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A Week on Jeju

We celebrated our first major holiday, Thanksgiving, here in Korea. And while it’s hard to be away from family during this time of year, with COVID running rampant back home it’s not the worst year to miss it. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I find myself incredibly grateful to be on this adventure with my family. Each time we get to travel and see a different part of the world I have this overwhelming feeling of awe. How did I not know this piece of the Earth existed until now? Here are a few of my favorite things from the trip.

Val’s Favorites from Jeju Island

The Hanaeyo divers

We watched the female divers come back from their morning dive with nets of abalone and conch. These women are all ages but mostly in their upper 60s, 70s, and some in their 80s. They are famous here for their generations of free diving.


Lobster lunch with "photo opportunity"

We ducked into a small cafe for lunch only to realize the only menu items were lobster and fried rice. But they had high chairs, so lobster and fried rice it was. After we ordered the waiter came over to the table with lobster claws and hats for us to wear for the “photo opportunity”. This is big here. There are lots and lots of these “opportunities” for social media posts. Of course, we indulged. Photos below. How often do you get to eat lobster while wearing lobster claws?

The Teddy Bear Museum

On a particularly cold day we checked out the Teddy Bear Museum. I didn’t know what to expect but I imagined it would be a fan favorite for Rose. It was hysterical. They had an art gallery, a history exhibit, and a pop culture section. Each entirely done with teddy bears. The Mona Lisa in teddy bear, the Last Supper with Teddy Jesus, Elvis Bear even had a live performance. It’s safe to say we all left very amused!

Searching for Sea Glass

We drove to a crater across the island one morning and it was too steep for us for us to hike with the girls, so we stayed on the family friendly path below. There was a beautiful beach spot. Rosie and I collected sea glass and shells for nearly an hour. My little collector was in heaven and so was I. We came back with pockets full of treasures.

The Lotte Buffet

Instead of a Thanksgiving feast we headed to the recommended buffet at the Lotte Hotel. It did not disappoint. One of the most expansive buffets I have ever seen. Tim ate his weight in sushi. They even had a kids buffet complete with smiley face hamburgers, fish shaped cookies, and deli meat sushi rolls. While it was a different feast than most years, we left the table with that same turkey day feeling, stuffed.

Tangerine Farm

As we drove around the island I kept seeing these tangerine farms. One day after lunch the girls were napping in the car so we stopped to pick tangerines. Tim and I switched off picking tangerines and staying back at the car with the little ladies. I had been missing getting to pick apples this year, but this was the next best thing. Except of course with lots of “photo opportunities”. Bizarre staged props in the middle of the orchard for people to stop and pose with a sewing machine, a horse portrait, or a day bed. You know, all things you find out in nature.

We were so lucky to have traveled on this trip with our new friends, a sweet family from our neighborhood. Hope all our friends and family back home continue to stay healthy this holiday season! We miss you!


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Hi there Vallie, Nice photos from Jeju! Checking to see if you saw the Zippo museum? Yes the Zippo lighter has a phenomenal museum of wall to wall glass and stone on a beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean. We we visited there we joked that if OliPass is really successful we want to come back and by the museum and make it into our corporate headquarters. And the sea glass------- yes it seems like in Korea and also Japan they are not too into sea glass so it is a great place to go sea glass hunting...... And lastly, those girls are precious- really loved the ones with them in the kitchen!!!!! Have you tried the Soju …

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