|This was all in the same weekend as Mullae and Hongdae, hence the matching title design. 80th in all caps looks exactly like the word BOTH does it not?|
My grandmother on my mom's side turned 80 this year! I hope to be half as healthy and headstrong as this lady is when I'm her age.
To celebrate, the family organized a casual birthday lunch a few minutes drive from her apartment in Sangyedong, which is about an hour north of downtown Seoul. Most of the family trickled in on Saturday evening, and we had a big home-cooked dinner featuring galbi-jjim (one of my absolute favourite K-dishes of all time, steamed & marinated ribs), japchae (glass noodles with veggies), and the usual array of banchan (side dishes).
Jaimes and Tay, being the sweet kids they are, brought my granny some presents. We enjoyed their walnut pastries and Boseong green tea for dessert. By this point we were all sufficiently stuffed, but with the late arrival of my oldest aunt and her hubby came another round of food: this time, chicken and hwe (Korean-style raw fish/sashimi) to have with beers and soju. We were force-fed one too many lettuce wraps, despite feeling like blown-up beachballs. The Korean way, am I right?
|J sitting pretty in her polka dots and floral (love this outfit)|
The next day was a scorcher. Sunbrellas were necessary.
|Grandma doesn't look so impressed lol|
|Admiring the pond?|
|Strange interior: mashup of traditional Korean with weird kitschy "western" knick knacks.|
|I love this photo - my little cousin Minsuh taking a photo of her mom (my youngest aunt), my oldest aunt, and my mom|
|The Kim/Ryu ladies - if only grandma had looked at the camera! Otherwise a lovely photo lol|
|My great-aunt arrives|
|So much fooooood - the typical Hanjeongsik arrangement|
|My twin uncles lighting the candles|
|Happy birthday Grandma!|
|Mom & pops :)|
|Minsuh took this one. Cute!|
|Arm wrestle corner|
|Totally looks like Jaimie is winning here|
|I'm so lucky to have these two!|
|The Ryu family!|
|The Ryu's + the extended family|
|The Ryu's & Kim's + the foreign folk!|
|One of my big cousins and I. All dressed up for work on a Sunday? Also I didn't realize my roots were that light and awful, dang.|
|Tay's artsy shot of our knees - floral, pasty, and furry kinds all represented here|
After lunch, the three of us headed back downtown to catch our buses home. Jaimie and I stopped for some coffee and chit-chat in Shinsadong (our go-to these days?) and this happened:
Up next, our krazy weekend back in Seoul for Kevin Kim's birthday extravaganza. Yachts, booze, and firearms... etc. Would never expect any less.