-mug-of-hot-cocoa feel, Lady Annyeong was a bit shocked to say the least. Now, it is not uncommon for snow to fall in the land of Kimchi and this Wyoming snow-fall was not the first snow Lady Annyeong had ever seen and experienced, however, Daejeon, South Korea never saw a snow quite like this, meaning Lady Annyeong was a bit shocked. Initially, the little three-legged mutt refused to enter the winter-wonderland, but eventually, she felt the stirrings of cabin fever and realized she had no choice but to enter the beautiful, white landscape.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Eerie Family Reunion

Like being able to go to Grandma's house, one of the great joys for the Harringtons has been the ability to go meet up with family at a moments (or more) notice. On a mid-September Saturday, the Harringtons caught a ride with Katie Harrington and made their way down to Eerie, Colorado for a Rigg-Cousin Family Reunion.

As is typical to family reunions, this one was laden with a table full of food including grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs accompanied by fruit salads, crab-apple butter and bread, cake, chips, amazing salsa and queso dip, oatmeal creme pies and much more to keep the hungry attendees well cared-for. Typical to a Rigg reunion, the event also included an athletic event for family members, young and old to participate. The game? Kickball. The teams? Worland vs. the World. That's because some Riggs have strong childhood ties to Worland, Wyoming whereas the rest of us...well, we're just more worldly ;) (And now you know who wrote this piece, eh?).
Aside from top-notch foods and a rolicking good game of Kickball, the evening included meeting the newest addition of Twins, courtesy of Chris and Tara, watching the new generation of Rigg-lets care for one another, having the sweet eldest daughter/grandchild of the Rigg family run with Lady Annyeong, gazing upon a most gorgeous sunset and sending our love on the tails of balloons to Father/Grandfather/Brother/Son/Uncle Rick who continues to inspire and direct this clan of loving, gracious and athletic family.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Relief is the Arrival of Boxes from Korea

Five boxes were shipped from South Korea to Laramie, Wyoming. On a true-to-form ship the boxes were tossed, mangled and forced to endure a wild series of hardship while floating across the big, wide ocean. Fortunately, the trip eventually came to an end with less-than-sturdy-and-complete boxes being delivered to Laramie, Wyoming ready to spill contents which would and will serve as eternal reminders of the life and times the Harringtons enjoyed in South Korea.

And how do boxes look after such hardship....a little rough we'd say!

Stories from the Couch: Room-mate for a Week

Every once in a while, a Couchsurfer comes along that melds into your daily life so flawlessly, easily and flexibly that as his plans change and his car needs repairs you don't even hesitate to welcome him to continue on with crashing the floor, dumpster diving and being "that guy" who would fit a sitcom so perfectly well. For the Harringtons, that Couchsurfer arrived early in September and spent about a week joining the couple for all manner of activities from dumpster diving, dinner in 519 Kitchen, attending fundraisers (with nearly endless supplies of micro-brews, bluegrass music and Laramie CS'ers), attending Homecoming parades and games, rescuing friends who were lost in the woods and complimenting tons and tons of dumpstergourmet delicacies.
Ross was truly the type of guest that every host (or at least the Harrington hosts) love to meet. He was able to chat about just about anything whether deep or entertaining, thought-provoking or laugh-inducing. He shared honey from out East, shared his efforts in diving and washed dishes day after day. He joyfully went out on his own every once in a while, leaving the Harringtons to take care of any other needs they may have had. Not at all imposing and entirely gracious, Ross was a great way to break into CS hosting on the US return.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafting with Carlo Rossi: Jewelry Organization

Along the same lines of furniture re-do's to make a house a home, Melissa decided that it was an absolute must to figure out a creative way to organize her jewelry. Wanting a system that was not only eye-catching and organized, Melissa wanted the whole piece to reflect her love of traveling and her addiction to purchasing new earrings, bracelets and necklaces while in foreign lands.

