We Want to Know Wednesday

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1. Are you an amusement/theme park kind of person?
Not really… I like carnivals/fairs but I don’t care for roller coasters so I don’t want to waste a bunch of money at an expensive amusement park.

2. If yes, where have you gone? If no, what makes you dislike those kinds of places?
I have been to Disney World twice as a little kid, Carowinds and Dollywood many times, Six Flags once, and Lotte World in Seoul once. I have also been to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Dollywood’s Splash Country.









3. Do you like to go on roller coasters?

4. Does your answer to #3 directly correlate to how you are about life experiences?
Not at all… I think I’m pretty damn adventurous.

5. What was the last scary and/or risky thing you did?
Traveling around Asia by myself last summer was probably the last BIG thing… I had to take a lot of selfies! 😉





Throwback Thursday

Four years ago today I was visiting Marfa and Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Marfa is the coolest town! It’s a little artist’s haven in the middle of the desert. It’s also a popular place to film movies (No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood). We rented a little house near town and explored. We drove out to Prada Marfa, ate dinner at Cochineal, and saw the Marfa Lights!


Big Bend is one of the largest, most remote, and least-visited national parks in the lower 48 United States. It borders the Rio Grande and Mexico. We stayed at Chisos Mining Co. Motel in Terlingua. We hiked the Grapevine Hills, Boquillas Canyon, and Santa Elena Canyon trails and went rafting! We also ate at some yummy places like Kathy’s Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe, Chisos Mountains Lodge Restaurant, Starlight Theatre, and La Kiva.



Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino? Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?
All of the above! Haven’t played bingo or bought a lottery ticket very many times or in a long time for that matter. Casinos/slots are fun, especially in Vegas! I love betting on horses… I have been to the track in Dallas and Seoul and every year I go to Steeplechase.

Vegas 2008

Vegas 2008

Lone Star Park 2009

Lone Star Park 2009

Steeplechase 2010... It's all about the hats

Steeplechase 2010… It’s all about the hats

2. Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal this St. Patrick’s Day? Mashed, baked, hash browned, french fried… Your favorite way to have potatoes?
No, I will be making bangers and mash and Lucky Charms cupcakes! I like potatoes any kind of way.

3. What’s the last thing you felt ‘green with envy’ over?
Women who are naturally skinny… Not fair!

4. What’s at the end of your rainbow?
A pot of gold obviously… I could really use it.

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank. Anne’s diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazis during the war ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time. Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal? Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?
My blog is my journal. As a kid and teenager I did keep diaries though. I have them all in a trunk. It’s hilarious to read through them. I even wrote really bad poetry!

6. What’s an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?
I have a rainbow flag that says PACE that I got in Italy. (Pace is my last name but it also means “peace” in Italian.)


7. Write a limerick with you as the subject.
There once was a girl named Jen
She’d been wanting a job since who knows when
Finally she has one
So much shopping to be done
Heck yes, can I get an amen!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I got a free ARC of Jeanette Walls’ new book in the mail yesterday… Super excited!!



Sunday Stealing

1: Do you notice a person’s eye color?

2: White, milk, or dark chocolate mocha?
I don’t drink mochas. But milk chocolate is my preference.

3: If you could get a tattoo free, would you do it? What would it be?
If it was by a reputable artist then yes. The next two I want to get are a quote with a skeleton key and “let it be” with a dandelion and birds.


4: Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?
Small town and I pretended like I hated it then but it wasn’t that bad.

5: Your favorite adult as a child (and not your parents, if they were your favorite)?
My Aunt Laura.


6: What kind of smoothie sounds really good right now?
Mango. Yum!

enjoying a mango smoothie in Bangkok

mango smoothie in Bangkok

7: Most embarrassing moment from your elementary school years?
I fell down a flight of stairs in 5th grade.

8: Most embarrassing moment from your middle school years?
I fell out of my bedroom window and into our compost pile in 8th grade.

9: Most embarrassing moment from your high school years?
I can’t really think of one…

10: Have you ever fired anyone?

11: Have you ever climbed a tree more than twenty feet off the ground?
That sounds really high so no.

12: Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing set?
No, I hate swinging. As a kid it was OK.

13: If you could have any pet in the world, illegal or not, what would you get?
I love my kitties but I would also like a bunny.


14: What’s your favorite place to relax?
In a bubble bath.

15: What’s your most favorite part of your personality?
I think I am a thoughtful friend.

16: Madonna or Lady Gaga? Neither? Both? Who cares?
Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga concert in Seoul, April 2012

Lady Gaga concert in Seoul, April 2012

17: Have you ever watched the Superbowl all the way through?
Yes of course!

18: Have you ever watched any major sporting event live?
Yes I’ve been to NASCAR, an NFL game, and an NBA game.

hating the NASCAR Samsung 500 race, April 2009

hating the NASCAR Samsung 500 race, April 2009

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, December 2009

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, December 2009

Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic, May 2010

Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic, May 2010

19: What’s the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten in your life?
Indian curry and garlic naan.


20: Margarine or butter? Which did you grow up with?
Either one. My mom is big on real butter though.


