After a wonderful Chuseok holiday, the whole staff woke up bright and early on a Wednesday morning to meet outside of our apartment at 7 AM. Richard hired a driver to take a huge van (or maybe it was a mini bus?) for everyone to ride together during our second staff trip. We hit the road and headed straight east until we got to the coast and drove along the coast the rest of the way for about 4 or 5 hours.
Our first stop was the Seongcheok cable car. We rode a cable car over to the other side where there was an amazing view of the beach. There was also a seafood restaurant where we ate lunch…a seafood stew. The group was pretty torn between absolutely loving it and being absolutely turned off by it. It was not a seafood meal that we were used to as everything was very fresh and we had to work a bit for the food. I was on team #NotAFan as I’m not a big seafood lover to begin with, but if I liked seafood, I’m sure I would have felt differently. Octopus, crab, clams, shrimp and so much more.
Next, we drove to the Haslla Art Museum. This was a very unique museum as half of it was inside and each room or staircase led to another room or staircase filled with really cool pieces of artwork. The other half was an outside nature walk which led you to numerous different statues or pieces of art that were placed throughout the trees or grass. I thought this museum was amazing and I loved how different each piece was! There was a dark tunnel filled with laser lights that you walked through to get out of one of the rooms, and it led you back outside. There was also a kind of cool, but kind of creepy room with a marionette theme. Tons of marionette dolls sat or hung from the ceiling. Some were robotic that you could interact with, while others were there just to look at.
That evening, we checked into our hotel rooms and cleaned up a bit before heading out to meet “The Prosecutor”. I would love to tell you more about this man, but this is all we know. A very important man in Korea who is friends with Richard. We went to his office, introduced ourselves, and he gave each couple a gift. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang so he gifted us with two stuffed animals that were the mascots of the olympics! After this, there was a lot of Richard, Suzi and “The Prosecutor” talking with each other in Korean while we all sat around and talked amongst ourselves, all feeling a bit awkward. When that finally concluded, we split from our bosses and went out for a good ole Korean BBQ! Yummm! Beer and soju were had, and afterwards we went to a noraebong and a billiards hall. Twas a fun night with The Villagers and the #CrentilyStaps (aka current staff).
The next morning, we were given a huge buffet breakfast with quite a bit to choose from – eggs and bacon (prepared on the spot), numerous pastries, cheese sticks(!!), mixed fruit, and of course the Asian twist on a hot dog. A few hours later, we arrived back to Gyeseong and they treated us to my favorite meal – Bulgogi Jungol!! Hot stew with marinated beef, mushrooms, greens, rice, and more. This is one recipe that I would love to learn how to make, but it seems a bit complicated and finding the ingredients in the States may be just as difficult. I do plan to try and make it at least once though in the future!
Our staff trip was definitely a nice change of pace in the middle of the week, but after our Chuseok festivities and being in the car for so long, we were wiped out and used the rest of the day to relax and catch up on some much needed sleep.