So it was, she sat down with an over sized cork board, some finishing nails, a giant National Geographic map, coins from around the world, super glue, black paint, a staple gun and of course a glass of Carlo Rossi. From this point she was able to move forward:

  • Paint the frame black: Check
  • Glue various coins to the heads of nails: Check
  • Let everything dry: Check
  • Sip wine: Check
  • Use staple gun to attach naturally aged map: Check
  • Carefully hammer coin/nails onto frame, realizing that super gluing after rather than before might have been a better idea: Check
  • Poor another glass of wine: Check
  • String flower wire from one nail to the next toward the upper end of the frame to create a place to hand awesome earrings: Check
  • Hang Jewelry Organization system on the wall and admire daily your handiwork: Check
And there you have a DIY, over sized jewelry organization system!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Because Fall won't Last Forever...

AND the Harringtons had just bought a new (but used, obviously) Subaru, it was clear that one thing needed to happen: A trip to the mountains! AKA: Happy Jack...AKA: The place where the couple said their vows and promised to be intentional in living their lives together as one and the same, yet perfectly unique, to weather storms, show respect and support each others dreams. Where they, unknowingly promised to enter a life of adventure and growth, beauty and simplicity of setting here, there and everywhere and bring a sweet pup into their lives to love and care for because she's fantastic.
And the outdoors were fantastic and beautiful and held the promise of new life and growth. And the outdoors provided a perfect playground for the pup and blessed her little puppy soul with freedom to run and explore and take in the fresh air of a new land and a new land where inevitably her heart is learning to beat and thrive.

And fall doesn't last forever, it hardly lasts a season in these parts, so getting out in it as often as possible is an absolute must, for joy, for health, for living it up!

To Grandmother's House we Go

Upon returning to home it seems there is an unspoken (if you're fortunate) pressure to make time for all the family and friends who have so beautifully and graciously supported you while you made the choice to live half a world away. And while, in that time of transition you find yourself often wanting to simply sit and just be, to try to wrap your finite mind around the grandness of what has just taken place, you remember how these are the people that you came back for. Because when you left in the first place, it was never to escape, it was simply to be and to experience and you left a lot behind, both then and now. So, when it suddenly seems you have a free evening and a vehicle and not only are grandparents within driving distance but the parents you've yet to see will be at the grandparent's house, you make the only logical choice, drive to Torrington and receive the familial hugs for which you've been longing. 

Upon arrival, after hugs and love and all that good stuff you've been missing you join the women and take a quick trip to the local pizzeria, order two large pizzas and return to enjoy them as a family, gathered in the living room and around the dining room table. You chastise your grandmother for the ridiculous amounts of pizza, cheese and lunch-meat that she's feeding your sweet three-legged mutt while simultaneously giving thanks that your sweet mutt is being loved just as much and as well as she was in her home country. You listen to the same old stories, new stories and even manage to tell a few of your own. You look up at the clock, disappointed to see that time continues to move forward and your work schedule is requiring that you begin the drive home for proper rest and safety on the road. You soak in a few more hugs, pile into the car, look lovingly out at your family who welcomed you home and the man and the mutt that are always by your side and realize that a quiet night, sitting and contemplating change would have been nothing compared to this moment.
And, when you return home, you decorate your dining room table with a fall-themed, handmade gift from your lovely grandma and start to feel like your heart still beats in this place, in this home. You gingerly unwrap old newspapers from the Blue Willow dishes you've coveted, loved and desired for as long as your little heart can remember and are further reminded that indeed, your heart beats in two places and indeed, you will always ache for one when you're in the other, yet that ache will not be alone. As the heart aches, it will swell because you recognize that your love and the love you receive comes so fully and beautifully from multiple corners of the world, and that, is so incredibly perfect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Furniture Re-do's

Aside from finding great goods at garage sales, the Harringtons (mostly Melissa) took to hitting up a local Flea Market and looking at old furniture with fresh eyes. Wanting to work toward creating a simple and well organized home, but one that didn't focus on the color brown, Melissa decided a bit of paint was just what the interior decorator called for. A bit of Google searching and Pintrest grazing revealed that while laminate furniture wasn't the best for painting, it could in fact be done.

