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September 2013

Picture from 1985

Picture from 1985

Picture from 1985

Who are these guys? ENK went on a summer trip to Korea with the Sahmyook group 28 years ago while he was in high school.  Mike Moon and ENK were the only two boys from Hawaii and the rest came from the mainland.  After the day's event, they met up with these three students from Sahmyook who were kind enough to take them out to the city.   They took the bus out to Seoul and they showed them around. (I believe this picture was taken at Namsan.)  ENK never knew their names or anything about these students.  Back then,  they did not exchange FB accounts or emails with each other... (With him were his friend Mike, new guy named David (Melody's husband), Hannah A. of Glendale and Gloria L. who lives in Washington state now!) But he always wondered about these three guys pictured with the Korean Americans!

Eric always talked to his church Doug Ahn about this particular picture he has in his Korea album.  Finally, after all these years, he showed it to him  after church cleaning yesterday.  Sure enough, Doug knew them all by name!  Doug said that two are pastors and one works for the North American Conference as a Division VP!  Hannah did remember that they were really nice oppas who were Theology students! Would they remember this day too? Anyways, small world.  ENK always knew that someone would know them!   


My favorite trees...

I love trees.  One of my favorite memories... is when our family went on a long road trip to Yellowstone several years ago.  I was blown away by the beautiful yellow/orange colors on Aspen trees in Montana...  These are my top five trees:
Birch, Magnolia, Dogwood, Japanese Maple and Ginko... (Ok sixth would be Bamboo)

Got some trees planted today before the rain came down...

My favorite trees...

Maple and Magnolia in the back...My favorite trees...

Pink Dogwood that would bloom around Mother's day next Spring....My favorite trees...2 Birch trees with white trunks in the fron and two in the back....

My favorite trees...

I would love to plant fruit trees but I'm hesitant to plant any because I'll be upset if the deer comes and eat up all my fruits.  I'm going to plant white fluffy cherry trees in the backyard next year... That's Allison's favorite.  I promised her that I will plant one so she can see out outside her bedroom window.  

Half way to Slovenia...

I can write about this now... two weeks later. 

On the last day in Venice.  We planned to check out of our Venice hotel to a hotel just minutes away from Marco Polo Airport.  It wasn't the distance but having to ride the water taxi or the vaporetto to the bus station to get to the airport by 6 a.m. was a daunting task.  I did all the research and decided the best thing to do was to just check into a local hotel near the airport with a shuttle service.  I memorized the number of the bus that we would take, fchecked on my iphone one last time,  I took a quick picture of my hotel's address and checked out of our beautiful Regina Europa Westin Hotel in Venice.   To this point, I did all the reservations, bookings, planning, itineraries and "so far so good" was the case.  

We thought it would be a great idea to check in to our smaller hotel near the airport, and  return back to Venice for our last romantic dinner out!  We even talked about possibly going to see a Vivaldi concert in town. It all  sounded like a perfect ending to our perfect vacation in Italy.

However, when I approached the driver with my phone with the address of the hotel, he shook his head and said "I DON'T go there.  Only to the airporto!"  Okay.. I thought it was strange but at least we would get off at the airport. We got off and while ENK stood there puzzled, I ran to another bus assistant to ask which bus to catch to get to our hotel.  ENK insisted that we go into the airport and call the hotel... but without hesitation, I followed the Italian helpers who said we needed to get on this bus now!  They asked us to pay 7 EUROS each to get on the bus and we reluctantly got inside.  There were several things wrong with this scene.  

1.  7 EUROS?  We paid only 2 to get to the airport.  

2.  They got our luggage and placed it on the bottom of the bus.  

3.  There were many German tourist on the bus who were very quiet.  

4.  The bus was so full, we couldn't even sit down together!

ENK was giving me strange looks.  I was getting nervous.  I asked one local person who was near by... showed the address of our hotel and she said this was the RIGHT bus!!! ENK was still giving me looks and said we are going too far!  After more than 45 minutes, we arrived at this bus terminal.  We immediately went to the window and asked if this was indeed the right place.  The terminal helper said yes.  Infact, he said that we just need to take the next bus and tell the driver you were going to Hotel Anthony and he will help you get off.  We asked the young man if we could use the phone to call our hotel.  He insisted that the bus driver will help us.  ENK was saying, "how the ***would the bus driver know?" But he did.  

