In Seattle, folks have a tendency to label any snowstorm “Snowmageddon,” or “Snowpocalypse,” or any number of other clever names due to Seattleites’ inability to cope with an inch or two of snow, let alone many inches. In February 2019, the Puget Sound area has faced upwards of 14” of snow in a few days, prompting residents to clear out grocery stores, schools and businesses to close, and folks to take time off to play in the snow. I’ve sen a couple other Seattle snowstorms get close to this one, but never with the longevity or quite the coverage. It was treacherous and beautiful.
My wife, Ting, has a thing for owls. Owls figurines of various types adorn many flat surfaces in our home; they’re hidden all over the house. We knew of the existence of “owl cafes” in Asia, so when we just stumbled across one on the edge of Kyoto, I told her, “We’ve got to go in.” Have you seen the video of Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown? It wasn’t that awesome, but it was close. I took some pictures of the incredibly expressive owls for her to enjoy.
Although Korea is a second home, or even a second country for me and my wife, Japan is one of our all-time favorite places to visit. We’ve rarely gone to a country more than once, and typically only because we happen to know someone there. We returned to Japan because the holistic experience is off-the-charts good; the food, people, beauty… Almost nothing compares.
We decided to go to Gyeongju as part of our wedding anniversary/Return to Korea/Japan trip because we knew our friends Justin and Emma would appreciate the history of the place. An ancient seat of kings and home to many hill-like tombs, Gyeongju is full of culture, history, and these days, even craft beer!