The Mrs. then made her way to a local hardware and paint store to purchase Kilz Paint Primer and, knowing that while 519 is home, it won't be home forever, opted to use up some leftover paint from the upstairs remodeling undertakings. Working only part time, the afternoons were full of free time to slap on some primer and apply a couple coats of sweet, baby blue to bring a little color to the dark basement space which the couple calls home. Although not necessarily a first choice in color, the change over of a bookshelf and TV stand have done exactly what was necessary, add color to blank walls and brown-tile floors.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grateful for Garage Sales

Upon returning to the states, the Harringtons were eager to hit up a few garage sales to bolster their furnishings and work toward creating a home. Having sold numerous belongings two years ago (with an equally large amount in storage) the couple was in need of a couch, above all else and also were hoping to run across some canning supplies. Fortunately, a few mornings of hitting up some garage sales provided another fine piece of workmanship in the form of a retro rocking couch, as well as an ottoman, dry goods canisters and a mother load of canning jars.
Other good finds included a large frame (which joyfully holds the 'Panda' Map of South Korea), large area rugs (to warm up the basement tile and help Lady feel a bit more settled) and a random assortment of odds and ends which will undoubtedly end up in a future garage sale, but, for the time being will serve some purpose.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our "First" Second-time Around 519 Guest: Harris

Just a few days after their 5-year wedding anniversary and barely a week after having returned to the USA, the Harringtons were thrilled to welcome their first guest into 519. Even more thrilling was that this guest was in fact a good-friend-turned-family-who-also-just-returned-from-the-land-of-kimchi...which means, the couple was able to wade through re-entry/reverse culture shock with someone who was on the exact same page. It was an incredible blessing to share the homeland, aka, the Kingdom, with this dear friend and to know that the bonds and friendships created half a world away were not created in vain.

The visit began with dinner out at the Library followed by a couple of growlers following the crew home for a rowdy game of Nerts with a Harrington sister before settling in for a night of rest and deep sleep. Since the Harrington duo was already employed, they made their way to work each morning while guest, Harris took his time walking, exploring, getting lost and reconnecting to sweet Lady Annyeong.
Wanting Harris to understand the fullness and beauty of Wyoming life, the Harringtons were sure to escort their east-coast friend out to the Snowies where the crew enjoyed some hiking and gallivanting below the majestic and looming Medicine Bow Peak. Alone on the trail, the crew took in the fall colors, cool-to-frigid breeze and the unadulterated beauty of the Mountain West.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Celebrating 5 Years: Family and Settling

For the past year, we at THT have re-counted the 5 years that worked together to create the Harrington Duo. The series culminated on September 7, 2012 when the couple celebrated 5 years of marriage. Unfortunately, the actual story of their 5-year anniversary has been unpublished for a lack of time, effort and mostly time. Fortunately, nearly three months later, THT is ready to let the world know how the couple celebrated this major milestone.

Rather than set out for a romantic week-end getaway, the couple chalked up their recent Jeju trip as the special event and warmly welcomed the parents of Mike Harrington into town for their first family reunion since returning to the states.

Therefore, as their marriage turned five years old, the Harringtons found themselves surrounded by family throwing back some of Laramie's finest micro-brews at Altitude Chophouse and Brewery. Not much after polishing the first few sips of beer, the Harrington clan sat down for a delicious dinner which was preceded with artichoke dip and fried goat's cheese and topped off with perfectly prepared steaks (and additional beers).
The celebratory weekend continued forth with a few garage sales Saturday morning, the duos first Cowboy football game since 2010, Chinese take-out and breakfast at Perkin's.

