This is a really hard.

So many things to share and so little time.  Sometimes I feel like I've sold my soul to the Devil called Poly and my only respite is the weekend.  And we all know THOSE aren't meant for relaxin'...

1.  I am sick.  It was bound to happen soon, but I'm feeling especially icky today and knowing that calling in sick is not an option sucks.  Bleh.

2. An interesting weekend was had by all.  Korean Independence Day was Friday and we all decided to escape the city for the three day weekend.  Yeah, us and the other 20 million or so residents of the greater Seoul area.  

A long bus ride, torrents of rain, and blind optimism apparently don't mix well as we were unable to find a hotel room at the beach.  No problem! Janet to the rescue.  I gotta give this girl mad props (yeah...)  Her Korean is fabulous and she managed to find us a pension on the beach. Too bad our cabbie's suggestion was totally bogus. This pension was shabby at best and totally third world at worst --- moldy, spider-infested and stinking of urine.  And the upshot is that we're pretty sure the "proprietor" kicked out some working girls to make room for our party of eight. We must have had "sucka" written all over us.

At the cabstand, taking cover from the torrential rain.

On the beach after the most ghetto dinner I have ever consumed.

No worries, nothing a bit of Cass and Fanta-Soju couldn't fix.  We spent the evening on the beach, eating, playing with fire, and swimming.  And we did NOT stay another night.

Party at the pension.

Amanda and Aura ventured out early Saturday morning and found the Korean lap of luxury -- the Greenworld Motel.  A bit pricey, (at 160,000 won it was 40,000 cheaper than the sh*tty pension) but it did have a comfy bed, a tub, and a blow dryer.  All the things seven girls and one brave dude could ask.

We all spent a sweet day at the beach, sunning, swimming, reading, defying death, and holding handstand competitions. And drinking.  Oh, did I mention this was also a birthday celebration for two of Poly's Finest?  We celebrated in true Korean style at Mr. Pizza (so good), topped off with a sweet potato cake.

Erica, Janet, Tim, me, and Ellen at the Gyeongpo Beach Olympics.

Marcie and I defying death on the slingshot. 30,000 won well spent!

A successful day at the beach.

Then to the bar.  We found a little hole in the wall with good music, Guinness, and a relatively clean bathroom. And we shook it for the next four hours.

The birthday table.
Aura and Erica shake it.
Tim on the mic.
Janet and Amanda gettin' jiggy wit it.
This is a really beach party.
The dance floor.
Aura channels her inner "Blondie." And damn was she GOOD! 
Need you ask?  YMCA.
Goin' home.

3. I need some comfort food. And black beans and Tilamook cheddar and a Cheesy Gordita Crunch minus the meat and a baked potato and breakfast food.

4. Rafting next Saturday. The river looks meager, but perhaps it will satisfy my need to be on a boat. Or maybe not...

5. I love Korean rest stops -- they are truly an event on a road trip. Not only do you get a clean bathroom, you can hit the grocery store for necessities, grab snacks at the hot food vendors, pick up a few pornographic DVDs for the ride home ('cause the ride home is ALWAYS longer) and Christmas shop at one of the many tourist shops. I road trip A LOT at home and I hate stopping at rest stops, but in Korea they are a treat. Except, of course, when you really gotta pee and the bus driver (who's holding you hostage) drives through the rest area, but doesn't stop. Man, that's just cruel.