Spring In Seoul

    It should be considered a travesty that I can title a post “Spring in Seoul” and not include a single picture of cherry blossoms.  About a week ago every patch of dirt peeking through the concrete was suddenly filled with flowers.  Pear trees and azaleas in every shade from white to red, forsythia, lilac, clematis, orchids outside of every restaurant, and exotic-looking bleeding hearts and columbines enchant the city like rainbow will-o-the-whisps appearing around every corner and peeking out from the most unexpected places. There are no daffodils- no Bradford pear trees (and no one mourns,) and its colder that we are used, so we can still be found wrapped in our coats and huddling in the sun, but in every place that grass triumphs over concrete there are kids, pulling off their shoes, picking dandelions, splashing in puddles and climbing up every vertical surface.

DSC02377Every Korean kid has his own umbrella and when I have taken my little ones out without umbrellas other adults will actually hold their umbrellas over my kids heads as they walk along with us.  Here David is walking home from the library holding the new sketch book which the librarians gave to every child to celebrate library week.

Elliana at Blute

Elliana at Blute

On Thursdays we join a group of our neighbors for a hike around Seoul.  Our first hike took place in a drenching, cold rain, (one of those times when strangers felt the need to hold their umbrellas over my boys.)  To hide from the rain our guide brought us into a hybrid coffee shop/florist called Blute.

Choco mint latte

Choco mint latte

The kids were soaked and freezing, (a trend I am noticing about our time in Korea.  Maybe it is time to invest in rain coats.)  Wanting to reward them for their courageous attitudes I bought them a 6000W ($6) Choco Mint Latte (mint hot chocolate.)  I thought I would be smart and read the name in Korean.  After about five minutes of sounding out the Hangul characters I realized they were pronounced  “choco mint latte.”


With every tray a bouquet!


Entering Blute is like stepping into a pre raphaelite painting.  There were so many neat details that I let the kids take turns wandering the store with my camera and practicing their photography skills.  Leave it to David to break into some kind of class happening in the basement and snap this priceless shot that just shows what it is like to be David.


If rainy days are flower shops and fancy hot chocolate, sunny days are compost and the community garden.  We were blessed to meet a family who brought us on board with this start up venture.  This week we interrupted our school day to gather green waste and stuff pallets for lasagne gardening.  Saturday the men managed to somehow find a wheel barrow which they pushed off into the furthermost reaches of Hannam village and magically returned filled with dirt.  The kids helped transport the dirt over the chain link fence and spread it on our garden.


We call this creative gardening- yes, those are mixing bowls.


No garden is complete without a fairy house.


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