While a romantic getaway is always nice, it's equally nice to celebrate milestones with family and friends who are ultimately the supports on which successful marriage rests, for the Harrington duo, getaways are never too far off, so an anniversary celebrated in company is nothing short of perfect.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ripped Pants and Wedding Vows

Not even a full week into their second-time-around-American-life the Harringtons were entering the work force as Albany County School District #1 employees and even attending a wedding at the most gorgeous church in town.

The afternoon of September 2nd a dear friend, sorority sister and study abroad amiga-who-cannot-be-replaced, pledged to love her best friend, the man she loves and who loves her back, for as long as they both shall live. It was a beautiful ceremony, for a gorgeous couple and as should be expected from this duo, the after party...ah-hem, reception, was absolutely phenomenal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Upon Arrival: Burgers, Driving and Getting to Work

Twelve hours in air on one of the world's top airlines did little to ease the ache in the Harringtons hearts. However, disembarking the aircraft to be reunited with their pup, who easily made it through customs as well as a sister and within an hour or so good friends from their first Korean year did help to bring peace and joy to this time of transition.

More traumatized than the human sort, Lady Annyeong was not too thrilled that she was required to stay in her kennel while the Harrington duo chatted it up with immigration officials stating that: Yes, indeed, the furry creature within the crate had been properly vaccinated. Yes, you may see her papers. Yes, we do in fact have some food for her. Two days worth to be exact. Do you care to see her or the food?, well, okay. Thanks.

And just like that, the Harringtons exited customs to find Katie and Ashlee awaiting them. Lady Annyeong was quickly set free from her imprisonment and allowed to run and experience a new land for the first time, unfortunately for her the new 'land' was the parking lot of LAX. Fortunately, better exploration lay ahead for the sweet three-legged mutt.
From the airport, the crew made their way to Ashlee's house where Katie gathered her belongings and said her own farewell. Shortly thereafter, the Harrington trio and Lady Annyeong made their way to Kolt and Holly's place where they would spend their first American day in more than a year. The Harrington duo found comfort in knowing that just a year ago, Kolt and Holly had said fare-thee-well to the land of kimchi and remained connected to that time and place much as the Harringtons knew they always would be.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Of Departures of Final Farewells

While leaving seemingly take weeks, the moment hinges on just a few hours of drive time and wait time. After a long list of good-byes and one more fantastic meal shared in their home, the Harrington's laid to rest for their final Galma-sleep. On the morning of August 26th the Harrington's faced the moment-that-could-wait-no-longer, finished cleaning their apartment, loaded up in the car with Hyunhee, Hakcheol and of course Lady Annyeong.
Driving north to Incheon, the Harrington's (well...Melissa primarily considering Mike was feeling a bit motion sick) discussed various of aspects of Korea they were sad to leave and last minute concerns that maybe they forgot something to ensure Lady was USA ready. However, they desired more than anything for these last hours with some of their greatest friends to be full of nothing less than beauty and joy. Hyunhee and Hakcheol contributed greatly to the truth of this beauty by providing Plum Pie for breakfast, some fresh fruit and their presence during the majority of the Harrington's final Korean hours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good-bye Namseon, It's been a good run!

After two years of faithfully serving the students and staff of Namseon Middle School, Michael Teacher had to offer his final good-bye.

From the very beginning, Namseon Middle School welcomed and embraced the Harrington duo. Taking the couple to a buffet dinner on their first night in Daejeon and even continuing to invite Melissa to a "New Principal Welcome Dinner" and a Seoul-ful Field-trip.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Leave a Place You Love: Favorite People, Places and Things

This post is the post that will forever and always be a place where the Harringtons come to fill their hearts both swell and break simultaneously. This post is simply a place to record the 'lasts' - the last weeks, the last coffee dates, the last dinners, the last game nights. But within these moments, these memories of 'lasts' is engraved the depth and value of numerous friendships that were formed, that were/are/will be crucial and valuable for years to come and the ever resounding truth that from now and forever more:

Our Hearts Beat in Two Places.

So how exactly do you leave the place you love? How do you balance packing and preparing with being and enjoying?