H is for Hill Country, I is for Ireland, & J is for Jeju

Hill Country, TX

When Daniel and I lived in Denton, we decided to take a weekend trip to Hill Country and Austin in the summer of 2009. We stopped at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano as we had heard it was the best of the best. It was pretty cool; you go to a giant cooler and pick out your meat, then choose your sides and pay, then sit down and eat. It was expensive though! Next we went to downtown Fredericksburg and walked around, ate ice cream, and I had an expensive glass of wine (Hill Country ain’t cheap!). We also did wine tastings at Grape Creek Vineyards, Torre di Pietra, and Becker before heading to Austin.


In the summer of 2009 Daniel and I also went to Ireland. This was a pretty hard core (for me anyway) backpacking/camping trip. We cycled in Dingle (where I got hit by a van in a roundabout!), hiked in Killarney National Park, stayed in a castle in Kilkenny, relaxed in Gleanncholmcille, and ended the trip in Doolin. (We also went to Northern Ireland but I’ll save that part for the U is for United Kingdom post!)

Jeju Island, Korea

Daniel and I visited Jeju in August 2011 with Seoul Hiking Group. We went to Seongsan Ilchulbong, Gimnyeong Maze Park, Manjanggul Lava Tube, Yongyeon Bridge, Dragon Head Rock, Loveland, Daheeyeon Green Tea Fields, horseback riding, the Trick Art Safari, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, Seonimgyo Bridge, Jungmun Beach, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! all in two days. Whew! On the last day we just chilled at Hamdeok Beach. For more info and photos check out my post here.

loveland was the coolest place on jeju


G is for Grand Canyon, Galveston, & Gatlinburg

The Grand Canyon

Hands down the coolest place I’ve ever visited in America, and possibly the world. When you get to the edge, it just takes your breath away. I was speechless. My mom and I stayed there (at Yavapai Lodge inside the park) for two nights in May 2008. For more info, you can read about our trip here.

Galveston, TX

Daniel and I went here with my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister on a quick beach vacay in June 2009. It wasn’t the greatest of beach towns… Lots of jellyfish, not a lot to do, kind of trashy. Oh well! It was the closest beach to us when we lived in Denton. We played in the sand, swam in the pool, and even rented a surry for an hour.

Gatlinburg, TN

I love Gatlinburg. It is a cheesy little town just two hours from Saluda. To get there you can drive through Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it’s just beautiful. Gatlinburg has lots of Ripley’s museums, wedding chapels, old-timey photo shops, and airbrush t-shirt kiosks. The next town past Gatlinburg is Pigeon Forge, home to Dollywood and a vast array of putt-putt courses, water parks, and dinner theaters.

The last time I visited Gatlinburg was in September 2009. Daniel and I stayed at a hotel in Sevierville since it was cheaper. We took the trolley into Gatlinburg since parking is hard to find and expensive! We ate lunch, wandered around, and of course got old-timey photos and airbrushed t-shirts made!!


D is for Dallas, E is for Edisto, & F is for Flagstaff

I’ve been slacking on my Blogging From A to Z Challenge so now my goal is to finish by the time I leave Korea (less than 5 weeks now!). I couldn’t think of three different places that start with D, E, and F so you just get one of each!

Dallas, TX

Daniel and I lived in the Dallas area for two years. While I didn’t like living there, we did find lots of stuff to do to make the best of it. I would never recommend visiting, but if you happen to be in the area here are some attractions…

The Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza: Examine the life, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy through artifacts, photographs, documentary films, areas where evidence was found, and eyewitness accounts.

Amusement parks: I visited Six Flags (with friends Susan, Melissa, and Lindsay) and Hurricane Harbor (with Daniel when Wyatt and Callie came to visit).

Sporting events: Dallas is home to the Cowboys (NFL), Mavericks (NBA), Rangers (MLB), and Stars (NHL). But they also have arena football (we went to a game vs. the Philadelphia Soul), NASCAR (I went to the Samsung 500 and HATED it!), and an awesome horse track that has $1 days (Lone Star Park).

this shows how much i hated NASCAR

Fort Worth: Right next to Dallas, I actually prefer this city. It has some cool stuff to see, such as the Water Gardens, Modern Art Museum, and Stockyards.

Edisto Island, SC

As a kid, my family (and other families from Saluda) always went to Edisto to vacation. It is much more remote than Myrtle Beach or Charleston. There are no hotels, malls, or chain restaurants. You just go for a week, rent a house, swim in the ocean with fish and dolphins, and take long walks on the beach and collect seashells and shark teeth. The last family trip we took there was in October 2005 (now we go to Sullivan’s Island since we have a guest house to stay in). Here’s the only digital photo I have from that trip, and a bad photo of the Ravissant, the house we always rented there.

me, my mom, and my sister-in-law

Flagstaff, AZ

My mom and I stayed here for a night after visiting the Grand Canyon. I just thought it was the cutest little town and would be a perfect place to live. Close to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Phoenix. Lively arts and cultural scene. Maybe I’ll move there one day! Unfortunately the only pics I have are from The Grand Canyon International Hostel where we stayed.