smack in the middle of summertime

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yum, summer is my favorite season. It’s the season of fresh food, late nights, tan lines, travel and long, long runs. So far, this summer is measuring up quite nicely.

Behold, the special ingredient in Summer 2011 that distinguishes this summer from all others, past, present, and future!

SKY LOUNGE!

Every Wednesday noon at the ol’ hagwon, J.M., Sarah, Kate and I quietly slip up the stairs to the rooftop and throw our own little luncheon. We call this phenomenon ‘Sky Lounge,” since we’re on the roof and we are definitely an exclusive club. You need an invitation to join. Every other week J.M. and Sarah alternate with Kate and I to produce a themed lunch that is a notch (or five) above our usual brown bag lunches. These have included spring rolls, guacamole, and a scrabble-themed lunch of spread and square foods. The picture above shows tofu burgers and asparagus-zucchini salad that Kate and I prepared. Below are fresh fruit and ice cream, “designer dumplings,” and a butter tart in honor of Canada Day:

In other news, I’ve been running, running, running and doing some biking and laying on the beach to boot. Two weeks ago my bike and I joined friends Jared, Katie, and Kent on a biking, running and beach adventure in Gangneung. I got a taste of serious mountain biking, which my little red bike is not cut out for, enjoyed the beach, did fireworks, and ran a half marathon in a monsoon.

Last weekend, I ran another half on Namsan mountain…up and down, up and down, up and down…3 and half laps of the “red carpet path,” which happens to be my favorite place to run in Seoul. 2 hours of that is quite tiring though! It was also a hot spot of hardcore ajoshi activity….these guys were all decked out in pain tape and ‘do rags, drinking makgeolli before, during and after the race, grunting “fighting!” all the way. Really, there were three giant industrial trash bin-sized barrels of makgeolli at the finish. I enjoyed a dip in mountain stream after!

I am training for the Chuncheon marathon again, hoping for a stronger showing this year. So far, so good!

Last but not least, the third key ingredient in summer is travel. My mom arrives in Seoul on Wednesday and on Friday we fly to Tokyo to begin our 2011 girls’ trip. We will see Tokyo, Kyoto, and a couple of places on the southern island of Kyushu. I’ve been obsessed with Japan ever since my first visit there last year, and I’m so excited to be going back. Of course, I’m also very excited to see my mom after almost 10 months away from home.

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