If you're the Harringtons, you choose people. Always. And you trust and know that everything will fall into place.

The Matiz meets Jeju: Rise and Shine and Asia's Best

After soaking up loads of rain camping the previous night and hiking Hallasan during the day, the evening of August 20th lead the Harringtons to set up their tent under a pavilion "just in case". With an extra layer of protection, the Harringtons remained relatively cool and had a good night's sleep which came to an end dark-and-early the morning of the 21st.

Realizing that their Korean vacation was hours from coming to a close, the Harrington's knew that their final day needed to be filled with quintessential activities, starting with a sunrise hike of Seongsan - a famous and oft depicted crater of Jeju Island. The hike was quick, easy and shared with numerous Korean tourists who were eager to shoot numerous photos of this iconic Jeju Island experience. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

the Matiz meets Jeju: Drying Out and Soaking it Up

After a night of being drenched and sent to the car to catch some zzz's, the Harrington's took their time getting their act together in the morning, enjoying donuts and coffee (for Melissa) while waiting for the sun to do it's work on drying out tents, sleeping pads and sleeping bags.

By the time caffeine was coursing though Melissa's veins, all important items had dried out sufficiently and the Harrington's opted to move forward with their plan to approach Hallasan, Korea's tallest mountain peak coming in somewhere over 6,000 feet. Taking into account their location and later-than-prescribed-starting time, the couple decided to go with the shortest of the four trails and began putting along in the Matiz, ready to tackle this island's volcano.

As the Harrington's approached the trail head they were re-introduced to the slow and steady pitter patter of raindrops that had thwarted their sleeping arrangements the night prior. Committed to the climb, Mike continued forth and opted to go for the top regardless of less than ideal weather. Melissa, however, with her distaste of being sopping wet and considering the needs of her pup which was forbidden on the trail regardless of weather took the day to sit, relax, read and charge phones and Kindles while sipping hot cups of honey citrus tea.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Matiz meets Jeju: Waterfalls, Black Pork and Falling Water

With underwater scenes imprinted on their minds, the Harringtons were soon on the road, listening to an increasingly rowdy muffler, heading toward Seogwipo, Jeju's primary city on the southern end of the island.

Tourist maps and guidebooks for this area of the island tout numerous glorious waterfalls and previous travelers to the southern coast of Jeju had highly recommended these very falls as important to the Jeju experience. So it was, the Harringtons began their waterfall spotting, oohing and ahhing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Matiz Meets Jeju: Fanta Cans, Squid and Pirates

Waking up on a beautiful little knoll overlooking the ocean was nothing short of beautiful and tranquil. The Harringtons took their time walking the pup and breaking camp before loading into the Matiz and hitting the road with the goal being to end up in or near Seogwipo by evening.

Having scoured the map for unique and interesting things to do while on Jeju Island, the couple was intrigued by the possibility of taking a tour of the waters by none other than a submarine. Since there was a submersion site between their current location and the city of Seogwipo the two decided to check it out.

Photobucket Unfortunately, as the couple began their trek toward the submarine tour headquarters they were distracted by the rumble and grumble of what seemed to be a malfunctioning muffler. Unconvinced that they wanted to spend the coming days yelling over wind and muffler rumblings Mike had the bright idea to search out some 'tools' and take a go at patching up this slight nuisance.

So it was, the couple found themselves grabbing breakfast from a local 7-11 and sitting down with a Fanta can, pocket knife and electrical tape with the goal of decreasing the noise level of the sweet little Matiz for the duration of the trip (or for their days in Korea in all actuality).

Soon enough, things were patched and the noise level decreased...for a while at least.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Matiz meets Jeju: The night of Orange Maekoli

Following a jam-packed day of famous Jeju sights and flavors, the Harringtons were eager to get some beach time in so Mike could swim and Melissa and Lady could lounge. Fortunately, island life lends itself well to finding beaches and providing exactly what it was the couple was searching for. With very little effort, the couple soon had their parasol spot paid for and staked out, Melissa lounging, Lady crashing and Mike getting ready to dive into the cool, refreshing ocean.