We took the bus, got off the side of the road and walked a block to our hotel.  There were several thing wrong with the scene.

1.  There were people in bikinis and swimming suits.

2.  The stores looked different.  This was a destination resort of some sort.  They were      selling souvinirs and sun tan lotions!  

3.  There were TONS of hotels... rows of hotels.  When I was booking the hotel near the        Marco Polo airport, there were maybe five choices?  Island

We finally arrived at our hotel along the seashore.  We were greeted with a big smile... However, when I said my name, they COULD NOT locate our reservation.  I said is this Anthony Hotel?  They said YES.  Then the front desk lady said that there were TWO hotels with the same name.  Same name but different website: and ! WHAT??? She said  "You're not the first one to make this error!"

I was exhausted.  ENK already walked out.  I was feeling desperate to get near the airport.  I asked if we can take a taxi to Marco Polo.  She said it would be very expensive... 100 Euros or more she said!  She told us to take the local bus back to the terminal and take the shuttle bus to the airport.  

ENK was cursing at this time.  There were no airplanes around... just unattractive Europeans in bathing suits,.  I was not amused.  We finally made it back to the terminal.  The man at the ticketing counter recognized us and asked why we came back? Knowing out frustration, he refunded our bus ticket and informed us of the bus we needed to wait for.  Another 45 minutes for the last bus of the night.  It was getting dark and I noticed slow gathering of men from Nigeria or somewhere with big bags..being very loud near the ladies room ...I was too scared to go the bathroom.  I sheepishly asked my husband to walk to the bathroom with me.  He did... but I did not make eye contact with ENK.  The terminal assistant person took pity on me and bought me a bottle of water.  

In the darkness, we rode the same bus back to Marco Polo and then to our stop. Four hours later, in the middle of the night we arrived at our hotel.  We were barely able to walk the final cobblestone road over to our hotel.    We checked into our hotel in silence.  Too tired to go eat and too upset to talk about the night.  Strangely as if they knew... they gave us two single beds.  Yes, it's typical in Italy but up to this point, we were given nice King beds.  We were able to conveniently get up and take our shuttle safely to Marco Polo early the next morning just five minutes away.  

But I just had this big looming question.  Where the heck did we go the day before?  I went into the website of the wrong hotel  and got the address of  a resort hotel instead of the airport hotel!  How careless...yet looking at the address made no sense to me nor did it alert me that it was in another city!  Why didn't I listen to my husband to get help at the airport?  Many oops... We should have just turn around at the terminal...  But then I wouldn't have this story to write?

In looking at the map, we were at this long strip of island off of Venice.  Not quite half way to Slovenia... but I would like to just think our adventure led us at least that far! 

All in all.. even this misfortune could have been worse...   A friend just returned from Italy said that they missed their train and had to buy brand new tickets which made the husband very upset.  My brother Josh said that a friend's backpack with hert passport was stolen from Venice train station back when they were in school.   ENK experienced a gypsie woman trying to pick his shorts pocket on the first day we got on the train in Rome.  He instinctively slapped her hand and held his wallet tight.  Great lesson to learn on the first day...Trip 2013 301

We had a wonderful trip.  We still talk about it.  We talk about going back.  I am able to write about this now because ENK said EVEN this experience was memorable for him.  :)  He keeps asking me to show him the map!  

 This is a description of where we were: Lido di Jesolo

This is a seaside resort built in the thirties between the mouth of the Piave and the mouth of the Sile at the most easterly point of the Venice lagoon. Its climate and long sandy beach have made it a holiday destination for large numbers of foreign tourists. On the west side of the coastline there is a spa (Stabilimento Termale Elioterapico) which gives sea-water treatment

Pesto kimchi frittata?

