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Guest Post: Super Seoul Trip

A while back, I wrote a guest post for Ena Teo on her blog at http://enabalista.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/best-romantic-destinations-in-u-s/  She has written a travel article for me about her trip to Seoul.  I have never been, so it was very interesting and new! I hope you enjoy it:

Back in February, my friend Bini (henceforth, B) and I headed to Seoul, Korea for a short and sweet 4 days 3 nights trip.

Day 1
Travelling from my country Singapore, we landed at In-cheon airport and we took a mini-van ride prepared for us as part of the package to our Seoul hotel, Vabien Suite II.
After checking in, we headed out to a trendy area called Sam-chang Dong with indie boutiques, a multi-level F21 building and the best Korean restaurant!

After some shopping, we ventured for a good meal and found the Best Korean traditional meal for lunch, at 7000won (~USD$7/SGD$10) per set meal!

After lunch, we headed to Dongdaemun to shop at Doota mall, another trendy shopping haunt with a lot of up and coming local designer stalls. After checking out about 3-4 levels, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Il Mare at the mall. Yes it is a little funny that we would eat Italian fare while in Korea but Il Mare’s pastas and cheese pizza dipped in honey is fantastic and definitely recommended!

Day 2
For our Super Seoul escapade day 2, we headed out to Lotte department store to shop and lunch!We had traditional korean food for lunch at level 11! If you don’t like Korean food, it’s only because you have not tried the authentic korean food in Korea. Dae bak! (The best!)In the evening, we headed to Hong-dae area for dinner. We didn’t know how to order and had to trouble B’s friend to speak to the restaurant ahjumma (aunty) over the phone. Oops! 😛 After dinner we walked around the area about bought stuff along the street market. Then we started to notice the craziest queue…

Turns out the Korean youths were queuing to enter the club! Hong-dae area is indeed famous for its youthful night scene!

Day 3
In the day we headed to Shinsegae department to shop that’s where I got my super tasty korean seaweed snacks and biscuits! They have a fantastic range of men and women’s boutiques in store. In the evening, we headed down to Myung Dong, night market street with lots and lots of skin care boutiques. I was looking for The Face Shop to buy some products especially facial masks back. Love branded items but cannot bear to pay for them? You might find your solution here! Lots of pirated branded stuff on the streets; Hermes, LV, Chanel scarves and accessories below.

Day 4

We headed back to the same place for lunch as we did on the first day. Then we had post lunch coffee before our chartered ride came to pick us up from the hotel! On our chartered ride to the airport. This entry is a condensed version of the trip, for more pictures, you may want to check out the 4 days in these 3 entries:

http://enabalista.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/now-or-never-super-seoul-day-1/
http://enabalista.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/shoppers-paradise-super-seoul-day-2/
http://enabalista.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/super-seoul-day-3-4/

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One of my favorite articles I have written lately 🙂

Planning an Unforgettable Wine Getaway

Wines

I’m a big Wino- my parents have a lake house in the Finger Lakes of New York, and I just tend to lean more towards wine, versus beer or liquor. Here’s a fun little piece on conjuring up a wine tour with your friends!

As the leaves turn and blustery winds augur the coming of autumn, it also signifies the approach of another wine season. Whereas summer was a time for outdoor parties, barbeque, and long days, fall is a time for brisk travel and enjoying delicious wine gathered during the peak of the harvest season.

Getting a taste of the world’s most delectable wines does not require a lengthy vacation to the famed wineries of Italy and France. For many Napa Valley, California is just a stone’s throw away, and home to some of the most notable wine regions in the United States. For those who live closer to the eastern shore, there are plenty of distinguished wineries around the New York area. The Finger Lakes in upstate New York and the Long Island coast are host to many acclaimed wine tours and festivals. Determine your drink of choice and choose a vacation schedule that caters to your individual palate and preferences.

One fashionable vacation idea adopted by wine lovers is renting a vacation property for the duration of the harvest season. A prolonged stay allows vacationers to tour the various wineries and festivals in the area at their own pace. For vacationers with less time, it helps to do some research in advance on the nearby wineries and their popularity level. With careful planning you can visit about 3 to 5 wineries per day. Given the culture and vintage, wine tasting may be an ostensibly expensive hobby. However, many wineries are known to offer half a dozen samples for less than $5.

When planning your wine tour, be sure to designate a responsible driver to chauffeur those who choose to drink. If everyone wishes to partake in the celebration, you can take advantage of the number of limo, bus, or taxi services in the area.

Another option for enjoying the harvest season is to hold your own wine tasting party at home. Pick a theme for the party by serving one type of wine or wine from a single winery. Be adventurous in your selection and use the opportunity to let your tongue bathe in a new and flavorful wine. Remember to purchase complementary cheese and chocolates to pair with the drink of your choice. Best of all, sharing a delicious bottle of wine is an excellent way to celebrate the coming of autumn while spending quality time with friends and family.

I love hosting wine parties. It is one of my most favorite things to do in fall, beginning of winter- besides having Sunday Funday for football! Hope you enjoy my writing and my random thoughts!

Live – Laugh- Love – Travel

AJ ❤

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Luxurious Manhattan Loft Party

One of my dearest friends lives in a gorgeous Manhattan Loft.  We threw a little get together this past weekend, and it made me think about writing this piece on Luxurious Manhattan Loft Parties!

There are a lot of great places to party in New York City, if you have the money to do so. The best way to re-create the downtown scene without spending thousands of dollars in the process is by doing it in your own loft. While throwing a party and at the same time trying to bring Manhattan style and glamor to it can be expensive if you let it, there are some tips that can help you keep costs at a minimum while putting on a very worthy affair.

Most importantly, people remember a party by the people they met and the conversations and interactions they had with other guests. This makes the layout of the party very important. Your party area should be set up in a fashion that allows people to mingle freely. A mixture of short and long tables gives people the ability to find different spots to talk, or even to take a break from talking or standing for a moment. Create comfortable sections with your existing furniture so that people can face each other when interacting. Do NOT put chairs and sofas against your walls; this will create a high school prom atmosphere, which is definitely not what you want.

As far as décor goes, low lighting and luxury are what you should go for. An easy way to save money while going for luxury is to use white tablecloth on all your tables, with accents in black or silver. These colors work all year round, so you do not have to worry about matching your party with a color theme. Fall parties can benefit from orange, brown, or yellow floating candles in glass bowls. Winter is easy; add some snowflakes or blue accents to get the effect you want.

Your musical choice is always important. Remember, it’s not about what you like, it’s about what people will enjoy without being offended. Try to go for something universal, like jazz turned low, or rock classics like the Beatles or the Who.

Food is also really important; a lot of people remember parties because of the great food that they ate. The first option is to have the party catered, if you know of an affordable caterer. Making the food yourself can be much cheaper, and often the food is much better. Appetizers are what you should focus on, as people will be chatting and interacting, and won’t be sitting down to eat. Finding popular hor d’oeuvres on sale can be effective, such as mini-quiches, or meatballs done with a special sauce. A cheese fondue with bread is also a glamorous and fairly inexpensive idea.

Drinks are the final touch. There is no reason to buy every kind of liquor on the planet. You can even have a drink theme to your party, such as flavored martinis. My all time favorite, and go to is the popular Cosmopolitan!  Always have been and a wine box in case your guests don’t drink liquor, and soda for those who drink any alcohol at all.

Do not fret; following these steps will allow you to actually afford a fabulous party that people will remember for a long time!

 

Live – Laugh – Love – Travel

AJ

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