The Matiz meets Jeju: Arrival, Lava Tubes and Love

Successfully finding the ferry terminal, loading themselves, the car and the dog and managing to avoid seasickness, the Harringtons were thrilled to pull the Matiz off of the ferry and begin their island adventure the evening of August 17th.

First things first, the Harringtons began circumnavigating the island and looking for a supermarket in order to purchase some dog food for their three-legged companion. With adult-like responsibilities out of the way, it was simply time to roll the windows down and keep their eyes peeled for the first night's camping location.
Fortunately, it didn't take much effort for the couple to find a suitable campground near enough a small town where they could grab some dinner and begin settling in for an evening of rest set to the backdrop of cheerful camping Koreans and a few firework explosions.  

Waking in the morning well rested and ready for Jeju-Action, the couple stuffed their mouths with some Paris Baguette Cake and made their way to Jeju's famous Lava Tubes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THT Milestone X2: 500 and 50,000 +

This dear readers is the 500th post to make it's way onto The Harrington Times.

That implies that one or the other Harrington has sat down 500 times to relay some facet of their lives to anyone who is or has been willing to read.

Countless recollections of CouchSurfer's have been recorded within these 500 posts.

Random Laramie outings such as Oktoberfest at a Senior Center and the nearby Vertical Dance have found their way into this space.

Detailed accounts of 40+ day Road Trip around the Western US remain documented and intact here on The Harrington Times.

Family reunions and events have been chronicled.

Plans, Decisions and even a Name has been prepared and shared in this space.

A sponsor child in Guatemala was met. The World Cup was watched and enjoyed in South Africa. Thailand left the Harrington's drenched yet satisfied.

The Harrington Times faithfully reported on the numerous events, memories, friends and places enjoyed while living in the "Land of the Morning Calm", South Korea.

Written in these archives are the stories of visiting home, crowding onto trains in Taiwan and happy hours on a southern Vietnam island.

500 times, memories have been recorded.

Additionally, the second THT milestone of the moment is this little space, these 500 memories have been viewed just over 50,000 times.

There's just something about these milestones that cause us at The Harrington Times to feel accomplished, loved, grateful and so much more.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for viewing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Last Matiz Road-Trip: Village Camping and Catching a Ferry

With bellies full and having enjoyed a gorgeous sunset, the Harringtons said their farewell to Mandy and the city of Busan and headed west in search of a place to camp. Being near the coast, the couple assumed that finding a beach would not be entirely difficult. As the couple neared Suncheon Bay they noticed signs for Hwapo Beach and determined that that was their destination and where they hoped to camp for the evening.

Unfortunately, the signs for Hwapo Beach suddenly disappeared and no longer offered any hope to the increasingly tired and unsure couple. So after Melissa offered her opinion on what to do, Mike did the exact opposite (because slowly but surely the couple is learning that, in terms of directions and decisions on the road, Melissa's instinct is never correct) and soon enough the couple was pulling off onto a small dirt road which showcased signs for the mysterious Hwapo Beach. Expecting to find a sandy beach near these newly discovered signs the Harringtons were a little unsure about the concrete docks which seemed to be the equivalent of Hwapo Beach. Nonetheless, sleep was coming on heavy and the docks provided an acceptable place to set up camp and so it was the Harringtons set up camp and woke up to discover they were in fact in an incredibly quaint and peaceful fishing village.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Our Last Matiz Road-trip: Temples and Beaches

Waking up on a quiet beach after a night of storms and scared pups is still waking up on a quiet beach and therefore refreshing and life-giving and absolutely perfect for vacationing. Waking up on a quiet beach and promptly grabbing an iced latte for her and a fresh lemonade for him adds to the perfection. Waking up on a quiet beach and having the perfect morning beverages in hand and making your way to a seaside Buddhist temple reassures you that life is in fact precious and beautiful and that vacations are essential to the soul.


