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.


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