Brunch at home with our smooth coffee just hits the spot on a gloomy foggy day like today...I made this frittata today with ingredients that are unconventional. Never have I seen this combo mix together...PESTO and KIMCHI. This dish was inspired by our recent breakfast outing, where we waited close to an hour to be seated at  Tasty and Alder in Portland.  

I was surprised by the flavors.   I didn't have the right pan, but this cast iron skillet was just fine to put into my oven.   

Pesto kimchi frittata?

Pesto kimchi frittata?

5 large eggs

1/2 cup of water or milk

1/2 cup of chopped kimchi (I bought my Kimchi from Costco!)

1/2 cup of veggies (tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, kale, brussel sprouts, jalepeno...etc) 

2 spoonful of Costco's pesto

1/4 cup of cheese (Parmesan or cheddar)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium-large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Saute the vegetables and kimchi in a skillet  with 1 tablespoon of oil. Pour in egg mixture.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, gently stirring the egg mixture and pushing away from the edges. Add the cheese evenly across the top.  

Transfer pan to the oven and cook 4-6 minutes (depending on how thick the frittata is) until eggs are just firm. Let sit at least five minutes before trying to pull the sides away from the pan, gently, with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

We had this with rice this morning but you can easily pair this with little breakfast potatoes and toast!

Volleyball season ...

From September first to end of October when the league playoff games are played, we are booked.   It's hard to have regular dinner time meals at normal hours...  But this is Lindsey's Junior year... One more year at Varsity V ball, she's done!  Time goes by too fast.  Randy is away at 6th grade outdoor school, Lindsey is away in the wilderness with her Junior class.... It's just Allison at home for tonight.  Strangely quiet around here...

Volleyball season ...

Seeing ex house....

IMG_5104It's like seeing your ex girlfriend with a better looking stud.   Yup, this is our Tualatin house.  Only thing that remains of our old backyard is that Costco metal gazebo we set up...  IMG_5109 IMG_5110

Randy was invited to play with his Tualatin neighborhood friends... so we were able to visit our old backyard.  The new owners did an awesome job.  I love it!  But no house envy here...  We love our current location and our new house that fits us perfectly!  :)

Nong's Sauce found...


I have been reading about Nong's for years... Out of 700 food trucks found here in PDX area, Nong's food truck rose up to the top.  Nong chose to serve one thing:  Thai rendition of Hainanese chicken and rice.  You know how I love chicken and rice!  I went to try this couple of months ago and found it flavorful and delicious. (I found the chicken to be very gingery... and knew that ENK would not love it.  I would make this with slightly less ginger)  

Khao Man Gai

Nong's sauce is now available at New Seasons and Whole Foods!   I picked up a bottle today, and with a rainy day like this...  I'm going to make this!

Chicken and Broth:
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bone-in chicken leg-thigh quarters
  • 1 bone-in chicken breast
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch-thick chunks ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt<
  • 1 to 3 pandanas leaves (optional; see note)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick chunks of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 2 cups jasmine rice

  • 1 cup large diced winter squash (you can also add daikon, Nappa cabbage or any vegetables that you like)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Sliced cucumber to garnish
  • Nong’s KMG Sauce
  • Thinly sliced jalapeño or other chiles (optional)

To make the chicken and broth: In a large stockpot, bring the water to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt and pandanas leaves, if using. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is infused with flavor, 35 minutes. Strain and reserve the broth and the chicken separately. Discard the other solid ingredients.

To make the rice: In a rice cooker or a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and shallots and sauté until tender and aromatic, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat it with oil, about 2 minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups of the reserved chicken broth and cook the rice following the instructions of your rice cooker. If using a regular pot, bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender.

To make the soup: In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of the chicken broth to a boil. Add the winter squash and simmer over medium heat until it is crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and pepper.

To assemble: Rewarm the chicken, if needed. Debone and cut the chicken into thick slices. Mound a portion of rice on each of 2 warmed plates and top it with the chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and add a few slices of cucumber to garnish. Serve with small bowls of the soup, Nong’s KMG Sauce and fresh chilies for more heat, if desired.

Recipe /photo courtesy of Oregonlive March, 2012