Hitting the Road with our Last Galma Guest

Ready to enter full out vacation mode, the Harringtons and the 'last Galma guest' loaded up the Matiz early on the morning of Wednesday, the 15th of August. The goal was to arrive in and enjoy a bit of Busan with a couple more days of Busan-enjoyment to follow.

The Matiz was packed full with people, belongings and of course a sweet little 3-legged dog.
After making the mandatory, Korea-rest-area Pit Stop, the man Harrington suggested stopping in Gyeongju where many dramas have been filmed/set and where the couple had previously road-tripped and enjoyed the sights immensely the winter before. The warmth of spring and summer had worked their magic on the city of Gyeongju and all who occupied the Matiz were grateful for their decision to stop over.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our Last Galma Guest: Kittens, Coffee and Go-Stop

In May, the Harrington's made a quick yet enjoyable weekend trip to Tokyo, Japan were a dear friend was teaching English and being visited by additional dear friends. Mid-August, that same friend-who-teaches-English-in-Japan made her way to Daejeon, South Korea to crash the Harrington's couch and get a feel for the country they so dearly love.

 After conquering some poorly given directions and finding her way to Galma Station, Mandy enjoyed her first evening in South Korea around a game of Redneck Life with a handful of foreigners whom the Harrington's count among their dearest friends.

Considering Melissa had two more days of obligatory summer camp instruction, Mandy enjoyed her first morning in the land of the Morning Calm sleeping in, wandering and awaiting the return of Melissa. Upon the return of the hostess, the girls decided to explore a few wonders of Dunsan-dong and within moments found themselves entering one of Daejeon's 'Cat Cafe's'.

Here, guests pay a flat rate to enjoy a complimentary drink (coffee, tea, lemonade, etc.) and the company of any cats which can be convinced to be social. Mandy and Melissa spent a majority of their visit calling out 'Here kitty, kitty' and waving random toys in the air while other customers put down some cash to purchase some cat treats and therefore be swarmed by these sweet little bundles of warmth and cuteness.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Seussical Summer Camp: Samcheon Elementary School

Having enjoyed success in previous camp seasons by using popular children's stories and author's, Melissa Teacher opted to create a camp which would focus on the works of Dr. Seuss. The camp had a small focus on rhyming as well as various aspects of stories such as The Cat in the Hat, Ten Apples up on Top, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and of course Green Eggs and Ham. While Melissa teacher focused on the use of stories to teach prepositions, free time activities, likes and dislikes and comparisons, the Korean co-teacher conveniently provided movie watching opportunities as well as cooking classes.

The previous camp season, students learned to make hamburgers and kimbap. This camp season students again made and enjoyed kimbap as well as fruit punch.  However, this fruit punch was not exactly what Melissa Teacher would have imagined a fruit punch to be. Filled with chopped fruit including bananas, un-ripe peaches, kiwi, apples, grapes and even tomatoes the liquid portion of the 'punch' was a watered down combination of lemon-lime soda and pineapple soda. Needless to say, the fruit punch from summer camp 2012 is not among the recipes Melissa Teacher feels a deep need to recreate anytime soon...or ever for that matter.

The few days Melissa Teacher spent with her camp students were her final days at Samcheon Elementary school. A better way to end her teaching days in South Korea than the regular semester had provided yet still not an entirely difficult position to leave with the taste of hard peaches, tomatoes and sprite fresh on the tongue.

Summer Camp Repeat: Namseon Middle School

With numerous tasks to occupy the weeks prior to Korea departure, Michael Teacher opted to do a camp repeat and made use of his ideas and materials from his first and perhaps most successful camp: Survivor Camp.

The camp involved students creating team names, posters, structures and even an outfit. Teams were 'banded' together by handkerchiefs. The camps included a fashion show, numerous projects and even a game of redneck/cowboy/ladder golf. Overall, the camp went over without a hitch and gave Michael Teacher another handful of good memories to carry back to the USA.




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